As the United States and Britain look for an excuse to invade another oil-rich Arab country, the hypocrisy is familiar: Colonel Gaddafi is "delusional" and "blood-drenched" while the authors of an invasion that killed a million Iraqis, who have kidnapped and tortured in our name are entirely sane, never blood-drenched, and once again the arbiters of "stability". Unfortunately for them, something has changed. Reality is no longer what the powerful say it is:
Of all the spectacular revolts across the world, the most exciting is the insurrection of knowledge sparked by WikiLeaks. This is not a new idea. In 1792, the revolutionary Tom Paine warned his readers in England that their government believed that: "People must be hoodwinked and held in superstitious ignorance by some bugbear or other". Paine's: The Rights of Man was considered such a threat to elite control that a secret grand jury was ordered to charge him with "a dangerous and treasonable conspiracy". Wisely,he sought refuge in France! The ordeal and courage of Tom Paine is cited by the Sydney Peace Foundation in its award of Australia's human rights Gold Medal to Julian Assange. Like Paine, Assange is a maverick who serves no system and is threatened by a secret grand jury, a malicious device long abandoned in England, but NOT in the United States. If extradited to the US, he is likely to disappear into the Kafkaesque world that produced the Guantanamo Bay nightmare, and now accuses Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks alleged whistleblower, of a capital crime!
Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi bombed the town of Ras Lanuf and brought rebel fighters to a halt as they attempted to move west, according to recent reports said: "Gadhafi is attacking us with planes, tanks, rockets and heavy weapons, but we are unarmed, civilians and many families and children were hit" according to one Ras Lanuf resident who spoke to BBC Thursday. The rebels had been advancing towards Sirte, Gaghafi's birthplace, from Ras Lanuf, an oil port, al-Jazeera reported, but according to Gadhafi troops, their army has brought them to a standstill Wednesday. The untrained anti-Gaghafi fighters had been able to gather a surprising amount of firepower, including Grad rocket launchers. As fighting continued, NATO defense ministers gathered in Brussels to begin two days of meetings headlined by the fighting in Libya. Ministers will consider how the alliance can respond to the disintegrating situation in Libya in case a call for assistance is made, NATO said in a release. One option being considered is whether to impose a no-fly zone.
At least four people have been killed and 35 wounded in Libya's oil town of Ras Lanuf as rebels retreated under continuous government rocket and sniper fire, according to a hospital official. There were scenes of chaos at Brega hospital, where some of the bodies and wounded were being taken and the most serious cases, which were being transferred to Ajdabiya, the next town further east into rebel-held territory on the coast. "We have four dead and 35 wounded, but there are still many more coming." said Boukhatwa, the hospital official registering the casualties. It was not possible to speak to the doctors, who were fully preoccupied with the wounded, while moving medical supplies and barking orders to save the lives of their patients. Mohammed Wanis, the hospital manager, said that scores had been wounded, but not all of the casualties had been brought to Brega. In his final statement, he explained that: "We expect to find more bodies."
Thousands of Japanese citizens within a six-mile radius of the Fukushima nuclear plant have been injured by the blast as they continue the struggle to contain radiation leaks at the crippled reactor. Thousands of people were evacuated as radiation rose to 1,000 times the safe level and pressure grew, fueling fears of an explosion. With growing tension at the plant, 150 miles north of Tokyo, a second state of emergency was declared as pressure rose in two reactors at the facility. Earlier, officials had proposed releasing radioactive vapor into the atmosphere in a bid to prevent an explosion after its cooling system had failed. The country's nuclear safety agency says pressure inside the reactor had now risen to 2.1 times the level considered normal. It's possible that radioactive material in the reactor vessel could leak outside, but the amount is expected to be small, and the wind blowing towards the sea will be considered, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano: Residents are safe, after those within a 3km radius were evacuated and those within a 10km radius are staying indoors, so we want people to be calm, he added. Previously, officials had said there was no leak of deadly radiation from the crippled facility in Onahama city, about 170 miles north-east of Tokyo in the Fukushima prefecture, but they had already evacuated around 2,800 residents within a two-mile radius of the plant. Mr. Edano said the nuclear power plant developed a mechanical failure in the system which cools the reactor after it was shut down in the earthquake. He said the measure was a precaution, there was no radiation leak and the facility was not in immediate danger. Plant workers are now scrambling to restore cooling water supplies, but warned there was no prospect of an immediate success. At this time, water levels at the facility have NOT reached critical levels. Currently, there are 55 operating nuclear power plants in Japan.
