cue the lightning bolts

the only question that matters: is it true?

Iran has signed the NPT. As a signatory to the NPT, Iran may rightfully, legally, use nuclear technology for peaceful energy purposes. Iran has submitted to and passed repeated IAEA inspections. The US intelligence community (NIE) does not consider Iran a nuclear threat. Israel refuses to sign the NPT. Israel has an estimated several hundred undeclared nuclear weapons. Russia and China have warned that an attack on Iran will have global consequences. That's the situation in a nutshell. Where to next, people? Where to?

Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? - Galatians 4:16

4.18.2008

Iraq: The 10 Commandments

Apr. 15, 2008 | The Iraq war is over. The failure of Bush's surge to produce political reconciliation in Iraq, combined with the unsustainable stress on our military and Congress' unwillingness to keep writing checks for $12 billion a month, all point in one direction: withdrawal. Even if John McCain is somehow elected president -- and for that to happen, there would have to be a near-miraculous breakthrough on the ground -- he too will have to face the reality that this is not the kind of war you win. You just have to decide when you're going to cut your losses.

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Rumsfeld ex-aide calls Iraq war 'major debacle' whose outcome is 'in doubt'

A 48-page report written by a former aide to Donald Rumsfeld and issued by the Pentagon's premier military educational institute has called the Iraq war a "major debacle" whose outcome is "in doubt."

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The Collateral Damage is Central

The collateral damage in Iraq is most of the damage, and intentionally producing it is most of the mission. This is one of the conclusions I take away from an important new book by Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian called "Collateral Damage: America's War Against Iraqi Civilians."

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Israel can't or won't control it's vicious settlers

German lawmakers touring the West Bank city of Hebron said Thursday were threatened by Jewish settlers and broke off the visit after IDF troops refused to step in.

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Carter calls Gaza blockade a crime and atrocity

CAIRO (Reuters) - Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter called the blockade of Gaza a crime and an atrocity on Thursday and said U.S. attempts to undermine the Islamist movement Hamas had been counterproductive.

Speaking at the American University in Cairo after talks with Hamas leaders from Gaza, Carter said Palestinians in Gaza were being "starved to death", receiving fewer calories a day than people in the poorest parts of Africa.

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Report finds Air Force officers steered contract

Imagine my shock. - Ed.

Sitting at the head of the table, Air Force Maj. Gen. Stephen Goldfein, the highest-ranking officer in the room, leaned forward and told the officers and others assembled before him that they should steer a multimillion-dollar Air Force contract to a company named Strategic Message Solutions.

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How Hedge Funds Reap Billions from Economic Misery

Hedge Fund managers in 2007 reaped huge profits by betting on commodities and the crisis in financial markets-John Paulson $3.7Bln., George Soros $2.9Bln. and James Simons $2.9bln. The 50th hedge fund manager's $210 ml. seems paltry in comparison according to figures compiled by Alpha Magazine

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Slip sliding on up out of the behavioral sink

Truer words were never spoken... - Ed.

It hasn't been a walk in the park, living in this world, these past eight years or so.

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Is it a horror movie? No, she's just reacting to Jimmy Carter visiting with Hamas, the democratically elected representatives of the Palestinians.

Certified wingnut. - Ed.

"He's just unilaterally going off on his own and undermining everything the international community and the United States is (sic) trying to do," protested Republican U.S. House Rep. Sue Myrick (NC-09) today in the call to revoke the passport of former president Jimmy Carter.

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DHS transition planning goes 'deeper than normal'

Is this a hint? - Ed.

The only cabinet-level agency created since Sept. 11 wants to make sure it doesn't get caught flat-footed when a new president takes office next January, so it already has begun transition planning.

The Department of Homeland Security, which President Bush established after the terror attacks, is going through the same process that all of the federal government does every four or eight years, but observers say the prevalence of terror attacks on or around election times has DHS especially on edge.

