Paramilitary Pretense, Who Controls the Predators?

by Peter Chamberlin

In a world where all the Western media and most of the foreign press has proven that it cannot be trusted to tell the truth we cannot possibly know who our soldiers are fighting in Pakistan or why. Every news source gives another version of the “official truth” as determined by the powers that be. We know that we are witnessing at least one strategic “great game” unfolding in the region, more likely, there are multiple psychological warfare operations playing-out in Pakistan’s western region.

When both American and Pakistani governments regularly lie about the Taliban that they fight and others that they want to fight, then it makes as much sense to find reports by someone who has interviewed the accused militants theselves. The following quotes [in yellow] are from Pakistani Taliban TTP leader Maulvi Nazir, taken from an interview with him on the Islamic site As-Sahab.

Should we ever believe the word of a “terrorist/freedom fighter,” for that matter, should we ever believe words crafted by psy-operators? Whatever the truth about this man’s words, the As-Sahab interview is a rare opportunity to peer into the mind of a TTP leader.

At 34, Mulla Nazeer Ahmad is representative of the new Taliban, just like his teammates Nek Mohammad, Baitullah Mehsud, Maulana Fazlullah and the Dadullah brothers.

http://images.huffingtonpost.com/gen/69701/thumbs/s-MULLAH-NAZIR-large.jpgThis is the new Taliban, most of them bearing the honorary title of “Mullah, Maulvi or Maulana,” because they are graduates of the radical Saudi/US Sunni madrassas where, from an early age, they were brainwashed, by studying radicalized texts, such as the disinformative “jihadi textbooks” which were produced for the CIA by the University of Nebraska’s Afghanistan Department. Tutored in the guerilla sciences in the CIA/ISI training camps which were built for “jihad” against the Soviet occupation forces, too young to participate themselves, these “extremist” radicalized boys were ticking time bombs, awaiting the next jihad. Here in the tribal areas, The Mujahideen are content with war. When there is no war, they start depressing. We are not afraid of war. War has raised the spirits of the Mujahideen.

This second-generation militant army was set into play as part of the long-range plans of the first extremist American president and vice president, Ronald Reagan and Bush Sr., by the same two out-of-control spy agencies who had trained and armed their brothers and fathers in the eighties. The continuity of their plan determined US foreign policy for the next thirty years. In 1996 a second extremist American president set these mujahedeen veterans and trainees loose upon the people of the former Yugoslavia. Again, in 2001, a third extremist American administration called forth the militant militia, this time to play act the part of a mythic Islamic army of superpower stature. From the remnants of the final battle of the Cold War arose “al Qaida,” the threatening slayer of superpowers.

This interview with Pakistani Taliban leader Nazir/”Nazeer” offers a unique glimpse into this “enemy” conjured-up by the CIA and the Pakistani secret service ISI, to represent all of the Islamic world in this apocalyptic Republican production of a “clash of civilizations.” In contradiction to every story on the unfolding war against Pakistan that is carried by the subservient American, Pakistani, Indian and British presses, Nazir tries to set the record straight on who he is and who his men are fighting, before the Obama escalation gets underway and every unofficial news story gets swept away by the Western news filters. Add a comment
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Baraka Obama and his New World Order -

by Stephen Lendman

This article addresses Washington's financial coup d'etat in the context of discussing Michael Hudson's important, very lengthy and detailed April 5 Global Research.ca one titled: "The Financial War Against Iceland - Being defeated by debt is as deadly as outright military warfare." It reviews its key information in advance of Hudson's April 14 scheduled appearance on The Global Research News Hour to discuss.

What's true for Iceland holds everywhere, including the developed world, the idea being to enrich finance capitalism through state-sponsored debt bondage and neo-feudal impoverishment. The global economic crisis was no accident. It was long ago hatched, and has been brewing for years, gestating, percolating, then bubbling into the 2000 tech crash, a mere prelude for today's greater one spreading everywhere like a cancer but hitting the developing world and most indebted nations hardest.

