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jeudi 20 mai 2010

L'Autre Monde 20 mai 2010: L'Iran est dans la mire; le volcan pétrolier se poursuite et $170 millions en intérêts par jour

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L'Autre Monde 20 mai 2010: L'Iran est dans la mire; le volcan pétrolier se poursuite et $170 millions en intérêts par jour


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L'Autre Monde 20 mai 2010

90 min / Radio de l'UQAM, CHOQ FM



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




Au programme cette semaine, 20 mai 2010:


- Actualité, Moyen-Orient et économie sont au menu!


Soyez de la partie les jeudis dès 11h sur les ondes de CHOQ FM, la radio officielle de l'UQÀM, l'alternative à Montréal et dans le monde!


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


Actualité:


Scientists forecast decades of ash clouds. Many more of Iceland’s volcanoes seem to be stirring

THE Icelandic eruption that has caused misery for air travellers could be part of a surge in volcanic activity that will affect the whole of Europe for decades, scientists have warned.

They have reconstructed a timeline of 205 eruptions in Iceland, spanning the past 1,100 years, and found that they occur in regular cycles — with the relatively quiet phase that dominated the past five decades now coming to an end.

At least three other big Icelandic volcanoes are building towards an eruption, according to Thor Thordarson, a volcanologist at Edinburgh University.


Bruxelles instaure une dictature économique dans la zone euro

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Excellent article à lire provenant de
Mecanopolis:

Au mépris des droits du Parlement et de la volonté des peuples, la Commission européenne, l’Eurogroupe et la BCE ont proposés, mercredi soir, de placer la mise sous tutelle économique des seize pays de la zone euro.


Le président de la Commission, José Manuel Barroso, se garde bien de parler de « gouvernement économique ». Il a d’ailleurs raison, car le terme exact serait plutôt « dictature économique ». Le projet a le mérite d’être clair : à brève échéance, les budgets des pays de la zone euro seront entièrement contrôlés et décidés par un « triumvirat », composé de la Commission européenne, de la Banque Centrale Européenne et de l’Eurogroupe. Le Parlement de Strasbourg sera totalement écarté des décisions, même à titre consultatif. Les pays récalcitrants se verront amender par Bruxelles, et leurs droits de vote seront suspendus.

C’est bien sûr la crise grecque et les attaques en cours contre le Portugal et l’Espagne qui servent de prétexte à cette abolition pure et simple de la démocratie européenne, préparée de longue date (1) et que la récente ratification du Traité de Lisbonne (2) permet de mettre en oeuvre aujourd’hui.


EU leader publicly twists Canada's arm on climate change, bank levies

The president of the European Council is engaging in some public arm-twisting of the Harper government in advance of this summer's G8 and G20 summits in Canada.

Jose Manuel Barroso, the former Portuguese prime minister who now leads the European Union's new political council, says climate change talks and a global financial services tax need to be on the table when world leaders meet in central Ontario in June.

"I think the G8 and G20 can provide important political stimulus to global climate change negotiations," said Barroso, highlighting an issue that has barely registered on the radar for the back-to-back Canadian-hosted summits.

Last December's Copenhagen conference on climate change turned out "below our expectations," said Barroso, but he thinks a basis for progress has been made.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Global Warming? Global taxation? Can you see where this is headed unless we all agree to stop it?


CEO Predicts Market Armageddon: Dow To 5,000

Cornerstone Wealth Management CEO David Hefty agrees with a growing number of other financial experts that a real estate collapse in China before the end of the year will send shockwaves through the global economy, leading to a stock market collapse which will send the Dow into free fall below the 5,000 level.

Although Hefty said that the Dow would push higher beyond 12,000 by July, the fact that the market is “still in complete denial of what’s going on around the world and here at home” would soon lead to a dramatic reversal, Hefty told skeptical CNBC hosts.

Hefty said that when the market turns it will go into a “complete free fall” mirroring the collapse in oil prices in 2008 and could push the Dow below 5,000 by the end of this year – which would represent a decline of around 60 per cent.

Many other financial experts are predicting problems in China with stagflation and a property market collapse before the end of 2010, which would send shudders through the global economy.

Marc Faber told Bloomberg that China would collapse in 9-12 months, a sentiment shared by hedge fund manager Jim Chanos and Harvard University’s Kenneth Rogoff.

Nouriel Roubini has also warned that the Chinese economy faces the risk of “significant slowdown”.

Webmaster's Commentary:

The high-speed direct computer trading by Goldman Sachs accounts for more than half the total volume of the DJIA. So the soaring DOW is not a measure of the health of the US markets but merely a brag of how well Goldman Sachs is looting the nation.


Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the Decade

http://corporatecrimereporter.com/top100.html

A few caveats about this report.

Caveat one: Big companies that are criminally prosecuted represent only the tip of a very large iceberg of corporate wrongdoing.

For every company convicted of health care fraud, there are hundreds of others who get away with ripping off Medicare and Medicaid, or face only mild slap-on-the-wrist fines and civil penalties when caught.

For every company convicted of polluting the nation's waterways, there are many others who are not prosecuted because their corporate defense lawyers are able to offer up a low-level employee to go to jail in exchange for a promise from prosecutors not to touch the company or high-level executives.


Keiser Report: Future Made In China?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvidWu6L0t0&feature=player_embedded

This week Max Keiser and co-host Stacy Herbert look at whether or not, as Western economies collapse under the weight of all their debt, China can save the world economy. In the second half of the show, Max interviews Paul Midler, author of “Poorly Made in China”, about China’s $300 billion rail projects; how restricting liquidity in a command and control economy actually accentuates misallocation of resources; and about having to hire lawyers to find out what is in his shampoo.


Lone money manager may have sparked (stock market) plunge

A big mystery seller of futures contracts during the market meltdown last week was not a hedge fund or a high frequency trader as many have suspected, but money manger Waddell & Reed Financial Inc, according to a document obtained by Reuters.

Waddell sold on May 6 a large order of e-mini contracts during a 20-minute span in which U.S. equity markets plunged, briefly wiping out nearly $1 trillion in market capital, the internal document from CME Group Inc said.

Regulators and exchange officials quickly focused on Waddell's sale of 75,000 e-mini contracts, which the document said "superficially appeared to be anomalous activity."

Webmaster's Commentary:

So, if this latest story is to be believed, the 1000 point drop last week was a real event, which was blocked and then erased, underscoring that the market is indeed being manipulated by the big players and the US Government.


Economist Tim Madden: The PIIGS Brief: understanding how oligarchs rig, loot our economies. 4 of 4

Tim Madden is an economist with expertise on credit and banking. Tim and I are colleagues in lobbying government for public banking, with concentration in the US for state-owned banks (and here). The good news is that structural solutions to our economic controlled demolition are obvious and simple; and explained beautifully by many of America’s brightest historical minds. The bad news is that we’re still mired in oligarchic looting of our economies.


INFLATION ALERT! Costs SOAR 18.7%, Dow Illusion Vs. Gold


Hundreds of thousands join legal challenge to bank fees

Australia: Hundreds of thousands of disgruntled bank customers are expected set to join a landmark legal challenge that could force banks to pay back millions of dollars in fees.


Facebook founder called trusting users dumb f*cks

Loveable Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg called his first few thousand users "dumb fucks" for trusting him with their data, published IM transcripts show. Facebook hasn't disputed the authenticity of the transcript.

Zuckerberg was chatting with an unnamed friend, apparently in early 2004. Business Insider, which has a series of quite juicy anecdotes about Facebook's early days, takes the credit for this one.

The exchange apparently ran like this:

Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

Zuck: Just ask.

Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

[Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How'd you manage that one?

Zuck: People just submitted it.

Zuck: I don't know why.

