News you won’t read, see or hear in the Australian mainstream media.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY!
“The most important thing for poets to do is to write as little as possible.” — T.S. Eliot
The Obama administration is considering a plan that would allow the U.S. military to strike more targets with fewer restrictions throughout Afghanistan, officials told NBC News on Thursday.
A senior U.S. official said active discussions are under way to give U.S. forces new authority to strike Taliban fighters simply for being part of the Taliban.
Under current authority, they may carry out strikes only in self-defense, to protect Afghan forces deemed to be in imminent danger or to target al Qaeda and ISIS.
A senior defense official said the military has been “advocating” to expand its mandate, noting that the Taliban made significant advances last year and that Afghan forces couldn’t keep up.
Targeting Taliban assets in general could help Afghan forces take back territory, particularly in Helmand and Oruzgan provinces, where the Taliban have shifted much of their effort recently, this official said.
Why in the name of all that’s holy, are we still in Afghanistan?!?
I would like to politely remind both the civilian and military leadership in this country that it is NOT characterized as “the graveyard of empires” for no particular reason.
And aerial strikes to “neutralize” alleged Taliban members (no due process, no day in court, of course) is only going to antagonize more young men into becoming jihadists.
How many military personnel have we lost here?!?
As reported at watson.brown.edu:
The number of United States troops who have died fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had passed 6,800 at the beginning of 2015. They died in a host of ways. The causes of death include rocket-propelled grenade fire and the improvised explosive devices that have been responsible for roughly half of all deaths and injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their deaths were also the result of vehicle crashes, electrocutions, heatstroke, friendly fire, and suicides in theater. Official Pentagon numbers do not include the many troops who return home and kill themselves as a result of psychological wounds such as PTSD. The DOD does not report suicides among non-active duty reservists. However, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has released data on suicides among all veterans, in a comprehensive February 2013 report. The VA issued a public statement that it is using this data in order to implement rigorous suicide prevention measures. The military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have also produced fatalities among large numbers of private contract workers. A full and accurate accounting of contractor deaths has not yet been done by the Pentagon. Over 6,900 contractors working for the US have been killed in the two war zones. The true number is likely much larger: the majority of US contractors are the citizens of other countries, many of whose deaths appear not to have been reported.
How much has the US government spent on the Afghanistan war?!?
According to time.com in January of 2015, the cost has been Afghanistan has cost $685.6 billion to that date.
AND FOR WHAT, PLEASE?!? How am I, or any of the people reading this blog, more “safe and secure”, for this war having dragged on as it has, over the last 14 years?!?
Has this brought “democracy” to the Afghani people?!?
No. The “elections” here have been pretty much a rubber stamp of whatever US-Centric thug the US government wanted in power.
Have we managed to help the Afghanis improve their economy?
As reported last February in an article in antiwar.com, the following statement was quoted by Peter Van Buren:
Hey, did you wake up today wondering what was going on in Afghanistan, America’s 51st state, you know, the one we’ve been occupying for over 14 years, that one where thousands of Americans have died and where thousands still serve? Yeah, that Afghanistan. Sure, of course, I can be more specific. But better let the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) tell the tale, via it released its thirtieth Quarterly Report to Congress. The quarterly report notes: Despite more than a decade of reconstruction and development efforts, the Afghan economy remains in fragile and worsening condition. Intractable insurgents, cutbacks in foreign military personnel, persistent emigration of people and capital, and a slowing global economy are shifting Afghanistan’s economic prospects from troubling to bleak.
So can someone in the US government please tell me, with a straight face, why the hell we are still here?!?
The answers here are both clear, and disturbing, and involve corporate greed; the pathological inabilities of the US government and military to admit they made a mistake; and the incredible flow of heroin from opium poppies, the cultivation of which is booming in present day Afghanistan, courtesy of the US and NATO occupation.
Private mercenary firms, such as Academi, have been making a killing (literally, and figuratively), with contracts for services like training Afghani security forces from 2002 through 2014 (and we have seen just how well THAT has gone).
Has this government never heard of performance-based pay?!? Why was Academi allowed to continue with its services, when the outcome of those services was so abysmally lousy, that even with the US, NATO and Afghan forces working against them, the Taliban are gaining ground?!?
IBM has also made a great deal of money through its mandate to “stabilize” Afghanistan by facilitating private investment in its vast mineral wealth.”
