Philip Giraldi: AIPAC Declares War

The American people don't particularly want a new war in the Middle East, but apparently Congress and Washington's most powerful lobby do. Thirty-two senators have co-sponsored a resolution that will constrain the White House from adopting any policy vis-a-vis Iran's "nuclear weapons capability" that amounts to "containment." The senators include the familiar figures of Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, both of whom have persistently called for military action. They, and the other senators have presented their proposal in a particularly deceptive fashion, asserting that they are actually supporting the White House position, which they are not. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta repeated on February 16 that Iran does not have, and is not currently building a nuclear device. Before Christmas, he stated clearly that the red line for the United States is actual Iranian possession of a nuclear weapon. Even Israel's intelligence services agree that Iran is not building a bomb. What we are seeing play out in Congress is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) position, which is that Iran has already crossed a "red line." The AIPAC argument will no doubt be spelled out in more detail next month at the group's annual convention in the nation's capital, a meeting that will be addressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and will attract nearly all of Washington's power brokers.

Julian Borger: Syrian Regime Accused of Crimes Against Humanity

The UN has accused the Syrian regime of "crimes against humanity" including the use of snipers against small children, and has drawn up a list of senior officials who should face investigation, reportedly including President Bashar al-Assad. The UN report was delivered as two journalists injured in the attack that killed Sunday Times reporter Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik issued dramatic appeals to be evacuated from the besieged city of Homs, where they are trapped. A video of Edith Bouvier, a reporter for Le Figaro who suffered serious leg injuries, was released by activists in the city who say she is too badly wounded to be moved without an ambulance and guarantee of safe passage. In a second video released shortly after, Sunday Times photographer Paul Conroy, who was also injured in the attack, made a similar appeal for evacuation. Western officials urged Damascus to give immediate humanitarian access to trapped civilian populations of in Homs and elsewhere, including the evacuations of the western journalists, but said the lack of a security council mandate meant they were powerless to provide assistance without the regime's permission. The UN report found evidence that "army snipers and Shabbiha gunmen from from pro-Assad militias posted at strategic points terrorised the population, targeting and killing small children, women and other unarmed civilians. Fragmentation mortar bombs were also fired into densely populated neighborhoods."   

The War Around Us: Paul Schemm: Friends of Syria Ready Ultimatum!

The War Around Us: Paul Schemm: Friends of Syria Ready Ultimatum!

Paul Schemm: Friends of Syria Ready Ultimatum!

The United States, European and Arab nations are set to deliver a stern warning to Syrian President Bashar Assad that he must agree to an immediate cease-fire and allow humanitarian aid into areas hardest hit by his regime's brutal crackdown on opponents or face as-yet unspecified punishments and an increasingly emboldened and powerful armed resistance. On the eve of a major international conference on Syria in Tunisia, US, European and Arab officials worked out details of the demands in London on Thursday as the former United Nations chief, Kofi Annan, was named to be a joint UN-Arab League envoy to deal with the crisis. Russia and China, foes of any foreign intervention in Syria, reiterated their opposition to an international resolution. Both nations say they support a speedy end to the violence, but they have vetoed two UN Security Council resolutions backing Arab League plans aimed at ending the conflict and condemning Assad's crackdown. Alexei Pushkov, a Russian lawmaker, said Friday after a meeting with Assad that the Syrian president sounded confident and demonstrated no sign he would step aside. Pushkov warned that arming the Syrian opposition would fuel civil war. Diplomats said the "Friends of Syria" group meeting in Tunis on Friday would demand Assad's compliance. They said that failure on his part would result in tougher sanctions and predicted that his opponents would grow stronger unless he accedes and accepts a political transition that would see him leave power.