From Egypt to Pakistan, February 2011 will be remembered as a month unusually full of the embarrassments of empire. Americans were enthralled by the spectacle of liberty, in which we felt we should somehow be playing a part. Here were popular movements toward self-government, which might once have looked to the United States as an exemplar, springing up all across North Africa and the Middle East. Why did they not look up to us now? The answer became clearer with every equivocal word of the Obama administration, and every false step it took in trying to manage the crisis. A person suffers embarrassment when something true about himself emerges in spite of reasonable efforts to conceal it. It is the same with nations! Sovereign nations are abstract entities, of course - they cannot have feelings as people do - but there are times when they would blush if they could: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was weakened and finally brought down by non -violent popular actions that started in Cairo and spread to Alexandria, Suez, and many other cities. At first, Mubarak took a dictator's prerogative and named his successor. Soon afterward, he changed his mind and declined to step down. At last, he gave in to the unrelenting demands of the people and pressure from the army.
In "The Global Times", the national English daily newspaper published by the Communist Party in China, the newspaper excoriates the actor, jumping at the case of his two girlfriends he lives with, and asking: "Is he too poor to set up his wives and mistresses in different houses?" Like a good Chinese philanderer should? The paper further points out "racism, spousal abuse, addiction, politics, mental illness, boasting about mistresses are all subjects best dealt with behind closed doors! If you are wondering whether this is a joke - it indeed is. But it also isn't: The Global Times is not in the business of emulating the popular online spoof newspapers, but in the serious of exercising Chinese soft power by providing its take on news around the world. Chief editor of the English paper, Hu Xijin, has said that the paper reaches millions of readers, and that readers "trust The Global Times and its representation of China's diverse society". It is fascinating that one of the hallmarks of authoritarian states is that they don't get the joke. Editors with no sense of humor just let a story print.
In California, the price of gas at the pump is now averaging $3.65 a gallon, going up to$4 in San Francisco and Chicago. Nationwide, it now stands at $3.38, a 20 cent increase in the last week. Meanwhile, in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke optimistically of the economy and dismissed the impact of soaring oil prices, allegedly spurred by turmoil in the Middle East. The most likely outcome, in his opinion, is that the recent rise in oil prices will lead to, at most, a "temporary" and "relatively modest" increase in the US consumer price inflation. Hold on there: Let's take it for granted that no one inside Washington's Beltway has to fill his or her own car with gas. For them, pain at the pump may indeed feel temporary and relatively modest. However, tell that to the official 9% of unemploy ed Americans who still have to drive a car in what Bernanke and everyone else who isn't suffering seems to agree is NOT a recession. (In 1940, the last year of the Great Depression, the unemploy- ment rate was at 14.6, but in those days they still had not stopped counting people too discouraged to look for work). In that light, consider what's already happening at the pump as the lifestyle equivalent of murder, and now imagine that, by summer the price of a gallon of gas nationwide may, as just before the 2008 global economic meltdown, close in on the $4 a gallon mark and perhaps still be rising!
First of all, as Richard Nixon used to say: "Let me be perfectly clear:" Like most of our world's residents, I do need a certain amount of oil to make it to our place of work. But, both my wife and I do not anticipate placing the needs of the Libyan's before our own: Right now, our US and NATO are supporting an armed insurrection in Eastern Libya, with an intent to call it :"Humanitarian Intervention". Though we need their oil, to be purchased by our Oil Companies at a fair price: Heck, I have an MBA degree from my University of Texas at Arlington, and the concept of "fair price" was drilled into our feeble minds by Dr. Phil Lynch, a magnificent teacher, who made his humble students work like dogs for their degree. Since I had to work before going to evening classes, I spent many evenings in the UTA parking lot, typing my required essays on an old manual typewriter. But I digress: What we see in Libya is NOT a non-violent protest movement as we saw in Egypt and Tunisia: Conditions in Libya are fundamentally different. The armed insurgency in Eastern Libya is directly supported by foreign powers: The insurrection in Benghazi immediately hoisted the red, black and green banner with the crescent and star: The flag of the monarchy of King Idris, which symbolized the rule of the former colonial powers. At the same time, US and NATO military advisers and Special Forces are already on the ground: Are we now going to be treated to a rerun of our invasion against Iraq, just to get oil more cheaply, and thumb our noses at the indigenous citizens of Libya, to whom that oil rightfully belongs? Theft is theft, and any intention to call our invasion a "humanitarian" intervention will not pass a smell test in a barn full of swine.
