Israel with Britain, Netherlands-NATO, France and Germany’s help prepare a False flag in Europe
OPERATION NOVEMBER 1950 : Netanyahu has a ‘bullet for Obama’ and ‘dirty bombs’ terror attacks for the europeans
Zionist jews of Londonistan in final preparation of a massive terror attacks in Europe on behalf of Israel. As warned in this blog since the 8 November 2008. Great Britain, Netherlands-NATO, France and Germany are helping Tel Aviv. Note that these bastards wrote ‘al Qa’ida’ in French not the usual ‘al Qaeda’ in English, as North African were supposed to play the patsie roles…
Some zionist jewish people in London are in big trouble !
We’ve warned you !
Britain at risk from al-Qa’ida ‘dirty’ nuclear bomb
Britain is facing an increased threat of nuclear attacks by al-Qa’ida terrorists, according to three counter-terrorism reviews published yesterday.
Downing Street issued an update to the National Security Strategy, which stated that “the UK does face nuclear threats now”, adding that there was “the possibility that nuclear weapons or nuclear material [could] fall into the hands of rogue states or terrorist groups.”
According to the Daily Telegraph, Lord West, the Security Minister, has already made likely the possibility of London undergoing a similar attack to that of Mumbai in 2008, when terrorists used small vessels to enter ports and take the city under siege. It comes amid fears that terrorists could transport an improvised nuclear device on the Thames and detonate it in the heart of London. Other areas thought to be vulnerable included Bristol, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow and Belfast.
Another report, on the Government’s “Contest” counter-terrorism strategy, said there was a danger that the enhanced expertise of insurgent groups in Afghanistan had increased the threat from a radiological “dirty bomb”.
The report also suggested that bomb makers that have been active in Afghanistan could already have the ability to produce a “dirty bomb” using information available over the internet.
A third counter-terrorism report said security around stockpiles of decommissioned material was “variable and sometimes inadequate leaving materials vulnerable and to theft”.
Filed under: Civil war, Conspiration, Europe, false flag, France, Germany, Hype manipulation, Islamophobia, Israel, NATO, Netherlands
Which Economic World Are We In?
This past week has again left me weak hearing all the diametrically opposing opinion on the investing and economic environment in both the short and long term.
I was amused by Matt Taibbi who took another shot at government miss-action in Wall Street’s Bailout Hustle.
But it was the Federal Reserve offered the most interesting flips, back-flips and plain entertainment.
The several extensions of emergency unemployment insurance benefits appeared to have raised the measured unemployment rate, relative to levels recorded in past downturns, by encouraging some who have lost their jobs to remain in the labor force.
The Fed believes that terminated people should not be considered part of the workforce once their unemployment benefits expire. This is ostrich economics. A different interpretation of the meaning of this statement was offered by Bank of Tokyo – Mitsubishi:
In the FOMC minutes, the Committee remarked that the extensions to the unemployment insurance program have encouraged a portion of job losers to remain in the labor force. This drives the unemployment rate higher because presumably there would have been a portion that….. would have taken any job available and therefore wouldn’t have been counted among the unemployed. Indeed, if we assume Congress lets the extended benefits expire on February 28th and one million of the would-be ineligible recipients drop out of the labor force, the unemployment rate would fall to around 9.0 percent.
As of January 2010, what we believe to be eight months into recovery, unemployment sat at 9.7 percent, which is 0.3 percentage points higher than what it was at the trough. In sharp contrast, eight months into recovery in July 1983 the unemployment rate sat at 9.4 percent, which was 1.4 percentage points lower than what it was at the trough. Are extended unemployment benefits, which stretch about 7 months longer today than they did in the early 80’s the reason why the unemployment rate is higher eight months into recovery? Taking this as proof that the labor market is not as slack as we think because the unemployment rate is being overstated is a slippery argument, especially when jobs loss as a share of the workforce was twice as severe this time around.
The Committee members’ views on this issue matter because the FOMC forecast for subdued inflation centers around “substantial resource slack”. If indeed things are not as slack as they seem the Committee runs the risk of acting too late to stave off inflation.
I take issue with the determination we have a potentially inflationary labor resource slack – as the manifestation would be rising prices. Read the section on “Prices” further down in this article. The FOMC minutes continued on the employment situation:
If businesses were able to continue generating large productivity gains, as in recent quarters, then firms would need to hire fewer workers in the near term to meet rising demands for their products. But if the unusually rapid productivity growth seen in recent quarters was not sustained, then job growth could pick up significantly as productivity returned to sustainable levels. The rise in employment of temporary workers in recent months appeared to be continuing; historical experience suggested that increased use of temporary help could presage a broader increase in job growth.
Too much of the FOMC meeting economic discussion was in this vein – two opposing economic forces were discussed and of course the FOMC overall conclusion was that growth was predicted.
Then the Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis P. Lockhart delivered a speech to the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce which confirmed this polarization of economic forces:
I see two competing narratives about how this recovery will play out. Growth in the fourth quarter of 2009 was quite strong and raises hope for a robust recovery. In this, the first narrative—that of a traditional sharp bounce-back following a deep recession—growth exceeds the underlying long-term potential of the economy and unemployment declines at an accelerating pace.
In this narrative, businesses rebuild inventory levels and resume capital expenditures in anticipation of growing sales. Consumers regain confidence, and retail spending grows briskly. You can add positive export growth as the economies of our major trading partners—especially in Asia—also show better growth.
Finally, in this narrative the banking system successfully navigates a weak commercial real estate sector and starts expanding credit to both business and consumers.
The alternative narrative entails some fundamental changes in business practices and consumer habits. In this scenario, businesses have learned from the recession that they can operate permanently at leaner inventory levels and flat or lower employee head counts. And the impressive worker productivity gains measured in recent data continue to accumulate.
Consumers, in this narrative, have assumed a quite different mind-set compared to the precrisis, prerecession “normal.” Chastened by the recession and high unemployment—consumers are simply more frugal and more inclined to save. And even if consumers wanted to resume prerecession spending habits, the consumer finance industry, in this narrative, will not accommodate previous levels of consumption.
In this narrative, growth continues, but at a very modest pace, and unemployment is very slow to recede. The first narrative is a return to something resembling normal as we knew it; the second narrative describes a somewhat new and different world.
Which narrative did the Atlanta Fed President forecast the economy would follow?
In my view, we’re at an uncertain juncture and must watch closely for indicators in coming months to discern which reality is playing out. Indicators will include retail sales, inventory and capital investment, and, importantly, job creation and hiring.
My team of Atlanta Fed economists and I are forecasting the second narrative. We are forecasting a lower-growth, more gradual recovery with slow progress on unemployment. Our outlook gives weight to some challenges facing the economy and the banking sector that we believe may constrain recovery.
The Kansas City Federal Reserve President Thomas M. Hoenig came out swinging this week against the growing government fiscal imbalances in a Washington speech (pdf). It is important that an independent central bank keeps sounding off about a government which makes the Federal Reserves’ mandate of controlling the currency an impossible task. President Hoenig concluded:
Knowing inflation is not an acceptable alternative to strong fiscal management, a government faced with rising debt levels must provide a credible long-term plan to reestablish fiscal balance. The plan must be clear, have the force of law and its progress measurable so as to reassure markets and the public that the country has the will and ability to repay its debts in a stable currency.
You remember this Kansas City Federal Reserve Chairman is the lone dissenter in the January FOMC meeting as he wanted the option to start raising the Federal discount rate now. Here is a review of the Federal Reserves position on the discount rate:
At that FOMC meeting, the Committee left its target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and said it anticipates that economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period.
Then in one of the quickest reversals in Federal Reserve history, the Federal Reserve issued a statement later this week which said in part:
The changes to the discount window facilities include Board approval of requests by the boards of directors of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks to increase the primary credit rate (generally referred to as the discount rate) from 1/2 percent to 3/4 percent. This action is effective on February 19.
In addition, the Board announced that, effective on March 18, the typical maximum maturity for primary credit loans will be shortened to overnight. Primary credit is provided by Reserve Banks on a fully secured basis to depository institutions that are in generally sound condition as a backup source of funds. Finally, the Board announced that it had raised the minimum bid rate for the Term Auction Facility (TAF) by 1/4 percentage point to 1/2 percent. The final TAF auction will be on March 8, 2010.
It could be argued that a ½ to ¾ percent Is not much different than 0 to ¼ percent. However, the purpose of releasing the meeting minutes is to provide guidance to the market. So much for guidance.
Anyway, this is a clear signal from the Fed that they consider the recession over. The cycle is now beginning to normalize the lending conditions, and to begin in the near future to start drying up liquidity and disposing of their bloated balance sheet. This is a very small first step which I consider symbolic.
The day of reckoning is when the Fed begins disposing of its treasuries and securitized mortgages. Or maybe the day of reckoning is simply when the Fed stops buying securitized mortgages.
Has the economy built up enough steam to allow the Fed to withdraw from the mortgage market?
What I do know is that the coincident indicators will begin to show signs of distress if the economy begins to weaken.
The coincident indicators are still stable. They are not expanding in any measurable degree (except for manufacturing and exports) – and are on average simply moving sideways. As the economy has so much potential energy stored within, another dip of the economy would take months to manifest.
The coincident data is telling us the short term direction of the economy will range from steady to a slight upward bias. When I say short term, I mean two months maximum.
But what about the long term economic forecasts?
Here the forward indicators are beginning to indicate that the economic forces of growth are beginning to weaken.
We never saw much of a real expansion, and now ECRI is saying the party may be over as early as mid-2010.
I am an economic mongrel. Dogma is not my thing. I have some Keynesian clown beliefs grafted to my Austrian roots.
Kansas City Fed President Hoenig shares my view of the need to have a fiscally responsible plan for government spending. Without a responsible plan, the economy is not controllable. While we have no plan, chances of a stable and viable future are low.
On the other hand, I worry that no strong economic upward pressure has been built. The economy is still being held together with chewing gum and band-aids. It will not take much of a bump in the economic road to upset the apple cart. Withdrawing liquidity at this point may be premature.
Even with consensus, our economic future is never certain. Without consensus, I am sure we are in for one wild economic ride.
Manufacturing and Business
The New York Fed released their manufacturers survey for February 2010 which headlined as follows:
The Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions for New York manufacturers improved at a healthy pace in February. The general business conditions index climbed 9 points, to 24.9. The new orders index fell, though it remained positive, and the shipments index inched downward as well.
