Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How Free Is The West's "Free" Media?

"Any criticism of Israel is immediately denounced as anti-semitism....So, we have established two rules of western journalism: it is open season on Muslims and Islam, and criticism of Israel is forbidden."

By Zafar Bangash
(Saturday, August 7, 2010)
Courtesy Of "Media Monitors"

Hardly a day passes by without Muslims being told to grow up and accept western standards of freedom of expression and thought. Some western commentators have gone so far as to claim that they have the “right” to offend — Muslims, that is. Thus, the Danish cartoonist has the right to depict the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the most vile manner; western newspapers have the right to publish these cartoons and Muslims must learn to live with the West’s freedom of speech. It is a cherished right of journalists and people in the west, we are told. So not only denouncing but also offending Muslims is a right in the west.

The same right, however, does not extend to those criticizing the crimes perpetrated by the Zionist State. Any criticism of Israel is immediately denounced as anti-semitism. In June, Helen Thomas, the 89-year old veteran journalist, the bane of 10 US presidents and their press secretaries, was fired from her job because she made an off-the-cuff remark to a rabbi telling him: “the Jews must get the hell out of Palestine.” True, Ms. Thomas’s choice of words was unfortunate; not all Jews are Zionists but rabbi David Nesenoff’s underhanded method of recording her comment and uploading it to his website, rabbilive.com, was equally contemptible. The Zionists and their rightwing allies went ballistic. Ms. Thomas had to go. She was fired from her job after an illustrious 62-year career in journalism.

So, we have established two rules of western journalism: it is open season on Muslims and Islam, and criticism of Israel is forbidden.

In July, we learned another rule: you cannot praise a Muslim leader/scholar or you will lose your job. Following the death of Shaykh Seyyed Fadhlallah in Lebanon on July 4, Octavia Nasr, senior editor of CNN’s Middle East affairs, wrote on her twitter: “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah… One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.” Again, the Zionists and their allies went ballistic. They inundated CNN with complaints.

Did CNN stand up for freedom of expression that it and so many others had proclaimed so loudly over the offensive Danish cartoons? Nasr, a Lebanese Christian, had to go. The dirty job of firing her was assigned to one Parisa Khosravi, Senior Vice President of CNN International Newsgathering. Of Iranian origin, Khosravi was recruited precisely because she would carry out the orders given to her. She would not dare fire a reporter spouting venom against Islam, Muslims or the Islamic Republic. In an internal memo, Khosravi wrote: “I had a conversation with Octavia this morning and I want to share with you that we have decided that she will be leaving the company” after 20 years of service. So there!

An almost identical salvo of missiles was fired at Frances Guy, Britain’s ambassador to Lebanon, for writing about Shaykh Fadhlallah on her blog: “When you visited him you could be sure of a real debate, a respectful argument and you knew you would leave his presence feeling a better person.” Immediately, the internet went viral and an Inquisition was launched against her with the Israeli Foreign Ministry leading the diplomatic charge with its spokesman saying, it would be “interesting” to know what the British Foreign Office thinks of her remarks. Ambassador Guy was forced to remove the comments from her blog but the veteran British journalist Robert Fisk was so irked by the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s comment that he wrote in his own column: “Personally, I would be far more ‘interested’ in what the Israeli Foreign Ministry knows of the British passports its government forged in order to murder a man in Dubai not many months ago” (The Independent, July 10, 2010).

So now we have the third commandment of the West’s “free” media: though shalt not praise a Muslim leader, ever.

We are forced to ask: where are all those chest thumping “defenders of the freedom of the press” who told the almost two billion Muslims not so long ago to grow up and appreciate the West’s cherished freedom of expression?

Indian Brutality, Killings In Kashmir Continue

"Since 2002, India has purchased $5 billion worth of Israeli weapons. On the flip side of the coin, the Kashmiris have adopted the Palestinian youth’s tactics of confronting the heavily armed Indian troops with stones. Resistance tactics recognize no borders."

By Waseem Shehzad
(Monday, August 2, 2010)
Courtesy Of "Media Monitors"

Protests and the now-routine killing of Kashmiris by Indian occupation forces have resumed in Srinagar and other parts of the violence-plagued state of Kashmir. The latest round of protests erupted after the June 11 killing by Indian police of a 17-year-old youth, Tufail Ahmed Mattoo, who was hit by a tear gas shell on his head blowing his brains out. People were so enraged by this horrible act that they immediately held a protest rally. Other deaths followed. Since then, the cycle of violence has escalated. The June 11 rally was organized to protest the cold-blooded murder of three Kashmiri youth — Mohammed Shafi, Shahzad Ahmad Khan and Riyaz Ahmad — kidnapped by the India army in April. The gruesome murders were carried out on the direct orders of an Indian army colonel; a major was also involved.

Each killing brings out more protesters onto the streets. The situation has now deteriorated to the point where the Indian army has been called out to enforce curfew that the people appear determined to defy.

Killings coupled with frequent curfews to clamp down on the ensuing protests have disrupted people’s lives in many different ways. One does not have to be part of a protest to get killed, as was the case with Tufail Ahmed in June or a government employee walking to work past a protest rally when a bullet struck him last month. Curfews mean a life of limbo for many Kashmiris. People have had to cope with work stoppages for decades that spike when the killings escalate; these inevitably bring people out into the streets. But such clampdowns have other consequences as well: they result in no shopping, no schooling, sometimes even no text messaging, for days on end, or even months. Cell phones have been out of commission for several days and as of writing this report (July 25), no cell phone or other electronic services were available in most parts of Kashmir. The print media has similarly been affected disrupting its service. Newspapers cannot even update their websites because of electronic service being disrupted.

There are other disruptions as well that affect people’s lives. Weddings planned months in advance have had to be cancelled at the last moment because of curfew. In the unlikely event of a family obtaining curfew passes to hold the wedding, they run the gauntlet of the numerous checkpoints. Troops manning these posts, like the Zionists in occupied Palestine, can be extremely capricious. They can disregard the passes and hold wedding parties at the checkpoint. This happened to one wedding party last month that was held up all night outside a checkpoint near Baramulla despite possessing the necessary curfew passes. The soldiers refused to allow them to pass through. This can be even more harrowing for people needing emergency medical treatment. Like the Palestinians under Zionist occupation, the Kashmiris, too, are often denied access to medical services or from reaching the hospital because some petty security official decides not to allow the sick person or his/her family to pass through.

There are other aspects to the Indo-Zionist nexus. The Israeli military, with 40 years’ experience in suppressing the Palestinians, is working in tandem with the Indian military trying to crush the Kashmiris’ aspirations. Israeli major general, Avi Mizrahi, while in India to coordinate Indo-Zionist military alliance and training of Indian army personnel by Israeli commandos, had paid an unscheduled visit to Indian occupied Kashmir in September 2008. The purpose, according to the website India Defence was to get a close look at the challenges the Indian military faced against Kashmiri freedom fighters. Since 2002, India has purchased $5 billion worth of Israeli weapons. On the flip side of the coin, the Kashmiris have adopted the Palestinian youth’s tactics of confronting the heavily armed Indian troops with stones. Resistance tactics recognize no borders.

