Tuesday, January 31, 2006

NSA Expands, Centralizes Domestic Spying

William M. Arkin
On National Security and Homeland Security
The Washington Post
January 30, 2006

The National Security Agency is in the process of building a new warning hub and data warehouse in the Denver area, realigning much of its workforce from Ft. Meade, Maryland to Colorado.

The Denver Post http://denverpost.com/ci_3431085 reported last week that NSA was moving some of its operations to the Denver suburb of Aurora.

On the surface, the NSA move seems to be a management and cost cutting measure, part of a post-9/11 decentralization "this strategy better aligns support to national decision makers and combatant commanders," an NSA spokesman told the Denver Paper.

In truth, NSA is aligning its growing domestic eavesdropping operations--what the administration calls "terrorist warning" in its current PR campaign--with military homeland defense organizations, as well as the CIA's new domestic operations Colorado.

Translation: Hey Congress, Colorado is now the American epicenter for national domestic spying.

In May, Dana Priest reported here in the Washington Post http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/05/AR2005050501860.html that the CIA was planning to shift much of its domestic operations to Aurora, Colorado.

The move of the CIA's National Resources Division was then described as being undertaken "for operational reasons."

The division is responsible for exploiting the knowledge of U.S. citizens and foreigners in the United States who might have unique information about foreign countries and terrorist activities. The functions extend from engaging Iraqi or Iranian Americans in covert operations to develop information and networks in their home countries to recruiting foreign students and visitors to be American spies.

Aurora is already a reconnaissance satellite and downlink and analytic center focusing on domestic warning. The NSA and CIA Join U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) in Colorado. NORTHCOM is post 9/11 the U.S. military command responsible for homeland defense.

The new NSA operation is located at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, at a facility commonly known as the Aerospace Data Facility.

According to Government Executive Magazine http://govexec.com/story_page.cfm?articleid=28630&printerfriendlyVers=1& --thanks DP--"NSA is building a massive data storage facility in Colorado, which will be able to hold the electronic equivalent of the Library Of Congress every two days."

This new NSA data warehouse is the hub of "data mining" and analysis development, allowing the eavesdropping agency to develop and make better use of the unbelievabytes
of data it collects but does not exploit.

Part of the move to Denver, Government Executive reported, was to expand NSA's base of contractors able to support its increasingly complex intelligence extraction mission.

Contracting documents from 2004 obtained by this reporter identify numerous Top Secret and comparmented computing and signals intelligence projects being run by prime contractors Lockheed Martin; Northrop Grumman Mission Systems; and Raytheon on behalf of NSA in Colorado to building the domestic warning hub and data warehouse.

The projects have the code names DIAZ, Emergejust, Freedom, Highpoint, PASSGEAR, and Viceroy.

Ironically, the only federal agency seemingly absent from the domestic intelligence trifecta is the Department of Homeland Security.


When First I Loved

By Taj Mahjomed

When first I loved, I gave my very soul
Utterly unreserved to love's control,
But love deceived me, wrenched my youth away
And made the gold of life for ever grey.

Long I lived lonely, yet I tried in vain
With any other Joy to stifle pain;
There is no other Joy, I learned to know,
And so returned to love, as long ago.

Yet I, this little while ere I go hence,
Love very lightly now, in self-defence.
***** Quote of the Day *****

Our country is now geared
To an arms economy
Bred in an artificially induced
Psychosis of war hysteria, and
An incessant propaganda of fear...

-General Douglas MacArthur-
The Truth Behind The War On Terrorism


Monday, January 30, 2006

U.S. In Direct Talks With Iraqi Resistance

By Scott Johnson, Rod Nordland, and Ranya Kadri
Courtesy of: MSNBC/Newsweek

Feb. 6, 2006 Issue--American officials in Iraq are in face-to-face talks with high-level Iraqi Sunni Insurgents, Newsweek has learned.

Americans are sitting down with "senior members of the leadership" of the Iraqi Insurgency, according to Americans and Iraqis with knowledge of the talks (who did not want to be identified when discussing a sensitive and ongoing matter).

The talks are taking place at U.S. military bases in Anbar Province, as well as Jordan and Syria. "Now we have won over the Sunni political leadership," said U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad. "The next step is to win over the Insurgents.

The groups include Baathist cells and religious Islamic factions, as well as former Special Republican Guards and Intelligence agents according to a U.S. official with knowledge of the talks.

Iraq's Insurgent groups are reaching back. "We want things from the U.S. side, stopping misconduct by U.S. forces, prventing Iranian intervention," said one prominent Insurgent leader from a group called the Army of the Mujahedin, , who refused to be named because of the delicacy of the discussions. "We can't achieve that without actual meetings."