My take is that “healthy” might be somewhat of an exaggeration. The only issues I care about in this subjective survey is new orders and unfilled orders (backlog).
The New York manufacturers do think they are seeing some growth. In periods of “healthy” expansion since 2001, the percent of manufacturers which see improvement in new orders is around 50%. The percent of manufacturers which see improvement in backlog in periods of “healthy” expansion are over 25%.
Definitely the current growth is not healthy compared to historical “healthy”.
One positive note from this NY Fed manufacturers survey is that this is the second month in a row where manufacturers who are seeing an improving backlog outnumber those who are seeing a decline. The last time manufacturers saw two months of improving backlog in a row was July 2007.
The Philly Fed issued their manufacturers survey for February 2010 and stated: Manufacturing conditions continue to improve in the region, according to firms polled for this month’s Business Outlook Survey. Indexes for general activity, new orders, shipments, and employment all remained positive this month and increased from their readings in January. Firms reported a notable pickup in new orders this month. Overall, firms remain generally optimistic about growth for the manufacturing sector over the next six months.
For the Philly Fed’s manufacturing survey, since 2001 – a healthy growth cycle has over 40% of manufacturers seeing increases for new orders – while periods of healthy growth for unfilled orders is above 25%.
As the general trend of the data since December 2008 has been upward, we should consider this paradox an anomaly attributed to sampling error. It is illogical that new orders would be up so strongly while backlog fell equally as strongly at this point in the economic cycle.
A general trend in improvement of unfilled orders is a positive sign the Great Recession is behind us.
Hard manufacturing data for January 2010 supports January 2010 survey data from both the Philly Fed and the NY Fed. I went through the data looking for a surprise but it was consistent with general economic news. The Federal Reserve data release stated:
Industrial production increased 0.9 percent in January following a gain of 0.7% in December. Manufacturing production rose 1.0% in January, with increases for most of its major components, while the indexes for both utilities and mining advanced 0.7%. At 101.1 percent of its 2002 average, output in January was 0.9% above its year-earlier level. The capacity utilization rate for total industry rose 0.7 percentage points to 72.6%, a rate 8.0 percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2009.
The government issued export and import price data for January 2010 and headlined:
The U.S. Import Price Index advanced 1.4 percent in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, as fuel and nonfuel prices each increased. The rise in overall imports followed a 0.2% uptick in December. Export prices rose 0.8% in January after advancing 0.6% in December and 0.8% in November.
The Producer Price Index (PPI) which tracts price changes under below the consumer level was released for January 2010. The government’s statement:
The Producer Price Index for Finished Goods rose 1.4% in January, seasonally adjusted. This increase followed a 0.4% advance in December and a 1.5% rise in November. In January, at the earlier stages of processing, prices received by manufacturers of intermediate goods climbed 1.7%, and the crude goods index jumped 9.6%. On an unadjusted basis, prices for finished goods moved up 4.6% for the 12 months ended January 2010, their third consecutive 12-month increase.
My take, stepping back from the data, is that “core” price changes at the producer level are stable, and consistent with other month’s data we have been seeing during this end of recession economic turning point. However, both intermediate and crude goods prices are at the upper end of the range but not significantly above the finished goods price increase.
But the surprise was the January 2010 (pdf) consumer price index (CPI) data which did not show the price growth anticipated. The government’s press release stated:
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the January Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.2%. Over the last 12 months, the index increased 2.6% before seasonal adjustment. The seasonally adjusted increase in the all items index was due to a rise in the energy index. An increase in the gasoline index was the main factor, and the indexes for fuel oil and natural gas rose as well, though the electricity index declined.The index for all items less food and energy fell 0.1% in January.
This decline was largely the result of decreases in the indexes for shelter, new vehicles, and airline fares. In contrast, the medical care index posted its largest increase since January 2008, and the index for used cars and trucks increased significantly for the sixth month in a row.
The food index increased in January, with the food at home component posting its largest increase since September 2008. Sharp increases in the indexes for dairy and related products and for fruits and vegetables accounted for most of the increase.
The economic picture on prices is clearly showing little upward momentum except for imported goods. The PPI and CPI is only showing moderate growth. And if we start considering MoM data, the core CPI actually declined for the first time since 1982.
We should be asking ourselves at this point, why prices are growing so mildly when we are told that an economic expansion cycle is underway. The answer of course is that there is massive overcapacity in the market place – housing, manufacturing, and labor. Add to the mix the weak consumer purchasing habits, the debt deleveraging, and the cash starved state governments – and we have the recipe for the weakest recovery cycle since WWII.
Initial unemployment claims continue to be range bound just above 450,000 is data released for week ending 13 February 2010.
The government’s new home construction data for January 2010 headline reads in part:
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621,000. This is 4.9% (±2.2%) below the revised December rate of 653,000, but is 16.9% (±4.0%) above the January 2009 estimate of 531,000.
Privately-owned housing starts in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 591,000. This is 2.8% (±11.5%)* above the revised December estimate of 575,000 and is 21.1% (±12.3%) above the January 2009 rate of 488,000.
Privately-owned housing completions in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 659,000. This is 12.4% (±7.8%) below the revised December estimate of 752,000 and is 15.3% (±10.5%) below the January 2009 rate of 778,000.
The unadjusted new home data tells the same story. Although there is some movement off of the depths of the Great Recession lows, new home construction remains in the toilet – and no fundamentals point to a change in this within the short term.
With hat tip to Calculated Risk, this graphic puts the big January increases into perspective.
The weekly Mortgage Bankers Association new mortgage application data for the week ending 12 February 2010 was relatively unchanged and remains about 60% of the level of early 2009 using seasonally adjusted data. The 30 year fixed mortgage rate was unchanged at 4.94%.
Our residential mortgage crisis may have peaked. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association:
We are likely seeing the beginning of the end of the unprecedented wave of mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures that started with the subprime defaults in early 2007, continued with the meltdown of the California and Florida housing markets due to overbuilding and the weak loan underwriting that supported that overbuilding, and culminated with a recession that saw 8.5 million people lose their jobs,” said Jay Brinkmann, MBA’s chief economist.
The continued and sizable drop in the 30-day delinquency rate is a concrete sign that the end may be in sight. We normally see a large spike in short-term mortgage delinquencies at the end of the year due to heating bills, Christmas expenditures and other seasonal factors. Not only did we not see that spike but the 30-day delinquencies actually fell by 16 basis points from 3.79 percent to 3.63 percent. Only three times before in the history of the MBA survey has the non-seasonally adjusted 30-day delinquency rate dropped between the third and fourth quarter and never by this magnitude. If the normal seasonal patterns hold for the first quarter, we should see an even steeper drop in the end of March data.
This drop is important because 30-day delinquencies have historically been a leading indicator of serious delinquencies and foreclosures. With fewer new loans going bad, the pool of seriously delinquent loans and foreclosures will eventually begin to shrink once the rate at which these problems are resolved exceeds the rate at which new problems come in. It also gives us growing confidence that the size of the problem now is about as bad as it will get.
The other apparent good sign is a drop in the rate of new foreclosures started. This drop may be temporary, however, because we continue to see large increases in loans 90 days or more past due.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and hat tip to Calculated Risk for a visual on the Mortgage Bankers Association statement:
What is left out of this press release and graphic is the effect of a sizeable chunk of ARM’s which will reset later this year. And we cannot forget the commercial real estate market which some predict will have significant impact on the small and medium sized banks.
Bankruptcies this week: Magna Entertainment
Economic Forecasts Published this Past Week
The Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) released their Weekly Leading Index declining for ten straight weeks. Lakshman Achuthan, Managing Director at ECRI added:
The pace of economic expansion will begin to ease off by mid-2010, as the yearly growth figure continued to fall from an October record high.
Lakshman believes that with the 6% GDP growth and the jobless rate having peaked back in October, that a double dip is still out of the question.
The Conference Board released their leading and coincident indicators for January 2010 with the following statement:
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® ((LEI)) for the U.S. Increased 0.3 percent in January, following a 1.2 percent gain in December, and a 1.1 percent rise in November.
Says Ataman Ozyildirim, Economist at The Conference Board: “The U.S. LEI has risen steadily for nearly a year, led by an improvement in financial markets and a manufacturing upturn. Consumer expectations and housing permits have also contributed to these gains over this period, but to a lesser extent – especially in recent months.
Current economic conditions, as measured by The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index® (CEI), have also improved modestly since July 2009, helped by strengthening industrial production, despite continued weakness in employment.”
Adds Ken Goldstein, Economist at The Conference Board: “The cumulative change in the U.S. LEI over the past six months has been a strong 9.8 percent, annualized. This signals continued economic recovery at least through the spring.”
Filed under: Bankers, Bankruptcies, China, dollar, economy, Europe, US collapse, USA, World, World Collapse
Israel’s threatening message to Biden and Obama
By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer
(WMR) — WMR’s government and intelligence sources are concerned about the threatening signals from the Israeli government that could impact on the security of President Obama.
The president clearly is facing a situation that pits those in his administration who oppose Israel’s expansion of settlements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank and those who are providing support for the Netanyahu regime by stymieing attempts to force Israel to the peace table with the Palestinians. The President’s Special Envoy for the Middle East, George Mitchell, according to published news reports, recently expressed exasperation over the failure of the Obama administration to achieve a Middle East peace accord because of the State Department’s bias in favor of Israel.
On March 11, former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy, in an interview with Israel Radio, stated that the White House had seen a “radical” change due to Obama’s efforts to “rehabilitate” the image of Islam in United States and the Western world by removing the terrorism brand that has been affixed to it. Halevy cited the Obama policy change as the reason for the change in the White House’s attitude toward Israel.
However, Halevy was careful to isolate the White House from the rest of the Obama administration. Halevy’s ploy, coupled with Mitchell’s revelations about the pro-Israel bias of Hillary Clinton’s State Department, is an indication that the Netanyahu regime and its agents inside the Obama administration and Washington power circles are attempting a “divide and conquer” policy with regard to the Obama administration.