While some people have learned to cope with frequent work stoppages by stocking on essential items such as flour, rice, sugar and tea, perishable items like milk, meat and vegetables cannot be stocked. Besides, not everyone has the means to stock up. Most people live literally, hand-to-mouth. Daily or even monthly wage earners suffer the most. If there is work stoppage because of curfew, they cannot go to work resulting in no income. Even when people have some cash available, stores are shut down due to curfew. Shopkeepers trying to circumvent the curfew by opening their shutters for a few hours can incur the wrath of the brutal occupation forces. They not only take whatever stuff they want from the store for free but also beat up the offending storeowner. Beatings are considered a small price to pay; often people are grabbed by the occupation forces and simply disappear. Days or weeks later, their bodies are found dumped by the roadside or floating in streams.

Kashmir has been in the throes of an uprising since 1989. India maintains an occupation force of 500,000. At the height of the uprising in the 1990s, Indian occupation forces strength was as high as 700,000. In Srinagar, capital of Indian occupied Kashmir, there were 300,000 troops for one million residents: one soldier for every three civilians, making Srinagar the most militarized city in the world. Since 9/11 and US pressure on Pakistan to clamp down on Kashmiri training camps on its side of the border, the uprising subsided somewhat but without an appreciable decrease in Indian military presence. India still maintains 500,000 troops that comprise its regular army, the Border Security Force and the unruly mob of Hindu zealots that go by the name of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). It is this bunch of thugs that have indulged in the most egregious crimes against the Kashmiris, especially women. The CRPF is notorious for raping women. Human rights groups say that nearly 10,000 Kashmiri women and girls have been gang-raped since 1989; few if any offenders have been apprehended, much less punished. India has used rape as an instrument of war and oppression to terrorize the deeply conservative and honour-conscious Kashmiri Muslims into submission, without much success so far.

The number of persons killed by Indian occupation forces between January 1989 and June 30, 2010 stands at 93,274, according to the Kashmir Media Service. Of these, some 6,969 were killed while in the custody of one or other Indian security apparatus. The number of women widowed (22,728) and children orphaned (107,351) is equally harrowing. Such gruesome acts are possible only because the Indian government has instituted such black laws as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Disturbed Areas Act under which its occupation forces can act with impunity. There is also the deathly silence of western governments that are quick to lecture Muslims about undoubted abuses in their societies but turn a blind eye to well documented Indian crimes. Business and economic interests take precedence over principles.

Meanwhile, the people’s protests and Indian military brutality continue in Kashmir.

US consolidates Global Missile Shield

"For all the talk of protecting the U.S. Mainland from alleged Iranian and North Korean missile threats - accusations that are in the first case absurd and in the second highly improbable - at the end of the day Washington and its military allies around the world are well on the way to encircling Russia, China and Iran with an insurmountable barrier of interceptor missile deployments in conjunction with the militarization of space and the Prompt Global Strike program. Neither those three nations nor any other outside the rapidly expanding U.S. global military nexus will be permitted to retain effective deterrence or retaliation capabilities."

By Rick Rozoff
(Wednesday, August 4, 2010)
Courtesy Of "Media Monitors"

"For all the talk of protecting the U.S. Mainland from alleged Iranian and North Korean missile threats - accusations that are in the first case absurd and in the second highly improbable - at the end of the day Washington and its military allies around the world are well on the way to encircling Russia, China and Iran with an insurmountable barrier of interceptor missile deployments in conjunction with the militarization of space and the Prompt Global Strike program. Neither those three nations nor any other outside the rapidly expanding U.S. global military nexus will be permitted to retain effective deterrence or retaliation capabilities."

On September 17, 2009 U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and President Barack Obama separately announced plans to shift the emphasis of the global American interceptor missile - so-called missile shield or anti-ballistic missile defense - project from the previous George W. Bush administration's plans to a more mobile, flexible and geographically broader system. [1]

The proposed deployments of ten ground-based interceptor missiles in Poland and a forward-based X-band radar installation in the Czech Republic were abandoned in favor of what Obama deemed "stronger, smarter and swifter defenses of American forces and America's allies." Both Poland and the Czech Republic, however, remain part of Pentagon plans and will be incorporated into a broader grid with all 28 members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization which in its final stage will cover all of Europe. Or at least the entire continent west of Russia and Belarus.

Plans for ground-based interceptors in Poland alarmed Russia, which necessarily saw them as aimed at itself, but would also have been housed in fixed silos that made them easy targets.

In the month before the announced change in American plans to begin the incremental buildup of a missile shield in Eastern Europe - phased adaptive approach in government terms - a report surfaced at the annual U.S. Space and Missile Defense Conference of the Boeing Company planning a 47,500-pound mobile interceptor missile launcher to be deployed within 24 hours to NATO bases in Europe. [2] During the same month the Missile Defense Agency and Boeing also announced the successful test of their joint Airborne Laser (ABL) anti-missile system [3].

At the end of last August the first disclosure appeared of plans to expand U.S. interceptor missile deployments to the Balkans and the Black Sea region, Israel and Turkey. [4] The head of the Missile Defense Agency, Lieutenant General Patrick O'Reilly, said at the time that he supported the installation of Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptors in the Balkans and Turkey. (In 2007 his predecessor, Lieutenant General Henry Obering, mentioned placing U.S. interceptor missile radar sites in the Caucasus and even Ukraine.)

The SM-3 is a ship-based anti-ballistic missile and anti-satellite interceptor - used to destroy an American satellite in orbit over the Pacific Ocean in February of 2008 - and part of the U.S. and allied Aegis ballistic missile defense system. It has the main advantage of being deployable around the world on destroyers and cruisers. What O'Reilly was referring to, though, was a combination of sea-based SM-3s and their adaptation for use on land.

In describing current U.S. missile shield plans last September, Pentagon chief Gates spoke of a four-phase program that began with the deployment of Aegis class warships equipped with SM-3s in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea last year, to be followed by enhanced versions of the missile both on sea and land, with successive generations of more advanced models in the third and fourth stage.

This February plans to station land-based SM-3s in Bulgaria and Romania were announced [5], and when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski in the latter's nation early last month to sign an amended agreement on interceptor missile cooperation, it was revealed that SM-3s will be stationed in Poland in the second phase of the Pentagon's plan for a continent-wide interceptor system. [6] Slightly more than a month before, the U.S. moved Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) interceptors and approximately 100 troops into eastern Poland, only a few kilometers from Russia's Kaliningrad exclave. [7] U.S. deployments in the country are also part of a broader NATO strategy. [8]

Connecting the ship- and land-based components of the global U.S. missile shield in Eastern Europe with other locations to the east and the south, the Pentagon has also been qualitatively expanding Patriot Advanced Capability-3 and Standard Missile-3 deployments in the Persian Gulf. Washington is now preparing to provide Gulf Arab states with the longer-range Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile intercept system. [9]

Last October and November the U.S. and Israel conducted the fourteen-day Juniper Cobra 10 exercise with five missile interception systems, the largest such live-fire maneuvers ever held. An American military officer present at the war games said the unparalleled drills would "help the development of a planned NATO missile shield for Europe.” [10] A year before, the U.S. deployed an X-band missile shield radar (Army Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance) to Israel with 120 troops, the first and to date only long-term foreign troop deployment in Israel's history.