Hudson: "Iceland is under attack - not militarily but financially."

Like many others, "It owes more than it can pay" and is bankrupt. It was planned that way, and the idea is to strip-mine the nation and its people of their resources, enterprises, assets, land, homes, jobs and futures through perpetual debt bondage. Bankers get enriched. Nations and people, however, are discarded like trash, with the IMF as enforcer, to be reinvigorated with an additional (G 20-pledged) $750 billion, quadrupling its resources to $1 trillion if fulfilled.

Wall Street and Western European bankers planned it and now ordered the government "to sell off the nation's public domain, its natural resources and public enterprises to pay (its) financial gambling debts." Also, raise permanent taxes at the worst possible time, then suck the maximum wealth from the country leaving behind an empty hulk and impoverished, desparate population. It's called dystopia Merriam-Webster defines as: "an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives," the opposite of utopia under conditions of deprivation, poverty, disease, violence, oppression, and terror, much like in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Permanent debt bondage "is as deadly as outright military" defeat. Loss of livelihoods and assets leave people vulnerable to sickness, despair, and early deaths, much like what happened to post-Soviet Russia under Washington-imposed "shock therapy:"

— 80% of farmers went bankrupt;
— around 70,000 state factories closed;
— unemployment became epidemic;
— a permanent underclass was created;
— poverty rose from two million in 1989 to 74 million by the mid-1990s, and in half the cases it was desperate;
— alcoholism and drug abuse soared;
— so did HIV/AIDS 20-fold;
— suicides also and violent crime four-fold; and
— the population declined by 700,000 a year; by 2007 it was 10% lower than in 1989 because of sharply reduced life expectancies.

Iceland, the developing world, and the West take note. This cancer is heading everywhere, courtesy of banker-imposed diktats, mainly from America and the UK. They insist Iceland "impoverish its citizens by paying debts in ways (they'd) never follow" even though the government has no way to do it.

No matter. "They are quite willing to take payment in the form of foreclosure on the nation's natural resources, land and housing, and a mortgage on the next few centuries of its future" - perpetual debt bondage no different than the spoils of war under permanent occupation.

However, in this case, debtors are convinced to pay voluntarily "to put creditor interests above the economy's prosperity (and) national interest." Their indebtedness comes at a huge cost - "chronic currency depreciation (and) domestic price inflation for many decades to come." Add a comment
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Palestinian Nationalism - Dan Lieberman

by Dan Lieberman

Academic symposiums usually clarify history and knowledge to a select group who absorb the history and knowledge in order to impart the history and knowledge to others. The 2009 Annual Symposium of Georgetown’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies accomplished more than being a routine academic program. Its April 2-3 symposium on Palestine & the Palestinians Today, at the Washington DC Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, alerted an attentive audience to situations that many didn’t realize and to realities that all should know. A series of conferences revealed a nature and debate of the Middle East conflict that is not apparent in daily media reports.

As one example, a panel on Changing Conceptions of Palestinian Nationalism provided new meanings to the Palestinian struggle and revealed Israel’s strategy for containing those meanings – a strategy whose result could vanquish the Palestinian people.

Note: The article details the writer’s summary of the panel proceedings.

The Palestinians face a dilemma.

A consensus, which notes Israel’s continuous settlement expansion and failures to negotiate sincerely, considers a viable two-state solution is not attainable. A one-state solution, in which power is democratically shared, has gained adherents, but lacks practical implementation. However, a state is not only a matter of borders; it is a matter of survival. The Palestinians want to gain what all peoples need for survival – a self- identity that derives from being part of a state that protects its citizens. Loss of safety results in loss of trust and loss of self-identity.

Nationality and religion enhance identity and are an answer to ontological security. The latter two words are more than an esoteric expression. They define what the Palestinians lack and most need. The absence of ontological security has accelerated deterioration of the Palestinian community, a process caused by the severe Israeli repression.