U.S. Intelligence officials have had back-door channels to Insurgent groups for many months. The Dec. 15 elections brought many Sunnis to the polls and widened the split between Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi's foreign Jihadists and indigenous Sunni Insurgents.

This marks the first time either Americans or Insurgents have admitted that "senior leaders" have met at the negotiating table for planning purposes. "Those who are coming to work with [the U.S.] or come to an understanding with [the U.S.], even if they worked with Al Qaeda in a tactical sense in the past--and I don't know that--they are willing to fight Al Qaeda now," says a Western Diplomat in Baghdad who has close knowledge of the discussions.

An assortment of some of Iraq's most prominent Insurgent groups also recently formed a "council" whose purpose, in addition to publishing religious edicts and coordinating military actions, is to serve as a point of contact for the United States in the future.

"The reason they want to unite is to have a public contact with the U.S. if they disagree," says the senior Insurgent figure.

If negotiations between armed groups and Americans are not done, then no solutions will be found," says Issa al-Addai al-Mehamdi, a Sheik from the prominent Duleimi tribe in Fallujah. "All I can say is that we support the idea of Americans talking with Resistance groups.

They have much to discuss. For one, Americans and Iraqi Insurgent groups share a common fear of undo Iranian influence in Iraq. "There is concern about the domination by Iran of Iraq," says a senior Western Diplomat, "And that combination of us being open to them and the dynamics of struggle for domination of violence has come together to get them to want to reach an understanding with us."

Contact between U.S. officials and Insurgents have been criticized by Iraq's ruling Shiite leaders, many of whom have longstanding ties to Iran. "We haven't given the green light to [talks] between the U.S. and Insurgents," says Vice President Adel Abdel Mehdi, of the Shiite Party, called the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

Negotiations are risky for everyone. Not least because tensions between Al Qaeda and Iraq's so-called Patriotic Resistance is higher than ever.

Two weeks ago, assassins killed Sheik Nassir Qarim al-Fahdawi, a prominent Anbar Province Sheik described by other Sunnis as a chief negotiator for the Insurgency.
"He was killed for talking to the Americans," says Zedan al-Awad, another leading Anbar Sheik.

Al Qaeda, meanwhile, continues to gain territory in the Sunni heartland, according to al-Awad,

"Let me tell you: Zarqawi is in total control of Anbar. The Americans control nothing."
Many, on both sides, are hoping that talks could change that.


*********** The Tear ***********

By Lord Byron
October 26, 1806

When friendship or love,
Our sympathies move,
When truth in a glance should appear,
The lips may beguile,
With a dimple or smile,
But the test of affection's a tear.

Too oft is a smile,
But the hypocrite's wile,
To mask detestation, or fear,
Give me the soft sigh,
Whilst the soul telling eye,
Is dimm'd, for a time, with a tear.

Mild charity's glow,
To us mortals below,
Shows the soul from barbarity clear,
Compassion will melt,
Where this virtue is felt,
And its dew is diffused in a tear.

The man doom'd to sail,
With the blast of the gales,
Through billows Atlantic to steer,
As he bends o'er the wave,
Which may soon be his grave,
The green sparkles bright with a tear.

The soldier braves death,
For a fanciful wreath,
In glory's romantic career;
But he raises the foe,
When in battle laid low,
And bathes every wound with a tear.

When with high bounding pride,
He returns to his bride,
Renouncing the gore crimson'd spear;
All his toils are repaid,
When embracing the maid,
From her eyelid he kisses the tear.

Sweet scene of my youth,
Seat of friendship and truth,
Where love chac'd east fast-fleeting year,
Loth to leave thee I mourn'd,
For a last look I turned,
But thy spire was scarce seen through a tear.

Though my rows I can pour,
To my Mary no more,
My Mary to love once so dear,
In the shade of her bower,
I remember the hour,
She rewarded those vows with a tear.

By another possest,
May she live ever blest,
Her name still my heart must revere,
With a sigh I resign,
What I once thought was mine,
And forgive her deceit with a tear.

Ye friends of my heart,
Ere from you I depart,
This hope to my breast is most near,
If again we shall meet,
In this rural retreat,
May we meet, as we part, with a tear.

When my soul wings her flight,
To the regions of night,
And my body shall sleep on its bier;
As ye pass by my tomb,
Where my ashes consume,
Oh! moisten their dust with a tear.

May no marble bestow,
The splendour of woe,
Which the children of vanity rear,
No fiction of fame,
Shall blazon my name,
All I ask, all I wish, is a tear.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

***** A Just Social Order *****

"The Legacy Of Apartheid Is Alive And Well.
The Struggle Against:
Apartheid, Racism, Radicalism and Discrimination,
Has Not Ended And Can Never End,
Until A Just Social Order Is Established..."

