President Obama has signed an agreement with President Karzai to keep a major US military presence in Afghanistan through the end of 2014, and to allow a significant unspecified presence beyond that date, with no end date stipulated. Obama stresses that no permanent US bases will be involved, but this agreement requires Afghanistan to let US troops use "Afghan" bases. Obama forgot to provide any reason not to withdraw from Afghanistan now, given majority US desire to end the war. Like Newt Gingrich promising to quit campaigning before actually doing so, Obama is promising to leave Afghanistan, but not yet, except that he isn't promising to ever leave at all. The agreement is open-ended. Obama spoke on Tuesday of a transition to Afghan control, but we've heard that talk for a decade. That's not some bright idea that requires two-and-a half more years to develop. Obama talked of fighting al-Qaeda, but the US has not been fighting al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and has admitted for years that there is virtually no al Qaeda presence there. That's not the two-year project, and it's not the reason to remain indefinitely after 2014. The agreement requires that all "entities" involved in a peace process renounce violence, but the Taliban will no more do that while under foreign occupation than the United States will do so while occupying.
ATK, the company now infamous for supplying upwards of 750 million rounds of .40 caliber hollow point ammunition to the US Army. "Alliant Techsystems Inc. has entered into an indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity ("IDIQ") contract worth $266 million with the US Army. Per the contract, the company will supply small caliber ammunition, including 5.56mm, 7.62mm and 50-caliber cartridges. This ammunition will be manufactured in Alliant's Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, Missouri. The US Army and the company have jointly invested $276 million in the modernization of the facility. As a result, the company has already been able to scale up the new 5.56mm cartridge production under the Enhanced Performance Round as known to the US Defense "reported Zacks.com. While this order is obviously much less startling than a domestic agency ordering millions of rounds of hollow point ammo, the fact that in 2008 the Pentagon announced plans to deploy a 20,000 strong internal military force inside the United States to be ready by 2011 makes this recent order at least worthy of discussion. In a report published last year by theintelhub.com, this fact was heavily explored. In 2008 The Pentagon announced plans to deploy a 20,000 strong internal troop force inside the continental United States (CONUS) that was set to be trained by 2011, thus dovetailing into the current troop and equipment movements around the country reported by truckers as well as many more troop sightings by everyday citizens. This plan directly correlates with a 2009, Army funded, Rand Corporation study that called for an internal United States police force to combat civil unrest. When you add the above facts with the recent photo of the US Army training inside neighborhoods in what can only be described as plans to take on the American people as well as the Infowars report on Army reeducation camps in America, a startling picture emerges!
Startling evidence suggests the ancient Egyptians understood the inner mechanics of a binary star system, spinning through our skies 93 light years away, more than 3,200 years ago. Not only that, their specific calculations have helped support a scientific line of inquiry, which only emerged just a few years ago. The binary system, two stars which rotate around each other, was first noted in modern astronomy by a John Goodricke, back in 1783. He spotted how Algol, also known as the Demon Star, appeared to decrease in brightness for a few hours every 2.87 days, and was the first to theorize that this was two stars blocking each other's light in relation to Earth. Or we thought he was the first, it turns out the Egyptians apparently had all this figured out 3,000 years earlier. The Egyptians were huge star-gazers, taking copious and accurate notes about changes in the heavens, and using these to form predictions about lucky and unlucky parts of the day. When Finnish researchers studied the Cairo Calendar, a badly-damaged but readable calendar highlighting the good and bad days of the year in 1200BC, they came to some startling observations. For the Egyptians not only made observations, they made conclusions and calculations to figure out the inner mechanisms of the stars for their charts. Two cycles were spotted in the Cairo Calendar. One lasted 29.6 days, almost exactly that of the lunar cycle. And the other was 2.85 days, which researchers from the University of Helsinki in Finland ascribe to the Algol system.