Ontological security “is a stable mental state derived from a sense of continuity in regard to the events in one's life…. Meaning is found in experiencing positive and stable emotions, and by avoiding chaos and anxiety. If an event occurs that is not consistent with the meaning of an individual's life, this will threaten that individual's ontological security. Ontological security also involves having a positive view of self, the world and the future.” Add a comment
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Hope Abandoned: Obama Protects and Promotes CIA Torture Mavens

by Chris Floyd

"Hope must be grounded in reality; and it must be invested in the right place. When reality gives it the lie, then it must be abandoned."

It was obvious from the moment that Barack Obama appointed Leon Panetta to head the CIA that there was going to be no serious investigation — much less prosecution — of the high crimes of torture committed by the agency at the order of the Bush White House. Panetta, a Clinton retread (who actually began his career in the Nixon administration), has always been a bland, feckless, obedient servant of the Establishment; he has no outside power base, no pull, no heft, no popularity — nothing that would enable him to grab hold of the CIA with both hands and clean that fetid, blood-encrusted house. And of course, it was precisely this kind of powerless figure that Barack Obama wanted in the post.

The appointment was very typical of the Obama operation. Panetta had made a few very mild statements over the years that would allow him to be passed off as some kind of "progressive" in the witless, substanceless "process stories" that the corporate media do for new government appointees. This would be enough to keep the progressive "base" — which was overwhelmingly inclined to give Obama every benefit of every doubt — lulled long enough to get the patsy into the job. Of course, to actually get the job, Panetta had to make it clear to Congress that he wasn't going to stir up any trouble on the torture front, and was willing to play along with anything the Unitary Executive might order him to do. But the corp-media made little of this, concentrating instead on Panetta's rote assertions that "America doesn't torture," and his embrace of the Army Field Manual as the standard for CIA interrogation. (Of course, the vaunted manual also allows practices that any rational human being would consider torture, but that's another story.) Add a comment
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Israel’s Arab students cross to Jordan - Academic hurdles block access to universities

by Jonathan Cook in Nazareth

Obstacles to Israel’s Arab minority participating in higher education have resulted in a record number of Arab students taking up places at universities in neighbouring Jordan, a new report reveals.

Figures compiled by Dirasat, a Nazareth-based organisation monitoring education issues, show 5,400 Arab students from Israel are at Jordanian universities — half the number of Arabs studying in Israel itself.

Despite the fact that most Israeli Arab students in Jordan interviewed by the researchers expressed a preference to attend university in Israel, the numbers heading to Jordan have grown four-fold since 2004.

College-age Arabs, representing nearly one-quarter of their age group in Israel, are heavily under-represented in Israeli higher education, at about eight per cent of the student intake, according to official statistics. Of those Israelis who pass their matriculation exams, three times as many Jews as Arabs are accepted into Israeli universities.

“Our findings should raise serious questions about the hurdles that have been put in the way of Arab students that make them feel they have no choice but to study abroad,” said Yousef Jabareen, a law professor at Haifa University and head of Dirasat.

Typical of the new exodus is Haneen Bader, 23, from the village of Turan in the Lower Galilee, who is in her third year studying Islamic jurisprudence at Jordan University in the capital, Amman.

Dirasat’s researchers were surprised to find that nearly one-third of all Israeli Arab students in Jordan are women. “We live in a patriarchal society and women are still usually expected to remain close to the family home until they marry,” said Dr Jabareen.

But, he added, good travel links between Amman and the Galilee — and a shared language and culture — made regular visits to Jordan a practical and inexpensive option for Israel’s 1.2 million Arab citizens.

Ms Bader said she was the first member of her family to study outside Israel but that, after initial doubts, her parents were won over when they saw the campus. “Now they very much approve of my decision.” Add a comment
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The Death Grip on Memory - Normon Solomon

by Norman Solomon

A headline in the New York Times announced a few days ago: “Brain Researchers Open Door to Editing Memory.” This news ran above the fold on the front page.

“Suppose scientists could erase certain memories by tinkering with a single substance in the brain,” the article began. Readers quickly learned that it’s starting to happen: “Researchers in Brooklyn have recently accomplished comparable feats, with a single dose of an experimental drug delivered to areas of the brain critical for holding specific types of memory...”