Bluntly put, this war has neither improved the security, nor the quality of life for the American people; it has been a meat grinder through which elite corporatists and druglords have been able to make obscene amounts of money.
Those military who were killed outright, or maimed for life, were only “collateral damage” in the eyes of these people, and irrelevant.
In my eyes, these military are neither collateral damage nor irrelevant; they were people with lives, lives that mattered, thrown into a war based on a pack of lies.
It has been a 14 year mistake that can only be remedied by the US and NATO withdrawing their forces as quickly as would be safe.
And now would be a pretty damned good time to start that process, thank you very much.
Since that unholy trinity of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld will never be prosecuted for lying this country into a war, which has broken this country both morally and fiscally, the withdrawal of US and NATO troops is the best outcome we can hope for now.
Water departments in at least 33 cities across 17 states were found to have “cheated” for over a decade on tests to conceal dangerous levels of lead in their water supplies. The scientist who discovered the Flint water contamination joined RT to discuss.
“We have a 25-year-old law that protects people from lead in the drinking water, and unfortunately that law has been broken routinely around the country,” Virginia Tech University Professor Marc Edwards told RT.
“For the last 10 years, people were doing sampling in water that made lead look low when they were reporting it to the EPA, but it was high when children were drinking it. And the EPA effectively condoned this ‘cheating’ as I call it until at least the Flint story became an international embarrassment,” stated Edwards.
Facing a rebounding Taliban insurgency, the US will expand airstrikes in Afghanistan, according to a “senior US defense official,” the Associated Press reported. The new plan may affect the timeline of withdrawal for the 9,800 US troops stationed there.
As support for a British exit from the EU strengthens, at least according to the latest polls that give some people whiplash, policy makers on both sides of the English Channel are finally beginning to think about the days, weeks and months after June 23. Some countries, such as Germany, seem more inclined to favor a soft, pragmatic approach in the event of a Brexit, while others, led by the government of France, are calling for a more punitive response.
Oh yes, I can already see the French trying to invade England!
New pieces of debris have been found in Madagascar by a man searching for parts of missing flight MH370.
First of all the US does not have a media. It has a ministry of propaganda. The media in the US is a function of the military security complex and of neoconservatives, and their ideology is world hegemony. That means American control of the entire world includes Russia and China. The neoconservative ideology says that history chose America to be the empire to rule the world. That is why they say that the United States is an indispensable country, and that the American people are the exceptional people. So, what you have here is the same ideology as Adolf Hitler. No one else matters.
There are the efforts of neoconservatives to destabilize Russia. This is the reason for Georgia and Ukraine. This is the reason for military activities on the part of the US and NATO on the Russia’s borders. This is an effort in part to destabilize the Russian government, but the neoconservatives are preparing to take this all away to war.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin and French Ambassador to Moscow Jean-Maurice Ripert have discussed preparations for the trilateral summit on Nagorno-Karabakh in St. Petersburg, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
The meeting was held on the request of the French ambassador who was accompanied by co-chair of OSCE Minsk Group Pierre Andrieu.
“During the meeting, the sides discussed issues connected with international efforts on resolving the crisis in Ukraine, as well as preparations for the trilateral summit on Nagorno-Karabakh settlement in St. Petersburg. They also touched upon the situation in the South Caucasus and in Central Asia,” the foreign ministry said.
The ministry did no clarify the concrete date of the summit.
Russia is perceived as an “honest broker” by both the Azerbaijani and Armenian governments; hopefully, this dialogue will move the process along to where there can be a meaningful peace deal created., and permanently de-escalate tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh.
In the wake of the deadly Tel Aviv attack, ministers voice empty bravado and call for collective punishment, thereby just pushing more Palestinians to violence. It’s time Israel learned the lesson: Terrorism will continue as long as the occupation does.
Wow! Even Ha’Aretz is saying the occupation has gone on too long!
In past 36 hours Heavy fighting between Syrian Democratic Forces and ISIS around strategic city of Menbej 50 ISIS terrorist killed and 75 villages and farms came under control of SDF, SOHR anounced based from reliable sources.
The US Attacks resulted in the death of a woman and four of her children, and injured her husband, which rise the number of civilians killed by the international coalition’s warplanes since the beginning of the operations on areas around the city and its countryside to 30 persons, including 11 children and four citizen women.
US backed forces are retreating.Syrian forces with a wall of Russian airpower are advancing towards Raqqa.