After a flurry of last minute amendments last week, the House unexpectedly passed CISPA on Thursday evening. A week ago, I described my concerns with the version of the bill that made it out of the House Committee on Intelligence. In the intervening week, there was a considerable outcry around the bill, led in part by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Center for Democracy and Technology. Learning their lesson from SOPA, the House decided to invite civil liberties constituencies to the table so as to avoid having to witness another implosion of a major legislative goal. As a result, a number of amendments were introduced that began to address some of the most egregious parts of the bill, and, in response, some members of the civil liberties community decided to withhold further, vocal opposition. Then, on Thursday evening, it all fell apart. As Josh Smith at the National Journal described, the CISPA that was passed by the House on Thursday didn't reflect this negotiation: The Center for Democracy and Technology and the Constitution Project never really dropped objections to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, but after discussions with the bill's sponsors, the groups said on April 24 they would not actively oppose the bill and focus on amendments instead. But on April 25, the House Rules Committee shot down 22 of 43 submitted amendments to the bill, known as CISPA. All but one Republican amendments were made in order, while four out of 19 Democratic amendments and four with 10 bipartisan support made the cut. Five amendments were withdrawn. Unhappy with this outcome, the civil liberties groups are doubling down their efforts for the next stage of this battle.
Let's stop jacking the Chinese around. We do not care a whit now, nor have we ever cared, about their human rights or any other aspect of their lives as long as they satiate our unbridled appetites. To pretend otherwise is to deny centuries of exploitative history in which the West drugged the Middle Kingdom and plundered it for its resources and cheap labor while obliterating any sign of popular resistance to our imperial sway. From the Opium Wars to the contemplation of using nuclear weapons to bomb China back to the Stone Age, because of our differences with it over Korea and Vietnam, the response of the West has been one of brute intimidation. Never have we been willing to acknowledge that China, for all its immense contradictions, upheavals, sufferings and errant ways, represents the most complex and impressive example of national history. Instead we intrude upon China in fitful moments of pique or treat it as a plaything. Who owns China? That was the question that marked the first period of US involvement, when we joined other Western imperialists in carving up China into economic zones. And then came the bitter argument in the US in the late 1940's and the '50s about "Who lost China?" Now Americans find themselves preoccupied with how best to exploit China's amazing economic prowess while feigning interest in the well-being of its people. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton performed the expected diplomatic dance around the latest flare-up of pretend concern, involving a blind lawyer suddenly made world-famous when he escaped from house arrest in rural China. The fact that Chen Guangcheng was targeted by Chinese authorities because of his opposition to his nation's oppressive population control policies added the United States' "pro-life" lobby to the army of morally subjective China watchers.
While the President and Commander in Chief of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama "celebrates" the first anniversary of the "alleged" death of bin Laden, the substantive issue as to Who Was Osama bin Laden remains unheralded. Remarks by President Obama in Address to the Nation from Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. Through lies and fabrications, president Obama's carefully scripted speech upholds a world of total fantasy, in which "bad guys" are lurking and "plotting acts of terror" Islamic "jihadists" are lurking and "plotting acts of terror" Islamic "jihadists" are said to be threatening Western civilization. Each and every statement in Obama's 1st speech at Bagram Air Force base regarding the role of Al Qaeda is a fabrication: It was here, in Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden established a safe haven for his terrorist organization. (Osama was recruited by the CIA, Al Qaeda was set up with the support of the CIA. His safe haven was protected by US intelligence.) It was here, in Afghanistan, where al Qaeda brought new recruits, trained them, and plotted acts of terror. The Mujahideen were recruited and trained by the CIA. America's ally Saudi Arabia financed the Wahabbi Coranic schools. Ronald Reagan praised the Mujahiddeen as "Freedom Fighters". Unknown to the American public, the US spread the teachings of the Islamic jihad in textbooks "Made in America", developed at the University of Nebraska. It was here, from within these borders, that al Qaeda launched the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 innocent men, women and children. (Obama is referring to the 9/11 attacks. To this date there is no evidence that Al Qaeda was involved. Moreover, confirmed by CBS News, on September 10, 2001 Osama bin Laden had been admitted to a Pakistani military hospital in Rawalpindi courtesy of America's ally Pakistan. Did he coordinate the 9/11 attacks from his hospital bed?