-Achmad Cassiem-
Pentagon Strategy Targets Terror WMDs

By Bill Gertz
The Washington Times
Published: january 27, 2006

Washington--The Pentagon's latest four-year strategy report calls for setting up a special military task force to prevent weapons of mass destruction from being transferred to terrorist groups, The Wagington Times has learned.

The task force will employ Special Operations Forces, other troops and intelligence personnel to prevent states such as Noth Korea and Iran from supplying nuclear, chemical and biological warfare weapons to terror groups.

The call for the new unit, which would have several hundred troops along with aircraft and orther arms, comes as tensions heighten over North Korea's nuclear program and Iran's refusal to abide by international controls on its uranium-enrichment program.

The proposal is contained in the report of the legally mandated Quadrennial Defense Review. The report will be sent to Congress on Feb. 6, but portions of an unclassified summary were made available to the Times.

Pentagon spokesman Larry Di Rita declined to comment on the report, which has not been made public.

"We have over the past few years focused on ways of having a standing and rapidly deployable task force," Mr. Di Rita said. "It's something that can respond quickly to a tough problem."

A section of the report on combating weapons of mass destruction (WMD) said future US military forces will have the capability to interdict and "render safe" weapons of mass destruction before terrorists can use them.

To counter the threat, the Defense Department will "develop new defensive capabilities in anticipation of the continued evolution of WMD threats," the report said.

Evolving WMD threats include electromagnetic pulse weapons, portable nuclear devices, genetically engineered pathogens and new chemical arms, the report said.

The report states that the four-star General in charge of the Omaha, Neb.-based Strategic Command has the lead role in countering WMD threats.

"The United States will have increased efforts to locate, track and tag shipments of WMD," the report said.

One key recommendation of the report is that "there shall be a Joint task force for the elimination of WMD," the report said.

A core element of the new Joint task force will be the Army's 20th Support Command, which will become a Rapid Deployment Unit "to command and control WMD elimination missions by 2007," the report stated.

The report also recommends that general-purpose military forces take over the Job of foreign military training that Special Operations Forces have done "so that Special Operations Forces can increase their capacity to perform more demanding and specialized tasks."

"They will possess an expanded ability to locate, tag and track dangerous individuals and other high value targets, globally," the report said.

Special Operations Forces will have its own intelligence component and be led by a two-star General or Admiral, who defense officials said they hope will be a Special Operations veteran.

In addition to the WMD military unit, other key recommendations of the report include increasing Special Operations Force's by 15 percent, creating a Marine Corps Special Operations Command, setting up an Air Force Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron, boosting the number of Navy Seal Commando Tteams and increasing Army Psychological Operations by 33 percent.

For Homeland Security, the report calls for spending $1.5 billion over the next five years for medical countermeasures against genetically engineered biological warfare agents.

Geographically, the report also contains a section on "Countries at Strategic Crossroads" that examines the threats posed by China and Russia.

The recommendation for the WMD tTask Force grew out of a 2003 memorandum to senior Pentagon leaders by defense consultant Michael Pillsbury.

The plan called for setting up two standing units of Special Operations Force's, one in Asia and one in Europe, to stop WMD transfers as deals are detected.

Defense officials said Mr. Pillsbury has promoted the plan since his speech to Army officials at Fort Bragg, N.C.
The Axis Of Just As Evil

Courtesy of: SatireWire

-Angered by snubbing, China, Libya, and Syria form "Axis Of Just As Evil"-

Beijing--Bitter after being snubbed for membership in "The Axis Of Evil,"
China, Libya and Syria today announced they had formed "The Axis of Just As Evil," which they said would be way eviler than that lame Iran-Iraq-North Korea Axis President Bush warned of in his State of the Union Address.

Axis of Evil members however, immediately dismissed the new Axis as not having a flashy name and are merely copycats.

"Right. They are Just as Evil...In their dreams!"
Declared North Korean leader, Kim Jong il.
"Everybody knows that we are the real evildoers...We're the best!"

Diplomats from Syria denied they were Jealous over being excluded, although they conceded they did submit an application to Join The Axis Of Evil.

"They told us all positions were taken," said Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

"An Axis can't have more than three countries," explained former President Saddam Hussein. "This is not my rule, It's tradition. In World War II you had Germany, Italy, and Japan in the Evil Axis. So you can only have three members, And a secret handshake.
Ours is wickedly cool.

The Axis Pandemic

International reaction to Bush's Axis Of Evil declaration was swift, and within minutes, France surrendered.