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4.17.2008

Setting the Propaganda Stage for an Attack on Iran: American Hegemony is Not Guaranteed

Exactly as the British press predicted, last week's congressional testimony by Gen. David Petraeus and Green Zone administrator Ryan Crocker set the propaganda stage for a Bush regime attack on Iran. On April 10 Robert H. Reid of AP News reported: "The top US commander has shifted the focus from al-Qaida to Iranian-backed 'special groups' as the main threat . . . The shift was articulated by Gen. Petraeus who told Congress that 'unchecked, the special groups pose the greatest long-term threat to the viability of a democratic Iraq.'"

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Iran should be "set up for an attack"

When Gen. David Petraeus along with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker gave their testimony to the Senate on April 9, they did nothing more than to confirm in spades what had been being mooted and duly leaked by the Washington-based press: that the Bush-Cheney Administration had officially endorsed the line that Iran should be set up for attack, on grounds that it--and not any indigenous resistance--were responsible for the mounting death toll among American troops in Iraq.

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Source: US Strike on Iran Nearing

Who is the unnamed source from America's Jewish community telling this to Newsmax? - Ed.


Contrary to some claims that the Bush administration will allow diplomacy to handle Iran's nuclear weapons program, a leading member of America's Jewish community tells Newsmax that a military strike is not only on the table - but likely.

"Israel is preparing for heavy casualties," the source said, suggesting that although Israel will not take part in the strike, it is expecting to be the target of Iranian retribution.

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How US Capitalism Will End US Military Adventurism

You know those overused phrases right? Those quips like 'What goes around comes around'; 'Karma is a bitch'; 'You reap what you sow'; the trite off the cuff sayings about shared human morality that used to hold some wisdom, but have long since become empty verbiage? I'm sure if you thought for just a moment you'd come up with another cliché in the same vein, that you could say and then laugh at how stupid it sounds, how meaningless it has become.

How about 'The bigger they come the harder they fall.'

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Iraq Oil to be Shipped to Israel

The United States has asked Israel to check the possibility of pumping oil from Iraq to the oil refineries in Haifa. The request came in a telegram last week from a senior Pentagon official to a top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem.

The Prime Minister's Office, which views the pipeline to Haifa as a "bonus" the U.S. could give to Israel in return for its unequivocal support for the American-led campaign in Iraq, had asked the Americans for the official telegram.

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4.16.2008

Hidden Agenda: Manifest Destiny and Israel

Next month, Israel will celebrate its 60th anniversary. The government is working feverishly to make this day into an occasion of joy and jubilation. While serious problems are crying out for funds, some 40 million dollars have been allocated to this aim.

Bur the nation is in no mood for celebrations. It is gloomy.

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Palestinians to mark 60 years of 'the castatrophe'

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AFP) — Palestinian officials said on Sunday they are preparing events to mark the 60th anniversary next month of the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Arabs during the 1948 Middle East war.

The National Committee for the Anniversary of the Nakba -- the Arabic word for "catastrophe" used to denote the expulsion of some 700,000 Arabs during Israel's war for independence -- will stage several events in the coming weeks.

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Hurting you isn't something narcissists do by accident

In all the jabber about narcissism, the worst noise is this idea that hurting you is something narcissists do by accident.

If you get nothing else out of "What Makes Narcissists Tick," get the message that frees you of that ridiculous belief. Which is nothing but a baseless assumption.

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Only a miracle can save America now

Every four years, conservative "pragmatists" trot out the "We Can't Let So-And-So Win" mantra. Of course, the so-and-so in question is always the Democratic Presidential candidate. For all of my adult life, I have been listening to so-called "conservative" Republicans warn us of the impending doom that would befall our country if the Democratic candidate were elected. And this year is no different.

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Cursing the loss of purchasing power

Thomas G Donlan's new essay in Barron's is titled "Lands of Waste and Debt" with the subhead "The states send signals that it will not be a happy spring", which makes me ask the obvious question, "It won't be happy for who?", as I am all in gold, silver and oil, and I am dead-bang sure that I will be VERY happy for a long, long time because I know what happens to those particular items when a moronic, corrupt government teams up with a central bank, especially one utilizing some bizarre computer models to determine monetary policy; inflation that screams your death knell.

