Irin Carmon: The Real Ann Romney!!

"I've always wished that Mitt could understand pregnancy, and a campaign is the closest thing to being pregnant," Ann Romney once said. "It has about a nine month life. It's very painful. It has a lot of ups and downs. At about nine months, you're saying to yourself, 'How can I get out of this?' But then, you know, it's over. The thing that's nice about pregnancy is that, in the end, you have a baby. It was 1994, and taking the metaphor to its logical conclusion, Mitt's first campaign for Senate in Boston was a stillbirth. Ann wouldn't tire of the pregnancy analogy, however, returning to it over the course of her husband's next three races, a win, a loss, one TBD, to explain why she was on-board after declaring "never again." "Mitt laughs. He says, 'You know what, Ann? You say that after every pregnancy, and we know how that worked out - we have five sons.' Yes, pregnancy is something Ann knows a lot about, more than Mitt could understand, as she put it, and she seems to see a similar immutable separateness when it comes to his chosen lot. Politics and public life are things she supports, even partners in, but are uncomplicatedly not her things. Each of their roles is clear and unquestioned: She is mother, wife and helpmate, and this grueling gestation process is simply the way to the role they both see for Mitt, which is to be a "great man". "I truly want Mitt to fulfill his destiny, and for that to happen, he's got to do politics," Ann told the Los Angeles Times on the eve of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. In his book "Turnaround," Mitt says he initially resisted the offer to take over the games until Ann changed his mind. "There's no one else who can do it," he remembers her saying.     

Joshua Holland: Is it Finally Time to Let the South Secede?

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that cultural friction between the North and South persists to this day. After all, we fought an incredibly brutal, ugly Civil War. The battle-lines that were drawn then, continued to divide us through the Reconstruction period and well into the middle of the 20th century, as federal troops were once again deployed to enforce the civil rights acts. According to Chuck Thompson, a veteran travel writer who toured the American South, a degree of mutual enmity between Northerners and Southerners continues to be a source of cultural tension and political gridlock. We remain divided, even as we have grown to become the world's superpower. In his new book, "Better Off Without 'Em: A Northern Manifesto For Southern Secession, Thompson argues that it may be time for a divorce, to shake hands and go our separate ways. Thompson appeared on last week's Alter Net Radio Hour to discuss his book. A lightly edited transcript of our discussion is below. Joshua Holland: Chuck, you seem to be channeling the frustration of a lot of Northern liberals. I may even have said myself that we should have let the Confederacy walk in 1860. But I haven't heard a lot of people calling to break up the Union today. You're known as a comedic travel writer. So my first question is to what degree are you being tongue in cheek here? To what degree are you being serious?  Chuck Thompson: I am being serious. I understand that the meta arguments here that call for secession can be received as somewhat absurd in some corners. I acknowledge that it is probably a remote possibility. Within the framework of that argument I think there is a lot of room to highlight a lot of these problems, and a lot of these frustrations that you refer to. One of the goals of this book really was to more or less articulate, to put some facts, figures and research behind a lot of this frustration of Northern and Southern liberals, of which there are many.    

Prof Michel Chossudovsky: Secret Plan to Assassinate Syrian President

At a time when the British press was still "reporting the truth", London's Guardian published a detailed report of a 1957 Anglo American assassination plot directed against the Syrian president, with a view to implementing "regime change". The similarity to today's war on Syria is striking. What is revealing is that the political assassination of the Syrian president has been on the Anglo American drawing board for over half a century. The article, which reviews the text of the leaked 'Secret Document' confirms that British Prime Minister Harold Macmillian and President Dwight D Eisenhower had ordered the assassination of the Syrian Head of State. Documents show White House and No 10 conspired over oil fueled invasion plan. The stated objective of this secret plan, entrusted to Britain's Secret Intelligence Services (SIS) and the CIA, consisted in assassinating the Syrian president together with key political and military figures. "Mr Macmillan and President Eisenhower were left in no doubt about the need to assassinate the top men in Damascus." "In order to facilitate the action of 'liberative' forces, to hold losses and destruction to a minimum, and to bring about desired results in the shortest possible time, a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals. Their removal should be accomplished early in the course of the uprising and intervention, and in the light of circumstances existing at the time." (The Guardian, 27 September 2003). The stated pretext of the Macmillan Eisenhower plan was that Syria was "spreading terrorism" and "preventing the West's access to Middle East oil". The secret 1957 Plan called for the funding of a so called "Free Syria Committee" equivalent to today's Syrian National Council (SNC). It also involved "the arming of "political factions with paramilitary or other actionist capabilities within Syria. Under the plan, the CIA together with Britain's Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) "would instigate internal uprisings".     