On March 11, the same day Halevy made his unusual comments about Obama to Israel Radio, the State Department issued its annual report on human rights. Michael Posner, the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, ensured that Israel got off the hook on the UN’s Goldstone Report that concluded that Israel may have committed war crimes in its invasion of Gaza last year. Posner, a former attorney with the law firm Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal in Chicago and director of Human Rights First, a George Soros-funded organization, criticized the Goldstone Report, a criticism that was praised by the Zionist Organization of America, as well as other Israel Lobby organizations.
Posner, who had the final edit on the State Department human rights report, ensured the report’s entry for “Israel and the Occupied Territories” [no mention is made of Palestine], reiterated the criticism of the Goldstone Report, which has been accepted by the European Union and human rights groups around the world: “On September 29, Justice Richard Goldstone, who headed the mission, presented the report (commonly known as the “Goldstone report”) to the HRC [Human Rights Council] in Geneva. The Goldstone report investigated 36 incidents of alleged violations by the IDF in Gaza, as well as alleged violations by Palestinians. This reflected an effort by Goldstone to broaden the scope of his report beyond the original mandate, which was limited only to violations by Israel. Among its many conclusions, the report claimed that members of the IDF were responsible for deliberate targeting of civilians, for the destruction of critical infrastructure in Gaza, and for using weapons such as white phosphorous in highly populated areas, all of which it deemed to be violations of international humanitarian law.”
The State Departmen’s entry on Israel continues,”The Goldstone report was widely criticized for methodological failings, legal and factual errors, falsehoods, and for devoting insufficient attention to the asymmetrical nature of the conflict and the fact that Hamas and other Palestinian militants were deliberately operating in heavily populated urban areas of Gaza. The government of Israel also sharply rejected the charge that it had a policy of deliberately targeting civilians.IDF military advocate general Mandelblit was responsible for reviewing all allegations relating to Operation Cast Lead, including those contained in the Goldstone Report. At the end of the year, Mandelblit’s investigations were ongoing.”
The bolded section of the State Department report [above] is a reiteration of Israel’s propaganda aimed at covering up its premeditated genocide in Gaza. Secretary of State Clinton proudly released the report with her full endorsement of its “findings.” While the report criticized Goldstone, it had no problem citing what it felt was a more dire threat: “growing anti-Semitism worldwide.” The State Department ridiculously claims that Israel’s Cast Lead invasion of Gaza has resulted in “traditional and new forms of anti-Semitism” arising around the world. In essence, because it was the Jewish state that engaged in genocide in Gaza, any criticism of that action, according to Posner, Clinton, and the Israel cell in Foggy Bottom, is “anti-Semitic.”
The most serious threat against Biden, and, by extension, Obama, came when Netanyahu presented Biden a glass-framed document on the planting of trees in Jerusalem honoring Biden’s late mother, said to have been a strong supporter of Israel. Netanyahu is reported to have broken the glass “accidentally” before handing it to Biden. Netanyahu reportedly shattered the glass when he leaned on the plaque on a podium with his elbows. According to Reuters, Netanyahu told Biden, “I have one thing to offer you right now and it’s broken glass.” But then Netanyahu pulled out the document, with glass shards flying around, and used Biden’s pen to sign a dedication to Biden’s mother. What is not explained is why Netanyahu would have planned to sign a dedication with the document already in a glass frame.
The more likely explanation is that the incident was planned by Netanyahu as a warning to Biden and Obama. In Jewish tradition, including weddings, broken glass is a reminder of the destruction of the ancient Jewish Temple in Jerusalem with the hope that it will be rebuilt in a united Jerusalem under Jewish rule. And for Israel, the “night of broken glass,” or “Kristallnacht,” is remembered as the beginning of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. In protocol- and symbolism-conscious Israel, the idea of handing the U.S. Vice President broken glass was obviously not an accident. Kristallnacht gets its name from the shattered glass that covered German streets in 1938, most of it from the broken windows of Jewish homes and businesses, as well as synagogues. Kristallnacht is still remembered on November 9 in ceremonies in Israel. They are ceremonies at which the ambassadors of Germany and Austria are expected to attend.
On November 9, 1989, when West and East Germany saw the Berlin Wall come down, Netanyahu’s mentor, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, ensured that there were plenty of references to Kristallnacht in Israeli media reports on the planned German reunification. The reason was that Kristallnacht began on the evening of November 9, 1938. The editor of Ha’aretz declared: “It’s very important that Germany stays divided.”
But WMR’s U.S. intelligence sources warn about a darker meaning. The sound of shattering glass is something that petrifies even the most seasoned intelligence agent. There is a saying among CIA old hands that once you hear the glass shatter, it’s too late to save yourself from the snipers.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
Copyright © 2010 WayneMadenReport.com
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).
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Filed under: Afghanistan, Irak, Iran, Israel, military, USA, War
March 20, 2010
From NBC New York:
Defense attorneys say an alleged plot to bomb New York synagogues was hatched and directed by a federal informant.
Lawyers for four men from Newburgh have filed a motion to dismiss the terror indictment against them.
They said the informant badgered the defendants until they got involved in the plot.
They said the informant chose the targets, supplied fake bombs for the synagogues and a fake missile to shoot down planes. The motion said he also offered to pay the defendants, who attorneys alleged weren’t inclined toward any crime until the informant began recruiting them.
“The government well knew that their case had been a government-inspired creation from day one and that the defendants had not been independently seeking weapons or targets,” the motion said.
Do you see a pattern here?
The patsy David Williams. The FBI promised to give his brother a liver transplant if he joined a government created al-Qaeda group.
In a preponderant number of federal terror cases, the FBI ferrets out patsies and mental deficients and attempts to frame them for terror in order to hype up the manufactured war on terror and convince the American people they must surrender their constitutional rights, rat on their neighbors, endure surveillance, and unquestioningly support foreign wars responsible for killing millions of people.
Defendants in the New Jersey Fort Dix Army terror case painted a similar picture to the one in New York.
“The only terrorist conspiracy was one planted and nurtured by the informant,” declared defense attorney Rocco Cip during the trial. The FBI’s role in the case was admitted by a provocateur. “The FBI informant paid to infiltrate a band of suspected terrorists in South Jersey said yesterday that he offered to organize their attack on U.S. soldiers, but only because he wanted to build trust and find out more about the group,” the Star-Ledger reported on November 11, 2008.
In Miami, the FBI case against the so-called Miami Seven came apart at the seams when it was discovered a government provocateur provided money, video cameras for conducting surveillance, cellphones, and suggested that the patsies target the Miami FBI office.
During the trial in 2006, it came out that Narseal Batiste, the supposed ringleader, had not met with an actual terrorist, or did he receive emails or wire transfers from the Middle East, did not possess any al-Qaeda literature or even have a picture of Osama bin Laden, according to the Washington Post.
“This whole operation was a foolish waste of time and money,” Terence Kindlon, a defense lawyer who represented a client in the New York synagogue case, told the Times Online. “It is almost as if the FBI cooked up the plot and found four idiots to install as defendants.”
It was revealed in 2009 that the FBI informant-provocateur in the case was a man named Shahed Hussain, a former New York state motel owner who became an FBI informant in 2002 to avoid deportation to Pakistan after being arrested on fraud charges.
Hussain and the FBI were so desperate to fabricate a case they promised a liver transplant for the terminally ill brother of David Williams, one of the men standing trial, according to the New York Daily News.
The FBI has a long history of employing dirty tricks to entrap and discredit Americans. Under COINTELPRO, the agency not only engaged in disinformation campaigns and harassment of protest organizations, including those of the civil rights and antiwar movements, but also routinely used agents provocateurs.
“At the time, anti-war activists didn’t realize the extent to which the authorities were destroying their movement from within by using agents provocateurs and informants, and from the outside by using trumped-up charges, anonymous denunciations and snitch jackets, and stories planted in the media,” writes Daniel Brandt.
COINTELPRO did not end after the FBI’s misdeeds (and those of the CIA, the Pentagon, and numerous local law enforcement agencies around the country) were uncovered in the 1970s.
“Considering the current political climate [in the wake of September 11, 2001], the legalization of COINTELPRO, the rehabilitation of the FBI and police, and the expanded role of the CIA and military, the recent revelations leave us only one safe assumption: that extensive government covert operations are already underway to neutralize today’s opposition movements before they can reach the massive level of the 60s,” writes Brian Glick.
COINTELPRO and government subversion of political dissent is alive and well, as the case of Hal Turner reveals. During the trial of Turner, it was revealed that he worked as a ‘National Security Intelligence’ asset. His code name was “Valhalla” and “he received thousands of dollars from the FBI to report on such groups as the Aryan Nations and the white supremacist National Alliance,” according to news accounts.
The Department of Homeland Security, working closely with the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, has attempted to conflate white supremacy and the growing patriot movement in the United States.
Recent revelations in the New York synagogue bombing case demonstrate that the government will go to extreme lengths to create phony terror threats and frame patsies. Since September 11, 2001, the American public has endured incessant propaganda about al-Qaeda and the largely imagined threat of Muslim extremism.
Since the rise of the Tea Party movement and visibility of patriot groups around the country demanding a return to the Constitution, the government and the corporate media have engaged in a campaign to portray patriot groups as potential terrorists. Supporters of Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, Bob Barr, the Oath Keepers, radio talk show host Alex Jones and others have been consistently demonized.
The corporate media, under the direction of the Pentagon and the CIA, have yet to demonize disparate patriot groups around the country to the extent they have demonized Muslims. They are one false flag event away from doing so.
rs and their puppets
Rabi ul Sani 03, 1431 A.H, S
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Mujahideen operations against the invaders and their puppets
aturday March 20, 2010
Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan military operations against
the kafirs, munafiqs and the worshippers of Idols
Rabi ul Sani 03, 1431 A.H,
Saturday March 20, 2010
Mujahideen operations against the enemies of Islam terrorists in Afghanistan are reported to Theunjustmedia.com by the official Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan spokesmen Qari Muhammad Yousuf and Zabihullah Mujahid by e-mails.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
All Praise and thanks are due to Allah, the Lord of all that exists and may peace and prayers be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family, companions in entirety
Puppet President Karzai comes under attack in Uruzgan; 5 invaders coalition terrorists killed The Governor house in the province’s Tarin Kowt city where puppet president Karzai was holding a meeting with the officials of this province came under missile strikes from Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate, on Saturday afternoon, Mar. 20, 2010. The report indicates in order to avoid the possible risk of further attacks president Karzai was immediately taken to the airfield of this province which was attacked minutes after puppet Karzai arrived at the airbase where a large number of U.S and coalition terrorists are stationed. The report adds president Karzai was immediately flown to Kabul city after the airfield was attacked by Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate with missiles.