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Leaving Las Vegas

The Las Vegas Economic Downturn Has Started

The spillover effect from our national economic downturn has finally started to impact Las Vegas, and casino layoffs have officially begun (as I’ve been forecasting for some time):

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Amid mounting food crisis, governments fear revolution of the hungry

Last week’s meetings in Washington of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Group of Seven were convened in the shadow of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. While Wall Street’s turmoil and the deepening credit crunch dominated discussions, leaders of the global financial institutions were forced to take note of the growing global food emergency, warning of the threat of widespread hunger and already emerging political instability.

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The Power of One Person: Remembering Marla

Today marks the third anniversary of the day the world lost Marla Ruzicka, a 28-year old woman originally from California who focused global attention on the fate of the thousands of civilians who have been killed or injured in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.



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4.15.2008

Financial Collapse will End the Occupation

The US Military has won every battle it has fought in Iraq, but it has lost the war. Wars are won politically, not militarily. Bush doesn't understand this. He still clings to the belief that a political settlement can be imposed through force. But he is mistaken. The use of overwhelming force has only spread the violence and added to the political instability. Now Iraq is ungovernable. Was that the objective? Miles of concrete blast-walls snake through Baghdad to separate the warring parties; the country is fragmented into a hundred smaller pieces each ruled by local militia commanders. These are the signs of failure not success. That's why the American people no longer support the occupation. They're just being practical; they know Bush's plan won't work. As Nir Rosen says, “Iraq has become Somalia”.

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Controversy: Mercenaries training US local police officers

There are many police and law enforcement officials who are concerned with the growing trend of using military-trained mercenaries to train and work with local police officers in the United States, but there are many who believe the events of September 11, 2001 dictate the need for a new paradigm.

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Mike Whitney: Want to save the economy?

Excerpt:

Now the bubble is hissing out of the blimp and the escaping gas is wreaking havoc across the planet. There are food riots in Haiti, Egypt, and Kuwait. Wherever the local currency is pegged to the falling dollar, inflation is soaring and trouble is brewing. Also, European banks are listing from the mortgage-backed garbage they bought from brokerages in the US and need central bank bailouts to stay afloat. It's just more fallout from the subprime swindle. Finance ministers in every capital in every country are getting ready for a 1930's-type typhoon that could send equities crashing and food and energy prices rocketing into the stratosphere. And it can all be traced back to the wacko doctrines of neoliberalism. These are the theories that guide America's "screw-thy-neighbor" monetary policies and spread financial turmoil to every city and hamlet around the world.

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Juan Cole: The Iraq Wars


Confused by the war in Iraq? No wonder. There isn't just one, there are three.

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US and Iran holding 'secret' talks on nuclear program

Iran and the United States have been engaged in secret "back channel" discussions for the past five years on Iran's nuclear programme and the broader relationship between the two sworn enemies, The Independent can reveal.

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All Power to the President

Excerpt:

Under the Bush-Yoo theories, all Bush has to do is pronounce a detainee “an unlawful enemy combatant” – whether a U.S. citizen or not, whether there is any credible evidence or not – and the person loses all human rights.

As radical – and as shocking – as these theories may seem to many Americans, Bush is within one vote on the U.S. Supreme Court of having his vision enshrined as “constitutional.”

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The Great Biofuel Famine

How many deaths per gallon are you getting in your SUV?

Using United Nations global poverty statistics as a base, it is now clear that United States and European Union biofuel policies will significantly contribute to the early, avoidable deaths of between 10 and 20 million people in the year 2008 alone.

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Meltdown of US Dollar Underway as China Dumps the Currency

Comments by China that it intends to move away from its reliance on the dollar triggered a sharp drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and heightened worldwide fears about the U.S. currency's stability. Chinese Central Bank Vice Director Xiu Jian said that his country is planning to shift much of its $1.4 trillion national currency reserve from dollars to more stable currencies, such as the euro or Canadian dollar. After these comments, the dollar fell to record lows relative to other currencies -- the lowest ever against the euro, the lowest in a generation against the British pound, and the lowest in 57 years against the Canadian dollar.

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Representative Press

Iraqi government corruption funds insurgents who kill Americans

Which is kinda the flip side of US government corruption funding contractors who kill Iraqis. - Ed.