The Telegraph: Russia Warns Against Catastrophic Iran Strike

Russia has warned a strike against Iran could have "catastrophic" consequences, and urged leaders not to rush into any conclusions after this week's failed mission by UN nuclear experts. "The scenario of military action against Iran would be catastrophic for the region and possibly the whole system of international relations," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told a news conference. His comments came after a five-strong delegation from the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) left empty-handed following two days of talks focusing on suspected military aspects of the country's nuclear program. Chief nuclear inspector Herman Nackaerts said the team "could not get access" during the visit to Iran's military site in Parchin, where suspected nuclear warhead design experiments were conducted. Russia has longstanding commercial and military ties with Iran, and has condemned recent unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union over its suspected pursuit of nuclear arms. Mr Gatilov urged nations to wait for the IAEA's official report before deciding to condemn Iran for failing to cooperate with the agency. Ayatollah Khamenei insists Iran's nuclear course will not change, and UN inspectors were denied access to key military sites. In addition, Iran threatens preemptive action against Israel. "I would not make any profound conclusions from the IAEA mission that dialog failed and we reached a dead end," said Mr Gatilov. "We are not dramatizing the situation."   

Finian Cunningham: War Plan Iran, Dispelling the Lies!

The first in our new series deals with the rising tensions in the Persian Gulf between the West and Iran, and what appears to be a collision course for war. We examine the heart of the matter in order to empower our readers with knowledge and truth about what is really happening in the region and why, and, more important, what is at stake. The year 2012 may become as a watershed for humanity, the year when mankind was precipitated into a global conflagration involving nuclear weapons, The signs are indeed grimly ominous as formidable military forces converge on the Persian Gulf in the long-running stand-off between the United States and Iran. On side with the US are its European allies in NATO, primarily Britain, Washington's Middle East client states: Israel and the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf, all bristling with weapons of mass destruction. Recent naval exercises by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz have also displayed a fierce arsenal of missiles and military capability, and Iran has strategic alliances with Russia and China, both of whom will not stand idly by if their Persian partner is attacked. As we have consistently analyzed on Global Research, the conflict between the US-led powers and Iran has wider ramifications. It is part and parcel of Washington's bid to engineer the social and political upheavals across the Arab World in order to redraw the region in its strategic interests. It is no coincidence that fresh from NATO's conquest of, and regime change in Libya, the focus has quickly shifted to Syria, a key regional ally of Iran.  

James Petras: The Global Crises of Capitalism

From the Financial Times to the far left, tons of ink has been spilled writing about some variant of the "Crisis of Global Capitalism". While writers differ in the causes, consequences and cures, according to their ideological lights, there is a common agreement that "the crises" threatens to end the capitalist system as we know it. There is not much doubt that, between 2008-2009, the capitalist system in Europe and the United States suffered a severe shock that shook the foundations of its financial system and threatened to bankrupt its "leading sectors". However, I will argue the "crises of capitalism" was turned into a "crises of labor". Finance capital, the principle detonator of the crash and crises, recovered, the capitalist class as a whole was strengthened, and most important of all, it utilized the political, social, ideological conditions created as a result of "the crises" to further consolidate their dominance and exploitation over the rest of society. In other words, the "crises of capital" has been converted into a strategic advantage for furthering the most fundamental interests of capital: the enlargements of profits, the consolidation of capitalist rule, the greater concentration of ownership, the deepening of inequalities between capital and labor and the creation of huge reserves of labor to further augment their profits. Furthermore, the notion of a homogeneous global crisis of capitalism overlooks profound differences in performance and conditions, between countries, classes, and age cohorts.  


Steve Watson: New Ron Paul 2012 Ad Slams Santorum as Faken

A new Ron Paul campaign ad has been released today that takes direct aim at GOP rival Rick Santorum's voting record. Entitled simply "Fake", the 30 second spot makes the case that it is a myth that Santorum is in any way a fiscal conservative. The concise ad crams in the facts that Santorum voted to raise the federal debt ceiling five times, voted to double the size of the Department of Education through No Child Left Behind, and voted for Medicare Part D, the biggest entitlement expansion since the '60s. The ad also highlights the fact that Santorum voted to send foreign aid to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il and also endorsed sending billions in tax dollars to the corrupt regime in Egypt. Finally, the ad makes the point that Santorum also voted to give the abortion provider Planned Parenthood millions of dollars in funding. "Our new ad 'Fake' contains just a snippet of evidence against Rick Santorum being a fiscal conservative, but because these examples are so damning it makes the case convincingly," said Ron Paul 2012 National Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton. "Santorum touts his 'conservative record' all too often. It's time that his real record makes its way into the national conversation we're having about which Republican presidential candidate is the authentic, consistent conservative. That man is Ron Paul," Benton added. The new ad is scheduled to air on broadcast and television in Michigan as part of the Ron Paul campaign's major ad blitz set to hit next month's 'Super Tuesday' states.