Elsewhere, peer-conscious nations rushed to gain triumverate status in what became a game of geopolitical chairs.

Cuba, Sudan and Serbia said they had formed "The Axis Of Somewhat Evil,"
Forcing Somalia to Join Uganda and Myanmar in "The Axis Of Occasionally Evil,"
While Bulgaria, Indonesia and Russia established "The Axis Of Not So Much Evil, Really!
Just Generally Disagreeable."

With the criteria suddenly expanded and all the desirable clubs filling up,
Sierra Leone, El Salvador, and Rwanda applied to be called "The Axis Of Countries That Aren't The Worst, But There's Hope.

Canada, Mexico, and Australia formed "The Axis Of Nations That Are Quite Nice, But Secretly Harbor Nasty Thoughts About America."

While wondering if the other nations of the world weren't perhaps mocking him,
a cautious Bush granted approval for most Axes, although he rejected the establishment of "The Axis Of Countries Whose Names End In "Guay," accusing one of it's members of filing a false application.

Officials from Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezguay denied the charges.

Israel, meanwhile, insisted it didn't want to Join any Axis, but privately, world leaders said that's only because they were never invited.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

******* America and Hamas *******

By Martin N. Katz
Professor of Government at George Mason University
United Press International

Washington, Jan. 27 (UPI)--Hamas's victory in the Palestinian Parliamentary elections poses a dilemma for the Bush administration.

On the one hand, President George W. Bush--in stark contrast with previous American Presidents--supports democratization in the Middle East. On the other hand, Bush is adamant that the US will not negotiate with terrorist (i.e., violent) groups that refuse to recognize Israel.

The problem that Washington now faces is the type of movement the Bush administration insists it will not negotiate with has now won a free election supported by the Bush administration.

It is understandable that neither the United States nor Israel wishes to negotiate with a movement that has engaged in terrorism and refuses to recognize Israel. Not to negotiate with this movement now that it has won an election, however, would be a mistake. Winning the parliamentary elections has given hamas a legitimacy that it has never had before.

Ever since Bush proclaimed his support for the democratization of the Middle East, Arab commentators have cynically claimed that he only does so if elections yield results that he likes. Washington, they claim, will not tolerate an Arab election results that is anti-American and anti-Israeli. American foreign policy cannot afford for this logic to be proven accurate.

An American refusal to negotiate with Hamas will not result in the Palestinians realizing they made a dreadful mistake in electing it and resolving to vote for whatever party the United States does approve of next time. Instead, they are likely to become more enraged than ever over Washington's unwillingness to talk with their legitimately elected leaders.

Worse still, the Palestinians may well conclude that if the United States does not respect their democratic choice, then America and Israel are not really interested in negotiating and that violence is indeed the only option open for them.

Further, the perception that America is unwilling to respect electoral outcomes it disapproves of in occupied territories is likely to discredit its democratization efforts elsewhere in the greater Middle East.

What the US needs to do instead is to state clearly that it respects the election results in the occupied territories and that it is willing to work with Hamas--so long as it eschews violence. The United States must persuade Israel to do the same, and to exercise self-restraint.

It is highly unlikely that Hamas will recognize Israel's right to exist right away. But rather than rejecting it out of hand for this, the United States and Israel should show it that they are willing to engage in peaceful cooperation, and that violence is both unnecessary and counterproductive.

Will this strategy work? maybe it will, or maybe it won't.

If it does work, a democratically elected Hamas may be more capable of maintaining peace with Israel than the late Yasser Arafat's increasingly unpopular Fatah has been able to do.
Hamas, on the other hand, might well prove unwilling to make peace with Israel. if so, Israel has demonstrated that it can defend itself.

What is more important, though, is that Hamas be given the opportunity to show whether or not it can work for a peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict now that it has been elected to power. For if America and Israel deny Hamas this opportunity, Hamas's pursuit of a violent path will appear legitimate to Palestinians as well as other Arabs and Muslims.

If, on the other hand, Hamas is offered the opportunity to make peace but refuses it, something else is likely to occur. A Hamas that is unwilling to make peace with Israel is also unlikely to rule peaceably and democratically over its fellow Palestinians.

Bush himself pointed out that Hamas's electoral victory came about as a result of Palestinian unhappiness over the previous Fatah leadership. If Hamas behaves, in a similar way after coming to power, it will also discredit itself in the eyes of the Palestinians.

Allowing this to happen would be a far more effective means of undermining Hamas than for America and Israel to refuse to deal with it and thereby legitimize it.

Hamas's victory in the Palestinian elections is a momentous event. How the Bush administration reacts to it will have an enormous impact, for better or for worse, not Just on the prospects for Arab-Israeli peace, but also for the democratization of the greater Middle East.