Rick Rozoff: NATO's Neo-Ottoman Spearhead in the Middle East

A 1921 agreement between Ottoman Turkey and France, the Treaty of Ankara, the latter at the time the colonial administrator of Syria, granted Turkey the right to station military personnel at the mausoleum of Suleyman Shah, the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey considers the area adjacent to the tomb to be its, and not Syria's sovereign territory, and late last month reinforced its 15 troop contingent there. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated the following in an interview televised on August 5: The tomb of Suleyman Sah and the land surrounding it is our territory. We cannot ignore any unfavorable act against that monument, as it would be an attack on our territory, as well as an attack on NATO land. Everyone knows his duty, and will continue to do what is necessary. The grave-site of a Seljuk sultan who was reputed to have drowned in the Euphrates River while on campaign of conquest is now proclaimed a NATO outpost in Syria. If confirmation were required that a "neo" Ottoman Turkey is determined to reassert the influence and authority in Mesopotamia it gained 700 years before and lost a century ago and, moreover that it was doing so as a part of a campaign by self christened global NATO to expand into the Arab world, the Turkish head of states to militarily intervene in Syria with the support of its 27 NATO allies should provide it. Especially as the above complements and reinforces the roles of the US and NATO in providing military assistance to Ankara in its current war of attrition against the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey and Iraq, with Syria soon to follow!  

Prof. James Petras: The Ascendancy of a Criminal Elite!

Never in the history of the United States have we witnessed crimes committed on the scale and scope of the present day, by both private and state elites. An economist of impeccable credentials, James Henry, former chief economist at the prestigious consulting firm McKinsey & Company, has researched and documented tax evasion. He found that the super wealthy and their families have as much as $32 trillion (USD) of hidden assets in offshore tax havens, representing up to $280 billion in lost tax revenue! This study excluded such non financial assets as real estate, precious metals, jewels, yachts, race horses, luxury vehicles, and so on. Of the $32 trillion in hidden assets, $23 trillion is held by the super rich of North America and Europe. A recent report by a United Nations Special Committee on Money Laundering, found that US and European banks laundered over $300 billion a year, including $30 billion just from the Mexican drug cartels. New reports on the multi-billion dollar financial swindles involving the major banks in the US and Europe are published each week. England's leading banks, including Barclay's and a host of others, have been identified as having rigged the LIBOR, or inter bank lending rate for years, in order to maximize profits. The Bank of New York, JP Morgan, HSBC, Wachovia and Citibank are among scores of banks which have been charged with laundering drug money and other illicit funds, according to investigations from the US Senate Banking Committees. Multi-national corporations receive federal bailout funds and tax exemptions and then, in violation of publicized agreements with the government, relocate plants and jobs in Asia and Mexico. Major investment houses, like Goldman Sachs, have conned investors for years to invest in garbage equities, while the brokers pumped and dumped the worthless stocks. 

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: The True Events of 9/11!