John Lichfield: Sarkozy Hits Below the Belt!

President Nicolas Sarkozy was accused yesterday by a former colleague of adopting "fascist" and "violent" rhetoric in his no-holds-barred campaign for re-election this spring. In the first days of his campaign, President Sarkozy has denounced the Socialist front-runner, Francois Hollande, as a "dangerous" and "dishonest" man who does not "like France". The President said that the democratic rights of the French people had been "confiscated" by "elitist" lobbies, pressure groups and trade unions. Proclaiming himself to be the "candidate of the people", Mr Sarkozy said that, if re-elected, he would call for a series of referendums on reforms to break the stranglehold of a "tiny elite". His words were condemned as a dangerous lapse into "demagoguery" yesterday by opponents and political commentators. They were also criticized by senior colleagues, including the former center-right Prime Minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin. A former Environment Minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin. A former Environment Minister, Corinne Lepage, said that she was "scandalized" by the "violence" of President Sarkozy's language. "This is extremely serious," said Ms Lepage, who hopes to run as an independent candidate in the April and May election. "This is how fascism began its rise in the 1930s. By attacking political parties and representative bodies such as unions and lobby groups." President Sarkozy's supporters retorted that he had been bombarded with personal attacks by the left and far-right for months. He had the right to respond by "defining" the front-runner Mr Hollande as a weak and vacillating politician who would surrender to interest groups.         

Yuri Sosinsky-Semikhat: European Jews get itchy feet

In recent years, the media are writing increasingly more about the deteriorating situation of the Jewish communities in Western Europe. Current concerns about the increasing anti-Semitism in various forms have led to an increase of relocation intents among European Jews. However, many politicians and public figures continue to express their determination to defend the economic, cultural and religious interests of the diaspora. Another question is whether it will be possible to preserve the influence of former Jewish communities in modern Europe. The largest Jewish community in Western Europe resides in France, with 483,000 people. Paris alone has dozens of synagogues, kosher restaurants and a number of cultural organizations of the adherents of Judaism. However, it has not always been the case. Only 30-40 years ago one could hardly find a single restaurant with Jewish cuisine in France. Today, Paris is home to approximately 350,000 Jews. Marseille 70,000, Lyon 25,000, Strasbourg 16,000, Toulouse 23,000, and Nice 20,000. The community organization is a well-developed structure that began to form in the era of Napoleon Bonaparte. The interests of the Jews are represented by Consistory religious institutions, as well as a number of public organizations and foundations. The largest of them is the United Jewish Community Foundation. In France over the past half century the community suffered a series of shocks associated with bursts of anti-semitism, caused both by events in the Middle East and internal factors. Many analysts link the growth of hostility towards Jews in the 1940-50s with Charles de Gaulle, who carried out an anti-Israeli policy.  


Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey: Libya, NATO's Worst Crime!

Lies, deceit, blackmail, bullying, murder, torture, concentration camps, destruction of property, looting, massacres, all these words pale into insignificance when we look at what NATO has done to Libya, and intends to do in Syria within a few days. The sickening evidence coming from Libya underlines what we are dealing with: It is very difficult to imagine that Cameron, Hague, Sarkozy, Juppe, Obama and Hilary Clinton are happy with their legacy in Libya. In fact, what they have done there would lead any normal human being into the depths of desperation. In a professional context, it would involve a dismissal, and in a military one, a court martial or a dishonorable discharge. NATO's "mission" in Libya was to impose a no-fly zone to protect innocent civilians. Quite how anyone could have been so naive as to believe that, after what NATO did in Iraq, defies logic. How anyone could have believed them after that is still a mystery! Unfortunately the international community once again gave NATO the benefit of doubt, and NATO performed another massacre, another example of arming terrorists, more killings, more violence, more destruction of property, more torture, more rapes, and another generation of children without a future. If God exists, and Satan rules, then Libya can, and must be NATO's last stand. Right must defeat wrong. Good must triumph over evil. The Demons must be slain, and NATO must lose its power.