It is, however, unclear how many have been killed or injured in both attacks on governor house and on the airfield. Indeed, about a week ago, puppet president Karzai while addressing a gathering of more than thee hundred people in a conference came under an attack by Mujahideen in Marja town. In another news from this province, about 5 invaders collation terrorists were killed and a dozen injured when their foot patrol was ambushed by Mujahideen which followed a face-to-to face fighting continuing for half an hour, in which a Mujahid was injured. Reported by Zabihullah Mujahid
Blast kills 4 French invading terrorists, wounds thee in Kapisa About four French invading terrorists were killed and another three badly injured on Saturday Mar. 20, when their foot patrol encountered a planted mine having 6 clusters in Titar Khel area of Tagab, Kapisa province. An officer is said to have been among those killed in the blast. Reported by Zabihullah Mujahid
Nangarhar blasts destroy two U.S invaders tanks, a dozen American terrorists killed Two straight blasts Saturday ripped through two U.S invaders tanks, one after another which destroyed the tanks, killing the all the American terrorists while on a patrol mission on the road leading into Chinar Gul village, Pachir Agam district of Nangarhar. The report adds the U.S. terrorists, shortly after the blasts, opened firing at the civilians, hurting two civilians. Reported by Zabihullah Mujahid
Dozens of American invading terrorists killed as three U.S tanks torn apart by bombings in Marjah Three tanks of the U.S invaders were destroyed in separate bombings in Marjah, Nad Ali district of Helmand province, throughout Friday, 19. Mar, 2010. According to the report, two of the U.S invaders tanks were blown apart by two straight bombings in Drop area of Marjah, leaving the tanks completely wrecked with American terrorists traveling in the tanks killed. Later in the afternoon, one of the U.S. tanks was struck by another mine blast, causing the tank to be set on fire, killing the Americans on board. The forth detonation, minutes later the incident occurred, tore through a group of U.S terrorists who were trying to recover the dead and wounded from struck tank in the area. Reported by Qari Muhammad Yousuf
American invaders base attacked in Laghman Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate carried out an attack on the U.S invaders base using heavy and small arms fire on Friday, Mar. 2010. A number of the Mujahideen have taken part in the Friday’s two-hour long operation against U.S invaders base in Laghman’s Mehter Lam city, causing the U.S terrorists heavy losses of life and material. It is, however, unclear how many American terrorists have been killed or injured during this face-to-face fighting that followed U.S air strikes causing a Mujahid to be wounded. Reported by Zabihullah Mujahid
5 American invading terrorists killed 3 injured as Mujahideen attack U.S patrol convoy in Kunar There is a recent report from Kunar province that the U.S invaders patrol convoy came under a surprise attack in the Manugi district of this province, on later Saturday morning, Mar. 20, 2010. At least 3 American terrorists have been killed on the spot with another two seriously injured as Mujahideen have rocketed two of the U.S. invaders patrol tanks during the ambush attack in the area, the report says. According to another report, 2 American terrorists were killed and another wounded Friday when Mujahideen attacked a U.S invaders patrol in Nawa Pass, a border area of Sarkanu district in this province. Reported by Zabihullah Mujahid
Faza Rabi, American agent killed in Paktia Fazl-ur-Rabi, an agent for American invaders forces, working in Afghan minion administration’s National Security department ( Khad ) was killed along with his three bodyguards in a bomb attack that occurred near provincial capital, Gardisz city, in the province’s Zarmat district, on Friday, Mar. 19. The agent, who has been involved in the martyrdom of some 60 Mujahideen and considered as one of important and efficient agent for the Americans, became the target of a mine blast in Chawni area of this district while he was walking in the area along with his three gunmen. Reported by Zabihullah Mujahid
Deadly fighting carry on in Sangin There has been fierce fighting between Mujahideen and the U.S invaders in Sarwaan Kala, Sangin district since Friday. The battle unfolded in Jow Shali area of this district as a large number of the terrorists, airdropped by the helicopters, came under Mujahideen’s direct attack in the area, in the late night hours of Mar. 19, said the locals. According to the report from the region, four Mujahideen along with nine civilians have been martyred and 6 others injured in the fighting backed by U.S air strikes. The Americans, after having heavy losses in the day-long fighting the details of which are unclear yet, are in no position to leave the area who are ready to flee, because their all escape routes area blacked off by Mujahideen who are still fighting the Americans in the area. Reported by Qari Muhammad Yousuf
3 dead, 2 wounded as Spin Ghar district headquarter comes under attack Headquarter of Spin Ghar district of Nangarhar province came under heavy and small arms attack, on Friday Mar. 19, 2010. At least 3 terrorists were killed and 2 other were badly hurt in the missile strikes that destroyed the facility of the headquarter beside leaving an oil tanker parked in front of the building on fire. Reported by Zabihullah Mujahid
NATO invaders base attacked in Sarubi Four missiles landed inside the facility as a NATO invaders base came under missile attacks by Mujahideen on Friday, Mar. 19, 2010. According to the report from the area, the NATO troop sustained losses of life and injures in in the missiles strikes, while there are no further derails of the extent of the enemy’s casualties and fatalities yet. The report adds, about half an hour after the base was attacked, NATO invaders tanks went on an attack mission against Mujahideen in the area which was repelled by Mujahideen after a 30-minute long fight and the enemy was force to retreat leaving some arms and ammo for Mujahideen. Reported by Qari Muhammad Yousuf
These operations were part of new Nasrat (Victory) operations plan, which was declared by Amir-ul-Momineen (Leader of the Believers) Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid (May Allah preserve him), leader of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
O Allah, make them and their weaponry a booty for the Mujahideen
O Allah, you are our support and you are our only Victor; by your order we attack; by your order we retreat and by your order we fight
O Allah, the sky is yours; the earth is yours; the sea is yours, so whatever forces they have in the sky, drop them. Destroy all their forces in earth and sink all their forces in sea
O Allah, deal with them for verily they can never disable you
O Allah, retaliate upon them, afflict them like you did to Pharaoh and his nation
O Allah afflict their country with floods, make them in need of money and food and persons
O Allah defeat them, destroy them O the All-Strong, the All-Mighty
“Honor, Power and Glory belong to Allah, His Messenger and the believers, but the hypocrites know not”
Filed under: Afghanistan, NATO, USA, War
Jesse Ventura’s Censored 9/11 Commentary
Jesse Ventura – Information Clearing House
Editor’s Note: The following column by former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura was removed by Huffington Post after it was published March 9 and replaced with a note that states the site “prohibits the promotion and promulgation of conspiracy theories — including those about 9/11.”
You didn’t see anything about it in the mainstream media, but at a recent conference in San Francisco, more than 1,000 architects and engineers signed a petition demanding that Congress begin a new investigation into the destruction of the three World Trade Center skyscrapers on 9-11.
That’s right, these people put their reputations in potential jeopardy — because they don’t buy the government’s version of events. They want to know how 200,000 tons of steel disintegrated and fell to the ground in 11 seconds. They question whether the hijacked planes were responsible or whether it could have been a controlled demolition from inside that brought down the twin towers and WTC Building 7.
Richard Gage, a member of the American Institute of Architects and the founder of Architects and Engineers for 9-11 Truth, put it like this: “The official Federal Emergency Management [Agency] and National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST] reports provide insufficient, contradictory and fraudulent accounts of the circumstances of the towers’ destruction.”
He’s especially disturbed by Building 7, whose 47 stories came down in “pure free-fall acceleration” that afternoon, even though it was never hit by an aircraft. This is a subject I take up in my new book, American Conspiracies, published by Skyhorse. An excerpt follows: Some people have argued that the twin towers went down, within a half hour of one another, because of the way they were constructed. Well, those 425,000 cubic yards of concrete and 200,000 tons of steel were designed to hold up against a Boeing 707, the largest plane built at the time the towers were completed in 1973. Analysis had shown that a 707 traveling at 600 miles an hour (and those had four engines) would not cause major damage. The twin-engine Boeing 757s that hit on 9-11 were going 440 and 550 mph.
Still, we are told that a molten, highly intense fuel mixture from the planes brought down these two steel-framed skyscrapers. Keep in mind that no other such skyscraper in history had ever been known to collapse completely due to fire damage. So could it actually have been the result of a controlled demolition from inside the buildings?
I don’t claim expertise about this, but I did work four years as part of the Navy’s underwater demolition teams, where we were trained to blow things to hell and high water. And my staff talked at some length with a prominent physicist, Steven E. Jones, who says that a “gravity driven collapse” without demolition charges defies the laws of physics.
These buildings fell, at nearly the rate of free-fall, straight down into their own footprint, in approximately 10 seconds. An object dropped from the roof of the 110-story-tall towers would reach the ground in about 9.2 seconds. Then there’s the fact that steel beams that weighed as much as 200,000 pounds got tossed laterally as far as 500 feet.
NIST started its investigation on Aug. 21, 2002. When their 10,000-page-long report came out three years later, the spokesman said there was no evidence to suggest a controlled demolition. But Jones also says that molten metal found underground weeks later is proof that jet fuel couldn’t have been all that was responsible. I visited the site about three weeks after 9-11, with Gov. Pataki and my wife Terry. It didn’t mean anything to me at the time, but they had to suspend digging that day because they were running into heat pockets of huge temperatures. These fires kept burning for more than three months, the longest-burning structure blaze ever.
And this was all due to jet fuel? We’re talking molten metal more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Probably the most conclusive evidence about a controlled demolition is a research paper (two years, nine authors) published in the peer-reviewed Open Chemical Physics Journal in April 2009. In studying dust samples from the site, these scientists found chips of nano-thermite, which is a high-tech incendiary/explosive. Here’s what the paper’s lead author, Dr. Niels Harrit of the University of Copenhagen’s chemistry department, had to say about the explosive that he’s convinced brought down the twin towers and the nearby Building 7:
“Thermite itself dates back to 1893. It is a mixture of aluminum and rust powder, which react to create intense heat. The reaction produces iron, heated to 2,500 degrees Centigrade [4,532 degrees Fahrenheit]. This can be used to do welding. It can also be used to melt other iron. So in nano-thermite, this powder from 1893 is reduced to tiny particles, perfectly mixed. When these react, the intense heat develops much more quickly. Nano-thermite can be mixed with additives to give off intense heat, or serve as a very effective explosive. It contains more energy than dynamite, and can be used as rocket fuel.”
