Strategic Culture Foundation 21-26 February, 2010

The Iskander Missiles as the Guarantee of Normal Coexistence of Russia and Europe
Russia went public with the plan to deploy the Iskander missiles at its western frontier – in the Kaliningrad region or on the territories of neighboring countries, but the process of probing into Washington’s reaction is clearly taking too long. In politics, failure to appreciate the importance of acting quickly invariably creates problems, the above situation being a vivid example. The Iskanders are a remarkably potent weapon but it appears that Moscow risks playing the card as a minor element in the diplomatic game…” read more…

Aurobinda MAHAPATRA (India)
India-Pakistan Talks after 26/11
“On 25 February 2010 India and Pakistan are going to resume foreign secretary level of talks after almost a hiatus of more than one year… The last year meeting between Indian Prime Minister and Pakistan President at Yekaterinburg in Russia at the sidelines of the BRIC summit, and later the meeting between Indian and Pakistan Prime Ministers at Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt virtually produced nothing in substance…”

Hannes HOFBAUER (Austria)
Ukraine: Post-orange challenges
“After ten months of tricky tactical games playing on electoral procedures and acknowledgements, the orange period of the post-communist Ukraine finally came to an end… After the acknowledgement of Yanukovych ‘s victory, Ukraine could come back to normality. The obstacle to a normal development is the bare and narrow manner of the outcome. The country – still – is divided… The biggest challenge of Yanukovych‘s presidency is the economic one. If he fails here, social and political unrest are likely to regain the situation…”

Mainstream Media Questions Inaccuracies in 9/11 Story By Tim King

27 February, 2010 — Palestine Think

The Washington Times publishes story questioning official account.


Newly released photos of New York on September 11, 2001 by the NY Police Association

The mainstream press is showing interest in a taboo, however glaring subject; the inconsistencies in the Bush White House 9/11 account.

As The Washington Post reports today, “A lingering technical question about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks still haunts some, and it has political implications: How did 200,000 tons of steel disintegrate and drop in 11 seconds? A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center.”

The problems with the official federal stories are endless and according to some of the world’s top minds, the suggested account is impossible[1].

When we first began to write about these seemingly pressing questions, our Web Designer Matt Lintz caught the U.S. Air Force attempting to hack into[2].

One person who has never let the matter fade away is Richard Gage. He’s a San Francisco architect and founder of the nonprofit Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth.

Gage told The Washington Times, “In order to bring down this kind of mass in such a short period of time, the material must have been artificially, exploded outwards.”

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Ibrahim Hewitt – The Observer, Israel and the language of war

26 February, 2010 — Palestine Think Tank [Also in Spanish below]

A leader writer in the Observer newspaper (“Israel can accelerate peace by exercising restraint” 21 February) really must be taken to task over the language that was used in the column. In seeking to analyse the Israel-Palestine situation the writer slipped into the sort of terminology that serves to highlight the difficulties of discussing this issue in a non-partisan fashion. Being particular about the terminology used is not mere semantics, for it can and does reveal an underlying mindset. Nowhere is the old saying “one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter” more accurately applied than in discussions about the conflict in the Holy Land.

The Observer claims that “Israel and the Palestinians are in a state of perpetual war”, so it is surely unreasonable and inaccurate for the writer to refer subsequently in the same article to Palestinian “terrorists”. Wars have combatants on opposing sides but the post-9/11 American-led narrative – with the “war on terror” – has blurred the distinction to the extent that it is now acceptable – indeed, de rigueur – to refer to anyone struggling against Western hegemony as a terrorist. It is surprising that a newspaper like the Observer has fallen for this deception. It is equally surprising that the conflict between the Israeli occupiers and the occupied Palestinians is actually described as a “perpetual war”, implying that this is a conventional confrontation between two sides each having some degree of equivalence in terms of military capabilities; it isn’t and they don’t. Israel is a nuclear state with an army equipped with the most up-to-date technology imaginable. The Palestinians are a largely civilian population; even a future Palestinian state will, if Israel has its way (which it no doubt will), be forbidden from having its own army beyond lightly-armed “security” forces whose task is and will remain, according to the Oslo accords, to uphold the security of Israel first and foremost.

