Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It is going to be Syria's turn

by M. K. Bhadrakumar

If the likeness between ravaging regime change scenarios in Iraq and Libya is any indication, the future of Bashar al-Assad’ sovereignty in Syria might be hanging by a thin thread. The heart of the matter - underscores this analyst - is that regime change in Syria is absolutely central to US designs on the Middle East. The stakes are so intertwined that a host of stragetic gains could be achieved in one fell swoop, not least clipping Russia’s and China’s clout in the region. This is not an opportunity that Washington would want to miss.
Article posted here

Rebels settle scores in Libyan capital

The Libyan rebels have been meting out brutal treatment to sub-Saharan Africans in Tripoli, suspecting that they are Gaddafi loyalists

UN urges restraint as the rebels wreak their revenge on 'loyalists'

By Kim Sengupta in Tripoli

Saturday, 27 August 2011


The killings were pitiless.

They had taken place at a makeshift hospital, in a tent marked clearly with the symbols of the Islamic Crescent. Some of the dead were on stretchers, attached to intravenous drips. Some were on the back of an ambulance that had been shot at. A few were on the ground, seemingly attempting to crawl to safety when the bullets came.

Around 30 men lay decomposing in the heat. Many of them had their hands tied behind their back, either with plastic handcuffs or ropes. One had a scarf stuffed into his mouth. Almost all of the victims were black men. Their bodies had been dumped near the scene of two of the fierce battles between rebel and regime forces in Tripoli.
Article posted here

10 Years Late, A Cruise Type Missile Hits Pentagon on 9/11

Monday, August 29th, 2011 | Posted by Gordon Duff
9/11: Video of Missile Hitting Pentagon Leaked

Suppressed video released below 10 years later clearly shows Pentagon attack was a cruise type missile; either a Tomahawk or Russian/Soviet Granit as described by Dimitri Khalezov

Euro bail-out in doubt as 'hysteria' sweeps Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel no longer has enough coalition votes in the Bundestag to secure backing for Europe's revamped rescue machinery, threatening a consitutional crisis in Germany and a fresh eruption of the euro debt saga.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
8:07PM BST 28 Aug 2011

Mrs Merkel has cancelled a high-profile trip to Russia on September 7, the crucial day when the package goes to the Bundestag and the country's constitutional court rules on the legality of the EU's bail-out machinery.

If the court rules that the €440bn rescue fund (EFSF) breaches Treaty law or undermines German fiscal sovereignty, it risks setting off an instant brushfire across monetary union.

The seething discontent in Germany over Europe's debt crisis has spread to all the key institutions of the state. "Hysteria is sweeping Germany " said Klaus Regling, the EFSF's director.

German media reported that the latest tally of votes in the Bundestag shows that 23 members from Mrs Merkel's own coalition plan to vote against the package, including twelve of the 44 members of Bavaria's Social Christians (CSU). This may force the Chancellor to rely on opposition votes, risking a government collapse.

Christian Wulff, Germany's president, stunned the country last week by accusing the European Central Bank of going "far beyond its mandate" with mass purchases of Spanish and Italian debt, and warning that the Europe's headlong rush towards fiscal union stikes at the "very core" of democracy. "Decisions have to be made in parliament in a liberal democracy. That is where legitimacy lies," he said.
Read full article here

Russia disagrees with western resolution on Syria

Voltaire Network | 29 August 2011

"The draft resolution of the UN Security Council on Syria submitted by the USA and the EU lacks objectivity", declared Russia’s permanent representative in the UN Vitaly Churkin (in photo above) in his interview for the Russia Today TV channel.

He said that a resolution stipulating only measures of pressure on President Bashar al-Assad may instigate radical oppositional forces in Syria to start activities against the government. The document does not mention the necessity of a dialogue between the opposition and authorities.

“Russia will not accept the aims which the West is trying to achieve by way of this resolution,” Churkin said in conclusion.

Earlier a diplomatic source in New York reported that Russia has prepared its own version of a draft resolution of the UN Security Council on Syria.
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Source: The Voice of Russia

Was "Hurricane" Irene overhyped?

Experts review the lessons learned from Hurricane Irene

By Alan Boyle

Hurricane Irene wasn't as bad as predicted, and now some are asking whether the storm was over-hyped. NBC's Peter Alexander takes a closer look and The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore and Bryan Norcross share their insight.

Did forecasters, policymakers and media types overhype Hurricane Irene? It's not just a meteorological question: The debate over whether the outlook for damage was overhyped, or hyped just right, touches upon issues of risk perception and even the climate change debate. Like most natural disasters, Irene's deadly sweep over the U.S. East Coast has left behind some important lessons for researchers as well as regular folks.

Here are some of the lessons that Monday-morning commentators are chewing over:
Article posted here

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Libyan Soldiers: The True Heroes of NATO's War

Pro-Gaddafi troops during the battle for Ajdabiyah, March 2011.
Photo: Reuters

by Glen Ford

While NATO has proven its capacity to kill thousands of Libyan soldiers from the skies, it has failed to convey respectability to the marauding "rebels" under its wing, posing as freedom fighters. The latter, however, should not get too used to their spot in the limelight, which is sure to wane when their usefulness as NATO stooges eventually dries up. Meanwhile, for this author, the incinerated bodies of her soldiers have already secured Libya’s place in history.

The story is not over – not by a long shot – but the saga of the Libyan resistance to the superpower might of the United States and its degenerate European neocolonial allies will surely occupy a very special place in history.

For five months, beginning March 19, the armed forces of a small country of six million people dared to defy the most advanced weapons systems on the planet, on terrain with virtually no cover, against an enemy capable of killing whatever could be seen from the sky or electronically sensed. Night and day, the eyes of the Euro-American war machine looked down from space on the Libyan soldiers’ positions, with the aim of incinerating them. And yet, the Libyan armed forces maintained their unit integrity and personal honor, with a heroism reminiscent of the loyalist soldiers of the Spanish Republic under siege by German, Italian and homegrown fascists, in the late 1930s.