The Telegraph: Afghanistan erupts over Koran burning.

Furious protesters firing gasoline bombs and slingshots have besieged the largest US-run military base in Afghanistan after reports that NATO troops had set fire to copies of the Koran. The enraged crowd shouted "Death to Americans" and "Death to infidels" at guards at Bagram airbase north of Kabul. The guards responded by firing rubber bullets on the crowd, said an AFP photographer, who was hit in the neck. US helicopters fired flares to try to break up as many as 2,000 demonstrators who massed outside several gates to the base. Hundreds of other people protested in the Afghan capital as security forces dispatched reinforcements in a bid to stop the demonstrations from spiraling out of control in the fiercely conservative Islamic country. General John Allen, the US commander in Afghanistan, apologized and ordered an investigation into a report that troops "improperly disposed of a large number of Islamic religious materials which included Korans". "I offer my sincere apologies for any offense this may have caused, to the president of Afghanistan, the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and most importantly, to the noble people of Afghanistan," he said. General Allen's remarkably candid statement, apparently aimed at damage limitation after similar incidents led to violence and attacks on foreigners, was played on Afghan television. Allegations that NATO troops at Bagram had set fire to copies of the Muslim holy book were first reported by Afghans working at the base, a senior government official said.

theguardian: Dozens of Children die in Afghanistan cold

More than 40 people, most of them children, have frozen to death in what has been Afghanistan's coldest inter in years. The government has recorded 41 deaths from freezing in three provinces: Kabul, Ghor and Badakhshan, said health ministry spokesman Ghulam Sakhi Kargar. All but four of those deaths were children, he said. Twenty-four were in the capital, Kabul, mostly in camps for people who have fled the fighting elsewhere in the country. Kabul has been experiencing its worst cold snap and heaviest snowfall in 15 years, according to the national weather center. It said the weather was expected to improve by the end of the week. Heavy snowfall in Day Kundi province caused an avalanche late on Sunday in the Sang-i-Takht district that damaged dozens of homes and shops. The avalanche caused no injuries, said Nasrullah Sadiqizada, a member of parliament from the central province. The hardest hit have been people living in tents in a number of camps around the capital. The deaths in these camps, so close to the offices of international organizations overseeing billions of dollars in aid to the country, have shocked many in Kabul. The United Nations and US aid agency have started distributing extra blankets, tarpaulins and fuel to people living in 40 camps throughout the city, the US embassy said in a statement last week. Most of those in the camps have fled from Helmand and Kunduz provinces, though some are Afghans who have returned from years of living in Iran and Pakistan to find themselves homeless, the statement said.


The Excavator: Critics of Obama are Racists and Conspiracy Theorists

The President just got here, but in four years, will we still like him? In eight years, are we gonna still hype him? What if he says we've gotta go into Iran and kill a million people? Will we still be down with the man? You'd better wake up and smell the coffee. This is why the radio station don't toss me. Me, and I'm on the microphone, I stand with people like Alex Jones. This truth means I've never been about no fuckin' government. I do for myself, speak for myself, teach myself, reach for myself. Hip hop, you gotta do the same thing. Listen to me now, while I rap and sing. The New World Order just put on a black face. Obama has PR advantage over his Republican rivals because he is a black President. A Black President doesn't get criticized by the left because he is black. They think that a black president can't be an evil imperialist in the same way as a white president. I think that is one of the political codes in politically correct Washington. In American politics, ambitious black politicians use the race card as though it were magic. Being black in power is a good image boost, which is why Obama was handpicked to be President by the oligarchy during his time of trial and transition: When Obama bombs Persia, Obama's Zombies will say: How can Obama be evil when he is black? Black presidents don't start evil wars. Only white presidents do that, because the white man is the devil. When Obama bombs Persia, Obama's Zombies will say: How can Obama be evil when he's black? Black presidents don't start evil wars. Only white presidents do that, because the white man is the devil!