Zuck: They "trust me"

Zuck: Dumb fucks


Google admits harvesting Wi-Fi data with Street View cars

Google has admitted that it has been recording data transmissions on Wi-Fi networks using its Street View cars.

In a blog posting Alan Eustace, senior vice president of Engineering and Research explained that while Google routinely collected some wireless information in the cars, such as network names, it appeared for the last four years it had also been collecting payload data from open Wi-Fi points.


Google Says It Mistakenly Collected Data on Web Usage

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703460404575244763621501220.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLETopStories

Google said it has been collecting and keeping the data since around 2007. At that time, the team building the software to gather the location of Wi-Fi hot spots mistakenly included some experimental software that sampled all categories of publicly broadcast


Another FCC Power Grab Attempt Over the Internet

The point here is to establish by hook or by crook that the FCC can regulate the Internet. Once it can, it will, Chicago gangland politics style, get to pick the winners and the losers in business and by having that power, politicians will be able to extort money from those companies at risk for campaign donations, future jobs, and present jobs for friends and family. The claim is always made that such regulations are needed for the general public, but the actual advantage always winds up in the hands of the politicians and the few large companies that are most savvy at buying their influence.


Stunning, Spectacular and Scary photos from the Gulf

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/05/disaster_unfolds_slowly_in_the.html

In the three weeks since the April 20th explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, and the start of the subsequent massive (and ongoing) oil leak, many attempts have been made to contain and control the scale of the environmental disaster. Oil dispersants are being sprayed, containment booms erected, protective barriers built, controlled burns undertaken, and devices are being lowered to the sea floor to try and cap the leaks, with little success to date. While tracking the volume of the continued flow of oil is difficult, an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil (possibly much more) continues to pour into the gulf every day.


Gulf of Mexico oil spill: dead dolphins found washed up on US coast

Blair Mase of the National Marine Fisheries Service said that dolphin carcasses had been found in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama since May 2. Samples have been sent for testing to see whether the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was to blame for their deaths.


Gulf Oil 'SPILL' - What A Lie

Spill? The corporate media continues to call the volcano of continuous gushing oil, in the Gulf, a spill. How insulting. A volcano that shoots out a million gallons of crude oil a week is hardly a spill.


Gulf oil gusher ‘ten times worse’ than previously estimated, experts say

So this is why BP's release of video showing the Gulf oil gusher was mysteriously delayed.

According to a scientific analysis of footage from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, National Public Radio is claiming the growing ecological disaster is actually ten times worse than previously estimated, saying the rushing torrent of oil pouring into the ocean is equivalent to one Exxon-Valdez spill every four days.

That's more than 70,000 barrels a day -- when the U.S. Coast Guard had placed the figure at a seemingly modest 5,000 barrels a day.


Size of Oil Spill Underestimated, Scientists Say

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/14/us/14oil.html

Two weeks ago, the government put out a round estimate of the size of the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico: 5,000 barrels a day. Repeated endlessly in news reports, it has become conventional wisdom.

But scientists and environmental groups are raising sharp questions about that estimate, declaring that the leak must be far larger. They also criticize BP for refusing to use well-known scientific techniques that would give a more precise figure.

The criticism escalated on Thursday, a day after the release of a video that showed a huge black plume of oil gushing from the broken well at a seemingly high rate. BP has repeatedly claimed that measuring the plume would be impossible.

The figure of 5,000 barrels a day was hastily produced by government scientists in Seattle. It appears to have been calculated using a method that is specifically not recommended for major oil spills.


Monstrous underwater oil plumes found in US Gulf Coast

Scientists have found vast underwater plumes of oil, one 10 miles (16km) long and a mile wide, in the Gulf of Mexico, following last month's rig disaster.

Researchers from the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology say they have detected several sprawling oil slicks lurking just beneath the surface of the sea and at depths of 4,000ft (1,200m).

The scientists said the chemical dispersants BP has been dumping underwater may be preventing the oil from rising to the top of the ocean.

The oil giant has said the chemicals, which it began deploying on Friday, have already resulted in less oil surfacing.

Were they just trying to sweep the oil under the carpet?


Huge underwater plumes of oil discovered in Gulf

HAMMOND, La. - In the first step in nearly a month toward stopping a massive Gulf of Mexico oil leak, BP said a mile-long tube was siphoning most of the crude from a blown well to a tanker ship after three days of wrestling to get the stopgap measure into place on the seafloor.

BP spokesman Mark Proegler said the contraption was hooked up successfully and sucking most of the oil from the leak. Engineers remotely guiding robot submersibles had worked since Friday to place the tube into a 21-inch pipe nearly a mile below the sea.

Previous attempts to use emergency valves and a 100-ton container had failed to stop the leak that has spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf, threatening sea life, commercial fishing and the coastal tourist industry from Louisiana to Florida. BP PLC has also been burning small amounts of floating oil and spraying chemical dispersants above and below the surface.

Researchers, meanwhile, warned Sunday that miles-long underwater plumes of oil from the spill could poison and suffocate sea life across the food chain, with damage that could endure for a decade or more.

Researchers have found more underwater plumes of oil than they can count from the blown-out well, said Samantha Joye, a professor of marine sciences at the University of Georgia. She said careful measurements taken of one plume showed it stretching for 10 miles, with a 3-mile width.

The hazardous effects of the plume are twofold. Joye said the oil itself can prove toxic to fish swimming in the sea, while vast amount of oxygen are also being sucked from the water by microbes that eat oil. Dispersants used to fight the oil are also food for the microbes, speeding up the oxygen depletion.

"So, first you have oily water that may be toxic to certain organisms and also the oxygen issue, so there are two problems here," said Joye, who's working with a group of scientists who discovered the underwater plumes in a recent boat expedition to the Gulf. "This can interrupt the food chain at the lowest level, and will trickle up and certainly impact organisms higher. Whales, dolphins and tuna all depend on lower depths to survive."

She said it could take years or even decades for the ecosystem to recover.

Oil has been spewing since the rig Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20, killing 11 people and sinking two days later.

BP has been casting about for ways to contain the leak since it was discovered several days after the blast. First robot submarines were unable to get valves to work on machinery at the well head called the blowout preventer. Then the company failed to capture the oil with a 100-ton box after icelike crystals formed in it.

A relief well, considered the permanent solution the leak, is still being drilled and is months away from completion.


Gulf Wildlife 'Dead Zone' Keeps Growing

An over 7,000-square-mile wildlife "dead zone" located in the center of the Gulf of Mexico has grown from being a curiosity to a colossus over the past two decades, according to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), and scientists are now concerned the recent oil spill and other emerging chemical threats could widen the zone even further.

The NWF describes the dead zone as being "the largest on record in the hemisphere in coastal waters and one of the biggest in the world."


Gulf Wildlife 'Dead Zone' Keeps Growing

An enormous wildlife "dead zone" in the Gulf continues to grow, and is expected to be even larger this summer.

Animal toxicology experts believe the Gulf dead zone is man-made.

Gulf wildlife continue to face other threats, ranging from agricultural run-off to pharmaceutical pollutants.


As oil spill approaches, dead animals wash up in Mississippi

Gus Holliman has spent the last two days riding the beaches in this coastal Mississippi town, hoping not to find dead animals.

On Saturday the sea turtles started washing up on shore. On Sunday, the turtles were joined by dead catfish, horseshoe crabs, and birds -- a duck, a pelican and a seagull.

Before the April 20 rig explosion and oil started pouring into the Gulf, the city might see a small turtle wash up every six months -- one that got caught in a net, or died from some natural cause, said Holliman, a City of Pass Christian patrol officer, who works the harbor.