Washington and NATO are well advanced in solidifying an impenetrable interceptor missile system from the Baltic Sea to the Arabian Sea and the Black Sea to the Red Sea.

In the past few days further details have emerged concerning the expansion of those plans in both breadth and sophistication.

On August 30 Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas announced that "his government has been negotiating a plan with the United States to place a warning center in the Czech Republic as part of a reworked U.S. missile defense plan." He also stated that personnel manning the facility could be provided by the U.S. and other NATO states and that the site could even be based in his nation's capital, Prague. Necas added, "The U.S. plans to initially invest $2 million in 2011 and 2012 for the center, which is expected to become part of a joint NATO missile defense shield in the future," [11] and that no new treaty with Washington would be required for the project. Czech popular opposition to the earlier plan for an X-band missile defense installation was credited for the U.S. discarding the Bush-era plan.

Two days afterward Czech Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra confirmed that the U.S. had allotted $2 million for the construction of the facility, that American experts would be deployed there and that it would be in operation by the middle of next year. Vondra added, "I believe it will be one of many parts of the NATO system...." [12]

In August of last year the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza revealed that the U.S. would expand its interceptor missile plans to the Balkans, Israel and Turkey. This August the Washington Post belatedly confirmed that design.

An article by staff writer Craig Whitlock appeared in the August 1 Sunday edition of the newspaper which quoted several U.S. military officials to the effect that:

"The U.S. military is on the verge of activating a partial missile shield over southern Europe....

"Pentagon officials said they are nearing a deal to establish a key radar ground station, probably in Turkey or Bulgaria. Installation of the high-powered X-band radar would enable the first phase of the shield to become operational next year.

"At the same time, the U.S. military is working with Israel and allies in the Persian Gulf to build and upgrade their missile defense capabilities. The United States installed a radar ground station in Israel in 2008 and is looking to place another in an Arab country in the gulf region."

Not substituting for deployments in Poland and the Czech Republic, as has been seen above, but adapting and extending the network of which they are a part southward and eastward.

The Washington Post feature added that although the interceptor missile projects in Eastern Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf are technically distinct, "they are all designed to plug into command-and-control systems operated by, or with, the U.S. military. The Israeli radar, for example, is operated by U.S. personnel and is already functional, feeding information to U.S. Navy ships operating in the Mediterranean."

Providing historical perspective and dispelling the prevalent notion that the current administration's plans are in any manner a retreat from those of its predecessor, the piece stated:

"The concept of a missile shield began with former president Ronald Reagan, who first described his vision of a defense against a Soviet nuclear attack in his 'Star Wars' speech in 1983....It has expanded further under President Obama, despite the skepticism he expressed during the 2008 campaign about the feasibility and affordability of Bush's plan for a shield in Europe.

"In September, Obama announced that he was changing Bush's approach. Instead of abandoning the idea, he directed the Pentagon to construct a far more extensive and flexible missile defense system in Europe that will be built in phases between now and 2020." [13]

The author provided these additional details:

Starting late last year the U.S. has steadily deployed Aegis class warships in the Mediterranean Sea equipped with Spy-1 360 degree missile radar and "arsenals of Standard Missile-3 interceptors [which] will form the backbone of Obama's shield in Europe."

The initial detachments, one or two destroyers and cruisers at a time, will be tripled in number. Furthermore, "the Obama administration has plans to nearly double its number of Aegis ships with ballistic missile defenses, to 38 by 2015."

Citing the commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, Vice Admiral Henry B. Harris Jr., the Washington Post article stated that one "option would be to assign some Aegis ships to home ports in Europe instead of making them sail constantly back and forth to the United States.

"Other Navy officials have floated the idea of flying in fresh crews so a ship could more or less deploy continuously, obviating the need for long breaks."

It then supplied further specifics, disclosing that "Aegis ships, armed with dozens of SM-3 missile interceptors, will patrol the Mediterranean and Black seas and link up with...high-power radar planned for southern Europe."

Romania will host land-based Standard Missile-3 deployments and Poland will follow as the site of SM-3s and additional sensors.

Although as recently as last year the Pentagon envisioned a total of 147 SM-3s, the Obama administration intends to nearly triple that number to 436. The new strategy "will require an unspecified number of new SM-3 missiles, which cost between $10 million and $15 million apiece."

The system will expand in earnest after the NATO summit in Portugal in November, when the U.S.'s 27 members in the military bloc are expected to endorse a comprehensive, layered, mobile interceptor missile system for the entire European continent, albeit still firmly under U.S. control.

The Missile Defense Agency's O'Reilly "said combined defenses would feature the best of both worlds: an 'upper layer' framework of SM-3 and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, interceptors, operated by the United States, that could shoot down enemy missiles in space or the upper atmosphere; and a 'lower layer' of Patriot batteries, operated by European allies, providing a second layer of defense closer to the ground." [14]

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missiles have a longer range than both the PAC-3 and SM-3 and had not been discussed before as part of the new system.

Regarding the placement of U.S. and NATO interceptor missiles in Romania, on the Black Sea across from southwestern Russia, a recent analysis examined the geopolitical consequences:

"This means that the U.S. front line of defense is shifting from the eastern border of Germany to the Black Sea, which is adjacent to the Middle East, the Caucasus and Russia.

"Romania is ready to accept deployment of 20 SM-3 anti-ballistic missile units, currently installed on American naval vessels with the Aegis Combat System. These missiles could later be replaced with the more advanced terminal high altitude area defense (THAAD) missiles. They will also be deployed in Bulgaria. Meanwhile, it has become more likely that the X-band radar system, which the U.S. originally planned to install in the Czech Republic, will be set up in Israel." [15]

Bulgarian Defense Minister Anyu Angelov was summoned to Washington for six days starting in late June for "the launch of technical negotiations about NATO's missile defence in Europe in general" [16] and meetings with Defense Secretary Gates, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Ellen Tauscher, the last-named the key point person in securing U.S. missile shield deployments in Eastern Europe.

Angelov was given his marching orders and returned home to confirm that his nation will join the U.S. interceptor missile program in Europe (and beyond) and that "Bulgaria is participating actively in the discussions and the practical realization of all steps concerning the establishment of a NATO-wide missile defense system.” [17]

For domestic consumption he presented the decision as his country's own - “We are the most interested state in Europe in the establishment of a missile shield because we are in the most threatened region – we fall within the range of ballistic missiles, medium-range ballistic missiles [such] as the ones employed by the states in the wider Middle East” - but since Bulgaria was incorporated into NATO in 2004 it now receives orders from the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon.