Bottom Line: A Jew by the name of Silverberg, since, according to "wikipedia.org", though the site is currently rebuilt with six new skyscrapers and a memorial to the casualties of the "attacks". If our "government" will allow it, though I would doubt their intentions, which would certainly NOT require a "jenius", especially one with the correct "j" spelling, to tell us what "our" government was attempting to "put over" on us, assuming all of us to be ignorant fools, like our recent president, George W., who would most probably be indicted and convicted under the "German War Crimes Law". Perhaps then, even Adolf Hitler will rest in Peace, though there are those who continue to doubt it - there is always that stuff about dressing dead Polish soldiers up as dead "attacking forces" against the "fatherland", George W. just warmed it up a bit. It must be said that Obama deserves credit to show the world that truth will triumph and justice will prevail when even the most dastardly offenders are given their day in court. But it is not the rights of the accused, important as they are, that should be the main concern here: Rather, it is the right - indeed, need- of the American public to learn the truth about the motives, financing and methods of those who "alleged" to have torn at the heart of our social fabric. What lead 15 solid citizens of our "ally" Saudi Arabia to hijack those planes under the direction of their Western-educated leaders is still murky. How did our allies in the war against Soviet communism in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheik Mohammed, come to mastermind that savage attack on America? Actually, they did not: "Check 9/11 Truth for the complete answer!" It's Not Pretty!
Chris Hedges has walked through the barren remains of Babylon in Iraq and the ancient Roman city of Antioch, the capital of Roman Syria, which now lies buried in silt deposits. He has visited the marble ruins of Leptis Magna, once one of the most important agricultural centers in the Roman Empire, now isolated in the desolate drifts of sand southeast of Tripoli. Civilizations rise, decay and die. Time, as the ancient Greeks argued, for individuals and for states is cyclical. As societies become more complex, they become increasingly vulnerable. When they begin to break down, there is a strange retreat by a terrified and confused population from reality, an inability to acknowledge the self-evident fragility and impending collapse . At the end, the "elites" speak in phrases and jargon that do not relate to reality, retreating into isolated compounds, whether at the court at Versailles, the Forbidden City, or modern palatial estates. I believe we are now at that stage in America, where elites indulge in unchecked hedonism, the accumulation of even greater wealth, while the toiling masses are doomed before our entire hollowed-out edifice collapses. As food and water shortages expand across the globe, as mounting poverty and misery trigger street protests in the Middle East, Africa and Europe, the "elites" do what they always do. They launch more wars, build even greater monuments to themselves, and when it all unravels, they take it out on the backs of workers and the poor!
Are events unfolding in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt more about petro-terrorism or about freedom and democracy? How much oil is there in North Africa? Who is in control of that oil? What is the relationship between the West and Muamar Gaddafi? Is he really the "terrorist" we've all been led to to believe he is? Who and what is the Libyan "opposition", and who are the "rebels" we red about? On September 1, 1969, the pro-western regime that had ruled in Libya was overthrown by Colonel Muamay Gaddafi and his officers. At the time, Libya was home to the largest US Air Base in North Africa. Agreements between the USA and Libya, signed in 1951 and 1954 granted the USAF the use of Wheelus Air Base and its El Watia gunnery range for gunnery and bombing training and for transport and bombing stopovers until 1971. During the Cold War, the base was pivotal to expanding US military power under the Strategic Air Command, and an essential base for fighter and reconnaissance missions. The Pentagon also used the base - and the remote Libyan desert - for missile launch testing, though the launch area was located 15 miles east of Tripoli. At the time, the base housed some 4600 US military personnel until its evacuation in 1970.
The truth is: Obama as asked the Saudis to airlift weapons into Benghazi (Libya). Desperate to avoid US military involvement in the event of a prolonged struggle between the Gaddafi regime and its opponents, the "Americans" have asked Saudi Arabia if it can supply weapons to the rebels in Benghazi. The Saudi Kingdom, already facing a "day of rage" from its 10% Shia Muslim community on Friday, with a ban on all demonstrations, has so far failed to respond to Washington's "highly classified" request (yeah, right), although King Abdullah personally loathes the Libyan leader, who tried to assassinate him just over a year ago! Washington's request is in line with other US military co-operation with the Saudis. The royal family in Jeddah, which was deeply involved in the Contra scandal during the Reagan administration, gave immediate support to American efforts to arm guerrillas fighting the Soviet army in Afghanistan in 1980 and later - to America's chagrin - also funded and armed the "Taliban." But the Saudis remain the only Arab ally strategically placed and capable of furnishing weapons to the guerrillas of Libya. Their assistance would allow Washington to disclaim any military involvement in the supply chain - even though the arms would be American and paid for by the Saudis.