The government of Iraq is facing many challenges to its ability to run the country, both internal and external. According to a new report by 60 Minutes, "one of the biggest problems is corruption, which is robust even by Middle Eastern standards."

"Bribery and outright theft are flourishing in virtually every Iraqi ministry," notes CBS's Steve Kroft, "and some of those ill-gotten gains are being used to kill American troops."

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NYT: Retailer bankruptcies set to prompt thousands of store closings

They killed the goose that laid the golden eggs. - Ed.

A growing number of bankruptcies among US retailers is set to prompt thousands of store closings, the New York Times will report on the front page of its Tuesday edition.

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4.14.2008

What are we doing?

The War on Sadr takes shape

Some may think Robert Gates' remarks on Friday about who is and is not an "enemy of the United States" (see prior post) was one of those cosmetic in-one-ear-and-out-the-other things, but that is not how Moqtada alSadr took it, as you can see from this excerpt from his reply, in a statement his office released on Saturday:

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Israeli Cabinet: No humanitarian crisis in Gaza

The Israeli cabinet decided on Sunday that there is no humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip and that the ruling Hamas party exploits the shortage of fuel supplies.

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The Elites Plan for Internet Shutdown

s the Internet continues to give rise to the alternative media, the technocrats are getting ready to bring its replacement online. Internet2 also known as “the grid” will have speeds 10,000 times faster than a regular broadband connection. Researchers are set to activate this new network over the summer so they can use it to collect information from a supercollider that they hope will recreate the big bang and the conditions that lead to the creation of the universe. Some believe that this experiment might cause the inadvertent destruction of the planet, but that’s another story.

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Why food costs are climbing

ROME — Fatal food riots in Haiti. Violent food-price protests in Egypt and Ivory Coast. Rice so valuable it is transported in armoured convoys. Soldiers guarding fields and warehouses. Export bans to keep local populations from starving.

For the first time in decades, the spectre of widespread hunger for millions looms as food prices explode. Two words not in common currency in recent years — famine and starvation — are now being raised as distinct possibilities in the poorest, food-importing countries.

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SOTT Economic Commentary for 4/14/08

Summary: World economic leaders, meeting in the G7 ministerial level gathering last week, expressed concern about the possibility that a rapid fall in the value of major currencies like the dollar and pound sterling could lead to economic collapse.

The rapid rise in food and fuel costs is causing concern in developed countries and riots in poor countries.

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Biofuels nothing short of disaster

Note to environmentalists: Remember, you were the ones who demanded biofuels the loudest.

It turns out the production of biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel is likely to cause far more environmental damage than it prevents, not to mention triggering widespread famine and eating up more rainforest and grassland than beef production ever could.

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An Economy Built on Lies

In this report, I am going to present an astounding document. You have not heard of it. It is at the heart of the current residential real estate crisis. It has to do with liar loans.

By now, the term "liar loans" is common. Prospective house buyers provided false information to representatives of loan-initiating firms.

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America Needs Change

Our nation is wrought with corruption, greed and suffering. Each day thousands more Americans discover that their dream, the American Dream, is dying. These numbers are now affecting the middle class, but only after robbing the lower classes of their dreams many, many years ago.

Wake up America. The corporations and foreign interest are buying America, one elected official at a time.

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Plan to spray toxic biological chemicals over San Francisco announced

(NaturalNews) People of the world, the US Government is planning to poison more than two million people, in California, using an untested biological "pesticide" this summer. The chemical to be sprayed is classified by the EPA as a "pesticide" and the plan is to douse cities with this chemical designed to stick on everything for 90 days or longer. This application is not a one time event, but will continue every 1-3 months for as long as five years. The pesticide to be sprayed is not designed to harm the light brown apple moth's who it is designed for, but merely to confuse its mating habits. While harmless to moths, the pesticide has been documented to harm humans.

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Finance Ministers Emphasize Food Crisis over Credit Crisis

WASHINGTON — The world’s economic ministers declared on Sunday that shortages and skyrocketing prices for food posed a potentially greater threat to economic and political stability than the turmoil in capital markets.

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