Stephen Lendman: Orwellian Drones "Eye in the Sky" Spying on Americans

Money power runs America. So do lobbies representing all corporate and other interests. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) represents dozens of influential companies. They include Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Bell Helicopter Textron, Sikorsky Aircraft, Goodrich, General Dynamics, Honeywell, Booz Allen Hamilton, Hill & Knowlton, and many more promoting unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) drone technology. Against targeted countries, it's America's newest sport. From distant command centers, operators kill by remote control. They use computer keyboards and multiple monitors. UAVs stand ready round-the-clock for missions. Predator drones perform sanitized killing on the cheap compared to manned aircraft. Independent experts believe militants are hit about 2% of the time. All others are noncombatants, despite official disclaimers. In 1995, Predator drones were used for the first time in Bosnia. In 2001, the Global Hawk drone was used in Afghanistan. Throughout the Afghan and Iraq wars, the Pentagon used various type drones for combat and spying missions. In Libya, Obama authorized Predator drones, operated throughout the war. They are also used in Yemen, Somalia, and wherever Washington designates targets to kill. US citizen Anwar al-Aulaqi was assassinated this way. So can anyone anywhere on America's hit list, including domestically before too long.   

Nile Bowie: The Road To Tehran Goes Through Damascus.

Between the chaos and artillery fire unfolding in Homs and Damascus, the current siege against the Ba'athist State of Bashar al-Assad, parallels events of nearly a century ago. In efforts to maintain its protectorate, the French government employed the use of foreign soldiers to smother those seeking to abolish the French mandated, Federation Syrienne. While former Prime Minister Faris al-Khoury argued the case for Syrian independence before the UN in 1945, French planed bombed Damascus into submission. Today, the same government, in addition to the United States and its client regimes in Libya and Tunisia enthusiastically recognize the Syrian National Council as the legitimate leadership of Syria. Although recent polls funded by the Qatar Foundation claim 55% of Syrians support the Assad regime, the former colonial powers have made a mockery of the very democratic principles they tout. Irrespective to the views of the Syrian people, their fate has long been decided by forces operating beyond their borders. In a speech given to the Commonwealth Club of California in 2007, retired US Military General Wesley Clark speaks of a policy coup initiated by members of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). Clark cites a confidential document handed down from the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2001, stipulating the entire restructuring of the Middle East and North Africa. Portentously, the document allegedly revealed campaigns to systematically destabilize the governments of Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Syria, Lebanon and Iran. Under the familiar scenario of an authoritarian regime systematically suppressing peaceful dissent and purging large swaths of its population, the mechanisms of geopolitical stratagem have freely taken course.  


Finian Cunningham: The Fingerprints of False Flags Against Iran

Another pretext to wage war? The Fingerprints of False Flags Against Iran. The Thailand, India, Georgia Terrorist Bomb Blasts. Have American and Israeli efforts to pin international terrorism on Iran just gone global? A series of bomb attacks apparently on Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia are now being linked with blasts in the Thai capital, Bangkok, for which it is reported that three Iranian men have been arrested. Israel is claiming that the explosive devices recovered in Thailand are the same "sticky bombs" that were used in the attacks in New Delhi and Tiblisi, and that is proof that an Iranian terror network is conducting an assassination campaign against its foreign diplomats. "The attempted terrorist attack in Bangkok proves once again that Iran and its proxies continue to perpetrate terror," said Ehud Barak, Israel's defense minister. Thai police have named one of the men injured in the blasts on Tuesday in Bangkok as an Iranian national. It is reported that two other men were arrested, one in the Thai capital and another detained after he flew to Malaysia, are also Iranian. The Thai authorities have so far declined to comment on claims that the group is part of an international terror network. The assailants in the Indian and Georgian attacks are unknown. However, Israel has claimed that those apparent assassination attempts against its diplomats on Monday in New Delhi and Tbilisi were the work of Iranian-linked Hezbollah, operating out of Lebanon. Israeli claims echo long-standing assertions by Washington and Tel Aviv that Iran is a sponsor of international terrorism. At the end of last year, the US government claimed that it had uncovered an Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador in Washington.