The Germans and Italians and Generalissimo Franco won that war, just as the Americans, British, French and Italians may ultimately overcome the Libyan army. But they cannot convey honor or national legitimacy to their flunkies from Benghazi, who have won nothing but a badge of servitude to foreign overseers. The so-called rebels won not a single battle, except as walk-ons to a Euro-American military production. They are little more than extras for imperial theater, a mob that traveled to battle under the protective umbrella of American full spectrum dominance of the air. They advanced along roads already littered with the charcoal-blackened bodies of far better men, who died challenging Empire.

One thing is sure: the Americans and Europeans have never respected their servants. The so-called rebels of Libya will be no different.

Washington, Paris and London know perfectly well that is was their 18,000 aircraft sorties, their cruise missiles, their attack helicopters, their surveillance satellites and drones, their command and control systems, their weapons, and their money, that managed to kill or wound possibly half the Libyan army. Not the rabble from Benghazi.

The rebels should not take too seriously being fawned over by the ridiculous hordes of corporate media tourists that have come to Tripoli to record the five-month war’s finale. They are highly paid cheerleaders. And, although it may appear that they are cheering for the rebels, don’t be fooled – at the end of the day, the western corporate media only cheer for their own kind. They are celebrating what they believe is a victory over the Libyan demon they have helped to construct in their countrymen’s minds.

Next year, rebel, that demon might be you. Or next year, it might be many Libyans, including those who were no friends of Col. Moammar Gaddafi. The Americans treat their native minions like children in need of supervision – and there is a certain logic to this, since whoever would entrust his nation’s sovereignty and resources to the Americans is, surely, either exceedingly stupid, or hopelessly corrupt. But Libya’s honor and her place in history has already been secured by a small African army that held out nearly half a year against the NATO barbarians.
Glen Ford
Article source here

Editor: It is now a fairly obvious guess that a prolonged guerrilla war, a-la Afghanistan, will commence in due course.
Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria next? Then Iran?

Florida's Reefs Cannot Endure a 'Cold Snap'

ScienceDaily (Aug. 27, 2011) — Remember frozen iguanas falling from trees during Florida's 2010 record-breaking cold snap? Well, a new study led by scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science shows that Florida's corals also dropped in numbers due to the cold conditions.

"It was a major setback," said Diego Lirman, associate professor at the UM Rosenstiel School and lead author of the study. "Centuries-old coral colonies were lost in a matter of days."
The chilly January temperatures caused the most catastrophic loss of corals within the Florida Reef Tract, which spans 160 miles (260 kilometers) from Miami to the Dry Tortugas and is the only living barrier reef in the continental U.S.
Members of the Florida Reef Resilience Program, a group composed of Florida scientists and resource managers, conducted a month-long survey of 76 reefs sites from Martin County to Key West, both during and shortly after the unusually cold weather.
Article posted here

Journalists trapped in Tripoli

Thierry Meyssan


12:20 pm GMT - Voltaire Network is still without news of its four journalists stranded in Tripoli. The last contact with Thierry Meyssan, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Mathieu Ozonan and Julien Teil took place on Saturday, 27 August 2011 at 9 am GMT. Since then, it has not been possible to establish communication with them.

On Friday, 26 August 2011, the journalists had been taken to a waiting room where they spent the day hoping in vain to embark on a ship chartered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for their evacuation. They were then returned to a hotel in Tripoli. On Saturday morning, August 27, they were again expecting to leave Libya by boat.

In the absence of any further communication with its journalists, Voltaire Network is not in a position to say where they are at present.

In France, the Crisis Center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was contacted by telephone, indicated that it is closely monitoring the situation with regard to French nationals Thierry Meyssan, Mathieu Ozanon and Julien Teil. Voltaire Network is equally concerned about Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, a Canadian national and Research Associate of the Montreal-based Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).
Article source here

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Escobar: Al-Qaeda asset is military commander of Tripoli

Libya, Tripoli : A Libyan rebel flashes the victory sign while driving through a seaside road in Tripoli at sunset on August 26, 2011. ( AFP Photo / Filippo Monteforte)

Published: 27 August, 2011, 02:06

Speaking to RT today live from Brazil, Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar said that an al-Qaeda asset is now leading the military of rebel-controlled Libya.

According to Escobar, Abdelhakim Belhadj, who commanded a military offensive in Libya over the weekend, has become the de facto commander of the Tripoli armed forces. Belhadj has also, says Escobar, was trained in Afghanistan by a
“very hardcore Islamist Libyan group.”
Escobar says that Taliban-linked sources overseas have confirmed Belhadj as the new commander. In the aftermath of 9/11, the CIA began tracking Belhadj, who was eventually captured in Malaysia in 2003. Escobar says that he was then tortured in Bangkok before being transferred back to Libya and imprisoned. He made a deal that allowed for his release in 2009 and as of this week is the military commander of Tripoli.
“I can say almost for sure with 95 percent certainty that this is the guy,” Escobar confirms.

Latest from Big Brother

Statement by NATO Secretary General on the elections in Abkhazia, Georgia
Press Release (2011) 100

Issued on 26 Aug. 2011

[110207a-005.jpg - NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen gives his monthly press conference at the Residence Palace in Brussels, 22.17KB] NATO does not recognise the elections held on August 26 in the Georgian region of Abkhazia.

The holding of such elections does not contribute to a peaceful and lasting settlement of the situation in Georgia. The Alliance reiterates its full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The rape of Libya has begun - European Firms Hoping for Big Business in Libya

An oil pipeline belonging to BASF subsidiary Wintershall in Libya: The company hopes the new rebel government will honor existing contracts.

