MAIL OnLine: US Missiles Hit Iranian Village!!

Two American missiles struck a village in south-west Iran early today, based on a report by the country's Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). IRNA had said yesterday that three people were injured when an earlier US missile struck an oil depot in Abadan. The state-run news agency also said British and American jets had entered Iranian airspace several times. The two rockets hit Manyuhi village near the border with Iraq's Al-Faw Peninsula, an Iranian military commander told IRNA. He gave no details of casualties or damage. "In the border city of Arvand-Kenar, the invading American and British airplanes violated the airspace of the Islamic Republic of Iran three times," the commander said. "In two cases, two rockets hit the Manyuhi village." The governor of Abadan told IRNA that three people, including a guard at the oil depot, had been released from hospital after receiving treatment. Iran has strongly condemned the US-led military assault on Iraq.

Donald Kirk: Uncle Jang emerges as real power in North Korea.

North Korea's anointed "Great Successor" Kim Jong-un will have to rule from under the thumb of an uncle widely regarded as "the regent" who is both coaching him on how to govern, and telling him what to do. That is the view of South Korean analysts as Kim Jong-il lies in a glass coffin in Pyongyang, and weeping mourners file by for a last glimpse of the man who ruled North Korea for 17 years, before dying last Saturday. Behind the scenes of the mourning, a backstage plan to ensure a smooth transition of power has thrust Jang Song-thaek into the spotlight. The brother-in-law of the former leader is thought to wield the most power in the North Korean administration and is joined by his wife Kim Kyong-hui, and the highest ranking military commander, General Ri Young -ho in the country's most powerful decision-making group. Ha Tae-keung, director of a small short -wave radio station that broadcasts news into North Korea for two hours a day, believes Jang exercises the most power of all those now scheming for influence in this time of transition. "It's not a junta," Mr Ha said. "One person has the most power, and that's Jang." Kim Jong-un, his father's third son, appears to be the unquestioned heir to the appearance of power, but clearly will be following Jang's advice before attempting to assert his own authority.

Phoebe Greenwood:If Jesus were to come this year, Bethlehem would be closed!

If Joseph and Mary were making their way to Bethlehem today, the Christmas story would be a little different, says Father Ibrahim Shomali, a parish priest in the town. The couple would struggle to get into the city, let alone find a hotel room. "If Jesus were to come this year, Bethlehem would be closed," says the priest of Bethlehem's Beit Jala parish. "He would either have to be born at a checkpoint or at the separation wall. Mary and Joseph would have needed Israeli permission, or to have been tourists. "This really is the big problem for Palestinians in Bethlehem: What will happen when they close us off completely?" Bethlehem is the heart of Christian Palestine, and it swells with pride every Christmas. Manger Square is transformed into a grotto of lights and stalls crowned by a towering Christmas tree. Strings of illuminated angels, stars and bells festoon the streets. But just a few minutes' drive to the north,the festive atmosphere stops abruptly. A strip of Israeli settlements built on 18 square km of what was once northern Bethlehem threatens to cut the city off from its historic twin, Jerusalem. To the Israeli authorities, these have been neighborhoods of Jerusalem since 1967. One of the settlements, Har Homa, is built on land where angels are said to have announced the birth of Christ to local shepherds. A narrow corridor of land between Har Homa and another settlement, Gilo, still connects Bethlehem to Jerusalem but the construction of Givat Hamatos, a new settlement announced in October will fill this in a matter of years!


The Telegraph: Too Late for Research into Deadly Bird Flu Strain!

The US government is unlikely to succeed in suppressing details of controversial experiments that have created highly infectious forms of the bird flu virus, experts have warned. Two scientific journals have come under pressure not to publish findings of research on the mutant strains of H5N1 over fears that terrorists could use the information to create bio-weapons. However, scientists claim that the plea from the US National Science Advisory Board for Bio-security (NSABB) comes too late because details of the research have already been shared among flu experts: "This horse is out of the barn," Professor Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist and bio-defense expert at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, told the journal Nature. "At this point, it is utterly futile to be discussing restricting the publication of this information." He added: "The work should have been reviewed at the national or international level before being performed, and should have been restricted at a national or international level before being performed." Others argue that keeping the science secret could hamper efforts to find new vaccines and drugs to combat an infectious form of human H5N1 .

Bill Frezza: Exactly What is Crony Capitalism?