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Tzipi Livni: “the ONLY targets are Military targets” A Video by Shadi Nassar

27 February, 2010 — Palestine Think Tank

A truly outstanding video by Shadi Nassar that shows clips of Tzipi Livni and others, during the Israeli wanton destruction of Gaza known as “Operation Cast Lead”. Her words contradict the actions of her government and army.

Ukraine: Post-orange challenges By Hannes HOFBAUER

26 February, 2010 — Strategic Culture Foundation

After ten months of tricky tactical games playing on electoral procedures and acknowledgements, the orange period of the post-communist Ukraine finally came to an end. As if the elections of 2004 were repeated, the electorate again voted for Viktor Yanukovych. This time the attempts to complain about falsifications were not successful; no tents were seen in the streets of Kiev, no social, no national protest heard. And Yulia Tymoshenko gave up to ask for a repetition 12 days after the results were published when she withdrew her appeal against the election result, which had been approved by the court in the meanwhile.

Before her confession of her own defeat, numerous attempts to extend the orange period were undertaken. The first serious attempt was done by Viktor Yushchenko in May 2009 when he overthrew a parliamentary decision from the 1st of April 2009 that fixed the date for the presidential elections for the 25th of October 2009. 400 out of 450 parliamentarians voted for this date, nevertheless Yuchchenko postponed the process till the 17th of January 2010. In the meanwhile his former partner from orange times, Yulia Tymoshenko worked on a de-democratisation of presidency by trying to change the constitution, so that the electorate would be excluded from future presidential elections. The measure of Yushchenko aimed at gaining time not so much for himself – he lost all the chances to get re-elected long before –, but for a successor supporting the same Western pro-NATO-policy than he did. Arseniy Yatsenyuk, ex-foreign minister and high-degree Westerner could not profit from this postponement. The measure of Tymoshenko aimed at a possible parliamentary post-orange majority to avoid a dangerous public election that could have discredited the orange revolution post mortem. As it afterwards did. After the acknowledgement of Yanukovych ‘s victory, Ukraine could come back to normality. The obstacle to a normal development is the bare and narrow manner of the outcome. The country – still – is divided.

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The Iskander Missiles as the Guarantee of Normal Coexistence of Russia and Europe By Anatoly ALIFEROV

23 February, 2010 — Strategic Culture Foundation

Russia went public with the plan to deploy the Iskander missiles at its western frontier – in the Kaliningrad region or on the territories of neighboring countries, but the process of probing into Washington’s reaction is clearly taking too long. In politics, failure to appreciate the importance of acting quickly invariably creates problems, the above situation being a vivid example. The Iskanders are a remarkably potent weapon but it appears that Moscow risks playing the card as a minor element in the diplomatic game. One gets an impression that the threat to deploy the missiles in the Kaliningrad region has been aired too long for NATO on the whole or even Poland and the Czech Republic to take it seriously.

If this is the case and the powerful weapon is depreciated due to the evident lack of determination to use it, the adversary has reasons to conclude that the threat is nonexistent. In other words, NATO feels free to go on expanding east in line with its strategy and to disregard Russia’s objections as verbiage.

Recently Russian Minister of Defense and vehement proponent of the army reform A. Serdyukov inadvertently contributed to NATO’s resolution to make inroads into the post-Soviet geopolitical space. He said in Finland on February 19 that if Europe poses no threats to Russia there would be no Iskanders in the Kaliningrad region – they would be deployed only if threats emerge.

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ICH 26 February, 2010: Weekend Edition – An American Cry for Help

A “Good” Terrorist Captured by Iran
By Ray McGovern
If this kind of scenario is allowed to play out, hostilities with Iran will make the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan look like volleyball games between Mount Saint Ursula and Holy Name high schools. Can President Obama be so naïve as to be unaware of the stakes here?

Democrats Pull Provision on Penalizing Intel Personnel for Interrogation Methods
By The Associated Press
The House approved an intelligence agency bill Friday after Democratic leaders hastily removed a provision that would have imposed prison sentences for personnel using “cruel, inhuman and degrading” interrogation techniques.

