With so much happening all at once, it is difficult to see which event or trend presents the most danger for humanity. Is it the descent into fascism that the United States is undergoing? Is it the obnoxious Big Brother harassment of full-body scanner machines and the humiliating "enhanced pat-downs"? The construction of terror scares by the FBI and assorted alphabet agencies, perhaps? What about Israel's oppression of Palestine, together with its manipulation of global perception and its unparalleled contribution to the distortion of geopolitics? The ongoing destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan? The squeezing of Western economies to bring them into line with Third World countries and the rising food prices? Winter coming so soon to the northern hemisphere and the biblical floods caused by torrential rain?
Join us as we try to filter out the distractions and the background noise by Connecting the Dots between the trends.
License to Spy, License to Kill
The president of the United States is not in charge. If he were, we would expect to have seen at least some minimal change in direction from his predecessor. After all, Bush and Obama came from different parties and have different personalities. The members of their cabinet are also different. Yet, somehow, the further entrenchment of fascism in America based on the 'war on terror' charade continues as if invisible NeoCon hands were still pushing buttons in the White House. For all intents and purposes, Obama and the most public figures in his administration are simply handling public relations for a covert elite group that is so embedded within the 16 intelligence agencies, the military-industrial complex, the financial and banking system, and insidious lobby groups that it is impossible to resist them. This 'secret government' with links to other western powers, most notably the United Kingdom and Israel, has an agenda that identifies the masses of common people as its main threat.
No, Obama is not in charge. But that does not mean that he has no responsibility in the theft of our liberties. If he were a man of conscience, would his administration be arguing in a federal court that the executive branch should have unreviewable authority to kill anyone in the world it decides is a threat, including US citizens? The way things are going, the president's argument, which violates both the US Constitution and international law, will sooner or later be accepted, barring a miracle. Will Americans have to endure drone missile attacks in the same way that Pakistani people currently do? And those who are not murdered, will they have to face indefinite detention and no trial as suspects of 'terrorism'?
If Obama the Spokesman had even a gram of decency, would he acquiesce with the ever more frequent deployments of troops on US soil?
To the open lockdown of people's lives we must add the covert control that has been exercised for years now in the form of surveillance and other nefarious techniques under the cover of 'safeguarding security.' They can be compared to the paranoia of the ruling party of East Germany and its Stasi before the collapse of the Berlin Wall - paranoia not against foreign enemies or terrorists, but against the host population. The difference today is that technology does not require an army of spies opening envelopes to read private letters. In today's America, computer experts from the National Security Agency team up with Homeland Security with the supposed intention of countering 'cyber-attacks'. But as civil liberties advocates have rightly observed, there is no guarantee that this centralization of efforts and resources will not result in the violation of privacy for citizens. We should add that it would be naïve to think that this is not already happening and that this was not the real objective from the start. Interestingly, the Department of Defense's Cyber Command, which has formally "achieved full operational capability", is headed by General Keith Alexander, who also happens to be the head of the NSA, with which the Command shares headquarters, and which makes no secret of its cooperation with the Dept of Homeland Security. Among other functions, they not only defend their networks but attack the networks of 'others'. Who those others might be is not specified, but in a world in which information is power, we are all potentially targets. The DHS has begun seizing and shutting websites and domains without court orders and posting "Department of Justice" logos on their homepages. So far, this has been done under the justification of "copyright violation", but without due process of law there is nothing stopping them from making such a claim about anyone and everything.
The trend is not exclusive to the US. In the UK, the government's "Strategic Defence and Security Review" plans to grant unlimited powers to its secret services and police to track every single phone call, email, text message and website visit made by anybody in the country. This revives a proposal made by the previous Labour government, and it will happen in spite of the current government's election pledge that it would not do so. Again we ask, does it not clearly indicate that presidents and prime ministers are simply following orders from elsewhere in the pursuit of a long-term agenda?
When the governments or people of other countries are unwilling to comply with the globalization of the surveillance super-state, there are other sure ways to proceed. The Nordic governments of Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden were not notified when the US began illegally spying on their citizens. These governments would probably never have known about it unless Norwegian channel TV2 aired a report revealing that a group of US agents had been spying on 15 to 20 Norwegian over a period of 10 years, singled out for their participation at various public rallies. The government of Mexico, on the other hand, decided to shamefully surrender its little remaining sovereignty to the hegemonic commands of American power in exchange for some dubious 'help' in its war against drug cartels. Again, the Mexican people would know nothing about it if the independent journal Proceso had not reported the establishment of a US spy center in downtown Mexico City that houses offices for the CIA, FBI, DEA, Defense Intelligence, BATF, Department of Treasury and alphabet agencies of the Empire. The Mexican government might as well have just sold them the premises as US territory - at least it would have got some cash in exchange.
Scanners, Printers and Pistoles
It is in this Orwellian climate that the masses are being demanded to endure further humiliation and molestation at the hands of blue-gloved Transportation Security Administration agents and their harmful radiation and cancer -inducing porno-scanners. It seems that the 'pat downs' and scanners are precisely aimed at either forcing the last drops of dignity out of people or provoking them into a reaction. A menstruating woman, whose sanitary towel 'obscured' the image of her otherwise naked body on a scanner screen, was subjected to a 'pat down' "so invasive that I was left crying and dealing with memories that I thought had been dealt with years ago of prior sexual assaults." Another woman has complained that she was singled out for further screening for her breasts. Another one, an ABC producer, stated that the agent who checked her "reached her hands inside my underwear and felt her way around". A little boy - clearly a 'terrorist suspect' - was strip-searched by the TSA. Is the behavior of TSA agents even human? Can you imagine if someone did this to children or women in your community?
The nonsense is unlikely to end soon, and here is why. The two companies that supply the porno-scanners to the TSA (selling them at $130,000 - $170,000 each), L-3 Communications and Rapiscan Systems (an appropriately devious name for a company given free reign to 'virtual rape'), have a record of using high-powered political operatives and lobbyists to influence lawmakers. L-3 Communications has spent $4.3 million on lobbying the federal government so far this year, while Rapiscan has spent $221,500 for the same purpose. Since former Homeland Security Secretary (and dual citizen of Israel and the US) Michael Chertoff worked as a consultant for Rapiscan, what chance that someone in the DHS will do the right thing and cancel the profitable 'family business'? Chertoff, by the way, owns a private consulting firm, The Chertoff Group, and sits on the boards of giant defense and security firms - all of which profit from 'security' technology.
appearing in state courthouses and may soon be deployed in federal ones as well. There are also scanners-on-wheels that can scan passing vehicles and their unsuspecting passengers to see their contents. DHS secretary Janet Napolitano dropped more bad news in an interview to the media: "[Terrorists] are going to continue to probe the system and try to find a way through. [...] We have to also be thinking now about going on to mass transit or to trains or maritime." John Pistole, the former FBI agent who now heads the TSA, had already warned about this just two weeks after taking up his new job in July when he declared that protecting trains and subways from 'terrorist attacks' would be as high a priority as air travel from now on.
The good news is that people are unhappy about it, as they damn well should be. Pilots' unions for US Airways and American Airlines urged their members to avoid full-body scanning at airport security checkpoints; while the Electronic Privacy Information Center has sued the TSA. Sensible New York City Council members are proposing legislation to ban the use of full body scanners in New York City, including New York's two airports. Idaho State Representative Phil Hart is proposing legislation that would require the Idaho State Director of Homeland Security to investigate health risks posed by the backscatter technology in these scanners and, if approved, use them only as a secondary measure.
Grassroots groups asked air travelers to protest on the eve of Thanksgiving by either choosing not to fly or by opting out of being screened by a scanner. When the date arrived, the TSA simply dodged the bad publicity by turning off the perv-scanners. Nevertheless, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) received over 900 complaints from travelers in November alone, and support for these invasive security measures is dropping fast (if opinion polls are to be believed).
