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The US Is Looking for a Fight with North Korea

November 30th, 2010 - by admin

Bruce K. Gagnon / Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space – 2010-11-30 23:16:49

http://www.opednews.com/articles/U-S-LOOKING-FOR-A-FIGHT-by-Bruce-K-Gagnon-101128-492.html

MAINE (November 28, 2010) — The Advent vigils (four weeks in a row) began yesterday at Bath Iron Works (BIW) here in Maine. BIW is the place where Navy Aegis destroyers are built that are presently being used as part of the US-South Korea (ROK) war games which are bumping up against the coastline of North Korea. I noticed that the USS Cowpens is a part of this US naval battle group that is being led toward North Korea by the aircraft carrier named the USS George Washington.

I know about the USS Cowpens because it was the ship that fired the first shot (cruise missiles) in the 2003 US “shock-and-awe” attack on Iraq. I know this because the woman who was driving the USS Cowpens at that historic moment has become a friend of our family and was at our home for Thanksgiving just three days ago.

This young woman was a Lieutenant in the Navy and was the Officer of the Deck at the time of the Cowpens attack on Iraq. She has since gotten out of the Navy and is now a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). She has not yet gotten over the pain of her role in that unprovoked, immoral, and illegal attack on Iraq.

North Korea knows all about the US proclivity to attack smaller countries for no good reason. In years past the world has watched the US beat up on Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Granada, Panama, Libya, Somalia, Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. North Korea must wonder if their day is coming soon as well.

As I noted in other recent blogs on this subject, the US and South Korea have been running aggressive military war games each month since last July and these massive drills are directed right at North Korea.

North Korea must each time put their military and their population on alert because they can’t take any chances. Having seen the US record of attacking weaker countries, they must consider that this time the war games could be for real.

As I stood on the sidewalk in front of BIW for the hour-long vigil today I held a sign with a picture of a train painted on it by one of our local artist friends. The sign read “Built in Bath.”

Some of the passing Saturday early-shift workers got the message and smiled as they drove home. The truth is that a number of those working inside BIW know that their “product” is a first-strike attack military machine.

They’d rather be building rail systems or wind turbines. But we make weapons and we make war in America today and military production is one of the few jobs around in our declining economy.

It’s like those who worked in the death camps for Hitler’s Army during WW II. It was a job and they wanted to believe that their country was right — Germany uber alles. In America we say — USA, USA, #1!

The US is outfitting these Navy Aegis destroyers with “missile defense” systems and activists in South Korea and Japan clearly understand the role of these warships in US military strategy. The US intends to use these MD systems to pick-off retaliatory strikes after a Pentagon first-strike attack on North Korea or China. The US is doubling its military presence in the Asian-Pacific region for a clear reason.

Like any bully, the US military is poking a sharp stick at North Korea (and China) and basically daring them to fight back. The US (and their junior partners in South Korea and Japan) are out to militarize the region and are just itching for a military response that would then “justify” an overwhelming response.

The US weapons corporations love this game of hardball, or as it used to be called, gunboat diplomacy. The power tripping US government intends to keep pushing North Korea into a corner and will keep pissing on them until they get another response. At the rate things are now going it likely won’t take long.

The key factor in all of this is China. How long will China allow the US to keep pouring gasoline on the hot fire in the Asian-Pacific? They hold our debt yet know that if they cut the US loose then the entire global economy will suffer even more. But China is quickly getting fed up with US military bravado in their back yard.

China must support North Korea because if that country is toppled then the US would put military bases right on China’s border. This was an important reason for the Korean War in the first place, the US wanted to take control of the entire Korean peninsula and thus have bases right alongside Russia and China.

If the American people knew half of what was going on in their name they’d be freaking out but due to corporate control of the media, and generations of government brainwashing, most of our citizens are in the dark. Virtually all they know about any of what is going on right now in Korea is what they are told by the same people who are stirring the boiling pot of war.

Sadly most Americans have to learn the hard way. Hopefully it won’t take a shooting war with China to wake the public up from their deep sleep.

Bruce Gagnon is the Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. Between 1983-1998 Bruce was the State Coordinator of the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice. He was the organizer of the Cancel Cassini Campaign (launched 72 pounds of plutonium into space in 1997) that was featured on the TV program 60 Minutes.

Bruce has been featured by artist Robert Shetterly in his collection of portraits and quotes entitled Americans Who Tell The Truth. In 2006, he was the recipient of the Dr. Benjamin Spock Peacemaker Award. In 2003 Bruce co-produced a popular video entitled Arsenal of Hypocrisy that spells out US plans for space domination. His latest video, shot in 2006, is entitled The Necessity of the Conversion of the Military Industrial Complex. In 1968, Bruce was Vice-chair of the Okaloosa County (Florida) Young Republican Club while working on the Nixon campaign for president. Bruce is a Vietnam-era veteran and began his career by working for the United Farm Workers Union in Florida organizing fruit pickers.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

The Militarization Of The Arctic And Its Strategic Resources

November 30th, 2010 - by admin

Prof. Jules Dufour / Global Research – 2010-11-30 23:00:32

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22146

TORONTO (November 28, 2010) — The year 2010 was marked by a series of decisions by the Canadian government concerning rearmament. Predictably, as the defense plan “Canada First” was formally launched in 2008, involving the country in an unprecedented weapons acquisition and modernization program, such as the purchase of tanks, F-35 fighters, naval construction and F-18 fighter upgrades, pledged at the start of September.

It was in July that most of these projects were unveiled, during the summer vacations when such news is far from the concerns of Canadians. Thus, tens of billions are committed to war or preparation for war, without it being possible to hold a parliamentary or public debate on the subject.

At most, there have been some protests about the magnitude of the pledged sums and the concerns expressed here and on the regional economic fallout (Castonguay, A., 2010). A familiar scenario.

These projects can no longer be justified by Canada’s participation in the war of occupation of Afghanistan. The soldiers of the Canadian army are going to be repatriated in 2011. It’s undeniable that the arena of corporate domination and NATO control over all the strategic resources of the world now includes, and above all, the increasingly accessible Arctic subsoil.

A Defense Policy Based on Force
In order to conform to this logic, Canada recently reaffirmed its commitment to Arctic territory which ensures it more effective control. In its foreign policy statement on the Arctic, made public last August, the Canadian government gives priority to reinforcing its military presence in this region of the world, but this time taking care to cloak it under a set of good intentions regarding economic and social development, as well as governance.

Its first objective is to supposedly “safeguard,” through an increased military presence, its sovereignty over an important portion of the Arctic continental shelf. In effect, “the defense strategy Canada First will give the Canadian Forces the necessary tools to increase their presence in the Arctic.

“Under this strategy, Canada will acquire new patrol vessels capable of sustained sea-ice operations to ensure close surveillance of our waters, so that they gradually open to the maritime industry. To support these ships and other vessels of the Canadian government that are active in the North, Canada is constructing a port at Nanisivik, with facilities for maritime docking and resupply.”

In addition, the US and Canada are working together to better monitor and control the North American airspace under NORAD (read Michel Chossudovsky, “Canada’s Sovereignty under Threat: The Militarization of of North America,” Mondialisation.ca, September 10th 2007), the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Moreover, the Canadian Forces will benefit from new technologies to improve their capacity to monitor their territory and its approaches.

Anti-Russian Maneuvers?
The military exercises held every year or more by NATO on the continental shelf of Norway are tailored to simulate the hunting of Russian naval forces seeking to take control of the hydrocarbon resources in this part of the plateau. The same objective is at the heart of the “Operation Nanook” military exercises conducted in 2010 by the Canadian Forces in conjunction with those of the US and Denmark.