By Maria Marquart and Katharina Pauli

Berlin may have stayed out of the fight for Libya, but German companies hope to profit from its reconstruction. Several economic leaders have already visited the war-torn country to investigate business opportunities. But competition is fierce.
Article posted here

A Planet Made of Diamond

An artist's visualisation of the pulsar and its orbiting planet. Image credit - Swinburne Astronomy Productions

by Staff Writers
Canberra, Australia (SPX) Aug 26, 2011

A once-massive star that's been transformed into a small planet made of diamond: that's what astronomers think they've found in our Milky Way.

The discovery has been made by an international research team, led by Professor Matthew Bailes of Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, and is reported in the latest issue of the journal Science.

Although bizarre, the "diamond planet" is in accord with our current picture of how certain binary star systems form.

The researchers, from Australia, Germany, Italy, the UK and the USA first detected an unusual star called a pulsar using the 64-m Parkes radio telescope of the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and followed up their discovery with the Lovell radio telescope in the UK and one of the Keck telescopes in Hawaii.

Pulsars are small spinning stars about 20 km in diameter - the size of a small city - that emit a beam of radio waves. As the star spins and the radio beam sweeps repeatedly over Earth, radio telescopes detect a regular pattern of radio pulses.

For the newly discovered pulsar, known as PSR J1719-1438, the astronomers noticed that the arrival times of the pulses were systematically modulated. They concluded that this was due to the gravitational pull of a small companion planet, orbiting the pulsar in a binary system.

The pulsar and its planet are part of the Milky Way's plane of stars and lie 4,000 light-years away in the constellation of Serpens (the Snake). The system is about an eighth of the way towards the galactic center from the Earth.

The modulations in the radio pulses tell astronomers several things about the planet.

First, it orbits the pulsar in just two hours and ten minutes, and the distance between the two objects is 600,000 km - a little less than the radius of our Sun.

Second, the companion must be small, less than 60,000 km (that's about five times the Earth's diameter). The planet is so close to the pulsar that, if it were any bigger, it would be ripped apart by the pulsar's gravity.

But despite its small size, the planet has slightly more mass than Jupiter.

"This high density of the planet provides a clue to its origin", said Professor Bailes.
Article source here

Voltaire Network denounces attempt by the "rebels" to arrest Thierry Meyssan

Voltaire Network | 25 August 2011

Voltaire Network denounces the attempt by the "rebels" to arrest Thierry Meyssan

Voltaire Network, Thursday, 25 August 25, 2011, 3:25 p.m. - The journalists who had been trapped inside the hotel Rixos in Tripoli since Sunday were evacuated yesterday, 24 August 2011, at 5 p.m, by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The four members of the Voltaire Network team - journalists Thierry Meyssan, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Mathieu Ozanon and Julien Teil - were among them.

However, after their release, the rebels tried to detain Thierry Meyssan, well known for his articles exposing the crimes of NATO. The ICRC intervened to prevent his arrest.

The journalists were taken to another hotel, where they are no longer under ICRC protection.

The journalists have thus far been unable to reach the ship chartered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which is supposed to have already docked in Tripoli.

Voltaire Network is extremely concerned about the attitude showed by the NATO-sponsored "rebels" towards its journalists. It is hereby launching an international appeal to the international community urging for the protection of its journalists and for their safe departure from Libya.

Article source here

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Germany fires cannon shot across Europe's bows

There is widespread concerns in Germany that ECB intervention in the Italian and Spanish bond markets mark a dangerous escalation Photo: Bloomberg News

German President Christian Wulff has accused the European Central Bank of violating its treaty mandate with the mass purchase of southern European bonds.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, in Lindau, Germany
6:58PM BST 24 Aug 2011

In a cannon shot across Europe’s bows, he warned that Germany is reaching bailout exhaustion and cannot allow its own democracy to be undermined by EU mayhem.

“I regard the huge buy-up of bonds of individual states by the ECB as legally and politically questionable. Article 123 of the Treaty on the EU’s workings prohibits the ECB from directly purchasing debt instruments, in order to safeguard the central bank’s independence,” he said.

“This prohibition only makes sense if those responsible do not get around it by making substantial purchases on the secondary market,” he said, speaking at a forum of half the world’s Nobel economists on Lake Constance to review the errors of the profession over recent years.

Mr Wulff said the ECB had gone “way beyond the bounds of their mandate” by purchasing €110bn (£96.6bn) of bonds, echoing widespread concerns in Germany that ECB intervention in the Italian and Spanish bond markets this month mark a dangerous escalation.

He did not explain what else the ECB could have done once the bond spreads of these two big economies began to spiral out of control in early August, posing an imminent threat to monetary union and Europe’s financial system.
Article posted here

Should Banks be a Public Utility?

Yves Smith: Finance sector controls the regulatory process - there needs to be a publicly controlled alternative to the private banking system

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam has not been arrested by rebels - despite earlier reports - and is still in Tripoli.

Several journalists, including an AFP and BBC correspondent, saw Saif al-Islam in Gaddafi’s residential complex in the capital.

When asked if his father was still in Tripoli, Saif replied: "Of course". ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo had earlier said the 39-year-old was arrested and in detention, calling for his swift transfer to The Hague to be prosecuted for "crimes against humanity" by the International Criminal Court.

"I am here to refute the lies," Gaddafi’s son said, referring to reports of his arrest.

Three journalists were taken by car to Gaddafi’s Bab al-Azizya compound by representatives of the regime.

Saif al-Islam arrived in a vehicle in front of the building complex, which was bombed by the Americans in 1986.

He was greeted by several dozen supporters waving his portrait and that of his father, as well as Libyan flags.

This comes on top of the news that Muammar Gaddafi’s eldest son, Mohammad, has escaped from rebel custody with the help of Gaddafi loyalists.

Article posted here

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tripoli: Voltaire Network concerned about the death threats hanging over Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya and Thierry Meyssan

Voltaire Network, Monday, August 22, 2011, 13:20 GMT

Thierry Meyssan

Voltaire Network is concerned about the threats targeting two of its team members in Tripoli. Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Research Associate, Centre for Research on Globalization, and Thierry Meyssan, president and founder of Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace Conference, are entrenched in the Hotel Rixos, around which heavy fighting is taking place. Reportedly, the order was given to shoot them down.

