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Sat, 28 Jan 2023
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Bomb

Eisenhower's worst fears came true. We invent enemies to buy the bombs

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© Joe Magee: Guardian
Britain faces no serious threat, yet keeps waging war. While big defence exists, glory-hungry politicians will use it

Why do we still go to war? We seem unable to stop. We find any excuse for this post-imperial fidget and yet we keep getting trapped. Germans do not do it, or Spanish or Swedes. Britain's borders and British people have not been under serious threat for a generation. Yet time and again our leaders crave battle. Why?

Last week we got a glimpse of an answer and it was not nice. The outgoing US defence secretary, Robert Gates, berated Europe's "failure of political will" in not maintaining defence spending. He said Nato had declined into a "two-tier alliance" between those willing to wage war and those "who specialise in 'soft' humanitarian, development, peacekeeping and talking tasks". Peace, he implied, is for wimps. Real men buy bombs, and drop them.

Bad Guys

When the mask of sanity becomes obsolete: Netanyahu is dooming Israel to live eternally by the sword, but that's just how psychopaths roll

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© Unknown
Benjamin Netanyahu
By declaring the conflict insoluble, Netanyahu is leaving no opening for reconciliation and understanding with the Palestinians and the Arab and Muslim world.

Author Etgar Keret, on assignment from Haaretz, accompanied the prime minister on his trip to Italy this week and reported on Benjamin Netanyahu's perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"This is an insoluble conflict because it is not about territory," Netanyahu said. "It is not that you can give up a kilometer more and solve it. The root of the conflict is in an entirely different place. Until Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, there will be no way to reach an agreement."

On Wednesday, Netanyahu reiterated this position in the Knesset. "The reason for the conflict, and for its continuation, is the refusal to recognize the Jewish people's nation-state in any borders," he said.

Comment: But that's exactly what Netanyahu wants, and having negotiations or compromising with the Palestinians was never part of the plan. Why waste energy on mock negotiations, when the goal is to stage a major confrontation that will result in total annihilation of "these pesky and filthy Arabs". At least, that's the idea. There were times, perhaps, when smiling to the camera or shaking hands could gain a move or two on a psychopathic chess board, but these times are gone, and Netanyahu has a bloody schedule to meet.

The mask of sanity is slipping. The truth is, it could never hide Netanyahu's real nature, but even now, his motivations are completely lost on most of Israelis. When psychopaths are in charge and their control and "ideology" becomes overt, it forces a confrontation with one's essence and how you respond says a lot about you. And what does it say about Israeli society and its own mask of sanity, when Israelis are willing to revolt against the rising prices of cottage cheese but turn their eyes away when rightful owners of Palestine endure daily torture and humiliation?


Bad Guys

40th Anniversary of the War on Drugs

SWAT Team
© Unknown
SWAT team in action.
On June 17, 1971 President Richard Nixon declared the War On (Some) Drugs. Now, I've repeatedly pointed out some of the side effects -- the militarization of our police forces, the enrichment of drug gangs in other countries, the disenfranchisement of large swathes of minority America either through placing them in jail or through removing their right to vote after they get out of jail, and so forth. I've also pointed out that the War on (Some) Drugs has not ended drug abuse, indeed, there's as much drug abuse as ever. But let's get to the bottom line: Is the War on Drugs a success?

Now, you might wonder why I'm asking that question. Well, that's probably because you're one of the suckers who believes that the War on Drugs is -- or ever has been -- about drugs. But of course it isn't. It's never been about drugs. When Nixon declared the War on Drugs, he wasn't actually declaring war on drugs. He didn't give a s*** how much pot people smoked or how much acid they dropped. He was a lizard person, remember. Lizard people don't view humans as people. They view humans as prey. Nixon could no more have cared about the horrors of drug abuse than a newt could care about the feelings of the fly he just snagged with his tongue and is in the process of eating. As a sociopath, he simply was biologically incapable of feeling anything for human beings.

Comment: To that list of three we could add that, in foreign policy, the War on Drugs has given the U.S. military cover for covert wars in countries like Mexico and Colombia.