In late October, on the other side of the Atlantic, British Airways chairman Martin Broughton demanded an easing of 'completely redundant' airport checks for passengers including removing shoes and checking laptops separately. Interestingly, no sooner had Broughton's voice of reason been broadcast than we had to endure yet another hyped terror scare in the form of allegedly deadly print cartridges coming all the way from Yemen in UPS planes into the UK and Dubai, and destined for the US - specifically to two Chicago synagogues. Never mind that initial reports stated that the 'suspected toner cartridge' that reached the UK tested negative for explosives; Obama the Spokesman declared it to be a "credible terrorist threat to our country" (i.e. the US, although the Islamist cartridge was by then being held in custody at an airport warehouse in the British Midlands) and added that "initial examination of those packages has determined that they do apparently contain explosive material." In short, he did exactly what Bush did: tell the public the exact opposite of the truth, and with conviction. Honestly, we can no longer tell which of the following list of suspects is the greatest threat to our freedom: a shoe, water in a plastic bottle, a printer cartridge or our underpants. Something else we would like to clear from our minds is why Yemeni officials argued that no UPS planes left Yemen to other countries on the days in question as there have been no direct flights from Yemen to the UK since the Knicker Bomber farce last Christmas. Furthermore, we wonder if Obama's decision to escalate US intervention in Yemen by placing US military units under CIA control to facilitate intensified drone attacks and death-squad killings, was actually taken before the toner cartridge scare, thus serving as the requisite fake terror stunt needed to lend righteousness to barbaric maneuvers against a country one-hundredth its size.
Miami terror cell" back in 2006. An FBI agent pretended to represent al-QaedaTM and offered seven immigrants living in a warehouse in Florida $50,000 to play along with a terror plot concocted on their behalves against the Sears Tower and other buildings in Chicago. The FBI agent also provided the group with equipment such as cameras and military boots - although they forgot to ask for any explosives. Clearly enticed by the easy money but with little interest in actually carrying out any bombings, the group's useful idiocy was cashed in and they were detained and paraded in front of the media as "dangerous terrorists." For its recent daring-do of "combating terrorism", FBI agents posing as al-QaedaTM operatives approached a Somali-American Portland teenager, Osman Mohamud, and after six months of working on him, he finally agreed to take part in a (fake) car bomb plot. Mohamud got the plan, equipment and resources from the FBI, and at the moment in which he was alleged to have detonated the bomb remotely via cell phone - hooray! - the FBI stepped in to save the day and he was caught then charged with "terrorism."
The exact same method was used in Washington around the time of the toner cartridge scare; the time useful idiot Farooque Ahmed was accused of attempting to "provide material support to al-QaedaTM" and "collecting information to help plan a terrorist attack on the subway." It turned out that the al-QaedaTM operatives enticing him were not what they seemed (are they ever?), but - you guessed it - agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the US federal government.
It sounds rather like the FBI is desperate to commit acts of terrorism against Americans. Isn't it the FBI we should be afraid of then? Perhaps the British police will adopt the FBI technique once the British people spread the word that out of 100,000 police searches made under new counter-terror powers in the UK last year, not a single one was arrested for terrorism-related offenses.
It is interesting that, although 'war on terror' abuses and antics such as those described above have been taking place since 9/11, Fox News recently deviated from its usual sycophantic stance. For the first time we are witnessing shy, half-hearted attempts to challenge the official narrative. Geraldo Rivera, for example, seems to be seriously considering the possibility that WTC Building 7 collapsed in free-fall fashion for reasons other than "small fires and falling debris." Rivera even invited guests on his show who called the 9/11 Commission Report a "whitewash". Fox News also claims to have acquired documents showing that al-QaedaTM operative Anwar Al-Awlaki, the first American on the CIA's kill-or-capture list, was invited for lunch at the Pentagon in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. You gotta wonder whether News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch (or someone or something through him) is bringing pressure to bear on the Obama administration with these crumbles of truth, since he did not do the same for his buddy Dubya.
The Unbreakable Bond
Obama's government of 'change' is to increase the value of US military equipment stockpiled in Israel to $1 billion in 2011, with another $200 million to be added in 2012. As if the state of Israel did not already have enough with the annual $3 billion of 'aid' it gets from the US. As if it needed it too, considering Israel is the most powerful military regime and the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the region. The stockpile is shared by these partners in crime, as it can be used by US forces or the host country alike. How arms depot is likely to be used is illustrated by Israel's 2006 invasion of Lebanon, when 1,200 Lebanese civilians were killed with US taxpayers' money. Perhaps if the mighty leaders of the US were not psychopathic they would at least stop providing fuel to the Israeli war machine after what it did to Lebanon and then Gaza at the beginning of 2009. But gauging them by their actions and words, they clearly are psychopathic. Consider Joe Biden's fanaticism, who insisted that US support for the Zionist state would continue "forever", no matter what Israel did. "The ties between our two countries are literally unbreakable", he added. If that is not a carte blanche for Israel to commit any atrocity it sees fit with American presents, then what is?
We wonder how absurd this notion of an "unbreakable link" will become. Senior Republicans, headed by Eric Cantor, the only Jewish Republican serving in the US House of Representatives, are seeking to transfer the Israeli "security" aid budget from the State Department to the Pentagon. The idea is to ensure that it continues while enabling the Jewish Lobby to micromanage the money flowing to other countries. If things keep going the way they are, all Pentagon operations will soon have been transferred wholesale to Tel-Aviv!
On top of that, Obama has once again showed who is not the boss by delivering to the Israeli government a written guarantee greased by a $3.5 billion payoff that it won't pressure the Jewish state for additional settlement freezes if it accepts a limited 90-day construction moratorium to revive Mideast peace talks. May we suggest that instead of giving money to Tel-Aviv in order to coax it into exercising minimum restraint, it would be a much better idea to not give it any money at all. This extremely pathetic situation would be almost funny if it were not for the tragic consequences to human lives. The cash injection comes right after Israel announced new plans to build 800 houses in the West Bank occupied territory, and only hours after the Obama administration expressed "deep disappointment" at approval for more than 1,300 Jewish homes in East Jerusalem.
Opinion polls indicate that the American people favor disengaging from their country's support of the Zionist state. The day of reckoning may yet come when the sentiments of horror and outrage of the world's peoples will actually have an effect on politics. It also emerged that the pro-Israeli lobby group AIPAC - a ponerogenic association if ever there was one - is under fire thanks to its own recklessness. Steve Rosen, AIPAC's former #2 man, was recently indicted under the US Espionage Act and subsequently fired from the organization. The US government dropped all charges because it did not expect to win the case. But Rosen, more concerned with his own reputation than his loyalty to the pathological cause of AIPAC, is suing his former employers for $20 million. AIPAC argues that Rosen behaved in ways that "did not comport with standards that AIPAC expects of its employees." Quite the contrary, says Rosen; everything he did, or was accused of doing, was standard operating procedure for AIPAC, and he is in possession of 180 documents that can prove it. We would gladly welcome the exposure and collapse of a group dedicated to promoting war and grief in the Middle East. (Where is Wiki-leaks when you need it?)
We do not hold on to vain hopes, however, as we are well aware that Western leaders are motivated to support the Zionist colonial cause for reasons other than winning or losing votes. A case in point is that of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who has admitted to his Jewish ancestry. But more importantly, Le Figaro recently revealed that 'Le Sarko' once worked for - and perhaps still does, it hinted - Israeli intelligence as a "sayan" (Hebrew for helper), one of thousands of Jews in countries other than Israel who cooperate with "katsas," Mossad case-officers. Once Mossad, always Mossad.