Thierry Meyssan has been in Tripoli since June 23, 2011. He started out by heading a fact-finding mission of Voltaire Network associates. For the past two months, he has been carrying out a journalistic investigation of the conflict. His stance differs from that of his peers in that: he describes the rebellion as a minority action, permitting to justify in the eyes of world public opinion a classic military operation.

Whatever the positions taken by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya and Thierry Meyssan, their killing would be unacceptable. Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya and Thierry Meyssan are not combatants, but journalists. Those who support this war, thinking that it is about democracy and freedom, can not possibly condone the assassination of journalists.

Currently, five states have offered them diplomatic protection. But the fighting around the hotel prevents them from leaving the premises and some of the embassies concerned have been encircled to make access impossible.

Aware of the threats hanging over them, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya Thierry Meyssan have no intention of exposing themselves to any "stray bullet".

Voltaire Network calls on the citizens of those countries involved in the war to exert pressure on their governments to ensure the safety of these journalists. It is asking each and everyone to play his/her role as citizens and to disseminate this information.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

NATO carnage in Tripoli

by Thierry Meyssan

From Tripoli, Thierry Meyssan reports on the carnage he has witnessed. Article posted on Monday, at 0:35 AM.
Voltaire Network | Tripoli (Libya) | 21 August 2011

On Saturday, 20 August 2011, at 8:00 PM, that is to say just after the Iftar, the breaking of the Ramadan fast, the Atlantic Alliance launched "Operation Mermaid."

The "mermaids" are the mosque loud speakers which were used by Al Qaeda to send the signal to start the revolt. Immediately, rebel "sleeper cells" went into action. Small, highly mobile, groups kept multiplying the attacks. The night combats left 350 dead and 3000 injured.

The situation stabilized on Sunday during the day.

A NATO ship docked near Tripoli unloaded heavy weapons and discharged Al Qaeda jihadists, supervised by officers of the Alliance.

The fighting raged again on Sunday night, reaching a rare degree of violence. NATO drones and planes have been bombarding in every direction. Helicopters are strafing people in the streets to clear the way for the jihadists.

In the evening, a convoy of official cars carrying prominent figures was attacked. It took refuge in the Rixos Hotel where the foreign press is staying. NATO would not dare bomb it in order to spare its own journalists. The hotel where I lodge has been under heavy fire.

At 11:30 PM, there was nothing the Ministry of Health could do but to take note that the hospitals are saturated. By early evening there were 1300 additional casualties and 5000 injured.

NATO was entrusted by the Security Council to protect civilians. In fact, France and the UK are now back to resume their colonial massacres.

Monday, 1:00 AM: Khamis Gaddafi personally went to deliver arms to the hotel and left. There is heavy fighting all around.
Thierry Meyssan

Article posted here

Friday, August 19, 2011

U.S. Congressman Kucinich: Drones Direct Hit Upon Rule Of Law

Posted on 2011/08/18 by stop nato


By Dennis Kucinich

The Obama Administration continues to use unmanned drones as a tool of war - a tool that according The New York Times, the Administration claims has killed 600 militants in Pakistan and no civilians since May 2010. But the math doesn't add up. Nor does the policy.

Think of the use of drone air strikes as summary executions, extra-judicial killings justified by faceless bureaucrats using who-knows-what "intelligence," with no oversight whatsoever and you get the idea that we have slipped into spooky new world where joystick gods manipulating robots deal death from the skies and then go home and hug their children.

Everything America was once said to stand for: the rule of law, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is in danger of becoming collateral damage as our fearful leaders continue to kill suspects and innocent alike, mindlessly unaware that the hellfire we are sowing will surely be reaped by Americans in the future.

The proliferation of drone technology and its inevitable extension to civilian law enforcement is a leap into the arms of Big Brother.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism recently estimated that at least 2,292 people have been killed by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004. The Bureau determined that of that number, over 350 are civilians. A July 2009 Brookings Institution report stated ten civilians die for every one suspected militant from U.S. drone strikes. Yet another study by the New American Foundation concluded that out of 114 drone attacks in Pakistan, at least 32% of those killed by the strikes were civilians.

President Obama has greatly expanded the use of drones over the past several years, authorizing more drone strikes during his first fifteen months in office than President Bush did during the entirety of his eight years in office.

In addition to the use of drones in Pakistan, the Administration has authorized strikes in Yemen and Somalia. The increasing reliance on drones and the lack of recourse for the families of innocent civilians that are killed by such strikes demonstrate the impunity with which the U.S. uses this technology.

Drone attacks undermine our moral standing in the world. They foment anger and resentment toward the United States.

We have spent years in Afghanistan and Iraq under the guise of nurturing democracy and the rule of law while at the same time, our use of unmanned drones severely undermines the rule of law.

Challenging the legality of drone strikes in Pakistan and calling to light their indiscriminate nature is vital to prevent a dangerous precedent from being set that would allow international law and the laws of war to be stretched to justify strikes elsewhere.

The legal justification for their use in Pakistan can and will be used to justify their use in other countries. Under this legal framework, the battlefield could be stretched to include anywhere in the world. Anywhere.

Tripoli on the Cusp

by Franklin Lamb
August 19, 2011

TRIPOLI — Truth be told, some foreign observers, and certainly this one, having been based in Tripoli the past nearly eight weeks, have not taken very seriously occasional media predictions that Tripoli might soon be invaded by “NATO rebels,” and certainly not by NATO country forces putting their boots on the ground.

The reasons include observations that the Libyan population is increasingly expressing anger over members of their families and tribes being killed by NATO sorties claiming to be “protecting civilians.”