Our country is awash in wealth and cash, but as you know, it's not in your hands. In the greatest heist in history, it has been transferred from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the "ueber-rich". Today, just 400 Americans have the same wealth as half of all Americans combined: 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer "bailout" of 2008, now have as much loot, stock and property as the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can't bring yourself to call that a financial coup d'etat, then you are simply NOT being honest about what you know in your heart to be true. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we'd have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this "Republic", and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it. The nation is NOT broke. Wisconsin is NOT broke. The truth is, there's lots of money to go around, it's just that those in charge have diverted that wealth into a deep well that sits on their well-guarded estates. They know that they have committed crimes to make this happen, and they also know that someday you may want to see that money that
Libya has the highest life expectancy on the African continent, because education and health receive special attention from the State. Even the cultural level of its population is without doubt the highest in that region of our world. The Libyans have also provided jobs for hundreds of thousands of workers, which have carried out that country's ambitious plans for production and social development. It has enormous income and more than adequate reserves in convertible currencies deposited in the banks of the wealthy countries from which they are able to obtain consumer goods and sophisticated weapons to defend their proud nation. Now, Libya is struggling against a colossal campaign of lies, unleashed by our mass media, which has resulted in confusion by those who want to invade that country in the name of: Human Rights. Some time will have to go by before we can really ascertain what has already happened in that prosperous nation. Prestigious broadcasting companies such as Telesur has sent reporters and cameramen to both Libyans on opposite sides of their dispute, to provide a more accurate picture about the current events in that country. Without question, the young people who were protesting in Benghazi, including men, and women wearing their veil were expressing obvious indignation.
Obama has again broken his word: In December 2009, he promised that this would be the year in which American and other foreign occupation forces would be reduced, in preparation for their complete withdrawal. Within months of that promise, the "commander-in-chief" had over 90,000 troops in that conquered country, and now there are 60,000 more from some fifty other countries serving in NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The total number now exceeds that of any other foreign military force ever before stationed in Afghanistan. The presence of American and allied troops, beginning on October 7, 2001, is the longest in the Asian nation's history, with US forces already in the country for several months longer than the Soviet troops stationed there from late 1979 until early 1989. Since Obama's pledge that US and NATO troop strength would be reduced this year, NOT a firm deadline, but an "evasion", a self-serving lie designed to take the sting out of the announcement of increased troop deployments, one the international community, self-styled and genuine, chose to take at face value. The world's only ongoing war of occupation has has stretched into not only the longest armed conflict in Afghanistan's history, but also in that of the US! During the same period, the US was occupied in killing people on the Pakistani side of the Afghan border. Drone missile attacks were launched near Miranshah, the administrative headquarters of North Waziristan in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. A local security official told the news media that three missiles were fired at a residential compound in Dattakhel Mohammedkhel, resulting in five people being killed in an attack which completely demolished their house. On the day before, two people were killed when a missile strike from another drone went on a killing rampage against local tribes-people who had no connection with militant fighters.
If you are watching events unfolding in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, how much of that is true? Are these events more about petro-terrorism or about "freedom" and democracy? How much oil is there in North Africa? Who is in control of that oil? What is the relationship between our West and Muamar Gaddafi? Is he really the terrorist we've all been led to believe he is? Who is the Libyan "opposition" and who are the "rebels" we have all read about? Amidst the propaganda presented by "our" western media and State Department disinformation, we find that Muamar Gaddafi is even accused of genocide against his own people. Are we looking at double standards? With the discovery of oil in Libya in 1959, that country became a very rich little western protectorate. US and European companies had huge stakes in the lucrative petroleum and banking sectors, but these were soon nationalized by Gaddafi. Therefore, overnight, Libya joined the list of US 'enemy' or 'rogue' states that sought autonomy and self-determination outside the expanding sphere of "our" western Empire. Further cementing western hatred of the new regime, Libya played a leading role in the 1973 oil embargo against our US, and maintained cooperative relations with the Soviet Union. Gaddafi also channeled his early oil wealth into free national health care and education. Please click on my headline to read the entire illustrated version of this report by Keith Harmon Snow!