US troops in Afghanistan now have to far-reaching new protections against rogue killers among their Afghan allies, including assigned "guardian angels", fellow troops who will watch over them as they sleep. Marine General John Allen, the top US commander in Afghanistan, ordered the added protections in recent weeks to guard against insider threats, according to a senior military official. "They come in the wake of 16 attacks on US and coalition forces by Afghans, that now represent nearly one-fifth of all combat deaths this year." Do the cheerleaders of those illegal, immoral invasions and occupations of countries like Afghanistan not get it yet about 'blowback'? As I wrote in my recent column, regarding the Obama/Soeotro administration proposing to impose higher medical premiums for vets, here we are with our troops, who will be veterans someday, having to guard each other even when sleeping, against Afghani's who don't want our troops there. I wish those who wave the flag and cheer on our soldiers in those countries remember the body bags you never see on the propaganda machine called TV. 1/5th of all combat deaths isn't just a statistic. Every one of those soldiers is dead and their families and friends will forever have a huge hole in their hearts. For what? Please don't insult my intelligence by sending me email they're there fighting for our freedom. That carefully crafted "justification" long ago wore out its place in history. While the troops are there to protect the opium poppy crops, a sick culture of death, and where pedophilia is common in some regions, here is what their president, Hamid Karzai, said as the flag-draped coffins continue to arrive back on US soil: The anger over the killing of their civilians is totally understandable, but we really don't know what happened with that soldier. It takes time to conduct an investigation.
Did the parents of former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers help finance Barack Obama's Harvard education? Did Ayers' mother believe Obama was a foreign student? And was the young Obama convinced at the time, long before he even entered politics, that he was going to become president of the United States? A retired US Postal Service carrier who delivered mail to Tom and Mary Ayers in a Chicago suburb in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and claims to have met Obama in front of the Ayers home emphatically says yes to all three questions. Allen Hulton, who was commended for 39 years of honorable service with the USPS, has given a sworn affidavit to investigators commissioned by Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio to determine whether Obama is eligible for Arizona's 2012 election ballot. Hulton has recorded about three hours of video interviews with WND. Hulton says that in conversations with Mary Ayers while on his route he learned of the couple's enthusiasm and support for a black foreign student. One bright, warm Chicago-land day, he recounts, he met the student who fit Mary Ayers' description in front of the Ayers' home in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. That young man, Hulton is convinced, was Barack Obama. Hulton delivered mail to the Ayers, who are both deceased, when he was stationed at the post office in Glen Ellyn, an upper-middle class suburb 25 miles west of downtown Chicago, from late 1986 to 1997. He was a USPS employee from March 28, 1962, through March 28, 1962, through March30, 2001. "It was a beautiful neighborhood, one of the nicer routes any of the letter carriers would have liked to have had," Hulton recalls. "It had some large and very beautiful homes." Obama's relationship with Bill Ayers, whom he dismissed in a 2008 debate as "just a guy who lives in my neighborhood" plagued him in the 2008 presidential campaign.
President Obama's vast escalation of drone warfare is "a declaration of war against international law, as it has evolved over centuries." He systematically wages war against peace, the highest international crime. More than "just another 'war president' he is a destroyer of world civilization, the terms by which humans deal with one another as states, social groupings and individuals." When Barack Obama was running for president, in 2008, he vowed to increase the use of drones against al Qaida elements in Pakistan and Afghanistan. His surrogates roamed the talk shows, advocating a "smarter" and cheaper kind of robotic war, allowing the US to avoid pouring more troops into the "Af-Pak" theater of conflict. Vastly increased deployment of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's), the argument went, would jettison George Bush's "dumb" approach to warfare in favor of a cheaper and more humane use of US technological resources, saving both American and South Asian lives. What the "peace" candidate was actually proposing, was a qualitative leap in the US drive for "full spectrum dominance" over the planet. The US would elevate to a strategic principle its self-arrogated entitlement to use whatever technical means at its disposal, mainly drones, to target and kill designated adversaries at will, anyplace on the globe, at any time, accountable only to itself. It was a declaration of war against international law, as it has evolved over the centuries. This administration has expanded the Air Force inventory of active drones to at least 7,500. Drones have joined Special Operations forces as the "tip of the spear" of US power projection in the developing world, the "front lines" of the current imperial offensive. Virtually all of the drones' lethal missions are, in legal terms, assassinations, with or without "collateral damage." They are also acts of terror, certainly in the broad sense of the word, and intended to be so.