It is said by many here that tens of thousands are ready to repulse invaders who try to enter Tripoli. Support for Colonel Gaddafi appears to reflect even Western polls such as the one referred to by the UK Guardian recently that Libya leader Colonel Gadaffi’s popularity had perhaps doubled during the current conflict. This morning’s Rasmussen poll claims that support for NATO-US involvement has plummeted to just 20% among the American public due to among other reasons, NATO killing of civilians. It is even lower in several other NATO countries.
Article posted here

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Libya and the end of Western illusions

by Thierry Meyssan

Five months into the bombing campaign, it is no longer possible to believe the initial official version of the events and the massacres attributed to the "Gaddafi regime". Moreover, it is now essential to take into account Libya’s legal and diplomatic rebuttal, highlighting the crimes against peace committed by television propaganda, the war crimes perpetrated by NATO military forces, and the crimes against humanity sponsored by political leaders of the Atlantic Alliance.

Just under half of Europeans still support the war against Libya. Their position is based on erroneous information. They still believe, in fact, that in February the "Gaddafi regime" crushed the protests in Benghazi with brutal force and bombed civilian districts in Tripoli, while the Colonel himself was warning of "rivers of blood" if his compatriots continued to challenge his authority.

During my two months’ investigation on the ground, I was able to verify that these accusations were pure propaganda intoxication, designed by the NATO powers to create the conditions for war, and relayed around the world by their television media, in particular Al-Jazeera, CNN, BBC and France24.
Article posted here

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dangerous Voyage To Site of Israeli Attack on USS Liberty

Texas man making dangerous voyage to site of 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty

by Ann Wright

At the site, Toenjes will be holding a memorial service honoring those killed on the USS Liberty by the Israeli military.

Larry Toenjes, 74, from Clear Lake Shores, Texas, is sailing his 39-foot sailboat, the s/v Liberty, to the coordinates of the June 8, 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty that killed 34 sailors and wounded another 173. 207 were killed or wounded out of the 294 on board the USS Liberty in the 90 minute attack by strafing attack planes and torpedoes. At the site, Toenjes will be holding a memorial service honoring those killed on the USS Liberty by the Israeli military.

Toenjes is a 5 year Coast Guard veteran with a PhD in economics. He worked for years in the Bureau of Budget in the state government of Illinois and upon moving to Texas in 1983, taught at the University of Texas in Austin and was a research professor at the University of Texas.

Toenjes and Joe and Sherrie Wagner, his 2 person crew also from Texas, set sail from Texas in July. They have sailed over 7,000 miles and are currently in Malta. According to Joe Meadors, the President of the USS Liberty Veterans Association (www.usslibertyveterans.org), Toenjes has Egyptian government permission to travel in Egyptian territorial waters to the site of the attack.

Article with lots of historical data published here

USS Liberty shot up by the Israeli military

Monday, August 15, 2011

In Asia, there's a new sheriff in town and he wears five yellow stars

The People’s Liberation Army’s chief of general staff, General Chen Bingde (right), with the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen.

by Wayne Madsen

With China increasingly calling the economic and diplomatic shots, nations that had long depended on the status quo preserved by U.S. military, economic and diplomatic might, including Japan and South Korea, are scrambling to find new protectors, as well as beefing up their own military forces. Waye Madsen analyzes the shifting power dynamics within the region.

There is a new sheriff in town in Asia and the United States, in a last gasp at preserving its influence in the region, is attempting to cement old alliances while forging new ones. Confronted by a China that has eclipsed the economy of Japan, thus achieving the distinction of being the world’s second-largest economy, the days of the United States acting as a major powerbroker in Asia is coming to an end.

Because Japan no longer trusts the quality of United States intelligence, it has embarked on creating its own foreign intelligence service, modeled on Britain’s MI-6. U.S.-Japanese intelligence cooperation has existed since the end of World War II, but Japanese officials do not believe the United States has shared with Japan the type of intelligence that is seen as important for Japan’s own national security interests in Asia.
Article posted here

Sunspots, Sea Changes, and Climate Shifts

Sediments accumulate over time in layers on the seafloor, and they contain fossil shells of surface-dwelling microscopic marine animals. The shells incorporate radiocarbon and other isotopes from seawater that existed when the animals lived, and hence provide a chronological record of past ocean conditions. (Photo by Tim Eglinton, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Does solar activity or ocean circulation—or both—drive changes in the atmosphere?

By Konrad Hughen, Associate Scientist
Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Source: Oceanus Magazine

Natural materials such as shells, ice, corals, and tree rings contain clues to help scientists piece together how our oceans, atmosphere, and land have changed in the past. The history of the Earth is recorded in many different chemical codes and languages, however, so we geochemists and paleoceanographers create tools that help us translate what the planet is telling us.

My research focuses on developing tools to trace environmental changes that occurred over millennia and centuries, and even over decades and years—long before humans were recording them. The trouble is that sometimes these paleo-science tools give us conflicting information; we construct or interpret a story of the past, and then new observations upset that story.

Recently, my colleagues and I encountered such a problem. While some environmental clues tell us that the sun had a crucial role in ancient atmospheric changes on Earth, we found other clues suggesting that the oceans also play a central part. My research group is looking closely at the environmental tracers themselves to see if our current history of the Holocene Epoch (the past 10,000 years or so) is a work of fiction or nonfiction. Article posted here

Tower collapse on 9/11

Is this what would happen to a concrete and steel building after having been hit by an aircraft?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Alberta Land Rights update

Alberta’s Minister of Energy, Mel Knight, says he has no interest in following or responding to Wilson’s campaign. (Ref: Edmonton Journal, “St. Albert land rights lawyer spreading information, controversy” by Keith Gerein published August 13th)

Knight made these comments “because he believes he was treated unfairly when he tried to get involved in debates last year. After appearing at one forum hosted by Joe Anglin — some of his responses appeared in a YouTube video that was edited in a way to make him look foolish. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iju6CU8bug). He calls it “an amateurish political stunt.”

