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Sat, 03 Dec 2022
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How Not to Reconstruct Iraq, Afghanistan - or America: A Guide to Disaster at Home and Abroad

iraq billions
Imperial Reconstruction and Its Discontents

A war and occupation thousands of miles away that lasted seven years and involved more than 1.5 million Americans, military and civilian, has passed into the history books and yet we still know remarkably little about so much of it. Take American military bases in Iraq. There were, of course, none in March 2003 when the Bush administration launched its regime-change invasion with dreams of garrisoning that particular stretch of the planet's oil heartlands for generations to come.

At the height of the American occupation, in the face of Sunni and Shiite insurgencies and a bloody civil war, the Pentagon built 505 bases there, ranging from micro-outposts to mega-bases the size of small American towns -- in one case, with an airport that was at least as busy as Chicago's O'Hare International. As it happened, during all but the last days of those long, disastrous years of war, Americans could have had no idea how many bases had been built, using taxpayer dollars, in Iraq. Estimates in the press ranged, on rare occasions, up to about 300. Only as U.S. troops prepared to leave was that 505 figure released by the military, without any fanfare whatsoever. Startlingly large, it was simply accepted by reporters who evidently found it too unimpressive to highlight.

And here's an allied figure that we still don't have: to this day, no one outside the Pentagon has the faintest idea what it cost to build those bases, no less maintain them, or in the end abandon them to the Iraqi military, to the fate of ghost towns, or simply to be looted and stripped. We have no figures, not even ballpark ones, about what the Pentagon paid crony corporations like KBR to construct and maintain them. The only vague approximation I ever saw was offered in an engineering magazine in October 2003 by Lt. Col. David Holt, the Army officer "tasked with facilities development" in Iraq. At a moment when U.S. base building was barely underway, he was already speaking of the program being in the "several billion dollar range," adding proudly that "the numbers are staggering." So for the full seven-year figure, let your imagination run wild.

Handcuffs

Former Marine Brandon Raub Is Locked In A Psych Ward Over His 9/11 Facebook Posts

Here's more about what he said on his Facebook page. I really don't see what he said that was so bad.

Business Insider: The former Marine who was detained by the federal government over Facebook posts critical of the government is being held in a psychiatric ward, Peter Bacqué of the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

"I'm currently in John Randolph in the psychiatric ward being held against my will," Brandon Raub said in a telephone interview with the Times-Dispatch. "[Authorities] were concerned about me calling for the arrest of government officials."

Raub noted that he has been raising questions about 9/11 and signed a petition to reopen investigation of the terrorist attacks.

According to Raub's mother, authorities from the FBI, Secret Service and Chesterfield County PD came to their door on Thursday evening, questioned Raub about his Facebook posts, then handcuffed him and placed him in a Chesterfield PD squad car before taking him directly to John Randolph Psychiatric Hospital in Hopewell, Va.

Raub, 26, has not been arrested. Both FBI Richmond spokeswoman Dee Rybiski and Secret Service Washington spokesman Max Milien said that there are no charges against Raub.

USA

Amerika's Future is Death

Conspiracy theories have now blossomed into what the smug presstitute media calls a "conspiracy culture." According to the presstitutes, Americans have to find some explanation for their frustrations and failings, so Americans shift the blame to the Bilderbergers, the Rothschilds, the New World Order and so forth and so on.

Readers will not be surprised that I disagree with the presstitutes. Indeed, the conspiracy culture is the product of the presstitute media's failure to investigate and to report truthfully. I am certain that the Western media is worse than the Soviet media was. The Soviet media devised ways for helping the public to read between the lines, whereas the Western media is so proud to be confidants of the government that they deliver the propaganda without any clues to the readers that it is propaganda.

Americans have been fed lies by "their" government and the government's presstitute media for so long that it is not surprising that Americans increasingly believe that there is a conspiracy operating against them. Millions of Americans have been evicted from their jobs, careers, and homes while the crooks who stole from them run free and bankroll the presidential candidates. The world as millions of Americans knew it has come to an end, and no one has been held accountable. The explanation that Americans get from the media is that it is their own fault. They bought houses they shouldn't have bought, and they didn't train for the right jobs. It is not unreasonable for Americans to conclude that a conspiracy is operating against them.