Speaking of which, does anyone else find curious the pattern of humanitarian aid convoys to Gaza meeting impassable obstacles while the media irresponsibly bandies around the word 'terrorist'? In late October, the 'Viva Palestina' aid mission safely made it to Gaza and delivered tons of aid worth in excess of $5 million. Right before that, a delegation that included former US president Jimmy Carter, former Irish president Mary Robinson and former UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi met with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hamas leaders in Syria. Carter correctly observed that "the blockade is one of the most serious human rights violations on Earth and it must be lifted fully". set sail for Greece instead, but not before he went completely berserk while the convoy was loading onto the ship. He drew up the ship's loading ramp, snapped mooring ropes and then dragged the large vessel back and forth against the cement walls of the pier. What was he trying to do? Scupper his own ship?! One of the convoy's vehicles was actually left stranded at a 45 degree angle on the loading ramp. He eventually left port and high-tailed it for Greece, taking 10 activists and 7 Libyans against their will, among them policemen and port officials. Probably realizing that he had effectively kidnapped these people, the captain tried to cover his act of madness by accusing the activists of 'terrorism'. In a global climate of hysteria his words had the intended effect; Greek commandos boarded the ship as it arrived in Piraeus and held the aid workers at gunpoint in a room 8 by 8 feet big. The Greek government eventually released the captives, but not before the now customary humiliating treatment dished out to anyone who doesn't get behind the 'war on terror' program. (Make sure to watch The SOTT Report interview with Ken O'Keefe if you haven't already.)
While we're on the subject of Mossad and string-pulling by Zionist sympathizers, we would like to quote our own Joe Quinn on the recent 'revelations' of Julian Assange's Wiki-leaks:
The Wiki-leaks documents need to be considered in a broader context. By all means, alternative news sites should continue to expose American, British and any another government inequity that the documents reveal. But where is the criticism of the rest of the documents that confirm the standard Israeli/American narrative - that Iran poses 'an existentialist threat' to Israel and to 'moderate' Arab states?Read also Quinn's analyses on the Wiki-tar-baby here and here.
Does anyone care that these documents clearly support US and Israeli war-mongering? Does anyone else find that to be astonishing? Where is the critical thought?
We want to make it clear that we here at SOTT.net DO support the activities of Wikileaks; we are most definitely FOR everything that Wikileaks has done: leaking, whistle-blowing, free speech, and more. But we see something even more disturbing in the documents that were leaked - the extraordinary level of pathology exhibited by the leaders and officials in charge of this emerald and sapphire marble floating in space - and this is not being addressed by the many commentators opining on the topic, and the MSM spin is, of course, reprehensible. We suppose that one cannot throw the baby out with the bathwater, but whether or not the outcome of the Wikileaks scandal is going to be net positive remains to be seen.
The people of the world need to openly support the Palestinian population of Gaza and the West Bank. The efforts to deliver aid to Gaza are particularly important. The Israeli human rights group Gisha has won a battle to release "documents [which] reveal a deliberate policy by the Israeli government in which the dietary needs for the population of Gaza are chillingly calculated, and the amounts of food let in by the Israeli government measured to remain just enough to keep the population alive at a near-starvation level." in view of this psychopathic policy, it makes perfect sense that Israeli military and intelligence are keen to sabotage and even shoot-to-kill in order to prevent much needed resources from entering to Gaza.
One of Israel's unspoken policies towards the Palestinian population is to deliberately target their children. Israeli police rounded up more than 100 Palestinian children of East Jerusalem in October alone, many who are not yet teenagers. Defence for Children International has documented cases of sexual abuse of children by Israeli soldiers, as well as their torture by electric shock. If it isn't Israeli soldiers brutalizing Palestinian children, then it's rabid Israeli settlers.
This is the same brand of brave settlers who take pleasure in burning churches with Molotov cocktails in Jerusalem. In Apartheid Israel, such behavior is not condemned but is instead condoned by racist laws that allow communities of under 500 people to appoint admissions boards which can reject new residents on the basis of their "cultural and social perspectives" - an obvious euphemism for the rejection of non-Jews (i.e. the native Palestinian population).
Tearing Iraq apart
Iraq's nightmare, which entered its darkest phase seven years ago, appears to be far from over. Major "terrorist attacks" are back in full force in Baghdad. Up to the end of October, 231 people were killed and 601 others wounded by explosions of "improvised explosive devices" across Iraq in 2010 alone. Recent violence approached a crescendo on the 29th of October with a massive bomb blast that ripped through a crowded coffee shop north of the city that killed at least 30 people and injured many others. A couple of days later gunmen in Baghdad held a Christian congregation hostage in a bloody siege that ended with 58 people dead. Two days after that, several hundred people were hurt as a total of sixteen bombs exploded across the city; ten car bombs, four roadside bombs and two "sticky bombs" targeting restaurants and coffee shops. All in a single day.
official account has the attackers at the Church of Our Lady of Salvation demanding the release of jailed al-QaedaTM militants. A statement posted on a militant website that is allegedly run by the 'Islamic State of Iraq', a Sunni militant umbrella group to which al-QaedaTM-in-Iraq is supposed to belong, claimed responsibility for the attack. This, of course, does not mean it is true. Quite the opposite, it just means that this is what the media is meant to repeat uncritically in order to convince us that Muslim fanaticists would willingly bludgeon their own in order to, uhm... defend their own. We would do much better to follow a "just the facts, ma'am" approach in order to come to a reasonable reconstruction of the massacre, then ask the key question: who benefits?
It kicked off when a car bomb went off at the scene while around a hundred people were inside the church for evening mass. The blast was followed by gunfire from a group of armed men who were, according to police accounts, initially attacking the Iraq Stock Exchange building and then made their way to the Catholic church, which lies just across the road, clashing with guards and killing some of them. Upon entering the church they proceeded to kill the priest. Security forces began to surround the building and a siege set in. The gunmen made contact with the authorities through mobile phone, but during negotiations the church was stormed and a blood bath resulted, including the death of every gunman. These were the facts according to the BBC. But it left out a few interesting details. We read from another source that
an Iraqi police commander was detained for questioning in connection with the deadly attack two days earlier on a Catholic church in the capital.It is interesting that the police commander was detained for questioning by the US puppet government. Was he suspected of complicity or had he, in the course of his duties, uncovered the real identity of the terrorists?
An Iraqi military spokesman said Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered the detention of the police commander, whom he did not identify by name. The commander was in charge of securing the Karradah neighborhood in Baghdad where Our Lady of Salvation is located.
Al-Moussawi said the assailants were disguised as guards working for a private security firm and carried fake ids.
"We have many question marks about how such a large number of terrorists managed to reach the church in the heart of Baghdad," he added.
according to the London based International Institute for Strategic Studies.) This phantom, catch-all group known to the world as al-QaedaTM is a vastly exaggerated threat. And yet, we are told, they commit rolling attacks of complex undertaking and coordinated precision, acts that only fall within the capacities of the intelligence and security services of certain wealthy states, supported by considerable access to military materiel, personnel and expertise. If the phantom enemy otherwise known as al-QaedaTM really can carry out such attacks, then why the hell does it direct its efforts against Iraqi civilians and not against Israel and its supporters, who are clearly the real 'enemies of Islam'? If they can create such bloody mayhem with spectacular explosive effects on the streets of Baghdad and can 'ideologically inspire' fellow Muslims in the US to take up jihad, then why have the instigators and the founding inquisitors of the 'war on terror' (Cheney, Perle, Wolfowitz, Rice, Rumsfeld ad nauseum) not been targeted? As Paul Craig Roberts points out in his interview with Joe Quinn in The SOTT Report of December 1st, these people have no secret service attachment and no personal protection; they walk freely in the West, apparently confident that al-QaedaTM will not target them. Now how can that be?