Earlier today, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) captured the Sfaiyeh crossroad after clashing with ISIS in western Raqqa province; the Sfaiyeh intersection leads directly north to Tabqa Airbase. The advance was spearheaded by the Desert Hawks Brigade and Syrian Marines, who were assisted by the SAA’s 555th Regiment of the 4th Mechanized Division.
The SAA also seized the adjacent Sfaiyeh oil field and its electrical station.
Anti’ Zionist Jews insist that Zionism and being Jewish are entirely different matters that have nothing to do with each other. Jonathan Boyd, the Executive Director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) claims the opposite. According to Boyd, statistics proves that “being a Jew and a Zionist are one and the same, they cannot be separated out.” Demands to separate Zionism and the Jews tear “Jewishness in two,” Boyd wrote today in the Jewish Chronicle.
How does a defensive action result in the total conquest of someone else’s lands? The answer is that it does not. Israel is the aggressor. The maps of Israel then and now prove it.
Tel Aviv Mayor Blames Terror Attack on Israel’s Occupation
Having sent not one but two aircraft carriers into the Mediterranean in what, as we reported yesterday, was meant to be a “clear message to Russia”, the US decided to further antagonize Russia when on Monday it sent the US destroyer Porter in the Black Sea “for a series of drills with allies and forces of partner nations in what the United States called a routine deployment”, the US Navy announced. To be sure, the US Navy was quite clear about its intentions with these deployments: “It provides some needed presence in the Med to check…the Russians,” the official said. “The unpredictability of what we did with Truman kind of makes them think twice.”
The question one has to ask is, why is the US government confronting Russia militarily in an election year?!?
The answers are complex, but the following scenarios are hardly improbable.
First, the US economy is in a tailspin, except for the fortunes of the 1 percenters.
Under President Obama’s watch, decently paying jobs, which used to be the bedrock of a comfortable, middle-class existence, continue to be offshored and outsourced, leaving many Americans with no choice but to be working several minimum wage jobs, if they can get them, and running further and further into personal debt.
To say that there is a lot of anger and resentment on this issue, in the heartland, is like saying that the Titanic hit a little bit of ice.
So if in fact there is a war against Russia and/or China before the election, it will have been very cynically created, in order to attempt to misdirect Americans’ anger at the horrific economic conditions in which so many find themselves toward those two nations.
Secondly, internal polling by the White House may indicate that Trump could well pull off a miracle, and soundly win the 2016 election, even with all of the vote fraud and vote suppression the Democrats can muster.
Should this happen, the Establishment will want to pile on as much pain and misery on the Trump Administration as humanly possible, by initiating a war with which Trump must contend, even before he has taken the oath of office, and perhaps deliberately crashing the economy just as hard as they can before he becomes President.
Thirdly, should Clinton win/steal the election, she very much wants to be perceived as a “war president”; the smell of blood (other people’s, of course) is the ultimate aphrodisiac of power for her.
Expect her to recklessly declare war against Russia and China, as her first act as President, rather than looking for any possible way of diffusing geopolitical tensions with both countries.
Look for her to reinstitute the draft; and if there is any major public protest against such wars, look for her to suspend the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and declare martial law.
After all, her good friends on Wall Street, and in the banking industry, will be making billions from such activities; and for her, money isn’t everything: it is the only thing.
I would, frankly, hate to be the military strategists and weapons specialists who, ultimately, will have to tell her that the US military doesn’t have the weaponry, the troop strength, the money, or the manufacturing to insure a positive outcome to a conventional war against Russia and/or China.
Clinton should be getting educated on these issues now, but in her hubris, believes she will have “plenty of time” to be schooled on these once she has taken the Oath of Office; she absolutely does not have the luxury of time at all, if she is looking at winning a war against Russia and/or China.
Don’t bother clicking the link. I disabled it.
I have seen several of these in recent days, pop-up ads screaming that you MUST update your Firefox (or Chrome, or IE or Opera, of Windows). These ads plant malware on your system. Always check the URLs you are requested to click and never accept a patch that is not coming from the original authors of a product.
The malware artists have declared war on the American people and as usual, the “mighty” NSA can’t or won’t do a thing about it, proving again (along with TSA) that US Government programs are costly, inconvenient, unconstitutional, and totally useless.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and the American Jewish Committee each filed a friend of the court brief on Tuesday with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, on behalf of Susan Abeles, who retired involuntarily in 2013 after working for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority for 26 years. She was accused of being absent without leave on the last two days of Passover that year and suspended for five days without pay.
