In my links of the day I try to find the links under the wire, articles all the top blogs miss. I'm not afraid to go to Al Jazeera, Kurd Media or to the Pakistan student movement page to bring the real daily news to you.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Links of the Day 3/10/2008 Bush Begs China for 2 TRILLION bucks!




President Bush went begging China’s Hu for cash last week after auctioning off 30 billion dollars to banks. Bush is desperate to keep republicans failed economy afloat ahead of the November election. He’s hoping American’s will blame the democrats for the collapsing dollar and the next great republican depression that’s coming very soon.

A few weeks ago we learned that Bush made a deal allowing Canadian forces on American soil and today we learn the Brits are here.

I happen to know a couple of years ago Kosovo had forces in Alabama in the Huntsville area doing maneuvers. These foreign militaries fly in and out of the USA all the time using military bases, out of the eye of the public and media.

Is Bush preparing for a day when American’s have had enough and finally take to the streets like they do in France and Pakistan? Or will American’s cower in their homes and allow the take over?

And what the hell is Neil Bush doing flying into Paraquay on the dime of the Reverend Moon, and meeting with President Duarte?

It’s also true the House did pass a bill HR 5 whereas few as 12 congress people need only be present to declare war on another country. From the embedded link I read this: Rep. Brian Baird, (D-Wash.) agrees, arguing that the rule change violates the Constitution, which specifically states: “a majority of each Chamber shall constitute a quorum to do business.”

“Allowing for as few as 12 lawmakers to make vital decisions and to possibly declare war on another nation is not what this country is all about.”

I also gather from this HR 5 as few as 12 could declare a state of emergency or MARTIAL LAW for the whole country and stop elections, allow Canadian forces onto American soil and do whatever the hell else they want! 12 people in charge of the whole country. Kind of gives the passage “Good night and Good luck” a whole new meaning doesn’t it?

The following article has links to prove everything it states, I suggest you click on the blue passages underlined.

March 8, 2008

US Prepares For ‘Doomsday’ Rule As British Forces Arrive In America

Russian Military Analysts are reporting in the Kremlin today that China’s President Hu has refused the United States request for over $2 Trillion in emergency assistance to bolster the collapsing American Dollar, and asked for in a personal meeting with the former US President Bush, the father of the current President Bush.

Of the worst fears of the American Bush-Clinton Monarchy, which has ruled the US these past 20 years, these reports state, is the collapse of their privately owned hedge fund called the Carlyle Capital Fund and which is owned by their secretive war profiteering International behemoth Carlyle Group led by the Bush Family, Former British Prime Ministers, and others of the West’s ruling elite, and as we can read as reported by Britain’s Independent News Service:

"A fund managed by the US private equity giant Carlyle Group has become the latest to be hit by demands from lending banks making calls on loans secured on mortgage bonds.

Carlyle Capital Corp, a publicly traded fund that holds $21.7bn (£10.8bn) of securities, said it had received a default notice from one of its lending banks and expected at least one more after it failed to meet demands for extra security from jittery counterparties.

The Guernsey-based fund has struggled to meet more than $60m of margin calls and demands for extra collateral since the start of the month. It met the calls until Wednesday, when it was landed with more than $37m of demands and missed four out of seven calls."

To the greatest concerns, however, of Russian Military Commanders are the reports of President Bush’s younger brother Neil’s ‘sudden’ visit to the South American Nation of Paraguay as a guest of the secretive South Korean backer of the Bush-Clinton Monarchy, and self-proclaimed "messiah" Reverend Sun Myung Moon, and as we can read as reported by the Associated Press News Service:

"Neil Bush, younger brother of U.S. President George W. Bush, called on Paraguay's president as the guest of a business federation founded by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

A presidential press office source, who spoke on condition of not being named, confirmed the younger Bush met President Nicanor Duarte on Thursday along with a delegation from the Universal Peace Federation, a group associated with Moon."

[It is important to note that the Bush Family has reportedly already made plans to relocate from the United States to Paraguay, and as we had reported on in our October 15, 2006 report titled "US President Bush Makes Massive Land Purchase In Paraguay Ahead Of Expected War Crimes Charges", but denied by the US State Department, as that South American Nation has long been a refuge for Nazi War Criminals and their Western backers, of which the Bush Family were one of.]

The timing of this Bush Family-Moon visit to Paraguay during that Nation’s horrific outbreak of yellow fever, and which has caused its President to declare a ‘State of Emergency’, meant, these reports say, that ‘normal’ abilities of [deleted] to track the whereabouts of these subjects was severely hampered due to the many restrictions placed upon the free movement of people within the country.