We also wonder just what al-QaedaTM was hoping to achieve by such a show of violence. If, as we are told, they wanted to see their fellow evil-doers released from jail, then they obviously did not achieve their goal, and there was no way they could have got away with it. If, on the other hand, we simply pay attention to the facts and what is gained from them, the picture becomes clearer. Jonathan Azaziah explains:
Dividing Iraq via partition and driving it into a hell of ethnic cleansing was a Zionist plot that was originally designed in 1982 by Israeli foreign policy adviser Oded Yinon (1). The policies for destabilizing Iraq were reestablished in the 'Clean Break' papers written for mass murderer Benjamin Netanyahu by Zionist spy Richard Perle and several Zionist war criminals including Douglas Feith, David Wurmser, Meyrav Wurmser and Robert Loewenberg (2). Agents of the international terrorist group known as Mossad have been operating in Iraq as early as the 1950s, when the Zionist entity engaged in a false flag campaign of terror against the Iraqi-Jewish community (3). It has always been the absolute goal of the illegitimate usurping entity to destroy Iraq as a nation, so it can bring its 'Greater Israel' dream to fruition, settling its colonial extremists on the banks of the ancient Tigris and Euphrates rivers.So they were foreign-looking, had non-native accents, carried fake IDs and passports, and were dressed up as mercenaries. Recall the coordinated explosions of sixteen devices earlier that same day - all targeting random civilians; Sunni, Shiite and Christians alike. Who benefits? Under the pathological logic of 'divide and conquer', Israel would have much to gain from the fracturing of Iraq. And if that goal cannot be achieved, then the carnage provides an excuse for American troops to stay "just a little while longer". From a 2006 high of 170,000, only 50,000 remain. But as things stand, there are no plans to withdraw any of these from Iraq next year. Another angle being touted is that the Iraqi government itself is behind these attacks, ostensibly because some within the corrupt Iraqi government would like US troops to stay and protect them. This may be so - whatever counter-insurgency forces are at work here are known to be operating through Iraqi forces - but to assign primary responsibility for the bloodshed to the Iraqi puppet government is to say that the tail wags the dog.
The bloody travesty of humanity that occurred on October 31st, 2010 which left 58 Iraqis dead in the Sayedat al-Najat Cathedral in Baghdad (4) was not the work of al-QaedaTM. The gunmen didn't belong to Islamic State of Iraq. The homicidal shooters weren't even Iraqi. The best way to honor the victims of senseless violence is to expose the truth of the attack. And the truth is, this massacre has Zionist fingerprints all over its blood-drenched structure. [...]
Iraqi security forces arrested five suspects and while they claimed that only some of them were not Iraqi (57), eyewitness accounts show that none of them were Iraqi, as none of them spoke Arabic in an Iraqi dialect nor with an Iraqi accent; the suspects spoke the classical form of the language which made it impossible to detect where they're from (58). In addition, the Iraqi authorities investigating the massacre discovered 6 foreign passports; three from Yemen, three from Egypt (59). Iraqi officials further discovered, that the assailants were able to pass through the occupier's security checkpoints because they were dressed up as mercenaries of foreign contracting companies (60), and in addition to the passports, they were carrying fake ids (61).
'very long' time. [...] Afghanistan will be a very long military venture." Similarly, the spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, German Brigadier-General Josef Blotz, stated that "no timetable has been set for withdrawal of coalition troops" from the country. Why are 152,000 NATO troops fighting in Afghanistan anyway? Oh yes, we forgot about the 50-men strong al-QaedaTM threat to the world. Or would it be too cynical of us to suspect that NATO's presence has something to do with the recent announcement of $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan?
At least some in the military machinery are acutely aware that a war needs a real enemy. If it is largely invisible to local and global spectators, then the enemy needs to be created or at least provoked into a reaction that can be reasonably passed off as return fire coming from a well-armed and obstinate foe. Otherwise people might think that military operations in Afghanistan (and Pakistan) are unnecessary, withdrawal would be unavoidable and Afghans and Pakistanis would find a solution to their own problems without the 'need' for Western intervention. Perhaps what Bob Woodward's new book Obama's Wars reveals about the conversations between Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan president Hamid Karzai is true. Apparently, Zardari opened his heart to US envoy Zalmay Khalizad during a dinner and told him that he believes the US has been secretly behind a number of 'Taliban suicide attacks' across his country, with the intention of "destabilizing Pakistan so the US could invade and seize its nuclear weapons." Furthermore, Zardari revealed, Karzai also told him that the US was responsible for the attacks.
What Zardari and Karzai are proposing makes much more sense than anything you will hear on the evening news in nearly every country on Earth. After all, they are in a position to know first hand what the rest of us only learn through reading the signs.
killed 67 in a mosque frequented by anti-Taliban tribal elders in northwestern Pakistan. Hours later, three people died in a grenade attack on another mosque; it too was associated with anti-Taliban militia. The first attack was a 'suicide bomber', the reports say. Since anti-Taliban groups were the targets, we are led to believe that Taliban Islamic fanatics and their imaginary friends from al-QaedaTM did it. We never cease to wonder in amazement at the bizarre logic of a Muslim fanatic who decides to end his life by killing Muslim worshipers inside a mosque yet expects to be rewarded in Heaven. Unless, of course, the perpetrator was not a Muslim fanatic, and perhaps not even a suicide bomber. It is easy, after all, to cover up a crime when all the evidence is torn to pieces by an explosion and chaos and confusion prevails.
Less than a week later, a gang of six gunmen somehow managed to penetrate a high-security district of Karachi and attack a police compound with gunfire and a massive car bomb, leveling the building and killing at least 15 people. Note how the similarities with the attack on the church in Iraq point to the same modus operandi: an uncanny ability to penetrate state security, a similar number of gunmen, coordinated attacks involving gunfire and car bombs. Both attacks occurred a little more than a week apart. Is that also just 'one of those things'?
The U.S. Dollar and Currency Wars
The past few months has seen further intensification of existing trends. Spreading credit problems in the Eurozone, stagnation in the United States, with the economy neither collapsing nor growing enough to lower unemployment, the imposition of austerity by the economic Powers That Be, protests against austerity in Europe only (the public in the United States has been too brainwashed to understand at whom and to what it should direct its anger), healthy profits for corporations, big banks and the super-rich, and the odd combination of deflation and inflation caused by currency devaluation, sinking labor costs and rising commodity prices.
In Weimar Germany, cash money was physically printed by the truckload in a futile effort to meet the demands of hyper-inflation. In the post-9/11 world, instead of being printed, virtual money is merely "created" through an array of accounting tricks:
There has been a lot of uproar about the so-called "QE2", or second round of quantitative easing, of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board. Fear is growing around the world that another round of competitive devaluations of currencies will take hold in order to gain export advantage. Resentment is also growing against the US Treasury for using the dollar's status as the main reserve currency to force everyone's hand while it continues to devalue its reserve holdings. Barry Grey explains what this "currency war" is about:
US Federal Reserve stokes global currency warAs it turned out, the crisis in the Eurozone overshadowed any problems with the dollar and the exchange rates did not change drastically. But clearly all currencies except China's (which is already significantly undervalued) seem to be devaluing together. This is manifested most clearly in a rise in prices of basic commodities in all currencies. In a move that portends real problems for the future for the dollar, though, China and Russia announced an agreement to abandon the dollar in their own trade. From the China Daily:
World Socialist Web Site
The Federal Reserve Board's announcement Wednesday of a second round of "quantitative easing" - the printing of hundreds of billions of US dollars - is an aggressive and unilateralist move, widely - and legitimately - perceived by America's economic rivals as a hostile act.
The US central bank is pursuing a deliberate policy of devaluing the dollar in order to cheapen the price of US exports and make foreign imports more expensive. Under conditions of stagnant markets and negligible economic growth in the US, Europe and Japan, such a policy inevitably fuels countermeasures by America's competitors. They seek to defend their export industries by intervening to halt the rise in their exchange rates and contain waves of speculative investments pushing up their currencies and overheating their economies.
The fact that the Fed announced its plan to purchase nearly $1 trillion in US Treasury securities barely a week before the G20 summit of leading economies in Seoul, South Korea underscores the provocative character of the action.
Washington is seeking to establish a bloc of European and Asian countries at the summit behind its demand that China allow its currency to appreciate more rapidly. There is an element of blackmail in the Fed's move - an implicit threat to Germany, Japan and other exporting nations of what they will face if they do not fall in behind the US anti-Chinese campaign.