Note: Ah the smell of money…she needs lots of time off and for hiring just do a Passover or you will get this.
- A lack of creativity
- A lack of curiosity and passion
- A lack of patience
- Lack of exercise
- Decreased test scores
- Lack of human connection
The Massachusetts Senate approved a bill yesterday to place a ten-year moratorium on fracking and the disposal of fracking wastewater in the Commonwealth.
“Across the country, fracking is polluting drinking water and making families sick,” said Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts. “We applaud Senate leaders for taking steps to ensure this dirty drilling and its toxic waste never come to Massachusetts.”
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a method of drilling that involves injecting millions of gallons of water, often laced with toxic chemicals, deep underground to fracture rock formations and release oil and gas…
Utah Senator threatens to yank U.S. peace money from Colombia after nation tries to make expensive leukemia drug more affordable
British politicians DID know about CIA torture flights… but Straw and spy chief WON’T be charged: Prosecutors say no-one will stand trial over claims two men were sent back to Libya 12 years ago
Cannabis is increasingly known to treat a variety of ailments, but a new, unexpected use for the plant recently has emerged amid one of the worst man-made disasters in American history. Thousands of residents were sickened and evacuated when a decrepit methane storage well at SoCalGas’ northern Los Angeles Aliso Canyon facility ruptured, initiating a months-long blowout that unleashed 100,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere from October to February — though it’s possible an even higher volume was released.
Our export boom OUTSIDE the EU: Leave campaign reveals Britain is exporting a record £14billion to non-European countries – as JCB boss says ‘we have little to fear’
Britain is exporting a record amount to countries outside the crisis-hit European Union, it was revealed yesterday.
Leave campaigners said the official £14billion export figure was proof the country is less dependant than ever on the rest of the EU.
It emerged as one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs insisted Britain can ‘stand on its own two feet’.
Lord Bamford, the billionaire chairman of JCB, said in an open letter to his 6,000 UK staff that the country ‘has little to fear’ from cutting ties with Brussels and that his company and the whole of the UK ‘will prosper just as much outside the EU’.
Internet file sharing has long been a prime route for malware to spread. The situation is one of the reasons (aside from the exposure of proprietary data) that many companies restrict the use of cloud file sharing to corporate-approved systems. But it turns out that those enterprise cloud folders are just as bad. As more companies sanction the use of cloud applications for collaboration and sharing data—even just between individuals’ computers and mobile devices—those cloud apps have increasingly become fertile ground for malware.
Earlier this week, security researchers at Checkpoint discovered a vulnerability that would have allowed attackers to change messages and links sent through Facebook messenger. Facebook quickly patched the bug … but did you know links sent privately through messenger can be read by anyone? Moreover, Facebook knows about this and has no plans to fix the issue.
WORLD WIDE WEB CREATOR Sir Tim Berners-Lee has said that the internet has fallen into the hands of large corporations and governments and become the “world’s largest surveillance network”.
Berners-Lee explained in an interview with The New York Times that his invention has steadily come under the control of powerful interests.
“It controls what people see. It creates mechanisms for how people interact. It’s been great, but spying, blocking sites, repurposing people’s content, taking you to the wrong websites completely undermines the spirit of helping people create,” he said.
“The problem is the dominance of one search engine, one big social network, one Twitter for microblogging.”
The abacus-shufflers of analyst firm IDC have revised their 2016 PC sales forecasts downwards.
The firm now says PC shipments “… are forecast to decline by 7.3% year over year”. That’s “roughly two per cent below earlier projections as conditions have been weaker than expected.” The firm names “weak currencies, depressed commodity prices, political uncertainty, and delayed projects” as the weaker conditions impacting sales.
Windows 10 isn’t helping matters either, because lots of people are availing themselves of free Windows 10 upgrades rather than buying a new PC. The firm also says that “while a large share of enterprises are evaluating Windows 10, the pace of new PC purchases has not yet stabilized commercial PC shipments.” Which sounds like plenty of organisations just aren’t pulling the upgrade trigger fast enough to give the PC market a kick.
Something is very, very wrong: Global governments are boosting spending at the FASTEST rate … YET… World Bank downgrades its forecast for 2016 global economy
LinkedIn Job Postings Plunge, “by far the Worst Month since January 2009”. Is The Job Market For Professionals Unraveling?