President Obama has signed an agreement with President Karzai to keep a major US military presence in Afghanistan, currently about three times the size that Obama began with, through the end of 2014, and to allow a significant unspecified presence beyond that date, with no end date stipulated. Obama stresses that no permanent US troops use "Afghan" bases. Obama forgot to provide any reason not to withdraw from Afghanistan now, given majority US desire to end the war. Like Newt Gingrich promising to quit campaigning before actually doing so, Obama is promising to leave Afghanistan, but not yet, except that he isn't promising to ever leave at all. The "agreement" is open-ended. Obama spoke recently of a transition to Afghan control, but we've heard that talk for a decade. That's not some new bright idea that requires two-and-a-half more years to develop. Obama talked of fighting al Qaeda, but the US has not been fighting al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and has admitted for years that there is no al Qaeda presence there. That's not the two-year project, ad it's not the reason to remain indefinitely after 2014. The agreement requires that all "entities" involved in a peace process renounce violence, but the Taliban will no more do that while under foreign occupation than the United States will do so while occupying. This is not a serious plan to leave! Nor is it a plan based on Afghan sovereignty, numerous claims to the contrary notwithstanding. This is a treaty for more years of war, on the model of the Bush-Maliki treaty for Iraq, but with the difference that theirs included an end date!
"I want to make sure that people understand: Actually, drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties in Pakistan. For the most part, they have been very precise precision strikes against Al Qaeda and their affiliates." "The bureau counted 260 strikes in Pakistan by Predator and Reaper drones since President Obama took office, and it is said that 282 to 535 civilians had been 'credibly reported' killed in those attacks, including more than 60 children. American officials said that the number was much too high, though they acknowledged that at least several dozen civilians had been killed inadvertently in strikes aimed at militant suspects." "I can say that the types of operations that the US has been involved in, in the counter-terrorism realm, that nearly for the past year there hasn't been a single collateral death because of the exceptional proficiency, precision of the capabilities that we've been able to develop." Although US officials declare that the number of civilians reported by independent sources as having been killed in Pakistan by Obama's drone missiles is "much too high", they don't say what their own assessed figure might be. They claim that only "several dozen" have died. And the President of the United States says that several dozen is not a 'huge number' of dead innocents. Either these people don't know the figures or they don't care about them. What's five dozen dead kids, after all? Are they important? Of course not. So tap the mouse, flick the switch, hit the keys, because it's all in the best interests of "compelling the kill chain" that the soaring drones roam and reap their harvest of blood. And get this, and get it good, all these missile strikes that kill people are against "militant suspects."
Though infrequently acknowledged, the current historical period remains what it has been for a quarter century, the post-Cold War era. Beginning in earnest in 1991 with the near simultaneous disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, instantaneous in the first case, comparatively slower in the second, only complete with the independence of Montenegro in 2008, the bipolar world ended with the demise of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact and the nonaligned one with the fragmentation of Yugoslavia, a founder of the Non-Aligned Movement. The dissolution of the two nations, the only both multi-ethnic and multi-confessional countries in Europe, was accompanied by violent ethnic conflicts often reinforced by religious differences. In Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo. the South Caucasus, the Russian North Caucasus and on the east bank of the Dniester River. In many instances, in Serbian-majority areas of Croatia and Bosnia and in Transdniester, memories of World War II gave rise to legitimate fears of revanchism among populations that recalled the death camps and progroms of Adolf Hitler's allies in the early 1940's and witnessed the recrudescence of the ideologies, the irredentism and the political trappings that gave rise to them. Transdniester refused to become part of post-Soviet Moldova as it foresaw both states being reabsorbed into Romania. Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Adjara, parts of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, didn't desire to be included in the Republic of Georgia and majority-Armenian Nagorno-Karababakh adopted in a similar approach to post-Soviet Azerbaijan. The above are collectively known in certain circles as the frozen conflicts in former Soviet space.