This has led Russian Commanders to believe that the Bush-Clinton Monarchy may be preparing for what the Americans themselves have titled a ‘Doomsday’ scenario under new laws passed in the US in 2005 and which has been described as:

"No longer do Capitol Hill legislators need a quorum to do the people’s business. Now under a piece of hotly contested legislation passed without media attention on Jan. 5,[2005] only a few members of Congress are needed to do official business in the event of a catastrophe instead of the usual 218. Critics claim H. Res. 5 paves the way for tyranny, allowing “only a few to decide for so many.”

As we had previously reported on in our February 24, 2008 report titled "Canadian Troops To Patrol US Cities As Food Riots Feared", and where Russian Military Analysts had voiced their fears of the agreement signed by the Americans and Canada to allow their troops on each others soil, these new reports detail an even darker picture that details that British, and not American, Officers are currently being trained to ‘control’ US citizens, and as we can read as reported by the LJWorld News Service in their report titled "Brits overrun town for training exercise", and which says:

"Thursday may have seemed like any other day for most in Leavenworth, but for about 180 British officers, an enemy was on the loose threatening civilians. Tactical forces were moved in, and soldiers took their positions outside schools and churches preparing to isolate the terrorist activity. While it may have been a fictional enemy in theory, for visiting officers with the United Kingdom’s Intermediate Command and Staff Course who were roaming the streets of Leavenworth, the tactical solutions they used to end the threats were real."

In previous reports we had detailed how the US Military had begun asking their soldiers if they would fire on American citizens and which has led to their War Leaders request to have Canadian and British Military Forces take command in putting down the expected rebellions in the United States as they are more likely to have no problems killing those not of their own nationality.

Facing the American people now is the very real coming destruction of their Nation, and which their leaders have planned both for the success, and failure of, no matter the cost in human lives.

But, in viewing from outside this destruction of the United States, it remains unsettling how few of these people realize the great danger they are in. It is as if they believe that by their not knowing the truth of the monsters who are leading them they themselves will somehow be protected.

And, as their once World-valued currency plummets into worthlessness, as tens of thousands of them begin to lose their jobs, as the price they pay for fuel and food continues skyrocketing, as they continue to be forced out of their homes by the millions, as many millions more of them have watched the value of their homes crumble into dust, virtually none of them are preparing for the catastrophes to come.

One cannot help but believe that these peoples are all insane.

http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index1076.htm




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After that last article it kind of makes continuing on rather useless doesn’t it?

MSNBC gives bow tie boy Tucker Carlson the ax. About damn time too.

Could this be the reason Rachael Maddow has been letting her hair grow out so she would be more acceptable to viewers? The Rachael Maddow Show. Fox News will have a hay day with that one being Rachael is openly gay.

Sunday Mar 09, 2008

Tucker Canceled; Other Programming Changes Ahead

Insiders tell TVNewser Tucker Carlson's 6pmET show Tucker is getting the axe, but Carlson stays on as a political contributor to all MSNBC shows at least through the 2008 election. The official announcement, expected tomorrow, will include details about who will replace Tucker at 6pmET as well as other political programming additions. Sources say the network is going to beef up its schedule with more NBC News talent.

In recent days, Jossip, as well as other blogs, ratcheted up the talk that Tucker would be replaced "for a new project." In its 33-month run, Carlson's show has had two names, four time slots and multiple formats. At 6pmET, it builds on its Harbdall lead-in on some days, but loses audience on others.

Carlson is expected to host the show through next week, with his new role and title to take effect March 17. We're told he'll also be reporting from the campaign trail.

After the jump, the Tucker Carlson time warp...

Carlson first came to MSNBC in June, 2005 as host of The Situation With Tucker Carlson at 9pmET. That show originated from MSNBC's New Jersey headquarters. In August 2005, the show was moved to 11pmET. In July 2006, the show was renamed "Tucker" and moved to 4pmET (with a repeat airing at 6pmET). In July 2007 the 4pmET hour was scrapped and it aired live at 6pmET only.

http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/msnbc/tucker_canceled_other_programming_changes_ahead_79352.asp



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Normally I would pass this sort of story by but read the words to the song Bush was singing. Makes me believe Bush has been Cheney’s puppet all along.

Bush yearns for Texas in rare singing performance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush donned a cowboy hat and sang an early goodbye to Washington on Saturday night with a performance that lampooned White House journalists and Vice President Dick Cheney among others.

Bush surprised cabinet secretaries, diplomatic officials and journalists at the annual Gridiron dinner by taking the stage and giving the first public singing performance of his eight-year presidency, which ends in January 2009.

To the tune of country song "Green Green Grass of Home," Bush sang of longing for his ranch in Crawford, Texas and his dog Barney.

"And there to meet me is my mama and my papa, down the lane I look and here comes Barney, heart of gold and breath like honey; it's good to touch the brown brown grass of home."

