Friday, August 10, 2012

Afghan Soldiers Attack NATO Troops

Second 'Green-on-Blue' Attack This Week

by Jason Ditz

A pair of Afghan soldiers attacked a group of NATO troops outside of a base today. None of the NATO soldiers were killed but one of the attackers was. The other attacker was reportedly captured.
The Taliban took credit for the attack, saying one of the attackers had been in contact with them before the shooting. It is the 21st “green-on-blue” attack of 2012, and the second of this week, after a Tuesday attack saw one US soldier slain.
The nationality of the soldiers attacked today in the Laghman Province was not released, but NATO officials said there were no fatalities. They declined to comment on if anyone was wounded.
27 NATO soldiers have been killed in such incidents so far this year, the most in any single year yet. Several of the incidents involved Taliban infiltrators, but many were also the results of arguments between Afghans and occupation forces.

US Deploying Surveillance Drones Near China

Even John McCain called the move "unnecessarily provocative"

by John Glaser

The Pentagon will begin flying surveillance drones off the coastlines of Japan, China and Taiwan, an agreement reached after talks between Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto at the Pentagon on Sunday.
Source: BBC
The unmanned aerial missions will focus on a Pacific island chain called the Diaoyutai Islands, which have become the focal point of a simmering territorial dispute between China and Japan. Even Sen. John McCain, one of the biggest hawks in Congress, called the deployment “unnecessarily provocative.”
In keeping with the Obama administration’s antagonistic military postures towards China, the US has backed various neighboring countries from Japan to the Philippines. And it’s no surprise drones have taken a larger role in what the Pentagon plans to make a new military theater of Air-Sea Battle.

Afghan Police Commander Kills Three US Special Ops

People continue to get killed in Afghanistan purely for the political reputation of politicians in Washington

by John Glaser

Gunmen in Afghan uniforms shot and killed three US special operations forces in southern Afghanistan, marking the 28th killed by so-called green-on-blue attacks this year.
The US troops were lured to their deaths by an Afghan police commander who invited them to dinner Thursday night. The Taliban claimed responsibility and said the gunman had defected to the insurgency.

Despite Israeli ‘Leak’ US Intelligence Still Solid on Iran’s Lack of Nuke Program

Israelis pounced on the opportunity to push the US to war, but Obama administration still says Iranian nuke is far off

by John Glaser

Following rumors in Israel of a new US intelligence report warning of Iranian progress on a nuclear weapon, US officials told Reuters on Thursday that their intelligence still says Iran is not on the verge of getting nuclear weapons.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israeli news media early Thursday that a new US intelligence report parted ways with earlier estimates finding Iran had no nuclear weapons program. No new or credible evidence was given in these reports of any Iranian weapons program, however.

Nuclear Righteousness



Nuclear Righteousness

This is American exceptionalism: "Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds."
But you have to say it without the doubt, the regret -- the horror -- of Robert Oppenheimer, theoretical physicist extraordinaire and director of the Manhattan Project, who famously uttered these words in reference to the Trinity nuclear explosion in New Mexico's Jornada del Muerto desert on July 16, 1945.
When you remove Oppenheimer's moral awareness from the quote, it sounds more like: "Oh, I wouldn't hesitate if I had the choice. I'd wipe 'em out. You're gonna kill innocent people at the same time, but we've never fought a damn war anywhere in the world where they didn't kill innocent people. ... That's their tough luck for being there."

At Drone Convention, Zero Tolerance for Peace

At Drone Convention, Zero Tolerance for Peace
When are we, as a nation, going to have a frank discussion about drones and remote-controlled killing? One might think that such a dialogue could take place when thousands of people come together, once a year, at the gathering of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).
But AUVSI, the lobby group for the drone industry, brooked no dissent at its August 6-9 Las Vegas Convention. When I, as author of a new book Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control, tried to rent a room at the Convention Center to give a presentation on my book, AUVSI vetoed my request. When I tried to register as a journalist, I was told that I did not meet their criteria, but they refused to say what that criteria was. And after registering online as a normal participant and paying the $200 fee, when I appeared to get my badge I was yanked off the line, surrounded by police, and told I would be arrested if I set foot in the Convention Center during the duration of the gathering.

The Drug War Expands to Africa

The Drug War Expands to Africa
Ignoring trillion-dollar annual budget deficits and a nearly $16 trillion national debt, the American Empire is still growing. The latest imperial foray is expanding the ineffectual U.S. drug war into Africa to combat such smuggling into Europe. Yes, Europe. Not only does the United States spend tens of billions of dollars a year subsidizing the defense of rich European countries, it is now swelling such welfare spending to include essentially financing a drug war in Africa for Europe. Never mind that cocaine use is a declining problem back home in the U.S.

The Drug War Finds New Ways to Fail

The Drug War Finds New Ways to Fail
The federal government’s effort to battle drug abuse has been a tragic and expensive failure. But of course, admitting that would make politicians, who regularly endorse it to sound tough, seem foolish and careless with taxpayer dollars. So the War on Drugs continues, while of necessity it slowly morphs into new forms of federal waste and unnecessary intrusion into people’s lives.
Militarized federal law enforcement just can’t cope with trendiness in recreational drug use. Cocaine use is so yesterday (the 1980s, to be exact) and is a declining problem. Even at the height of the crack cocaine epidemic in the mid-1980s, only 5.8 million people in a population of about 240 million were using the drug; the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that only 1.5 million in a population of 313 million use cocaine. In recent years, methamphetamine use has also declined. Lately, heroin use is up slightly but still affects a minuscule portion (less than .08%) of the American population.

Quagmires Are Often Just a Few Steps Away

Quagmires Are Often Just a Few Steps Away
Despite its massive annual federal budget deficits and national debt, the American superpower continues to meddle in faraway countries that pose little direct threat to U.S. national security. Examples of those nanny-like interventions have recently occurred in Syria and South Sudan.

Otto Does Foreign Policy

Otto Does Foreign Policy
Does anyone remember Otto, the brain damaged ex-CIA assassin played so deliciously by Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda? Otto cruised around London in a massive old Chrysler, driving on the right and forcing British drivers off the road while screaming that they were a**holes. Described by one reviewer as a walking id, Otto’s most famous line was “Oh, you English are so superior, aren’t you? Well, would you like to know what you’d be without us, the good ol’ US of A to protect you? I’ll tell you. The smallest f***king province in the Russian Empire, that’s what! If it wasn’t for us, you’d all be speaking German! Singing ‘Deutschland, Deutschland ├╝ber alles’….”

New York Declares War on Iran

New York Declares War on Iran
Why do you think they call it the 'Empire State'?

While speaking truth to power is not the sort of thing one expects the executive of a leading bank to indulge in, we’ll take it where we can find it. Here‘s the Group Director of the Standard Chartered Bank responding to the charges, leveled by New York State bank regulator Ben Lawsky, that SCB was involved in financial dealings with Iran to the tune of $250 billion:
"You f—king Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with the Iranians?"
This, by the way, is cited in the complaint filed by the state of New York: Lawsky apparently thought it was incriminating enough to include. There is plenty of evidence this case has little to do with the sanctions, and more to do with bank protectionism: SCB is a British bank, and the city of New York is now engaged in a strenuous campaign to lure the high finance crowd away from London and back to the Big Rotten Apple. The Group Manager, who goes unnamed in the complaint, is asking the right question, which apparently Senor Lawsky isn’t prepared to answer – so I will.

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