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Propaganda Alert! "Militants" attack major Pakistan air base; nine killed

© Reuters/Mian Khursheed
Paramilitary soldiers guard near the main entrance of the Minhas in the town of Kamra in Punjab province on August 16, 2012.
Kamra - Islamist militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons fought their way into one of Pakistan's largest air bases on Thursday, the air force said, in a brazen challenge to the nuclear-armed country's powerful military.

The attack was repelled and only one aircraft was damaged, said an air force spokesman, adding that the Minhas air base at Kamra, in central Punjab province, did not house nuclear weapons.

"No air base is a nuclear air base in Pakistan," he said.

The gunbattle raged for hours, and eight militants and one soldier were killed, the spokesman said. Commandos were called in to reinforce and police armored personnel carriers could be seen heading into the base.

Pakistan's Taliban movement, which is close to al Qaeda and seen as the biggest security threat to the South Asian nation, claimed responsibility for the assault.

"We are proud of this operation. Our leadership had decided to attack Kamra base a long time ago," Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said by telephone from an undisclosed location.

The militants moved through a nearby village under cover of darkness and climbed a nine foot (2.7 meter) wall strung with barbed wire to break into the base, the air force spokesman said. Some were wearing military uniforms.

Comment: To learn about the origins of "suicide bombings", read this:

The British Empire - A Lesson In State Terrorism

Light Sabers

U.K. Threatens to Storm Ecuador Embassy to Arrest Julian Assange

Julian Assange
The diplomatic standoff over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange escalated on Wednesday after Britain threatened to raid Ecuador's embassy in London if Quito did not hand over Assange, who has been taking refuge there for two months.

The Ecuadorean government said such an action would be considered a "hostile and intolerable act" as well as a violation of its sovereignty.

"Under British law we can give them a week's notice before entering the premises and the embassy will no longer have diplomatic protection," a Foreign Office spokesman said.

"But that decision has not yet been taken. We are not going to do this overnight. We want to stress that we want a diplomatically agreeable solution."

Quito bristled at the threat and said it would announce its decision on Assange's asylum request on Thursday at 7 a.m.

"We want to be very clear, we're not a British colony. The colonial times are over," Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said in an angry statement after a meeting with President Rafael Correa.

Bad Guys

The sham "terrorism expert" industry

© Reuters/Lucas Jackson
A highly ideological, jingoistic clique masquerades as objective scholars, all to justify US militarism

Shortly prior to the start of the London Olympics, there was an outburst of hysteria over the failure to provide sufficient security against Terrorism, but as Harvard Professor Stephen Walt noted yesterday in Foreign Policy, this was all driven, as usual, by severe exaggerations of the threat: "Well, surprise, surprise. Not only was there no terrorist attack, the Games themselves came off rather well." Walt then urges this lesson be learned:
[W]e continue to over-react to the "terrorist threat." Here I recommend you read John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart's The Terrorism Delusion: America's Overwrought Response to September 11, in the latest issue of International Security. Mueller and Stewart analyze 50 cases of supposed "Islamic terrorist plots" against the United States, and show how virtually all of the perpetrators were (in their words) "incompetent, ineffective, unintelligent, idiotic, ignorant, unorganized, misguided, muddled, amateurish, dopey, unrealistic, moronic, irrational and foolish." They quote former Glenn Carle, former deputy national intelligence officer for transnational threats saying "we must see jihadists for the small, lethal, disjointed and miserable opponents that they are," noting further that al Qaeda's "capabilities are far inferior to its desires."
In the next paragraph, Walt essentially makes clear why this lesson will not be learned: namely, because there are too many American interests vested in the perpetuation of this irrational fear:
Mueller and Stewart estimate that expenditures on domestic homeland security (i.e., not counting the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan) have increased by more than $1 trillion since 9/11, even though the annual risk of dying in a domestic terrorist attack is about 1 in 3.5 million. Using conservative assumptions and conventional risk-assessment methodology, they estimate that for these expenditures to be cost-effective "they would have had to deter, prevent, foil or protect against 333 very large attacks that would otherwise have been successful every year." Finally, they worry that this exaggerated sense of danger has now been "internalized": even when politicians and "terrorism experts" aren't hyping the danger, the public still sees the threat as large and imminent. As they conclude:
... Americans seems to have internalized their anxiety about terrorism, and politicians and policymakers have come to believe that they can defy it only at their own peril. Concern about appearing to be soft on terrorism has replaced concern about seeming to be soft on communism, a phenomenon that lasted far longer than the dramatic that generated it ... This extraordinarily exaggerated and essentially delusional response may prove to be perpetual."
Which is another way of saying that you should be prepared to keep standing in those pleasant and efficient TSA lines for the rest of your life, and to keep paying for far-flung foreign interventions designed to "root out" those nasty jihadis.
Many of the benefits from keeping Terrorism fear levels high are obvious. Private corporations suck up massive amounts of Homeland Security cash as long as that fear persists, while government officials in the National Security and Surveillance State can claim unlimited powers, and operate with unlimited secrecy and no accountability. In sum, the private and public entities that shape government policy and drive political discourse profit far too much in numerous ways to allow rational considerations of the Terror threat.


US air force to test aircraft that could fly across country in under an hour

The US air force will test an experimental aircraft on Tuesday designed to fly at six times the speed of sound, or about 4,600mph.

The X-51A Waverider will be dropped from a B-52 bomber at around 50,000ft over the Pacific Ocean before attempting to achieve speeds that would see it fly from New York to Los Angeles in 46 minutes.