"In the US on September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of 9/11, politicians and their "presstitute" media presented Americans with a Day of Remembrance, a propaganda exercise that hardened the 9/11 lies into dogma. Meanwhile, in Toronto Canada, at Ryerson University the four day International Hearings on the Events of September 11, 2001, came to a close at 5pm. During the for days of hearings, distinguished scientists and scholars and professional architects and engineers presented the results of years of their independent research into all aspects of 9/11 to a distinguished panel, consisting of the honorary president of the Italian Supreme Court, who was an investigative judge who presided over terrorism cases, and three distinguished scholars of high renown and judgment. The distinguished panels task was to produce a report with their judgment of the evidence presented by the expert witnesses. The Toronto Hearings were streamed live over the Internet. I was able to watch many of the presentations over the four days. I was impressed that the extremely high level of intelligence and scientific competence of the witnesses was matched by a high level of integrity, a quality rare in US politics, and totally absent in the American media. As one whose own contributions to economics, now belatedly recognized, is outside the box, I am responsive to those who can escape peer pressure in order to advance truth. Here are some of the important things I learned from the Toronto meetings: The NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology, a government agency) reports on the twin towers and building 7 are fraudulent. Witnesses at the Toronto Hearings proved that building 7 was a standard controlled demolition, and that incendiaries and explosives brought down the twin towers. There is no doubt whatsoever about this. Anyone who declares the contrary has no scientific basis upon which to stand. Those who defend the "official" story believe in miracles that defy the laws of physics.     


Mike Lofgren: How Religion Destroyed My Party.

Having observed politics up close and personal for most of my adult lifetime, I have come to the conclusion that the rise of politicized religious fundamentalism may have been the key ingredient in the transformation of the Republican Party. Politicized religion provides a substrate of beliefs that rationalizes, at least in the minds of its followers, all three of the GOP's main tenets: Wealth worship, war worship, and the permanent culture war. Religious cranks ceased to be minor public nuisance in the 1970s and grew into a major element of the Republican rank and file. Pat Robertson's strong showing in the 1988 Iowa presidential caucus signaled the gradual merger of politics and religion in the party. Unfortunately, at the time I mostly underestimated the implications of what I was seeing. It did strike me as oddly humorous that a fundamentalist staff member in my congressional office was going to take time off to convert the heathen in Greece, a country that had been overwhelmingly Christian for almost two thousand years. I recall another point, in the early 1990s, when a different fundamentalist GOP staffer said that dinosaur fossils were a hoax. As a mere legislative mechanic toiling away in what I held to be a civil rather than ecclesiastic calling, I did not see that ideological impulses far different from mine were poised to capture the party of Lincoln. The results of this takeover are all around us: If the American people poll more like Iranians or Nigerians or Canadians on questions of evolution, scriptural inerrancy, the presence of angels and demons, and so forth, it is due to the rise of the religious right, its insertion into the public sphere by the Republican Party, and the consequent normalizing of formerly reactionary beliefs. All around us now, is a prevailing anti intellectualism and hostility to science. Politicized religion is the sheet anchor of the dreary forty year old culture wars. The Constitution notwithstanding, there is now a de facto religious test for the presidency. Major candidates are encouraged, or coerced, to share their feelings about their faith in a revelatory speech, or a televangelist will dragoon the candidates to debate the finer points of Christology, offering himself as the final arbiter!  

Joshua Holland: Netanyahu's Refusenik Nephew!

Jonathan Ben-Artzi, a mathematician at Cambridge University, is a young Israeli who refused to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces, and was imprisoned for over a year for doing so. Ben Artzi echoes the views of many Israeli peace activists, a view almost totally missing from the discourse in this country. He laments the fact that, in his view, the country has indeed become an "apartheid state," and supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS), positions that are considered way beyond the pale in the US. Although brave, Ben-Aertzi's story is not terribly remarkable. Refuseniks, as they're known in Israel, are few in number but not unheard of. What makes Ben-  Artzi's experience especially noteworthy is that his uncle is Israel's right wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Jonathan Ben-Artzi appeared on this week's AlterNet Radio Hour- He said he didn't want to talk about his family's private affairs, and we respected that wish. A lightly edited transcript is below. Joshua Holland: You've written about how your family has a tradition of service, going back to Israel's War of Independence in 1948. How difficult was this decision for you? I'd have to assume you were under a lot of pressure to conform and go into military service. Jonathan Ben-Artzi: No, actually not. My close family was very supportive. Moreover I was always one to make my own decisions, and not pay too much attention to what others thought. I always knew that for me it was the right thing to do, and there was no doubt that I could not join the military. The only question was what precisely to do, but that too was, for me, pretty straightforward at the time. I didn't see any other way. In fact there isn't really any other way for anyone who sees things differently in Israel but to do this. There are only two or three options I guess. One option is to be ultra orthodox, in which case you're exempt. That's something that might be changing now, so it's not clear. Another option is to go to a psychiatrist to give you a note that will release you from the military. Or you can say what your conscience tell you, what your beliefs are. Then you face whatever consequences there are. 