According to several analysts, including Michael Byers, the Canadian government doesn’t cease to use this potential threat in order to justify its military spending pledges, in particular, the $16 billion purchase of F-35’s. Therefore, from time to time it’s fair game, to keep alive the spirit of this Russian menace, to proclaim in the mass media that Russian bombers were successfully intercepted in NATO airspace, as was the case in August with the interception of a Tupolev TU-95 bomber some thirty nautical miles from the coast of the Canadian Arctic (Byers, M., 2010). In fact, it’s arguably by no means an act of provocation or aggression on the part of Russia.

Conclusion
It’s important to say the truth about the real issues surrounding the development of Arctic resources. The confrontation between America and Russia up there is in place for a number of years now, a kind of latent “cold war” which serves the two protagonists well. The monitoring of the Arctic is in fact defined as the vigil kept on the Russian operations conducted in this ocean.

The quest for maintaining Canadian sovereignty over part of the continental shelf is just a pretext for its militarization. Don’t be fooled. NATO’s real intentions are to have absolute control over the hydrocarbon resources in this region of the world, just as it does by force and armed violence in the Middle East and Central Asia.

See also: “The Arctic, a ‘Precious Diamond’ for the Global Environment and Humanity” by Jules Dufour.

Translated from the French original on Global Research’s French language website: www.mondialisation.ca
. Our thanks to Sublime Oblivion for the translation

References
BYERS, Michael. 2010. Russian bombers a make-believe threat. THE STAR. August 30, 2010.
CASTONGUAY, Alec. 2010. Ottawa achètera le F-35. Le Conseil des ministres a approuvé l’acquisition d’un nouvel avion de chasse pour le Canada. Journal Le Devoir, les 10 et 11 juillet 2010, p. A3.
CASTONGUAY, Alec. 2010. Armée: la modernisation des VBL s’amorce. Journal le Devoir, les 10 et 11 juillet 2010, p. A2.
CASTONGUAY, Alec. 2010. Avions de chasse. La bagarre politique commence. Ottawa confirme l’achat d’au moins 60 F-35 sans appel d’offres. Un futur gouvernement libéral suspendra le contrat. Journal Le Devoir, les 16 juillet 2010, p. A1.
CASTONGUAY, Alec. 2010. Achat de 65 avions de chasse F-35. Les entreprises canadiennes se réjouissent. Près de 100 entreprises pourraient profiter des retombées économiques. Journal Le Devoir, les 17 et 18 juillet 2010, p. A3.
CASTONGUAY, Alec. 2010. Arctique, la nouvelle guerre froide. Journal Le Devoir, 21 et 22 août 2010, p. A1.
CASTONGUAY, Alec. 2010. Ottawa dévoile au monde ses ambitions pour l’Arctique. Journal Le Devoir, les 21 et 22 août 2010, p. A4.
CASTONGUAY, Alec. 2010. La ruée vers le Nord. La croissance des activités humaines dans l’Arctique pose des défis pour le Canada. Journal Le Devoir, 21 et 22 août 2010, p. A7.
CASTONGUAY, Alec. 2010. Des ressources naturelles alléchantes. Journal Le Devoir, les 21 et 22 août 2010, p. A7.
CHOSSUDOVSKY, Michel, La souveraineté du Canada menacée: la militarisation de l’Amérique du Nord, Mondialisation.ca, le 10 septembre 2007.
DUFOUR, Jules. 2007. L’Arctique, un espace convoité: la militarisation du Nord canadien. Géopolitique et militarisation du grand Nord canadien (Première partie). Montréal, Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation. Le 26 juillet 2007.
DUFOUR, Jules. 2007. L’Arctique, militarisation ou coopération pour le développement. Géopolitique et militarisation du grand Nord canadien (Deuxième partie). Montréal, Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation. Le 31 juillet 2007.
FEDIACHINE, Andrei. 2010. L’or noir de la blanche Arctique : le pétrole est arrivé plus tôt que prévu. Ria Novosti. Montréal, Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation. Le 4 septembre 2010.
HUEBERT, Rob. 2010. Welcome to a new era of Arctic security. Globe and Mail. Le 24 août 2010.
LA PRESSE CANADIENNE. 2010. Navires : Ottawa relance un projet d’achat de 2,6 milliards. Journal le Devoir, le 15 juillet 2010, p. A3.
ROZOFF, Rick. 2010. Canada Opens Arctic To NATO, Plans Massive Weapons Buildup. Montréal, Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation (CRM). Le 29 août 2010.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

Navy’s Trident Nuclear Warheads Hit the Highway, Bound for Texas

November 30th, 2010 - by admin

Ed Friedrich / The Kitsap Sun – 2010-11-30 22:59:53

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2010/nov/27/tridents-warheads-on-the-road-to-refurbishment/

BANGOR (November 27, 2010) — Hundreds of nuclear warheads are secretly being trucked between Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor and the Texas panhandle to have their lives extended.

The 100-kiloton W76 warheads are between 23 and 32 years old and need to be upgraded, according to the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

Bangor’s eight Trident ballistic-missile submarines can each carry 24 D5 missiles. Those missiles can each carry up to eight W76 warheads.

Workers at the Pantex Plant outside of Amarillo, Texas, will add about 30 years to the weapons’ lives.

The plant, which is charged with maintaining the safety, security and reliability of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile, will refurbish the nuclear explosive package, the arming, firing and fusing system, and the gas transfer system, according to the NNSA.

The new fuse will allow more flexibility in setting the height of the burst, which, according to the Energy Department, would “enable W76 to take advantage of (the) higher accuracy of (the) D5 missile” and bring more targets, including hard targets, within range.

Fifty-five to 60 percent of the nation’s W76 warheads, or about 1,600 to 1,800 of them, will be modernized, said Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project for the Federation of American Scientists. Eight of the Navy’s 14 ballistic-missile submarines are based at Bangor, so about 900 to 1,000 warheads would be transported from and returned to Kitsap County in special unmarked tractor trailers.

The first W76 upgrade was completed in February 2009. The $4 billion project will continue until 2018, Kristensen said.

The trailers can carry several warheads at a time. Shipping is conducted by the NNSA’s Office of Secure Transportation. The organization has safely completed 100 percent of its shipments without compromising or losing a nuclear weapon or component, or releasing radioactive material, according to its website.

Nobody from the Office of Secure Transportation or the Navy could be reached by the Kitsap Sun for comment.

The tractor-trailers don’t travel during bad weather. Should they run into it, federal agents who drive them pull into previously identified secure shelters. Although the trucks have sleeper berths, the armed drivers can’t go more than 32 hours without eight hours of sleep in a regular bed.

The trailers protect the warheads during an accident. Even if the trailer crashed, the warheads wouldn’t be damaged, according to the Office for Secure Transportation. An operations center tracks every convoy by satellite 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Officials from the Washington State Patrol, Department of Ecology, Department of Transportation and National Guard said they weren’t notified of the increased shipments and never know when they’re made. Phyllis Mann, director of the Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management, said the Office of Secure Transportation briefs local law enforcement and emergency agencies about its operations, but the shipments themselves are secret.

“I don’t want to know about the movement of a warhead,” Mann said. “It is classified information. There are some things you don’t want to know, and this is one of them. If you keep telling a secret, the next thing you know you get subpoenaed and have to tell something you don’t want to talk about.”

Mann said she believes the State Patrol is the only agency with general knowledge about the shipments, but spokesman Dan Coon said troopers aren’t in the loop. “It is all military and we are not part of the plans,” he said.