On Sunday, we learned that the man who stormed a Paris police station while waving a meat cleaver and donning a fake bomb vest once lived in a center for asylum seekers in Germany and may have ties to the wave of sexual assaults that occurred in Cologne on New Year’s Eve.
Reporters managed to capture Henry Kissinger
Flashback: In the aftermath of the Six Day War, General Charles de Gaulle publicly called the Jews “an elite people, self-confident, and dominating” and, almost in passing, noted that the Israelis enjoyed “vast support in money, influence, and propaganda [. . .] from the Jewish circles of America and Europe.” Though largely forgotten today, Jewish groups then widely attacked De Gaulle, claiming his comments would lead to “discrimination,” and even Raymond Aron, the otherwise unflappable critic of Jewish ethnocentrism, lost his composure.
Flashback: Certainly the most lucrative expression of this seemingly endless campaign has been West Germany’s massive and historically unparalleled reparations payoff to Israel and world Jewry for the alleged collective sins of the German people during the Hitler era. Between 1953 and 1992, the Federal Republic of (West) Germany paid out more than $35 billion in reparations to the Zionist state and to millions of individual “victims of National Socialism.”
Note: Never again. Never enough! Give is more and more and more.
In 1965, Germany signed a treaty agreeing to pay individual victims; survivors had to file their claims before 1969. Since then, Germany has paid out over €63.2 billion — including €1.5 billion in direct payments to the Israeli government.
Note: It will never be enough and if you question any of the preposterous claims of the holocau$t you go to jail.
The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Tuesday evening to pass a resolution calling upon Germany to increase restitution support for Holocaust survivors in what one of the legislation’s sponsors described as a last chance to support the dwindling number of Nazi victims.
Note: There will never be an end to this extortion racket. That is why you will never be allowed to know the truth.
A troubling report by the Institute for Economics and Peace found a mere ten nations on the planet are not at war and completely free from conflict. According to the Global Peace Index 2016, only Botswana, Chile, Costa Rica, Japan, Mauritius, Panama, Qatar, Switzerland, Uruguay and Vietnam are free from conflict. Iceland tops the list of most peaceful countries in the world, followed by Denmark, Austria, New Zealand, Portugal, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Canada, Japan, and Slovenia — while the United States ranked far lower, at 103. Palestine, placed in the index of 163 nations for the first time this year, ranked 148th.
In order to understand the hype surrounding the phenomena of Islamic radicalism and terrorism, we need to understand the prevailing global economic order and its prognosis. What the pragmatic economists have forecasted about the free market capitalism has turned out to be true; whether we like it or not. A kind of global economic entropy has set into motion. The money is flowing from the area of high monetary density to the area of low monetary density. The rise of the BRICS countries in the 21st century is the proof of this tendency. BRICS are growing economically because the labor in developing economies is cheap; labor laws and rights are virtually nonexistent; expenses on creating a safe and healthy work environment are minimal; regulatory framework is lax; expenses on environmental protection are negligible; taxes are low; and in the nutshell, windfalls for the multinational corporations are huge
White House calls FBI probe into Clinton’s classified emails a ‘criminal investigation’ – to glee of Republicans – on the same day Obama endorses her
Barack Obama’s spokesman described the FBI’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s classified email scandal as a ‘criminal investigation’ on Thursday, less than an hour after the president endorsed his embattled former secretary of state to succeed him.
As we run up to yet another anniversary of the 9-11 false-flag attacks, the government’s controlled assets on the web are once again pushing the “no plane at the Pentagon” hoax as hard as they can, to give the corporate media an easy means to discredit those who question the official story while avoiding the really tough questions like, “Why did the BBC announce the collapse of World Trade Center 7 twenty six minutes before it actually happened?” Or, “How did President Bush’s Secret Service know he was not a target sitting in that school on Florida?”
The media cannot ask, let alone answer, those questions, so the propagandists gin up this “No plane” theory and plant it online to give the corporate media an easy handle with which to ridicule and dismiss the whole idea of doubting the official story of 9-11.
For Sunny in Oregon…
Britain’s anti-nuclear activists have blocked entrance to a nuclear bomb factory for more than three days, bringing the construction work at the firm to a halt.
Peace campaigners from the Trident Ploughshares group began a month-long action on Monday against the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons program at AWE Burghfield in Berkshire, where warheads are assembled and maintained.