It is the third test of the hypersonic aircraft in the last two years. The earlier incarnations failed to fly for the 300 seconds that engineers hope the X-51A will be able to sustain, leading to tweaks to the craft's engine ahead of Tuesday's launch.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the X-51A, which is unmanned, is expected to reach Mach 6 when it takes flight off the Southern California coast near Point Mugu. The aim of flying for five minutes is longer than the aircraft's personal best, which came in 2010 when it flew for more than three minutes.

Comment: Don't be fooled by the title of this article. Notice this:
"the most likely potential use for the craft is as a missile capable of hitting targets thousands of miles away in an extremely short space of time."
Helping the people of this planet is not on US corporation's or the US military's agenda. Finding ways to more effectively kill the people of this planet, is.


BP selling Gulf of Mexico oilfields for $7.9 Billion

BP PLC is asking for up to $7.9 billion for some of its oilfields in the Gulf of Mexico as it continues to sell assets after the 2010 oil spill, according to Bloomberg News.

According to the report Tuesday, which cited two people with knowledge of the matter, BP could clear up to $5 billion to $6 billion after the buyer pays taxes.

BP declined to comment on financial terms of a sale but said that it intends to remain the largest oil and natural gas producer in the Gulf.

"No one should confuse our effort to sell these older, non-strategic assets, which we announced months ago, with our ongoing commitment to the Gulf of Mexico," said spokesman Brett Clanton. He said BP still plans to invest at least $4 billion per year over the next decade in the Gulf.

The company has six rigs in the Gulf now and plans to have eight by the end of the year, an all-time high.

Shares of BP rose 18 cents to $42.27 in afternoon trading.


TNK-BP Russian Joint Venture with British Petroleum may be Facing Involuntary Exit

© Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters
A police officer walks past a plaque of the oil firm TNK-BP at its headquarters in Moscow.
In the opaque world of Vladimir Putin's Russia, business and politics are invariably linked. Especially when the business in question is Russian oil and gas, the source of modern Moscow's global influence and geopolitical might.

It's possible, of course, to read the announcement that BP may sell its 50% stake in its Russian joint venture TNK-BP as a purely corporate decision. BP has, after all, been at war with its powerful oligarch partners for more than five years.

The battle has been long, acrimonious and at times surreal. TNK-BP's chief executive, Bob Dudley, was hounded out of Russia in 2008 after his visa wasn't renewed; Moscow police raided BP's offices; Mikhail Fridman, the smooth frontman for BP's Russian partners, accused BP of spreading "Goebbels-like propaganda". "It was impossible to know what was going on. Or why," one former employee said of the bloody period.

And yet sources say a Russian state oil and gas group is about to buy out BP. The group's identity is unknown but it is most likely to be Gazprom or Rosneft. Both are powerful, state-owned behemoths. It is inconceivable their "unsolicited" approach for BP's share could take place without approval at the top of the Kremlin - the very top.

Bad Guys

White House Covered-Up Extent of BP Oil Spill in the Gulf

During the height of the BP oil spill Americans were pumped full of propaganda from the corporate controlled mouth pieces of both the media and the White House.

It has now been admitted through a series of emails that the White House and BP settled on figurative numbers (a placeholder) of only 5000 barrels per day emptied into the gulf as part of a massive cover-up.

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident killed 11 and released a minimum of 4.9 million barrels of oil and over 2 million gallons of toxic dispersant into the gulf before it was capped.

Star of David

Israel ready for 30-day war after Iran strike

Israel is prepared for a 30-day war on multiple fronts should it decide to strike Iran, and is "ready as never before" for such a clash, the outgoing home front defence minister said Wednesday.

In an interview with the Maariv newspaper, Matan Vilnai said Israel was ready to face the consequences of a clash with Iran that could be sparked if the Jewish state decides to launch a strike against Tehran's nuclear programme.

But he warned that any military engagement should be weighed carefully, and cautioned that Israel should "always coordinate" with the United States.

"The assessments are for a war that will last 30 days on a number of fronts," he said, repeating the predictions of other senior Israeli officials that the Jewish state would suffer around 500 deaths in such a clash.


Fox News Reports that The US Government is Supporting 'al-Qaeda'

Ben Swann of Fox News' 'Reality Check' does a very good job of explaining the reality of the US relationship with 'al-Qaeda'.

Your eyes are not deceiving you, this really is Fox News, or at least a segment of the Fox 'Entertainment Group' corporation, exposing one of the greatest lies ever to be told to the world.

Chart Pie

Paul Ryan's Economic Policies - Tax Cuts for Wealthy, Spending Cuts for Everyone Else

Game changer" is a fitting description of Mitt Romney's selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate. Saturday's announcement has been widely hailed as a bold political choice that's reinvigorated Romney's campaign and shown him to be an effective executive who shrewdly oversaw the decision and kept the process a secret - no small feat in the era of the 24/7 news cycle.

But good politics does not necessarily make for good policy. While Rep. Ryan gets credit for proposing solutions to the federal budget deficit - rather than just criticizing President Obama's handling of the nation's finances - he's offering the wrong prescription for what ails America, according to Mark Dow, a former policy economist at the IMF and Treasury Department and author of the Behavioral Macro blog.

"Just because rich guys will believe any economic theory that ends up in a tax cut doesn't make it the right policy for the time - even if it will get you their vote," he quips.

In a nutshell, Dow says supply-side economics - the basis of Ryan's budget proposals - will not work in today's economy.