We cannot afford to get this wrong.

US Army Held Wives To Coerce Insurgents

By Charles J. Hanley
Original Source: The Associated Press
Via: The Washington Times
January 28, 2006

The US Army in Iraq has at least twice seized and Jailed the wives of suspected insurgents in hopes of "leveraging" their husbands to surrender, US military documents show.

In one case, a secretive task force locked up the young mother of a nursing baby, a US intelligence officer reported. In the case of a second detainee, one American colonel suggested to another that they catch her husband by tacking a note to the family's door telling him "to come get his wife."

The issue of female detentions in Iraq has taken on a higher profile since kidnappers seized American Journalist Jill Carroll on January 7 and threatened to kill her unless all female Iraqi detainees are freed.

The US military on Thursday freed five women of what is said were 11 women among the 14,000 detainees currently held in the 2 1/2-year insurgency. All were accused of "aiding terrorists or planting explosives," but an Iraqi government commission found that evidence was lacking.

Iraqi human rights activist Hind al-Salihi contends that US anti-insurgent units, coming up empty-handed in raids on suspects' houses, have at times detained wives to pressure men into turning themselves in.

Iraq's deputy prime minister, Busho Ibrahim Ali, dismissed such claims, saying hostage-holding was a tactic used under the ousted Saddam Hussein dictatorship, and "we are not Saddam," a US command spokesman in Baghdad, Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, said only Iraqis who pose an "imperative threat" are held in long-term US-run detention facilities.

But documents, released periodically under US court order to meet an American Civil Liberties Union request for information on detention practices, describing two 2004 episodes suggest otherwise.

In one memo, a civilian Pentagon intelligence officer wrote that a woman was held "in order to leverage the primary target's surrender."

"The 28-year-old woman had three young children at the house, one being as young as six months and still nursing," the intelligence officer wrote. She was held for two days and was released after he complained, he said.

The second episode, in June 2004, is found in e-mail exchanges between six US Army colonels, discussing female detainees in northern Iraq by the Stryker Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division.

"CG wants the husband," the command staff colonel wrote, referring to a commanding general.


I have also included 2 links to the ACLU regarding the document and email exchange:

First document:

Email exchange:
***** Quote of the Day *****

"The state has,
In order to control us,
Introduced division into our thinking,
So that we come to distrust others,
And look to the state for protection..."

-Butler Shaffer-
Widespread Discrimination Blocking Bosnian Refugee Return

By United Press International
Published: January 26, 2006

Paris--Employment discrimination is blocking the return of Muslim refugees and displaced people to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Amnest International said Thursday.

"Ten years after the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement, the authorities of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and of the Republika Srpska have failed to address violations of workers' human rights," Omer Fisher, the human rights organizations researcher on Bosnia and Herzegovina said in a statement.

The statement coincides with the publication of a report by Amnesty that allegedly documents discrimination against ethnic minority workers on issues such as equal access to work, compensation, and reparation for unfair dismissal.

Employment discrimination helped fuel the country's civil war of a decade ago pitting Bosnian Serbs, Croats and Muslims against each other.

"Discriminatory dismissals were in many cases the first step in aggressive campaigns of
'ethnic cleansing'" the organization said in its statement, "which included killings, forcible transfers and deportations."

Bosnia's war ended in 1995, with the Dayton Peace Agreement. Roughly two million displaced people have returned to their homes.

But even so, Amnesty argues, they continue to face widespread employment discrimination.

The human rights group says the right to work and be free from discrimination are basic human rights.
China To Build World's First "Artificial Sun" Experimental Device

January 21, 2006
Angola Press

Hefei--A full superconducting experimental Tokamak fusion device, which aims to generate infinite, clean nuclear-fusion-based energy, will be built in March or April in Hefei,
capital city of East China's Anhui province.

Experiments with the advanced new device will start in July or August. If the experiments prove successful, China will become the first country in the world to build a full super-conducting experimental Tokamak fusion device, nicknamed "artificial sun," experts here said.

The project, dubbed EAST (Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak), is being undertaken by the Hefei-based Institute of Plasma Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It will require a total investment of nearly 300 million yuan (37 million US dollars), only one fifteenth to one twentieth the cost similar devices being developed in other parts of the world.

The new device will be an upgrade of China's first superconducting Tokamak device, dubbed HT-7, which was also built by the Plasma Physics Institute, in partnership with Russia, in the early 1990s.

HT-7 made China the fourth country in the world, after Russia, France and Japan, to have such a device.

"The EAST project research results will be significant for the International Thermonuclear Experiment Reactor, or ITER, in terms of basic research both in engineering technology and physics," said Wan Yuanxi, who is in charge of the project.