Israel's defense minister Ehud Barak restated the case for a military strike on Iran's nuclear program before it reaches the "immunity zone", dismissing criticism from the country's former intelligence chief that political leaders were misleading the public over the consequences of action. "I believe it will be well understood in Washington, as well as in Jerusalem, that as long as there is an existential threat to our people, all options to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons should remain on the table," Barak told a meeting of the Foreign Press Association. But in a clear reference to former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin's comments, he added: "Parts of the world, including some politically motivated Israeli figures, prefer to bury their heads in the sand." In an explosive speech to a community meeting on Friday, Diskin said he had no faith in Israel's "messianic" political leaders to conduct a war. Barak and prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu were "not the people whom I would truly want to be at the helm when we set out on an endeavour of that sort." He cited expert opinion that a military strike was likely to accelerate Iran's program. Barak conceded that a military option "would be complicated with certain associated risks. But a radical Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear weapons would be far more dangerous both for the region and, indeed, the world." Defense officials believe that once Iran's nuclear program reaches what it terms the "zone of immunity", the option of Israeli or US military action will be closed off. The zone was defined as the point when it would become impractical to "surgically attack" Iranian nuclear sites because of their number, location, degree of protection and the amount of uranium being enriched.
The military is under-reporting the number of times that Afghan soldiers and police open fire on American and other foreign troops. The US-led coalition routinely reports each time an American or other foreign soldier is killed by an Afghan in uniform. But the AP has learned it does not report insider attacks in which the Afghan wounds, or misses, his US or allied target. It also doesn't report the wounding of troops who were attacked alongside those who were killed. Such attacks reveal a level of mistrust and ill will between the US-led coalition and its Afghan counterparts in an increasingly unpopular war. The US and its military partners are working more closely with Afghan troops in preparation for handing off security responsibility to them by the end of 2014. In recent weeks an Afghan soldier opened fire on a group of American soldiers but missed the group entirely. The Americans quickly shot him to death. Not a word about this was reported by the International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, as the coalition is formally known. It was disclosed to the AP by a US official who was granted anonymity in order to give a fuller picture of the "insider" problem. ISAF also said nothing about last week's attack in which two Afghan policemen in Kandahar province fired on US soldiers, wounding two. Reporters learned of it from Afghan officials and from US officials in Washington. The two Afghan policemen were shot to death by the Americans present. Last Wednesday, an attack that killed a US army special forces soldier, staff sergeant Andrew T Brittonmihalo, 25, of Simi Valley, California, also wounded three other American soldiers.
Military snipers will be on alert during the London Olympics, and if required, will shoot pilots of low-flying aircraft that might be involved in terrorist attacks, it emerged on Monday. A team of seven snipers is being given "comprehensive on-the-ground and in-the training" as part of the all encompassing security operation being undertaken by the police and the army. General Sir Nick Parker, who is in charge of coordinating the armed forces during the 2012 Games, described the role of the snipers as he revealed the six sites where anti-aircraft missiles may be based as part of the security operation. The four that are in open spaces, at Black-heath, Lea Valley reservoir, Shooters Hill and Epping Forest, will be home to a battery of Rapier surface-to-air missiles, which are the UK's primary air defense weapon. Smaller high-velocity missiles (HVMs) will be put on the top of residential buildings in Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest. Parker said the missiles would only be fired as a "very last resort", and any decision to use them would have to come from the "very highest level" -on the authority of the prime minister. At a briefing at Scotland Yard with assistant commissioner Chris Allison, Parker said it was right to plan for worse-case scenarios, and identified two "broad airborne threats" the military could help with. "The focus is on air security of the Olympic Park. The two threats are a large 9/11 type of threat which is integrated into existing security plans. Then there is the smaller, what we would describe as the 'low and slow', that is particularly what we need to practice over London." Parker said RAF Typhoon fighters and the anti-aircraft missile systems would help to deter the larger threats, and the snipers would be used for the smaller ones.
