23 June 2011 — Stop NATO
- NATO To Use “Any Means Necessary” To Wage Libyan War: Rasmussen
- Libya: Bitter Truth About The Fighting Country
- Emanuel Uses Influential Friends To Land NATO, G-8 Summits In Chicago
- Emanuel Seeks Corporate Donors For Chicago NATO Summit
- U.S. Warship Enters Georgian Waters
- Russia Condemns Arrival Of U.S. Warship In Georgia
- NATO Caucasus, Central Asia Representative In Tajikistan
- U.S. Expands Drone Warfare
- American TV “News” Ignores Five Wars, Focuses On Celebrities, Scandals
NATO To Use “Any Means Necessary” To Wage Libyan War: Rasmussen
Voice of Russia
June 23, 2011
NATO to use any means – Rasmussen
NATO commanders are to develop new plans to fight against the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi according to an official statement made by the NATO secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
“We are allowed to use any means necessary. But I do not want to talk about what we are preparing,” he said.
Rasmussen said he was not surprised by the fact that Gaddaffi still continues to resist NATO and the opposition.
“It’s not a surprise, he is unpredictable,” said the general secretary.
Libya: Bitter Truth About The Fighting Country
Voice of Russia
June 22, 2011
Libya – a bitter truth about the fighting country
Libyans entirely support Muammar Gaddafi – well-known Italian documentary film maker Fluvio Grimaldi has debunked the main myth about the situation in Jamahiriya.
The Ambassador to Rome turned out to be one of the few high-ranking Libyans who happily sided with the strong partner. “If you want a visa to Benghazi you will get it in no time. If you want to go to Tripoli there will be no visa for you,” the ambassador declared. I joined a group of British peace-makers who also wanted to know the truth about what’s going on in that country,” Grimaldi writes.
The expedition flew to Tunisia from where it proceeded to Libya by land. The itinerary was prompted by the western press – the group visited places where the situation was especially difficult, according to the media.
In Tripoli the foreign visitors were controlled by young functionaries of the current regime appointed to stay with the group. However, Grimaldi and his fellow-travellers were allowed to stop in any place and talk to anyone on any subject. This was a freedom unavailable to journalists accredited in Benghazi.
National unity and firm resolution to defend their country was what impressed the group most of all. School lessons have not stopped for a second, and now schools also provide additional training how to use weapons.
This training is both for boys and girls. The so-called human shields, which are in essence cannon fodder, turned out to be voluntary units.
Cities on the Mediterranean coast, ravaged and cut off by Gaddafi’s troops, according to the western media, in reality are very picturesque places with a good water supply system and strong agriculture. In any allegedly oppressed city, people told the Italian journalist that they heard about Muammar Gaddafi’s tyranny from their relatives and friends abroad, and a real disaster came only when NATO bombings began with the aim of protecting the people. Each interview, Fluvio Grimaldi says, gradually destroyed the western story of the horrible aggression of the Libyan leader.
The local Catholic church has become a place of pilgrimage. Muslim women visit the Roman priest every day and ask him to tell the world the truth about the situation in the country. Libyans asked Grimaldi’s group to do the same.
Libyan citizens have already been voluntarily defending their country for six months. The local people say that the army is doing its best to talk the civilian population out of taking part in the hostilities. The local people do not look like intimidated illiterate scamps, on the contrary, Grimaldi pointed out the dignity and honour of their bearing.
It has been mentioned before as well that the situation in Libya is not as black as Obama and his NATO allies are trying to paint it. However, now that the US Senate has given Obama permission to extend the operation in Libya for another year and the coalition is persistently looking for the proof of Gaddafi’s bloody crimes, an eye-witness’ report is very appropriate.
Emanuel Uses Influential Friends To Land NATO, G-8 Summits In Chicago
June 22, 2011
Emanuel uses influential friends to land NATO, G-8 summits in Chicago
It’s no coincidence two major international summits — NATO and the G-8 — will be held in Chicago at the same time next May.
? To wit: Sneed is told Mayor Rahm Emanuel personally corralled President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley to set the location. It will be the first time the groups have met in the same city since London in 1978. If you are wondering how far Emanuel’s arm reaches, now you know.
Emanuel Seeks Corporate Donors For Chicago NATO Summit
June 22, 2011
Emanuel wants private donors to help cover security cost of NATO meeting
By John Byrne
Mayor Rahm Emanuel today said that hosting meetings of NATO and the G-8 will be a great opportunity for Chicago to showcase itself to the world.
“For us, from a city perspective, this will be an opportunity to showcase what is great about the greatest city in the greatest country,” Emanuel said about the May 2012 meetings, which President Barack Obama will announce tonight. “And it’s an opportunity for the city of Chicago economically, but also to send a message internationally of why Chicago is a city on the move, and if you’re thinking of investing, Chicago is the place to invest.”