Wan said ITER will also be a full superconducting experimental Tokamak fusion device with an advanced configuration, but much larger than the EAST. The program still in its initial stages, involves Russia, Japan, the United States, the European Union, China and the Republic of Korea.

Controlled nuclear fusion is seen as an efficient way for people to generate infinite, clean energy to offset the dearth of fossil fuels such as oil and coal.

Scientists believe that Deuterium can be extracted from the sea and an enormous amount of energy can be obtained from Deuterium-Tritium fusion reaction under huge temperatures of 100 million degrees Celsius. After nuclear fusion, the Deuterium extracted from one liter of sea water will produce energy equivalent to 300 liters of gasoline .

If a device is developed that can withstand temperatures as high as 100 million Celsius degrees and control a Deuterium-Tritium reaction, it will be as though an "artificial sun" has been created able to supply infinite clean energy for human beings.


Friday, January 27, 2006

Reaping What We've Sown

By-Dennis Rahkonen

I recall the flaring napalm and the children it consumed
In Indochina's countries, in the villages we doomed
And my mind blinks back the horrors of a highway named for death
Where we made a pact with satan and sweet Jesus gasped for breath.

Still we wonder why we're reaping what we've sown!

From the Guatemalan mountains to the Indonesian shores
Through our many interventions and our dirty little wars
We have crucified the peoples of a multitude of lands
Putting shame upon our nation with the blood that's on our hands.

And we wonder why we're reaping what we've sown!

Our flyers loose their bombloads from the gleaming stratosphere
And the crackle of their radios is all that they can hear
No screams of abject terror as explosions rock the earth
Those dark-skinned populations...what could they be worth?

Yet we wonder why we're reaping what we've sown!

Remember El Chorrillo back in 1989
And the massacring Contras past the Nicaraguan lines
Plus the teachers and the medics who who were singled out to die
In the Salvadoran Jungles for a cruel and callous lie.

Do you wonder why we're reaping what we've sown?

There's a gap along the skyline where two buildings used to be
But the reasons for Ground Zero are still something we can't see
For the tears we weep in mourning are the ones we never shed
For the Asians and the Africans our policies left dead.

And we wonder why we're reaping what we've sown!
U.S. Expands Military Presence In Africa

26 January 2006

While abandoning much of its cold war-era bases in Europe and Asia, the US military is relocating to Africa and the Middle East to "fight terrorism" and "protect oil" resources.

In Africa, US bases are to focus on Uganda, Djibouti, Senegal and Sao Tome' and Principe, where flexible, small-scale "jumping off points" exist or are to be built.

The US Pentagon is in a period of major restructuring, in particular regarding American military bases abroad. While enormous bases in Germany and South Korea are abandoned or detracted, new and more flexible bases are constructed or planned all over the world, in particular in the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe.

The concept is creating strategically placed "Jumping off points" with very few permanently stationed troops but with the infrastructure in place to rapidly launch major regional operations, according to a report published today by the US news agency Associated Press (AP).

Bases are to cover all of the world's regions where the US government is concerned over potential instability or terrorism, or simply wants to protect key resources such as oil.

The plans for Africa are more or less developed, according to the AP. An existing base in Entebbe, Uganda, is covering East Africa and the Great Lakes region.

President Yoweri Museveni has, since he came to power in Uganda in 1986, developed into a maor US ally in Africa, often celebrated as the first in a "new breed of African leaders" by Washington. The Entebbe airport is already one of the best developed bases in Africa.

Djibouti has already turned into one of the most important US military bases throughtout the world. Here, US forces monitoring assumed terrorist groups in the Middle East, Africa's Horn and East Africa are headquartered. Located only 50 kilometers south-west of the Arabian Peninsula, stable and pro-Western Djibouti is also a major US military safety net in the region as their presence becomes increasingly controversial on Arab soil.

Senegal is the latest focus of the Pentagon in Africa. The US achieved a wide range of concessions at a Dakar airfield, which already has been used as a landing point for several military operations in West Africa. These include the large-scale operation in Liberia, but also smaller missions as under the last coup attempt in neighboring Mauritania.
Under President Abdoulaye Wade, Senegal has made a major alliance shift from France towards the U.S.

According to the AP report, Sao Tome' and Principe is likely to become the next US military base. The small Archipelago--an upcoming oil producer--is strategically placed in the Gulf of Guinea, Sub-Saharan Africa's major oil producing area. Here, the "US military could monitor the movement of oil tankers and protect oil platforms," the news agency quotes high ranking military officers.