F William Engdahl: Israel's Levant Basin, A New Political Curse?

Recent discoveries of not just significant, but huge oil and gas reserves in the little-explored Mediterranean Sea between Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, Syria and Lebanon suggest that the region could become literally a "New Persian Gulf" in terms of oil and gas riches. As with the old Persian Gulf, discovery of hydrocarbon riches could well spell a geopolitical curse of staggering dimension. Long-standing Middle East conflicts could soon be paled by new battles over rights to oil and gas resources beneath the eastern Mediterranean in the Levant Basin and Aegean Sea. Here we explore the implications of a gigantic discovery of gas and oil in offshore Israel. In a second article we will explore the implications of gas and oil discoveries in the Aegean between Cyprus, Syria, Turkey, Greece and Lebanon. The game changer was a dramatic discovery in late 2010 of an enormous natural gas field offshore of Israel in what geologists call the Levant or Levantine Basin. In October 2010, Israel discovered a massive "super-giant" gas field offshore in what it declares is its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The find is some 84 miles west of the Haifa port and three miles deep. They named it Leviathan after the Biblical sea monster. Three Israeli energy companies in cooperation with the Houston Texas Noble Energy announced initial estimates that the field contained 16 trillion cubic feet of gas, making it the world's biggest deep-water gas find in a decade, adding more discredit to "peak oil" theories that the planet is about to see dramatic and permanent shortages of oil, gas and coal.

Fars News Agency: Diplomat Warns of Iran's Crushing Response to Israel!

A high-ranking Iranian diplomat warned that any hostile move by the Zionist regime, even the slightest aggression against the Islamic Republic, would be reciprocated with a destructive response. "Iran will not start a possible war with the Zionist regime, but will deliver a decisive response to any aggression by the regime," Iranian Ambassador to Beirut Qazanfar Roknabadi said on Saturday. He added that in response to any threat by the Zionist regime, Iran is completely prepared. Iran has recently warned that its Armed Forces are fully prepared to immediately deliver a crushing response to any offensive on Iranian territory. On November 10, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei warned enemies about Iran's tough response to any aggression, or even threat, stressing that the country would respond with full force to any attack. "Iran is not going to sit still and just observe threats from fragile materialist powers which are being eaten by worms from inside." Ayatollah Khamenei told students at a Tehran military college. "Anyone who harbors any thought of invading the Islamic Republic of Iran, or even if the thought crosses their mind, should be prepared to receive strong blows and the steel fists of the military, the the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and the Basij volunteer force, backed by the entire Iranian nation," he said. Iran will respond with full force to any aggression or threats in away that will demolish the aggressors from within," he added.        

Brother Nathanael: Putin Trumps Zionist Plan For Syria

There is no man feared more by International Jewry than Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and while the Zionist West and its lackeys at the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council would have us believe that armed "jihadists" in Syria are murdering innocent native civilians are "lovers of democracy," Putin remains unshaken in his defense of International law. Last November, Putin sent a signal to the Zionist lapdogs by dispatching the Russian Patriarch on a religious mission to Syria, where he met with both the Syrian Antiochian Patriarch and Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, the message was clear: Putin, who recently announced that in the tradition of the Tsars, his foreign policy will include protecting Orthodox Christians abroad, left no doubt that any attempt to oust Assad, who is protecting ALL minorities in Syria, will be opposed. Putin outlined his anti-Zionist stand last week when he assembled both Orthodox Christian and moderate Islamic clergy for a clear and certain News Release that he will not countenance any foreign military intervention in Syria. Now, with three Russian warships recently docked in Syria's port of Tartus, Putin's actions speak louder than his words. I am certain that Talmudic Jew, Senator Joseph Lieberman, who is the first senator to call foe a No Fly Zone over Syria and for arming the Syrian opposition, which in reality is made up of Islamic fundamentalists and foreign mercenaries, has gotten Putin's message: "We're not going to stand by and allow Assad to slaughter his people like his father did. He is going to run the risk of having the world community impose a No Fly Zone, and in doing so, we are being consistent with our American values."  


theguardian: Fidel Castro Attacks Idiocy and Ignorance!