Bush, singing only slightly off key, then turned to some of the long-term members of his team including Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"For there's Condi and Dick, my old compadre, talking to me about some oil rich Saudi, but soon I'll touch the brown brown grass of home."

"That old White house is behind me, I am once again carefree, don't have to worry 'bout a crisis in Pyongyang. Down the lane I look, Dick Cheney is strolling with documents he'd been withholding, it's good to touch the brown brown grass of home."

Bush told the audience, which erupted in applause and gave him a standing ovation, that they had witnessed "the first and final performance of George Bush and the Busharoos."

The Gridiron Club holds an annual dinner at which journalists put on songs and skits lampooning Democrats and Republicans alike.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; editing by Stuart Grudgings)

http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN0835773920080309



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Black Flag Week continues in Pakistan amidst meeting that says the sacked judges will be reinstated.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Musharraf meets aides after opposition coalition pact

ISLAMABAD, March 10 (AFP): President Musharraf was meeting key aides Monday after Pakistan's main opposition parties agreed to form a coalition and reinstate the judges he sacked last year, officials said. Government officials said Musharraf was 'meeting legal aides' at his office in Rawalpindi but did not give details on what was being discussed. Private television channels said it was a 'strategy meeting' including legal and constitutional advisers.

http://pakistanmartiallaw.blogspot.com/




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Did anyone see this on the MSM? This is not a good sign. And why do have to read this in a foreign paper?

Once again I urge you to stock up on food and non food stuff and don’t forget the pet food. It wouldn’t hurt to buy gallon jugs of water either. But you can forget buying the duct tape and rolls of plastic.

Carlyle hedge fund default sends shiver through credit markets

By Sean Farrell, Financial Editor
Friday, 7 March 2008

A fund managed by the US private equity giant Carlyle Group has become the latest to be hit by demands from lending banks making calls on loans secured on mortgage bonds.

Carlyle Capital Corp, a publicly traded fund that holds $21.7bn (£10.8bn) of securities, said it had received a default notice from one of its lending banks and expected at least one more after it failed to meet demands for extra security from jittery counterparties.

The Guernsey-based fund has struggled to meet more than $60m of margin calls and demands for extra collateral since the start of the month. It met the calls until Wednesday, when it was landed with more than $37m of demands and missed four out of seven calls.

John Stomber, the chief executive of Carlyle Capital, said counterparties were demanding margin prices that did not represent the underlying recoverable value of the fund's assets. Carlyle Capital's investments are all AAA-rated securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the US-Government-sponsored mortgage finance agencies.

"This disconnect has created instability and variability in our repo financing arrangements," he added. "Management is actively working with the company's repo counterparties to develop more stable financing terms."

The return demanded for agency mortgage bonds over 10-year US Treasuries has widened to the highest for 22 years, according to Bloomberg.

Tumult in the credit markets as asset values of all but the safest of debt plummet is prompting lenders to investment funds to demand ever-greater security for their loans, forcing funds into crisis even if they claim the underlying assets are sound. Carlyle Capital's woes come after Peloton, a London-based hedge fund, was forced to liquidate its two funds and shut down because 14 lending banks had pulled credit lines.

William O'Donnell, a UBS government bond strategist, said markets were "utterly unhinged".

Margin calls also hit Thornburg Mortgage, a US lender, whose shares plunged yesterday after its failure to meet a call triggered defaults under other loan agreements. JPMorgan made the $28m call on a $320m loan to Thornburg, which has run short of cash at least twice since late August.

The Carlyle fund raised about $300m by selling shares in July and then used loans to buy the $21.7bn of securities. Carlyle Capital said it had sold almost $1bn of non-residential mortgage-backed assets to improve liquidity and reduce leverage since the credit crunch started in August. Carlyle Group has provided a $150m credit line to the fund, which is the limit of its exposure. Carlyle Capital reassured investors as recently as Monday that it had $2.4bn of undrawn credit lines.

Carlyle Group listed the fund on the Amsterdam Euronext exchange in July when the US sub-prime mortgage crisis was already gripping the market. It had to trim the IPO from a planned $400m and reduce the price of the shares.

Carlyle Group has more than $75bn under management In the 1990s, its advisers included John Major, the former prime minister, and George Bush, the former US president.

Interesting?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/carlyle-hedge-fund-default-sends-shiver-through-credit-markets-792825.html



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BP and Spice to break up German refinery and move it to Calcutta

By Richard Orange in Mumbai
Sunday, 9 March 2008

BP has entered talks with Spice Energy, the group of Indian investors behind a $1bn (£500m) plan to dismantle a refinery in Germany, pack it into containers and ship it to a site near the Indian city of Calcutta.