Also the bases in Djibouti and Senegal are strategically placed to protect US oil interests. Djibouti is located at the narrow Bab-el Mandeb Strait at the entrance of the Red Sea, at the "world's busiest shipping lanes and close to Arabian oilfields," according to the CIA.

Senegal, at the West African Coast is strategically placed in a region with intensive oil explorations, which the US hopes may become a new major oil supplier within some years.

In North Africa, often considered "the backyard of the European Union, US military presence is still more limited but is in many ways covered by NATO cooperation.
The US however has developed a close military and Intelligence cooperation with several North African countries, in particular Morocco and Egypt. Cooperation with Algeria and Tunisia is improving.

In addition to the new strategic network of flexible bases, the Pentagon is known to have signed a large number of military pacts with governments all over Africa during the last years.

These include oil producers such as Gabon and Mauritania, but also less significant resource owners such as Guinea Conakry and Rwanda. The US has indeed developed into the principal partner of most African countries, displacing ex-colonial powers.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

UK's Murky Role In Cyprus Crisis

By Jolyon Jenkins
Producer, BBC Radio 4's Documment
Monday, 23 January 2006

Evidence has emerged that British undercover forces were involved in fomenting the conflict between Greek and Turkish Cypriots ten years before the 1974 partition of Cyprus.

The new evidence found by BBC Radio 4's Programme Document Centres on the mystery of Ted Macey, a British Army Major who was abducted, presumed killed by Greek Cypriot Paramilitaries.

In 1964, Martin was a Naval Intelligence officer, sent to Cyprus to do an extraordinary Job.
Fighting had broken out in the capital, Nicosia, between Greeks and Turks.

Unrest spread, and the British troops in Cyprus stepped in to keep the peace. But the British General Peter Young, thought that peace meant more than keeping the two sides apart. He believed the communities could live side by side, sometimes in mixed villages, as they had for centuries.

But that meant small disputes had to be prevented from turning into big ones.
Gen Young appointed Martin, a fluent Greek speaker, as a roving trouble-shooter and negotiator. With two officers from the mainland Greek and Turkish Armies, he roamed the North of Cyprus by helicopter, settling disputes.


Martin believes such small episodes were the key to preventing the island drifting towards ethnic separation. But, he says, this was not what the American's and British had in mind.

He recalls being asked to take a visiting US politician, Acting Secretary of State George Ball, around the island. Arriving back in Nicosia, says Martin, "Ball patted me on the back, as though I were sadly deluded and he said: that was a fantastic show son, but you've got it all wrong, hasn't anyone told you that our plan here is for partition?"

Undaunted, Martin pursued plans to move Turkish Cypriots back to the villages they had fled. But Just as the first settlement was about to take place, British Gen. Michael Carver had him arrested and flown off the island--in an unmarked CIA plane.

The ostensible reason was that Cyprus had become too dangerous for Martin to operate in; the evidence given was that British liaison officer, Major Ted Macey, had been abducted and presumed murdered Just a few days before.

All the evidence points to the murder having been carried out by Greek Cypriot extremists.

In the Public Record Office in London, I found files showing that British military commanders in Cyprus received "very reliable information" that Major Macey's abduction was planned "by Greek security forces with the approval of high government circles and connivance of the police to extract information about Turkish invasion plans."

The Greek Cypriots wre convinced that Major Macey was aiding the Turks.

Listening Bases

Could it be true?

I spoke to a former Para who accompanied Major Macey on expeditions to Turkish Cypriot Villages. There, says the Para, he demonstrated the use of British ammunition and sub-machine guns to the Turkish Cypriot irregular forces.

I also tracked down one of Major Macey's former drivers, who showed me a curious note, in the Major's handwriting. It is a list of arms and explosives being stored in civilian premisis in Nocsia: arms, says the driver, which Major Macey had supplied, under British orders, to the Turkish fighters.

So did the peacekeeping forces, and the big powers, really want Cyprus to remain an independent, unitary state?

Or was it more like important to head off the threat of a "Mediterranean Cuba," by keeping the island within Turkey's--and hence NATO's--Sphere of influence?

Britain had, and has, electronic listening bases on the island-important parts of the NATO Intelligence effort.

Nicos Koshis, a former Justice Minister, thinks that it was those bases that determined the fate of the island:

"It is my feeling they wanted to have fighting between the two sides. They didn't want us to get together. If the communities come together maybe in the future we say no bases in Cyprus."


Could It Be?

Could it be that I once saw you
In a dream as old as time.
And could it be the arms holding you
Were really mine the whole time?

Could you have been my one and only
The reason I wake up each day.
The one person I've always needed
The one for whom I used to pray?

Could it be that I had found you
After looking my entire life.
Could it be that I promised
That one day you'd be my wife?