Tony Cartalucci: Massacres in Aleppo by "Free Syrian Army"

"Responsibility to Protect" crumbles as Western armed terror front slaughters civilians, while foreign sponsors attempt to tie the hands of Syrian security forces. For the people of Aleppo, their only hope is Syria's security forces restoring order. In the pockets of Syria's largest city, the so-called "Free Syrian Army" (FSA) has dug into a campaign of systematic detention, torture, and mass murder has been carried out against "enemies of the revolution." Demonized as either "Shabiha" or "government supporters," men have been rounded up, lined up against walls, and gunned down en mass. Others await barbaric "drumhead trials" where FSA warlords deal out arbitrary justice under the guise of "Sharia law." Worst of all, all of this is being reported by the Western media, but carefully downplayed, excused, spun, and otherwise sneaked through news cycles and headlines. Reuters presented just such a report titled,"Rebels fill Aleppo power vacuum, some disapprove." Judging from the title, one might assume residents in the "liberated" alleys of select Aleppo neighborhoods are simply dissatisfied with late garbage collection and perhaps broken street lights. The title is far from the blood curdling hysteria accompanying Western accounts and fabrications of Syrian security operations over the last year and a half. However, what Reuters actually reports is indeed growing basement dungeons full of "suspected Shabiha," clear evidence of torture and abuse, as well as a growing number of summary executions and mass murder, carried out before cameras and Western media in the streets. The London Guardian likewise spins and downplays what are overt, ghoulish atrocities committed right on camera for the entire world to see. Russia Today covered one such massacre, providing a graphic video depicting several bloodied men lined up against a wall and machine gunned to death, their bodies left in a tattered pile by FSA terrorists. RT leaves no doubt in the reader's mind that what they just witnessed was a war crime.


The Economist: Village Victory by Syria and its Rebels

The hardscrabble little town of Azaz, 25 miles north of Aleppo witnessed an epic battle in the 12th century AD, which pitted the Crusaders against the Muslim Seljuk Turks. On that occasion the Christians won. Now, nine centuries on, another battle, pitting the rebels of the Free Syrian Army against Syrian government forces, has ravaged Azaz for the past month, but on July 22nd the rebels, most of them Sunni Muslims, drove out President Bashar Assad's men in a fight that left 40 FSA fighters and 60 odd civilians dead, and the town in ruins. A white mosque in the town center that served as a base for Assad's forces is barely standing, three of its four minarets, from which government snipers would pick out their targets, lie in a crumpled heap. Row after row of breeze block houses bear the scars of war, their windows shattered, their walls flattened by tank fire. "We got at least 27 of these," crows Ido, an FSA fighter pointing to a burnt out Russian made tank. No one says how many Syrian soldiers have perished. Like most of the FSA fighters patrolling Azaz, Ido is a local, who took up arms "because they were killing our children." Before the uprising started a year and a half ago, Ido worked as a mechanic. Many of his fellow fighters made a living smuggling cigarettes and electronic goods across the nearby border into Turkey. Poverty of the masses and the corruption of the elite were what fomented the rebellion, says Abu Shahab, a secular opponent of Nr Assad, who claims to have 200 fighters and "several generals" behind him. Early in Februarythe Syrian army rolled in with 40 tanks to make sure the town remained under the government's thumb, but soon Mr Assad's forces were facing a revolt. "Every day they would murder our people, one day two, the other day three, but every day murdering, murdering," says another fighter. He admits that the rebels are getting some help from the outside, including Turkey.

Prof. Michel Chossudovsky: Humanitarian Military Intervention in Syria?