As demonstrated below, nuclear energy is expensive and bad for the environment. Forbes points out: Nuclear power is no longer an economically viable source of new energy in the United States, the freshly-retired CEO of Exelon, America's largest producer of nuclear power, who has also served on the president's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future, said in Chicago Thursday, and it won't become economically viable for the foreseeable future. "I'm the nuclear guy," Rowe said. "And you won't get better results with nuclear. It just isn't economic, and it's not economic within a foreseeable time frame." US News and World Report notes: After the Fukushima power plant disaster in Japan last year, the rising costs of nuclear energy could deliver a knockout punch to its future use in the United States, according to a researcher at the Vermont Law School Institute for Energy and the Environment. "From my point of view, the fundamental nature of nuclear technology suggests that the future will be as clouded as the past," says Mark Cooper, the author of the report. New safety regulations enacted or being considered by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission would push the cost of nuclear energy too high to be economically competitive. The disaster insurance for nuclear power plants in the United States is currently underwritten by the federal government, Cooper says. Without that safeguard, "nuclear power is neither affordable nor worth the risk. If the owners and operators of nuclear reactors had to face the full liability of a Fukushima-style nuclear accident or go head-to-head with alternatives in a truly competitive marketplace, unfettered by subsidies, no one would build one today, and anyone who owns a reactor would exit the nuclear business as quickly as possible."
With around 20 percent real unemployed, it's US joblessness that could prove the stumbling block for Obama's second term, not foreign policy issues, says Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup, America's leading company conducting opinion polls worldwide. RT: What are the dynamics in terms of opinion polls as far as the economy goes, among the American people, the way it was four years ago, and the way it is now? We were going just fine in 2007, first part of 2008, then we crashed down. Now it's coming back a little bit. RT: Enough to win President Obama the next election? I don't think quite yet. According to the Gallup poll, if we vote tonight, Romney will beat him. They are not voting for Romney, they just vote against the president. What are the main reasons not to vote for the president? Strictly unemployment. Just one reason. Foreign policy plays no role at all right now. If something big happens, that will only make a little bit of difference. Americans don't want to hear about foreign policy. They should, but they don't. Gallup shows real unemployment is close to 20 percent in America. Not 8.5 but 20 percent. 30 million people are out of work. 60 percent of them told Gallup they have no hope of getting a job. That is 18 million. Do Americans blame the president for that? There are two questions here. Do I think they should? No. Do they? Yes! There were two polls conducted in America, not Gallup. In one, the majority said 'yes' to diplomacy. What do you think about that? The wording of the question makes an enormous amount of difference. One thing that we noticed, if you put the word 'freedom' or 'free' in a question, it really changes the outcome. They call it "free choice act". Words are very powerful in our questions. If your question is: Do you believe the people who are writing the questions can make it come out any way they want? I would say pretty much so!
The image of Iran presented by the Western media does not leave us happy," says the Ambassador. To give voice to the Iranians and break stereotypes manufactured by the Western media, civil society organizations called on Iran's ambassador ambassador in Brazil. Mohammad Ali Ghanezadeg Ezavladi, to talk with intellectuals, artists and journalists of the Brazilian Press Association (ABI), in Rio de Janeiro. The auditorium was crowded during the event, which was attended attended by singer, Beth Carvalho. Ezabadi made a little speech and then answered all the questions from an audience that was mostly sympathetic to questions such as Iran's nuclear bomb, repression of women, comparison with Brazil, Iran, media coverage, among other topics were analyzed by the diplomat. Speech by Mohammad Ali Ezayladi before questions: It is important that we succeed in presenting Iranians, because unfortunately the news disseminated about Iran is so dark that it sometimes hides the real country. We are a country of 70 million inhabitants, one of the creators of one of three world civilizations. I want to talk about the present and a country that 33 years ago the people made a revolution in order not to serve plunderers and major powers. As soon as the independence, the sovereignty of that country was announced, problems started to appear. It was a path chosen by us, and in the light of this determination, Iran moved ahead and won many successes and achieved rapid development. From the data of international institutions on scientific activities in the world, Iran registered a high average worldwide. In studies of nanotechnology, we were in 12th place in the world, stem cell of the 6th country, and we are the only Islamic country that could launch a satellite into orbit. We have created good conditions for our people at various levels, and education became a priority in our country. The level of the student population was 150,000. After the revolution and today, there are 4 million college students.