Could it be I still love you
And once again I'll find,
That you're not Just a memory
Only to be viewed in my mind?

Could it be, oh God, I pray
Just one thing I ask of you:
If you're out there waiting
You'll try to find me too?
*** Quote of the Day ***

International politics, like all politics,
Is a struggle for power.
Whatever the ultimate aims of International politics,
Power is always the immediate aim...

-Hans Morgenthau-
******* Job Application *******

This is an actual Job application a 17 year old boy submitted at a Mc Donald's fast-food establishment in Florida...And they hired him because he was honest and funny!

Name: Greg Bulmash

Sex: not yet. still waiting for the right person.

Desired Position: company's president or vice president. But seriously, whatever is available. If I was in a position to be picky, I wouldn't be applying here in the first place.

Desired Salary: $185,000 a year plust stock options and a Michael Ovitz style severence package. If that's not possible, make an offer and we can haggle.

Education: yes, but ask me when I cross 25.

Last Position: target for middle management hostility.

Salary: less than what I'm worth.

Most Notable Achievement: my incredible collection of stolen pens.

Reason for leaving last Job: It sucked.

Hours available: any hours as long as they don't stop my schedule.

Preferred Hours: 1:30-3:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

Do You Have Special Skill: yes, but they're better suited to a more intimate environment.

May We Contact Your Current Employer?: If I had one, would I be here?

Do You Have Any Physical Conditions That Would
Prohibit You from Lifting Up To 50 lbs: of what?

Do You have A Car: I think the more appropriate question here would be "do you have a car that runs?"

Have You Received Any Special Awards Or Recognition: I may already be a winner of the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes.

Do You Smoke?: on the Job no, on my breaks yes.

What Would You Like To Be Doing In Fiver Years Time: living in the Bahamas.

Do You Certify That The Above Is True And Complete
And To the Best Of Your Knowledge: yes. absolutely.

Sign Here: aries. but will change for extra pay.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

*** They Asked A Rose ***

They asked a rose two questions:

First one, "what are the most surprising acts of mankind in your opinion?

The rose started to make a list:
"they get bored of childhood and rush to grow up,
but then they yearn for their childhood again.
they risk their health to make money,
but then they spend money to regain their health.
In the midst of worrying about tomorrow,
they forget about today.
as a result, they live neither today nor tomorrow.
they live as if death will never come,
yet they die as if they've never lived."

The second question, "so what is your suggestion?"

The rose started to speak:
"don't work to make yourselves loved by anyone,
rather leave yourselves to be loved.
the most important thing in life is:
not to own everything,
but it is to need the least."

***** Dust In The Wind *****

I close my eyes
only for a moment
and the moments gone

all my dreams
pass before my eyes
a curiosity

same old song
Just a drop of water
In an endless sea

all we do
crumbles to the ground
though we refuse to see

now, don't hang on
nothing last's forever
but the earth and sky

It slips away
and all your money
won't another minute buy

dust in the wind
all we are is dust in the wind
dust in the wind
everything is dust in the wind.

Fate Compli

Listless twilight time of life where passion's flames recede
Fading water colored thoughts of plans and hopes and deeds.
Bank the fire! Night approaches! Slumber calls the deep
Climb high the cluttered gentle dreams, in them you find your sleep.

-Greg Cicio-
***** Allah's Generosity *****

Allah's generosity is connected to gratitude,
And gratitude is linked to increase in His generosity.
The generosity of Allah will not stop increasing,
Unless the gratitude of the servant ceases.

-Ali Ibn Abi Talib-

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Euro Military Police Force Set Up

By Christian Fraser
BBC News, Verona

A European military police force has been launched in Italy.

A European gendarmerie will be made up of military police from five EU countries and will be available for peacekeeping missions worldwide.

The non-permanent force will have 800 police officers available to deploy within 30 days' notice and a pool of 2,300 reinforcements on standby.

The force, based in Vicenza, will be used for post-conflict peacekeeping and maintaining public order. In many crisis areas around the world the shift from military to civilian operations can often prove difficult. The new European gendarmerie is a force created to help smooth that transition.

They will be sent to conflict zones where law and order has deteriorated but not completely broken down or where fighting has subsided and heavily armed troops are no longer needed.

The police will come from the paramilitary forces of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands though, in time, other EU countries will be invited to lend support.

But there are concerns within NATO that this is yet another step towards a single European defence force and there have been questions over what mechanism would be in place to monitor such paramilitary activities.

The defence ministers of the countries involved, who were at the inauguration on Monday, insist the members of the gendarmerie have their own particular expertise and will be there to complement, not rival, NATO and UN operations.