Live transport of nuclear weapons is always associated with risks, Kristensen said. That’s why the Office of Secure Transportation takes it so seriously.

“You can have all sorts of things happening,” he said. “Trucks rolling over, crashes involving fuel trucks, crazy people trying to do something even worse like terror attacks. It’s a lot of warheads and there will be a lot of traffic.”

Last week, the Energy Department inspector general’s office said it reviewed 16 alcohol-related incidents involving agents, candidate-agents and others from the government’s Office of Secure Transportation between 2007 through 2009. They included an agent arrested for public intoxication and two agents detained by police after a bar fight.

After the W76 life extension, about 150 of the Tridents’ other warheads, the W88, will be shipped back to Pantex for new fuses, Kristensen said. That will take about 2 1/2 years. Then, in 2026, they’re scheduled to return to Texas for full-blown life extensions, he said.

Read More:
http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2010/nov/27/tridents-warheads-on-the-road-to-refurbishment/#ixzz16e5rCghM

RELATED NEWS ON EAW
US Agents Driving Trucks with Nuclear Missiles ‘Drunk on Job’
Herald-Sun & The New York Post

(November 28, 2010) — US agents tasked with transporting nuclear weapons in trucks were drunk on the job, revealing a “potential vulnerability” in a “critical national security mission” a scathing report reveals. The report, by Department of Energy Assistant Inspector General Sandra D. Bruce, found a total 16 alcohol-related incidents between 2007 and 2009, but did not make any formal recommendations for change.

(c) 2010 Kitsap Sun. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

Robot Soldiers and Exoskeletons: Coming to a Battlefield Near You

November 30th, 2010 - by admin

Noel McKeegan / Gizmag & – 2010-11-30 22:41:58

http://www.gizmag.com/lockheed-martin-lab-testing-hulc-exoskeleton/16768/

Lockheed Martin’s HULC Robotic Exoskeleton MK II
Noel McKeegan / Gizmag

(October 28, 2010) — Lockheed Martin is putting an updated, ruggedized version to its HULC Robotic Exoskeleton through lab evaluation tests. The hydraulic “power-suit” now boasts better protection from the elements, improved fitting and easier adjustment, increased run-time and new control software.

One of several exoskeletons in development for both military and civilian applications, the HULC (short for Human Universal Load Carrier) is designed to augment soldiers’ strength and mobility over rough terrain. It’s a modular system made up of an over-the-shoulder backpack unit, which transfers weight of up to 200 lbs (combined front and back) through a titanium lower-body exoskeleton. On foot, soldiers wearing the device can run at 7 mph with 10 mph bursts and at slower speeds, a range of around 12 miles is possible.

Unlike the Raytheon XOS 2 full-body exoskeleton, the HULC uses power-assisted straps as “arms” to lift-weight in front of the body. It’s big advantage is that it’s untethered and in the revised version, Lockheed Martin says increased operational run time has been achieved using military-standard rechargeable batteries.

The form and fit of the exoskeleton has also been improved to make it easier for wearers to make adjustments and swap components. Along with treadmill and dynamic load testing, the ruggedized HULC is being exposed to a range of simulated environments and battlefield conditions. The company also has an eye on the obvious potential of the technology in industrial applications and other areas such a healthcare.


Raytheon XOS 2: Second Generation Exoskeleton
Mike Hanlon / Gizmag

(September 28, 2010) — The widespread usage of exoskeletal robotics to augment human beings moved a step closer this week when Raytheon demonstrated its second generation Exoskeleton, the XOS 2. The new robotic suit (think of it as wearable robot guided by a human brain) is lighter, faster and stronger than the original proof-of-concept XOS 1, yet uses half the power.

While Raytheon’s development is primarily focused on military usage, exoskeletons for the mobility-impaired are already at market and industrial exoskeletons from Japan, Korea and Israel are not far behind. One day in the not-too-distant future, one of these suits will enable us all to have superhuman strength, speed and endurance.

The XOS 2 enables its wearer to easily lift 200 pounds several hundred times without tiring and repeatedly punch through three inches of wood. Yet, the suit, which was developed for the US Army, is also agile and graceful enough to let its wearer kick a soccer ball, punch a speed bag or climb stairs and ramps with ease.

The XOS 2 robotics suit is being designed to help with the many logistics challenges faced by the military both on and off the battlefield. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has long harbored a desire to extend the human capabilities of soldiers through wearable robot exoskeletons to create superhuman strength, speed and stamina.


Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot to Ferry Wounded Soldiers to Safety
Darren Quick / Gizmag

(November 24, 2010) — The US Army is currently testing a robot designed to locate, lift and carry wounded soldiers out of harm’s way without risking additional lives. With feedback from its onboard sensors and cameras, the Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot (BEAR) can be remotely controlled through the use of a special M-4 rifle grip controller or by hand gestures using an AnthroTronix iGlove motion glove. This equipment would allow a soldier to direct BEAR to a wounded soldier and transport them to safety where they can be assessed by a combat medic.

Built by Vecna Robotics, BEAR maneuvers via two independent sets of tracked “legs” and is able to stand up and dynamically balance on the balls of its ankles, knees or hips while carrying a load. At full height BEAR stands 1.8 m (6 ft) tall, allowing it to look over walls or to lift its cargo onto a raised surface.

To ensure it can handle a fully equipped soldier, BEAR’s hydraulic arms are capable of carrying up to 500 pounds (227 kg), while its hands and fingers allow it to carry out fine motor tasks. It also has a “teddy bear” face that is designed to be reassuring.

BEAR has been undergoing tests over the past year in simulations and live exercises by soldiers at the US Army Infantry Center Maneuver Battle Lab at Fort Benning, Georgia. These tests are designed to provide BEAR’s developers with feedback on the real-world operational capabilities and requirements for the robot.

Anthronix, the makers of the iGlove, which is available commercially as the AcceleGlove, plans to develop a new glove for controlling the robot that will include more accelerometers and a digital compass to allow for greater control using only hand gestures — to instruct the robot to disable an improvised explosive device or travel exactly 500 meters east for example.

The alternative method of remote control, a “Mounted Force Controller” which is mounted on the grip of an M-4 rifle, allows a user to control BEAR without having to put down their weapon.

Currently all BEAR’s actions are controlled by a human user but the developers are working to give BEAR more complicated semi-autonomous behaviors that will allow it to understand and carry out increasingly complicated commands.

Vecna Robotics says BEAR could also be used for search and rescue, handling hazardous materials, surveillance and reconnaissance, mine inspection, lifting hospital patients, or even warehouse automation. However, the battlefield is where we’re probably most likely to first see BEAR.

“If robots could be used in the face of threats such as urban combat, booby-trapped IEDs, and chemical and biological weapons, it could save medics’ and fellow soldiers’ lives,” says Gary Gilbert of the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), which helped fund BEAR’s development.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

ACTION ALERT: Military Starts Low-Altitude Training Flights in New Mexico

November 30th, 2010 - by admin

Seth Mosgofian / Peaceful Skies Coalition & Santa Fe New Mexican – 2010-11-30 22:07:42

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Opinion/My-View–Seth-Mosgofian-Training-flights-are-reckless–unnecess

Military Starts Low-Altitude Training Flights in New Mexico
Seth Mosgofian / Peaceful Skies Coalition & Santa Fe New Mexican

ALBUQUERQUE, NM(November 12, 2010) — My family, friends, neighbors and I are extremely concerned that the Air Force has proposed low-altitude flights in and around Northern New Mexico to train for missions in Afghanistan. We strongly object to the noise, the pollution, the disturbance of the peace and the risk to our homes and lives these flights will present, as well as the alleged purpose.