In the wake of the UN Security Council face off with Russia and China, a new dangerous phase of the war on Syria is unfolding. The Obama administration, in liaison with London, Paris, Tel Aviv and NATO headquarters in Brussels, is mulling over various military "intervention options", including the conduct of both naval and air operations in support of "opposition" rebel forces on the ground. The dubious justification for waging a "humanitarian war" on Syria hinges on the West's "Responsibility to Protect" the Syrian people against their own government, which allegedly is involved in the routine killing of civilians. In the aftermath of the battle of Damascus and the setbacks of the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reiterated Washington's threat of military intervention, accusing Syrian government forces of waging "a tragic attack on their own people". The Defense Secretary vowed not only to unseat the Syrian president, but also, in so many words, "to get rid of" Bashar Al Assad. I think it ultimately will be a nail in Assad's own coffin. What Assad has been doing to his own people, and what he continues to do to his own people makes clear that his regime is coming to an end. It's lost all legitimacy," he said, adding "It's no longer a question of whether he's coming to an end, it's when." Meanwhile, Moscow has accused the US led coalition of supporting the terrorist attacks committed by the "Free Syrian Army" and Al Qaeda affiliated entities operating inside Syria. It is important at this historical juncture to set the record straight as to who is behind these atrocities and crimes against humanity, particularly in view of the fact that the Obama administration and its allies are contemplating outright military intervention against Syria on "humanitarian grounds". Where the government bears a burden of responsibility pertaining to its military operations in urban areas directed against the rebels, the gruesome human rights record of the US-NATO supported "Free Syrian Army" is unequivocal. Amply documented, the killings of innocent civilians were not carried out by the government but, quite deliberately, by the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Prof. Michel Chossudovsky: The Launching of a "Humanitarian War"

Towards a "Soft Invasion"? The Launching of a "Humanitarian War" against Syria. The Obama administration, in liaison with London, Paris, Tel Aviv and NATO headquarters in Brussels, is mulling over various military "intervention options" directed against Syria, including the conduct of both naval and air operations in support of "opposition"rebel forces on the ground. The US and its impervious British ally are on a "humanitarian war footing". Allied forces, including intelligence operatives and special forces have reinforced their presence on the ground in support of the opposition's "Free Syrian Army" (FSA). The British Ministry of Defense is reported to be "drawing up contingency plans in case the UK decides to deploy troops in the volatile region". Naval and air force deployments have already been announced by the British Ministry of Defense. According to London's news tabloids, quoting "authoritative" military sources," The escalating civil war in Syria made it increasingly likely that the West would be forced to step in." An Iraq style "shock and awe" bombing campaign is, for practical reasons, not being contemplated: "defense analysts warned that a force of at least 300,000 troops would be needed to carry out a full scale intervention in Syria. Even then, this would face fierce resistance". Rather than carrying out an all out "Blitzkrieg", the US NATO Israel military alliance has chosen to intervene under the diabolical R2P frame of "humanitarian warfare". Modeled on Libya, the following stages are envisaged: A US NATO backed insurgency integrated by death squads is launched under the disguise of a "protest movement" mid March 2011 in Daraa. British, French, Qatari and Turkish Special Forces are on the ground in Syria, advising and training the rebels, as well as overseeing special operations. Mercenaries hired by private security companies are also involved in supporting rebel forces. the killing of innocent civilians by the Free Syrian Army are deliberately carried out as part of a covert intelligence operation. 


Sarah Jaffe: Why the Rich are Getting Richer!

The "Great Divergence" is a term coined by Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman to describe the trend, over the past 30 years or so, of skyrocketing income inequality in the United States, of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, and the middle class growing ever narrower. Timothy Noah's new book by that name examines, in detail, the reasons for that divergence, digging into issues from tax policy to the decline of labor unions to globalization, pulling them all together to paint a picture of three decades of incremental change that have left many of us, at the end, wondering about just what hit us. Noah doesn't just leave us in despair, however. He offers solutions for reversing the trend, including universalizing education and revitalizing the labor movement. Mostly, though, his book is a wake up call for those who haven't yet felt the crisis in their personal lives: We all need to care about income inequality, because whether we like it or not, it impacts our entire society. He took some time to talk to Alter-Net about anger and resentment, about outsourcing and income taxes, student debt and the misperceptions many liberals hold about the labor movement. Sarah Jaffe: I wanted to start with something you said at the end of the book about America being a meaner place today, how that may be fueled by resentments from the Great Divergence. I thought that was an interesting comment to make. Can you talk a little about that? Timothy Noah: Sure. I think what I said was that America was an angrier place in the Sixties, but it's a meaner place today.