Oil Already in Loop Current, Headed for Florida Keys

Researchers have evidence that oil from the Deepwater Horizon well accident in the Gulf of Mexico is on its way to the Florida Keys, carried by currents.

That evidence comes from computer models, satellite images and an eyewitness observation on a University of South Florida research vessel.

That ship, the Weatherbird II, returned Monday after studying plankton levels at the oil spill site.

Webmaster's Commentary:

We're going to see "dead zones" in a lot of the areas into which the oil has already spilled.


Criminal Negligence: Despite Knowing It Had a Damaged Blowout Preventer, BP STILL Cut Corners By Removing the Single Most Important Safety Measure

Several weeks before the Gulf oil explosion, a key piece of safety equipment - the blowout preventer - was damaged.

As the Times of London reports:

[Mike Williams, the chief electronics technician on the Deepwater Horizon, and one of the last workers to leave the doomed rig] claimed that the blowout preventer was then damaged when a crewman accidentally moved a joystick, applying hundreds of thousands of pounds of force. Pieces of rubber were found in the drilling fluid, which he said implied damage to a crucial seal. But a supervisor declared the find to be "not a big deal", Mr Williams alleged.

UC Berkeley engineering professor Bob Bea told 60 Minutes that a damaged blowout preventer not only may lead to a catastrophic accident like the Gulf oil spill, but leads to inaccurate pressure readings, so that the well operator doesn't know the real situation, and cannot keep the rig safe.

Bea also said that - despite the damage - BP ordered the rig operator to ignore an even more critical safety measure. Specifically, BP ordered the rig operator to remove the "drilling mud" - a heavy liquid used to keep oil and gas from escaping - before the well was sealed.

According to Bea, the accident would not have occurred had drilling mud been used.

The importance of drilling mud is well-known. For example:

Frank Patton, a drilling engineer for the government's Mineral Management Service, which oversees offshore drilling, told a separate inquiry in Kenner, La., that drilling mud "is the most important thing in safety for your well."

And numerous eyewitnesses have confirmed that drilling mud was removed too early.

For example, as the Times-Picayune reports:

Bickford's client, who was working immediately next to the drill floor at the time of the explosion, claims the rig operators had already started pumping mud out of the riser....

"We had set the bottom cement plug," the [whistleblower] said. "At that point the BOP stack, the blowout preventer, was tested. I don't know the results of that test. However, it must have passed because at that point they elected to displace the marine riser from the vessel to the sea floor. They displaced all the mud out to the riser preparing to unlatch from the well two days later. So they displaced it with sea water."

***

Bickford said his client saw mud being pumped out of the riser and onto boats that normally collect the mud in tanks. Another lawyer, Stuart Smith, said he represents fishermen who witnessed the explosion and saw the mud being extracted beforehand.

***

Other lawsuits by rig workers paint a similar picture. Bill Johnson, a Transocean deck pusher with 35 years of experience on oil rigs, was injured in the explosion and has sued his employer, BP, Halliburton and others in Galveston County, Texas. Johnson's attorney, Kurt Arnold of Houston, said Johnson had a meeting with a BP supervisor about 10 hours before the explosion and was told "things were plugged in the well and good to go. He thinks in retrospect the company man was not following procedure."

Another one of Arnold's clients, roustabout Nick Watson, said mud came back up the hole so suddenly before the explosion that he was trying to wipe it away from his eyes on the deck when the power went out and the first explosion came, Arnold said.

If the final cement plug wasn't in place yet, removing the mud would be at odds with "good oil-field practice" outlined in 2003 by the federal Minerals Management Service. The MMS report, prepared by WEST Engineering Services, warns against single-point failures -- counting on one mode of protection -- by saying that "mud weight is the first round of defense against a kick, followed up by" the blowout preventer. Removing the mud left the blowout preventer as the only failsafe.

"To displace mud above the position of the upper plug with water before setting the upper plug means that you are relying on one barrier for the duration; this is not good," said a deepwater drilling expert who did not want to be identified because he does business with BP. The expert is not involved in the Deepwater Horizon project.

And as McClatchy reported on May 11th:

Investigators on Tuesday homed in on whether an uncommon sequence of events involving a decision to remove heavy drilling lubricants early from a pipeline may have triggered the sudden upwelling of gas that led to the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig.

***

Anthony Gervaso, the engineer aboard a supply ship that was parked near the rig when it exploded, told a Coast Guard inquiry in Kenner, La., that he'd learned from his captain that rig workers pulled from the water had said they'd just start removing the drilling lubricant from the well when gas shot up the pipe and exploded.

Tim Probert, an executive of Halliburton, the subcontractor responsible for placing a cement plug in the well, told senators in Washington that the dense drilling fluid had been pulled from the drilling tube and replaced with much lighter seawater before a cement plug had been set to block gas and oil from coming up the pipeline.

Normally, the procedure would have been to place the plug and then switch out the drilling fluid for sea water. But he said the decision to reverse the process came at the instigation of BP, the well's owner.

The switch, he said, was "in accordance with the requirements of the well owner's well construction plan."

The drilling fluid is commonly called mud, but it is a complex and expensive recipe of clay and minerals that is recovered from a well and recycled....

Before a cement plug is installed, muds are the most important and effective way to restrict gasses and fluids held under pressure deep underground.

Probert, asked whether the practice was an unusual sequence of events, told Sen. Jeff Session, R-Ala., that he couldn’t answer that question, but that it had "been used on multiple occasions in the Gulf of Mexico."

As for who was responsible for determining whether it was a normal sequence of events, both Probert and Steven Newman, the CEO of Transocean, which owned the rig, said it would have been up to BP as the well owner to have conversations with MMS about that.

"As the lease operator and the well owner, that falls on BP," Newman said.

***

McKay declined to address the issue of why the decision was made to pull the drilling lubricants early. He said BP knows there were unusual pressure test readings prior to the explosion but that he was not familiar with "the individual procedure on that well."

***

Asked by Sessions whether a blowout would have been less likely if the mud had not been removed, he responded: "I don't know. I don't know."

And see this.

As Jed Lewison points out:

One important implication of this report: BP's $75 million liability cap for economic damages does not apply if the company is guilty of willful negligence, and if last night's 60 Minutes report on the disaster is accurate, BP will certainly be on the hook for everything.

Webmaster's Commentary:

One has to hazard a guess that because the managers and executives at PB thought they were untouchable for any liability, due to the company's significant political clout, they would make decisions like this, and ignore standards and practices which might have prevented this disaster from happening.


Dispersants Might Be INCREASING Damage From Gulf Oil Spill

As the Christian Science Monitor notes today:

More relevant could be the dispersant that BP is applying to the oil at the source. BP officials have hailed the process as a success, noting diminishing oil at the surface. But the dispersant breaks the oil into smaller drops, which might instead be spreading throughout the water column, instead of rising to the surface.

It is not clear what this would mean environmentally, though past research indicates that oil can be trapped in the seabed for decades after oil on the surface is cleaned away.

Shouldn't the use of dispersants be stopped until scientists figure out whether they will make things better or worse?


Scientists Claim Tarballs Will Hit Florida Keys Within Two Weeks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7fot3q3bGY&feature=player_embedded


Barack Obama sends nuclear experts to tackle BP's Gulf of Mexico oil leak

The US has sent a team of nuclear physicists to help BP plug the "catastrophic" flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico from its leaking Deepwater Horizon well, as the Obama administration becomes frustrated with the oil giant's inability to control the situation.

The five-man team – which includes a man who helped develop the first hydrogen bomb in the 1950s – is the brainchild of Steven Chu, President Obama's Energy Secretary.

He has charged the men with finding solutions to stop the flow of oil.