For the record, Knight did not appear at a forum hosted by Joe Anglin. He crashed the meeting, uninvited along with the Minister of Transportation, Luke Ouellette, and both refused to comment on Bill-50. Factually speaking, the video editing did not make either minister look foolish. The video editing only combined multiple video sources. If Knight or Ouellette looked foolish in the video, they did that on their own accord without the aid of any video editing technology! In many of the attendees’ opinion, the best “foolish” looking moments were never caught on film. Had we only known the minister was planning on attending we would have been better prepared.

As for allegations of an amateurish political stunt, nothing is more amateurish than the passage of Bill-50. The preposterous idea that the sitting cabinet ministers know more about electricity transmission than the Industrial Consumers Association is more than amateurish – it’s dangerous! Overall electricity bills are at risk of doubling and tripling and this government is blind to the arithmetic. Industrial consumers are telling the government that this will cause job losses in the province, and ministers such as Mel Knight are deaf to the warnings.

Mr. Wilson raises serious issues that affect every Albertan. Knight should not avoid responding to Wilson’s analysis of Bill-50 because of some unrelated event. Mel Knight’s refusal to respond is not amateurish. It is immature and irresponsible!

Joe Anglin

Rimbey AB
(403) 843-3279

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Fidel Castro

by Michel Chossudovsky

Today, August 13, 2011 it is the birthday of Fidel Castro Ruz, leader of the Cuban Revolution. The Global Research team extends its warm greetings and best wishes to Comandante Fidel.

At the height of a US sponsored war and Worldwide economic crisis, Fidel Castro, the leader of the Cuban revolution, who to this day defies America's imperial design, remains a source of hope and inspiration to those committed to social justice and international solidarity.

Last October, I had the opportunity of spending several days at Fidel Castro`s home in the suburbs of Havana. Our conversation and exchange focussed on the dangers of nuclear war.

I had read Fidel Castro and Che Guevara during my high school days in Geneva, Switzerland and later at university in Britain and the US. When meeting him in person, I discovered a man of tremendous integrity, with an acute mind and sense of humor, committed in the minute detail of his speech to social progress and the advancement of humankind, conscious of the dangers of the US led war and the Worldwide crisis, with exceptional skills of analysis and understanding of his fellow human beings, with a true sprit of internationalism and a tremendous knowledge of history, economics and geopolitics.

On a daily basis, Fidel spends several hours reading a large number of detailed international press reports (As he mentioned to me with a smile, "I frequently consult articles from the Global Research website"...).

We focussed in large part on the dangers of nuclear war. Fidel Castro has the knack of addressing political details while relating them to key concepts. We also covered numerous complex international issues, focussing on the role of prominent political personalities, heads of State, authors and intellectuals. On the first day, when I met Fidel at his home, he was reading Bob Woodward's best-seller The Obama Wars which had just been released.

In this broad exchange of ideas, Fidel was invariably assertive in his views but at the same time respectful of those whom he condemned or criticized, particularly when discussing US presidential politics.

Fidel is acutely aware of the mechanisms of media disinformation and war propaganda and how they are used to undermine civil rights and social progress, not to mention the smear campaign directed against the Cuban revolution.

A central concept put forth by Fidel Castro in our discussions was the 'Battle of Ideas". The leader of the Cuban Revolution believes that only a far-reaching "Battle of Ideas" can change the course of World history.

In addressing and understanding this Worldwide crisis, commitment to the Truth and analysis of the lies and fabrications which sustain the corporate and financial elites is of utmost importance.

Article with many photos published here

Looting in London - first hand accout

I'm no writer. I'm not particularly good at it and it doesn't come easy to me, but after my journey home from work today (8th August 2011), I feel the need to share my experience on the looting (especially as I've read a lot of rubbish both in the press and online) and so have started this blog. I find writing can be a good outlet for anger and at the moment I'm feeling pretty angry.

Lots of images and level headed commentary here

Photographic Evidence of NATO War Crimes in Libya

Destroyed farm house in Majer, near Zliten.

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

TRIPOLI, Global Research, August 10, 2011 – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) conducted intensive attacks on Libyan civilians in the night of August 8 and in the early hours of August 9, 2011 from approximately 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. EET.

Civilians in Tripoli and many other cities in Libya were bombed indiscriminately by NATO.

A large number of casualties occurred in the city of Zliten, in the district of Misurata. In Zliten, 85 people were killed including 33 children, 32 women, and 20 men as a result of NATO’s deliberate targeting of residential areas and civilian infrastructure. Many of the injured civilian victims are in critical condition and near death.

Zliten has been under constant NATO bombardment for several days. The recent NATO attacks started at about 11:30 p.m. EET on August 8, 2011. At least 7 civilian homes belonging to local farmers were destroyed, killing entire families. In all 20 families were the targets of the NATO bombings.

Article and many more images here

Friday, August 12, 2011

Please take note

NATO reneges on its mission

by Thierry Meyssan

After 150 days of bombing, NATO has razed numerous facilities while failing to achieve any convincing military results. This is largely due to its lack of strategic forethinking. In Libya, NATO assumed it could apply the same classic methods that were conceived for different settings. It is now stuck in a quandary. The greatest military alliance in history, which was initially created to confront the USSR and was then slated to become the world’s policeman, has fallen woefully short of its recycling goals.

Both military victory and defeat are measured against the pre-established aims of the war. In the case of its intervention in Libya, NATO’s aims under a U.N. mandate were to protect civilians and, equally official although outside of the mandate, to change the country’s political regime.

After nearly 150 days of war, NATO did not succeed in shaking Libya’s institutions. Considering the disparity of opposing forces, military defeat is the inescapable conclusion and the adopted strategy should be called into question.

The Alliance wrongly estimated that the tribes from the East and South of the country, which were hostile to Muammar Gaddafi, could easily take Tripoli as long as they could count on aerial support. As it turned out, these tribes perceived the bombing as a foreign aggression and rallied the "Brother Leader" to repel the "crusader" invasion of Libya.