Valerie Tarico: Does Mitt Romney Think He Is a Son of Abraham?

While in Jerusalem Mitt Romney made an appearance at the Wailing Wall in a yarmulke. Was he just trying to pay tribute to Orthodox tradition or does he think he's a Jew? Perhaps both. Conservative Christianity teaches "supersessionism" the idea that God's covenant with Christians replaced his covenant with the Jews, and now Christians are the Chosen People, the spiritual heirs of Abraham. Mormonism takes this a step further, teaching that Mormons are not only the spiritual heirs of Abraham, they are his physical descendants as well. Mormonism includes a ritual called the "patriarchal blessing" in which a member in good standing receives a set of pronouncements spoken by an older male who is thought, during the ritual itself, to act as a latter day prophet. Like many of Mormonism's better known distinctive features, such as plural marriage and wearing sacred undergarments, the practice was instituted by Joseph Smith himself. One of the most central functions of the patriarchal blessing is to reveal which great-grandson of Abraham a person can claim as his ancestor. Per Mormon-wiki: "Through these blessings, Latter day Saints are told their lineage from the tribes of Israel. All tribes have been represented, but Latter day Saints descend mostly from the sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh." One former Mormon describes the experience: "While reading my patriarchal blessing I took note that says I was born through the loins of Ephraim. I found it fascinating how patriarchs could tell which tribes people were descended from." This peculiar seeming teaching offers a window into one way religious sects compete and seek status. In the Bible story, the Hebrew people are divided into 12 tribes, based on the 12 sons of Jacob, one of whom is Joseph of the "Technicolor Dream-coat."   

Alex Kane: Birther Group Seeking to Disqualify Obama From Reelection

Birther Group Launches National Ad Campaign Seeking To Disqualify Obama From Reelection: A birther organization known as the Conservative Majority Fund is currently running a national ad campaign claiming that it can disqualify President Obama from running for reelection. While the ad is steeped in the rhetoric of the birther movement, it goes far beyond simply claiming that Obama was not born in the United States. Indeed, the ad manages to cram a truly stunning number of far right conspiracy theories into just one minute of air time: Who is Barack Obama? We know less about this man than any other President in American history. What's he hiding? His autobiography is full of fictional characters. But there's a lot more than that. If you try to look into his past, you run into a brick wall. His college records at Columbia, sealed! His college records at Harvard, sealed! We don't know what his thesis papers were about because those are sealed too. His Selective Service is sealed. His records as an attorney are sealed. He has a Connecticut Social Security number and we can't get answers about that either. And no one, I mean no one, has seen an actual physical copy of Obama's birth certificate. The fact is, we don't know who who Barack Obama is. We shouldn't even have him as a candidate for president. Let's disqualify Obama before the Democratic National Convention. Call today to sign the demand to disqualify Obama. We need 10,000 signatures from every congressional district to boot this guy off the ballot and have the Democrats nominate someone else. The ad identifies no actual legal basis for its claim that a sitting president can be forced to give up his reelection bid for its claim that a sitting president can be forced to give up his reelection bid, if enough of his reelection bid, if enough of his political opponents sign a petition. 


Eric Margolis: Drone Attacks Generate Enemies for the US!

