Puppet MastersS


Stormtrooper

Iraq: US Should Leave By End of 2011

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© unknownIranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi (L) and his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari give a joint press conference in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, May 11, 2011.
Iraq says the remaining US troops should leave Iraq by the end of 2011 while Washington has embarked on a campaign to extend its military presence in the country.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said on Wednesday that the United States will withdraw its forces from the Iraqi soil by the previously agreed end-of-2011 deadline, IRNA reported.

On August 31, 2010, the White House declared an end to its combat missions in Iraq but left some 50,000 troops in the country for what it described as advising and training purposes.

There is no secret pact with Washington in this regard, Zebari stressed but noted that Iraq's strategic cooperation with the United States is a long term relation and one should not expect the US embassy and consulates to be removed.

The Iraqi foreign minister made the remarks at a joint conference in Baghdad with his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi, where the two sides said that Tehran and Baghdad share the same concerns regarding the Middle East developments and the political unrest in the region.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has also said that the United States needs to reach a new deal in order to keep its troops in Iraq beyond the year 2011. This new agreement, Maliki said, would need to be backed by all main Iraqi political factions.

Star of David

Israel Remaining Calm Ahead of Nakba Day Protests

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© Kobi GideonDemonstrators marking Nakba Day, May 2006.
Top PA officials have evinced irony about the wide-scale preparations now undertaken by the IDF in advance of the days of protest, which will begin on Friday.

Hundreds of stickers were pasted on electricity poles in Ramallah on Wednesday, calling on residents to take part in Nakba parade demonstrations on Sunday. The stickers were written as though they were a letter sent from an exiled Palestinian refugee to the city of Haifa. "My beloved Haifa, I'll be with you soon," the stickers declared. Not surprisingly, the announcements were signed neither by Hamas nor Islamic Jihad, but rather by the PLO's refugee department. In internal Palestinian discourse, the Palestinian Authority still stands by its hard-line ideological stance demanding a right of return for 1948 refugees.

At the same time, voices in Jerusalem and Ramallah urged that passions be kept in check during the three days of Palestinian commemoration of the Nakba - the establishment of the state of Israel regarded by Palestinians as a catastrophe. Despite the media's inherent tendency to foster dramatic expectations, leaders on both sides do not believe that things will spin out of control during the days of protest declared by Palestinians. Top PA officials have evinced irony about the wide-scale preparations now undertaken by the IDF in advance of the days of protest, which will begin on Friday.

Vader

False Inauguration: Uganda's U.S.-backed Tyrant Swims Against The Tide

Museveni
© unknownMuseveni--the General in his labyrinth
Uganda's U.S.-backed dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni is walking around naked nowadays and yet his compatriots in the National Resistance Movement (NRM) ruling party don't dare tell him to put on his clothes and negotiate a graceful exit.

Today, barring a miracle, he will be sworn in again for a five-year presidential term.

The smart money says he won't complete this term. Ugandans, previously cowed, have had enough of Gen. Yoweri Museveni's 26-years dictatorship and they've shown that they are willing to risk their lives.

Ordinary Ugandans have taken to the streets in recent weeks, echoing the "peoples" uprisings in North Africa that have swept away long-term U.S. backed despots in Tunisia and Egypt.

Ugandans aren't asking for Western or NATO intervention. They don't want their revolution to be hijacked and contaminated.

Already scores of Ugandans have paid the ultimate cost, with their lives. Shot to death, in the cities of Kampala, Gulu, Masaka and elsewhere by Gen. Museveni's agents. Even two infants were not spared from Museveni's agents who have fired live bullets at unarmed civilians.

Dollar

Bin Laden's Death Won't End Toll on Taxpayers

Osama bin Laden
© EPAOsama bin Laden
Even in death, Osama bin Laden will be taking revenge on American taxpayers for years to come.