Obama's Gulf Eco-Catastrophe, Far Worse than Katrina, More Like a Hiroshima;

History will view Obama's response as too little, too late, too passive. New findings by a research vessel with a grant that ran out today show walls of oil-saturated death, miles long and wide, depleting oxygen from ocean water.

Webmaster's Commentary:

What appears to be happening is that the 5000 feet of water above the wellhead is functioning as a natural cracking tower. What we are seeing on the surface are the lighter petroleum molecules trapped in hydrates, showing various colors from tan to red. Lower in the depths, plumes of denser and heavier petroleum chemicals appear to be trapped in the thermocline and other layered currents, meaning that what is seen on the surface of the gulf, already covering some 5000 square miles, is not the totality of the disaster.


The "War on Terrorism" for Oil: Folly of the Imperial Oil Adventure. Tolling Bells for Humanity

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19180

Faced with the end of the age of oil and systemic collapse, the leaders of the Anglo-American empire have engaged in increasingly violent and transparently futile zero-sum games to salvage what is left of a corrupt governmental and economic milieu.

From the BP-Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, crashing stock markets, and the bloody consequences of manufactured wars, it clear that the empire has lost control of its own criminal system.

From war and chaos, catastrophic financial meltdowns, or the mega-disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that could ultimately render all else moot, events are well beyond the empire’s ability to control or hide any of it.

BP-Deepwater Horizon: an “extinction event”

The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and the resulting oil super spill in the Gulf of Mexico is the worst man-made disaster, and the largest and most heinous act of environmental destruction in history.

This floating super-bomb remains completely out of control, spewing hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf, spreading in directions that cannot be predicted, becoming exponentially worse by the second. It threatens to dwarf the entire Gulf of Mexico, the entire southern and southeastern coast of the United States and Mississippi River, and is poised to spread into all of the world’s oceans. Wildlife, human life, industries, economies and livelihoods, all potentially face permanent damage and destruction. It is even possible that the Gulf will be rendered impossible to navigate.

What is certain is that this catastrophe, made possible by the oil agenda of the Anglo-American empire--- will continue to kill for generations, potentially rendering the entire Gulf of Mexico a dead zone.


Scientists Find Giant Plumes of Oil Forming Under the Gulf

Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.


Gulf Oil Leaks Could Gush for Years

National Geographic News

"We don't have any idea how to stop this," Simmons said of the Gulf leak. Some of the proposed strategies—such as temporarily plugging the leaking pipe with a jet of golf balls and other material—are a "joke," he added.

"We really are in unprecedented waters."

Gulf Oil Reservoir Bleeding Dry

If the oil can't be stopped, the underground reservoir may continue bleeding until it's dry, Simmons suggested.

The most recent estimates are that the leaking wellhead has been spewing 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons, or 795,000 liters) of oil a day.

And the oil is still flowing robustly, which suggests that the reserve "would take years to deplete," said David Rensink, incoming president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

"You're talking about a reservoir that could have tens of millions of barrels in it."

Webmaster's Commentary:

Imagine trying to cap a geyser at Yellowstone, then move the problem 5000 feet down into the ocean substituting oil under pressure for the water from the geyser.


BP Fails to stem flow of oil

There has been a fresh setback for BP in its attempts to contain the leaking Gulf of Mexico oil well, a company official says.

Initial efforts by the firm to insert a long tube into the broken pipe to funnel oil to the surface have failed.


Whistleblower Claims That BP Was Aware Of Cheating On Blowout Preventer Tests

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/12/bp-whistleblower-claimed_n_573839.html

As the federal and congressional probes continue into the causes of the Gulf oil rig explosion, new information is coming to light about the failure of a key device, the blowout preventer, to shut off the gushing well, which could have prevented the growing catastrophe.

And new questions are being raised about the testing of the preventers. At today's hearing before a House subcommittee, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., revealed that the blowout preventer had a leak in a crucial hydraulic system and had failed a negative pressure test just hours before the April 20 explosion. And at a hearing in Louisiana on Tuesday, the government engineer who gave oil giant BP the final approval to drill admitted that he never asked for proof that the preventer worked.

In addition, an oil industry whistleblower told Huffington Post that BP had been aware for years that tests of blowout prevention devices were being falsified in Alaska. The devices are different from the ones involved in the Deepwater Horizon explosion but are also intended to prevent dangerous blowouts at drilling operations.

Mike Mason, who worked on oil rigs in Alaska for 18 years, says that he observed cheating on blowout preventer tests at least 100 times, including on many wells owned by BP.


US let BP drill in Gulf without permits

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=126495&sectionid=3510203

Federal records show that the Minerals Management Service (MMS) gave BP the green light for drilling, in violation of the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

New information on the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has come to light indicating that the US government allowed BP to drill in the area without proper permits.

Federal records show that the Minerals Management Service (MMS) gave BP the green light for drilling, in violation of the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, which filed a complaint Friday to sue the MMS over its non-compliance with the laws, the Department of the Interior also has approved over 300 drilling operations, three large lease sales, and over 100 seismic surveys without the required permits.


Alaska's Murkowski blocks Senate on higher oil spill liability

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats Thursday lost a bid to raise the liability cap for oil companies to $10 billion when Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski raised objections. They vowed to try again.

Senate Democrats Thursday lost a bid to raise the liability cap for oil companies to $10 billion when Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski raised objections.

Murkowski said she supports lifting the cap from $75 million, but contends the $10 billion figure would prevent smaller, independent companies from drilling along the Outer Continental Shelf.

The debate came as Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that caught fire and sank, touching off an oil leak that is still dumping 210,000 gallons of crude in the Gulf of Mexico daily, sought in federal court in Houston to use a 1851 maritime law to $27 million.

Webmaster's Commentary:

I wonder how much campaign cash Murkowski gets from big oil?


Venezuelan natural gas platform sinks in Caribbean

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8679981.stm

A gas platform has sunk in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Venezuela, but the energy minister says it poses no risk to the environment.

President Hugo Chavez announced the incident via his account on the social networking site Twitter.

He said all 95 workers were evacuated from the Aban Pearl platform before it sank in the early hours of Thursday.

But he said a tube connecting the rig to the gas field had been disconnected and safety valves activated, so there no risk of any gas leak.


Joe Lieberman's Fascist agenda to strip Americans of their Constitutional Rights

Senator Joe Lieberman is sponsoring a Bill with Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown called the "Terrorist Expatriation Act" that would strip terrorist suspects on their citizenship.

Joe Lieberman also sponsored another Bill in the Senate with John McCain called the "Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act.

McCain explained it stating "we still don't have a clear mechanism, legal structure, and implementing policy for dealing with terrorists who we capture in the (alleged) act of trying to bring about attacks on the United States and our national security interests at home and abroad."

Webmaster's Commentary:

Should either or both of these bills be passed, the Constitution and Bill of Rights will be null and void as reference points for what used to be our Constitutional Republic.

This legislation will generate an absolute abandonment of the rule of law, in a system which doesn't try people in a true court by a jury of their peers, and allows for indefinite detention without trial.

And when Lieberman makes his reference to "war criminals", he is deliberately avoiding the following reality.

The US has not declared war on Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan. Therefore, there can be no "war criminals" without the US having formally declared war.


Main Stream Media Admits Drug War has done nothing in the past 40 years: US drug war has met none of its goals

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100513/ap_on_re_us/failed_drug_war

After 40 years, the United States' war on drugs has cost $1 trillion and hundreds of thousands of lives, and for what? Drug use is rampant and violence even more brutal and widespread.


Russia and the Central Asian Drug Trade: The Role of Kyrgyztan

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19067

A drug trafficking campaign is being conducted against Russia on a broad scale affecting all spheres of its political, social and economic life. Kyrgyzstan plays an important role in this campaign. There are ten main routes of heroin traffic from Afghanistan (occupied by the US forces) with six of them crossing the Kyrgyz city of Osh, an important hub of Afghan drug traffic.