Eye 1

The new totalitarianism of surveillance technology

A software engineer in my Facebook community wrote recently about his outrage that when he visited Disneyland, and went on a ride, the theme park offered him the photo of himself and his girlfriend to buy - with his credit card information already linked to it. He noted that he had never entered his name or information into anything at the theme park, or indicated that he wanted a photo, or alerted the humans at the ride to who he and his girlfriend were - so, he said, based on his professional experience, the system had to be using facial recognition technology. He had never signed an agreement allowing them to do so, and he declared that this use was illegal. He also claimed that Disney had recently shared data from facial-recognition technology with the United States military.

Yes, I know: it sounds like a paranoid rant.

Except that it turned out to be true. News21, supported by the Carnegie and Knight foundations, reports that Disney sites are indeed controlled by face-recognition technology, that the military is interested in the technology, and that the face-recognition contractor, Identix, has contracts with the US government - for technology that identifies individuals in a crowd.

Fast forward: after the Occupy crackdowns, I noted that odd-looking CCTVs had started to appear, attached to lampposts, in public venues in Manhattan where the small but unbowed remnants of Occupy congregated: there was one in Union Square, right in front of their encampment. I reported here on my experience of witnessing a white van marked "Indiana Energy" that was lifting workers up to the lampposts all around Union Square, and installing a type of camera. When I asked the workers what was happening - and why an Indiana company was dealing with New York City civic infrastructure, which would certainly raise questions - I was told: "I'm a contractor. Talk to ConEd."

Handcuffs

Pussy Riot, The Unfortunate Dupes of Amerikan Hegemony

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© AP
In this Friday, Aug. 17, 2012 file photo, feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, from left, Maria Alekhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova show the court's verdict as they sit in a glass cage at a courtroom in Moscow.
My heart goes out to the three Russian women who comprise the Russian rock band, Pussy Riot. They were brutally deceived and used by the Washington-financed NGOs that have infiltrated Russia. Pussy Riot was sent on a mission that was clearly illegal under statutory law.

You have to admire and to appreciate the spunk of the young women. But you have to bemoan their gullibility. Washington needed a popular issue with which to demonize the Russian government for standing up to Washington's intention to destroy Syria, just as Washington destroyed Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, and as Washington intends to destroy Lebanon and Iran.

By intentionally offending religious worshipers--which would be a hate crime in the US and its European and British puppet states--the talented young women violated a statutory Russian law. Prior to the women's trial, Russian President Putin expressed his opinion that the women should not be harshly punished. Taking the cue from Putin, the judge gave the women, deceived and betrayed by the amerikan-financed NGOs, two years instead of seven years.

I am advised that after six months, Putin will see that the women are released. But, of course, that would not serve the propaganda of the Amerikan Empire. The instructions to the Washington-financed fifth column in Russia will be to make any government leniency for Pussy Riot impossible.

Rocket

US drone strikes routinely targeting rescuers in Pakistan - and the west stays silent

drone pilot
© David Bathgate/Corbis
A US air force pilot controls a Predator drone from the command centre in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Attacking rescuers - a tactic long deemed by the US a hallmark of terrorism - is now routinely used by the Obama administration

The US government has long maintained, reasonably enough, that a defining tactic of terrorism is to launch a follow-up attack aimed at those who go to the scene of the original attack to rescue the wounded and remove the dead. Morally, such methods have also been widely condemned by the west as a hallmark of savagery. Yet, as was demonstrated yet again this weekend in Pakistan, this has become one of the favorite tactics of the very same US government.

Footprints

The new robber barons: how taxpayers subsidize CEOs' multimillion salaries

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A new report finds many top executives are taking home more than their corporations pay in taxes - at our expense.