Sheila Ramos' grandsons, 10 and 13, started crying. They wanted to know where the house was. There wasn't one. There was only a tent. They had flown from Florida, after Ramos had fallen hopelessly behind on the mortgage for her three-bedroom home, to this family-owned patch of rural land on Hawaii's Big Island. There, on a July night in 2009, they pitched a tent and, with no electricity, started a new life. If Ramos were in her 20s, living off the land might be a marvelous adventure. Hawaii is beautiful, and the weather is mild. In the nearly three years since she moved here, her family has built a semi-permanent tent encampment, and they now have electricity. But it's not how this 58-year-old grandmother, who has custody of her three grandchildren, imagined spending her retirement after working for more than 30 years, nine running her own business. She regularly scours the local dump and recycling center for items she can salvage. The story of how she ended up in a tent is the story of how America ended up in a foreclosure crisis that has not ended, that still drags down the economy and threatens to force millions of families from their homes. Already, banks have foreclosed on more than 4 million homes since the crisis began in 2007. With almost 6 million loans still in danger of foreclosure, 2012 could very well be the worst year yet. Ramos' story is remarkable not because it's unique, but because it isn't. Her story doesn't fit any of the conventional narratives. Ramos is not a helpless victim. She made mistakes. But she didn't take out her mortgages to live the free-market dream of starting her own business. She took out later mortgages to cope with injuries sustained in a car accident. Every step of the way, from her first sub-prime loan to foreclosure, her downfall was abetted by a mortgage industry so profit-driven and disconnected from homeowners that the common interests once linking lender and borrower have been severed.
The mysterious death of a 41-year-old British businessman in a Chongqing hotel room late last year was thrust to the center of the biggest political scandal to hit China's Communist Party in a generation on Tuesday, as the authorities declared the death a murder and named the wife of one of China's most powerful men the leading suspect. The death of the businessman, Neil Heywood, initially attributed to alcohol poisoning, is now considered an "intentional homicide," the Xinhua news agency announced. That made the case the most sensational in a series of charges against the family of Bo Xilai, who was until March the Chongqing party chief and seen as one of the handful of rising leaders slated to run China. On Tuesday, Mr. Bo was suspended from his post on the Politburo, the 25-member body that runs China, and from the larger Central Committee, on suspicion of serious disciplinary infractions, the government announced. His wife, Gu Kailai, who is a lawyer, was being investigated in the killing of Mr. Heywood. Not since the purges after the crackdown on democracy protests in 1989 has the Chinese leadership been exposed to so much turmoil. Excruciatingly for top officials, who prize unity and secrecy above all, this one involves foreigners in an embarrassingly intrusive way, both the death of a British citizen and also the attempt by a senior police official to seek American asylum. That official, Wang Lijun, a onetime close aide to Mr. Bo who was himself under investigation for corruption, fled to the consulate of the United States in Chengdu in February and spent more than 30 hours there. He said Mr. Heywood had been poisoned and revealed what he knew about the death, and about jockeying for power inside the country's closed political system, several people briefed on the matter said.