Wherever you live in the United States, you have the right to expect peace, safety and security in your home. That right should never be threatened by our own military, not even in the much-abused and alleged name of security.

In the absence of a direct threat, the military does not have the right to endanger the health and lives of American citizens or to use us as guinea pigs for bombing raids against the Afghan people. This training is not for defense, it is for offense.

The war in Afghanistan is not just. It is reported that as few as 30 al-Qaida remain there, having moved on to Pakistan or parts unknown. So why are we still there, and why is the Air Force still risking lives and wasting tax dollars?

Unless the establishment of a Unocal pipeline or US control of the vast Afghan mineral reserves defines winning, this war will not be won. Many countries before us discovered the futility of war in Afghanistan, and fighting it from the air only guarantees the death of innocent civilians. Furthermore, these wars and the related tests and training flights, etc., are bankrupting the American people.

Flying these aircraft at altitudes as low as a 20-story building is utterly reckless. At that elevation there is no margin for error, especially with the Osprey, prone to disaster, and the C-130 behemoth. Other pilots use the same air space, which will become extremely hazardous or taken off limits.

Furthermore, the decibel levels will be intense and inescapable. For those with nervous-system disorders, environmental sensitivities or migraines, these flights can have dire consequences. How does someone escape these assaults? In planning these flights, the Air Force shows a disregard for the realities of life outside of a war zone. Has war become the constant and peace the exception?

At this point, it is very difficult to justify further attacks on Afghanistan. These practice missions are intended for use against a people who themselves have never caused harm to Americans. The Air Force isn’t planning to use the experience gained in these “exercises” against the people who blew up the Twin Towers, and these practice flights won’t bring Osama bin Laden any closer to justice.

So is there another agenda? Are we to be conditioned to a war-zone atmosphere or is the Air Force trying to determine our resolve as citizens in the face of military intimidation?

Low-altitude flights over populated areas are abhorrently reckless, and the purpose of these particular exercises is morbid. If the Air Force insists on these expensive and wasteful war games, then we should insist they do so on a simulator and save the taxpayers millions of dollars; or find a remote, unpopulated part of the country in which to practice, where the noise and pollution will not affect the health and lives of residents and wildlife and where the consequences of an accident will only affect those who volunteer for this thoughtless insanity.

ACTION:
If you are opposed to the 700 planned flights (three flights every night all year long) at 200 feet over Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico, please contact your elected officials in Congress and the Santa Fe City Council and tell them to stop these flights.

You should also contact Cannon Air Force Base. It is are accepting comments through Wednesday. The e-mail address is 27SOWpublicaffairs@cannon.af.mil

Seth Mosgofian lives in Santa Fe.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

WikiLeaks Site Under “Attack” as Diplomatic Cables Go Public

November 29th, 2010 - by admin

Steven Musil / CNET News – 2010-11-29 20:23:20

http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/367-wikileaks/4079-wikileaks-site-under-qattackq-as-diplomatic-cables-go-public

WikiLeaks Site Under “Attack”
as Diplomatic Cables Go Public

Steven Musil / CNET News

WikiLeaks now has the documents here.

(November 28, 2010) — Whistleblower WikiLeaks said today its Web site has been targeted by a massive computer attack, just hours before an expected release of classified US documents.

“We are currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack,” WikiLeaks said on its Twitter feed. Efforts to reach the page as of this writing were unsuccessful.

The site released 75,000 confidential files on the war in Afghanistan in July and defied a series of warnings from the Pentagon and other government officials by releasing nearly 400,000 secret files from the Iraq war last month. In a Twitter post last week, the whistleblower site announced it was preparing to release its largest cache of classified documents.

“Next release is 7x the size of the Iraq War Logs. Intense pressure over it for months,” WikiLeaks said last week.

In a follow-up Twitter post today, WikiLeaks said newspapers such as El Pais, Le Monde, Der Speigel, The Guardian, and the New York Times would post the files, even if its site was inaccessible.

(Update at 1:30 p.m. PT: The files have since been released, revealing that the US ordered surveillance of UN leaders.)

The White House has condemned the leaks, saying they put lives at risk, and conservative commentators argued that Wikileaks.org should be shut down by any means necessary.

The WikiLeaks Web site has in the past been proposed as the first public target for a US government cyberattack. One Washington newspaper argued that WikiLeaks’ offshore Web site should be attacked and rendered “inoperable” by the US government. A State Department adviser under President George W. Bush wrote a column calling on the US military to “electronically assault WikiLeaks and any telecommunications company offering its services to this organization.”

Bradley Manning, an Army intelligence specialist, is suspected of being a source for the document-sharing Web site and was charged in June with obtaining “more than 150,000 diplomatic cables” from the State Department.


Petition: In Support of Julian Assange

We here undersigned express our support for the work and integrity of Julian Assange. We express concern that the charges against the WikiLeaks founder appear too convenient both in terms of timing and the novelty of their nature.

We call for this modern media innovator, and fighter for human rights extraordinaire, to be afforded the same rights to defend himself before Swedish justice that all others similarly charged might expect, and that his liberty not be compromised as a courtesy to those governments whose truths he has revealed have embarrassed.

In earnest support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange:

ACTION ALERT: Stop US Escalation of Tension between the Two Koreas

November 29th, 2010 - by admin

International Action Center – 2010-11-29 20:14:45

http://www.iacenter.org/korea/stopattackondprk_NOW

SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION to the Obama Administration and South Korean Government
http://www.iacenter.org/korea/stopattackondprk NOW!

PLAN PROTESTS IN THE DAYS AHEAD TO COUNTER THE GROWING WAR THREAT

Tell the Obama Administration and the south Korean Government you want the US/south Korean war maneuvers and provocations against the DPRK stopped immediately, the removal of south Korean and US war ships including the US aircraft carrier George Washington, an end to the US sponsored sanctions against the DPRK, the signing of a peace treaty NOW to end the state of war that has existed since the Korean war, and the immediate withdrawal of the 30,000 US troops that still occupy south Korea, so that the Korean people can freely decide their own destiny.

THESE ARE THE UNDISPUTED FACTS:
On Nov. 23, the government of South Korea mobilized 70,000 troops for a week of military maneuvers just off the border of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. The DPRK said that these military maneuvers simulated an invasion of the north.

The military deployment was provocatively held right off the sea borderline between the north and the south. This is an area considered to be disputed territory.

On Nov 23, at 1:00 p.m., South Korean forces fired many shells into waters right off the DPRK. This is an area that the north has a longstanding claim to be within its territory. This claim had been accepted by prior south Korean governments.

An hour and a half later, the DPRK retaliated to what it saw as an attack on its territory by firing shells at the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong.

And now the US has announced plans to send the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington and its battle group including war ships, destroyers and hundreds of fighter jets back into the area to participate in new war maneuver provocations.

It is urgent that all who stand for peace and justice make plans now for immediate protest actions in the days ahead.

The US military has been involved in all the war maneuvers by South Korea, going back to the 1950-53 war, and has occupied South Korea since the end of World War II.

Why doesn’t the media ask why the US was orchestrating a massive military deployment of troops, ships and aircraft right on the border of the DPRK?

The provocation here clearly comes from the US government and the right-wing south Korean regime, not the DPRK. The regime of Lee Myung-bak has undone earlier moves that improved relations between the two halves of the Korean nation and has brought increased confrontation.

It can never be forgotten that US imperialism waged a horrendous war against the Korean Revolution from 1950 to 1953, one that resulted in millions of deaths and total devastation of the Korean Peninsula.