In 1993, Edward Said minced no words denouncing the Oslo Accords and Declaration of Principles, explaining "the fashion-show vulgarities of the White House ceremony, the degrading spectacle of Yasser Arafat thanking everyone for the suspension of most of his people's rights, and the fatuous solemnity of Bill Clinton's performance, like a 20th century Roman emperor shepherding two vassal kings through rituals of reconciliation and obeisance, and the truly astonishing proportions of the Palestinian capitulation." It was unilateral surrender, a Palestinian Versailles. It affirmed a vaguely defined negotiating process. No fixed timeline or outcome were specified. Israeli officials obstructed and delayed. They refused to make concessions, and continued stealing Palestinian land. They never stopped! Colonization is policy. Israel wants all valued Judea and Samaria areas, as well as Jerusalem for its exclusive capital. At most, Palestinians will get worthless cantonised scrub-land. They got nothing for renouncing armed struggle, recognizing Israel's right to exist, and agreeing to leave major unresolved issues for later final status talks. They're still waiting! Major issues include an independent sovereign Palestine free from occupation, the right of return, settlements, borders, water rights, and East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory and future capital. A new Palestinian Authority (PA) was established. Arafat agreed to enforce Israeli authority. Subsequent agreements followed. The West Bank was divided into three parts. Each has distinct borders, administrations, and security rules. They include Areas A, B and C, plus a fourth for Greater Jerusalem.
As the company faces a lawsuit by residents, an assessment by a US oil spill consultancy casts doubts on Shell's estimate of the Nigerian leak. A Shell oil spill on the Niger delta was at least 60 times greater than the company reported at the time, according to unpublished documents obtained by Amnesty International. According to Shell, the 2008 spill from a faulty weld on a pipeline resulted in 1,640 barrels of oil being spilled into the creeks, near the town of Bodo in Ogoniland. The figure was based on an assessment agreed at the time by the company, the government oil spill agency, the Nigerian oil regulator and a representative of the community. But a previously unpublished assessment, carried out by independent US oil-spill consultancy firm Accufacts, suggests that a total of between 103,000 barrels of oil flooded into the Bodo creeks over the period of the leak. Accufacts arrived at the figure following analysis of video footage of the leak taken at the time by local people. This suggested that between one and three barrels of oil were leaking every minute. A similar method was used by spill assessors to gauge the scale of the BP Deepwater spill underwater in the gulf of Mexico in 2010. "The difference is staggering: Even using the lower end of the Accufacts estimate, the volume of oil spilt at Bodo was more than 60 times the volume Shell has repeatedly claimed leaked," said Audrey Gaughran, director of global issues at Amnesty International. "All oil spill incidents are investigated jointly by communities, regulators, operators and security agencies," said a Shell spokeswoman in London.
After writing my essay"Radioactive Hell on Earth", actually I wanted to change that title to Fukushima on Steroids" or Fukushima is falling apart". Are you ready? It is becoming clear that we, our children and our entire civilization is hanging by a thread. It is a very sorry thing to report that we have literally shot ourselves in the foot with a big nuclear shotgun full of radioactive particles of the worst conceivable kind. It has taken a year, but finally "a US Senator finally got off his ass and went to Japan to see what is going on over there. What he saw was horrific. Reactor No. 4 building is on the verge of collapsing. Seismicity standards rate the building at a zero, meaning even a small earthquake could send it into a heap of rubble. And sitting at the top of the building, in a pool that is cracked, leaking, and precarious even without an earthquake, are "1,565 fuel rods." If an earthquake, or other event, were to cause this pool to drain, this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire that could wipe out most of the northern hemisphere. Certainly it would be a massive civilization-breaking event. After an onsite tour of what remains of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear facilities, US Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a senior member of the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, sent a letter to Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki saying. "The scope of damage to the plants and to the surrounding area was far beyond what I expected. The precarious status of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear units and the risk presented by enormous inventory of radioactive materials and spent fuel in the event of further earthquake threats should be of concern to all, and a focus of greater international support and assistance." 1,565 fuel rods translates into 460 tons of nuclear fuel stored in pool in a barely intact building on its third and fourth floors. If the storage pool breaks and runs dry, the nuclear fuel inside will overheat and explode!