Footprints

Propaganda Alert - US: We'll hunt down new al-Qaida boss

Ayman Al-Zawahri succeeds Osama bin Laden as al-Qaida leader
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© Reuters
Ayman al-Zawahri is seen in a still image taken from video uploaded on a social media website on June 8. The U.S. is offering a $25 million reward for any information leading to his capture or conviction.
Washington - The United States is just as determined to hunt down and kill al-Qaida's new chief as it did his predecessor, Osama bin Laden, Obama administration officials said on Thursday.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Ayman al-Zawahri, al-Qaida's longtime second-in-command and now its top leader, does not have the "peculiar charisma" and operational experience of bin Laden, who was killed by U.S. forces last month.

But Gates and other U.S. officials said al-Qaida remains a threat despite its loss of bin Laden, who was considered the driving force behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

"We should be mindful that ... al-Qaida seeks to perpetuate itself, seeks to find replacements to those that have been killed and remains committed to the agenda that bin Laden put before them," Gates told reporters.

"So I think he's (Zawahri's) got some challenges but I think it's a reminder that they are still out there and we still need to keep after them," he said.

Comment: For the lowdown on these ongoing lies try the following links:

Exclusive: Osama bin Laden's Nose and Left Ear

New Sott Report: US Government Psy-Ops - The 'Killing' of Osama Bin Laden


Attention

US:University of Michigan Professor Calls for Investigation into CIA, Bush White House for illegally Spying on Him

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© Detroit Free Press
Juan Cole, professor at the University of Michigan.
A professor at the University of Michigan said today "it was criminal" that the White House, under President George W. Bush, reportedly asked the CIA at least twice to dig up negative information about his personal life in order to discredit his views on the Iraq war.

And he called upon Congress to launch an investigation into what he said was illegal spying on an American citizen.

"The Bush White House request that the CIA spy on me to discredit me clearly violated the American constitution, U.S. law, the CIA charter, and my civil and human rights," U-M professor Juan Cole told the Free Press. "It was criminal."

Under pressure from the White House, a CIA official asked his staff to spy on Cole, a noted history professor from Ann Arbor who writes a popular blog about the Middle East called Informed Comment, according to story in the New York Times. In 2005, a CIA supervisor, David Low, spoke with a colleague after returning from a White House meeting.

"The White House wants to get him," Low said after that meeting to Glenn Carle, a former CIA officer who was a counterterrorism official, the New York Times reported.

"'What do you think we might know about him, or could find out that could discredit him?" Low added, according to Carle. "Does he drink? What are his views? Is he married?"

At one point, a memo on Cole was written that included "inappropriate, derogatory remarks" about Cole's lifestyle, Carle said in the New York Times story.

Nuke

Fukushima and the Nuclear Establishment

nuclear power plant
© n/a
The Big Lies Fly High

The global nuclear industry and its allies in government are making a desperate effort to cover up the consequences of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. "The big lie flies high," comments Kevin Kamps of the organization Beyond Nuclear.

Not only is this nuclear establishment seeking to make it look like the Fukushima catastrophe has not happened - going so far as to claim that there will be "no health effects" as a result of it - but it is moving forward on a "nuclear renaissance," its scheme to build more nuclear plants.

Indeed, next week in Washington, a two-day "Special Summit on New Nuclear Energy" will be held involving major manufacturers of nuclear power plants - including General Electric, the manufacturer of the Fukushima plants - and U.S. government officials.

Although since Fukushima, Germany, Switzerland and Italy and other nations have turned away from nuclear power for a commitment instead to safe, clean, renewable energy such as solar and wind, the Obama administration is continuing its insistence on nuclear power.

Alarm Clock

Weiner Roast

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© Unknown
The Politics of Narcissism

In a year, will you remember, let alone care about, the Weiner roast? Unless something truly scandalous is further revealed (and you never know with politicians trying to hide something), New York Congressman Anthony Weiner will be campaigning for reelection.

In 2012, the incumbent will likely be glad-handing his constituency at a neighborhood supermarket or school. Each voter will pat the congressman on the back, ask discreetly, "How could you have done it?," and Weiner will shrug his shoulders in bewilderment, a chastened pol. His moment in the sex-scandal spotlight finally over.