Big deal.

American media outlets have been pulling off such feats for a long time.

The scientists trying to learn how to wipe out “specific types of memory” are lagging way behind.

Don’t need to remember the vast quantities of napalm, Agent Orange and cluster bombs that the U.S. military dropped on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the 1960s and 1970s? Or the continuing realities of burn victims, dioxin poisoning and unexploded warheads?

Don’t want to consider the many thousands of civilians killed by Salvadoran death squads, Guatemalan troops and Nicaraguan contra guerillas during the 1980s, courtesy of U.S. taxpayers?

Don’t care to recall the Pentagon’s estimate that the Gulf War in early 1991 killed 100,000 Iraqi people during a six-week period?

Forget about it! That’s what selective memory is for. Add a comment
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Media Lens Cogitation: The Art of Loving and the Art of Seduction

by Media Lens

The Power Of Pain


In his book, The Art Of Seduction, Robert Greene outlines a strategy for conquering romantic “targets”:

“The greatest mistake in seduction is being too nice. At first, perhaps, your kindness is charming, but it soon grows monotonous; you are trying too hard to please, and seem insecure. Instead of overwhelming your targets with niceness, try inflicting some pain. Lure them in with focused attention, then change direction, appearing suddenly uninterested. Make them feel guilty and insecure. Even instigate a break-up, subjecting them to an emptiness and pain that will give you room to manoeuvre.” (Greene, The Concise Art Of Seduction, Profile Books, 2003, p.167)

It is no secret that “emptiness and pain” can provoke desire. A key theme of advertising is the manufacture and exploitation of shame. If our hearts can be made to sink at the thought of our sagging bellies, our “Here comes pizza face!” complexion (the words were used in an actual advert), our personal hygiene - “Could you be cleaner?” - we can easily be made to crave the proposed solution.

In sexual, consumer, and political seduction it is crucial that the true intent be camouflaged. Greene explains that we should use "spiritual lures":

“Play up your divine qualities; affect an air of discontent with worldly things; speak of the stars, destiny, the hidden threads that unite you and the object of the seduction. Lost in a spiritual mist, the target will feel light and uninhibited.” (Ibid., p.161)

This also describes the art of political seduction - Clinton, Blair and Obama know all about these "lures".

Greene's strategy of seduction is doubtless successful within its own terms. The method is simple: on meeting an attractive woman, say, for the first time, one should direct a focused beam of flattering conversation, smiles and interest in her direction. She should be made to feel deeply interesting and welcome. One should then suddenly switch attention to some other person and ignore the first woman as if she had ceased to exist. The idea is that this sudden indifference will be experienced as a wounding loss - she will feel out in the cold - and this will create a needling urge to regain the lost attention. At this point, the “target” has begun to desire the seducer. Add a comment
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Getting a Death Grip on Memory

by Norman Solomon

A headline in the New York Times announced a few days ago: “Brain Researchers Open Door to Editing Memory.” This news ran above the fold on the front page.

“Suppose scientists could erase certain memories by tinkering with a single substance in the brain,” the article began. Readers quickly learned that it’s starting to happen: “Researchers in Brooklyn have recently accomplished comparable feats, with a single dose of an experimental drug delivered to areas of the brain critical for holding specific types of memory...”

Big deal.

American media outlets have been pulling off such feats for a long time.

The scientists trying to learn how to wipe out “specific types of memory” are lagging way behind.

Don’t need to remember the vast quantities of napalm, Agent Orange and cluster bombs that the U.S. military dropped on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the 1960s and 1970s? Or the continuing realities of burn victims, dioxin poisoning and unexploded warheads?

Don’t want to consider the many thousands of civilians killed by Salvadoran death squads, Guatemalan troops and Nicaraguan contra guerillas during the 1980s, courtesy of U.S. taxpayers?

Don’t care to recall the Pentagon’s estimate that the Gulf War in early 1991 killed 100,000 Iraqi people during a six-week period?