President Obama, progressive politicians, Occupy protesters, and leftist intellectuals are having a field day attacking what they call the failures and excesses of capitalism. They declare wealth to be prima facie evidence of perfidy, making no distinction as to how it was obtained. They preach equality, not just in opportunity but in economic outcome. In their eyes, all members of 1% are already guilty, so economic justice demands that the rich be heavily taxed, not just to lift others up, but to bring them down. Some defenders of capitalism draw a sharp distinction between those who obtained their wealth by satisfying willing customers through free exchange, and these are called Crony Capitalists, although they should be called "Market Capitalists". If the defenders of capitalism hope to win over fair-minded fellow citizens, we need to define these terms and answer some basic questions. In what way are Crony Capitalists and Market Capitalists the same, and in what way are they different? What makes the former immoral and the latter virtuous? Why are Crony Capitalists a threat to democracy and prosperity, while Market Capitalists are essential to both? How is it that an ever larger number of Market Capitalists are being corrupted, turning into Crony Capitalists, and what can we do to reverse that trend?

Pravda: Russia Works on 100-Ton Ballistic Missile!

In connection with the plans of the United States to develop the air defense system in Europe, in close vicinity to Russia's borders, and because of the unwillingness of the US side to provide any guarantees, the Russian Federation continues to take measures to preserve parity in the field. In particular, Russia's Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) will be renovated with the help of state-of-the-art Topol-M and Yars complexes during the upcoming ten years. In addition, Russia will pass into service a new intercontinental missile of enormous power. "The decision about the creation of the new silo-based missile system with a liquid-fuel heavy missile has been made. The complex will have increased possibilities in overcoming the prospective missile defense system of the United States," Sergei Karakev, the commander of the missile troops said. The new missile, with a mass of 100 tons, is said to replace the world-known "Voevoda" ICBM. In the West, this missile is known as "Satan." In the meantime, Russia has already started working to create the middle-class newly equipped missile. The new missile is to be passed into service in 2015, according to Ria Novosti. "Russia does not stand against the US missile defense system, but against the creation of the missile defense system which would be directly aimed to reduce the possibilities of the Russian nuclear containment forces."


George Russell: EPA Ponders Expanded Regulatory Power.

The US Environmental Protection Agency wants to change how it analyses problems and makes decisions, in a way that would give it vastly expanded power to regulate businesses, communities and ecosystems in the name of "sustainable development," the centerpiece of a global United Nations conference slated for Rio de Janeiro next June. The major focus of the EPA thinking is a weighty study the agency commissioned last year from the National Academy of Science. Published in August, the study, entitled "Sustainability and the US EPA," cost nearly $700,000 and involved a team of a dozen outside experts, and about half as many National Academies staff. Its aim is how to integrate sustainability as one of the key drivers within the regulatory responsibilities of EPA. The panel who wrote the study declares part of its job to provide guidance to EPA on how it might implement its existing statutory authority to contribute more fully to a more sustainable develop -ment trajectory for the United States, or, in other words, how to use existing laws to new ends. According to the Academies, the sustainability study both incorporates and goes beyond an approach based on assessing and managing the risks posed by pollutants that has largely shaped environmental policy since the 1980's.

Reuters: US Asks Scientific Journals to Censor Bird Flu Studies!

The US government has asked the scientific journals Nature and Science to censor data on a laboratory-made version of bird flu, that could spread more easily to humans, fearing it could be used as a potential weapon. The US National Science Advisory Board for Bio-security asked the two journals to publish redacted versions of studies by two research groups that created forms of the H5N1 avian flu that could easily jump between ferrets, typically considered a sign that the created forms of the virus could quickly spread among humans. The journals are objecting to the request, saying it would restrict access to information that might advance the cause of public health. The request was a first for the expert panel, formed after a series of anthrax attacks on US targets in 2001. It advises the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies about "dual use" research that could serve public health, but could also be a potential bio-terror threat. "NSABB has never before recommended to restrict communications on research that NSABB has reviewed that has potential dual use implications," Dr. Amy Patterson, Director of the National Institutes of Health's Office of Biotechnological Activities, said a statement.

PressTV: Iraq at Loss Over US Forces Absence!

US House Speaker John Boehner has claimed that the absence of the American military forces in Iraq poses a risk to the Middle Eastern country's future. To 'liberate' Iraq, Boehner also said on NBC's 'Meet the Press' weekly news show in Washington, the US had sacrificed many soldiers and a lot of 'treasures'. His comments come as the last US military convoy left Iraq on Sunday after a nearly-nine-year-long war. However, thousands of military advisers, private contractors, and Christian missionaries will remain in the country as part of the US embassy personnel in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. The US military invasion and occupation has left around a million Iraqis killed, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored. In 2003, the US invaded Iraq under the pretext of finding weapons of mass destruction, allegedly stockpiled by the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. However, it was later revealed that not only did the Iraqi regime not possess these weapons, but also that the US and British leaders, who had defended the military action, previously knew about their non-existence. Additionally, the occupation has left some 4,500 US troops dead, and thousands more injured, reportedly costing Washington nearly a trillion dollars in military expenditures. US President Barack Obama has vowed to maintain a "robust diplomatic presence" in Iraq, leaving a substantial number of armed US soldiers to protect the diplomatic staff.