After weeks of outright lying, stonewalling and dimwitted obfuscation, the good congressman finally coped to his illicit Twitter exchanges and more. He admitted that, over the past few years, he sent a series of "compromising" e-mails and photos to women he met online. He insists that he never had a sexual liaison with any of the women; none of them have contradicted his claim. He seems to have gotten off on risqué flirting.

And after weeks of media hounding, the congressman finally opted for the classic sinner's safety net. He's entered a rehab program to deal with his "addiction." In all likelihood, his two-week breather from the media spotlight will be sufficient for his sad story to be replaced by yet another media distraction, whether scandal, natural disaster or crime report.

(It remains to be seen whether Mrs. Weiner will follow in the well-worn footsteps of her mentor, Hillary Clinton, and stick with her man or join the late-Elizabeth Edwards or former SC Governor Mark Sanford's wife, Jenny Sanford, and say enough is enough.)

Comment: To learn more about psychopathy, see these Sott links:

What "Psychopath" Means; It is not quite what you may think

Psychopaths Among Us


Dollar

Libya all about oil, or central banking?

Several writers have noted the odd fact that the Libyan rebels took time out from their rebellion in March to create their own central bank - this before they even had a government. Robert Wenzel wrote in the Economic Policy Journal:
I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising. This suggests we have a bit more than a rag tag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences.
Alex Newman wrote in the New American:
In a statement released last week, the rebels reported on the results of a meeting held on March 19. Among other things, the supposed rag-tag revolutionaries announced the "[d]esignation of the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and appointment of a Governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi."
Newman quoted CNBC senior editor John Carney, who asked, "Is this the first time a revolutionary group has created a central bank while it is still in the midst of fighting the entrenched political power? It certainly seems to indicate how extraordinarily powerful central bankers have become in our era."
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An unofficial Libyan 'rebel' quote: "Well, we figured the rest of the world is having so much fun being shafted by banksters that our new Libya should join them too!"

House

US Housing Crisis Is Now Worse Than Great Depression

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© Getty Images
It's official: The housing crisis that began in 2006 and has recently entered a double dip is now worse than the Great Depression.

Prices have fallen some 33 percent since the market began its collapse, greater than the 31 percent fall that began in the late 1920s and culminated in the early 1930s, according to Case-Shiller data.

The news comes as the Federal Reserve considers whether the economy has regained enough strength to stand on its own and as unemployment remains at a still-elevated 9.1 percent, throwing into question whether the recovery is real.

"The sharp fall in house prices in the first quarter provided further confirmation that this housing crash has been larger and faster than the one during the Great Depression," Paul Dales, senior economist at Capital Economics in Toronto, wrote in research for clients.

Bad Guys

Canada Will Extend Formal Recognition to Libyan Rebels as MPs Vote to Extend Mission 294-1

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© The Canadian Press / Sean Kilpatrick
Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird delivers a speech during the debate on the mission in Libya in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 14, 2011.
Parliament has formally extended Canada's military mission in Libya to the end of September as Ottawa endorsed the country's rebels as the true representatives of its people.

By an overwhelming 294-1 margin, MPs approved the extension Tuesday evening after an exhaustive day-long debate on Canada's involvement in the NATO-led, United Nations-sanctioned mission to protect civilians from dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird's kicked off the debate by announcing a significant policy shift - recognizing the National Transitional Council of Libya, the key rebel organization fighting Gadhafi. He also announced additional aid funds to assist victims of sexual violence.

After the vote, Baird told reporters that he planned to meet soon with a Canadian-based member of the council. He moved to dispel any apprehension about the council, saying it represents "the best hope" for the future of the Libyan people.

"Whatever happens, they couldn't be any worse than Col. Gadhafi," said Baird.

Canada joins France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in formally recognizing the council.

In March, the House of Commons unanimously approved a three-month commitment of seven fighter jets, a warship, patrol planes and aerial tankers to help enforce a no-fly zone and arm's embargo on Libya.