The talks show that BP has not abandoned its plans to build a position in India's refining and petrol-retailing business after the collapse of its $3bn deal to build a refinery with India's Hindustan Petroleum two years ago.

Spice Energy – a start-up backed by Indian businessman Sanjay Malhotra – agreed to buy the 90,000-barrel-per-day refinery from Germany's Lohrmann International, a specialist in second-hand industrial plants, in the second half of last year.

Located in Ingolstadt on the river Danube, the refinery is one of the three linked plants which make up Bayernoil, a joint venture between Austria's OMV, BP, Italy's Eni and PDVSA from Venezuela.

After the plant shuts down in June, Lohrmann will begin to take it apart piece by piece, packing it into 3,000 containers.

Spice Energy's US relocation contractor will then take over, shipping the 32,000-ton consignment to Antwerp, and then on through the Suez Canal to the Indian port of Haldia for reconstruction. Spice Energy expects to carry out the entire process in 24 months at a total cost of around $1bn. The reconstructed refinery is scheduled to begin production again in January 2010. Building a similar-scale refinery from scratch would cost more than $1.5bn and take 60 months, Spice Energy estimates.

The company has hired UK refinery engineers KBC to upgrade the plant, adding new units so it can also refine lower-quality Arab crude oil.

"We are talking to them," said a source advising BP. "If there was a deal where BP was taking a limited risk, there's no reason why we wouldn't try it."

Spice Energy's holding company for the project, Cals Refineries, raised $200m through issuing a global depository receipt on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange in November, attracting investments from Dubai Investment Group, part of Dubai Holding, and London's RP Capital. It is now hoping to raise a further $100m to $200m from a strategic investor.

"We don't want to take money from anyone," said a source close to Spice Energy. "It has to be a strategic match for us."

Talks with BP have been continuing for two months and Spice Energy is also talking to oil trading and shipping companies, the source said.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/bp-and-spice-to-break-up-german-refinery-and-move-it-to-calcutta-793289.html



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Russian President Accuses NATO of Attempting to Replace UN

By VOA News

08 March 2008

Russian President Vladimir Putin says NATO's continued enlargement creates the impression that the alliance is trying to replace the United Nations.

He made his remarks on Saturday at a joint press conference in Moscow with German Chancellor Angela Merkel who is visiting Russia.

Ms. Merkel sad NATO is purely a defensive alliance.

The German leader also met with President-elect Dmitri Medvedev who is to be inaugurated in May. She is the first Western head of state to meet Mr. Medvedev since he was elected on March 2.

President Putin warned that his successor will defend Russia's interests as staunchly as he has and that Russia's partners should not expect to find him any easier.

Germany and Russia have disagreed over a range of issues in recent years, including Kosovo's independence, Iran's nuclear program and Russia's energy policy.

Russia briefly stopped natural gas supplies to Ukraine on Wednesday, which in turn interrupted delivery to other European markets. Germany gets most of its natural gas supplies from Russia.

The German chancellor has criticized Russia's human-rights and media-freedom record. She has also questioned the fairness of Russia's presidential election.

President Putin has opposed a possible admission of former Soviet republics Ukraine and Georgia to NATO, saying that many people in those countries are against joining the Western alliance. He has also disagreed with Germany over U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.

http://www.voanews.com/english/2008-03-08-voa16.cfm I STRONGLY suggest you notice other articles on the left side of the page to read.




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THIS IS A MUST READ!

Crushing the Ants

Admiral Fallon and His Empire

By CHRIS FLOYD

There has been quite a buzz in "progressive" circles over the new Esquire article about Admiral William Fallon, head of U.S. Central Command, the military satrapy that covers the entire "arc of crisis" at the heart of the "War on Terror," from east Africa, across the Middle East, and on to the borders of China. Much has been made of Fallon's alleged apostasy from the Bush regime's bellicosity toward Tehran; indeed, the article paints Fallon as the sole bulwark against an American attack on Iran – and hints ominously that the good admiral may be forced out by George W. Bush this summer, clearing the way for one last murderous hurrah by the lame duck president. The general reaction to the article seems to be: God preserve this honorable man, and keep him as our shield and defender against the wicked tyrant.

But this is most curious. For behind the melodramatic framing and gushing hero-worship of the article – written by Thomas Barnett (of whom more later) – we find nothing but a few mild disagreements between Fallon and the White House over certain questions of tactics, timing and presentation in regard to American domination of a vast range of nations and peoples.

Fallon himself has long denied the hearsay evidence that he had declared, upon taking over Central Command, that a war on Iran "isn't going to happen on my watch." And in fact, the article itself depicts Fallon's true attitude toward the idea of an attack on Iran right up front, in his own words. After noting Fallon's concerns about focusing too much on Iran to the exclusion of the other "pots boiling over" in the region, Barnett presses the point and asks: And if it comes to war? Fallon replies with stark, brutal clarity:

"'Get serious,' the admiral says. 'These guys are ants. When the time comes, you crush them.'"