I was visiting Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, when the phone on his desk rang: "The hot line," he said. "Sorry I have to take this call." As he listened, his face grew darker and darker. Finally, he banged down the phone and exploded: "Another US drone attack that killed a score of our people. We were never warned the attack was coming. We are supposed to be US allies!" This strongly pro-American ambassador was wrong. While the US hails Pakistan as a key non-NATO ally, the US treats it like a militarily occupied country. The government in Islamabad is left to observe increasing drone attacks and CIA ground operation with deepening embarrassment and helplessness. Average Pakistanis have no doubt about what's happening. Most believe their nation was more or less occupied by the US after the 2001 attacks on the US. The Pakistani leader who allowed this to happen, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, has admitted that the US put a gun to his head and demanded he allow the US to use Pakistan's army, air bases, ports, intelligence service, logistics, and air space, or face war. Musharraf quickly caved in to the US ultimatum, something a tough predecessor, General Zia ul-Haq, would have surely rejected. As US drone attacks intensify in Pakistan's tribal belt and inside Afghanistan, the government of President Asif Ali Zardari, which was engineered into power by Washington and sustained by US dollars, keeps imploring the US to halt the attacks that are enraging Pakistanis. Senior Pakistani diplomats have been warning that the drone strikes that have so far killed 2,500-3,000, mostly civilians, are fueling extremist groups in Pakistan and humiliating its armed forces. No one in Washington is listening!

Susanne Posel: Government Silently Positions for Martial Law!

The US government has been scheming on how to provide for continuity of government for many decades now. According to Peter Santilli, an informant who is an ex-marine and worked on portions of the contingency plans known as Rex 84, civil unrest will come after a financial collapse. The Readiness Exercise 1984, aka Rex 84, outlines continuity of government wherein the US Constitution is suspended, martial law is declared, and the US military command take over state and local governments in order to ensure stabilization of our nation at any cost. Any American who is deemed a national security threat would be detained in an interment or FEMA camp. The author of Rex 84 was Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, National Security Council (NSC) White House aids and NSC liaison to FEMA. Rex 84 is the plan, the triggers are a series of executive orders. It is the continuity of government under specific contingency strategies that are laid out in various operations guide manuals. Operation Garden Plot is a subprogram of Rex84. Twice before, Rex 84 was implemented during the LA riots and on 9/11. In these scenarios, only small portions of the entire set of documents were used. Within the series of contingency plans, implementation of them depends on the severity of the situation. Some of the plans include internment camps, where all or portions of the active or inactive military bases would be transformed into work camps, where all considered to be dissonant would be held. The NORTHCOM army manuals clearly state that NATO forces will be used in every phase of the operation. According to Santilli, procedures to move conventional, chemical and nuclear bombs across the nation without detection have been facilitated without notice by the US military. 

Prof. Michel Chossudovsky: Syria: NATO's Next "Humanitarian" War?

In order to facilitate the action of "liberative" forces, a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals. To be accomplished early in the course of the uprising and intervention. Once a political decision has been reached to proceed with internal disturbances in Syria, CIA is prepared, and SIS will attempt to mount minor sabotage and coup de main incidents in Syria, working through contacts with individuals. Incidents should not be concentrated in Damascus. Further, a "necessary degree of fear, frontier incidents and staged border clashes", would "provide a pretext for intervention. The CIA and SIS should use capabilities in both psychological and action fields to augment tension." In this online interactive I-book, we bring to the attention of our readers a selection of feature articles on the Syrian crisis. Our objective is to dispel the tide of media lies and government propaganda, which presents the events in Syria as a "peaceful protest movement". The "protests" did not emanate from internal political cleavages as described by the mainstream media. From the very outset, they were the result of a covert US-NATO intelligence operation geared towards triggering social chaos, with a view to eventually discrediting the Syrian government of Bashar Al Assad and destabilizing Syria as a Nation State. Since the middle of March 2011, Islamist armed groups, covertly supported by Western and Israeli intelligence, have conducted terrorist attacks directed against government buildings, including acts of arson. Amply documented, trained gunmen and snipers, including mercenaries have targeted the police, armed forces, as well as innocent civilians. There is ample evidence, as outlined in the Arab League Observer Mission report, that these armed groups of mercenaries are responsible for killing civilians.   


Paul Davidson: How Mitt Romney Got Rich Destroying American Jobs!