The US cheap-dollar policy has already led to countermeasures. In September, Japan intervened into the currency markets for the first time in six years in a bid to halt the rise of the yen. This was followed by a lowering of its key interest rate and the announcement of its own program of quantitative easing.
Brazil, whose finance minister accused the US of sparking a global currency war, announced the doubling of a tax on foreign purchases of Brazilian bonds in order to contain the flood of speculative dollars driving its currency higher and creating the danger of asset bubbles and inflation.
Similarly, Thailand announced a 15 percent withholding tax on the interest payments and capital gains earned by foreign investors in Thai bonds. Other countries, from South Korea, to India, to Taiwan, have intervened in currency markets in an attempt to halt the rise in their exchange rates.
In essence, the United States, the world's biggest debtor nation, is seeking to leverage its massive trade deficits and debt - expressions of the decline of American capitalism - using them as weapons against its economic rivals. It is exploiting the privileged position of the US dollar as the world's primary trading and reserve currency to offload its crisis onto the rest of the world.
This is a reckless and incendiary policy with catastrophic implications. Economic nationalism breeds chauvinism, xenophobia and militarism.
China Russia Quit DollarEuropean Crisis
China and Russia have decided to renounce the US dollar and resort to using their own currencies for bilateral trade, Premier Wen Jiabao and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin announced late on Tuesday. Chinese experts said the move reflected closer relations between Beijing and Moscow and is not aimed at challenging the dollar, but to protect their domestic economies.
"About trade settlement, we have decided to use our own currencies," Putin said at a joint news conference with Wen in St. Petersburg.
The two countries were accustomed to using other currencies, especially the dollar, for bilateral trade. Since the financial crisis, however, high-ranking officials on both sides began to explore other possibilities. The yuan has now started trading against the Russian rouble in the Chinese interbank market, while the renminbi will soon be allowed to trade against the rouble in Russia, Putin said.
"That has forged an important step in bilateral trade and it is a result of the consolidated financial systems of world countries," he said.
The biggest story this fall in the ongoing Eurozone debt crisis has been Ireland. The $100 billion bailout of Ireland, the price to Ireland being the IMF solution (drastic budget cutting to the point of the creation of an "IMF riot"), caused the downfall of the government and massive demonstrations. Here is New York Times' take on it:
Dublin - The Irish government faced imminent collapse on Monday, only a day after it signed off on a $100 billion bailout, setting the stage for a new election early next year and injecting the threat of political instability into a European financial crisis that already has markets on edge.The head of one of Ireland's biggest unions said that the budget cuts would lead to "significant civil unrest in this country, the like of which has not been witnessed in this jurisdiction for decades." The country's largest demonstration for decades in late November is set to be followed by rolling protests throughout December. According to the Guardian
Confronted with high-level defections from his governing coalition, Prime Minister Brian Cowen said he would dissolve the government after passage of the country's crucial 2011 budget early in December.
His announcement capped a grim day for Ireland, as protesters tried to storm the Parliament building in Dublin, and Moody's Investors Service, the ratings agency, lowered the rating on Irish debt by several notches.
In agreeing to new elections, Mr. Cowen seemed sure to become the first political casualty of the debt crisis in the 16-member euro zone.
The developments sent a chill through financial markets and political circles in the euro zone, where the severe austerity measures imposed to keep the currency union from fracturing have yet to be tested in general elections.
The impending collapse of the Irish government after an expensive bailout seemed only to reconfirm fears that the financial crisis was far from contained. Analysts warned that deeply indebted countries like Portugal and Spain that are pushing through unpopular budget cuts may soon face an uncomfortable choice: punishment by financial markets that will hammer any laxity in deficit-cutting with exorbitant interest rates, or by an angry electorate annoyed by prolonged economic hardship.
"It will be the same story with all these countries - Ireland is just ahead of the game," said Desmond Lachman, a former policy executive from the International Monetary Fund who is now with the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. "They all have a fixed exchange rate and have to make these massive adjustments, so people are asking whether they are on the right path."
One of the largest demonstrations in the Irish Republic's history brought more than 100,000 people on to Dublin's streets in protest over the international bailout and four years of austerity ahead.Spain is now trying to get ahead of the game to avoid Ireland's fate by cutting its budget before a bailout:
As European officials thrashed out the finer details of an €85bn rescue package, huge crowds braved freezing temperatures to demonstrate against the cuts, aimed at driving down Ireland's colossal national debt.
The main march to O'Connell Street passed off peacefully but there was an uneasy standoff outside the Irish parliament as two lines of Garda Siochána officers hemmed in around 100 leftwing demonstrators who had broken away from the union-organized protest. Fireworks were thrown at gardai outside the gates of the Dail as protesters shouted: "Burn it down, burn it down." Extra police were rushed to the scene to surround the ad hoc demonstration by leftwing and anarchist groups, who also set fire to a picture of the Taoiseach, Brian Cowen.
Mick Wallace, who has had to lay off 100 of his workers due to the crash in the construction industry, said it was time the Irish became more militant: "We are far too quiet. We should be more like the French and get on to the streets more often. Because our politicians go over to Europe and tell the EU that our people do not demonstrate, they don't take to the streets. It's time we changed that and openly opposed what is going on."
Jimmy Purdy, 77, was at the demonstration outside Dublin's General Post Office - the scene of the 1916 Easter Rising. "I have lived through three recessions and I think this could be the worst one yet," he said. "I'm here because I'm angry that the EU are telling us to cut euros off the minimum wage and boss Irish workers around while the people that caused this crisis get off scot-free."
As the protesters took to the streets, sources said negotiators were keen to announce a rescue deal in time for the opening of financial markets on Monday...
Spain privatizes public assets, cuts spending under market pressureStephen Lendman put it,
Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
3 December 2010
The government announced that it would sell off part of its popular national lottery, partly privatize several of the country's biggest airports and raise the tobacco tax to bring in billions of dollars to the state's coffers. A monthly subsidy for the long-term unemployed is also to be scrapped, and taxes for small and medium-size businesses will be eased in a bid to stimulate economic activity.
The measures come on top of a $19 billion austerity plan introduced by Madrid in May to help narrow a budget gap equal to 11 percent of Spain's economic output. While there are signs that the deficit is indeed coming down, the markets have pressed for further signs of the government's determination to cut public spending.
Those demands became particularly acute this week after international finance officials agreed to a $113 billion rescue deal for struggling Ireland, which, like Spain, employs the euro. The bailout failed to calm investors, who drove up the cost of borrowing for Portugal and Spain out of fear that the two Iberian nations would also have trouble paying their bills.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero canceled a visit to Latin America to push for the new austerity package, which his Cabinet approved at a meeting Friday. Zapatero has publicly insisted that there is "absolutely no chance" his country would apply for emergency aid from either the European Union or the International Monetary Fund.
Madrid was rewarded Friday with a drop in the yield on its bonds, retreating from a record high reached earlier this week. Yields on Portuguese bonds also fell, relieving some of the pressure on Lisbon to apply for a bailout. Both countries' stock markets closed higher for the weekend.
The slight rebound in investor confidence was boosted by the European Central Bank, which increased its purchases of government bonds Thursday to reassure the markets. An auction that day of $3.3 billion in Spanish debt also went smoothly.
The government austerity measures unveiled Friday include the sale of minority stakes in the state lottery and various airports, including Barajas international airport in Madrid.
Taxes on cigarettes are also due to rise by 24 percent, which the government anticipates will generate an extra $1 billion a year.
Instead of vitally needed stimulus, Washington and European governments dictate austerity. The pretext of deficit reduction is being used to transfer more wealth to those already with too much, plus the usual canard over the urgency to save national banking systems.Whereas in Europe austerity is being imposed against the clear will of the people, in the U.S. people can be convinced to go along with it. It's class war, the rich against everyone else, and the rich are winning. At least in Europe, some still have some fight left in them.