The new mayor said “there’s no doubt” the cost of security for the meetings, which often draw protests, will be huge.
“I’ll be working on raising the private resources necessary to supplement what we have to do,” Emanuel said. “But this is also – while there will no doubt be security needs – this is also an opportunity for the city that is unprecedented from an economic standpoint, a job creation standpoint.”
U.S. Warship Enters Georgian Waters
June 22, 2011
US warship enters Georgian waters
Moscow, saying that it wants to see Washington take a more constructive approach toward maintaining security in the Black Sea region, has slammed the visit of a US guided-missile cruiser to the Batumi port in Georgia.
?”The ongoing maneuvers of the USS Monterey, a guided-missile cruiser equipped with the Aegis system, within the Black Sea area are raising more and more serious questions,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Foreign Ministry had earlier expressed its concerns that as negotiations over a European missile defense shield are still in progress, it sends a disturbing signal that a reconnaissance operation is being conducted in close proximity to Russia’s southern flank.
“Now this warship has demonstratively docked at the Georgian port of Batumi,” the statement said.
Russia has warned its European partners and NATO in the past that the construction of a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe without Russia’s direct participation would be viewed as a threat to national security. The USS Monterey is an integral part of that missile defense system.
President Dmitry Medvedev told a press conference at the G-8 Summit in France that failure to come to an agreement on the missile defense question would ultimately result in an “arms race by 2020.”
The USS Monterey has hopscotched across the region before its arrival in Georgian waters. The warship was dispatched in March to the Mediterranean Sea as the first stage of the US-led missile defense shield.
Later, in June 2011, the Monterey – with 43 officers and 323 enlisted personnel onboard – arrived in the Black Sea to participate in multinational military exercises, codenamed “Sea Breeze 2011,” co-hosted by Ukraine and the US.
Those exercises will be followed up by joint exercises with Georgia as part of the “Phased Adaptive Approach” program, designed to coordinate the expansion of the European arm of the global missile defense system until the year 2020.
In addition to adding another hurdle to the missile defense talks, Moscow is concerned that an American warship docking at a Georgian harbor will only encourage Tbilisi’s reckless behavior.
“Whatever explanations are given as to the purpose of this visit, it is clear that the Georgian leadership will perceive it as a sign of approval for its revanchist aspirations in relation to Russia’s allies, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and so this will not help improve stability in the region,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
“The matter doesn’t just pertain to a one-off visit of a U.S. ship to Georgia,” as the USS Anzio called at a Georgian port on June 9, it said.
The Foreign Ministry’s statement mentioned Washington’s delivery of “humanitarian aid” to Georgia following the latter’s brazen military assault on North Ossetia on August 7, 2008, which led to a 5-day conflict between Georgia and Russia.
“This is reminiscent of the large-scale delivery of so-called humanitarian aid on board US naval ships to the Georgian authorities by the George W. Bush administration after the Georgian attack on South Ossetia in August 2008 failed,” it said.
“Such maneuvers go against the current tenor of Russian-American relations,” the Ministry continued.
“We expect Washington to take a more constructive approach consistent with the goals of maintaining security in the South Caucasus and the Black Sea region on the whole while respecting the legitimate interests and concerns of all countries located here,” it said.
What the “Phased Adaptive Approach” means for Russia
The Bush administration enthusiastically pursued a ground-based missile defence system in Eastern Europe, going so far as to withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia in 2002. This ended the so-called “mutually assured destruction” guarantee that had existed between the former Cold War enemies .
In Sept. 2009, the Obama administration announced it had “shelved” his predecessor’s plans for a missile-defence radar in the Czech Republic and 10 interceptors in Poland, opting instead for land-based radars working in concert with Aegis missile-tracking ships. These would be armed with Standard Missile 3 (SM-3).
Over time, the program would get more powerful (according to the so-called “phased adaptive approach”), covering all of European territory by about 2018.
This “phased adaptive approach” is focused on advancing the currently sea-based Aegis system and its SM-3 interceptors, which are the anchor components of US President Barack Obama’s missile defense system for Eastern Europe.
The phased adaptive approach is a four-step program. Here is how the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing US think-tank, described ( http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/04/the-obama-administrations-ballistic-missile-defense-program-treading-water-in-shark-infested-seas ) how the system will grow till 2020:
1. Between now and FY 2011, procure more of the existing system.
2. Around 2015, develop more advanced versions of the SM-3 (the SM-3 Block IB) to provide broader coverage and deploy them on land. The initial emphasis will be to deploy these interceptors in southern Europe.
3. Around 2018, field SM-3 Block IIA interceptors, which are already under development, primarily to counter medium-range and intermediate-range missiles. This would include fielding interceptors in Northern Europe to protect U.S. NATO allies in Europe.
4. Around 2020, deploy SM-3 Block IIB interceptors to counter long-range ballistic missiles that could threaten the U.S. homeland as well as regional allies.