For there to be peace on the Korean Peninsula, the US should end its support of expansionist, right-wing forces in the south, sign a peace treaty with the north (a state of war still exists after 57 years!) and withdraw its troops so the Korean people can decide their own destiny.

Join us in the days ahead in taking to the streets to protest these US war threats and sanctions that have created a powder keg in Asia. End the military occupation of South Korea! Sign a peace treaty and bring the troops home!

SIGN ONLINE AT
http://www.iacenter.org/korea/stopattackondprk NOW!

SAMPLE PETITION TEXT:

To: President Barack Obama, President Lee Myung-bak, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

CC: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, U.N. member delegations, US Congressional leaders, members of the media.
• Stop the US/South Korean War maneuvers and provocations against the DPRK (north Korea) immediately!
• Remove the south Korean and US war ships! DO NOT SEND ADDITIONAL US WARSHIPS AND PLANES INCLUDING THE US AIRCRAFT CARRIER GEORGE WASHINGTON!
• End the US sponsored sanctions against the DPRK!
• Sign a peace treaty NOW to end the state of war that has existed for 57 years since the Korean war!
• Withdraw all of the 30,000 US troops that still occupy south Korea, so that the Korean people can freely decide their own destiny.

It is an undisputed fact that on Nov. 23, the government of South Korea mobilized 70,000 troops for a week of military maneuvers just off the border of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. The DPRK said that these military maneuvers simulated an invasion of the north.

On Nov 23, at 1:00 p.m., South Korean forces fired many shells into waters right off the DPRK. This is an area that the north has a longstanding claim to be within its territory. This claim had been accepted by prior south Korean governments.

An hour and a half later, the DPRK retaliated to what it saw as an attack on its territory by firing shells at the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong.

And now the US has announced plans to send the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington and its battle group including war ships, destroyers and hundreds of fighter jets back into the area to participate in new war maneuver provocations.

The US military has been involved in all the war maneuvers by South Korea, going back to the 1950-53 war, and has occupied South Korea since the end of World War II. AND THE WAR DANGER IS GROWING!

Clearly the military provocation is from the US government and the south Korean government of President Lee Myung-bak.

For there to be peace on the Korean Peninsula, the US must withdraw its troops so the Korean people can decide their own destiny.

Sincerely,
(Your signature appended here)

SIGN ONLINE AT http://www.iacenter.org/korea/stopattackondprk NOW!

International Action Center
c/o Solidarity Center
55 W 17th St Suite 5C
New York, NY 10011
212-633-6646
iacenter@iacenter.org
www.iacenter.org

TSA Gestapo Empire

November 29th, 2010 - by admin

Paul Craig Roberts / Foreign Policy Journal – 2010-11-29 20:03:21

http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/11/23/tsa-gestapo-empire/

(November 23, 2010) — It doesn’t take a bureaucrat long to create an empire. John Pistole, the FBI agent who took over the Transportation Security Administration on July 1 told USA Today 16 days later that protecting trains and subways from terrorist attacks will be as high a priority for him as air travel.

It is difficult to imagine New Yorkers being porno-screened and sexually groped on crowded subway platforms or showing up an hour or two in advance for clearance for a 15 minute subway ride, but once bureaucrats get the bit in their teeth they take absurdity to its logical conclusion. Buses will be next, although it is even more difficult to imagine open-air bus stops turned into security zones with screeners and gropers inspecting passengers before they board.

Will taxi passengers be next? In those Muslim lands whose citizens the US government has been slaughtering for years, favorite weapons for retaliating against the Americans are car and truck bombs. How long before Pistole announces that the TSA Gestapo is setting up roadblocks on city streets, highways and interstates to check cars for bombs?

That 15-minute trip to the grocery store then becomes an all-day affair.

Indeed, it has already begun. Last September, agents from Homeland Security, TSA, and the US Department of Transportation, assisted by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, conducted a counter-terrorism operation on busy Interstate 20 just west of Atlanta, Georgia. Designated VIPER (Visible Inter-mobile Prevention and Response), the operation required all trucks to stop to be screened for bombs. Federal agents used dogs, screening devices, and a large drive-through bomb detection machine. Imagine what the delays did to delivery schedules and truckers’ bottom lines.

There are also news reports of federal trucks equipped with backscatter X-ray devices that secretly scan cars and pedestrians.

With such expensive counter-terrorism activities, both in terms of the hard-pressed taxpayers’ money and civil liberties, one would think that bombs were going off all over America. But, of course, they aren’t. There has not been a successful terrorist act since 9/11, and thousands of independent experts doubt the government’s explanation of that event.

Subsequent domestic terrorist events have turned out to be FBI sting operations in which FBI agents organize not-so-bright disaffected members of society and lead them into displaying interest in participating in a terrorist act. Once the FBI agent, pretending to be a terrorist, succeeds in prompting all the right words to be said and captured on his hidden recorder, the “terrorists” are arrested and the “plot” exposed.

The very fact that the FBI has to orchestrate fake terrorism proves the absence of real terrorists.

If Americans were more thoughtful and less gullible, they might wonder why all the emphasis on transportation when there are so many soft targets. Shopping centers, for example. If there were enough terrorists in America to justify the existence of Homeland Security, bombs would be going off round the clock in shopping malls in every state. The effect would be far more terrifying than blowing up an airliner.

Indeed, if terrorists want to attack air travelers, they never need to board an airplane. All they need to do is to join the throngs of passengers waiting to go through the TSA scanners and set off their bombs. The TSA has conveniently assembled the targets.

The final proof that there are no terrorists is that not a single neoconservative or government official responsible for the Bush regime’s invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and the Obama regime’s slaughters of Pakistanis, Yemenis, and Somalians has been assassinated.

None of these Americans who are responsible for lies, deceptions, and invasions that have destroyed the lives of countless numbers of Muslims have any security protection. If Muslims were capable of pulling off 9/11, they are certainly capable of assassinating Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Libby, Condi Rice, Kristol, Bolton, Goldberg, and scores of others during the same hour of the same day.

I am not advocating that terrorists assassinate anyone. I am just making the point that if the US was as overrun with terrorists as empire-building bureaucrats pretend, we would definitely be experiencing dramatic terrorist acts. The argument is not believable that a government that was incapable of preventing 9/11 is so all-knowing that it can prevent assassination of unprotected neocons and shopping malls from being bombed.

If Al Qaeda was anything like the organization that the US government claims, it would not be focused on trivial targets such as passenger airliners. The organization, if it exists, would be focused on its real enemies. Try to imagine the propaganda value of terrorists wiping out the neoconservatives in one fell swoop, followed by an announcement that every member of the federal government down to the lowest GS, every member of the House and Senate, and every governor was next in line to be bumped off.

This would be real terrorism instead of the make-belief stuff associated with shoe bombs that don’t work, underwear bombs that independent experts say could not work, and bottled water and shampoo bombs that experts say cannot possibly be put together in airliner lavatories.

Think about it. Would a terror organization capable of outwitting all 16 US intelligence agencies, all intelligence agencies of US allies including Israel’s Mossad, the National Security Council, NORAD, air traffic control, the Pentagon, and airport security four times in one hour put its unrivaled prestige at risk with improbable shoe bombs, shampoo bombs, and underwear bombs?

After success in destroying the World Trade Center and blowing up part of the Pentagon, it is an extraordinary comedown to go after a mere airliner. Would a person who gains fame by knocking out the world heavyweight boxing champion make himself a laughing stock by taking lunch money from school boys?