In other words, make ordinary people bear the burden of bailing out banking giants responsible for the severest economic crisis since the Great Depression. How? The usual IMF solution, involving preservation of capital at the expense of workers - a package including wage and benefit cuts, less social spending, privatization of state resources, mass layoffs, deregulation, lower "onerous" taxes, maintaining corporate debt service, and harsh crackdowns against resisters.
After the massive French protests, strikes, and riots following a rise in the retirement age, the UK exploded in response to Prime Minister Cameron's draconian spending cuts, including a proposed cut in government jobs of 600,000, and a rise in tuition fees. Unrest then spread throughout Europe, to Italy, to strikes and anti-nuclear riots in Germany, strikes in Belgium, in Portugal, and all kinds of unrest in Ireland. As usual, violent protesters have been exposed around the world to be undercover provocateurs working for the police which helps the authorities and the media to discredit the protests.
bipartisan commission." In fact, they even trotted out two of them.
The November midterm elections in the United States saw a rightward shift as angry, older white people were far more motivated to get out and vote than the disillusioned left. These angry old white people (who have a real right to be angry, but are also brainwashed by propaganda that makes them angry at the wrong things) have coalesced into a movement funded by wealthy Tea-Party right-wing groups. These Tea Partiers want to "take back their country" from the socialist, gay, totalitarian black and Hispanic hordes that Fox News has told them have covertly taken over the US government through the Obama administration. These people can sense that they've been had, that the United States is looking more and more like a banana republic, but sophisticated, decades-long propaganda techniques have been used to get them to blame "government" (they never blame corporations, because corporate money finances the propaganda) or deficit spending or the children of "illegal" immigrants and call for their imprisonment and deportation as if that will restore the native-born working class's standards of living. The problem is much bigger than that, however, as Eric L. Green writes:
So what's the end game? The new ownership society is where the wealthy own everything because the money supply has crashed so far that nobody can pay their debts -- and the owner class buys up the defaulted assets for pennies on the dollar. At that point, the ownership class really doesn't care if the money supply collapses all the way and they can't sell anything for money. Because they will own you. Think Latin America's oligarchs. They own everything, so their minions have no place to go and must labor in their fields and workshops to produce the hand-made goods and services they want. Their every need is taken care of by their serfs, who beg for crumbs of bread in exchange for being allowed the privilege of placing a bathrobe upon their master's back upon their master exiting his bath. What few things they need that their serfs cannot make in their master's workshop are bought by exporting agricultural goods, natural resources, and hand-made items from those workshops to more civilized nations and getting the technological goods they want back in return. Do these people care that they can't sell anything to their serfs? No. And neither will our ownership class, once they own everything -- including us.The Tea Partiers' legitimate concern with government debt is vectored by propaganda towards resentment of Hispanic immigration or blacks on welfare and other racist myths rather than towards the actual cause of U.S. government debt: massive, excessive, military and internal security spending. Military spending has tripled in the 2000s (and it was already ridiculously high, a third of a trillion per year, just for the military, at the end of the 1990s). The U.S. could cut it in half and still be able to bomb civilians all around the world whenever it wanted to. And there would be no need to cut Social Security, Medicare, or unemployment compensation. But arms suppliers, private military contractors, privatized prison and security companies would all lose massive profits, and we can't let that happen.
Nor can the U.S. sacrifice the excessive and irresponsible tax cuts for the rich that Bush put in just as he was starting the two longest and most expensive wars in U.S. history. Unfortunately for the rich, Bush agreed to let the tax cuts expire once he was out of office, but not to worry, the lame-duck Democratic controlled Congress is agreeing to extend them while they cut off extended unemployment benefits.
The global economic outlook is not good; austerity in the wealthier countries and hunger in the poorer countries. Hunger, however, will soon also increase in the wealthier countries if these trends continue. Food and commodity prices continue to rise overall, albeit with some ups and downs. Oil, gold, silver, copper, and various food commodities rose and are projected to rise further.
UN Agency Predicts Global Food Crisis as Prices SoarLet Them Eat Oil
Barry Mason, World Socialist Web Site
27 November, 2010
A United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report published this month warns that food price increases are "dangerously close" to crisis level. The bill for global imports of food may exceed $1 trillion this year. This level of food costs was last reached in 2008 when prices peaked mainly as a result of speculation and led to riots in different parts of the world.
The FAO's measure of food prices, the broad global index, is now at 197 points, very close to the peak of just over 200, increasing by 5 percent in the last month alone.
Stocks of some staple crops are set to fall―stocks of barley will shrink by 35 percent, maize by 12 percent and wheat by 10 percent, according to FAO estimates. The US Federal Reserve Board's deliberate policy of devaluing the dollar is also boosting prices, as most commodities, including food, are priced in dollars.
The recently announced round of quantitative easing (QE) by the US will only exacerbate this. A Guardian article November 6, "US under fire for fuelling surge in food prices", explained "the $600bn of QE announced by the Federal Reserve would hurt consumers by pushing up prices of soy, wheat and other staple foods ... Commodities are considered a safe haven when the dollar is falling. There is also an incentive for producers to seek higher prices to offset the falling value of the dollar."
Last year, the number of people in the world without sufficient food reached one billion (one in six of the world population). Whilst this year the figure has now fallen somewhat to 925 million, the Millennium Development Goal target to halve the number of the world's hungry by 2015 is clearly not going to be achieved...
People are becoming seriously ill and are dying as a result of the ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, a fact that you have probably not heard in the mainstream media. Dr Riki Ott, a marine toxicologist from Alaska who survived the Exxon Valdez oil disaster, has been following the case closely and now reports that
"I am dealing with about 3 - 4 autopsies right now... I know of people whose esophagus' are dissolving, disintegrating... I know of people with 4.75% of their lung capacity, with enlarged hearts... All of these people have oil in their bodies."has been diagnosed with severe upper respiratory, sinus, and viral infections. His parents, doctors and environmentalists agree that the illness has been caused by exposure to chemicals spilled by BP. Many others living along the coast of the Gulf are suffering from similar symptoms. In a jaw-dropping demonstration of contempt for the public's health, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) admitted in a press release that there were dispersant chemicals in some of their food samples, but added that they were below the "threshold of 100 parts per million [ppm] for fin-fish and 500 parts per million for shrimp, crabs and oysters." Chemist Bob Naman with the Analytical Chemical Testing Lab in Mobile, Alabama, has commented on the federal agencies' irresponsible statement:
"500 ppm is an incredible amount," Naman explained to Al Jazeera, "I don't know what moron set that level, but 500 ppm is an extreme amount. It is probably 100 times too high. A reasonably insignificant number would be five parts per billion [ppb], not something being tracked in ppm."Naman's own tests show fish and crab with the unusual high concentration of 193 parts-per-million. "I wouldn't eat shrimp, fish or crab caught in the Gulf," he added. "The problems people will face, health-wise, are something that people don't understand... [The government is] more worried about livelihoods and tourism, but I'm ultimately more concerned with human health." Dr. William Sawyer, of the Sanibel, Florida-based Toxicology Consultants & Assessment Specialists, confirmed the findings: "We've collected shrimp, oysters and finned fish on their way to marketplace -- we tested a good number of seafood samples and in 100 percent we found petroleum." The government's tests, he says, are "little more than a farce." Wilma Subra, the environmental scientist and former vice-chair of the EPA National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology, reports that of eight blood samples collected from BP cleanup workers in August, all eight tested positive for chemicals found in the BP oil. With evidence like this, what is astonishing is not that people are getting ill and dying, but that this is grossly under-reported by the US and global media.
Naman gave an example of a government standard that seemingly undermines information in the recent press release.
"The amount of chemicals the EPA allows in storm water draining from a site containing salvaged cars into a body of water is 15 ppm," he said.
"If the EPA won't allow more than 15 ppm of that, why in the hell would they consider a number that is 33 times higher than that as acceptable for something you are going to put in your body? Their people that are setting that kind of number apparently don't have a clue what that number even means. The threshold limits they are setting are extremely absurd to a chemist like me. I'm appalled they would use such high numbers for their thresholds."