The Road to Armageddon
By Paul Craig Roberts
If the U.S. government can murder its citizens abroad it can murder them at home, and has done so.

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ICH 25 February, 2010: John Pilger: Listen to the Heroes of Israel

UN: 346 Afghan Children Killed in 2009, More Than Half by NATO By DPA
She said 131 children were killed in airstrikes, while 22 were killed in nighttime raids by international special forces.

Afghan Senators Demand Execution of Foreign Troops By Juan Cole
Some senators went farther, demanding that NATO or US military men responsible for the deaths be executed. Senator Hamidullah Tokhi of Uuzgan complained to Pajhwok that the foreign forces had killed civilians in such incidents time and again, and kept apologizing but then repeating the fatal mistake: “Anyone killing an ordinary Afghan should be executed in public.”

The Warlord’s Tune: Afghanistan’s War on Children By Mark Bannerman for Four Corners
Sexual slavery involving boys as young as 10 is being condoned and in many cases protected by authorities in northern Afghanistan.

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Our Hands and Help For Haiti By Elaine Brower

24 February, 2010 — Opednews

Last week my daughter, Tanya, and I went to Haiti. We packed, with the help of some very good friends, 5 large duffle bags of food and medical supplies to carry to the people who were terribly stricken by the January 12th earthquake, and the ensuing aftermath.

It’s very hard to put into words what we witnessed. We felt profound sadness and saw destruction of a magnitude that cannot be rivaled. I realize that we are not “disaster relief” experts, and therefore have not been around to see other tragedies, but I doubt that anything can match what we saw when we went into Port au Prince one month after the earthquake.

The two of us wanted to help with our own hands, not just by throwing money at the hundreds of NGO’s and other groups who wanted donations from the world. We felt it was better for the people of Haiti to actually put a face to the help they wanted and needed desperately. Caring about humanity means more than shaking our heads in horror.

After speaking with Tyler Westbrook, a friend, we came up with a plan to travel to Santo Domingo, DR, and then to “Good Samaritan Hospital” located on the border of Haiti in Jimani, DR. Tyler and I know each other from years of anti-war protests and street activism. He has been documenting anti-war actions on Being the mother of a US Marine who did three tours, one in Afghanistan and two in Iraq, I am opposed to all wars and am against the growing US Empire. Over the last 9 years I have developed a perspective as to what has happened and will continue to happen to countries such as Haiti where US oppression and military intervention has caused people so much pain and suffering.

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Collapsed House, No Number By Beverly Bell

24 February 2010 — Truthout

“Collapsed house, no number” is an old expression that Haitians use to indicate that their flimsy homes of sticks and mud or shoddy concrete blocks have finally fallen apart.

Today that expression could serve as the motto for the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

Take Helia Lajeunesse, an unemployed children’s rights activist. When her little house on the side of a gaping green sewer in the Martissant slum collapsed in the earthquake, she moved herself and three of her surviving children to the concrete courtyard of nearby St. Bernadette Church. Within the church gates, Helia and her family spend their nights with at least 700 others.

“Here is where we go when it rains,” she said, pointing to an outer church wall. “We stand here all night long. And here’s where I keep my stuff. This neighbor watches it for me.” She gestured to a woman sitting beside a pile of bundles wrapped in sheets. “And here’s where we wash,” indicating a thin rivulet of water running down a wide crack in the sidewalk. “Yes, really. Me and the kids. Where else are we going to get water?”

Members of the middle and upper classes who lost their homes in what people here call “the event” typically moved in with friends or relatives with space to spare, or rented an apartment or hotel room. The homes of the poor collapsed in far higher percentages, both because of their inferior construction and their placement on the sides of ravines and other insecure spots. Few had a place to turn for substitute shelter. Port-au-Prince has thus become a city of refugee camps. In most open spaces – an out-of-business Hyundai dealership, the landing strip of the old airport, a rare city park, the edges of slums, the courtyards of schools – the displaced have spontaneously created their own camps. Estimates of the number of camps and their residents differ greatly.