TSA is a far greater threat to Americans than are terrorists. Pistole has given the finger to US senators and representatives, state legislators, and the traveling public who have expressed their views that virtual strip searches and sexual molestation are too high a price to pay for “security.” Indeed, the TSA with its Gestapo attitude and methods, is succeeding in making Americans more terrified of the TSA than they are of terrorists.

Make up your own mind. What terrifies you the most. Terrorists, who in all likelihood you will never encounter in your lifetime, or the TSA that you will encounter every time you fly and soon, according to Pistole, every time you take a train, a subway, or drive in a car or truck?

Before making up your mind, consider this report from Antiwar.com on November 19: “TSA officials say that anyone refusing both the full body scanners and the enhanced pat down procedures will be taken into custody. Once there the detainees will not only be barred from flying, but will be held indefinitely as suspected terrorists . . . One sheriff’s office said they were already preparing to handle a large number of detainees and plan to treat them as terror suspects.”

Who is cowing Americans into submission, terrorists or the TSA Gestapo.

Dr. Roberts was appointed Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury by President Ronald Reagan. He served in the Congressional Staff of the House and Senate. He was Associate Editor and Columnist for the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week, the Scripps Howard News Service, Creators Syndicate, and for major newspapers in France and Italy. He was Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, for 24 years and occupied the William E. Simon chair of Political Economy in the Center for Strategic and International Affairs, Georgetown University for 12 years. Dr. Roberts has also had academic appointments at Virginia Tech, Tulane University, University of New Mexico, and George Mason University. He was a member of Merton College, Oxford University, during 1963-65. In 1969 he presented a Special University Lecture to the faculty and student body of Oxford University. He was awarded the US Treasury’s Silver Medal in 1982 and the French Legion of Honor in 1987. Read more articles by Paul Craig Roberts.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

ACTION ALERT: Stop These Wars in DC on December 16

November 29th, 2010 - by admin

Veterans for Peace – 2010-11-29 19:57:02

VFP Palestine Delegations

ACTION ALERT: Stop These Wars in DC at 10 a.m. December 16
Not Another Day! Not Another Dollar! Not Another Life!
Join what will be the largest veteran-led civil resistance in US history.
Join Us at the White House December 16

Here’s an easy question: would you rather go to jail for a few hours with a bunch of friends or die?

Here’s a poorly kept secret: the wars that a majority of Americans want ended are not ending, and the war machine that a majority of Americans want cut back is growing.

Here’s a situation that is not secret at all but too horrifying for us to acknowledge: if the war machine continues on its current course, we will not survive it economically, environmentally, or with any civil liberties or representative government intact. If we do not reach those catastrophes it will be because blowback or nuclear proliferation takes us out first.

You may not die for the Pentagon, but if you do not it will be your children or grandchildren. Would you rather go to jail for a few hours with a bunch of friends or see your grandchildren killed? Is the question getting easier?

Here’s a well kept secret: many Americans are doing something about it, and Veterans for Peace is taking the lead. We’re going to the White House on Thursday, December 16th at 10 a.m.: http://stopthesewars.org

You may have other obligations, but do they outweigh what’s at stake here? How about this question: If you can not risk arrest at the White House with us on December 16th to stop these wars, can you be there in support? Can you help with transportation or take photos and shoot videos and write reports? If you cannot be there in support, can you phone Congress and the media and demand the defunding of the war machine and an end to wars opposed by majorities of Americans in every poll?

The last time I was arrested at the White House we were “processed” at a table outside a jail and never entered any jail at all. Yes, it takes hours to do what could take minutes. Yes, the handcuffs pinch. But doesn’t the knowledge that we are bombing families in other countries pinch a little too?

Don’t take it from me. Take it from these people who will also be there:

During the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King called our government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” True then — and even more so today.
A few years before that, in 1964 Mario Savio made his great speech at Berkeley; at the end he says,
“There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”

There are children being orphaned, maimed or killed every day, in our name, with our tax dollars; there are soldiers and civilians dying or being maimed for life, in order to generate profits for the most odious imperialistic corporate war machine ever, again in our name.

How long are we going to let this go on? Until it is too late, until this destructive machine destroys all of us and the planet to boot?

Wikileaks has revealed the documented horror of US war-making, beyond what any of us imagined. It’s time veterans and others express our resistance directly and powerfully by putting ourselves on the line, once again — honestly, courageously and without one drop of apology for doing so. It is not we who are the murderers, torturers or pillagers of the earth.

Profit and power-hungry warmongers are destroying everything we hold dear and sacred.

In the early thirties, WW1 vets descended on Washington, D.C., to demand their promised bonuses, it being the depths of the Depression. General Douglas MacArthur and his sidekick Dwight Eisenhower disregarded President Herbert Hoover’s order and burned their encampment down and drove the vets out of town at bayonet point.

We are today’s bonus marchers, and we’re coming to claim our bonus — PEACE.
Join activist veterans marching in solidarity to the White House, refusing to move, demanding the end of US wars, which includes US support — financial and tactical — for the Israeli war machine as well.

If we can gather enough courageous souls, nonviolently refusing to leave the White House, willing to be dragged away and arrested if necessary, we will send a message that will be seen worldwide. “End these wars — now!” We will carry forward a flame of resistance to the war machine that will not diminish as we effectively begin to place ourselves, as Mario Savio said, “upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus.” and we will make it stop.

We believe that the power of courageous, committed people is greater than that of corporate warmongers. But we will only see our power when we use it collectively, when we stand together.

With courage, persistence, boldness and numbers, we can eventually make this monstrous war machine grind to a halt, so that our children and all children everywhere can grow up in a peaceful world.

Join us at the White House on December 16th!

For a world in peace,
Nic Abramson, Veterans For Peace;
Elliott Adams, Past President, Veterans For Peace;
Laurie Arbeiter, Activist Response Team;
Ken Ashe, Veterans For Peace;
Ellen Barfield, Veterans For Peace;
Brian Becker, National Coordinator, ANSWER Coalition;
Medea Benjamin, Co-Founder, CODEPINK for Peace;
Frida Berrigan, War Resisters League; Bruce Berry, Veterans For Peace;
Leah Bolger, Veterans For Peace;
Elaine Brower, Anti-war Military Mom and World Can’t Wait;
Scott Camil, Veterans For Peace;
Ross Caputi, Justice For Fallujah Project;
Kim Carlyle, Veterans For Peace;
Armen Chakerian, Coalition to Stop the $30 Billion to Israel;
Matthis Chiroux, Iraq War Resister Veteran;
Gerry Condon, Veterans For Peace;
Will Covert, Veterans For Peace;
Dave Culver, Veterans For Peace;
Matt Daloisio, Witness Against Torture;
Ellen Davidson, War Resisters League;
Mike Ferner, President, Veterans For Peace;
Nate Goldshlag, Veterans For Peace;
Clare Hanrahan, War Crimes Times;
Mike Hearington, Veterans For Peace;
Mark Johnson, Executive Director. Fellowship of Reconciliation;
Tarak Kauff, Veterans For Peace;
Kathy Kelly, Voices For Creative Nonviolence;
Sandy Kelson, Veterans For Peace;
Ron Kovic, Vietnam War veteran and author of Born on the Fourth of July;
Joel Kovel, Veterans For Peace;
Erik Lobo, Veterans For Peace;
Joe Lombardo, United National Antiwar Committee;
Ken Mayers, Veterans For Peace;
Nancy Munger, Co-President, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom;
Fred Nagel, Veterans For Peace;
Pat O’Brien, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom;
Bill Perry, Vietnam Veterans Against the War;
Vito Piccininno, Veterans For Peace;
Mike Prysner, Co-Founder, March Forward;
Ward Reilly, Veterans For Peace;
Laura Roskos, Co-President, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom;
Cindy Sheehan, Founder, Peace of the Action;
David Swanson, author; Debra Sweet, National Director, World Can’t Wait;
Debbie Tolson, Veterans For Peace;
Mike Tork, Veterans For Peace;
Hart Viges, Iraq Veterans Against the War;
Father Louie Vitale, SOA Watch;
Jay Wenk, Veterans For Peace;
Linda Wiener, Veterans For Peace;
Diane Wilson, Veterans For Peace;
Col. Ann Wright, Veterans For Peace;
Doug Zachary, Veterans For Peace