Gage is one of hundreds of credentialed architects and structural engineers who have put their careers on the line to point out the detailed anomalies and many implications of controlled demolition in the building collapses. As he puts it bluntly: “Once you get to the science, it’s indisputable.”
A former Navy Seal, professional wrestler and actor Jesse Ventura was elected governor of Minnesota on the Reform Party ticket in 1998 where he served until 2002. Today, Ventura is best known for hosting the popular television show Conspiracy Theory, which airs on cable television. He is also the author of five books.
Filed under: 911, censorship, Islamic world, Israel, USA, World
Paul Craig Roberts
March 18, 2010
According to news reports, the U.S. military is shipping “bunker-buster” bombs to the U.S. Air Force base at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. The Herald Scotland reports that experts say the bombs are being assembled for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
|Reports indicate the U.S. has sent bunker busters to Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.|
The newspaper quotes Dan Piesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London: “They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran.”
The next step will be a staged “terrorist attack,” a “false flag” operation as per Operation Northwoods, for which Iran will be blamed. As Iran and its leadership have already been demonized, the “false flag” attack will suffice to obtain US and European public support for bombing Iran. The bombing will include more than the nuclear facilities and will continue until the Iranians agree to regime change and the installation of a puppet government. The corrupt American media will present the new puppet as “freedom and democracy.”
If the past is a guide, Americans will fall for the deception. In the February issue of the American Behavioral Scientist, a scholarly journal, Professor Lance DeHaven-Smith writes that state crimes against democracy (SCAD) involve government officials, often in combination with private interests, that engage in covert activities in order to implement an agenda. Examples include McCarthyism or the fabrication of evidence of communist infiltration, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution based on false claims of President Johnson and Pentagon chief McNamara that North Vietnam attacked a U.S. naval vessel, the burglary of the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist in order to discredit Ellsberg (the Pentagon Papers) as “disturbed,” and the falsified “intelligence” that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction in order to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
There are many other examples. I have always regarded the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City as a SCAD. Allegedly, a disturbed Tim McVeigh used a fertilizer bomb in a truck parked outside the building. More likely, McVeigh was a patsy, whose fertilizer bomb was a cover for explosives planted inside the building.
A number of experts dismissed the possibility of McVeigh’s bomb producing such structural damage. For example, General Benton K. Partin, who was in charge of U.S. Air Force munitions design and testing, produced a thick report on the Murrah building bombing which concluded that the building blew up from the inside out. Gen. Partin concluded that “the pattern of damage would have been technically impossible without supplementary demolition charges at some of the reinforced concrete bases inside the building, a standard demolition technique. For a simplistic blast truck bomb, of the size and composition reported, to be able to reach out on the order of 60 feet and collapse a reinforced column base the size of column A7 is beyond credulity.”
Gen. Partin dismissed the official report as “a massive cover-up of immense proportions.”
Of course, the general’s unquestionable expertise had no bearing on the outcome. One reason is that his and other expert voices were drowned out by media pumping the official story. Another reason is that public beliefs in a democracy run counter to suspicion of government as a terrorist agent. Professor Laurie Manwell of the University of Guelph says that “false flag” operations have the advantage over truth: “research shows that people are far less willing to examine information that disputes, rather than confirms, their beliefs.” Professor Steven Hoffman agrees: “Our data shows substantial support for a cognitive theory known as ‘motivated reasoning,’ which suggests that rather than search rationally for information that either confirms or disconfirms a particular belief, people actually seek out information that confirms what they already believe. In fact, for the most part people completely ignore contrary information.” Even when hard evidence turns up, it can be discredited as a “conspiracy theory.”
All that is necessary for success of “false flag” or “black ops” events is for the government to have its story ready and to have a reliable and compliant media. Once an official story is in place, thought and investigation are precluded. Any formal inquiry that is convened serves to buttress the already provided explanation.
An explanation ready-at-hand is almost a give-away that an incident is a “black ops” event. Notice how quickly the U.S. government, allegedly so totally deceived by al Qaida, provided the explanation for 9/11. When President Kennedy was assassinated, the government produced the culprit immediately. The alleged culprit was conveniently shot inside a jail by a civilian before he could be questioned. But the official story was ready, and it held.
Professors Manwell and Hoffman’s research resonates with me. I remember reading in my graduate studies that the Czarist secret police set off bombs in order to create excuses to arrest their targets. My inclination was to dismiss the accounts as anti-Czarist propaganda by pro-communist historians. It was only later when Robert Conquest confirmed to me that this was indeed the practice of the Czarist secret police that the scales fell from my eyes.
Former CIA official Philip Giraldi in his article, “The Rogue Nation,” makes it clear that the U.S. government has a hegemonic agenda that it is pursuing without congressional or public awareness. The agenda unfolds piecemeal as a response to “terrorism,” and the big picture is not understood by the public or by most in Congress. Giraldi protests that the agenda is illegal under both U.S. and international law, but that the illegality of the agenda does not serve as a barrier. Only a naif could believe that such a government would not employ “false flag” operations that advance the agenda.
The U.S. population, it seems, is comprised of naifs whose lack of comprehension is bringing ruin to other lands.
Filed under: Conspiration, false flag, Financial systemic crisis, Iran, NWO, oil, US collapse, USA, War, World
Executing Handcuffed Afghan Kids?
By DAVE LINDORFF
When Charlie Company’s Lt. William Calley ordered and encouraged his men to rape, maim and slaughter over 400 men, women and children in My Lai in Vietnam back in 1968, there were at least four Americans who tried to stop him or bring him and higher officers to justice. One was helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson Jr., who evacuated some of the wounded victims, and who set his chopper down between a group of Vietnamese and Calley’s men, ordering his door gunner to open fire on the US soldiers if they shot any more people. One was Ron Ridenhour, a soldier who learned of the massacre, and began a private investigation, ultimately reporting the crime to the Pentagon and Congress. One was Michael Bernhardt, a soldier in Charlie Company who witnessed the whole thing, and reported it all to Ridenhour. And one was journalist Seymour Hersh, who broke the story in the US media.
Today’s war in Afghanistan also has its My Lai massacres. It has them almost weekly, as US warplanes bomb wedding parties, or homes “suspected” of housing terrorists that turn out to house nothing but civilians. But these My Lais are all conveniently labeled accidents. They get filed away and forgotten as the inevitable “collateral damage” of war. There was, however, a massacre recently that was not a mistake–a massacre which, while it only involved fewer than a dozen people, bears the same stench as My Lai. It was the execution-style slaying of eight handcuffed students, aged 11-18, and a 12-year-old neighboring shepherd boy who had been visiting the others, in Kunar Province, on Dec. 26.
Sadly, no principled soldier with a conscience like pilot Hugh Thompson tried to save these children. No observer had the guts of a Michael Brernhardt to report what he had seen. No Ron Ridenhour among the other serving US troops in Afghanistan has investigated this atrocity or reported it to Congress. And no American reporter has investigated this war crime the way Seymour Hersh investigated My Lai.
There is a Seymour Hersh for the Kunar massacre, but he’s a Brit. While American reporters like the anonymous journalistic drones who wrote CNN’s December 29 report on the incident (http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/12/29/afghanistan.deaths/index.html), took the Pentagon’s initial cover story–that the dead were part of a secret bomb-squad–at face value, Jerome Starkey, a reporter in Afghanistan working for the Times of London and the Scotsman, talked to other sources–the dead boys’ headmaster, other townspeople, and Afghan government officials–and found out the real truth about a gruesome war crime–the execution of handcuffed children. And while a few news outlets in the US like the New York Times did mention that there were some claims that the dead were children, not bomb-makers, none, including CNN, which had bought and run the Pentagon’s lies unquestioningly, bothered to print the news update when, on Feb. 24, the US military admitted that in fact the dead were innocent students. Nor has any US corporate news organization mentioned that the dead had been handcuffed when they were shot.
Starkey reported the US government’s damning admission. Yet still the US media remain silent as the grave.
Under the Geneva Conventions, it is a war crime to execute a captive. Yet in Kunar on December 26, US-led forces, or perhaps US soldiers or contract mercenaries, cold-bloodedly executed eight hand-cuffed prisoners. It is a war crime to kill children under the age of 15, yet in this incident a boy of 11 and a boy of 12 were handcuffed as captured combatants and executed. Two others of the dead were 12 and a third was 15.
I called the Secretary of Defense’s office to ask if any investigation was underway into this crime or if one was planned, and was told I had to send a written request, which I did. To date, I have heard nothing. The Pentagon PR machine pretended to me on the phone that they didn’t even know what incident I was talking about, but without their “help” I have learned that what the US military has done–no surprise–is to pass the buck by leaving any investigation to the International Security Assistance Force–a fancy name for the US-led NATO force fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. It’s a clever ruse. The ISAF is no more a genuine coalition entity than was George Bush’s Iraq War Coalition of the Willing, but this dodge makes legislative investigation of the event impossible, since Congress has no authority to compel testimony from NATO or the ISAF as it would the Pentagon. A source at the Senate Armed Services Committee confirms that the ISAF is investigating, and that the committee has asked for a “briefing”–that means nothing would be under oath–once that investigation is complete, but don’t hold your breath or expect anything dramatic.
I also contacted the press office of the House Armed Services Committee to see if any hearings into this crime have been planned. The answer is no, though the press officer asked me to send her details of the incident (Not a good sign that House members and staff are paying much attention–the killings led to country-wide student demonstrations in Afghanistan, to a formal protest by the office of President Hamid Karzai, and to an investigation by the Afghan government, which concluded that innocent students had been handcuffed and executed, and no doubt contributed to a call by the Afghan government for prosecution and execution of American soldiers who kill Afghan civilians.)
There is still time for people of conscience to stand up in the midst of this imperial adventure that may now appropriately be called Obama’s War in Afghanistan. Plenty of men and women in uniform in Afghanistan know that nine Afghan children were captured and murdered at America’s hands last December in Kunar. There are also probably people who were involved in the planning or carrying out of this criminal operation who are sickened by what happened. But these people are so far holding their tongues, whether out of fear, or out of simply not knowing where to turn (Note: If you have information you may contact me). There are also plenty of reporters in Afghanistan and in Washington who could be investigating this story. They are not. Don’t ask me why. Maybe ask their editors.