The article makes clear that Fallon's main concerns about a war with Iran are, as noted, about tactics and timing: Sure, when the time comes – no shuffling on that point – we'll crush these subhumans like the insects they are; but we've already got a lot on our plate at the moment, so why not hold off as long as we can? After all, Fallon is conducting two wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as overseeing an on-going "regime change" operation in Somalia, where the United States has been aiding Ethiopian invaders with bombing raids, death squads, renditions and missile strikes against Somali civilians – such as the one this week that killed three women and three children.

The most remarkable fact about the Esquire article is not its laughable portrayal of the man in charge of mass slaughter and military aggression across a broad swathe of the globe as a shining knight holding back the dogs of war. Nor is it the delusion on the part of Barnett --- and much of the commentariat as well – that Bush would ever appoint some kind of secret peacenik as the main commander of his Terror War. (Although it could well be that Fallon will be fired in the end for not groveling obsequiously enough to the Leader, in the required Petraeus-Franks manner. Or indeed, that he might even resign rather than commit what he sees as the tactical error of crushing the Iranian ants at this particular time. But so what? If he quits, someone else who would be happy to do the stomping will be appointed in his place.

If Bush decides to attack Iran, then Iran will be attacked. There is no one standing in the way. It's as simple as that.)

No, what is most noteworthy about the article is that Barnett has given us, unwittingly, one of the clearest pictures yet of the true nature of the American system today. And that system is openly, unequivocally and unapologetically imperial, in every sense of the word, and in every sinew of its structure. For what is Fallon's actual position? We see him commanding vast armies, both his own and those of local proxies, waging battles to bend nations, regions and peoples to the will of a superpower. We see him meeting with the heads of client kingdoms in his purview, in Cairo, Kabul, Baghdad, Dushanbe: advising, cajoling, demanding, threatening, wading deeply into the internal affairs of the dominated lands, seeking to determine their politics, their economic development, their military structure and foreign policies.

For example, Barnett tells us that Fallon was locked away with Pervez Musharaff for hours the day before the Pakistani dictator imposed emergency rule last year. Barnett, hilariously, swallows Fallon's line that Washington didn't greenlight Musharaff's crackdown: "Did I tell him this is not a recommended course of action? Of course." Yes, Admiral, whatever you say. But did you tell him there would be any adverse consequences whatsoever from Washington: any cut-off or even diminution of military and economic aid, for example? Of course not. (For a glimpse of hero-worship, here's how Barnett sets the scene: "As the admiral recounts the exchange, his voice is flat, his gaze steady. His calculus on this subject is far more complex than anyone else's." A calculus more complex than anyone else's in the whole wide world! And certainly more complex than any analysis those ants in Pakistan could come up with themselves.) To his credit, Fallon then goes on to give the true picture: Washington supported the crackdown because Pakistan is "an immature democracy" that needs a savvy strongman – and American loyalist – at the helm. As for the idea that Benazir Bhutto – then still alive – could play a role in stabilizing the country: "Fallon is pessimistic. He slowly shakes his head. 'Better forget that.'" A few weeks later, Bhutto was out of the picture.

What we are seeing, quite simply, is an imperial proconsul in action. There is no difference whatsoever between Fallon's role and that of the proconsuls sent out by the Roman emperors to deal with the wars and tribes and client kingdoms of the empire's far-flung provinces. There too, the emperor could not simply snap his fingers and bend every event to his will; there had to be some cajoling, compromise, occasional setbacks. But behind everything lurked the threat of Roman military power and the promise of ruin and death if Rome's interests were not accommodated in the end. It is the same with America's pro-consuls today.

Nowhere in the article – nor anywhere else in the well-wadded bastions of the "bipartisan foreign policy community" (and amongst its fawning scribes) – will you find even the slightest inkling of a doubt that America should be comporting itself as an imperial power in this way. It is simply a given that an American military commander – with or without a calm, steely gaze and complex calculus – should be hashing out emergency decrees with Central Asian dictators, launching missile strikes on African villages, driving hell-for-leather in bristling convoys down the streets of occupied cities, stationing warships off the coast of Lebanon and Iran… and continually throwing massive amounts of American blood and treasure into a never-ending campaign to "crush the ants" that swarm so inconveniently around the imperial boot heels. For the elite – and, sadly, for the majority of other Americans as well – this is simply the natural order of the world. Not only are these imperial assumptions unquestioned; they are unconscious, as if it were literally inconceivable that the nation's affairs could be ordered in any other way.