Naman also expressed concern over the fact that from his understanding neither the FDA nor NOAA are testing for propylene glycol and 2-butoxyethanol, the two marker chemicals for BP's dispersants.
"Since they are testing in ppm, these two marker compounds are not being picked up," Naman said.
But the locals do not really need chemical tests. Shrimpers, fishermen and consumers are finding oil in plain sight. Have a look for yourselves:
commented that the shocking find "slapped you in the face... This was the first time that anyone has seen a visually compelling indication of impact to deep sea animals in the vicinity of this deep-sea event." Scientists found that ninety percent of 40 large corals were heavily affected. The surface does not appear to be doing much better; fishermen have discovered at least two more oil leaks near oil and gas platforms along Louisiana's oil-filled coastline; and on the beaches, fish is being systematically buried.
Burying the evidence is the only thing that the authorities have been concerned with throughout this catastrophic affair. The US Justice Department established a security zone (once again the word 'security' is being abused by the government) around the site of the oil spill to safeguard any evidence of the environmental disaster. Safeguard from whom - the press?
Haiti Cholera Outbreak
artificially induced?) earthquake that hit Port-au-Prince in January 2010, and which is now facing a deadly outbreak of cholera. The Haitians have speculated that the cholera was introduced by Nepalese U.N. peace-keepers and it has resulted in widespread protests in the country.
The death toll has reached at least 1700, affecting six provinces including Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince. This is the first recorded outbreak of cholera in Haiti, which has caused public health experts, including U.N. Deputy Special Envoy to Haiti Paul Farmer, who co-founded Partners in Health, to call for an aggressive investigation into its origin.
The UN maintains that containing the cholera is more important than finding out where and how it originated, while other health officials argue that it is very important:
John Mekalanos, a cholera expert and chairman of Harvard University's microbiology department, said it is important to know exactly where and how the disease emerged because it is a novel, virulent strain previously unknown in the Western Hemisphere - and public health officials need to know how it spreads.Several health experts have begun to recommend that the US begin creating a stockpile of cholera vaccines so that they could be rapidly deployed to areas with major cholera outbreaks like the current one in Haiti. Another expert, Dr. Jon Andrus, responded that a cholera vaccine isn't the answer for Haiti. Andrus explained,
[...] that ring vaccination worked in smallpox because everyone who was infected had symptoms. So when a new case or a small cluster popped up, it meant other people without symptoms were not yet infected and were still eligible for a vaccine.He went on,
But with cholera, by the time the disease shows up, 80 percent of people are carrying it - but without any symptoms.
There are other reasons why cholera vaccination isn't recommended during an outbreak. It requires two doses in most people, and three in young children. Keeping track of who's been vaccinated and getting them back for a second and third dose presents enormous logistical problems and a lot of personnel. And even with all that effort, it still takes three weeks at the least for immunity to build in the body.The UN and Haiti health officials have suggested that residents in Haiti maintain as much good hygiene as possible, which is next to impossible since most residents are living in tents and have little or no access to soap, and/or other sanitary products.
Nigel Fisher, a Canadian who heads the United Nations humanitarian efforts in Haiti complained that bureaucracy is slowing down aid dissemination and warned that the death toll in Haiti could rise above 10,000 soon if international assistance doesn't quicken. He stated that "governments need to act faster to approve cholera treatment centers" and went on to say that designated burial sites for cholera victims must also be set up, similar to the one in Port-au-Prince. "There's an unacceptable indecision on the part of mayors in identifying those [sites]. And I'm communicating with the government and saying we cannot accept the delay."
As if the cholera outbreak wasn't bad enough, the country is also dealing with a political crisis. The people of Haiti took part in massive protest regarding the fraudulent election that took place recently. Violence was reported during the protest. Somewhat unsurprisingly, many Haitian presidential candidates alleged widespread fraud before, during and after the election. Most of the election candidates, including front-runner Mirlande Manigat, are calling this election fraudulent. Manigat was reported as saying:
I am asking my country's citizens, I am asking the Conseil Electoral Provisor, the government, and I'm telling the international community that as the leading candidate I'm asking for the formal cancellation of the elections.The candidates called for the election results to be annulled due to irregularities and said that the ballot boxes were already stuffed with votes for candidate Jude Celestin. Many Hatians complained that they were unable to vote because their names were missing from voter rolls. One person was reported saying, "I voted here in 2006. My name is not on the voter list. I can't vote now. This has been done intentionally by the electoral board."
Needless to say, tensions are high in Haiti right now, and we can't help but wonder what the future holds for a country facing total oblivion.
The Ice Age is here?
Does this ring a bell?
severely disrupted airports and roads all over Europe, with all-time record low temperatures for November in parts of the UK, and Ireland since 1947. The break-down of transportation networks is significantly adding to the islands' economic woes. The Arctic climate in British Colombia, Canada, is also in a record-breaking mood. There were also reports of travelers stranded on roads in New York and across the Midwest.
It seems that the key to understanding what is going on right now is the high altitude jet stream winds. This jet stream, which acts as a buffer against the freezing Arctic weather, normally runs straight through Europe as it makes its way around the globe. But it has shifted from its usual position and looped south over Spain and Mediterranean Africa - something which, apparently, has never happened before. Prof. Mike Lockwood of the department of meteorology at the University of Reading believes there is a link between the low solar activity of recent years and this "jet stream blocking" phenomenon. "It looked last week like we had a blocking event formed," he said. "The phenomenon is really a snaking of the jet stream. It can start to pull lower altitude, cold Russian air back in over Europe." He thinks this will lead to more cold spells in the next few months and years.
Here is an image of the jet stream 'broken' over western Europe:
Here is another image from North America in June:
Around the globe and for a few months now we have been witnessing torrential rains and floods. Before the snow settled in, 56 tornadoes hit the US in two days, a storm equivalent to a category 3 hurricane slammed the Midwest, and hail storms in Brooklyn produced a river of ice:
Belgium and Italy too had to deal with flooding before the temperatures dropped:
Elsewhere, Thailand has endured its worst flooding in 50 years, resulting in more than 100 people dead and 5 million affected. Vietnam has had its share of flash floods, and Venezuela is the latest country to be hit by torrential rains, killing 17 people, closing airports, blocking roads and destroying thousands of homes in the past few days.
The Ring of Fire
Since October there have been some interesting geological activities going on, mostly around Indonesia.
On October 26, 2010, a 7.7 magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami that slammed into the Indonesian Islands and killing at least 431 people, with another 88 reported missing. Mount Merapi also began to erupt on Oct. 26th, and the US National Disaster Mitigation Agency reported that at least 122 people were killed and 69,533 evacuated. The country's other volcanoes also began to erupt, causing more uncertainty and despair its the residents.
Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where the meeting of continental plates causes high seismic activity.
Tsunami, Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions Strike Indonesia!: Indonesian islands get hit by a 10-foot tsunami, killing at least 113 people. 7.7-magnitude quake that struck late Monday just 13 miles beneath the ocean floor, followed by at least 14 aftershocks, the largest measuring 6.2. Mount Merapi begins to erupt late Tuesday.
Oct. 26, 2010: Indonesia: Mount Merapi erupts, thousands flee in panic: Mount Merapi erupted three times on Tuesday, injuring at least 20 people.
Oct. 27, 2010: Indonesia struggles as tsunami, volcano tolls rise
Nov. 1, 2010: Indonesia volcano shoots new blast; 21 more rumble: The country reported increased rumblings at 21 other active volcanoes.
Nov. 3, 2010: Troubling Global Volcanic Activity on the Rise: Scientists begin to speculate about a possible eruption of the Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland.
Nov. 3, 2010: Indonesia: Earthquake Magnitude 6.0 - Near the South Coast of Papua
Nov. 3, 2010: Deadly earthquake shakes Serbia: A 5.4-magnitude earthquake has struck central Serbia, killing two people and leaving at least 50 others injured.