As we can see – the main routes of heroin traffic to Russia, Europe and the US are those that cross or originate in Tajikistan and/or Southern Kyrgyzstan.

On April 1, 2010, during a special operation in the city of Osh to detain a drug suspect, the agents of the Kyrgyz Interior Ministry confiscated more than 160 packages of Afghan hashish (about 107, 8 kg) and 24.4 kg of heroin. That was a serious blow to the drug mafia, so a few days later, on the night of April 6th, the country saw a people’s uprising, and a coup.

A government of national confidence seized power as a result, pledging Washington to retain the US military base Manas in Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan has long since been prominent on the geopolitical agenda of the United States and its allies.

According to the CIA, Kyrgyzstan is a small, poor country in the mountains with an emphasis on agriculture. Cotton, wool, meat are the main agricultural products and exports. But the country also has hydropower resources, deposits of gold and rare-earth metals; local deposits of coal, oil and gas, mercury, lead, zinc, bismuth, nephelite. The CIA points out in a report the circulation of illegal drugs in Kyrgyzstan, local opium poppy and hashish production mainly for the consumption within the country and in the CIS countries. The report also mentions that the government has launched a minor-scale programme to root out the drug crops; the use of Kyrgyzstan as a drug traffic transfer point to ship drugs to Russia and Western Europe from South West Asia.

According to the Western media, people’s anger on the night of April 6th of 2010 was sparked off by an increase in gas and water tariffs, arrests of the opposition leaders, corruption and the clan system, and general authoritarianism. But no mention was ever made of the drug business!

Webmaster's Commentary:

Unflipping believable.


Obama Administration Targets Military for Pay Reductions

http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/pentagon-military-pay-obama/2010/05/09/id/358485?s=al&promo_code=9DD1-1

President Barack Obama — who came to power with the help of government employee unions across the nation and has lavished on them hundreds of billions in stimulus funds to keep them on federal, state and local payrolls with no strings attached — is moving to cut spending on salaries for military personnel.


The Militarization of Outer Space: The Pentagon's "Space Warriors"

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19074

It's not as if things aren't bad enough right here on planet earth.

What with multiple wars and occupations, an accelerating economic meltdown, corporate malfeasance and environmental catastrophes such as the petroleum-fueled apocalypse in the Gulf of Mexico, I'd say we have a full plate already.

Back in 2005, The New York Times reported that General Lance W. Lord, then commander of AFSPC, told an Air Force conference that "space superiority is not our birthright, but it is our destiny. ... Space superiority is our day-to-day mission. Space supremacy is our vision for the future."

Five years on, that "mission" is still a top priority for the Obama administration. While some might call it "net-centric warfare" on steroids, I'd choose another word: madness.


Mexican helicopter spotted near Roma bridge

A Mexican military helicopter has been caught flying over Texas skies for the third time in the past two months.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed that officers spotted the helicopter by the Roma International Bridge on Saturday.

Two other Mexican military helicopters were seen near Falcom Dam in Starr and Zapata Counties back in April.

CBP officials confirmed that the helicopter was in United States airspace for just a few moments.

Webmaster's Commentary:

WTF?


17,000 Form Human Chain At U.S. Base In Japan

— Thousands of Japanese linked hands and encircled a Marine Corps base in Okinawa on Sunday to protest its presence on the island, putting more pressure on Tokyo to resolve an impasse over the base's future.

About 17,000 residents surrounded the Futenma air base early in the afternoon, chanting slogans and completing a human chain twice for several minutes each time, city official Hitoshi Nakou said. The base covers about 1.9 square miles (4.92 sq. kilometers), and sits in the middle of Ginowan, a city of about 93,000.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Unless this situation is resolved, Hatoyama and his party are going to lose their collective shirts in the next election.


Seoul set to formally blame North for sinking naval ship

South Korea is scheduled to announce on Thursday the results of its investigation into the sinking of a navy corvette that broke in two on March 26, killing 46 South Korean sailors.

It is widely expected that the announcement will officially hold North Korea responsible for the incident.

Webmaster's Commentary:

This could go from tense to a shooting war in a heartbeat.

One only hopes that China will offer the watchwords of prudence, and an absence of belligerence to its client state, North Korea, but it is difficult to say just how much Kim Jong Il will listen to such counsel.


Thai soldiers overrun protesters' camp; 'red shirt' leaders surrender

Thai soldiers launched an assault against "red shirt" protesters in a military operation that forced anti-government protest leaders to surrender but left parts of Bangkok in the grip of near-anarchy. Enraged by the offensive, protesters set fire to Thailand's stock exchange and southeast Asia's biggest shopping mall, looted luxury boutiques and fired grenades and guns in areas previously untouched by the mayhem.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Looks like the government has triggered a full-on civil war!


Poor Thai ‘red shirts’ victims of the New World Order

I love Thailand. I lived there 14 years, doing volunteer work. I know Thailand’s problems. I have seen it change from a simple gentle society to what it is today. But what is happening now is very tragic. Thai people were always one, no matter what, but now they are sadly divided! And why? Because of a big fat lie!


Massacre in Thailand and Obama’s Foreign Policy Stance

When the White House is quiet as protesters are butchered in the streets of Bangkok Thailand, suspicions are raised. Silence often equals complicity. One can only imagine what the U.S.’ response would be to a Venezuelan government slaughter: the U.S. media and Obama would loudly condemn such an act, in contrast to the muted response to Thailand’s blood bath.

Thailand was thus transformed into a U.S. client state and given money, guns, and U.S. government intelligence to battle Thailand’s “communists.” This relationship has equaled numerous Thai dictatorships that have a very bloody history, including the shooting of untold numbers of protesters that the Thai government named “communists,” or their modern equivalent, “terrorists.”


Bracing for the worst in Bangkok as troops gather

Further in, families lolled on plastic mats laid on the pavement damp with rain, seemingly unperturbed by the prospect of an imminent military onslaught. The deadline of a government ultimatum on protesters to leave had expired over an hour before, and a reported 30,000 troops were getting into position all around them.

Refusing to leave the protest site in Bangkok, scores of women with children have found shelter at the Wat Pathum Wanaram Buddhist temple, wedged between two ultramodern shopping malls. They idle on rattan mats amid sculptured hedges around saffron-robed monks.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Making martyrs out of these protesters may well be the undoing of the current Thai government.



Irak:


Senate panel approves money for Afghan, Iraq wars

A Senate committee on Thursday approved another $33.5 billion for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq this year, although some members said they did so reluctantly.

The action by the Senate Appropriations Committee is the first step toward congressional approval of the extra war spending that President Barack Obama requested in February to support his surge of 30,000 more U.S. troops into Afghanistan.


Obama Scraps Iraq Withdrawal

Webmaster's Commentary:

Under Obama's watch, from domestic to foreign policy, to the economy, "hope and change" morphed into "shock and awe" faster than the speed of light.


Iraq violence set to delay US troop withdrawal

The White House is likely to delay the withdrawal of the first large phase of combat troops from Iraq for at least a month after escalating bloodshed and political instability in the country.

Webmaster's Commentary:

"Golly gee shuckies, I really meant to bring your kids back home; honest I did with a cherry on top, but ain't it just amazing that every time we are ready to bring the kiddies home, some unknown jerk goes and blows something up!" -- Official White Horse Souse


At least 84 killed in attacks across Iraq

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a textile factory Monday in a crowd that gathered after two cars bombings at the same spot in the worst of a series of attacks killing at least 84 people across Iraq, the deadliest day this year.