We should be grateful to Barnett. Not even the most scathing dissident could have produced a more damning indictment of America's imperial system than this fawning – indeed groveling – piece of hagiography.

This is not the first time that Barnett's true-believer cluelessness has produced genuine revelations. Last year, in a similarly gung-ho, brass-awed piece on Washington's latest imperial satrapy, the Africa Command, Barnett revealed that the Bush Administration was using an American death squad in Somalia to "clean up" areas after a bombing or missile strike. As I wrote in June 2007:

The Esquire piece, by Thomas Barnett, is a mostly glowing portrait of the Africa Command, which, we are told, is designed to wed military, diplomatic, and development prowess in a seamless package, a whole new way of projecting American power: "pre-emptive nation-building instead of pre-emptive regime change," or as Barnett describes it at another point, "Iraq done right." Although Barnett's glib, jargony, insider piece -- told entirely from the point of view of U.S. military officials -- does contain bits of critical analysis, it is in no way an expose. The new details he presents on the post-invasion slaughter are thus even more chilling, as they are offered simply as an acceptable, ordinary aspect of this laudable new enterprise.

Barnett reveals that the gunship attacks on refugees were just the first part of the secret U.S. mission that was "Africa Command's" debut on the imperial stage. Soon after the attacks, "Task Force 88, a very secret American special-operations unit," was helicoptered into the strike area. As Barnett puts it: "The 88's job was simple: Kill anyone still alive and leave no unidentified bodies behind."

Some 70,000 people fled their homes in the first wave of the Ethiopian invasion. (More than 400,000 fled the brutal consolidation of the invasion in Mogadishu last spring.) Tens of thousands of these initial refugees headed toward the Kenyan border, where the American gunships struck. When the secret operation was leaked, Bush Administration officials said that American planes were trying to hit three alleged al Qaeda operatives who had allegedly been given sanctuary by the Islamic Councils government decapitated by the Ethiopians. But Barnett's insiders told him that the actual plan was to wipe out thousands of "foreign fighters" whom Pentagon officials believed had joined the Islamic Courts forces. "Honestly, nobody had any idea just how many there really were," Barnett was told. "But we wanted to get them all."

Thus the Kenyan border area -- where tens of thousands of civilians were fleeing -- was meant to be "a killing zone," Barnett writes:

America's first AC-130 gunship went wheels-up on January 7 from that secret Ethiopian airstrip. After each strike, anybody left alive was to be wiped out by successive waves of Ethiopian commandos and Task Force 88, operating out of Manda Bay. The plan was to rinse and repeat 'until no more bad guys, as one officer put it.

At this point, Barnett -- or his sources -- turn coy. We know there were multiple gunship strikes; and from Barnett's account, we know that the "88s" did go in at least once after the initial gunship attack to "kill anyone still alive and leave no unidentified bodies behind." But Barnett's story seems to suggest that once active American participation in the war was leaked, the "killing zone" was abandoned at some point. So there is no way of knowing at this point how many survivors of the American attacks were then killed by the "very special secret special-operations unit," or how many "rinse-and-repeat" cycles the "88s" were able to carry out in what Barnett called "a good plan."

Nor do we know just who the "88s" killed. As noted, the vast majority of refugees were civilians, just as the majority of the victims killed by the American gunship raids were civilians. Did the "88s" move in on the nomadic tribesmen decimated by the air attack and "kill everyone still alive"? Or did they restrict themselves to killing any non-Somalis they found among the refugees?

Chris Floyd is an American journalist and frequent contributor to CounterPunch. He is the author of the book Empire Burlesque: High Crimes and Low Comedy in the Bush Imperium. He can be reached through his website: www.chris-floyd.com.

http://www.counterpunch.org/floyd03072008.html




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To the Westerner who 'understands' the terrorist

By Bradley Burston


To the Westerner who "understands" the terrorist:

Spare us the explanations.

Spare us the learned, sociology-drenched justifications.

Spare us the reasons why you "get" Palestinians when they gun Jews down in cold blood.

Spare us the chapter and verse on how the plight of the Palestinians is at the root of Islamic terrorism the world over, and if the Palestinians were to receive full justice, Islamic terrorism would pass from the world.

Spare us.

You may well believe, with the blind faith of the hopeful and the fear-stricken, that when these people are through with the Jews, they won't come for you.

Think again.

Spare us the post-modernism and the radical chic and the guff.

Open your eyes.

When a gunman walks into a Jewish religious seminary at the main entrance to that part of Jerusalem which has been Jewish since 1948, and which was stolen from no one, pay attention.

When he opens fire on religious students hunched over books in a library, firing and firing until blood soaks holy book bindings and open pages of Talmud and the whole of the floor, pay close attention to the reactions of the self-styled people of faith who run Hamas.