Filed under: Afghanistan, human rights, military, NATO, NWO, USA, War, War crime
Love and Struggle: The On-Going Scandal of Political Imprisonment
From President Obama on down, powerful forces maintain that the Black Freedom Movement is not only over, but ended in complete success. Yet decades later, scores of veterans of that movement still languish in prison. If we won, how come our bravest are still behind bars? “Despite all the hope to the contrary, there has been no successful completion of a freedom movement in this country.”
Love and Struggle: The On-Going Scandal of Political Imprisonment A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Jared Ball “No civil or human rights movement can claim victory while its most ardent supporters remain imprisoned.” “Hi All. My parole was denied today after a 2 to 3 hour hearing and my case was referred to a 3-member panel to determine the size of my next ‘hit’ which may be outside the normal 3 year guideline. In other words they will probably set my future parole-hearing date at more than 3 years away.
I thank all of you for the fine effort you made in trying to get me released and know that you did all that was humanly possible under the circumstances. Love, and Struggle, Sundiata.” And so were the words last week of Sundiata Acoli, one-time computer programmer for NASA turned Black Panther Party freedom fighter, whose actions in support of a liberation struggle remain, after 36 years, defined as criminal. His statement of parole denial comes on the heals of the recent and similarly decided hearings of Jalil Muntaqim, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier and Hugo Pinell and, like those, is the kind of myth-breaking state-sponsored response that deserves far more attention precisely because of what it means not only for the individuals who suffer the horrors of imprisonment but what it says about the state of broader civil and human rights struggles.
The denial of parole to these and others and their particular status as political prisoners, that is, people who are incarcerated because of “their political views and/or actions,” is a stark reminder that, despite all the hope to the contrary, there has been no successful completion of a freedom movement in this country. “The prison-industrial-complex is the latest in an historically uninterrupted series of legal and political machinations designed to enforce white supremacy.” For all the on-going discussions of Obama’s place in history, illusions of progress, or arguments over whether or not there is or should be a black agenda, the incontrovertible fact imposed on us by the continued incarceration of political prisoners is that no civil or human rights movement can claim victory while its most ardent supporters remain imprisoned specifically for their involvement in those movements. Regardless of the particular accusation none would remain imprisoned if these movements had succeeded.
Their actions would not then be seen as crimes. At worse, as once described by fellow political prisoner David Gilbert, any mistakes made by these women and men would be judged by the communities for whom they work not by those against whom they struggle. It is truly this standard that should be applied to all discussions of progress.
Whenever we are confronted with the latest set of myths of improvement, even before we get to the data which demonstrates the lie of forward motion and improved material conditions, we should simply ask, “which of our dozens of political prisoners has been set free?”
And while at it, we might as well throw our support behind those working to expose and end a broader system of mass incarceration which, according to yet another recent study from the Critical Studies of Race and Ethnicity program at St. Catherine University in Minnesota, describes a prison-industrial-complex that, “is the latest in an historically uninterrupted series of legal and political machinations designed to enforce white supremacy with its economic and social benefits both in and with the law.”
And more to our immediate concern over the political imprisonment of those seeking to make progressive change, this study addresses this system as a response to “movements for Abolition and Civil Rights” which “worked to end the institutions of slavery, lynching and legalized segregation,” but were met with “new and more indirect mechanisms” resulting in a “color-blind… de facto racism… where people of color, especially African Americans, are subject to unequal protection of the laws, excessive surveillance, extreme segregation and neo-slave labor via incarceration…”
If Obama were the real change represented by the culmination of a successful movement he would apply at least the same standard to political prisoners as he has seen fit for Bush and Cheney. If those two are not to be prosecuted for crimes against humanity because, as the president has said, he prefers “to look forward as opposed to looking backwards,” then why not avert his eyes from the past long enough to immediately release these political prisoners with reparations and apologies? For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Jared Ball. Online go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.
Filed under: African American, USA
America’s First War in Africa.
US AFRICOM Launches Large-Scale Offensive In Somalia
by Rick Rozoff
Although the US supplies military aid, training and weapons to over 50 of the 54 nations on the African continent, the militarization of US Africa policy, and its decisive contribution to Africa being the mjost war-torn region on earth are simply ignored by corporate US media. Its minerals and energy reserves make Africa a prime target for imperial predation. Incessant wars guarantee that enfeeble African civil societies will be unable to prevent their US trained militaries from handing over African ressources to the West rather than using them to build schools, hospitals and civil societies. US instigated wars in Somalia have killed over a million people since the mid 1990s, and made another million homeless. And now the bombs are falling again.
America’s First War in Africa. US AFRICOM Launches Large-Scale Offensive In Somalia
by Rick Rozoff
Orignally published at GlobalResearch.CA
Over 43 people have been killed in the Somali capital of Mogadishu in two days of fighting between Shabab (al-Shabaab) insurgent forces, who on March 10 advanced to within one mile of the nation’s presidential palace, and troops of the U.S.-backed Transitional Federal Government. The fighting has just begun.
The last ambassador of the United States to Somalia (1994-1995), Daniel H. Simpson, penned a column for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on March 10 in which which he posed the question “why, apart from the only lightly documented charge of Islamic extremism among the Shabab, is the United States reengaging in Somalia at this time?”
He answered it in stating “Part of the reason is because the United States has its only base in Africa up the coast from Mogadishu, in Djibouti, the former French Somaliland. The U.S. Africa Command was established there in 2008, and, absent the willingness of other African countries to host it, the base in Djibouti became the headquarters for U.S. troops and fighter bombers in Africa.
“Flush with money, in spite of the expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department of Defense obviously feels itself in a position to undertake military action in Africa, in Somalia.” 
Fulfilling its appointed role, the New York Times leaked U.S. military plans for the current offensive in Somalia on March 5 in a report titled “U.S. Aiding Somalia in Its Plan to Retake Its Capital.” (Note that the Transitional Federal Government is presented as Somalia itself and Mogadishu as its capital.)
The tone of the feature was of course one of approval and endorsement of the Pentagon’s rationale for directly intervening in Somalia at a level not seen since 1993 and support for proxy actions last witnessed with the invasion by Ethiopia in 2006. The report began with a description of a military surveillance plane circling over the Somali capital and a quote from the new chief of staff of the nation’s armed forces, General Mohamed Gelle Kahiye: “It’s the Americans. They’re helping us.”
Afterward “An American official in Washington, who said he was not authorized to speak publicly” – a hallmark of the American free press – was, if not identified, quoted as maintaining that U.S. covert operations were planned if not already underway and “What you’re likely to see is airstrikes and Special Ops moving in, hitting and getting out.” 
The New York Times also provided background information regarding the current offensive:
“Over the past several months, American advisers have helped supervise the training of the Somali forces to be deployed in the offensive….The Americans have provided covert training to Somali intelligence officers, logistical support to the peacekeepers, fuel for the maneuvers, surveillance information about insurgent positions and money for bullets and guns.” 
Four days later General William (“Kip”) Ward, commander of United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
In his introductory remarks the chairman of the committee, Senator Carl Levin, reinforced recent American attempts to expand the scope of the deepening Afghanistan-Pakistan war, the deadliest and lengthiest in the world, to the west and south in stating that “al Qaeda and violent extremists who share their ideology are not just located in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region but in places like Somalia, Mali, Nigeria and Niger.” 
In his formal report Ward pursued a similar tact and expanded the Pentagon’s “counter-terrorism” (CT) area of responsibility yet further from South Asia: “U.S. Africa Command has focused the majority of its CT capacity building activities in East Africa on Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Uganda, which – aside from Somalia – are the countries directly threatened by terrorists.” 
He also spoke of the current offensive by “the transition government to reclaim parts of Mogadishu,” stating “I think it’s something that we would look to do and support.” 
Senator Levin and General Ward included eight African nations in the broader Afghan war category of Operation Enduring Freedom, countries from the far northeast of the continent (the Horn of Africa) to the far west (the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea). The U.S. military has already been involved in counterinsurgency operations in Mali and Niger against ethnic Tuareg rebels, who have no conceivable ties to al-Qaeda, not that one would know that from Levin’s comments.
In between South Asia and Africa lies Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula. The New York Times report cited earlier reminded readers that “The United States is increasingly concerned about the link between Somalia and Yemen.” Indeed as Levin’s comments quoted above establish, Washington (along with its NATO allies) is forging an expanded war front from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen and into Africa. 
That extension of the South Asia war has not gone unobserved in world capitals, and earlier this year Russian political analyst Andrei Fedyashin commented: “Adding up all four fronts – if the United States ventured an attack on Yemen and Somalia – America would have to invade a territory equal to three-fourths of Western Europe; and it is hardly strong enough for that.” 
Strong enough or not, that is just what the White House and the Pentagon are doing. The only other objection that can be raised to the above author’s description is that it too severely narrows the intended battlefront.
In the past six months Somali troops have been sent to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda for combat training and “most are now back in the capital, waiting to fight.”
In addition, “There are also about 5,000 Ugandan and Burundian peacekeepers, with 1,700 more on their way, and they are expected to play a vital role in backing up advancing Somali forces.” 
Last October the U.S. led ten days of military exercises in Uganda – Natural Fire 10 – with 450 American troops and over 550 from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The U.S. soldiers were deployed from Camp Lemonier (Lemonnier) in Djibouti, home to the Pentagon’s Joint Task Force/Horn of Africa and over 2,000 U.S. forces. The de facto headquarters of AFRICOM.
At the time of the maneuvers a major Ugandan newspaper wrote that they were “geared towards the formation of the first Joint East African Military Force.” 
In addition to using such a multinational regional force in Somalia, the U.S. can also deploy it against Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels in Uganda, Congo and Sudan, and could even employ it against Eritrea, Zimbabwe and Sudan, the only nations on the African continent not to some degree enmeshed in military partnerships with Washington and NATO. (Libya has participated in NATO naval exercises and South Africa has hosted the bloc’s warships.) 
Earlier this month the Kenyan newspaper The East African divulged that “American legislators are pushing for a law that will see another phase of military action to apprehend Lord’s Resistance Army rebels.”