The attacks targeted both Shiites and Sunnis and added to fears that political instability will inflame sectarian violence once again - this time as U.S. forces prepare to go home. Iraq is entering its third month since the March 7 elections without a new government in sight or even a final determination of the results.

Webmaster's Commentary:

More "progress" in Iraq, I see, courtesy of the US invasion and occupation.


The return of the Mahdi Militia

http://uruknet.com/index.php?p=m65577&hd=&size=1&l=e

Iraq has returned to an atmosphere of a sectarian civil war, especially after Moqtada al-Sadr called yesterday for re-organizing his militia «Mahdi Army» to protect the prayers at the mosques, after the deaths of dozens of dead and wounded in attacks on mosques and Husseiniyahs Shi'ite mosques in Baghdad, were seen by security officials as a reaction from Al Qaeda as a revenge for the killing of their leaders, Abu Ayyub al-Masri and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi a few days ago.

Webmaster's Commentary:

We may well be looking at another round of the resurgence of a bloody civil war in Iraq.


Al-Maliki to lose job in new agreement

Iraq moved towards forming a new government under a new prime minister yesterday as the two Shia religious political blocs reached an agreement on sharing power.

It is likely that the prime minister Nouri al-Maliki will lose his job as the price of the deal between his State of Law coalition and the Iraqi National Alliance, a powerful group dominated by the followers of the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.


Iraq's Maliki edges nearer power as rival warns of civil war

– Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki took a major step toward staying in power on Saturday when a top Shiite cleric said he would not stop him from keeping his job, but an arch-rival warned of civil war.

A spokesman for Moqtada al-Sadr, a radical, anti-US cleric who is currently living in Iran, told AFP the movement would drop a veto against Maliki seeking a new term as long as he met its condition that Sadrist prisoners be freed.

The latest announcement came as former premier Iyad Allawi, who narrowly beat Maliki in the March 7 general election, said if recent violence that has swept through Iraq were to continue then civil war loomed.

Webmaster's Commentary:

In the process of hijacking the elections, Al-Maliki may well have put his country on the path more bloody civil war.

And if he is unable to keep his promise about releasing the Sadrists being detained, the Mahdi Army could very probably be resurrected by Sadr against the Al-Maliki government.


Kurd rebels 'attack army outpost'

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8655937.stm


Turmoil in Iraq threatens US withdrawal plans

Iraq continues to be embroiled in its messy post-election coalition-building process. It has become so messy that the US may well be rethinking its withdrawal plans, and particularly its withdrawal of all combat troops at the end of August.

Webmaster's Commentary:

With the resurrection of the Mahdi army, we could well be seeing the return of civil war in Iraq.

Kurdish rebels have attacked a military outpost in eastern Turkey killing four soldiers and wounding several, officials sources say.


Who is Bombing in Iraq? Are the bombers Al-Qaeda, the CIA or Israel?

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19168

Christopher King argues that it is likely that the American CIA – or Israel acting on its behalf – is responsible for recent atrocities in Iraq, in order to extend and consolidate the occupation, just as it is probable that the Times Square bomber was, wittingly or otherwise, acting for the CIA or Israel, to justify the US military intervention in South Asia.


Al-Qaeda Chief In Iraq: Captured, Killed, Never Actually Existed, Re-Captured, Now Killed Again

http://uruknet.info/index.php?p=m65224

U.S. and Iraqi officials have today announced that two "Al-Qaeda in Iraq" leaders have been killed in an air strike carried out by American troops. A major flaw in the story that seems to have been overlooked, is that both of the men have already been reported captured and killed on several occasions, with U.S. officials also having previously declared one of them a "fictional character" that was invented by the other!


Allawi Warns of New Civil War on Iraq’s Deadliest Day

The election squabble is still far from over, but Allawi seems destined to return to the opposition as the second and third place finishers, both Shi’ite religious blocs, have merged into a dominant power.

Allawi today warned that sectarian tensions are on the rise, and that Iraq could soon face a new civil war. Iraqiya was a secular bloc, but relied mostly on Sunni voters for its narrow victory, setting the stage for yet another battle between Sunnis and Shi’ites.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Looks more and more likely that US military forces will draw down completely in Iraq - ever.


Veteran of "Collateral Murder" Company Speaks Out

Josh Stieber, who is a former soldier of the “Collateral Murder” Company, says that the acts of brutality caught on film and recently released via Wikileaks are not isolated instances, but were commonplace during his tour of duty.

??“A lot of my friends are in that video,” says Stieber. “After watching the video, I would definitely say that that is, nine times out of ten, the way things ended up. Killing was following military protocol. It was going along with the rules as they are.”??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThT3u4TWuY8&feature=player_embedded

PROPAGANDA ALAERT - Psychologists Explain Iraq Airstrike Video

In recent days, many veterans have made the point that fighters cannot do their jobs without creating psychological distance from the enemy.

Webmaster's Commentary:

This propagandistic bovine excrement is evading the point. These soldiers in the Apache were not doing their job, Their job is NOT to gun down innocent civilians including children and reporters!

The offense here is not the language, although that is what the US Government wants you to think it is, because that they imagine they can make excuses for.

The real issue here is that the US forces are routinely gunning down non-combatants, and there is NO excuse for that. We called it a war crime when the Nazis did it. We called it a war crime when the Japanese did it. It is a war crime when the US does it!


Iraq War Vet: "We Were Told To Just Shoot People, And The Officers Would Take Care of Us"

On Monday, April 5, Wikileaks.org posted video footage from Iraq, taken from a US military Apache helicopter in July 2007 as soldiers aboard it killed 12 people and wounded two children. The dead included two employees of the Reuters news agency: photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and driver Saeed Chmagh.

The US military confirmed the authenticity of the video.

The footage clearly shows an unprovoked slaughter, and is shocking to watch whilst listening to the casual conversation of the soldiers in the background.

As disturbing as the video is, this type of behavior by US soldiers in Iraq is not uncommon.

“During the course of my three tours, the rules of engagement changed a lot,” Washburn’s testimony continued, “The higher the threat the more viciously we were permitted and expected to respond. Something else we were encouraged to do, almost with a wink and nudge, was to carry ‘drop weapons’, or by my third tour, ‘drop shovels’. We would carry these weapons or shovels with us because if we accidentally shot a civilian, we could just toss the weapon on the body, and make them look like an insurgent.”

Hart Viges, a member of the 82nd Airborne Division of the Army who served one year in Iraq, told of taking orders over the radio.

“One time they said to re on all taxicabs because the enemy was using them for transportation…. One of the snipers replied back, ‘Excuse me? Did I hear that right? Fire on all taxicabs?’ The lieutenant colonel responded, ‘You heard me, trooper, re on all taxicabs.’ After that, the town lit up, with all the units ring on cars. This was my rst experience with war, and that kind of set the tone for the rest of the deployment.”

I remember one woman walking by," said Jason Washburn, a corporal in the US Marines who served three tours in Iraq. He told the audience at the Winter Soldier hearings that took place March 13-16, 2008, in Silver Spring, Maryland, "She was carrying a huge bag, and she looked like she was heading toward us, so we lit her up with the Mark 19, which is an automatic grenade launcher, and when the dust settled, we realized that the bag was full of groceries. She had been trying to bring us food and we blew her to pieces."


Iraq anti-US cleric Sadr urges unity vs Americans

In an address read to tens of thousands of supporters at a rally to mark the seventh anniversary of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, Sadr said that without Iraqi unity "the occupation and its advocates will stay in Iraq without fear".

"You, the Sunnis of Iraq, joined hands with the Shiites to liberate our country. Do not let the (U.S.) occupation or any unjust law made by it deter you from doing that," he said in the address read by aide Hazem al-Araji.