The U.S. government spent $2 trillion combating bin Laden over the past decade, more than 20 percent of the nation's $9.68 trillion public debt. That money paid for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as additional military, intelligence and homeland security spending above pre-Sept. 11 trends, according to a Bloomberg analysis.

This year alone, taxpayers are spending more than $45 billion in interest on the money borrowed to battle al-Qaeda, the analysis shows.

The financial bleeding won't stop with bin Laden's demise. One of every four dollars in red ink the U.S. expects to incur in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 will result from $285 billion in annual spending triggered by the terrorist scion of a wealthy Saudi family.

Without bin Laden, "we would have accumulated less debt, be spending less on interest and we would be on a lower spending path going forward," said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a research organization in Washington.

Along with the dollars-and-cents toll, bin Laden has left behind a less quantifiable imprint on American life. Thousands of families have suffered grievous loss from the Sept. 11 attacks and the two wars. U.S. government buildings in Washington and around the world have grown to resemble fortified bunkers. And the line between government power and individual liberty was redrawn as agencies gained new powers to combat a novel threat.

Document

US: House Approves a Bill to Spur Oil Exploration

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© Alex Brandon/Associated PressSenator Robert Menendez at a news conference Wednesday about oil industry legislation.
Maneuvering on oil drilling, gas prices and industry profits intensified on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. House Republicans pushed through a bill to accelerate offshore oil and gas exploration as Democrats vowed action on measures to rescind billions of dollars in tax breaks for major oil and gas companies.

The drilling bill was approved 263 to 163, with 28 Democrats joining unanimous Republicans, after the majority swatted down several Democratic amendments. The bill would force the Interior Department to act within 60 days on all applications for offshore drilling permits. The House then turned to a second Republican-sponsored bill that would open much of the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic shorelines to new oil and gas exploration. A vote on that measure is expected Thursday.

The Obama administration vigorously opposed both measures, but stopped short of threatening to veto them - in part because it is highly unlikely they will win enough votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster.

Meanwhile, House and Senate Democrats continued their push to repeal a variety of tax breaks enjoyed by the oil industry, some of them a century old and others that apply to all companies, not just petroleum concerns.

The Senate version of the bill would peel back $21 billion in such tax incentives over the next decade and devote the savings to deficit reduction. The House version would yield $31 billion in savings over 10 years and use the money for alternative energy programs and deficit reduction. Both bills apply only to the biggest multinational oil companies: Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, Chevron and ConocoPhillips.

Chart Pie

Barack Obama Approval Rating Hits Two-year High

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© Bob Daemmrich/Bob Daemmrich/CorbisBarack Obama's approval ratings have risen since a US mission killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden
Poll after US killing of Osama bin Laden shows 60% of Americans say president deserves to be re-elected

Barack Obama's approval rating has hit its highest point in two years - 60% - with more than half of Americans saying he deserves to be re-elected, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll taken after US forces killed the al-Qaida leader, Osama bin Laden.

In concerning signs for Republicans, the president's standing improved not just on foreign policy but also on the economy, and independent Americans - a key voting bloc in the November 2012 presidential election - caused the overall rise in support by returning to Obama after moving away from him for much of the past two years.

Comfortable majorities of the public now describe Obama as a strong leader who will keep the US safe. Nearly three-quarters - 73% - say they are confident that he can effectively handle terrorist threats.

He also improved his standing on Afghanistan, Iraq and the US's relationships with other countries.

Despite a sluggish recovery from the recession, 52% of Americans approve of Obama's stewardship of the economy, giving him his best rating on that issue since the early days of his presidency.

No Entry

Israel admits it covertly canceled residency status of 140,000 Palestinians

Document obtained by Haaretz reveals that between 1967 and 1994 many Palestinians traveling abroad were stripped of residency status, allegedly without warning.

Israel has used a covert procedure to cancel the residency status of 140,000 West Bank Palestinians between 1967 and 1994, the legal advisor for the Judea and Samaria Justice Ministry's office admits, in a new document obtained by Haaretz. The document was written after the Center for the Defense of the Individual filed a request under the Freedom of Information Law.