In a recent report that 700 Bulgarian combat troops have been ordered to Afghanistan (as Dutch troops have left), a leading local news agency demonstrated how such decisions are made: "Bulgaria's center-right government, elected last July, initially said it would not be able to provide more forces in Afghanistan due to the economic crisis, but later changed its strategy under pressure from the United States and NATO." [18]

The same relationship of supremacy and subordination obtains between the U.S. and all other NATO members, particularly the twelve new acquisitions in Eastern Europe from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic Sea.

The Pentagon has secured seven new military bases in Bulgaria and Romania since the latter two states joined NATO in 2004. Those sites include the Bezmer Air Base in Bulgaria, fifty kilometers from the Black Sea, and the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania near the city of Constanta on the Black Sea. Both are being upgraded to strategic air bases which, already employed for the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq, are available for strikes against Iran and in the South Caucasus in the event of an equivalent of the Georgian-Russian war of two years ago. The Romanian base is the main headquarters for the Pentagon's Joint Task Force-East.

At any given time there are several thousand U.S. troops in Bulgaria and Romania, the first foreign forces in Bulgaria since shortly after the end of World War Two and in Romania since 1962.

A comparable situation exists in Poland. An American military newspaper recently ran a feature on the deployment of Patriot missile batteries in the country called "U.S. Army's presence in Poland most significant since World War II" in which an American Army spokesman stated, "We have between 80 and 150 troops going there on a regular basis. We've never had that number and for that long of a period." No foreign troops had been stationed in Poland since the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1991.

The article also stated that "For the first time since the end of World War II, U.S. Army soldiers are making regular rotations into Poland, this time to train its forces to use Patriot missiles.

"Forty miles from the Russian border, a small group of U.S. Army Europe soldiers is instructing the Polish military about the missiles, which are designed to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft." [19]

A Fox News report characterized the operation as "the first long-term U.S. troop presence...in Poland," and quoted U.S. ambassador to the nation Lee Feinstein as maintaining "It's U.S. boots on the ground, a very tangible symbol of the U.S.-Polish alliance." [20]

Regarding Israel, where the U.S. has also deployed the first foreign troops on that country's soil, in late July the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense added $95.7 million to a White House funding request for Tel Aviv's long-range Arrow and medium-range David’s Sling anti-ballistic missile programs subsumed under the Iron Dome layered air and missile defense system. Abiding by the subcommittee's recommendations, Congress will allot $422.7 million for the above purpose for next year (with $109 million for the Arrow 3 system), bringing total U.S. underwriting of Israeli interceptor missile programs to $1 billion over the past four years.

According to member of the subcommittee Congressman Steve Rothman, “Given the concern and attention that we are focusing now on every dollar we are expending on behalf of the US taxpayer for all purposes, including the defense of the United States and its allies, it is a mark of the importance of these projects that they were all funded so robustly and fully by our subcommittee.” [21]

By absorbing most all of Eastern Europe into NATO, the U.S. has also provided its Israeli ally access to air bases and training sites of strategic significance for future attacks on neighboring Middle East nations. On July 29 Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i stated, "We fly in Romania so we can act deep inside neighboring Arab states." [22]

The more extended and flexible, the "stronger, smarter and swifter" U.S. missile strategy, then, pursues a trajectory from the Baltic Sea, with Standard Missile-3-equipped Aegis warships also available for service in the Norwegian and Barents Seas, to Southeastern Europe into the South Caucasus, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and Persian Gulf, covering Russia's western and southern flanks and encroaching upon Iran.

When President Obama visits India in November he intends to secure billions of dollars in arms deals with the world's second most populous nation.

On July 12 Russia's Vzglyad newspaper reported that "The deal, if signed during Obama's visit, would [have] the US replace Russia as India's biggest arms supplier...adding that the deal would also help India curb China's rise.

"India's shortlist includes Patriot defense systems, Boeing mid-air refueling tankers and certain types of howitzers, and the total cost of the deal may exceed $10 billion...." [23].

By selling anti-ballistic missile systems to India - starting with Patriots and advancing to longer-range models - Washington will connect its missile interception network from Europe through the Middle East to its eastern wing, that which includes 26 ground-based interceptors at Fort Greely in Alaska, a 280-foot-tall, 50,000-pound sea-based X-band radar in the Aleutian Islands, and PAC-3, SM-3 and THAAD missiles in Japan, South Korea and Australia.

Current U.S.-China tensions, the worst in several decades, were triggered early this year when Washington confirmed it was providing Taiwan with 200 advanced Patriot missiles and warships capable of being upgraded for the Aegis Combat System. [24]

For all the talk of protecting the U.S. Mainland from alleged Iranian and North Korean missile threats - accusations that are in the first case absurd and in the second highly improbable - at the end of the day Washington and its military allies around the world are well on the way to encircling Russia, China and Iran with an insurmountable barrier of interceptor missile deployments in conjunction with the militarization of space and the Prompt Global Strike program. Neither those three nations nor any other outside the rapidly expanding U.S. global military nexus will be permitted to retain effective deterrence or retaliation capabilities.


[1]. U.S. Missile Shield Plans: Retreat Or Advance?

U.S. Missile Shield System Deployments: Larger, Sooner, Broader

[2]. Pentagon Intensifies Plans For Global Military Supremacy: U.S., NATO Could Deploy Mobile Missiles Launchers To Europe

[3]. U.S. Accelerates First Strike Global Missile Shield System

[4]. U.S. Expands Global Missile Shield Into Middle East, Balkans, September 11, 2009

[5]. Romania: U.S. Expands Missile Shield Into Black Sea

[6]. Clinton Renews U.S. Claims On Former Soviet Space

[7]. Poland: U.S. Moves First Missiles, Troops Near Russian Border

[8]. Rasmussen In Poland: Expeditionary NATO, Missile Shield And Nuclear Weapons

[9]. U.S. Extends Missile Buildup From Poland And Taiwan To Persian Gulf

[10]. Israel: Forging NATO Missile Shield, Rehearsing War With Iran

[11]. Associated Press, July 30, 2010

[12]. Czech News Agency, August 1, 2010

[13]. Washington Post, August 1, 2010

[14]. Ibid

[15]. Japan Times/Sentaku Mazagine, July 26, 2010, Black Sea, Caucasus: U.S. Moves Missile Shield South And East

[16]. Sofia News Agency, June 29, 2010

[17]. Sofia News Agency, July 9, 2010

[18]. Sofia News Agency, July 30, 2010

[19]. Stars and Stripes, July 23, 2010

[20]. Fox News, July 13, 2010

[21]. Jerusalem Post, August 1, 2010

[22]. Jerusalem Post, July 30, 2010

[23]. Global Times, July 13, 2010

[24]. U.S.-China Military Tensions Grow

Mosques, Muslims and America In Darkness

By: William Rivers Pitt,
Thursday 19 August 2010
Courtesy Of "Truth-Out"

Things have come to a pretty pass when I'm the guy saying it would be really helpful if George W. Bush were still around. I'm saying it, and I mean it, because this country could really use his brand of wisdom right now.
Let me be clear: I despise the man. Loathe him. He was quite simply the worst president in all of American history; if a future president wants to outstrip his deplorable record, they will literally have to crash the Earth into the Sun to pull it off. He is a thief, a liar and a murderer, and I consider the fact that he has not been called to account for his serial crimes against the American people and the world to be a failure of leadership equal to Hitler's decision to open a second front. If George W. Bush were on fire in front of me, I would not piss on him to put him out.