Fidel Castro has lambasted the Republican presidential race as the greatest competition of "idiocy and ignorance" the world has ever seen, and also criticized the news media and foreign governments for seizing on the death of a Cuban prisoner to demand greater respect for human rights. Castro's comments came in a long opinion piece carried by official media two days after a Republican debate in Florida presented mostly hardline stances on what to do about the Communist-run island. Cuba has become an important issue as the candidates court Florida's influential Cuban-American community in an effort to win the biggest electoral prize so far in the primary season. Castro said he had assumed the candidates would try to outdo each other on the issue of Cuba, but nonetheless he was appalled by the level of debate. "The selection of a Republican candidate for the presidency of this globalized and expansive empire is, and I mean this seriously, the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been," he wrote. Castro disputed accounts of the death of Wilman Villar Mendoza, a 31-year-old prisoner, saying he had not been a dissident and had not been on a 50-day hunger strike, as human rights and opposition groups claimed. The retired leader said Villar had been a common criminal sent to prison for domestic violence, and he had received the best medical attention possible.     

Food Safety: Is Food From GM Crops Safe?

The first large acreage plantings of GM crops, herbicide tolerant soybeans and canola, took place in 1996 after successfully passing US regulatory review. Since then, additional GM crops with herbicide tolerance, insect tolerance and virus resistance have been given clearance for planting and consumption. These include varieties of corn, sugar beets, squash and papaya. All of these crops have been assessed for food and feed safety in producing countries, and many more countries have approved the import of food or food ingredients that contain food from GM crops. There has not been a single substantiated instance of illness or harm associated with GM crops. Why aren't you running human clinical trials on GM crops? Because existing food crops are recognized as safe, the logical starting point for safety assessment of a GM food is to ask "what is different?" Aspects of the GM crop which are the same as the non-GM counterpart do not require safety assessment. Safety assessment can then be appropriately focused on what is different about the GM crop. All GM crops are analyzed and compared to non-GM counterparts in order to determine whether they have similar concentrations of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, amino acids, fiber, vitamins and a variety of other components. Two crops which are alike in all respects are said to be "substantially equivalent." All crops vary in nutrient and other components. No two crops, or even samples of the same crop, are identical.  

National Association of Rural Landowners

Those who have been once intoxicated with power, and have derived any kind of emolument from it, even though but for one year, can never willingly abandon it. They may be distressed in the nidst of all their power, but they will never look to anything but power for their relief. Like political power, a massive black hole is an insatiable beast. It will literally absorb anything that gets too close. It eats surrounding gases, whole stars, star systems and planets, and as it eats, it grows more and more powerful. Its power reaches out deeper and deeper int the heavens and warps the very fabric of space and time. A black hole is a whirlpool in the universe, and its immense gravity powers entire galaxies while it clears the space around it like a giant vacuum cleaner inside its event horizon. At its center is a point of infinite density where the laws of physics no longer apply. It is, in its growing sphere of influence, the epitome of absolute power. Not even light can escape it. Since the dawn of human civilization, the masses have been and still are in a constant struggle against the ever-increasing power of centralized government. Whether it be kings, despots, dictators, or even democracies, centralized power grows and grows, like a black hole, until it envelops and consumes all those who attempt to break it up, or destroy it. Even though the Founding Fathers went to great pains to inhibit the rise of the federal government by limiting its powers in the US Constitution, every succeeding executive, legislative and judicial branch of government since George Washington has wriggled and finagled around its constitutional restraints into ever-increasing political power.