Informative article published here (Editor: Have you wondered why we haven't heard much from Libya lately on the mainstream media?)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

German Taxpayers Willingly Subsidise Bankers

By Michael Hudson
August 11, 2011

A bailout, like any other government expenditure, is a tax. Someone must pay all this money. And it is unfair to tax the broad population to pay for a special interest. Instead of being a progressive tax policy, bailouts enable bad behavior by the financial elite, sticking taxpayers with the cost.

Bailouts are unpopular among Europeans who see them as a tax being paid by the population as a whole to financiers at the top of the pyramid. These bankers have lived in the short run, taking large risks of capital for short-term gains to outperform their rivals. It is a game that most individuals have not played with their own savings, and they don’t think that governments should compensate banks for taking these risks.

The bonds in question are held largely in German and French banks in Europe, and by U.S. banks. Germans are especially angry by reports that U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner intervened in opposition to the insistence of Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, that bondholders should take a loss on their irresponsible investments. News reports say that as many as half the troubled securities are held by U.S. money market funds or subject to derivatives gambles. So it is not only European banks that are being bailed out, but also risk-taking U.S. speculators.

Banks bought these bonds to earn high rates of interest; they took a risk, and now the taxpayers will pay. This is morally repugnant. Article posted here

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

London riots escalate as police battle for control

A masked man on the streets of Hackney where a car burns out of control on the third day of street disturbances across London. Photograph: Kerim Okten/EPA

Vikram Dodd and Caroline Davies
The Guardian, Tuesday 9 August 2011

• Full-scale alert as violence spreads across capital
• Disorder breaks out in Birmingham city centre
• Prime minister, mayor and home secretary return

The prime minister cut short his holiday and flew back to Britain as London witnessed devastating scenes of violence stretching the emergency services beyond limit on a third night of rioting in the capital.

Buildings were torched, shops ransacked, and officers attacked with makeshift missiles and petrol bombs as gangs of hooded and masked youths laid waste to streets right across the city.

The sheer number of incidents – including in Hackney, Croydon, Peckham, Lewisham, Clapham and Ealing – seemingly overwhelmed the Metropolitan police at times, who had poured 1,700 extra officers onto the streets. Article posted here

Jack Kennedy assasination - it just won't go away

Key man, mystery man

The story is that Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed John F. Kennedy with a feat of sharp shooting that no one has been able to duplicate since.

A few days later, a man named Jack Ruby calmly strolled passed dozens of police and shot Oswald to death.

Oswald out of the picture...the end of any conspiracy investigation.

Here are four things the Dallas police and the national news media did a good job of covering up:

* The Dallas police knew Jack Ruby very well

(Ruby owned a strip club which served as a meeting place for local organized crime figures and a popular hang out for Dallas police officers.)

* Ruby knew Oswald.

* Ruby, like Oswald, worked as a police informant.

* Ruby once worked for Richard Nixon.

Watch the police spokesman lie at the press conference and a valiant reporter's effort to point out the obvious.

And listen to what Ruby says at the very end of the tape:

Ruby: "If Adlai Stevenson had been Vice President, there never would have been an assassination of President Kennedy."

Reporter: "Can you explain that?

Ruby: "The answer is the man who is in office now."

Monday, August 8, 2011

The world runs out of options

Even Germany's most ardent pro-Europeans seem to have given up trying to find a solution - they are building an alibi for EMU break-up instead. Photo: Bloomberg

The Great Reprieve is exhausted. The world has used up the three years' grace gained by extreme stimulus after the debt bubble burst in 2008.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

10:00PM BST 07 Aug 2011

This time we face the risk of double-dip recession without shock absorbers. Interest rates are already at or near zero in much of the OECD club. Fiscal deficits are stretched to the limits of safety.

Far from loosening, the US is on track to tighten by 2pc of GDP next year, and Europe by 1pc to 2pc, into the slowdown.

China has already pushed credit to 200pc of GDP. It cannot repeat the trick.

The Anglo-Saxons can print more money, but the gains in asset prices for the rich are offset by losses from fuel and food inflation for the poor. This is a destructive trade-off.

The decision to throw everything we had at the crisis after Lehman-AIG was a legitimate gamble at the time, given the near certainty of depression if shock therapy had been tried – as in 1931. Article continues here

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Piss on them - Iceland's loud 'No'

Photographs of bankers who left Iceland after the financial crisis have a new use in the restroom of a bar in Reykjavik. In addition to urinating on the bankers, Icelanders voted out the right-wing Independent Party and elected Johanna Sigurdardottir: head of the Social Democrats, former flight attendant, the first woman to lead Iceland’s government, and the first out lesbian to lead any government in the modern world.

"Can’t pay back, won’t pay back!" The people of Iceland have now twice voted not to repay international debts, incurred by banks and bankers, for which the whole island is being held responsible. With the present turmoil in European capitals, could this be the way forward for other economies? - An inside look by Silla Sigurgeirsdóttir and Robert H. Wade at the country’s financial tsunami and its stunning road to recovery.

The small island of Iceland has lessons for the world. It held a referendum in April to decide, more or less, whether ordinary people should pay for the folly of the bankers (and by extension, could governments control the corporate sector if they depended on it for finance). Sixty per cent of the population rejected an agreement negotiated between Iceland, the Netherlands and the UK to pay back the British and Dutch governments for the money they spent to recompense savers with the failed bank Icesave. That was less resistance than the first referendum last spring, when 93% voted no.