Endorsers of the December 16 Veteran-Led Civil Resistance against War
•
• Veterans For Peace
• ANSWER
• Austin Center for Peace and Justice
• Backbone Campaign
• CodePink
• Courage to Resist
• Environmentalists Against War
• Fellowship of Reconciliation
• Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
• March Forward
• National Assembly to End the US Wars and Occupations
• Peace Action
• Peace Action Montgomery
• Peace of the Action
• Stop $30 Billion to Israel (Albuquerque)
• United National Anti-War Committee
• Voices for Creative Non-Violence
• Voters for Peace
• War Resisters League
• Washington Peace Center
• Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
• World Can’t Wait

Veterans Speak Out on December 16 Action

Ray McGovern
Ray McGovern, retired CIA officer and former US Army Intelligence officer. McGovern was a federal employee under seven US presidents over 27 years, presenting the morning intelligence briefings at the White House for many of them. In 2003, together with other former CIA employees, McGovern founded the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity or VIPS.

“I strongly and enthusiastically support these actions! May we move forward peacefully, nonviolently, and with great courage.”
— Ron Kovic, antiwar activist, Vietnam War veteran, and author of the memoir Born on the Fourth of July

“I speak and write a lot about these things; but there comes a time when if you don’t put your body on the line, then the speaking and writing becomes posturing. That time is now. December 16 at the White House.”
— Joel Kovel, author of Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine

“Those who know the full extent of America’s imperial reach have a unique obligation to let their fellow citizens know what is being done in all of our names. But it is more than an obligation for veterans, since many of us have served in America’s invasions and occupations abroad. Perhaps it is also a privilege, another chance to express our love for this country, this time putting their bodies on the line to demand that America once again join the peace loving nations of this world.”
— Fred Nagel, radio host and member, Veterans For Peace

“I listened today to Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech given at New York’s Riverside Church in 1967, “Why I Oppose the Vietnam War.” If any of us don’t know it, make it a point to hear it. His truth is timeless. When I hear it, I feel as deeply as possible, the necessity and the responsibility to be a Veteran For Peace. My conscience, my refusal to let the world change me are in the forefront of my existence. I will be with my brothers and sisters on Dec. 16.”
— Jay Wenk, member, Veterans For Peace

“I am shamed by the actions of my government and I will do everything in my power to make it stop killing innocent people in my name.”
— Leah Bolger, CDR, USN (Ret), 1980-2000; National Vice-President, Veterans For Peace

“‘….to protect and defend the Constitution…’ I took that oath as a sailor, and later as a police officer. I don’t consider that oath to have an expiration date because I believe in accountability, justice and peace. Where I come from, we say: ‘You don’t have to stand tall, but you’ve GOT to stand up.’ Stand up December 16, 2010, at the White House.”
— Erik Lobo, member, Veterans For Peace

“When Barack Obama claimed that by not prosecuting the war crimes and crimes against humanity of the previous administration we would be able to go into the future with our core values intacct, he was condemning this country to have no moral future. He was, in effect, saying that our core values worth defending are imperialism and capitalism and hypocrisy. All three can only flourish in a climate of no accountability and a belief in the necessary ethic of collateral damage. It is our responsibility to change that.”
— Robert Shetterly, www.americanswhotellthetruth.org

“War for empire, endless and cruel war, resulting in untold suffering, destruction and death for millions, a war economy here at home that steals from ordinary citizens and makes the few enormously wealthy, these are powerful reasons for us to put our bodies on the wheels, the levers, the apparatus of this vile war-making machine and demand that it stop. Enough is enough. There is no glory, no heroism, no good wars, no justification whatsoever, it is all, all of it, based on lies. I’ll be in Washington on December 16 with other veterans, resisting this war mentality, demanding its end.
— Tarak Kauff, Veterans For Peace

“For what do I stand? First, I will not stand for: a Democrat, a Republican, a flag, a border, a government, or a war of any kind. I will stand for the People, to protect and defend the Constitution, for peace and justice. See you in Washington, D.C., December 16, Twenty-Ten.”
— Will Covert, Veterans For Peace

“I could not miss this manifestation of veterans’ strong condemnation of the wars, and of Obama for continuing them. In this season of supposed peace on earth, we who previously carried out US foreign policy with our bodies must speak out to say, ‘NO MORE! Bring the troops home NOW!’”
— Ellen Barfield, Veterans For Peace

“I have three granddaughters whose futures will be bleak unless we can reverse the American slide into endless war. It’s time to move the resistance up a notch. That’s why I’ll be joining the veteran-led civil resistance on December 16 at the White House.”
— Ken Mayers, Major, US Marine Corps Reserves(Ret’d), and member, Veterans For Peace

“Besides causing untold suffering and destruction, our futile and unending wars distract us from addressing unprecedented humanitarian and planetary crises. To allow war to even exist dishonors the teachers of peace who came before us. To fail to oppose war is to submit to those who make war. I choose to honor the peace teachers; I choose to oppose and resist the warmakers.”
— Kim Carlyle, Veterans For Peace and War Crimes Times

“I’m joining my fellow veterans on December 16 because, plain and simple, it is the right thing to do. I am against war, murder, and torture. Enough! I have a beautiful daughter and a very cute goddaughter. I owe them my best effort towards achieving a more just world. When we all stand up for peace war will end.
— Mike Tork,Veterans For Peace, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Vietnam 1965-1967, Mobile Riverine

“The trip to Washington will be an opportunity to stand in solidarity with fellow engaged citizens who are paying attention. As much as it will be a privilege, it is an obligation to add another voice to the growing chorus objecting to obscene wars that serve none other than the rich and powerful. The majorities in the lands subject to our occupations and wars object to our presence, and we the people share more in common with the victims in those countries than we do with the war profiteers here at home. Though we can expect the mainstream media to give little notice to our presence in D.C., that failure will only serve to make these truths more evident.”
— Dud Hendrick, President, Maine Veterans For Peace, Founding Chapter

“I will not be silent. I’m going to the White House to demand an end to these wars!”
— Mike Hearington, Veterans For Peace

“We are at a critical time in world history. Will the Western democracies continue to develop along the lines of Rousseau, Voltaire, Jefferson, King, Chavez and company? Or does the future hold a feudal world committed to slavery and fascism? The extent to which we resist is the extent to which there is reason to hope. Our witness, even if ignored in our times, will be on record and will inspire democratic revolutionaries far into the future.
— Doug Zachary, Austin, Texas, Veterans For Peace

“The Empire has met the Resistance and it is us! 12.16.10. Washington. Be there!” — Mike Ferner, President, Veterans For Peace

For more information, email stopthesewars@gmail.com.