The Green Resistance in Libya has brought us a first-hand account of a girl who was captured by the pro-NATO terrorists. Below is her story, the story of total depravity and a telling example of the type of person that the USA, France and the UK sided with in Libya. Surely if you arm and finance terrorists like this, you are responsible! The FUKUS-Axis is responsible for unleashing bands of thugs and murderers and torturers onto the streets of Libya to take over this oil-rich, strategically placed nation, the heart of the Mediterranean basin. The FUCUS-Axis is also responsible for the action of the scourge which they created. I urge Cameron, Obama and Sarkozy to read these lines: I also urge Clinton, Hague and Juppe to read these lines. As for the Qatari scourge which boosted the ranks of the terrorists who raped, tortured, looted, stole and murdered their way to destroying Libya. The global media of course do not carry this type of material. The title of this piece is: "Interview with girl who escaped from rats prison". It is a first-hand account of a girl who was captured by the terrorists who destroyed Libya, working for the FUKUS-Axis (France, UK, US and Israel) against their people. It was translated by volunteers. Here is an abridged version of her horrendous account. The victim is a Libyan girl who wishes to remain anonymous for her own security, since she escaped from an NTC prison. NTC, the terrorist scourge aided and abetted by the FUKUS-Axis, the same Axis now supporting terrorists in Syria. She was captured by the NTC terrorists on August 20, 2011 and escaped in late November 2011, remaining in hiding until March 2012, when she decided to talk. She was one of the Libyan women and girls who volunteered for the People's Guard, to protect our country from NATO and the NTC (Rats). She was captured and was imprisoned by the Rats for three months. They tortured her during this period of time, using electrical appliances and in other ways. They would put us inside some fridge trucks, that were generally used as cold rooms, or as mortuaries. They often used electric shocks on people, using a 'shocker', or home-made electric chairs and bare electrical wires connected to the grid, and they scalded people with hot water and sat them for long periods under freezing air outlets. They raped us and used all kinds of brutality and humiliation.
US police forces train with Israel's Mossad agents, treating peaceful American protesters like terrorists, an online columnist tells Press TV. Experts say US police used pepper spray and heavy-handed tactics against students in California's Santa Monica College against their college's tuition policies. A four-year-old girl is among the at least 30 victims. Last November, students at a University of California campus were also pepper sprayed by police. Press TV has conducted an interview with Allen Roland, online columnist, to further discuss the issue. The following is a transcription of the interview: Press TV: Mr. Roland, what we have seen in the last pat months is people and, in this particular case, students exercising their constitutional rights staging peaceful protests. Why then are we not seeing America going back on its own Constitution, the First Amendment I'm pointing to? Roland: Let me just say that the Constitution is being shredded right before our eyes. What we're seeing here is a militarization of the police force. You do not realize, but a lot of these police forces across the country have been trained by Mossad. They're using the same techniques that Israel uses with the West Bank people and the Gaza people right here in the United States. What do you mean? What I mean is this, is that these people are being treated more and more like what? Terrorists. The militarization of the police force is one of the most outrageous acts that is happening right now. According to the Constution, that is illegal. But that has been shredded. Right now the president has the opportunity to do this, to basically kill anyone without due process that's been passed by Congress. This is going to get worse before it gets better, as I've been saying for months, as we approach the election!
In their quest to undo what is natural and good, the globalists have launched a war on children. This war against children and innocent life is very real and must not be confused with contrived fake wars like the war on terror, war on drugs, and war on cancer. The globalists' first line of attack is government usurpation of parental rights and reducing the age of consent for dangerous and unnecessary medical procedures. Recently a paper entitled "After-birth Abortion. Why Should the Baby Live? was published in the Journal of Medical Ethics. It argues that abortion should be extended to make the killing of newborn babies permissible, even if the baby is healthy. The paper is another example of how the Rockefeller medical establishment is dominated by a eugenicists mindset. Both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons. Killing a newborn should be permissible in all cases where the newborn is not disabled. Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life. Indeed, many humans are not considered subjects of a right to life. Indeed, many humans are not considered subjects of a right to life: Spare embryos where research on embryo stem cells is permitted, fetuses where abortion is permitted, criminals where capital punishment is legal. Not to be outdone by science fiction, new legislation in Australia is paving the way for children of any age to consent to sterilization without parental consent. The Bill states that if a psychiatrist determines that a child under the age of 18 years is 'sufficiently mature', they will be sterilized without any parental consent. There is no minimum age requirement so long as the child is deemed 'mature' enough by a psychiatrist.