RT: Whoever in Iran Hacked the Drone, Hacked the CIA!!

News reports investigating Iran's interception of a top-secret drone belonging to the CIA allege that the hijacking of the stealth airship could have roots not just overseas but in Washington as well. Ongoing reports from RT have revealed that an Iranian intelligence officer claimed that the recovery of America's RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone on December 4 was not due to an equipment malfunction, as US authorities say, but rather the handiwork of Iranian engineers: Overseas officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have revealed that they were able to crack the computer of the drone to hijack the craft and lead it to a safe landing, after it came from a mission in Afghanistan. Military sources speaking on Israel-based news outlet Debka insist that Iranian officials made their way into the drone command center at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Debka has a close connections with the Israeli intelligence community, and in the past reported correctly on issues of importance to the American intelligence community. According to US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the Pentagon will continue drone missions over Iran. Less than two weeks after Tehran intercepted the Sentinel, another US drone crash-landed at an American base in an Indian Ocean island!

Marc Burleigh: Iran TV shows CIA Spy speaking of alleged mission!o

An alleged CIA agent being held in Tehran is a citizen of Iranian origin, state television said Sunday in a report showing the young man confessing to his "mission" to infiltrate the intelligence ministry: The channel named him as Amir Mirzai Hekmati, and said he was an American of Iranian descent, born in the US state of Arizona. It said he joined the US Army in 2001, and had a decade of intelligence training. The report said Hekmati was sent to the US-run Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, where he was given access to classified US intelligence before flying to Tehran to try to entice Iranians with it, and establish his value to them. "It was their plan to first leak some useful information, and let the intelligence ministry think that this is useful material, the clean-shaven man in his 20's said. In the broadcast he spoke fluent Farsi and English with a slight American accent. He delivered his statements in a normal tone, with little emotion, and did not appear to be reading from a script. The channel said that "Iranian networks monitoring activities in the Bagram base" discovered Hekmati's presence and blew the operation. He also showed an identity card, declaring Helmati to be an "Army Contractor" with access to the shops and leisure facilities at the Bagram base.

Brother Nathaniel Kapner:Prepare For A Jewish Police State

The coming military dictatorship of the USA will be firmly in the hands of American Jewry! Sadly, a few popular Internet publicists, the controlled opposition, such as Alex Jones, his new adjunct, Mike Adams of Natural News, and The Activist Post (run from CIA-operated Costa Rica), simply cannot report that a "Jew," Senator Carl Levin , is the SOLE-SPONSOR of the National Defense Authorization Act. Do Americans realize, or even care in their state of oblivion, that ALL of the influential Senate and House Committee seats are chaired by Jews, who sponsor outrageous bills such as the NDAA? First of all, heading the Military/Security apparatus of the Zionist States of America, are Senator Joseph Lieberman, a Talmudic Jew, chairs most bills on Homeland Security, while his co-religionist, Senator CarlLevin, heads the Senate Armed Services Committee? Is it any wonder then, that we are now in a Jewish police state? Is it any wonder then, that with America's security apparatus solidly in the hands of JEWS, that our freedoms have all but vanished? Carl Levin's brother, Sander Levin, as ranking member, chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees taxation. Congressman Levin works very closely with his FELLOW JEW, Douglas Shulman, the current head of the IRS, in their Jewish enslavement of the American worker.


Henry Decker: Mitt Romney Spent the Vietnam in a French Palace!

Like many hawkish politicians of his generation, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney managed to avoid serving in the Vietnam War through family connections. The young Romney could not use a student deferment from the draft, having dropped out of Stanford University after only two semesters, but avoiding service anyway with the assistance of the Mormon elders. The son of George Romney, then Michigan's governor, he was one of a limited number of Mormon youth chosen as missionaries, a status that protected him from the draft between July 1966 and February 1969 as a "minister of religion or divinity student." Essentially, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints re-routed Romney from Vietnam to the south of France, where he served as a missionary. According to Romney, proselytizing in France was no picnic. Romney recently rebutted suggestions that his immense wealth has left him out of touch with ordinary Americans by claiming he learned how the other 99% live through his service in France. According to Romney, proselytizing in France was no picnic: His French quarters had no working bathroom, and we had instead the little pads on the ground, and there was a chain behind you with a bucket!
Too bad, Mr. Romney: When I served in Vietnam, my restrooms were even more primitive than yours, and I had to jump from my toilet every time we were mortared, which always happened at least several times before midnight!!!