Document Reveals Israeli Government’s Secret Plan to ‘Put Gazans on a Diet’

November 28th, 2010 - by admin

Saed Bannoura / IMEMC News & Haaretz – 2010-11-28 22:12:16

Israeli Government Documents Show Deliberate Policy To Keep Gazans At Near-starvation Levels

Israeli Government Documents Show
Deliberate Policy To Keep Gazans
At Near-starvation Levels

Saed Bannoura / International Middle Ease Media Center News

(November 6, 2010) — Documents, whose existence were denied by the Israeli government for over a year, have been released after a legal battle led by Israeli human rights group, Gisha.

The documents reveal a deliberate policy by the Israeli government in which the dietary needs for the population of Gaza are chillingly calculated, and the amounts of food let in by the Israeli government measured to remain just enough to keep the population alive at a near-starvation level. This documents the statement made by a number of Israeli officials that they are “putting the people of Gaza on a diet.”

In 2007, when Israel began its full siege on Gaza, Dov Weisglass, adviser to then Prime-Minister Ehud Olmert, stated clearly, “The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.” The documents now released contain equations used by the Israeli government to calculate the exact amounts of food, fuel and other necessities needed to do exactly that.

The documents are even more disturbing, say human rights activists, when one considers the fact that close to half of the people of Gaza are children under the age of eighteen. This means that Israel has deliberately forced the undernourishment of hundreds of thousands of children in direct violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

This release of documents also severely undermines Israel’s oft-made claim that the siege is “for security reasons”, as it documents a deliberate and systematic policy of collective punishment of the entire population of Gaza.

Gisha’s director, in relation to the release of documents, said, “Israel banned glucose for biscuits and the fuel needed for regular supply of electricity – paralyzing normal life in Gaza and impairing the moral character of the State of Israel. I am sorry to say that major elements of this policy are still in place.”

In its statement accompanying the release of the documents, Gisha wrote:

The documents reveal that the state approved “a policy of deliberate reduction” for basic goods in the Gaza Strip (section h.4, page 5*). Thus, for example, Israel restricted the supply of fuel needed for the power plant, disrupting the supply of electricity and water.

The state set a “lower warning line” (section g.2, page 5) to give advance warning of expected shortages in a particular item, but at the same time approved ignoring that warning, if the good in question was subject to a policy of “deliberate reduction”.

Moreover, the state set an “upper red line” above which even basic humanitarian items could be blocked, even if they were in demand (section g.1, page 5). The state claimed in a cover letter to Gisha that in practice, it had not authorized reduction of “basic goods” below the “lower warning line”, but it did not define what these “basic goods” were.

Commentator Richard Silverstein wrote: “In reviewing the list of permitted items for import, you come to realize that these are the only items allowed. In other words, if an item is not on the list, it’s prohibited. So, for example, here is the list of permitted spices: Black pepper, soup powder, hyssop, sesame. cinnamon, anise, babuna (chamomile), sage. Sorry, cumin, basil, bay leaf, allspice, carraway, cardamon, chiles, chives, cilantro, cloves, garlic, sesame, tamarind, thyme, oregano, cayenne. Not on the list. You’re not a spice Palestinians need according to some IDF dunderhead. And tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, toys, glassware, paint, and shoes? You can forget about them too. Luxuries all, or else security threats.”

Despite the disturbing nature of the documents, which show a calculated policy of deliberate undernourishment of an entire population, no major media organizations have reported the story.

• The full text of the released documents, and the original Freedom of Information Act request filed by Gisha, can be found on Gisha’s website. Click here.

Related Link
http://www.gisha.org/index.php?intLanguage=2&intItemId=1887&intSiteSN=113


Israel Releases Papers Detailing Formula of Gaza Blockade
Since Hamas took control of Gaza, officials have employed mathematical formulas to monitor goods from aid groups entering the Strip to ensure amount was in line with what Israel permitted.

Amira Hass / Haaretz

TEL AVIV (October 26, 2010) — In the three years since Hamas took control of Gaza, Israeli officials have employed mathematical formulas to monitor foodstuffs and other basic goods entering the Strip to ensure that the amount of supplies entering was neither less nor more than the amount Israel permitted, according to documents released last week.

The documents — released Thursday in response to a Freedom of Information Act petition by the non-profit group Gisha — were drafted while Amos Gilad served as interim coordinator of government activities in the territories, heading the body that checked the goods.

The formulas used coefficients and a formulation for “breathing space,” a term used by COGAT authorities to refer to the number of days remaining until a certain supply runs out in Gaza, to determine allowed quantities.

In September 2007, the Israeli government ordered a tightening of the blockade on Gaza, a closure first put in place in 1991. COGAT, in conjunction with other authorities, drafted “Rules for permitting the entry of goods” and “Regulation, supervision and evaluation of supply inventories in Gaza.”

Both documents were classified as drafts, but in effect served as instructions for Israeli authorities and were considered valid until a government-implemented policy change following the May raid of a Gaza-bound flotilla that left nine people dead.

Officials from COGAT, a Defense Ministry unit that coordinates activity between the government, military, international groups and the Palestinian Authority, told Haaretz that it had actually been responsible for releasing the documents, given that in the wake of the government decision the directives for keeping the files classified were no longer in force.

A high-ranking COGAT officer told Haaretz that “Regulation, supervision and evaluation of supply of inventories in Gaza” is a method of quickly identifying a shortage of any basic item in Gaza, and that despite the mathematical equations contained in the document, he had never intentionally limited the amount of goods allowed to enter, but on the contrary, verified whether inventories of certain basic supplies in Gaza were full.

The COGAT spokesman said that the regulations were formulated “based on well-known basic foodstuffs, in consultation with the Israeli Health Ministry and in consideration of family consumption habits in Gaza, as published by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics in 2006.”

The document contained “warning lines,” which were defined as “the days of [remaining] inventory beyond which the relevant official must pay attention to the deviation from reasonable norms and examine the correctness of the model.”

There were two types of warning lines. The “upper warning line,” which identified surpluses, was defined as an inventory exceeding 21 days for products with short shelf lives or 80 days for those with long shelf lives.

The “lower warning line,” which identified shortages, was defined as an inventory of less than four days for products with short shelf lives and of less than 20 days for those with long shelf lives.

The senior COGAT official said the upper warning line was never actually used and the lower line was an important tool for identifying and averting impending shortages.

The “rules for permitting the import of goods” was drafted pursuant to a cabinet decision to restrict “the quantity and type of merchandise” entering Gaza. Its stated purpose was to define the “procedure, rules and method under which permission will be granted” for goods to enter Gaza.

These rules, the draft continued, were meant to allow in goods that would “supply the basic humanitarian needs of the Palestinian population.” It then listed seven considerations to weigh when determining which goods should be permitted.
Security was one. The others were as follows:

* “The necessity of the product for meeting humanitarian needs (including its implications for public health in both the Strip and Israel).”
* “The product’s image (whether it is considered a luxury).”
* “Legal obligations.”
* “The impact of the product’s use (whether it is used for preservation, reconstruction or development), with an emphasis on the impact of its entry on the Hamas government’s status.”
* “The sensitivities of the international community.”
* “The existence of alternatives.”

These rules explain why, for example, imports of cloth and thread, which were considered “development” products, were barred, thereby destroying Gaza’s textile industry.

The document states that many outside parties affected Israel’s decisions: The Strip’s needs will be determined not only by the relevant government agencies, it read, but by the Palestinian Authority, international agencies, the media and petitions to the courts by nongovernmental organizations, among others.
The third document that COGAT gave Gisha was the official list of products allowed into Gaza prior to May’s botched raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla.

Following that raid, the list was significantly expanded. But the senior COGAT official said that even before then, the list of products actually allowed into Gaza was always longer than the written list.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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