The US Army is dedicating millions of research dollars into discovering building helmets to allow soldiers to telepathically communicate with one another on the battlefield. The technology, which seems like something out of a science fiction novel, would use electrodes to pick up code words that soldiers were thinking. Those codewords would then be transmitted back to a computer where the soldier's position and message-telling, for instance, that it is safe to progress toward a target, which would be transmitted to their peers in the field. Rumors that army intelligence was determined to use mind control technology to their advantage have been milling around for decades, and have been shrouded in a mix of truth and fiction. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was established in 1958 and was dedicated to expanding the Department of Defense' technology usage, some of which included state-of-the-art, and top secret, research into the mind. Delving more into the fiction side of things was the book, and later George Clooney movie, called The Men Who Stare At Goats which depicts the use of New Age concepts, like mind control, used during interrogation exercises in the last three decades. Now, new details are emerging about the very real $4million research project being conducted across the country on the Pentagon's dime. Based largely out of University of California-Irvine, in conjunction with labs in Philadelphia and Maryland, scientists are trying to improve so-called 'synthetic telepathy' so that it could be used in a battlefield. At this point, they have set their sights on 2017 as the year when their plan may turn into silent action.
A senior Chinese official warns that any military aggression against Iran over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program would endanger the region's security and undermine global economic recovery. "If force is used on Iran, it will certainly incur retaliation, cause an even greater military clash, worsen turmoil in the region, threaten the security of the Strait of Hormuz and other strategic passages, drive up global oil prices and strike a blow at the world economic recovery," Director-General for Chinese Foreign Ministry's Department of West Asian and North African Affairs Chen Xiaodong said on Friday. "The international community has a responsibility to restrain itself from war," he warned. The US and the Israeli regime have been escalating their war rhetoric against the Islamic Republic in the recent months based on repeated baseless allegations that Iran's nuclear energy program is diverted towards non-civilian objectives. Iran refutes the allegations, arguing that as a signatory to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities, but has never found any evidence indicating that Tehran's civilian nuclear program has been diverted towards nuclear weapons production.
Moscow has stepped into the vacuum created by US President Barack Obama's decision to stay out of any potentially incendiary Middle East involvement, while campaigning for a second term. After blocking the way to direct Western and Arab military intervention in Syria through the Mediterranean, Russia sent its Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov last week on a round trip to the capitals of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, an expedition designed to secure Iran against a potential US/Israeli attack via its northern and eastern neighbors, debkafile's military sources report. On his return to Moscow, April 6, the Russian army let it be known that highly-advanced mobile S-400 surface-to-air missiles had been moved into Kaliningrad, the Baltic enclave bordered by Poland and Lithuania, its response to US plans for an anti-Iran missile shield system in Europe and the Middle East. In Yerevan, the Russian minister finalized a deal for the establishment of an advanced Russian radar station in the Armenian mountains to counter the US radar set up at the Turkish Kurecik air base, our sources disclose. Just as the Turkish station, not withstanding Ankara's denials, will trade data on incoming Iranian missiles with the US station in the Israeli Negev, the Russian station in Armenia will share input with Tehran. Moscow remains deeply preoccupied in Syria, successfully fending off Western and Arab pressure against its ruler Bashar Assad. Debkafile's sources hear that Assad will not meet the April 10 deadline for moving his heavy armor and battalions out of Syrian cities. Monday, April 8, he sent his foreign minister Walid Moallem to Moscow for instructions for getting him off the hook of failing to comply with his commitment to the UN envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan, starting with a truce.
This statement is the first time an Iranian politician has admitted his country has the capability to produce nuclear arms! Iran has the technological capability to produce nuclear weapons, but will never do so, a prominent politician in the Islamic republic has said. The statement by Gholamreza Mesbahi Moghadam is the first time an Iranian politician has publicly stated that the country has the knowledge and skills to produce a nuclear weapon. Moghadam, whose views do not represent the government's policy, said Iran could easily create the highly enriched uranium that is used to build atomic bombs, but it was not Tehran's policy to go down that route. Moghadam told the parliament's news website, icana.ir: "Iran has the scientific and technological capability to produce a nuclear weapon, but will never choose this path." The US and its allies believe Iran is using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons, a charge it denies. Israel said Mghadam's claim supported its view that Iran's nuclear program had a military dimension. An Israeli official repeated demands that Iran must stop enriching uranium, remove all military-grade enriched material from the country, and dismantle its Fordo nuclear research site. Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has repeatedly insisted that his country is not seeking nuclear weapons, saying that holding such arms is a sin and "useless, harmful and dangerous". President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that if Iran one day decides to build nuclear weapons, it will do so openly and without fear. Iran says it is enriching uranium to about 3.5% to produce nuclear fuel for its future reactors, and to around 20% to fuel a research reactor that produces medical isotopes to treat cancer. Uranium has to be enriched to more than 90% to be used for a nuclear weapon.