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Community and Popular Radio in Haiti Today By Beverly Bell

22 February 2010 — Truthout

Sony Esteus is squeezed into an elementary school chair, the kind with the curved piece of wood in front, in a courtyard. Around him are chickens, a fly-swarmed pile of compost, a truck and a tent. Sony runs his laptop off of an extension cord running out a window. The cord and the courtyard are on loan from a nonprofit, and they have formed Sony’s work station since the earthquake’s destruction of his own organization’s building. Sony is director of the Society for Social Mobilization and Communication – SAKS by its Creole acronym – which provides training, technical support, equipment and production to help popular radio stations educate and inform the community.

Along with SAKS’ building went all its equipment, some of which had been bound for small community radio stations throughout rural Haiti. Many other Haitian popular and community radio networks and stations also lost their offices and equipment. They include: SOS Journalists, the Women’s Community Radio Network, the Star Radio of the Peasants of Fondwa, Groupe Médialternatif, AlterPresse, Accès-Médias, Telecenter of Youth, one office of the Haitian Journalists’ Association and its Internet center, and others.

According to journalist Guy Delva, at least 11 journalists were killed in the earthquake.

I ask Sony to tell me about the importance of community radio in Haiti, the first priorities for rebuilding it, and the role it can play in reconstructing a just Haiti. First, he clarifies my terminology. SAKS works with community radio, but views itself as part of the network of popular radio, which he defines as radio in the struggle to transform society.

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Mass protests greet Sarkozy visit to Haiti By Alex Lantier

19 February 2010 — WSWS

French President Nicolas Sarkozy traveled for a one-day visit to Haiti on February 17, amid rising popular opposition to the Western-backed Préval government and international tensions over how to rebuild the country. The US military occupied Haiti after the devastating January 12 earthquake that killed over 200,000 people, wounded over 250,000, and destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure.

Sarkozy, the first French head of state ever to visit Haiti, was greeted with street protests by thousands of Haitians demanding the return of elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Ousted by a US- and French-backed coup in 2004, Aristide was flownto the Central African Republic, a former French colony. Aristide now lives in exile in South Africa. President René Préval, a former prime minister under Aristide in the 1990s, came to power in 2006 in elections supervised by the provisional government of Boniface Alexandre that was installed by the coup.

Préval tried to address the crowd outside the presidential palace. However, crowds shouted him down, and Préval left in a luxury Jeep, surrounded by bodyguards.

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NO2ID Supporters’ Newsletter No. 143 – 25th February 2010: Dangers of data retention

*Contacting us:* Call or email the office – 020-7793-4005 or (


Anti-filesharing measures in the Digital Economy Bill currently before Parliament open a back door into your and your family’s personal lives that *will* be exploited by the database state.

Last year’s public outcry against a Communications Data Database – intended to store details of your phone calls, e-mails and internet browsing – forced the last Home Secretary to disavow plans for a giant surveillance database and to drop the proposed legislation. But things didn’t end there.

The Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2009 were still passed, requiring internet service providers (ISPs) and telecoms providers to retain communications data on all fixed and mobile phone, e-mail and internet usage for 12 months. Because this is linked to the details of the person subscribed to the service, the retained data, wherever it is held, forms a digital dossier on YOU… and your family.

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25 February, 2010 — MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

Spinning For Edelman

Reports that former BBC director of news and Media Lens sparring partner Richard Sambrook had found new employment were delivered with perfect timing. The Times commented, February 16:

“He was 30 years at the BBC, but in May Richard Sambrook will start a new life spinning for Edelman, the world’s biggest independent public relations company.” (

It seems a natural career move. In 2002 and 2003 Sambrook’s BBC news team spun heaven and earth to lend an air of respectability to one of history’s most brazen campaigns of state-orchestrated lying. The performance was encapsulated perfectly by BBC “rotweiller” Jeremy Paxman when he said last year:

“… when Colin Powell sat down at the UN General Assembly and unveiled what he said was cast-iron evidence of things like mobile, biological weapon facilities and the like [in Iraq]… When I saw all of that, I thought, well, ‘We know that Colin Powell is an intelligent, thoughtful man, and a sceptical man. If he believes all this to be the case, then, you know, he’s seen the evidence; I haven’t.’”