Rich Carroll: Barack Obama's 32 Month Report Card!!

Copy this article. You will need researched material to mail your liberal friends and/or relatives. "Mr. Hope and Change" wants to create a nation humbled and humiliated, casting aside capitalism and individual freedoms in favor of one controlled by a government. This would be a system that genuflects for mediocrity, steals personal aspiration and opportunity, and punishes those who strive to succeed. When Obama was inaugurated, a gallon of regular gasoline was "$1.79 on average. In the US today, that price is $3.59, a 100.6% increase. The number of food stamp recipients has risen since Obama took office from 31,983,716 to 43,200,878, a 35.1% jump. Long term unemployment soared 146.2% during the same 32 month period from 2,600,000 to 6,400,000. This is staggering 'Hope' and 'Change', isn't it? American citizens living in poverty have risen 9.5%, from 39,800,000 to 43,600,000 as of August 31, 2011. the number of unemployed blacks has risen from 12.6% at the end of George Bush's term to 15.8% today, a 25.4% increase, and finally, our national debt is up 34.4% from 10.627 trillion to 14,278 trillion. Keep these figures in mind as we recount the number of firsts for this presidency: First President to refuse to show a valid birth certificate. First President to apply for college aid as foreign student!

Project Censored: Celebrating 35 Years of Violating Human Rights!

In the last 35 years, the so-called "mainstream media" have been co-opted into a propaganda machine for the transnational corporate power structure, which serves a US/NATO Military Industrial Media Empire, instead of "We the People". Project Censored resists the goals of global empire at the expense of human rights. We resist top-down managed news, in favor of a truly free press, and we resist censorship in all its guises. Media Democracy in Action is our belief, and we will firmly continue to build media from the bottom up, by supporting independent news sources, and validating content with our expanding number of affiliate colleges and universities worldwide. Functioning democracies are the result of an informed and participatory public, and we need an informed electorate now more than ever, to protect our civil liberties, our economy, and our Constitution. Please support this effort by making an Anniversary Gift to Project Censored. Gifts of $35 ore more will be shown our gratitude with a copy of Censored 2012 upon release in September with an introduction by former director Dr. Phillips, and signed to you personally by current Project Censored director Mickey Huff.


Sergei Balmasov: Finest Fighting Forces in World History Destroyed Iraq! o

The USA announced the completion of the army operation in Iraq, which began in 2003. President Obama said that that US servicemen would leave Iraq before December 31, 2011. Obama did not declare it either a victory or a triumph, as his predecessor George W. Bush did. However, Obama preferred not to say anything negative about the Iraqi operation, which he previously described as silly. Nevertheless, Obama said the US soldiers were leaving Baghdad "with heads held high." "Everything that American troops have done in Iraq, all the fighting and dying, bleeding and building, training and partnering, has led us to this moment of success. You have shown why the US military is the finest fighting force in the history of the world. The war in Iraq will son belong to history, and your service belongs to the ages," he said. He said the war had been "a source of great controversy" but that they have helped to build "a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq." Sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq? Terrorist acts continue to occur in the country on a regular basis. As many as 38 people were wounded and killed just a few days ago, when a road tanker exploded in Tali-Alfar. In addition, millions of Iraqi refugees do not rush to return to their sovereign and stable homeland that has been "rescued" by the "finest fighting forced in the history of the world."


JTA: Netanyahu Pulls Ad Campaign For Israeli Expats!

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is cancelling an ad campaign aimed at luring Israeli expatriates home, that some American Jews have found offensive: The ads, produced by Israel's Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, attempted to convey the message that the children and families of Israeli "expats" will not have Israeli identities if they stay in the Diaspora. This week, the Jewish Federations of North America called the ads "insulting," and the head of the Anti-Defamation League said they were"demeaning." "The Ministry of Immigrant Absorption's campaign clearly did not take into account American Jewish sensibilities, and we regret any offense it caused," Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the United States, said in a statement. "The campaign, which aimed to encourage Israelis living abroad to come home, was a laudable one, and it was not meant to cause insult. The campaign was conducted without the knowledge or approval of the Prime Minister's Office, or of the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Prime Minister Netanyahu, once made aware of the campaign, ordered the videos immediately removed from YouTube, and he ordered that the billboards be removed as well. The prime minister deeply values the American Jewish community and is committed to deepening ties between it and the State of Israel."

Charles C.W. Cooke: Ten TSA Outrages!!!!