The document states that the procedure was used on Palestinian residents of the West Bank who traveled abroad between 1967 and 1994. From the occupation of the West Bank until the signing of the Oslo Accords, Palestinians who wished to travel abroad via Jordan were ordered to leave their ID cards at the Allenby Bridge border crossing.

They exchanged their ID cards for a card allowing them to cross. The card was valid for three years and could be renewed three times, each time adding another year.

If a Palestinian did not return within six months of the card's expiration, thier documents would be sent to the regional census supervisor. Residents who failed to return on time were registered as NLRs - no longer residents. The document makes no mention of any warning or information that the Palestinians received about the process.

MIB

Hillary Blasts China On "Human Rights"

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Now That's Chutzpah!

Is there anything more irritating than listening to US officials blabber about "human rights"?

Here's Hillary Clinton bashing China for their "deplorable" human rights record, and meanwhile Bradley Manning sits naked and freezing in a 6' by 8' cinderblock cell in some far-flung American gulag waiting to get fingernails yanked out.

And that's just for starters. What about Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram and the myriad other dungeons, concentration camps and black sites the US has scattered across the planet. The United States is the biggest human rights abuser in the world today. Clinton's in no position to be giving other people lectures.

MIB

China: The New Bin Laden

big brother
© assault.it

George Orwell, the pen name by which Eric Blair is known, had the gift of prophecy, or else blind luck. In 1949 in his novel, 1984, he described the Amerika of today and, I fear, also his native Great Britain, which is no longer great and follows Washington, licking the jackboot and submitting to Washington's hegemony over England and Europe and exhausting itself financially and morally in order to support Amerikan hegemony over the rest of the world.

In Orwell's prophecy, Big Brother's government rules over unquestioning people, incapable of independent thought, who are constantly spied upon. In 1949 there was no Internet, Facebook, twitter, GPS, etc. Big Brother's spying was done through cameras and microphones in public areas, as in England today, and through television equipped with surveillance devices in homes. As everyone thought what the government intended for them to think, it was easy to identify the few who had suspicions.


Fear and war were used to keep everyone in line, but not even Orwell anticipated Homeland Security feeling up the genitals of air travelers and shopping center customers. Every day in people's lives, there came over the TV the Two Minutes of Hate. An image of Emmanuel Goldstein, a propaganda creation of the Ministry of Truth, who is designated as Oceania's Number One Enemy, appeared on the screen. Goldstein was the non-existent "enemy of the state" whose non-existent organization, "The Brotherhood," was Oceania's terrorist enemy. The Goldstein Threat justified the "Homeland Security" that violated all known Rights of Englishmen and kept Oceania's subjects "safe."

Family

Bin Laden family condemns killing, while wife says one son escaped

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© The Associated Press / Nasser NasserOmar bin Laden, right, and his British-born wife Jane Felix-Brown, now known as Zaina Alsabah, during a 2008 interview with The Associated Press in Cairo, Egypt.
Osama bin Laden's family is taking center stage in the fallout over his death.

Yesterday, the al Qaeda leader's sons denounced what they called their father's "arbitrary killing." Meanwhile, Pakistani officials believe one of bin Laden's sons--perhaps one known as "the Crown Prince of Terror"--may be missing after escaping from the U.S. raid.

In a statement, bin Laden's sons questioned why their father "was not arrested and tried in a court of law so that the truth is revealed to the people of the world." It is not known how many of bin Laden's numerous sons (there are believed to be as many as 17) endorsed the statement.

"We maintain that arbitrary killing is not a solution to political problems," the statement continued, adding that "justice must be seen to be done."

President Obama has rejected suggestions that the killing was improper, telling 60 Minutes that anyone who questioned whether bin Laden deserved his fate "needs to have their head examined."