But I'd really like to hear from him right about now. Whatever else he did wrong, Mr. Bush went out of his way during his eight years in office to tell us that we are not at war with Islam and Muslims, the "crusade" gaffe notwithstanding. His rhetoric regarding Islam and Muslims after 9/11 was uniformly conciliatory, couched as it was between his WMD fabrications and pro-war grandstanding, and as the leader of his party, he kept the lid on an explosion of virulent hatred against fellow citizens who prayed to Allah instead of Jesus or Yahweh. It was bad enough after 9/11, with many assaults on Muslims and mosques to go around, but it could have been far, far worse had Bush not spoken as he did.

Well, he's gone now, and the dogs are off the leash. The proposed construction of the Cordoba House two blocks from the World Trade Center site has given the far-right the opportunity to unveil the one flag they really salute: hatred, divisiveness and fear. For whatever reason, Mr. Bush has chosen to remain silent while his former minions drag the GOP and the country even further into darkness - his spokesman issued a "no comment" on Tuesday regarding the matter, in fact - so it falls to cooler heads to try and prevail. The problem is, my head isn't all that cool. I'm furious and disgusted over this situation, over the fact that once again, the far-right media establishment has successfully dragged us all to the edge of a cliff, over the fact that too many of us are wallowing in our worst selves.

So let's get a few things straight.

First of all, the Cordoba House is not a "Ground Zero Mosque." It is a Muslim community center, it is two blocks away from the site, and in a neighborhood that already has a mosque...and a strip club, and a lot of other stuff that makes talk about "desecrating hallowed ground" sound like the nonsense that it is.

Oh, and by the by, a lot of the people quacking about "hallowed ground" are the same cretins who refused to pony up funding for 9/11 rescue workers who desperately need health care when the bill came before Congress. I'm pretty used to broadband Republican hypocrisy - the core of their power in politics, after all, is their utter and complete lack of shame - but this just sends me over the moon. Money for continuing the Bush-era tax cuts for rich people? Sure. Money for people who charged into the fire and dust and smoke on that day, who are now dying by inches because of their heroism? Not so much. And P.S., all Muslims are bad. Got that? It's the Republican way.

As for the idea that the Cordoba House is going to be a nest of radicals, well, the Imam in charge of the project - Feisal Abdul Rauf - is as sensible and progressive and sane as anyone you know. For God's sake, Mr. Bush hired the man to help America try to treat with the Muslim world, and Rauf advised the FBI on counter-terrorism tasctics, which are a pretty interesting couple of line items on the resume of a so-called fanatic. I'd like to thank The Rude Pundit for putting together a collection of Imam Rauf's observations on women's rights, terrorism, and murder. Because he's a Muslim, too many people will immediately expect his views to be along the lines of those seventh-century lunatics who give Islam the bad name it enjoys.
Not so much:
Really, oh, sweet, imbecilic right-wingers? Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the Cordoba Initiative, which dares to want cheap real estate in New York City in order to build a Muslim community center, is a radical? Really? Does anyone actually understand the meaning of "radical" anymore?
Here's what he's said over the last few years. Mullah Omar, he ain't:

"The issue of women's rights is more than an issue for women or about women. It involves everyone...The best of you are those who are best to their women. Consequently, the worst of men are those who are worst to their women."- From the Yemen Times, August 9, 2009, at a conference on advancing the cause of women in Islam.

Rauf believes in "showing those who resort to violence that it is counter to the very idea of Islam." - From the Khaleej Times (UAE), July 5, 2009.

"Islam denounces suicide of any sort, especially suicide bombings that kill innocents. Even in a defensive war sanctioned by Islamic law, suicide is expressly forbidden." - From a June 2009 commentary by Rauf.

"The Quran expressly and unambiguously prohibits the coercion of faith because that violates a fundamental human right - the right to a free conscience. The Quran says in one place 'There shall be no compulsion in religion.' And in another it says, 'To you your beliefs and to me, mine.'"- Same as above.

"Rauf was one of the few Muslim leaders who appealed for calm and tolerance after the Regensburg speech." From the New Yorker, April 2, 2007, regarding Pope Benedict's 2006 lecture where he quoted a Muslim-hating Byzantine emperor. Riots ensued.

Young Muslims "are deeply frustrated by what's going on in the name of Islam. They feel they are paying a price for actions done by a very, very negligible minority, but which capture the attention of the media. Terrorism done in the name of Islam has hurt Muslims as much, if not more, than it has hurt Westerners." - From a June 2006 U.S. State Department press release on a conference regarding Muslim youths.
Wow, what a total madman. Or not.

There is no better place on Earth for a progressive Muslim facilitty than near the site where Islam was horribly stained by the actions of a few motherless bastard renegades. Imam Rauf seeks, in his own words, to "push back" against the radicals within his faith through the Cordoba House. It is, in a way, an apology for what happened on 9/11, a repudiation of the perversion of Islam that inspired it, and an avenue for reconciliation and forgiveness. I'm no Christian scholar, but I do recall hearing some stuff about forgiveness in my CCD classes.

Speaking of apologies (and motherless bastards), it was Newt Gingrich who injected an incredible dose of stupidity into this disgusting debate. Newt said, "You know, Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor. There's no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center."

Yeah, this one has me ballistic. Pearl Harbor and the Holocaust were perpetrated by two militarized, nation-based, nationalistic empires. 9/11 was pulled off by a small cohort of fanatics who, thanks to the gross negligence of the Bush administration, got incredibly lucky on one single day. Germany and Japan, it should be noted, apologized for their actions in World War II, and we accepted those apologies, even though their actions killed millions. 9/11 was terrible. World War II was by many orders of magnitude worse, and was made possible by entities that are in no way comparable to a handful of misogynistic throwbacks on the far fringes of Islam.

This whole ridiculous thing is nothing more or less than a midterm election Trojan Horse deployed by the GOP to try and win back the power they lost in 2006 and 2008, and the "mainstream" media appears all too happy to go along. People in this country are justifiably terrified right now, thanks to the results of Republican economic theory we are currently enduring, and the temptation to lash out at something, anything, is all too close to the skin. For two years now - more, actually, if you count the '08 campaign - the GOP has been calling President Obama (and through him, the Democrats) a Muslim terrorist fanatic. The blogger most responsible for this mosque frenzy went so far as to claim Obama's father was Malcolm X, so this whole crapshow is right in their wheelhouse. They are preying on our fears, and have found fertile ground due to the circumstances we find ourselves in, and it is as deplorable as anything the GOP has pulled in their long and sorry history.