After 9/11, airport security quite rightly became an issue of paramount concern, yet since it creation in 2001, the Transport Security Administration has repeatedly walked a fine line between vital vigilance and gratuitous intrusion. Security expert Bruce Schneider famously referred to the current system as bordering on "security theater," in which the measures taken are more officious than efficient. This tendency toward such blunt theatrics has only been magnified by the "enhanced screening procedures" introduced in November 2010. Ron Paul, ever the champion of the individual, described the new system as "appalling" and "abusive." There is no doubt that many of those who have fallen afoul of its excesses would agree. Disabled four-year-old Ryan Thomas was on the way to Disney World, when he was accosted by TSA agents at the Philadelphia Airport and forced to walk through the scanner without his leg-braces. This wasn't the easiest request to honor, as Ryan's ankles were malformed, and his legs had little or no muscle tone." His mother's attempts to explain to the screaners fell on deaf ears. The TSA eventually conceded that Ryan should have been privately checked, but only after the boy's father got the Philadelphia Enquirer involved.

Jason Ditz: US Ambassador Tells Pakistan to Get Beyond About Complaints!

Speaking today in an interview on Pakistan's Geo News channel, US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter chided Pakistanis for continuing to express anger about the US attack on a pair of military bases just over two weeks ago. "We have pledged a full inquiry," reasoned Munter, expressing surprise that the killings were still a subject of discussion inside Pakistan, and advising viewers to "not forget that Pakistan and the US are on the same side" and "get beyond" criticism. "When people die, whether they are Pakistanis or Americans, it is too many," insisted Munter, adding that "we have really really tried to make it clear how sorrowful we are about these events. We feel the pain of the Pakistani people." The November 26 attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, and top Pakistani military officials say the attack was not only deliberate but also "preplanned."

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey: Are We Heading Towards World War Three?

With nuclear missile technology what it is today, the next war could very well be the world's last! As it becomes clear that the Pentagon/NATO is intrinsically linked to the AIPAC/State Department axis, and the USA and its allies have long since ceased to follow the law: The tell-tale signs are all there: The former status quo which was achieved by a Soviet Bloc able and willing to counteract the more aggressive and belligerent tendencies of those who had been imperialist powers, gaining riches as they held massacres while they "civilized" the planet with a "Bible and Bullet" approach to international relations. Once and for all, let us get this story straight: The Soviet Union did NOT "collapse". It dissolved voluntarily, because of a new political, economic and social environment, with those in government determining that a new political, economic, and social environment has begun. However, a major consequence of this dissolution was the vacuum in international relations, caused by the sinister plans of Washington and her NATO allies. Before the new decade expired, there was a vacuum in international relations, caused by the absence of a necessary counter-weight against the sinister plans of Washington and her NATO allies!

Matthew Doss: $806 Billion Spent for Hundreds of Thousands Killed!

The United States is withdrawing the last of its troops from Iraq this month, which makes now an appropriate time to begin weighing the costs and benefits to the US national from our intervention there. On May 1, 2003, President George W. Bush stood aboard the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and declared to the country and to the world that "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed." As Americans would quickly find out, President Bush's declaration of victory was severely premature. Iraq would soon be in the throes of a violent insurgency and, eventually, a full-blown sectarian civil war. More than eight years after that speech, as President Barack Obama prepares to keep his promise to end the war, Iraq has made progress, but still struggles with insecurity and deep political discord. Though the level of violence has remained down from its 2006-2007 peak, when dozens of of bodies could be found on Baghdad's streets every morning, Iraq still endures a level of violence that in any other country would be considered a crisis. Still, the end of former Iraq President Saddam Hussein's brutal regime represents a considerable global good, and a nascent democratic Iraqi republic partnered with the United States could potentially yield benefits in the future.

Andrew Cohen: The White House Decision on Defense

The White House announced Wednesday afternoon that it would not, after all, veto the pending defense bill over its controversial new terror detainee provisions. From the Associated Press: The White House abandoned its threat that President Barack Obama would veto a defense bill over provisions on how to handle suspected terrorists, as Congress raced to finish the legislation. Press secretary Jay Carney said last minute changes that Obama and his national security team sought produced legislation that "does not challenge the president's ability to collect to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists and protect the American people." Here are five, quick thoughts about this important moment in constitutional history. 1. This is textbook stuff. What happened this week to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act is straight out of political science or constitutional law class, the tyranny of the majority having just imposed itself upon a minority. The two popularly-elected branches of government this week have collaborated on a new law that infringes upon the core constitutional rights of US citizens , the right to due process as determined by a federal civilian court judge, and it will now be up to our independent judiciary to determine whether this effort is legal or not.