Lanai, a tiny resort island in Hawaii, has 18 miles of secluded beaches, no traffic lights and a population of just over 3,000. This summer, Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, a California-based software company, bought 98% of the island for a sum reported to exceed $500m.

The Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington DC thinktank, says that a chunk of the money Ellison spent buying Lanai should have paid for elementary school teachers and clean energy jobs, instead of fulfilling the billionaire CEO's vacation fantasies. That's one conclusion of their new report, "The CEO Hands in Uncle Sam's Pocket: How Our Tax Dollars Subsidize Exorbitant Executive Pay", which points out that Oracle took advantage of a 1993 loophole in tax law to designate $76m of Ellison's income as "performance-related pay", which allowed him to avoid paying any taxes on the money.

War Whore

Is Washington Deaf As Well as Criminal?

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The morons who rule the American sheeple are not only dumb and blind, they are deaf as well. The ears of the American "superpower" only work when the Israeli prime minister, the crazed Netanyahu, speaks. Then Washington hears everything and rushes to comply.

Israel is a tiny insignificant state, created by the careless British and the stupid Americans. It has no power except what its American protector provides. Yet, despite Israel's insignificance, it rules Washington.

When a resolution introduced by the Israel Lobby is delivered to Congress, it passes unanimously. If Israel wants war, Israel gets its wish. When Israel commits war crimes against Palestinians and Lebanon and is damned by the hundred plus UN resolutions passed against Israel's criminal actions, the US bails Israel out of trouble with its veto.

The power that tiny Israel exercises over the "worlds's only superpower" is unique in history. Tens of millions of "Christians" bow down to this power, reinforcing it, moved by the exhortations of their "christian" ministers.

MIB

It's official: British and US intelligence is directing al-Qaeda operations in Syria

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MI6 and CIA al Qaeda operatives in Syria proudly display the weapons supplied to them by their paymasters.
British intelligence on Syrian troop movements is helping rebels in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, it was revealed today.

The disclosure by a Syrian opposition official is the first indication of British intelligence playing a covert role in the civil war.

The official told The Sunday Times the British authorities 'know about and approve 100 per cent' signals intelligence from their Cyprus bases being passed through Turkey to the rebel troops of the Free Syrian Army.

'British intelligence is observing things closely from Cyprus. It's very useful because they find out a great deal,' the official said.

'The British are giving the information to the Turks and the Americans and we are getting it from the Turks.'

According to the official, the most valuable intelligence so far has been about the movements of troops loyal to President Assad towards the stricken second city of Aleppo, which is partly controlled by rebels.

Comment: Notice the lip-service to international law at the end of this article, despite having already made it clear that this is exactly what they are doing.

State-Sponsored Terrorism - Western Journalists Embedded With 'al-Qaeda' in Syria


Propaganda

Propaganda Alert! Death Toll Rises to 20 in Yemen's Suspected al-Qaida Attack on Intelligence Building

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The death toll of an al-Qaida suspected attack on a Yemeni intelligence headquarters rose to 20 on Saturday, in the worst such attack in a year that highlights the challenges faced by the country's new leadership as it struggles to bring security and reconcile a military with split loyalties.

The attack, in the heart of the port city of Aden, underscored al-Qaida's ability to launch deadly strikes despite a two-month Yemeni military offensive backed by the U.S. that earlier this year dislodged militants who had taken over a string of southern towns near Aden.

In a coordinated attack, two groups of masked militants stormed the intelligence building from two sides, firing automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, according to intelligence officials in the city and witnesses from the adjacent state TV and radio building.

While one group clashed with guards of the intelligence building's main gate, a second threw a bomb at a small mosque, killing soldiers who were resting and sleeping inside, officials said. The gunmen then sprayed their victims with bullets before detonating a car bomb in front of the intelligence building, collapsing its facade.

Comment: al-Qaida? More like al-CIA-duh. For more information on state-sponsored terrorism read:
State-Sponsored Terrorism - Western Journalists Embedded With 'al-Qaeda' in Syria
The British Empire - A Lesson In State Terrorism