Heritage goes on to mention the possibility of Obama “buckling to Russia” as one of the ways that the missile defense system could be blocked or down-sized, which would automatically be translated in Washington policy circles as “weakening America’s defenses.”
“The most likely policy-related barriers would stem from arms control, including buckling to Russian demands to curtail the missile defense program in negotiations on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) follow-on treaty or in pursuing agreements on space arms.”
The USS Monterey will stay in Georgia’s Black Sea port till June 23, according to the US embassy in Tbilisi.
Incidentally, June 22nd marks the 70th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.
Certainly some Russians will not fail to see the coincidence of the arrival of the USS Monterey in Georgian waters happening on this Day of Memory and Grief.
Russia Condemns Arrival Of U.S. Warship In Georgia
June 22, 2011
Russia Slams Arrival of U.S. Warship in Batumi
Tbilisi: The Russian Foreign Ministry has condemned arrival of the U.S. guided-missile cruiser Monterey in the Georgian port of Batumi, saying that the move will encourage Tbilisi’s “revanchist aspirations”.
“Whatever explanations are given for this entry, it is obvious that it will be perceived by the Georgian leadership as an encouragement for its revanchist aspirations in respect of Russia’s allies – Abkhazia and South Ossetia – and will not promote strengthening of stability in the region,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on June 21.
“We consider that such maneuvers are in contravention of the current nature of Russian-American relations. We expect more constructive approach from Washington, which will meet the goals of ensuring security in the South Caucasus and the Black Sea region, as a whole, and of respecting legal interests and concerns of all states located here,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The U.S. Navy cruiser, equipped with a ballistic missile defence system, docked in Batumi port on June 20 and will stay there till June 23.
The USS Monterey with 43 officers and 323 enlisted personnel arrived in the Black Sea more than a week ago to participate in multinational military exercises, Sea Breeze 2011, co-hosted by Ukraine and the U.S.
The move prompted Russia’s criticism with the Foreign Ministry saying on June 12, that the arrival of the U.S. warship, equipped with advanced Aegis antimissile weaponry, in the Black Sea was “a threat to our security.”
NATO Caucasus, Central Asia Representative In Tajikistan
Trend News Agency
June 22, 2011
Tajik FM receives NATO Special Representative
Baku: Tajik Foreign Minister Khamrokhon Zarifi has received Special Representative of the NATO Secretary General for Central Asia and Caucasus James Appathurai today, the Tajik Foreign Ministry said.
They discussed bilateral relations between Tajikistan and NATO and the Partnership for Peace Program.
The sides also discussed the events in Central Asia, border security and the restoration of peace in Afghanistan.
U.S. Expands Drone Warfare
June 22, 2011
US expands drone war, extremists expect new recruits
The US has stepped up its drone attacks against militants in the Middle East, but the growing number of civilian deaths in the strikes has sparked public anger, with concern the action is driving up the number of extremist recruits.
In Pakistan, CIA drone strikes aim at terrorists but end up killing mostly civilians. Public outrage is growing. Hatred and anger foster more terror.
“If you push them against the wall, then this militancy and terrorism is going to increase. It’s not the solution. If you are attacking them with drones and they are not part of the war, they have the Taliban on the other side, which they are going to join,” explains Mirza Shakhzad Akhtar, a Pakistani lawyer for drone attack victims.
In Pakistan in the one year, US strikes killed 700 civilians, but netted only five actual militant leaders.
Many Pakistanis are furious at their government for helping the Americans kill their own people. They accuse their leaders of doing that in exchange for billions of dollars from Washington.
Americans, on the other hand, are not too happy with what they get in return for their billions. In the wake of Osama Bin Laden’s assassination in Pakistan, the US all but accused the country’s military intelligence agency of sheltering the Al-Qaeda leader.
“How long do we support governments that lie to us? When do we say enough is enough?” Senator Patrick Leahy asked at hearings before the Senate Appropriations Committee last Thursday.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ position was: “Most of the governments lied to each other. That’s how the business gets done.”
Amid all the cheerleading about Bin Laden’s killing, the US has stepped up drone strikes in Pakistan.
“Drone strikes in Pakistan and the number of civilian casualties that result because of those drone strikes are allowing extremists like the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other groups present in Pakistan to recruit new members. They are doing it at an accelerating pace,” believes writer Matthew Alexander.
Washington now sees Yemen as the most dangerous Al-Qaeda outpost, and is planning to step up drone attacks on the country, establishing a base in the Persian Gulf specifically for that purpose. Especially now Bin Laden’s replacement, Ayman Al-Zawahri, is thought to be building up Al-Qaeda’s already significant presence in Yemen.