A lot of this bad noise is coming from the so-called Christians on the right, who think all of Islam is coming to destroy America, who call that faith a cult, who paint every Muslim as a murdering radical, and who make no bones about the internment-camp solutions they have for this so-called "problem." I think it fitting to remind those people that it was good Christians who enslaved and murdered millions of Africans, who gave blankets infected with smallpox to Native Americans and very nearly annihilated them all, who thought "separate but equal" was a bully idea, and who did all of these things because the victims were the non-Christian/dark-skinned "other." We're knocking on that door again, and only Hell lies behind it.

A little bit of Scripture from the newest "other":
A true Muslim is the one who does not defame or abuse others; but the truly righteous becomes a refuge for humankind, their lives and their properties.

- Mohammad
Be wary of malice, for malice consumes virtues, just as fire consumes fuel.

- Mohammad
The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.
- Mohammed
The most excellent jihad (struggle) is that for the conquest of self.
- Mohammed
Especially if you are well-to-do, see that no one goes hungry or naked.
- Mohammed
Believers, Jews, Sabaeans or Christians - whoever believes in God and the Last Day and does what is right - shall have nothing to fear or regret.
- the Quran
Sounds a lot like the Bible, right? There's a reason for that. Sure, the Quran has plenty of verses that seek to kindle the worst activities of humankind, but guess what? I can point you to five dozen Bible verses that advocate slavery, murder, hatred, and violence to a degree that puts what is in the Quran in deep shade. Exodus and Leviticus leap nimbly to mind. In short, Christians and Christianity are in no position to judge anyone, anywhere, ever.

The philosopher Denis Diderot once said, "Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." I don't go that far, but for sure this whole sad, sorry issue makes me want to strangle myself with my own intestines. In so many ways, including this mosque issue, we are falling backwards into a darkness from which there is no recovery. Well-meaning people can object to the building of a Muslim facility near the World Trade Center site, but the way this has played out is a blot on the soul of America. We have to be better than this.

NATO Allies Prepare New Invasion Of Somalia

One of the main missions of AFRICOM is create, train and deploy regional military forces to further U.S. and general Western objectives in Africa, the world's second most populous continent. Somalia is the first test case."

By Rick Rozoff
(Saturday, July 31, 2010)
Courtesy Of "Media Monitors"

The 15th biennial African Union summit in Kampala, Uganda ended on July 27 with mixed results regarding support for U.S. and Western European plans to escalate foreign military intervention in nearby Somalia.

The 35 heads of state present at the three-day meeting were reported to have authorized the deployment of 2,000 more African troops to back up the beleaguered Western-backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Mogadishu and to bring the full complement of forces doing so to 8,000, but the new contingent will probably consist solely of troops from Uganda and Burundi, which supply the approximately 6,000 already serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Reports of another 2,000 reinforcements from Djibouti and Guinea are problematic and their deployment remains to be seen, not that pressure will not be exerted on those two nations and others from outside the continent.

AMISOM is the successor to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Peace Support Mission in Somalia (IGASOM) set up in 2005 by the six-member group which includes Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda and which also was to have provided 8,000 troops for deployment to Somalia. The 53 members of the African Union except for Uganda and Burundi have been loath to commit military units to intervene in fighting in Somalia, whether against the Islamic Courts Union five years ago or against al-Shabaab insurgents currently.

In late 2006 U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa to plan the earlier IGASOM operation and in January of 2007 Uganda pledged its first troops which, along with those included in a reported offer by Nigeria, were to total 8,000.

Three and a half years later, there are only 6,000 foreign troops in Somalia (now under AMISOM, the only difference being the acronym now employed) and all of those from Uganda and Burundi, both nations U.S. military clients and surrogates.

The African Union (AU) initially approved AMISOM on January 19, 2007 and granted it a six-month mandate. In July of 2010 the real prime movers behind the mission, the U.S. and its NATO allies in the European Union, are pushing for an escalation of armed intervention in Somalia with more Western-trained Ugandan troops conducting open combat operations: Changing the mandate from, to use the terms employed to mask military aggression, peacekeeping to peace enforcement.

The first attempt by the U.S. and its non-African allies to enforce a compliant government in the Horn of Africa nation, Ethiopia's invasion in December of 2006, was assisted by the Pentagon's Joint Special Operations Command (headed up by now retired General Stanley McChrystal until early in 2006), which conducted military operations inside Somalia no later than the beginning of the next year. At the time Ethiopia was the second largest recipient of U.S. military aid in Africa (another of the three countries bordering Somalia, Djibouti, being the first) and American military personnel were stationed in the country. Logistical and other assistance was provided by the Pentagon for the operation.

On the sidelines of the recently concluded African Union summit U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Johnnie Carson "gathered the presidents of Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Djibouti and Uganda, along with the prime minister of Ethiopia for a closed-door session" to push for more aggressive military operations in Somalia. The State Department official was quoted as saying, "We came away even more united and committed to work together strengthen the TFG, to help strengthen AMISOM, to help strengthen the forces for stability in Somalia and to help do as much as we can to help beat al-Shabab. Al-Shabab represents a foreign and a negative influence that cannot only be destructive inside Somalia, but across the entire region." [1]

Note the opprobrium attached to the word foreign. With what Carson called "a wake-up call not only for the region but for Africa as a whole" [2] sounded by deadly bombings in the Ugandan capital on July 11, more foreign troops armed, trained, and airlifted by great powers in North America and Europe are destined for deployment to Somalia.

Officials from the European Union and from Britain and France - the two main historical colonial masters on the African continent - were present at the meeting with Carson and America's East African proxies. [3] A Voice of America report on the closed-door meeting reminded readers that "The European Union, the United Nations and the United States are the main financial contributors to the African Union's AMISOM peacekeeping force in Somalia." [4]

The arm-twisting produced few results. Despite claims by the chairman of the African Union Commission, Gabon's Jean Ping, that troops from Djibouti and Guinea (Conakry) would join AMISOM/IGAD forces from Uganda and Burundi, the additional troops will almost surely come entirely from the last two nations. Also, the nearly three dozen heads of state at the AU summit rejected the Ugandan (and Western) demand for a "peace enforcement" rules of engagement mandate.

The current chairman of the AU, president of Malawi Bingu wa Mutharika, told reporters, "There have been calls for a change in the mandate to a more robust approach to the insurgent attacks in Somalia by Uganda and Burundi, to go beyond Mogadishu, (which is) their current limit, but (we) did not decide on that."

Ping, however, indicated that the U.S. and NATO allies have not abandoned plans for intensified military operations in Somalia, stating, "We need equipment to match with the change in combat approach. We need helicopters for that. The United States and the U.K. are considering our request...." [5] He also mentioned that France could provide additional helicopters.

Even the Attorney General of the U.S., Eric Holder, attended the AU summit as the Obama administration's representative and saw fit to impose his opinions on the 53-nation organization. Before the summit began he met with several of the continent's heads of state and in prepared remarks to the summit affirmed that "The United States...recognizes that ending the threat of al-Shabaab to the world will take more than just law enforcement. That is why we are working closely with the AU to support the African Union’s Mission in Somalia. The United States applauds the heroic contributions that are being made on a daily basis by Ugandan and Burundian troops, and we pledge to maintain our support for the AU and the AU Mission in Somalia." [6]

Lightly-armed al-Shabaab militants have now been elevated by Washington to the status of a threat to the world, though Holder's colleague Carson limited his hyperbole to branding them a "negative influence...across the entire region." The dual bombings in Kampala, incidentally, have been attributed to the group as a warning sign to Uganda to remove (and certainly not to increase) its troops in Somalia, but in fact appear like a provocation designed to accomplish the opposite result.

