H1N1 Pandemic: Pentagon Planning Deployment of Troops in Support of Nationwide Vaccination By Michel Chossudovsky

31 July , 2009 — Global Research

Militarization of public health in the case of emergency is now official

According to CNN, the Pentagon is “to establish regional teams of military personnel to assist civilian authorities in the event of a significant outbreak of the H1N1 virus this fall, according to Defense Department officials.”

“The proposal is awaiting final approval from Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The officials would not be identified because the proposal from U.S. Northern Command’s Gen. Victor Renuart has not been approved by the secretary.

The plan calls for military task forces to work in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. There is no final decision on how the military effort would be manned, but one source said it would likely include personnel from all branches of the military.

It has yet to be determined how many troops would be needed and whether they would come from the active duty or the National Guard and Reserve forces.

Civilian authorities would lead any relief efforts in the event of a major outbreak, the official said. The military, as they would for a natural disaster or other significant emergency situation, could provide support and fulfill any tasks that civilian authorities could not, such as air transport or testing of large numbers of viral samples from infected patients.

As a first step, Gates is being asked to sign a so-called “execution order” that would authorize the military to begin to conduct the detailed planning to execute the proposed plan.

Orders to deploy actual forces would be reviewed later, depending on how much of a health threat the flu poses this fall, the officials said.” (CNN, Military planning for possible H1N1 outbreak, July 2009, emphasis added)

The implications are far-reaching.

Continue reading

Obama – Bush Lite or just Dark? By William Bowles

1 August 2009

When it emerged that Barack Obama was to be the candidate for 2008 election I wrote extensively on why such a ‘radical’ solution was chosen, asserting that selecting a black man was a stroke of genius, if the ‘masters of the universe’ could pull it off. Amazing really, considering the people who did it, essentially the Democratic Leadership Council (see, ‘Not corrupted by DLC, says Obama’, Blackcommentator.com and where you can find a wealth of information on the DLC and Obama) and that the selection was made at least five years ago (see my ‘Sucker bait or the politics of smoke and mirrors’). At the same time, I was also aware of the paradox(es) involved and the potential pitfalls that might mean either bumping him off or removing him by some other means, I kid you not.

Continue reading

WIKILEAKS NEWS: NYTimes Ed / Icelandic bank threats

1 August, 2009

1. Offshore banks v. WikiLeaks—round 2

Back in February 2008, WikiLeaks together with our boldest supporters, defeated an attack by Swiss Bank Julius Baer over “banking secrets”.

Now WikiLeaks has received a legal demand from the infamous Icelandic bank Kaupthing. The legal letter requests the removal of a confidential 210 page risk analysis of hundreds of companies and groups which owed the bank billions shortly before its collapse.

Kaupthing’s lawyers claim to have briefed US counsel.


2. New York Times editorial on the money, but 7 years out of date

Continue reading

Street Art in Revolutionary Venezuela By Dale Graden

30 July, 2009 — NACLA


A short ride heading west on the metro from the center of Caracas is the Agua Salud station, which serves as a major entrance into the 23 de Enero parish. The surrounding area is always a busy place, with lots of vendors selling all sorts of products and small buses lined up waiting for riders. A striking first impression is the diverse visual images painted on walls and buildings.


Street art plays an increasingly vital role in revolutionary Venezuela: It is a mode of political expression, a form of popular education, and helps build a collective historical memory. Few places show this more brilliantly than the walls of 23 de Enero with its combative spirit inscribed on almost every corner.

Continue reading

U.S.-Brokered Mediation Has Failed — It's Time for Latin America to Take Charge By Mark Weisbrot

31 July, 2009 — MRZine – Monthly Review

The mediation effort that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arranged to try to resolve the Honduran crisis, which began when a military coup removed Honduran President Mel Zelaya more than four weeks ago, has failed.  It is now time — some would say overdue — for the Latin American governments to play their proper role.  They should take the necessary steps to implement the unanimous mandate from the Organization of American States: “the immediate and unconditional return” of President Zelaya to his elected office.




This can be done with or without the help of the Obama administration.  It is important to note that the last two political crises in the region were resolved without any significant input from Washington.  The first was in March of last year, when Colombia bombed and invaded Ecuadorian territory, in an operation targeting Colombian FARC guerillas.  Latin America was united in its response, condemning the violation of Ecuador’s sovereignty.  The crisis was resolved at a Rio Group meeting on March 7, where President Uribe of Colombia apologized and pledged not to violate the sovereignty of any country again.

In the summer of last year, right-wing Bolivians opposed to the government of President Evo Morales engaged in a series of violent actions that raised the specter of a separatist civil war.  The heads of state of UNASUR — the Union of South American Nations — met in Santiago and unanimously declared their support for the Morales government.  This unified regional response, and the ensuing investigations of right-wing violence sponsored by UNASUR, helped put an end to the insurrectionary hopes of the Bolivian right.

It was too much to expect that a mediation process set up by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would resolve the Honduran crisis.  The U.S. government has too many interests that conflict with what the rest of the region wants and needs.

First, there is the U.S. military base in Honduras, the only such base in Central America.  The constitutional reform process that President Zelaya hoped to set in motion could easily lead to voters’ rejection of foreign troops on their soil.  However much our government may prefer democracy as a political system, when there is a choice between democracy and a military base, Washington’s track record is not a good one.

Brazil’s foreign minister Celso Amorim complained to Clinton that the mediation process should be within the framework of the OAS resolution, and therefore should not impose conditions on Zelaya’s return — especially, he said, a coalition government with the people who overthrew the government.  This was one of the conditions proposed by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, whom Clinton recruited to mediate.

Amorim also noted that any negotiated solution that was seen as rewarding the coup perpetrators would increase the threat of military coups in other countries.  These concerns reflect Latin America’s strong and unambiguous interest in a complete reversal of the coup.  They will have to live with the consequences of failure.

In Washington, by contrast, we have a muddle of conflicting interests: powerful lobbyists such as Lanny Davis and Bennett Ratcliff, who are close to Clinton and are leading the coup government’s strategy; the Republican right, including Members of Congress who openly support the coup; and “New Cold Warriors” of both parties in the Congress, State Department, and White House who see Zelaya as a threat because of his cooperation with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and other left governments.

No wonder Washington’s response to the coup has sent so many mixed signals.  The first White House statement did not even criticize the coup, and the State Department still won’t officially call it a coup.  And Clinton has repeatedly refused to say that “restoring the democratic order” in Honduras means bringing Zelaya back — much less unconditionally.  It took three weeks for the administration to threaten a foreign aid cutoff, and Washington is alone in keeping its ambassador in place.

Latin America gave Washington a chance to use its influence with the Honduran elite to restore democracy there.  It didn’t work.  Now it is Latin America’s turn to take the lead.  Hopefully, Washington will follow.

Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C.  He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. He is co-author, with Dean Baker, of Social Security: The Phony Crisis (University of Chicago Press, 2000), and has written numerous research papers on economic policy.  He is also president of Just Foreign Policy.  This article was first published by the Guardian on 30 July 2009.

Global Research: Militarization and Western Power Selected Articles 31 July, 2009

31 July, 2009 – Global Research

David and Goliath: Bosnian Serbs Against the West
– by Wanda Schindley – 2009-07-31

The Winners Are Grinners: US Uses Afghan War To Besiege Russia At Ferocious Pace
– by Alfred Ross – 2009-07-31

Iran FM: West accomplice in post-vote killings
– 2009-07-31

Violence increases in Russia’s Caucasus republics
– by Niall Green – 2009-07-31

Britain: CCTV Surveillance into Thousands of British Homes
– 2009-07-31

Continue reading