Nov. 3, 2010: Tonga: Earthquake Magnitude 6.0 - 3th Nov 10
Nov. 6, 2010: Volcanic Activity Forces Airlines to Cancel Flights to Indonesian Capital: International airlines cancelled flights into Indonesia's capital Saturday after Mount Merapi unleashed its most powerful eruption in a century. The number of people killed by Mount Merapi in the past two weeks climbed to 138.
Nov. 8, 2010: Indonesia's Mount Dempo volcanic activity intensifies: official Officials report Mount Dempo giving out at least 79 tremors in the past week.
Nov. 9, 2010: Anak Krakatau's Latest Rumbling Growing PainsAnak-Krakatau begins to erupt. "On Friday there were 615 eruptions, on Saturday there were 623 and on Sunday 668."
Nov. 10, 2010: Southeast Indian Ridge earthquake magnitude 6.3
Nov. 12, 2010: Philippine Volcano Spews Ash: Bulusan came back to life last weekend after emitting lava three years ago.
Nov. 13, 2010: 5.6 earthquake hits Dominican Republic
Nov. 14, 2010: What's Going On in The Gulf of Aden?: "USGS is reporting a very unusual swarm of significant earthquakes starting early this morning in the sea between Africa and the Arabian peninsula, right off the coast of Yemen, and in one of the world's most important and busiest shipping lanes."
Nov. 16, 2010: Israel: 3.6 magnitude earthquake felt in north
Nov. 18, 2010: US: Earthquake Magnitude 3.3 Shakes Eastern Nebraska
Nov. 20, 2010: US: Earthquake Magnitude 3.9 - Arkansas
Nov. 20, 2010: Moderate quake hits Indonesia: 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Sumatra, no damage reported.
Nov. 21, 2010: Strong Earthquake Hits Near Eastern Taiwan Coast: Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau reports the quake as 5.1, while the U.S. Geological Survey measured it at 5.6. No damage has been reported.
Nov. 23, 2010: Papua New Guinea: Earthquake Magnitude 6.1
Nov. 24, 2010: Indonesian Volcano Death Toll Rises To 324: Death tole from Mount Merapi reaches 324.
Nov. 26, 2010: Indonesia's Mount Bromo Volcano Spews Ash into Sky: Officials say one of Indonesia's dozens of volcanos has shot ash into the air in a minor eruption that caused no injuries.
Nov. 27, 2010: Philippines: 'Explosion-type' earthquake reported at Bulusan Volcano: An "explosion-type" earthquake was recorded by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology in in Sorsogon Friday night. About 11 volcanic quakes were also recorded by the seismic network around the volcano during the past 24-hour observation period.
Nov. 29, 2010: US: 21 earthquakes strike Reno over 3 days: According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 21 temblors were reported in the area since midday Friday. The latest quakes were measured at 2.1 and 3.0 in magnitude.
Nov. 29, 2010: Volcano Forces Airport Shut in Indonesia: Ash eruption from Indonesia's Mount Bromo volcano has forced nearby airports to close, leaving several passengers stranded in the east Java region.
Nov. 29, 2010: Eruption Alert: More Indonesian Volcanoes Getting Restless Mount Bromo is speculated to erupt.
Nov. 30, 2010: Japan - Earthquake Magnitude 6.6 - Bonin Islands
Nov. 30, 2010: US: Earthquake Magnitude 3.9 - Off Long Island Coast: No damage reported.
Nov. 30, 2010: 9 Quakes Recorded Around Mount Bulusan in the Philippines: At least nine volcanic quakes were recorded near restive Bulusan Volcano in Bicol in the last 24 hours, reported national disaster management officials. "For the past 24-hour observation period, Bulusan Volcano's seismic network detected nine volcanic quakes. Measurement of sulfur dioxide emission rate yielded an average value of 36.56 tons per day. Weak emission of white steam was observed from the northwest thermal vents from 8:35 to 10:35 a.m. (Monday)," the NDRRMC said in its 8 a.m. bulletin.
Nov. 30, 2010: Moderate quake jolts Tibet; no injuries reported: The 5.5-magnitude quake, which occurred at 4:39 pm local time, was located about 45 miles (75 kilometers) west of Lhasa, the regional capital of Tibet, according to the US Geological Survey. The China Earthquake Networks Center reported the quake was magnitude 5.2 on the Richter scale.
Dec. 01, 2010: : Tremors of earthquake under Atlantic Ocean felt on New York's Long IslandThe quake measured 3.9 on the Richter Scale, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Reports of lights shaking, but no damage reported.
Dec. 01, 2010: Fiji Region: Earthquake Magnitude 6.1
Dec. 01, 2010: Papua New Guinea: Earthquake Magnitude 6.9
Dec. 02, 2010: Ecuador Tungurahua volcano re-erupts: The volcano spewed molten rocks and large clouds of gas and ash near Banos, south of Quito. No casualties have been recorded so far, but flight re-direction is being considered.
Signs and Wonders
increasingly frequent sightings of fireballs there have been a few bizarre unexplained cases that drove media and authorities into damage control and denial, regardless of what the events really were about. First there was what looked like an inter-continental ballistic missile seen off the coast of California. The Pentagon decided to (unconvincingly) push the line that this had simply been an airplane and its contrail, but looking at the videos we are left with the impression that it was indeed some sort of rocket. If so, there are not many options left; either it was a US military test (but then again, why off the coast where everyone would see?), or another country capable of launching missiles from submarines did it. Gordon Duff from Veterans Today and Wayne Madsen think it was most likely Chinese. In such case, this could only have been meant as a sign to the mightiest military power on the globe. Bearing this hypothesis in mind, it is interesting that US ally South Korea and Chinese ally North Korea are currently flirting with war. Equally suggestive is the fact that Russia and China recently announced their decision to stop trading in dollars between themselves and will switch to using their own currencies instead. After all, American power is largely supported by the privileged role of the dollar as trade and reserve currency around the globe.
The second event was a curious red-hot streak moving fast over the New York City skyline a couple of days later. Again, we were told that this was nothing more than the contrail of an airplane, but we wonder why witnesses thought otherwise and why it was moving so fast. The reaction of the media suggests that to consider alternative possibilities (such as a meteorite) is considered dangerous to the establishment.
A third case to consider was that of a mysterious explosion in a Scottish forest, not far from Glasgow. The media rushed to capitalize in favor of the mainstream discourse fed to the masses and suggested that the ubiquitous "Muslim terrorists" were somehow to blame. It is rather frustrating to see how easily they jump to such bogeyman absurdities and completely ignore other alternatives - such as a meteorite impact.
In light of all of the above, is it not noteworthy that in the post-Cold War era Russia is building 5,000 more nuclear shelters in Moscow, supposedly to be completed by 2012?
These past couple of months has also a good deal of UFO and 'high strangeness' activity. Most notably, a mass sighting above New York City:
Here are a few more videos of signs and wonders in the sky:
Strange UFO Sighting, Hollywood California, 10-2-10
Remarkable UFO Sighting in Kosovo, October, 2010
New Video of Mass UFO Sightings in Delaware, Pennsylvania
Video of mass UFO sighting over Moscow in Russia Oct-2010
Talkin' about a Revolution
The intolerable fascist and Orwellian pressure that the US, Israel and their allies are imposing on the peoples of the world, together with the large-scale theft of their wealth, the ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the environmental stress that climate change is causing, will push the masses to the limits of their patience.
Is this what the Powers That Be want? Or are they shooting themselves in the foot?
Although it is too soon to say whether the northern hemisphere has entered the Ice Age, the significant increase in mass public demonstrations and the accompanying escalation of mass distractions seem to indicate that we are indeed in the 'final run'. SOTT.net has warned people against falling into a "survivalist" mentality in the past. Guns and ammo won't protect you from what's coming. However, we do encourage our readers to prepare themselves materially for what could be a very, very long winter - provided this focus is balanced with the importance of clearing the body, mind and spirit from toxic overload.
Until next time, take care and look out for one another this festive season!
The SOTT Crew