Four days before the AU summit commenced, the defense chiefs of the six Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) nations - Uganda, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Sudan - met to discuss boosting troop deployments to Somalia.

Weeks before IGAD had recommended that not the earlier cited figure of 8,000 but fully 20,000 foreign troops could be deployed to Somalia in yet another attempt to salvage the Transitional Federal Government, which doesn't even control much of the country's capital despite 6,000 Ugandan and Burundian troops serving as its army. 20,000 foreign troops entering Somalia in the face of overwhelming popular opposition is not a peacekeeping mission. It is an invasion.

In mid-July Ugandan officials announced that their nation's neighbors in IGAD and in the Eastern Africa Standby Brigade (EASBRIG) - Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Seychelles, Somalia and Uganda - had given "soft support" should Uganda "go on the offensive in Somalia."

"Ugandan officials now confirm that Kampala is pursuing a two-track strategy that could see it follow Al Shabaab into Somalia with or without UN Security Council consent." A news report disclosed that the Yoweri Museveni administration is prepared to mobilize the entirety of the 20,000 troops needed for a full-scale invasion of Somalia and "military sources say Uganda feels it has the capacity to go it alone in Somalia and has been building up its military strength for such an eventuality." [7]

The nation's air force has acquired "additions to its arsenal in recent weeks" from its Western patrons "in what observers see as a concerted push to increase Uganda's military capability."

Last week a Defence Ministry spokesman stated, "We are one of the most efficient armies in Africa. We can defend our country from anywhere, even within Somalia." The spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Felix Kulaigye, added, "Anybody who brings war to us, we take back that war to them. We shall pursue Al Shabaab from Somalia in line with the wishes of the Transitional Federal Government." [8]

During the last invasion and occupation of Somalia, that of Ethiopia from December of 2006 to January of 2009, fighting between a similar invading force of 20,000 troops and Somali militias resulted in the deaths of over 16,000 civilians and the displacement of hundreds of thousands in the capital in 2007 alone according to the Mogadishu-based Elman Peace and Human Rights Organisation.

The AMISOM mandate (approved by the AU but, as seen above, with no backing by member states except for Uganda and Burundi) excludes the deployment of troops from nations bordering Somalia - Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya. Ugandan military forces and equipment have to cross Kenya to reach the country; that is, to be airlifted by United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization into parts of the Somali capital not under the control of rebels.

The Ugandan government, largely rebuffed at the AU summit, is pushing for the maiden deployment of the 10-nation Eastern Africa Standby Brigade (Eastern African Standby Brigade Coordination Mechanism) to Somalia, which would appreciably broaden the scope of the conflict. In addition, it is planning to use forums like the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) - whose members are Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia - "which already has provisions that offer some room for intervention."

"Somalia has already applied to be a member; once that request is approved, Uganda will be able to work together with the Transitional Federal Government and fight Al Shabaab under the legal framework that governs the organisation." [9]

On July 20 the head of AFRICOM, General William Ward, addressed the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. and pledged that the U.S. will "provide more training, transportation, and logistical aid to the AU mission, known as AMISOM." Also, "In a briefing to reporters last week, a senior Obama administration official said the U.S. wants to 'build up the capabilities' of AMISOM and the [Somali transitional] government." [10]

In late April Brigadier General Silver Kayemba, in charge of training and operations for the Ugandan People's Defense Force (UPDF), was in the U.S. and visited the headquarters of U.S. Army Africa, the Pentagon, the National Defense University and a Marine Corps base. Kayemba, who was also trained in the U.S., said, "This visit strengthens our relationship with the U.S. Armed Forces, particularly with U.S. Army Africa. We are looking forward to even closer cooperation in the future." [11]

Last month officers of the U.S. 17th Air Force, the air component of AFRICOM (Air Forces Africa) headquartered at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany, traveled to Uganda for what was described as "a senior leader engagement event....to discuss current and future engagement activities between Ugandan People's Defence Force, Ugandan People's Defence Air Force and Air Forces Africa."

The head of the U.S. delegation, Brigadier General Michael Callan, toured the airfield and logistics hangars at the Entebbe Air Force Base and "met with a representative of the U.S. State Department-contracted Dyncorp...which supports the UPDF [Ugandan People's Defence Force] with aerial resupply and troop movements of Ugandan, Burundian, and Somali forces in and out of Mogadishu...." DynCorp International is a private military company that receives almost all of its $2 billion in annual contracts from the U.S. federal government.

General Callan stated, "Uganda is one of only two countries supporting the UN's AMISOM mission currently. Though the airlift is contracted, it is good to have the understanding of those ground-based missions and capabilities of the UPDF as we pursue future air force and joint initiatives."

The Defense and Army Attaché at the American embassy in Kampala added, "We've been working with their army forces for some time, providing great training opportunities through the Department of State-funded International Military Education and Training, or IMET program and multi-national peacekeeping operations. Now they would like for us to do that with their air forces." [12]

Both U.S. military officials stressed the Pentagon's role in upgrading Uganda's air force for future operations. "17th Air Force brings focus to those much needed air force activities," as military attaché Army Lieutenant General Gregory Joachim stated. [13]

In developing bilateral and regional collective military partnerships with most every nation in Africa through AFRICOM, the U.S. works closely with its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This March "Senior figures from the US military's Africa Command were in Brussels...looking to build cooperation with the European Union to boost training and reform for African security forces...." [14]

The Pentagon has between 2,500-3,000 troops from all four major branches of the military assigned to the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa stationed in Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, Somalia's neighbor to the north. France has its largest overseas military base and 3,000 troops in the same small nation. Several hundred troops from Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain have also been deployed there under NATO auspices since the beginning of the decade. The U.S. has used its airfield in Djibouti for attacks in Somalia and Yemen.

Last year the Pentagon secured its second major installation in the area, in the Indian Ocean nation of Seychelles, where it has deployed over 130 troops, Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) and three P-3 Orion anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft.

In addition to the U.S.-led multinational Combined Task Force 150 and Combined Task Force 151 naval deployments off the shores of Somalia (with logistical facilities in Djibouti), NATO and the European Union are running complementary naval operations, Operation Ocean Shield and European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia – Operation Atalanta, respectively. This March NATO announced it was extending its deployment for another - unprecedented - three years, until the end of 2012. Last month the Netherlands "agreed to a NATO request to deploy a submarine off the coast of Somalia...." [15]

In June the EU followed NATO's lead when its foreign ministers agreed to prolong Operation Atalanta until December of 2012. An EU press release at the time revealed the broader Western strategy in the Horn of Africa region, one by no means limited to "combating piracy": "The root causes of piracy in East Africa lie on land. To address them, the current naval operation is combined with the EU training mission for Somalia (EUTM), which contributes to the strengthening of the Somali security forces." [16]

In fact the EU is training Somali soldiers in Uganda for war in their homeland and NATO is transporting Ugandan and Burundian troops for the same purpose.