Webmaster's Commentary:

The Iraqis want their country back; and if al-Sadr has his way, that day may come sooner rather than later.


US War-Fighting Numbers to Knock Your Socks Off

For all the sand Iraq did have, from the point of view of the U.S. military it didn’t have the perfect type for making the miles of protective "blast walls" that became a common feature of the post-invasion landscape. So, according to Stephen Farrell of the New York Times, U.S. taxpayer dollars floated in boatloads of foreign sand from the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to create those 15-ton blast walls at $3,500 a pop. U.S. planners are now evidently wondering whether to ship some of the leftover walls thousands of miles by staggeringly roundabout routes to Afghanistan at a transportation cost of $15,000 each.

Here, for instance, are some figures offered in a Washington Post piece by Lt. Gen. James H. Pillsbury, deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, who is deeply involved in the "drawdown of the logistics operation in Iraq": "There are… more than 341 facilities; 263,000 soldiers, Defense Department civilians, and contractor employees; 83,000 containers; 42,000 vehicles; 3 million equipment items; and roughly $54 billion in assets that will ultimately be removed from Iraq."

* Believe it or not, for instance, U.S. commanders in our war zones have more than one billion congressionally mandated dollars a year at their disposal to spend on making "friends with local citizens and help[ing] struggling economies." It’s all socked away in the Commander’s Emergency Response Program. Think of it as a local community-bribery account which, best of all, seems not to require the slightest accountability to Congress for where or how the money is spent.

* Believe it or not, the Defense Logistics Agency shipped 1.1 million hamburger patties to Afghanistan in the month of March 2010 (nearly doubling the March 2009 figure). Almost any number you might care to consider related to the Afghan War is similarly on the rise. By the fall, the number of American troops there will have nearly tripled since President Obama took office; American deaths in Afghanistan have doubled in the first months of 2010, while the number of wounded has tripled; insurgent roadside bomb (IED) attacks more than doubled in 2009 and are still rising; U.S. drone strikes almost doubled in 2009 and are on track to triple this year; and fuel deliveries to Afghanistan have nearly doubled, rising from 15 million gallons a month in March 2009 to 27 million this March. (Keep in mind that, by the time a gallon of gas has made it to U.S. troops in the field, its cost is estimated at up to $100.)

Webmaster's Commentary:

Importing sand into Iraq???? And at taxpayer expense!!!!!

The biggest threat to the American way of life isn't Al Qaeda and it isn't the Taliban; it is the US Military!


7 million Iraqis exist below poverty line

Millions of Iraqis exist below the poverty line in a country which floats on oil and earned more than $60 billion from oil sales last year, said Mahdi Muhsen, the director of the Central Organization for Statistics and Information Technology.

Muhsen said one fourth of Iraq’s nearly 30 million people live below the poverty line and that unemployment rates could hit 30% in some provinces.

Webmaster's Commentary:

More "progress" in Iraq, I see.


Youngsters maimed by discarded bombs face dark futures in Iraq

It was just five years ago that Murtaja Hussein was playing football next to his house, in a farming village south of Baghdad, when he found the lump of metal that would change his life forever.

I’ve tried to kill myself, but it’s hard to do that without hands and my family always stop me. My mother says she thanks God that I’m still alive but I have no future and have destroyed my family’s future.”

Webmaster's Commentary:

This is what your tax dollars have purchased in Iraq; human suffering and misery almost beyond imagination.

Oh, and that oil which was supposed to pay for the costs of the invasion and occupation?!?

As reported on 19 December, 2009 at:

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1948787,00.htm

"U.S. Companies Shut Out as Iraq Auctions Its Oil Fields"

"Rather than giving foreign oil companies control over Iraqi reserves, as the U.S. had hoped to do with the Oil Law it failed to get the Iraqi parliament to pass, the oil companies were awarded service contracts lasting 20 years for seven of the 10 oil fields on offer — the oil will remain the property of the Iraqi state, and the foreign companies will pump it for a fixed price per barrel"


Gordon Brown paid for Depleted Uranium Weapons which are causing birth defects in Iraq


Evidence that Depleted Uranium is intended as a weapon of genocide

Now that the horrors of Depleted Uranium are being revealed to the world, we can expect for apologists to begin moving into the next phase of damage control within the coming months. It will likely be claimed that the depopulation of much of the Middle East was an unfortunate result of the DU that the Pentagon used because it was not aware of the health effects it would have.

This article is meant to demonstrate why this is not the case. The radioactive waste is intentionally used to depopulate and economically cripple the nations that the United States government declared war on.



Pakistan:


Hundreds Killed as US Escalates Pakistan Strikes

After killing a record 700 civilians last year in at least 44 distinct drone strikes against Pakistan in 2009, the Obama Administration looks to be escalating the rate even further in 2010, to the point that drone strikes have become a decidedly ordinary occurrence.

Less than four months into the new year, the US has already launched 40 attacks and killed at least 268 people. The most recent strike yesteray in North Waziristan killed at least nine people.

The identities of the victims are never particularly easy to ascertain, but the number of named militants killed so far this year is trivial, as it was last year, when most of the “suspects” turned out to have no discernible relation to any militant faction.

Since taking office, President Obama has repeatedly escalated the drone strikes against the tribal areas, to the point where multiple attacks a week are a matter of course. With the normal winter lull seeing such a large number of strikes, a new record for killings seems all but assured again in 2010.

Webmaster's Commentary:

This is a war of attrition against the Pakistani people, and the US government has paid off the Pakistani government and military to look the other way while this is happening.


Parliament passes law to clip Zardari’s powers

Pakistan’s Lower House of the Parliament on Thursday passed the historic constitution (18th amendment) bill, 2010, aimed at restoring the 1973 constitution in its original form, with a two third majority.

The unanimously approved reform bill strips President Asif Ali Zardari of key powers in a move to bolster parliamentary democracy weakened by military rule.

The historic amendment rolls back four decades of infringements by military rulers on Pakistan's 1973 constitution, say members. It is expected to sail through the upper house of parliament as early as next week and then pass into law.

Webmaster's Commentary:

One has to wonder how this move will affect the US's continued drone war in Pakistan,what the consequences will be to the deals the US government has made with the executive and military branches in order to keep a US military presence in Pakistan.



Syrie:


Turkey positions missiles to repulse Israeli aerial incursions

The newspaper quoted a Turkish military source, who preferred to remain anonymous, as saying that the purpose of the missiles were to protect and defend Turkish airspace against all aerial incursions in addition to repulsing American and Israeli penetrations in the event that they should launch attacks against Syria or Iran.

Webmaster's Commentary:

If this report is true, it signals a very clear message to Washington and Tel Aviv: don't even think about a military attack against Syria or Iran.


Syria asks Russia to lean on Israel

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has been in the headlines, first for describing his predecessor Joseph Stalin as a "totalitarian dictator" and then for making the first state visit to Syria by a Kremlin chief since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.

Medvedev met with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal during his Syria visit and in an unprecedented move wrote a front-page editorial for Syria's daily al-Watan on how important bilateral relations are between Damascus and Moscow.

Webmaster's Commentary:

This is Russia's way of saying to Israel, "Back the flip off on any war plans against either Syria or Iran... OR ELSE!".

One would hope that Tel Aviv gets the message.


Russia to sell Syria warplanes, air defense systems

Russia has signed deals with Syria under which it will sell it warplanes, antitank weapons and air defense systems, Itar-Tass news agency quoted a senior Russian arms trader as saying on Friday.

Webmaster's Commentary:

This is Russia's very transparent way of saying to the US and Israel that they shouldn't even think about attacking Syria or Iran.