Idiocy is one thing, but the BBC’s idiocy all went one way – no journalist swooned with comparable helplessness at the feet of experts excoriating US-UK propaganda. As news of Sambrook’s move arrived, his former colleagues at the BBC were once again deferring to the “intelligent”, “thoughtful”, “sceptical” American and British politicians hawking the public relations event known as Operation Moshtarak in Afghanistan.

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ICH 24 February, 2010: Explosive News

Gates Calls European Mood a Danger to Peace By BRIAN KNOWLTON
Mr. Gates’s blunt comments came just three days after the coalition government of the Netherlands collapsed in a dispute over keeping Dutch troops in Afghanistan. It now appears almost certain that most of the 2,000 Dutch troops there will be withdrawn this year. And polls show that the Afghanistan war has grown increasingly unpopular in nearly every European country.

Marja Offensive Aimed to Shape U.S. Opinion on War By Gareth Porter
Senior military officials decided to launch the current U.S.-British military campaign to seize Marja in large part to influence domestic U.S. opinion on the war in Afghanistan.

Marjah: ‘This is not Fallujah’ By Eric Walberg
So says McChrystal as the US surge goes full steam ahead in Marjah – a new “gentler” war.

Marjah also represents the US project of replacing the UN with NATO as the world’s peacekeeper. The coalition of almost 60 nations is pursuing an illegal war launched by the US , with the UN — the only legitimate forum for world peacekeeping — now in tow solely as window dressing.

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Round Midnight  — tortillas and the corporate state By Joe Bageant

24 February, 2010 —

Ajijic, Mexico – Near midnight and I am making tortillas on an iron skillet over a gas flame. Some three thousand miles to the north, my wife and dog nestle in sleep in the wake of a 34-inch snowstorm, while the dogs of Ajijic are barking at the witching hour and roosters crow all too early for the dawn. Yet here I am awake and patting out tortillas, haunted by the empire that I have called home most of my life.

I like to think that, for the most part, I no longer live up there in the U.S., but southward of its ticking social, political and economic bombs. Because the US debt bomb has not yet gone off, Social Security still exists, and the occasional royalty check or book advance still comes in, allowing me to remain here. And so long as America’s perverse commodities economy keeps stumbling along and making lifelike noises, so long as the American people accept permanent debt subjugation — I can drink, think and burn tortillas. Believe me, I take no smugness in this irony.

There is a terrible science fiction-like awe in the autonomous American economic monolith, in the way that it provides for us, feeds on us and keeps us as its both its lavish pets and slaves. The commodity economy long ago enslaved Americans and other “developed” capitalist societies, especially Americans. The most profound slavery must be that in which the slaves can conceive of no other possible or better world than their bondage. Inescapable, global, all permeating, the commodities economy rules so thoroughly most cannot imagine any other possible kind of economy.


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War Propaganda: Western Media, Not Israeli Hasbara By Ramzy Baroud

19 February, 2010 — Global Research

With the dreadful threat of yet another Israeli war in the Middle East looming, Israeli propaganda machine is likely to go into full gear.

In fact, trial balloons have already been sent out bearing supposedly unrehearsed comments by former Israeli Army general and current Minister Yossi Peled, suggesting that another war is on its way. More recently, Israel’s ultra-right and unabashedly racist Foreign Minister Avigador Lieberman threatened to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad in case of a war.

And so it begins.

Historically, Israel has, with one understandable exception, determined the time and place of all of its wars with the Arabs. The only time Israeli forces were attacked in 1973 involved an Arab attempt to regain territories that were captured by Israel in 1967.

When Lieberman uttered his “message that should go out to the ruler of Syria from Israel” to an audience at Bar Ilan University, he was effectively saying that Israel will topple the Syrian government when it decides the time was ripe for war. And considering Peled’s earlier statement that war was imminent, the only possible conclusion would be that a “regime change” in Syria is high on the Israeli agenda. It also perhaps represents the last chance of fulfilling the US neoconservative vision – that of “A New Strategy for Securing the Realm”.

This inference should have been evident and thus sent shockwaves throughout the world, and especially through the US media which now know fully the price of the Israeli-neocon folly.
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