Just in case you're running for national office, here are a few basic stats to orient you when you hit Washington. In 2011, the oil and gas industries ponied up more than $148 million to lobby Congress and federal agencies of various sorts. The top four lobbying firms in the business were Conoco-Phillips with $20.5 million, Royal Dutch Shell with $14.7 million, Exxon Mobil with $12.7 million, and Chevron, with $9.5 million. Note that those figures don't include campaign contributions, although I can't imagine why corporate money flowing to candidates or their PACs isn't considered "lobbying." When it comes to such donations, the industry has given a total of $238.7 million to candidates and parties since 1990, 75% of it to Republicans. In 2011-2012, Exxon $992,573 and, I'm sure this won't shock you, Koch Industries $872,912 led the oil and gas list. Or think of this another way: the Senate recently voted down a bill sponsored by New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez to end congressional subsidies for the top oil companies. The senators who nixed the measure, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY, $264,700), received approximately $1.48 million in oil and gas campaign contributions in 2011-2012. Those who voted for it, a mere $400,000. Not surprisingly, this fits a longer-term congressional voting pattern in which money talks. In fact, it shouts. And of course, a similar pattern can be seen in the presidential sweepstakes, with a similar Republican to Democrat ratio. In the present election campaign, Mitt Romney has already received $598,000 from oil and gas types, President Obama $131,000.
Last week the Supreme Court heard arguments concerning the constitutionality of the Obama-care law, focusing on the mandate requiring every American to buy health insurance or pay fines enforced by the IRS. Hopefully, the Court will strike down this abomination, but we must recognize that the federal judiciary has an abysmal record when it comes to protecting liberty. It's doubtful the entire law will be struck down. Regardless, the political left will continue its drive toward a single-payer, government run health care system. The insurance mandate clearly exceeds the federal government's power under the interstate commerce clause found in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. This is patently obvious: The power to regulate commerce cannot include the power to compel commerce! Those who claim otherwise simply ignore the plain meaning of the Constitution, because they don't want to limit federal power in any way. The commerce clause was intended simply to give Congress the power to regulate foreign trade, and also to prevent states from imposing tariffs on interstate goods. In Federalist Paper No.22, Alexander Hamilton makes it clear the simple intent behind the clause was to prevent states from placing tolls or tariffs on goods as they passed through each state, a practice that had proven particularly destructive across the many principalities of the German empire. But the Supreme Court has utterly abused the commerce clause for decades, at least since the infamous 1942 case of Wickard v. Filburn. In that instance the Court decided that a farmer growing wheat for purely personal use still affected interstate commerce, presuming by not participating in it!
Iran's oil minister says that despite Western oil sanctions, Iranian crude continues to have many customers worldwide. "Iran has 17-20 percent of its oil reserves and ranks first in the world in terms of oil and gas resources," Rostam Qasemi told a meeting of Mazandaran Province's Planning and Development Council on Thursday. The minister added that the US and European oil and gas reserves pale by comparison to Iran's. "We have 600 billion barrels of in-place oil. If they are extracted using the current method, Iran will be rich in oil resources for the next 100 years," he said. Qasemi stated that Iran produced about 700 million cubic meters of gas last year, supplying gas to 99 percent of cities and 57 percent of villages in Iran. Pointing to Iran's second rank among OPEC oil producers, the minister added that the Islamic Republic is now a major exporter of petroleum products to Iraq and Afghanistan, and soon to Pakistan. Qasemi noted that Iran is exporting 55 million cubic meters of petrochemical products to 70 countries, and that many parts of Iran have not been explored for oil and gas reserves yet. Referring to the ongoing gas exploration and production in the South Pars region, he added that the total amount of gas refined in the South Pars Energy Zone is expected to hit 800 million cubic meters by 2015. Qasemi stated that the Iranian oil industry is not dependent on foreign technology and technical know-how, and that the Iranian specialists are conducting the complicated studies on hydrocarbon reservoirs. Since the beginning of 2012, the US and the European Union have imposed new sanctions on Iran, aimed at penalizing other countries for importing Iranian crude.