Forget about it! That’s what selective memory is for.

Prefer not to recollect how the U.S. government trained and armed President Reagan’s beloved “freedom fighters” in Afghanistan -- including the likes of Osama bin Laden and other fundamentalist mujahedeen -- for their insurgency against the Soviet occupiers in the 1980s? Rather not remember how those “freedom fighters” became “terrorists”? Add a comment
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Israel’s Arab students cross to Jordan - Academic hurdles block access to universities

by Jonathan Cook in Nazareth
 
Obstacles to Israel’s Arab minority participating in higher education have resulted in a record number of Arab students taking up places at universities in neighbouring Jordan, a new report reveals.
 
Figures compiled by Dirasat, a Nazareth-based organisation monitoring education issues, show 5,400 Arab students from Israel are at Jordanian universities -- half the number of Arabs studying in Israel itself.
 
Despite the fact that most Israeli Arab students in Jordan interviewed by the researchers expressed a preference to attend university in Israel, the numbers heading to Jordan have grown four-fold since 2004.
 
College-age Arabs, representing nearly one-quarter of their age group in Israel, are heavily under-represented in Israeli higher education, at about eight per cent of the student intake, according to official statistics. Of those Israelis who pass their matriculation exams, three times as many Jews as Arabs are accepted into Israeli universities.
 
“Our findings should raise serious questions about the hurdles that have been put in the way of Arab students that make them feel they have no choice but to study abroad,” said Yousef Jabareen, a law professor at Haifa University and head of Dirasat.
 
Typical of the new exodus is Haneen Bader, 23, from the village of Turan in the Lower Galilee, who is in her third year studying Islamic jurisprudence at Jordan University in the capital, Amman.
 
Dirasat’s researchers were surprised to find that nearly one-third of all Israeli Arab students in Jordan are women. “We live in a patriarchal society and women are still usually expected to remain close to the family home until they marry,” said Dr Jabareen.
 
But, he added, good travel links between Amman and the Galilee -- and a shared language and culture -- made regular visits to Jordan a practical and inexpensive option for Israel’s 1.2 million Arab citizens. Add a comment
Read more ...

Hero Blues: Liberals Line Up With Militarism

by Chris Floyd
Yes, the gal I got
I swear she's the screaming end
She wants me to be a hero
So she can tell all her friends
- Bob Dylan, "Hero Blues"
Joan Walsh gives us another bravura performance in a new episode of what will apparently be a very long-running show, "Deep in the Tank for Obama."
In her latest outing, Walsh is transported near to tears by images of the president greeting soldiers during his unannounced visit to Iraq. (Yes, even though the "surge" has been "a success beyond our wildest dreams," as Obama instructed us last year, American leaders still have to creep into the "liberated" land like a thief in the night.) In worshipful tones that one might have heard directed at the president at any point in the previous eight years from, say, National Review Online or Pajamas Media, Walsh gawps in awe at the bonding of the legions with their imperator:
I found it incredibly moving to watch the first grainy video footage of President Obama being mobbed by delirious American soldiers during his surprise visit to Baghdad on Tuesday. They crowded him joyously, some of them jumping up and down, stereotypical gruff-looking gray-haired white guys just beaming at the president, women and men alike leaning in for hugs....

Obama himself looked completely happy, managing to pause and chat with more soldiers in just a few minutes than you would ever imagine possible. The word "poise" seems inadequate to describe his capacity to impart real meaning to fleeting moments.... To see Obama's personal rapport with the men and women who are fighting and dying for our country would almost have to be moving, no matter your ideology.
Of course, we saw these same scenes -- boisterous, happy soldiers greeting the president with hugs and cheers -- played out over and over during Bush's term, on his every visit to Iraq. Even the infamous, much-derided "turkee" trip early in the war was an identically joyous scene for those on the ground in Baghdad. Yet one strains to recall Walsh ever thrilling to the sight of a president's personal rapport with the occupation troops in those days, or hearing her hopes that we could all put aside partisan feelings and simply appreciate these moving, patriotic moments, no matter our ideology.