Right now, a man whose predatory career has claimed the jobs of countless Americans is trying to wrap himself in the flag and call himself a "job creator" and "wealth creator." Does he mean miserable jobs in Chinese factories? Wealth for the 1 percent? Apparently that's exactly what he means. Republicans claim that Mitt Romney's entrepreneurial activities at Bain Capital have been good for Americans. The truth is that Romney has spent his career off-shoring and outsourcing American production processes, and associated jobs, to countries like China, where human labor is valued in the market at a very low wage rate. Mitt Romney's tenure as Bain's CEO has long linked him to off-shoring and outsourcing. Even today, although he is no longer in that position, Romney still makes a nice profit on undertakings done long after he left the day to day management of the firm. The usual justifying claim is that off-shoring and outsourcing are methods where the American entrepreneur finds the lowest labor cost of production for specific goods and services. Conservatives argue that even if there are additional shipping costs, the entrepreneur can provide goods and services at a lower price to American markets than if the product were produced at home. According to this line of thinking, American consumers are said to be winners, because they can buy more for each of their dollars of income. Never mind that those folks whose jobs were shipped overseas will not have much income to buy much of anything! In reality, there is nothing just in such practices. They run counter to American values, and are detrimental to a decent society. Bain's engagement in outsourcing under Romney's leadership can be traced back to at least 1993, when the firm bought into a company called "Corporate Software Inc." CSI provided a range of services for hi-tech companies such as Microsoft.

Finian Cunningham: Washington Wired for War, World Catastrophe!

When Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip fatally shot the heir to the Austro Hungarian throne, archduke Franz Ferdinand, in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914, the assassination is seen as the event that ushered in the First World War. Within a month, the Great Powers of Europe would become embroiled in a four year war, owing to a web of alliances and treaties: Russia, France, Britain on the one hand, Germany, Italy, and the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires on the other. The US would eventually enter the maelstrom in April 1917 on the side of Britain and the Entente allies against the Central Powers. The eventual death toll was between 10 and 16 million, making it one of the biggest cataclysms in human history, The war was, of course, not the consequence of a mere act on that fateful day in Sarajevo. It was the culmination over many years of diplomatic and political skirmishing stemming from economic rivalry between the European capitalist powers. Although some later historians dispute the role of economics as the determinant, it is hard not to conclude as many others have done, that the First World War was the classic outcome of imperialist rivalry. In particular, the then top European power Britain had long seen the rising star of Germany as its nemesis for the control of markets and resources. For its part, the newly formed German Empire arising from the unification of Prussia in 1871 felt that its economic development was being thwarted by London. This latent conflict over resources was underscored by several concomitant trends at the turn of the 20th century: The economic decline of Britain, compared with the technological powerhouse of Germany, the scramble for African colonies, the encroachment of German industrialists upon newly discovered Persian oil fields, and the perceived threat to the eastward trade routes with India. The jewel in the crown of Britain's Empire.  

Rick Rozoff: America's "Long War" Israeli Allies Against Syria and Iran

Pentagon Chief Rallies Arab, Israeli Allies Against Syria, Iran US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has begun a five day, four nation tour of North Africa and the Middle East to consolidate military ties with traditional allies against the backdrop of mounting Western pressure aimed at the governments of Syria and Iran. His first two stops are to Tunisia and Egypt, long standing American client states and members of NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue partnership program. The next two are Israel and Jordan, also Mediterranean Dialogue partnership program. The next two are Israel and Jordan, also Mediterranean Dialogue members, the first the main and the second one of the largest recipients of American military aid. The two North African countries were the bellwethers of the so-called Arab Spring, a topic Panetta dwelled on at some length during his visit to Tunisia, though in relation to following Pentagon diktat Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak might well still be in power for all the difference that now exists. Last years biennial joint US Egyptian Bright Star military exercise was cancelled during the early months of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces,, but there is no reason to believe next years wont go ahead as usual. Four months ago Washington released $1.3 billion in military assistance to the Egyptian junta, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waiving congressional conditions introduced last year and State Department spokeswoman Victoria Victoria Nuland stating, These decisions reflect Americas over arching goal: To maintain our strategic partnership with an Egypt made stronger and more stable by a successful transition to democracy.