The news source added that the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Bill adopted by the U.S. Congress last year “requires the US government to develop a new multifaceted strategy” and as such the new bill under consideration “will not be the first time the US government is providing support to the Uganda army in fighting the LRA.
“The US has been backing the UPDF [Uganda People's Defence Force] with logistics and training to fight the rebel group.” 
Last month it was announced that the U.S. Africa Command has dispatched special forces to train 1,000 Congolese troops in the north and east of their nation, where Congo borders Uganda.
Former U.S. diplomat Daniel Simpson was quoted above as to what in part is Washington’s motive in pursuing a new war in and around Somalia: To test out AFRICOM ground and air forces in Djibouti for direct military action on the continent.
A United Press International report of March 10, placed under energy news, offered another explanation. In a feature titled “East Africa is next hot oil zone,” the news agency disclosed that “East Africa is emerging as the next oil boom following a big strike in Uganda’s Lake Albert Basin. Other oil and natural gas reserves have been found in Tanzania and Mozambique and exploration is under way in Ethiopia and even war-torn Somalia.”
The region is, in the words of the Western chief executive officer of an oil prospecting firm, “the last real high-potential area in the world that hasn’t been fully explored.” 
The article added: “The discovery at Lake Albert, in the center of Africa between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, is estimated to contain the equivalent of several billion barrels of oil. It is likely to be the biggest onshore field found south of the Sahara Desert in two decades.”
It also spoke of “a vast 135,000-square-mile territory in landlocked Ethiopia that is believed to contain sizable reserves of oil. It is estimated to hold 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas as well.”
And, more pertinent to the Horn of Africa:
“A 1993 study by Petroconsultants of Geneva concluded that Somalia has two of the most potentially interesting hydrocarbon-yielding basins in the entire region – one in the central Mudugh region, the other in the Gulf of Aden. More recent analyses indicate that Somalia could have reserves of up to 10 billion barrels.” 
Washington’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies are also deeply involved in the militarization of East Africa.
On March 10 NATO extended its naval operation in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia, Ocean Shield, to the end of 2012, an unprecedentedly long 33-month extension. On March 12 “Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 will take over missions from Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 for the four-month assignment. The change will increase NATO’s contribution from four ships to five ships….” 
At the same hearings of the Senate Armed Services Committee that AFRICOM commander William Ward addressed, NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, America’s Admiral James Stavridis, “noted that 100,000 NATO troops are involved in expeditionary operations on three continents, including operations in Afghanistan, off the coast of Africa, and in Bosnia.” (Evidently Kosovo was meant for Bosnia.)
Stavridis, who is concurrently top military chief of U.S. European Command, said “The nature of threats in this 21st century [is] going to demand more than just sitting behind our borders.” 
He also said he finds “Iran alarming in any number of dimensions,” specifically mentioning alleged “state-sponsored terrorism, nuclear proliferation and political outreach into Latin America.” 
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen recently returned from Jordan and the Persian Gulf state of Bahrain where he pressured both nations to support the war in Afghanistan and Alliance naval operations.
“NATO’s top official said [on March 9] that he has asked Jordan and Bahrain to contribute to alliance naval operations fighting terrorism and piracy in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf of Aden, as he ended a visit to the two countries. NATO is keen to improve cooperation with Arab and Muslim states, seeing them as important allies for a number of missions, including the all-important deployment in Afghanistan.” 
Regarding the Western military bloc’s almost nine-year Operation Active Endeavor in the entire Mediterranean Sea and its Operation Ocean Shield in the Gulf of Aden, Rasmussen said, “We would very much like to strengthen cooperation (with Bahrain and Jordan) within these operations.” 
While in Jordan he was strengthening military ties with NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue partnership – Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia – and in Bahrain firming up the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative aimed at the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have military personnel serving under NATO in Afghanistan.
In late February a delegation of the 53-nation African Union (AU) visited NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Mons, Belgium.
“NATO continues to support the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM) through the provision of strategic sea- and air-lift for AMISOM Troop Contributing Nations on request. The last airlift support occurred in June 2008 when NATO transported a battalion of Burundian peacekeepers to Mogadishu.” 
On March 10 AMISON deployed tanks to prevent the capture of the Somali presidential palace by rebels.
The North Atlantic military bloc, which in recent years has conducted large-scale exercises in West Africa and inaugurated its international Response Force in Cape Verde in 2006, also supports “the operationalisation of the African Standby Force – the African Union’s vision for a continental, on-call security apparatus similar to the NATO Response Force.” 
In May the European Union, whose membership largely overlaps with that of NATO and which is engaged in intense integration with the military bloc on a global scale , will begin training 2,000 Somali troops in Uganda.
Brigadier General Thierry Caspar-Fille-Lambie, commanding officer of French armed forces in Djibouti, said “the Somali troops will be trained with the necessary military skills to help pacify and stabilize the volatile country.”
He issued that statement “at the closing ceremony of four-week French operational training of 1,700 Ugandan troops to be deployed” to Somalia in May. The French ambassador to Uganda said “The EU troops shall work in close collaboration with UPDF to train Somali troops.” 
The 2,000 soldiers to be trained by the EU will represent a full third of a projected 6,000-troop Somali army.
The U.S.-NATO-EU global triad plans an even larger collective military role in the new scramble for Africa. On March 4 and 5 a delegation from AFRICOM met with European Union officials in Brussels “seeking EU cooperation in Africa,” specifically in “areas where cooperation could be possible, notably with the soon-to-be-launched EU mission to train Somali troops.” 
Tony Holmes, AFRICOM’s deputy to the commander for civil-military activities, said “Somalia, that’s an area where we’re going to be doing a lot more, the European Union is already doing a lot and will be doing more….
“Somalia is very important for us. The European Union is involved in training Somalis in Uganda and that’s something we might be able to work closely with to support.”
The AFRICOM delegation, including Major-General Richard Sherlock, director of strategy, plans and programs, also discussed “counter-terrorism cooperation with the EU in the Sahel region, notably in Mauritania, Mali and Niger….” 
In late January the chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, said “that the Alliance is in discussion with a Gulf state to deploy AWACS planes for a reconnaissance mission over Afghanistan in support of its ISAF mission and also for anti-piracy off Somalia.” 
To demonstrate that NATO’s anti-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia has other designs than the one acknowledged, early this year a NATO spokesman announced that the bloc’s naval contingent in the Gulf of Aden “now has an additional task” to intervene against a fictional deployment of Somali fighters across the Gulf to Yemen.
The spokesman, Jacqui Sheriff, said “NATO warships will be on the lookout for anything suspicious.” 
As though Somali al-Shabaab fighters have nothing else to do as the U.S. is engineering an all-out assault on them in their homeland.
Five days after the New York Times feature detailed American war plans in Somalia, the Washington Times followed up on and added to that report.
U.S. operations are “likely to be the most overt demonstration of U.S. military backing since the ill-fated Operation Restore Hope of 1992….”
“Unmanned U.S. surveillance aircraft have been seen circling over Mogadishu in recent days, apparently pinpointing insurgent positions as the TFG [Transitional Federal Government] marshals its forces. U.S. Army advisers have been helping train the TFG’s forces, which have been largely equipped with millions of dollars’ worth of U.S. arms airlifted into Mogadishu over the last few weeks.”
The newspaper report further stated: “It’s not clear when the offensive will start. The word on the street is sometime in the next few weeks….”
The campaign has already begun.
“After securing Mogadishu, the offensive, supported by militias allied with the government, for now, at least, is likely to continue against al-Shebab in the countryside west and south toward the border with Kenya.” 
After the capital, the entire country. After Somalia, the region.
The war has just begun.
1) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 10, 2010
2) New York Times, March 5, 2010
4) Senate Armed Forces Committee, March 9, 2010
5) United States Africa Command, March 9, 2010
6) Senate Armed Forces Committee, March 9, 2010
7) U.S., NATO Expand Afghan War To Horn Of Africa And Indian Ocean
Stop NATO, January 8, 2010
Yemen: Pentagon’s War On The Arabian Peninsula
Stop NATO, December 15, 2009
8) Russian Information Agency Novosti, January 11, 2010
9) New York Times, March 5, 2010
10) The Monitor, October 14, 2009
11) AFRICOM Year Two: Seizing The Helm Of The Entire World
Stop NATO, October 22, 2009
12) The East African, March 1, 2010
13) United Press International, March 10, 2010
15) Stars and Stripes, March 11, 2010
16) United States Department of Defense, March 9, 2010
18) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, March 9, 2010
20) North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
February 24, 2010
22) EU, NATO, US: 21st Century Alliance For Global Domination
Stop NATO, February 19, 2009
23) Xinhua News Agency, February 13, 2010
24) Europolitics, March 5, 2010
26) Kuwait News Agency, January 28, 2010
27) Canwest News Service, January 1, 2010
28) Washington Times, March 10, 2010
Rick Rozoff is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Rick Rozoff
Filed under: Africa, imperialism, military, Somalia, USA, War
According to Gareth Porter “Marjah not a city or even a town, but a real information operation”
(ASIA TIMES ONLINE) WASHINGTON – For weeks, the United States public followed the biggest offensive of the Afghanistan war against what it was told was a “city of 80,000 people” as well as the logistical hub of the Taliban in that part of Helmand. That idea was a central element in the overall impression built up in February that Marjah was a major strategic objective, more important than other district centers in Helmand.
It turns out, however, that the picture of Marjah presented by military officials and reported by major news media is one of the clearest and most dramatic pieces of misinformation of the entire war, apparently aimed at hyping the offensive as an historic turning point in the conflict.
Marjah is not a city or even a real town, but a few clusters of farmers’ homes amid a large agricultural area that covers much of the southern Helmand River Valley.
“It’s not urban at all,” an official of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), who asked not to be identified, admitted to Inter Press Service (IPS) on Sunday. He called Marjah a “rural community”.
“It’s a collection of village farms, with typical family compounds,” said the official, adding that the homes were reasonably prosperous by Afghan standards.
Richard B Scott, who worked in Marjah as an adviser on irrigation for the US Agency for International Development as recently as 2005, agrees that Marjah has nothing that could be mistaken as being urban. It is an “agricultural district” with a “scattered series of farmers’ markets”, Scott told IPS in a telephone interview.