The UK's Guardian recently interviewed "the current and former US and European officials with access to intelligence on Iran," and concluded that the United States, its European allies, and even Israel, agree that Tehran is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead. Twice in recent weeks, CBC News anchor Peter Mansbridge has closely questioned two leaders who hold a different view. In a January 18th interview, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told Mansbridge that he thinks that "the evidence is overwhelming" and that it "is just beyond dispute at this point" that Iran's purpose is to develop nuclear weapons. When pressed about Iran's insistence that Iran has no intention to build nuclear weapons, Harper said "I think there is absolutely no doubt they are lying". Harper's claims are all-too-reminiscent of US Former Secretary of State Colin Powell's February, 2003 statement to the UN that, with "facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence", there was no doubt in his mind that Saddam Hussein was working to obtain key components to produce nuclear weapons. That intelligence has since been exposed as lies. In fact, the Iraqi chemical engineer who perpetrated the false intelligence, Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, confessed his lies on British television April 3rd. Also troubling is that Harper cited the International Atomic Energy Commission, but in the March 22nd Guardian, the agency's former director-general, Hans Blix, raised concerns about its recent credibility. The IAEC has been charged with over-reliance on unverified intelligence, and pro-Western bias, since the 2009 arrival of its new Chief, Yukiya Amano.
There is mounting controversy regarding the purchase of the F-35 stealth fighter jet from US defense giant Lockheed Martin. The Pentagon has commissioned the purchase of 2,443 aircraft "to provide the bulk of its tactical air-power for the US Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy over the coming decades". This massive procurement of advanced weapons systems is part of America's "Global War", largely directed against China, Russia, North Korea and Iran. The overall cost of the program to the US military is estimated at a staggering $1.51 trillion over the so called life cycle of the program, namely $618 million per plane. Several of America's close allies, including the UK, Australia, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, Israel, and Japan are slated to purchase the F-35 stealth fighter plane. The economic and social implications of this program are potentially devastating. Apart from the fact that the fighter planes will be used in upcoming US-NATO wars, resulting in inevitable civilian deaths, their procurement, at tax payers expense, will contribute to exacerbating the ongoing fiscal crisis. Unless they are solely funded by an increase in the public debt (which is highly unlikely), these massive expenditures on advanced weapons systems will require the adoption of concurrent austerity measures over a period of up to thirty years, at the expense of an entire generation. The costs of military procurement are always at the expense of social programs, public investment in infrastructure, employment creation in the civilian economy. Conversely, very few jobs will be created by the defense contractors. The cost of creating one job in America's weapons industry varies between 25 and 66 million dollars per job!
March was another month of tragic, needless lives lost, the searing grief of mothers and fathers for lost sons and daughters. Shockingly stark, however, has been the impression, that for the powers-that-be, for a swathe of public in the West, some deaths are indisputedly regarded as, more tragic, more noteworthy, than others. On 6th March, six British soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. Corporal Jake Hartley (20) and Privates Anthony Frampton (20) Christopher Kershaw (19) Daniel Wade (20) and Daniel Wade (20) and Daniel Wilford (20) and Sergeant Nigel Coupe (33) died when their armored vehicle was blown up. The resulting fire reportedly burned all night. More youthful annihilations in an invasion and occupation, illegal, ill-conceived and long lost. Human sacrifices at the altar of political ego, dying because the powerful would still lose, throw away, the lives of others, than"lose face" "one hundred and twenty five months since the "war" started. In the US, five of the six would have been too young to even legally order a drink in a bar, but are old enough to die for monumental imperial folly, regional foothold" and a pipeline. Before the month ended, two more British servicemen were shot, and yet another, blown to eternity. In Parliament Prime Minister Cameron paid vacuous tribute. They died, he said: "Keeping our country safe." What nonsense. There are no Afghan hordes massing across the English Channel, planning invasion with near antique rifles, some so ancient they have Queen Victoria's insignia on, relics from another historic British folly. Prince Harry, cavorting round the Caribbean, filling in time before returning to Afghanistan in an Apache Attack Helicopter, with fire power of 632 rounds a minute, plus up to sixteen Hellfire missiles, to wipe out more villagers, and their homes, hung his head and declared himself: "Devastated."