Spare us the conclusion that the only reason Hamas kills Jews, and that its underlying motive for encouraging others to do the same, is to force Israel to agree to a cease-fire.

Spare us the "Israel's policies are responsible for the bloodshed" and "the seminary is, after all, an ideological bastion and symbol of the religious right" and all the other scholarly, arrogant, condescending and amoral ways of saying "they had it coming to them."

Spare us the understanding for the motivations of the mass murderer who kills with God on his lips. Spare us the understanding of the words of the Hamas official who says that after all the Israeli killings of Palestinians, the Jerusalem killings are "our only joy."

Spare us the sight of the thanksgiving prayers for the great victory, prayers that began in Gaza City mosques just after the slaughter of the Jews. Spare us the sight of the sweets being handed out by little children to motorists in passing cars in the Strip, sweets to celebrate the young Jews dead on the floor, the young Jews dead at their desks, the Jews killed for the crime of being Jews in that place of study and worship.

Spare us the righteousness of those who condemned Baruch Goldstein for entering a holy place with an assault rifle and murdering Palestinians, but who can understand why a Palestinian might do the very same thing,

Open your eyes.

Last week, when Israeli forces drove into Gaza, and some 120 Palestinians were killed, many of them were gunmen, but with children making up another sixth of the total, one grieving father spoke with quiet eloquence, saying "Other places in the world, when this happens, there is a great outcry. When this happens here, the world is silent. No one cares."

He's right. The world has grown content to let Palestinians die. The reason is not simple callousness. And it is not, as Hamas proclaims to its followers in Gaza, that the Jews control the world media and world finance, and thus Western government as well.

The reason is terrorism.

The world has grown weary of the Islamist's creed, that only the armed struggle can resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that the only proper resolution is the end of Israel.

Even the Israeli left, which for decades championed the Palestinian with courage and determination, has, in large part, had it with the Palestinians. The reason is terrorism. The reason is murder. The reason is that the rulers of Gaza are people who see an intrinsic value in the killing of Jews for the sake of increasing the number of dead Jews in the world.

The rulers of Gaza cannot bring themselves to accept the concept of sharing the Holy Land with the Jews.

The best that the rulers of Gaza can do, is to bring an end to hope among their own people and ours as well.

They believe that the Jewish state is temporary, and that they Jews will soon abandon it to Islamic rule.

After all this time, you'd think they'd know the Jews a little better.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/960745.html




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ANALYSIS: The lull in rockets is not due to an Israel-Hamas deal

By Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondents

Last update - 12:12 10/03/2008


The statistics are not lying: Since last Thursday, there has been a lull in the fighting in the Gaza Strip. It is quite certain that this will be a short break. But it is also hard to argue with the data: At its peak, on February 29, some 50 rockets were fired each day, mostly by Hamas militants. In the middle of last week, the rate dropped to 10-15 rockets per day, fired by more extremist groups - but the Qassams were provided to them mostly by Hamas. Since last Friday, one or two rockets have been fired each day.

Was there a specific agreement between Israel and Hamas? It does not appear so, even though there are reports on such a deal in some media. It is more reasonable that this is a Hamas initiative, in line with Egyptian expectations. Hamas issued an order to the groups not to fire rockets, and it is being obeyed quite strictly by members of the armed wing of its own organization, and only partially by the other factions.

The relative calm could be considered to be a confidence-building measure that would enable Egypt to step up its efforts to reach a longer-term agreement. It will also make it difficult for Israel to initiate a new series of attacks targetting Hamas in the Strip. In recent days, it seems that the Israel Defense Forces is indeed limiting to a certain extent its offensive operations in the Strip, also in part because of the quiet on the other side.

The lull is very fragile, primarily because of the complexities on the ground. Since there is no direct link between Hamas and the massacre of the yeshiva students at Mercaz Harav in Jerusalem, Israel has avoided retaliating in the Gaza Strip. But Israel will not spend any time trying to find out who is behind the next attack from the Gaza Strip, even if Hamas is not directly responsible for it. And the lull is not complete in any case. On Thursday morning, Islamic Jihad militants detonated a bomb that killed two IDF soldiers in a jeep near Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha.

Another problem lies in the Egyptian plan. Egypt's intelligence chief, General Omar Suleiman, who was scheduled to visit Israel and the territories in order to push the plan forward, delayed his trip again, for the second week in a row. Hamas is demanding, as a prerequisite for a deal, the opening of the border crossings, especially the one at Rafah. Reaching agreement on this matter, one that will be acceptable to both Israel and Hamas, is a very difficult thing to do. During the past few months, an idea was proposed that would allow Palestinian Authority forces, who answer to Mahmoud Abbas, to represent the Palestinians at the crossings. But the degree of mistrust between Fatah and Hamas, especially after the murderous takeover by the Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip last June, is exceptionally strong. Where, for example, will these guards stay once their shift is over? Will they dare to spend the night in the Gaza Strip, secure in the immunity that Hamas will grant them?