The US had been co-operating with Yemeni counter-terrorism forces in targeting Al-Qaeda, but they have since left the field, preoccupied instead with the nationwide turmoil against the Ali Saleh regime. That means the Americans are likely to have a freer hand going it alone, with the CIA to take a central role. As the agency is not subject to the accountability the US military is legally under, one can expect more bombs to fall on Yemen.
“When the US starts hitting people who are members of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, then I think the real worry is that it expands this war to the point where so many people will join Al-Qaeda,” Gregory Johnsen, Near East studies scholar at Princeton University, said.
There is fury in Yemen over the killing of scores of civilians by the drone strikes. In one attack there, the American military presumably aiming at an Al-Qaeda training camp ended up killing dozens of women and children. In another strike a year ago, a drone mistakenly killed a deputy governor in Yemen, his family and aides.
With the expansion of the drone war it seems the US is seeking only a missile solution to fighting Al-Qaeda. Analysts say that some of the main features of this global chase are not having to take into account the voice of the nation that they are bombing and the lack of accountability when it comes to civilian deaths. These features add more paradox to the US strategy, with many asking whether America is fighting and fostering terror at the same time.
American TV “News” Ignores Five Wars, Focuses On Celebrities, Scandals
June 22, 2011
Impending death of mainstream television news
?Mainstream media in the United States will be dead or in its death throes in the next five years and here is why.
Here, re-live the “most important stories” according to the cable news channels and their older network news siblings.
The Top 5 Stories MSM Thinks Should Interest You so far this year are…
– William and Kate get married. Why the country that prides itself on liberation from the yoke of the British monarchy would be interested we can not fathom. But allegedly there are people in existence who are ready and willing to watch 15 minute segments on “what Kate wore ever since the age of two”.
– Sarah Palin talking about Paul Revere helping the British (wrongly) while Bristol Palin talks S!@# on Meghan McCain, Levi Johnston and pretty much everybody else (jury is still out on how right she is on those counts).
– Schwarzenegger’s illegitimate (you’re suppose to say “love” these days) child. Hollywood star and conservative Republican politician in one – the nearly perfect non-story that TV News bosses dream about. The only thing that saved Arnold was the next sex scandal …
– …which is, of course Anthony Weiner and his bizarre adventures on Twitter – a new benchmark in stupidity of the MSM.
– Casey Anthony trial (ongoing) – the revolting wholesale exploitation of the death of a cute 2-year old.
If you think any of the above do qualify as news that matters, you can call us conspiracy theorist muckrakers in the employ of the KGB, stop reading further and retreat to your 50? plasma to hear the latest on Casey Anthony – they just assembled an expert panel to analyze how hot looking she is.
We, meanwhile, would add in the spirit of fairness that the Sixth Big Story this year was a legitimate big story – the Arab Spring. How it was covered and what spins were spun by the corporate media is a different story – but at least they did not ignore it.
Here, however, are the Top 5 Ignored Or Severely Underplayed Stories That Should Have Been There Instead:
– the US of America fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia (yep, Somalia again), Pakistan and…surely somewhere else but it is even more top secret.
– the entire economy is in deep crap with all the data, from unemployment to foreclosure reports, pointing south.
– every day there is some news of police high-handedness or outright brutality -from SWAT breaking down doors for unpaid traffic tickets to killing the people in their homes.
– the US budget for 2012 with projected spending of 3.7 trillion dollars with 1.1 of that being deficit. That’s a gaping hole of 30% – but it’s supposed to be thrilling good news after the $1.645 trillion deficit this year. The Congress meanwhile more or less unanimously okays $ 650 000 000 000 for a military budget in that perfect “what’s a billion between friends” style.
– the transnational US corporations and Wall Street are doing well – by shipping production and jobs out of the country. At the same time, education is getting more expensive by the year while the same corporations complain they are unhappy neither with the quality nor the quantity of the contemporary American workforce – and accelerate the shipping of jobs abroad.
Anybody see a fraction of the attention given to Weiner being devoted to these stories? Totally nope.
Anybody surprised then that the mainstream media are hemorrhaging viewers like there’s no tomorrow? In fact, there might be NO tomorrow for them literally.
The young ones are the first to abandon TV – “… no one under 25 is watching TV”, Glenn Beck, the mercurial star of Fox News mused before migrating to the Internet with his show.
The things that concern the younger ones – massive unemployment, education costs, police high-handiness – are virtually non-existent on mainstream channels. Might that be the reason why a video of Iraq war vet – and RT show host – Adam Kokesh being roughed up by police is one of the most watched and commented uploads on YouTube this month? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jUU3yCy3uI. Reading the comments to that video shows one thing clearly – many people care – certainly more than those who care (why?) how Weiner’s penis looks.
So, is there a good reason to put up with the senseless drivel of mainstream television interrupted by the equally senseless advertisement that pays for this “news”? When there is (very well made in America) YouTube, where you chose who to watch and when?
Sounds like a no-brainer to us.