Remember the days when one used to be proud of simply being British and equally as proud of those very famous, word-renowned British companies that earned this country so much respect overseas? Neo Liberalism has infected almost every walk of life in this country and gained tremendous strength since the "Iron Lady" - Maggie Thatcher took over the reins of Britain back in 1979. We have, since those early days, seen this country and its once proud industries become fragmented and sold off to the European Union or some other overseas entity which is clearly a "New World Order" brain child. We all watched Zionist backed organizations descend over this country, like a huge grey cloud and watched them rain down, flood and destroy the pride of British industry! Who are they, where did they come from and how did it happen? I guess World War Two has to be the turning point when these Zionists regrouped to form their own elite group that would become the foundation of the term "Neo Liberalism" and the birth of the New World Order. It became evident to them that someone could make big money by the privatisation of national industries, especially in areas such as water, gas and electricity etc. One can clearly see that they have come a long way since those early days, resulting in extremely high cost that has now caused so much suffering to the aged and poor of this world. I guess it's only a matter of time before they tax you for breathing oxygen!! I believe that the birth of the "New World Order" started around 1947 when a Friedrich Hayek formed an elite group called The Mont Pelerin Society that consisted of widely scattered neo-liberal thinkers and political figures. The Society sees the danger in the expansion of government, not least in state welfare and in the power of trade unions.
One of the key controversies about "fracking"is the chemical makeup of the fluid that is pumped deep into the ground to break apart rock and release natural gas. Some companies have been reluctant to disclose what's in their fracking fluid. Scientists and environmental advocates argue that, without knowing its precise composition, they can't thoroughly investigate complaints of contamination. Disclosure requirements vary considerably from state to state, as ProPublica recently charted. In many cases, the rules have been limited by a "trade secrets" provision under which companies can claim that a proprietary chemical doesn't have to be disclosed to regulators or the public. One apparent proponent of the trade secrets caveat? The American Legislative Exchange Council, better known as ALEC, a nonprofit group that brings together politicians and corporations to draft and promote conservative, business-friendly legislation. ALEC has been in the spotlight recently because of its support of controversial laws like Florida's "Stand Your Ground" provision. This weekend, as part of a story on ALEC's political activity, The New York Times noted that the group recently adopted "model legislation" on fracking chemical disclosure, based on a bill passed in Texas last year. According to the Times, the model bill was "sponsored within ALEC" by ExxonMobil, which runs a major oil and gas operation through its subsidiary, XTO Energy. The advocacy group Common Cause, which provided the documents on ALEC's lobbying efforts to The Times, describes model legislation, in many cases identifying by name the company that proposed it to ALEC's task forces.
Freelance journalist Carlos Miller was documenting a law enforcement raid on the southern Florida's Occupy Wall Street offshoot, Occupy Miami, when he was arrested earlier in 2012 while filming police, for the third time in just a few years. After investigating why authorities in Miami may have singled him out during the ordeal, in which he claims, he was only filming the event, Miller stumbled upon some evidence that exposes just why he was targeted by the local branch of the Department of Homeland Security. Miller was able to obtain through a public records request communication logs from the Miami DHS that reveal what he believes is proof that the authorities had been prepared to issue an arrest against him earlier in the year without him even committing a crime. To the DHS, believes Miller, using a camera seems comparable with carrying out an act of terrorism. Through the public records request, Miller was able to to obtain a treasure trove of correspondence that in many instances included his name. One such account was an email communique that was issued by the Miami-Dade Police Homeland Security Bureau this past January only eleven hours before law enforcement raided the city's Occupy encampment and arrested Mr Miller yet again. In that email sent with the subject line "Multimedia information/Situational Awareness", authorities describe Carlos Miller as a freelance journalist and, ergo, a terrorist in the making. Over the weekend, the reporter recounted in a blog post published to Pixiq.com the events that landed him behind bars during the most recent instance. Also included in the post were the contents of the email that he suggests pegged him as a criminal with a camera. He is a Miami multimedia journalist who has been arrested twice for taking pictures of law enforcement.