But at this time, Hamas is not willing to compromise. Its initial stance at the negotiations maintains that the Fatah officers would be able to run the administrative functions of the Palestinian side of the crossing, but an armed force of Hamas will also be present on-site. This is not a solution that is acceptable to Israel nor the Palestinian Authority, because this will grant the final say at the crossings to Hamas.

A failed attempt to get a clear picture from Hamas spokesmen Sunday was nothing unusual. Aides to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh tried to market the deal as done. Other members of Hamas, those who are not part of the government, denied this, and argued that for now there is no clear agreement with Egypt or Israel.

IDF sources say that the person who really makes the decisions in Hamas has for some time not been Haniyeh, nor even Khaled Meshal, the group's politburo chief in Damascus. They say that Ahmed Jabari, the head of the military wing of the group, rules. Jabari is the one who led the breach of the border wall at the Philadelphi route in Rafah late in January, in spite of reservations from Meshal. Jabari's stance is hard and uncompromising. It is unlikely he will be willing to make any ideological concessions.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/962405.html




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Cairo official: Gaza Strip conflict serves Syrian interests

By Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent
An unnamed senior Egyptian official on Saturday said that the possibility that Syria is influencing Palestinian factions Hamas and Islamic Jihad to reject Egyptian offers to mediate a cease-fire between them and Israel, the London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Hayat reported.

According to the report, Egypt's intelligence chief Omar Suleiman offered the Palestinian factions an Israeli commitment to cease its operations against Palestinian militants in Gaza if the factions made a commitment to halt the rocket fire from the Strip into Israel. The offer, made at a meeting between Egyptian officials and Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders in Egypt on Thursday, was rejected.

According to Egyptian sources, the heads of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, currently based in Damascus, are the only ones authorized to make a decision regarding a cease-fire with Israel, and it is possible that the Syrian government is behind the failure of truce negotiations thus far. "All the evidence points to the fact that Syria wants to divert attention from Lebanon and point the spotlight on Gaza," the Egyptian official said.

"The current escalation [of violence] in the Palestinian arena serves the Syrian interests," they said, explaining that the embarrassment caused by continuing violence in Gaza to Arab Leaders may prompt the Arab nations to send high-level representation to the upcoming Arab summit hosted by Syria later this month, after having threatened that state leaders will not attend if Syria continues to interfere in the political crisis in Lebanon.

The Egyptian accusations against Syria are directly linked to rising tensions in the Arab world currently. The absence of Arab leaders from the Arab summit will cause great embarrassment to Damascus, as the host country, and likely prevent the success of the summit.

The Egyptian officials added that they had frozen efforts to mediate a truce between Israel and the Palestinians until after the Arab summit at the end of March. They said that Suleiman, who is responsible for the mediation efforts, will accompany Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak this week to Poland and Dakar, which will prevent him from advancing truce negotiations.

The officials also said that the terrorist attack in Jerusalem on Thursday, which left eight yeshiva boys dead and several others wounded, placed a "shadow" on the cease-fire negotiations.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/961985.html

Related articles:
Hamas: Cease-fire deal must include West Bank
Hamas, Jihad meet Cairo officials to discuss truce, opening Rafah crossing
Haniyeh advisor: Hamas willing to discuss a truce with Israel




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Tragedy of Israel and Palestine

By Mark Levine

UPDATED ON:
SUNDAY, MARCH 09, 2008
8:15 MECCA TIME, 5:15 GMT

Americans have grown so accustomed to the disastrous dynamics operating between Israelis and Palestinians today that the failure to reach a peace deal amid the soaring death tolls assumes an aura of normalcy in their minds.

This reflects a situation we imagine ourselves to be powerless to help change and only adds to the tragedy unfolding in the Occupied Territories and Israel as well.

Today the world's attention has turned to the aftermath of the murder of eight students of an ultra-Zionist Mercaz HaRav yeshiva, established by the founder of religious zionism, Rabbi Avraham Isaac Kook in 1924.

Last week the focus was the ongoing war in Gaza, which will likely be the centre of attention next week as well.

The attacks on religious students in the midst of study and prayer - coupled with the ongoing rocket attacks from Gaza on the Israeli towns of Sderot and Ashkelon - are already being offered as the latest examples of continued Palestinian unwillingness to make peace with Israel more than two years after its unprecedented withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. reciprocate

World's largest prison

Continued and you must

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/BB1E373A-50F9-403A-9263-98D09D584A31.htm



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