The ISAF official said the only population numbering tens of thousands associated with Marjah is spread across many villages and almost 200 square kilometers, or about 125 square miles.
Marjah has never even been incorporated, according to the official, but there are now plans to formalize its status as an actual “district” of Helmand province.
The official admitted that the confusion about Marjah’s population was facilitated by the fact that the name has been used both for the relatively large agricultural area and for a specific location where farmers have gathered for markets.
However, the name Marjah “was most closely associated” with the more specific location, where there are also a mosque and a few shops.
That very limited area was the apparent objective of “Operation Moshtarak”, to which 7,500 US, North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Afghan troops were committed amid the most intense publicity given any battle since the beginning of the war.
So how did the fiction that Marjah is a city of 80,000 people get started?
The idea was passed onto news media by the US Marines in southern Helmand. The earliest references in news stories to Marjah as a city with a large population have a common origin in a briefing given on February 2 by officials at Camp Leatherneck, the US Marine base there.
The Associated Press published an article the same day quoting “Marine commanders” as saying that they expected 400 to 1,000 insurgents to be “holed up” in the “southern Afghan town of 80,000 people”. That language evoked an image of house-to-house urban street fighting.
The same story said Marjah was “the biggest town under Taliban control” and called it the “linchpin of the militants’ logistical and opium-smuggling network”. It gave the figure of 125,000 for the population living in “the town and surrounding villages”.
ABC news followed with a story the next day referring to the “city of Marjah”, claiming that the city and the surrounding area “are more heavily populated, urban and dense than other places the marines have so far been able to clear and hold”.
The rest of the news media followed with that image of a bustling, urbanized Marjah in subsequent stories, often using “town” and “city” interchangeably.
As “Operation Moshtarak” (“Together”) began, US military spokesmen were portraying Marjah as an urbanized population center. On February 14, on the second day of the offensive, US Marine spokesman Lieutenant Josh Diddams said the marines were “in the majority of the city at this point”.
He also used language that conjured images of urban fighting, referring to the insurgents holding some “neighborhoods”.
A few days into the offensive, some reporters began to refer to a “region”, but only created confusion rather than clearing the matter up. One report referred to “three markets in town – which covers 80 square miles”.
A “town” with an area of 80 square miles (207.2 square kilometers) would be bigger than such US cities as Washington, DC, Pittsburgh and Cleveland.
The decision to hype up Marjah as the objective of “Operation Moshtarak” by planting the false impression that it is a good-sized city would not have been made independently by the marines at Camp Leatherneck.
A central task of “information operations” in counter-insurgency wars is “establishing the COIN [counter-insurgency] narrative”, according to the Army Counter-insurgency Field Manual as revised in 2006 under General David Petraeus, the head of US Central Command.
That task is usually done by “higher headquarters” rather than in the field, as the manual notes.
The COIN manual asserts that news media “directly influence the attitude of key audiences toward counter-insurgents, their operations and the opposing insurgency”. The manual refers to “a war of perceptions, conducted continuously using the news media”.
General Stanley McChrystal, commander of the ISAF, was clearly preparing to wage such a war in advance of the Marjah operation. In remarks made just before the offensive began, McChrystal invoked the language of the counter-insurgency manual, saying, “This is all a war of perceptions.”
The Washington Post reported on February 22 that the decision to launch the offensive against Marjah was intended largely to impress US public opinion with the effectiveness of the US military in Afghanistan by showing that it could achieve a “large and loud victory”.
The false impression that Marjah was a significant city was an essential part of that message.
Filed under: Afghanistan, military, NATO, USA, War
Interview with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan commander
Tasal and Mullah Haji Mohammad in Marjah
(150 tanks destroy and 800 soldiers killed by Resistance)
Rabi’ al-awwal 29, 1431 A.H,
Tuesday March 16, 2010
In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate
Theunjustmedia: Tasal can you please tell us a bit about yourself.
Commander Tasal: In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate
I have been fighting along the Mujahideen for the last four years, during this time I have participated in different battles with the enemy in Naw Zad, Sangin and Musa Kala districts of Helmand province and currently I am a commander of a ground of Mujahideen who are fighting the invaders and their puppets forces in Marjah.
Theunjustmedia: Can you please tell us what is happening in Marjah.
Commander Tasal: Alhumduillaah (All praises belong to Allah), Mujahideen have gain great strength in Marjah, the Mujahideen are moving in and out of Marjah, this tactical move has been adapted to protect the lives of the innocent civilians, as the invading forces feel no shame in martyring children, women and elderly, currently the Mujahideen are launching guerilla operations against the enemy, which on one hand are protecting the lives of the innocent civilians, and on the other hand slowly, slowly defeating the invaders and their puppets forces.
Theunjustmedia: The invaders and their puppets are claiming to have martyred many Mujahideen in Marjah.
Commander Tasal: This is enemy propaganda, because the mainstream media is controlled by the invaders, so it is very easy for them to propagate news which best suits with their agendas, but this does not mean that it is the truth. The real realties of this war are not reaching the eyes and the ears of the world, thus people start to believe what the mainstream media keeps telling them over and over unit that which is false becomes the truth, however in reality so far only forty Mujahideen have been martyred and sixty have been wounded in the fighting in Marjah.
Theunjustmedia: Can you please tell us about enemy physical and material losses in Marjah.
Commander Tasal: Using IED’s and rocket propel grenades the Mujahideen have destroyed more than 150 tanks and other military vehicles of the enemy, each of these military vehicles carries at least four soldiers, so keeping this in mind, I believe at least 600 enemy soldiers have been killed or wounded, also face to face battles have taking place, in which approximately 200 enemy soldiers have been killed or wounded.
Theunjustmedia: The invaders often claim that the Afghans are not with the Mujahideen, is this true or false.
Commander Tasal: The Afghans are supporting us one hundred percent, they provide us food, clothes and financial assistants, with out the local support we would not have been able to defeat the invaders, no Afghan likes the presents of the invaders, except those who have sold their eternal life for this world’s transitory life, and it is not very complicated to identify the one’s who have sold out, they live in high places, while the average Afghan struggles to provide for his family, they are lavishly dinning with the invaders. He who claims that the Afghans are not with the Mujahideen, is in a state of delusion, for they have failed to recognize that the Mujahideen are the son’s of this pure land.
Theunjustmedia: Mullah Haji Mohammad can you please tell us a bit about yourself.
Commander Mullah Haji Mohammad: In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
I joined the Mujahideen four years ago. Over the period of four years I have taking part in many battles against the invaders and their puppets forces in Washer, Gerishk and Nad Ali districts of Helmand province, currently I am a commander of a ground of Mujahideen who are fighting in Marjah.
Theunjustmedia: Why are you fighting the invading forces, is it for personal achievement, or for your country, or is it to seek the pleasures of Allah (SWT), and how do you see the American democracy.
Commander Mullah Haji Mohammad: I am fighting the enemy to seek the pleasures of Allah (SWT) with my life and wealth, at the same time to liberate my country from the tyranny of the invaders, who are brutally subjecting Afghans for no reason but that the Afghans want to live their lives according to Quran and Sunnah, but this is not to the likening of the invaders, he wants to inject his perverted and immoral values on the Afghans. The shining examples of American democracy is a decaying society, where America buys more illegal drugs than any nation on the earth, Americans take more prescription drugs than any country’s people in the world, there are more mentally sick people in America than any country in the world, there are more obese people in America than any country in the world, America which has the highest murder and crime rate in the world, America is the most debt nation in the world, with all these lofty achievements America still has the audacity to tell the world how great America is.
The invaders under the disguise of democracy want to make the Afghans their puppets, so that they can dictate to them the ways in which they should live their lives, however this is a wishful thinking on the part of the enemy, on one hand he talks about freedom, but his definition of freedom is his slavery.
Theunjustmedia: The invaders continue to tell the world that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan are involved in the opium trade to financially support its Jihad against the invaders.
Commander Mullah Haji Mohammad: Lets’ go back in time, under the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan administration opium growing was completely stop on the order of Amir ul Momineen (Leader of the Believers) Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid (May Allah preserve him), even though the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was young and was facing financial difficulties, but still it refused to participate in the lucrative opium trade, because of its evilness.
Today their are people who are asserting that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is involved in the opium trade, this is another enemy propaganda among many. The reality is that few of the invading countries are directing and indirectly controlling the Afghanistan opium trade from which they are making billions of dollars, but not without a heavy price, as each day passes more and more invading soldiers who are fighting the Mujahideen in Afghanistan are becoming opium addicts, and their numbers are growing very rapidly. Yes there are local Afghans who are also growing opium, but that is due to poverty which the invaders have brought, these poor farmers have no other means of providing for their families.
Theunjustmedia: How would you characterize the invading soldiers as brave or cowards.
Commander Mullah Haji Mohammad: To be honest with you, most of the invading soldiers are cowards, if they did not have their helicopters and air planes to support them, they would not be able to stay in Afghanistan for more than a month, on the other hand you do have few brave invading soldiers, from all the invading countries the Canadian soldiers are the most bravest.
Theunjustmedia: What is your message to the peace loving people all over the world.
Commander Mullah Haji Mohammad: I say to the peace loving people all over the world, that America who is the world leading terrorist, who has perpetuated crimes against humanity in all parts of the world at a scale which one can not find in the history of mankind. My request is for all the peach loving people is to join hands in fighting American terrorism, which is a menace to the world, because the root of America itself is basic on immorality and vanity with greedy and lust and an inordinate self has become the way of life, because their are few people who have taking their own personal interest over the interest of America as a whole, thus not only endangering people in other parts of the world, but Americans themselves, so in order for the world to emancipate itself from American terrorism we must unit in fighting this common enemy, specially the good Americans.
- U.S invaders base attacked in Kunar, 3 Americans killed and a dozen wounded
- Mujahideen overrun three border police outposts in Nangarhar
- Three invading terrorists killed in Badakhshan
- Three oil trucks torched, two destroyed in Wardag
- Remote-controlled bomb blows apart Afghan police vehicle in Kandahar
- Fierce fighting going on in Lashkar Gah city
- Mujahideen kill 3 American in encounter in Badghis, injure two
- More deadly losses inflicted on joint U.S-led and Afghan troops in Marjah
Filed under: Afghanistan, censorship, military, NATO, USA, War, War crime