To the world's military leaders, the debate over climate change is long over. They are preparing for a new kind of Cold War in the Arctic, anticipating that rising temperatures there will open a treasure trove of resources and long-dreamed-of sea-lanes. Rick Rozoff scrutinizes the feverish military activity taking place in the High North, under the official label of a joint Norwegian-NATO-Partnership for Peace endeavor, including preparedness drills against terrorist threats, mass demonstrations, and spies coming in from the cold! The largest military exercise in the High North, inside and immediately outside the Arctic Circle, since the end of the Cold War, and perhaps even before, was completed in northern Norway. Except for the crash of a Norwegian military transport plane in Sweden, during its course, the world would have been unaware of it. Cold Response 2012 was conducted from March 12-21 primarily in Norway but also in Sweden, with the participation of 16,300 troops from fifteen nations as part of full spectrum "air, sea, infantry and special forces" maneuvers against the backdrop of the past three years' new scramble for the Arctic. The term High North is a translation of the Norwegian designation "nordomradene", which was adopted by NATO in January of 2009 for its two-day Seminar on Security Prospects in the High North in Reykjavik, Iceland attended by the bloc's secretary general, chairman of its Military Committee and two top military commanders, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe and the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation. Four of the five Arctic claimants "the United States, Canada, Norway and Denmark" are members of NATO. The other, Russia, is not.
President Barack Obama used a visit to Washington's Holocaust Museum to unveil a set of new sanctions against Iran and Syria and to promote the administration's use of "human rights" as a pretext for aggressive war and regime change. The new sanctions target Syrian and Iranian intelligence agencies as well as telecommunications and Internet providers for use of information technology to monitor and repress political opposition. They have been rolled out under conditions in which the United Nations is deploying its monitors in Syria to oversee a ceasefire and as Iran prepares for a second round of negotiations in Baghdad with the PS+1 (the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany) over its nuclear program. The timing of this latest round of sanctions, coming on top of a whole series of unilateral US and European Union measures aimed at crippling the Syrian and Iranian economies, strongly indicates that Washington is merely using negotiations with both countries as a cover for preparing war and regime change. Obama's executive order calls for Washington to impose sanctions on Syrian and Iranian officials for using information technology, including software to track cellphones and monitor Internet use, and to spy upon and repress dissidents. It would also punish what the US president refers to as the "digital guns for hire," ie, information technology companies that sell software and equipment to targeted regimes. "These technologies should be in place to empower citizens, not to repress them," Obama declared!
US plans to attack Iran with a mix of nuclear and conventional weapons have been in readiness since June, 2005, according to Michel Chossudovsky, a distinguished authority on international affairs. "Confirmed by military documents as well as official statements, both the US and Israel contemplate the use of nuclear weapons directed against Iran," writes professor Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Center for Research on Globalization in Montreal. The plans were formulated in 2004. The previous year, Congress gave the Pentagon the green light to use thermo-nuclear weapons in conventional war theaters in the Middle East and Central Asia, allocating $6 billion in 2004 alone to create the new generation of "defensive" tactical nuclear weapons or "mini-nukes". "In 2005, Vice President Dick Chaney ordered USSTRATCOM (Strategic Command) to draft a 'contingency plan' that included "a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons," Chossudovsky writes. The plan went beyond the terms of reference outlined in the Pentagon's 2001 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which called for a "preemptive" "first strike use" of nuclear weapons against Russia and China as well as Iran and North Korea. The 2005 plan identified more than 450 strategic targets in Iran, including numerous alleged nuclear-weapons-program development sites. The plan, incredibly, was rationalized on a second 9/11 type attack on the US that Cheney believed Iran would allegedly support! "President Obama has largely endorsed the doctrine of pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons formulated by the previous administration," Chossudovsky writes in his new book, "Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War". His Administration"has also intimated it will use nukes in the event of an Iran response to an Iran response to an Israeli attack on Iran."