No, when the troops gave Bush a rousing "hoo-ah" and "leaned in for hugs" and a quick personal word which the president somehow managed to impart to so many so quickly that you could hardly imagine it, Walsh and other lib-progs were rightly unimpressed. Such brief, emotional scenes did not change the fact that the war was a murderous, criminal enterprise, and that the soldiers in Iraq were not (and are not) "fighting and dying for their country" but were (and are) instead being used as cannon fodder in an unprovoked act of aggression that had been deeply harmful to their country, and to the entire world as well. But this sort kind of incisive, cold-eyed analysis is no longer wanted, now that one of "ours" is in the White House.
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A pressing problem: paranoia and power

by Dr. Paul Balles

Paranoia is a social disease — you get it from screwing other people.
- Paul Brodeur

Today, America is involved in an illegal "war" and a pre-emptive pregnancy. Everyone now knows that the invasion and occupation of Iraq were, and still are, based on a fraudulent attempt to capitalize on 9/11.

Everyone (who pays attention to politics) knows that the WMD excuse for invading Iraq was a fraud, making the entire murderous exercise even more illegal than a defensive war would be.

The only thing America and the UK were defending by invading Iraq was the vague possibility that sometime in the distant future Iraq, under Saddam Hussain or another leader like him, could pose a WMD threat to Israel.

Let's face it, Israel is paranoid. According to Canadian Mordecai Richler, Jewish paranoia has become a natural phenomenon. As he expressed it, "Coming from Canada, being a writer and Jewish as well, I have impeccable paranoia credentials."

Many will argue that Israelis have a perfect right to be paranoid based on their experiences with persecution and genocide. However, that does not give Israel the right to exercise their paranoid reactions against Gaza or transmit its national disease to America. Add a comment
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Talking Peace in Prague, Dropping Bombs in Pakistan

by Chris Floyd

"I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it."

While the usual gaggle of sycophants and media hive-minders — along with some ordinarily perspicacious analysts — tell us that Barack Obama literally changed the course of human history by disgorging a great load of thrice-chewed cud about nuclear disarmament in Prague this week, the high-tech drone war the great hero of peace is waging inside the sovereign territory of America's ally, Pakistan, is helping drive tens of thousands of people from their homes and killing civilians almost daily

I.

Obama's Prague speech was a bold, creative, world-shaking, epochal address whose full import will only be understood many years hence by future historians, declared no less than Juan Cole. But the good professor seems to have mislaid his laser pointer — the sharp-focused beam that just a week ago skewered Obama for his outright lies and Cheneyesque manipulations in announcing his "comprehensive strategy" to escalate and expand the "Af-Pak War". Indeed, just two days before Obama's pseudo-epiphany in Prague, Cole was accurately delineating the folly and falsehoods permeating Obama's Afghanistan policies.

Yet like so many, Cole seemed dazzled by Obama's nuclear boilerplate, hailing the president as "among the more creative and bold leaders the world has seen in the past half-century." (Admittedly, that is a mighty low bar.) Cole even found some reason to hope that that Obama would follow the logic of his disarmament rhetoric and somehow force Israel to give up its arsenal of nuclear weapons. But there was nothing in Obama's speech that had not been said dozens if not hundreds of times before by American presidents from both parties, going back decades: We pledge "to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons." Nuclear proliferation must be stopped. Rogue states can't have nuclear bombs. We will work with the Russians to reduce our stockpiles. What president has ever said otherwise? Has there ever been a U.S. president since the atomic evisceration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki who has not made an impassioned plea to rid the world of these terrible weapons?

And of course, the brute fact is that the United States is bound by solemn treaty to work toward the reduction and eventual elimination of its nuclear arsenal. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty obliges the government of the United States "to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures" to bring about complete nuclear disarmament in the world. Obama's "bold," "new" vision is, quite simply, part of his job description; or rather, a legal requirement for his office. Add a comment
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