23 May, 2010
In the post-Cold War era and especially since 2001 the Pentagon has been steadily shifting emphasis, and moving troops and equipment, from bases in Germany and Italy to Eastern Europe in its drive to the east and the south.
That process was preceded and augmented by the absorption of former Eastern Bloc nations into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization beginning in 1999. In one of the first nations in that category, Poland, the initial contingent of what will be over 100 U.S. troops arrived in the town of Morag this week, as near as 35 miles from Russian territory, as part of a Status of Forces Agreement between Washington and the host country ratified this February.
Also in February, the governments of the Black Sea nations of Romania and Bulgaria confirmed plans for the U.S. to deploy a land-based version of Standard Missile-3 anti-ballistic interceptors on their territory.
The U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Italy, has deployed warships to the Black Sea with an increased frequency over the past few years, visiting and conducting joint drills with the navies of Bulgaria, Romania and Georgia.
Last autumn it was revealed that the Pentagon planned to spend $110 million dollars to upgrade and modernize a base in Bulgaria and another in Romania, two of seven such newly-acquired installations in the two nations.
22 May 2010 — t r u t h o u t | Report
The tar sands mining project in Alberta, Canada, is possibly the largest industrial project in human history and critics claim it could also be the most destructive. The mining procedure for extracting oil from a region referred to as the “tar sands,” located north of Edmonton, releases at least three times the CO2 emissions as regular oil production procedures and will likely become North America’s single largest industrial contributor to climate change.
Most of the oil produced by the project will likely be consumed by the United States, a country that, along with Canada, is already heavily invested, on many levels, in the project.
The project is operated by Imperial Oil, whose parent company, ExxonMobil Canada, has a long-term production goal of more than 300,000 barrels of bitumen (extra heavy oil) per day. To do this, they will require new equipment to be shipped through the United States.
23 May, 2010 — Counterpunch
Reut Institute Admits Critics Have Many Valid Points
While a report by an Israeli think tank has been widely condemned(1) for advocating that the Israeli government use its intelligence services to attack and sabotage non-violent human rights advocates, the report is worth detailed study because it is chock full of admissions of illegitimate features of the Israeli government it desperately seeks to protect.
The report, “Building a Political Firewall Against Israel’s Delegitimization,” is the product of a year of research by a team of Tel Aviv-based Reut Institute(2) investigators and includes contributions from more than 100 individuals in Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States. While the Israeli government did not commission the report, Reut officials gave a PowerPoint presentation, “The Challenge of Delegitimacy to Israel’s National Security,” to the Israeli Cabinet in February 2010 and to a large conference of Israeli government officials in March 2010.
The report describes the “new strategic threat” created by the human rights activists’ “fundamental delegitimization” of the Israeli government.