The referendum was significant since European governments, pressured by speculators, the IMF and the European Commission, are imposing austerity policies on which their citizens have not voted. Even devotees of deregulation are worried by the degree of the western world’s servitude to unconstrained financial institutions. After the Icelandic referendum, even the liberal Financial Times noted with approval on 13 April that it had been possible to “put citizens before banks”, an idea which does not resonate among European political leaders. Article posted here


Truth is no defense - by Ingrid Rimland

Informative article article on Ernst Zundel is published here

Civil disobedience is the only weapon we have left — Chris Hedges: Why I Will Be There

Source article here

Earth-directed solar storm (August 5, 2011)

An M9.3 flare (fairly strong-sized) along with a coronal mass ejection (CME) blasted out from the Sun and headed in the general direction of Earth (Aug. 4, 2011). This was the third flare in three days from Active Region 1261. The CME, seen in the 304 wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light from Solar Dynamics Observatory, can be seen distinctly as a darker cloud lifting off and rising up and out into space, something we usually do not get to see so clearly. The movie covers about eight hours of activity. The Sun itself is superimposed on SOHO C2 coronagraph. The snowstorm effect is caused by high-energy particles from the flare striking SOHO?s imager. The lop-sided but fast-moving cloud of particles headed off in the general direction of and may generate some aurora activity when it arrives. Download movie from here

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Why do American politicians kiss the hands and lips(!) of members of the House of Saud?

Editor: The murky world behind the political scene revealed

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Former Israeli president Katsav gets 7 years for rape

By Rami Amichai

TEL AVIV | Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:33am EDT

(Reuters) - Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav was sentenced to seven years in jail for rape on Tuesday in a case that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said showed "that no person is above the law."

Katsav had denied charges he twice raped an aide when he was a cabinet minister in the late 1990s, and molested or sexually harassed two other women who worked for him during his 2000-2007 term as president.

But a three-judge panel at Tel Aviv District Court said when convicting him in December that his testimony had been "riddled with lies."

"The defendant committed the acts as any man and as any man he must bear the punishment," the judges said at sentencing, adding that in the face of the grave offences, his clean record and stature were insufficient grounds for granting leniency.

One Israeli newspaper called the verdict an "earthquake" and it was welcomed by women's groups that have long complained of lax attitudes to sexual harassment in workplaces.

Israeli media reported Katsav burst into tears after shouting out at the judges: "The women lied...injustice is being done here. You have caused the lie to triumph...you've made a mistake, sir."

At the end of the hearing that lasted less than an hour, Katsav, 65, was whisked out of court by family members and bodyguards and a scuffle broke out between one of his sons and media crews trying to photograph the former president.

The court told him to report for the start of his jail term on May 8. His lawyers said they will lodge an appeal.


Netanyahu said in a speech in Tel Aviv that it was a day of "sadness and shame ... but also a day of deep appreciation and pride" that the court had showed no one was above the law.

Although the scandal had forced Katsav to step down in disgrace, it had little impact on Israeli government functions, as the presidency is largely a ceremonial position.

But the allegations against the Iranian-born Katsav, whose rise from the slums once served as a shining example for disadvantaged Jewish immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa, stirred deep emotions in Israel, where the elite has traditionally been of European descent.

The religiously observant Katsav had cast himself as the victim of extortion and an ethnically motivated "witch hunt."

He immigrated with his family to Israel in 1951 and at 24 became its youngest mayor and went on to hold a number of Likud cabinet posts.

Parliament elected him president in 2000 in a surprise victory over Shimon Peres, Israel's Nobel Peace Prize-winning elder statesman. Peres then succeeded Katsav as president, an appointment observers say has restored dignity to the post.

The Katsav affair amplified corruption scandals in 2009 that brought down Israel's then premier, Ehud Olmert.

(Writing by Jeffrey Heller and Maayan Lubell; Editing by Louise Ireland)

Article source here

The US Dictatorship and its White House Servant ‘President’

Obama kisses the hand of a member of the Saudi "Royal" House

by Finian Cunningham

If there is one thing that the office of President Barack Obama demonstrates it is that democracy does not exist in the United States. This may seem a rather outlandish statement. For many people, the fact that the 44th president is the first black man to preside over the White House – with its American colonial-style architecture – is a tribute to the triumph of US democracy.

But many other more telling facts indicate that Obama is but a figurehead of an unelected government in the US. This unelected power of corporate elites – commercial, financial, military – governs with the same core policies regardless of who is sitting in the White House. Whether these policies are on social, economic or foreign matters, the elected president must obey the direction ordained by the unelected elite. That kind of untrammeled power structure conforms more closely in practice to dictatorship, not democracy.
Article posted here

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Benghazi, the color insurrection in disarray

by Thierry Meyssan

Muslims have been encouraged to cease hostilities during the month of Ramadan. Nothing significant should be expected to happen in Libya at the military level until August 28. But who benefits from the respite?

As Ramadan kicks off, NATO’s millitary operation in Libya is sinking into total confusion, has observed Alexis Crow.

This Chatham House analyst, specializing in the study of the Atlantic Alliance, is one of the first Western think tank experts to have publicly addressed Al Qaeda’s role in the bosom of the "rebel forces". Today again, she is the first one to talk about the elephant in the room: NATO’s political leaders have abandoned their war aims, both formal and informal. They have, strictly speaking, no alternative strategy, other than to look for an escape that would allow them to hold their heads high. Quite obviously, it is not just the French General Staff, but currently also London that is concerned to see its forces getting bogged down in Libya with no solution in sight.

The "protection of civilians" has never been anything but a contrived slogan to begin with. Now, the idea of "regime change" in Tripoli has also evaporated, as has the option of dividing the country into two separate states with Tripoli and Benghazi as capitals. At most, Brussels hopes to obtain autonomous status for a few enclaves.

Aware of the looming political and military disaster, Washington is seeking a negotiated exit, while claiming that it is not because NATO has lost the war that it must stop bombarding Libya. Time is on our side, tout US emissaries, while the National Transitional Council has drained the Libyan bank accounts that were frozen by the UN Security Council.

In any case, if Washington has made ​​a mistake and is incapable of redressing the situation, it is because it hasn’t learned the first thing about Libyan behavior. Intoxicated by its own propaganda, the United States believed it would be facing a centralized and vertical dictatorial structure; instead it stumbled upon a horizontal and opaque system in which power is spread out, including at the military level. In spite of meeting with several emissaries in various capitals, the US failed to gauge their lack of political representation. And even worse, they cannot figure out the reactions of mercurial Muammar Gaddafi, who is equally persuaded that time is on his side. Well informed article here