Russia to supply Syria with arms

Russia is to supply Syria with warplanes, defense apparatuses and military vehicles in a move that would irk Israel and the United States.

Head of Russia's Federal Agency for Military Cooperation Mikhail Dmitriyev said on Friday that Moscow is contracted to sell Damascus MiG-29 fighter jets, Pantsyr short-range air defense systems and armored vehicles, Russian media reported.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Russia is sending the clearest possible message to the US and Israel; don't even think about a military misadventure in Syria or Iran!


Trilateral Commission Wants War With Iran

Trilateral Commission member Mikhail Slobodovsici, a chief adviser to the Russian leadership, unwittingly provided a revealing insight into the plans of the global elite during the group’s recent meeting in Dublin Ireland, when he mistakenly told a We Are Change Ireland activist he thought was a fellow TC member that the globalists are planning a war with Iran.

According to Jim Tucker’s fascinating report on the story, Slobodovsici also let slip to We Are Change Ireland’s Alan Keenan that the Trilateralists and their BIlderberg counterparts are intent on exploiting the economic crisis to finalize plans for a world government, but that this agenda is being severely hampered by so-called “nationalists” who are becoming increasingly aware of the impact that global government will have on their freedom and standards of living.

The fact that the elite had planned to have their world government fully operational by 2000 and are ten years overdue has been much cause for concern amongst Trilateralists, reports Tucker.

“TC boys are upset they were unable to exploit the economic crisis they helped generate by creating a world “treasury department” under the UN. They blame “rising nationalism” and ask “how those people knew about this,” according to witnesses inside the TC hotel.”



Iran:


“There is no ground left for more sanctions or pressure on Iran”

by Robert Naiman, Policy Director of Just Foreign Policy (source: Huffington Post)

If I were in Washington this morning, I would run down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House to Congress with a big Brazilian flag, as the young Brazilians run down the Avenida Paulista in Sao Paulo during the the “football” match, shouting “Gollllllll!”

Because with the news this morning that Iran has agreed to ship most of its enriched uranium to Turkey, in a nuclear fuel swap deal reached in talks with Brazil and Turkey that could “deflate a U.S.-led push” for new sanctions against Iran, the President of Brazil has scored a goal against the neocons in the West who want to gin up confrontation with Iran towards a future military conflict.

Continue reading:


Iran Announces Breakthrough Nuclear Exchange Deal

By Juan Cole

Veteran Iran observer Borzou Daragahi reports on the agreement just announced by Iran and Turkey on the disposition of Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium.

Under the deal, according to the Iranian spokesman, “After a final agreement is signed between Iran and the Vienna group, our fuel will be shipped to Turkey under the supervision of Iran and the IAEA . . .” “Then we will dispatch 1,200 kilograms [2,640 pounds] of 3.5% enriched uranium to Turkey to be exchanged for 120 kilograms [264 pounds] of 20% enriched uranium from the Vienna group.” The Vienna group is the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.


US: Iran nuclear deal will not halt sanctions plan

Iran has agreed to ship much of its low enriched uranium abroad in a nuclear fuel swap deal backed by Turkey and Brazil, but the United States said moves for toughened sanctions would still go ahead.

But the United States said it would not halt or slow its drive for toughened sanctions against the Islamic republic.

"It does not change the steps that we are taking to hold Iran responsible for its obligations, including sanctions," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

Webmaster's Commentary:

The White House has just telegraphed, loudly and clearly, that no matter what Iran does, the US is still going to go ahead with a futile attempt at sanctions, which China will not sign on to.

Then, we will have unilateral, coupled with multilateral sanctions, which will almost inevitably lead to a world war.

The hypocrisy here just stinks.


White House Slams Iran Uranium Deal

Other US officials mocked the deal as a ploy, and one official termed it “too little too late,” even though the deal was materially the same one the US has been demanding Iran agree to for the past six months. Another official demanded that Iran submit the deal to the IAEA for consideration.

Webmaster's Commentary:

As reported on 5 March, 2003 regarding Saddam Hussein's alleged "weapons of mass destruction", at:

http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/03/05/sprj.irq.main/index.html

"In his speech, Powell repeated the Bush administration's claim that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's recent steps toward disarmament are "too little, too late gestures" designed to confuse and divide the international community.

I would like to hope this has a familiar "ring" to it: the powers that be in Washington are attempting to work from precisely the same playbook on Iran as they did in Iraq.

Apparently and very wrongly, they imagine that US citizens can't quite remember that they were led into the war in Iraq on a pack of lies; if they do go through with this military attack against Iran, it will be based on yet another pack of lies.


Deal made on Iran sanctions: Clinton

The US claims to have made an agreement with all veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council on a draft sanctions resolution against Iran.


Clinton: Iran sanctions draft to go to full UN Security Council today

Webmaster's Commentary:

"Look, we are planning to start WW3 and you guys just have to get on board with us!"


UN discusses Iran sanctions deal

Members of the UN security council have agreed on a package of strong new sanctions to impose on Iran over its disputed nuclear programme, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, announced.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Read further in. This is a draft only and has not yet been adopted.


US Shrugs Off Iran Diplomacy Efforts

US officials today mocked the diplomacy effort by Turkey and Brazil to come to some sort of accommodation on Iran’s civilian nuclear program, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly calling Turkey’s Foreign Minister to inform him the effort isn’t “serious.”

State Department spokesman PJ Crowley says Clinton informed FM Davutoglu that the effort was “an attempt to stop Security Council action without actually taking steps to address international concerns.”

Webmaster's Commentary:

The US, always lead by the nose in its Middle Eastern foreign policy by Israel, is doing everything in its power to prevent some kind of accord from being reached here.


U.S. intelligence turns up surveillance ears on Turkey and Brazil

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_5876.shtml

WMR has learned from U.S. and Middle East intelligence sources that the Obama administration has authorized an increase in signals intelligence (SIGINT) gathering directed against Turkey and Brazil. Both nations are acting as intermediaries with Iran to hammer out a deal to swap uranium for Iran's low-enriched uranium used for its nuclear power generating needs for nuclear fuel from abroad.

As the UN Security Council debates applying new sanctions on Iran, Turkey and Brazil, which are opposed to new sanctions, are quietly negotiating between Tehran and Russia and China to ensure that there will be at least one permanent member Security Council veto of a sanctions resolution.

Webmaster's Commentary:

It appears that the US is doing everything humanly possible to torpedo any possibility that there might be some kind of agreement both Iran and the West might find mutually acceptable.


Iran Prepared to Block Gulf Oil and Wreck Western Economies

Webmaster's Commentary:

Pathetic attempt by Israel to counter Iran's announced nuclear swap deal!



Économie:


Federal Deficit Chart (1901 to 2010)

Federal Deficit chart from 1901 to present. It aint pretty! See comparisons of current deficit with that of World War 2 below.

THE US DEBT CLOCK


Webmaster's Commentary:

Bookmark this. Note that at present while debt is going up and government spending is out of control note that business assets, both corporate and small business; the means by which we create actual wealth (versus more paper) are in decline.


Canada's Federal Debt


Police State Canada 2010 and the G20 Summit

The G20 summit will be held on June 26-27 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre preceded by the G8 summit which will take place in Huntsville, Ontario. The secretive meetings will be attended by world leaders, finance ministers, central bank governors, along with thousands of other delegates. It will be the largest security event in Canadian history exceeding the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Downtown Toronto will be turned into a security fortress with fences, barricades, checkpoints and street closures thus greatly affecting local residents. While the G8/G20 summits will attract their share of peaceful protesters, other more radical and fringe elements may try to capitalize on the event.

Interest on public debt costs $170-million a day

http://www.canadianactionparty.ca/component/content/article/317-interest-on-public-debt-costs-170-million-a-day


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