A NATO website feature disclosed in March that "the USA has conducted airlift missions under the NATO banner in support of...Ugandan troop rotations. The airlift, which commenced on 5 Mar 2010 and was completed on 16 Mar 2010, was undertaken by USA contracted DynCorp International, transporting 1700 Ugandan troops from Uganda into Mogadishu and re-deploying 850 Ugandan troops out of Mogadishu.

"Part of this policy is the NATO standing agreement to provide strategic sealift and airlift support for African Union Troop Contributing Countries willing to deploy to Somalia, recently extended by NATO until 31 January 2011." [17]

With the deployment of the NATO Response Force Maritime Groups 1 and 2 off the coast of Somalia, first with Operation Allied Provider and since last August with Operation Ocean Shield, the Western military bloc has extended its nearly nine-year-old Operation Active Endeavor naval surveillance and interdiction mission throughout the entire Mediterranean Sea into the Gulf of Aden to the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf.

The current commander of Ocean Shield, Dutch Commodore Michiel Hijmans, held a meeting on board the NATO mission's flagship on July 12 with leaders of Somalia's semi-independent Puntland region, which has become a land-based component of NATO operations in the Horn of Africa. According to the bloc, "The purpose of the talks was to build on the existing and growing relationship that has developed between NATO and the Puntland authorities." [18]

Several days later the NATO flotilla docked in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates where Commodore Hijmans broached the subject of "chasing Somali pirates" into the Red Sea, an area not yet covered by the Ocean Shield mandate. NATO warships in the Red Sea would place them off the coasts of Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Djibouti, Jordan and Israel and connect NATO naval operations through the Suez Canal to Active Endeavor in the Mediterranean.

Early this month the French military attaché to Somalia said that the "government of the Republic of France has asked Uganda and other African nations to send more troops to war torn Somalia," and urged "more African states to send troops to Somalia...." [19] France will be instrumental in pressuring Djibouti and Guinea to send troops to Somalia, as both countries are former French colonies and Djibouti is a member of the French Community.

France is among several EU states that have sent troops to Uganda to train 2,000 Somali soldiers for fighting at home. The others are Spain (which is in charge), Britain, Germany, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Belgium, Portugal, Luxembourg, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Malta and Cyprus. A NATO operation in all but name. German troops deployed in May are to "remain in East Africa for a year." [20]

According to the Christian Science Monitor, "Money for logistical support is coming from the United States, which has reportedly already pumped millions of dollars into similar smaller training programs run by local militaries in Uganda and Djibouti over the past 18 months.

"The EU program to train an army to fight for Somalia's beleaguered transitional government involves 150 instructors from 14 EU countries at a cost of $6 million."

The featured cited above also provided the following background information:

"Since 2004, the US has poured huge resources into initiatives such as Easbrig [Eastern Africa Standby Brigade], using private contractors and military advisers to train almost 60,000 African soldiers such as...Rwandans....Africom has also trained Congolese special forces to operate in the country's mineral-rich forests and reformed virtually the entire Liberian national army. Easbrig is an example of what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls 'smart power' - a mixture of military might and nation-building that bears a resemblance to Rumsfeld's concept of the 'long war'....Several critics have likened Africom to a Trojan horse, using the cover of humanitarian aid to pursue America's real strategic interests." [21]

EASBRIG is expected to grow to several thousand troops from as many as 14 nations.

One of the main missions of AFRICOM is create, train and deploy regional military forces to further U.S. and general Western objectives in Africa, the world's second most populous continent. Somalia is the first test case.


[1]. Voice of America News, July 26, 2010

[2]. CNN, July 27, 2010

[3]. Voice of America News, July 26, 2010

[4]. Ibid

[5]. CNN, July 27, 2010

[6]. United States Department of Justice, July 25, 2010

[7]. The East African, July 19, 2010

[8]. Ibid

[9]. Ibid

[10]. Voice of America News, July 20, 2010

[11]. United States Africa Command, April 30, 2010

[12]. U.S. Air Forces in Europe, June 2, 2010

[13]. Ibid

[14]. Europolitics, March 5, 2010

[15]. BBC News, June 22, 2010

[16]. Defense News, June 15, 2010

[17]. North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Allied Command Operations, March 18, 2010

[18]. North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, July 13, 2010

[19]. Uganda Government News, July 9, 2010

[20]. Associated Press, March 31, 2010

[21]. Christian Science Monitor, June 18, 2010

Horrifying Parallels

"What is so eerily similar between the US and Israel is that both have secured a position in the world community as "protectors of democracy", of freedom and equality. In attacking Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States claims to have freed their people from tyranny and to have planted the seeds of democracy and freedom. No matter that Iraq is in shambles, tens of thousands of people have been killed in the process, that Iraqi society is now embroiled in bitter civil strife that has claimed scores of lives or that the US forces there are an occupying power, there only to rule, oppress and suppress the people."

By Joharah Baker
(Monday, August 2, 2010)
Courtesy Of "Media Monitors"

On September 11, 2001, the world changed. Why? Not because 3,000 people were killed in one day by a horrible terrorist attack but because 3,000 Americans were killed in one day by a horrible terrorist attack. Since then, the dichotomy that has divided the world into "us and them" has created tidal waves of chaos, disruption and above all, loss of human life. The US has since used 9/11 as a justification and a pretext for wreaking havoc on whole countries and entire nations. The original death toll of the 9/11 attacks has multiplied to exponential digits, men, women and children killed in their homes just as innocent, if not more, as those sitting in their offices of what used to be the World Trade Center. But they are not American, so they do not count nearly as much.

Ever since that fateful day, the Palestinians, already on the wrong side of the proverbial (and literal) fence, found themselves shoved to the far end of this dichotomy of those who are "against us". Israel, naturally, was the microcosmic representation of the US. No matter how many Palestinian lives were lost, in the Gaza Strip, in the West Bank or anywhere else, the value of these lives was not nearly as high as those few Israelis who fell victim to Palestinian retaliatory attacks. Israel, much like the US, has used these few and far between attacks by the Palestinians as justification to create mass destruction.

Of course, the situations are not completely parallel. The Palestinians, unlike the attackers of September 11, are a people under occupation, fighting for their own freedom and independence on their rightful land. Those who perpetrated the attacks on the World Trade Centers and on the Pentagon did so to create terror and an imbalance, to create chaos and fear among a population that was not directly involved in US foreign policies.

But it is exactly these policies that have placed the US and, in our case, Israel on the receiving end of much resentment. The 9/11 attacks were unjustified, just like any attacks on innocent civilians. However, there is rhyme and reason behind why such heinous attacks are carried out against Americans and not, say, Swedes or Malaysians. America has bred so much resentment in the world because of its plots towards global domination it is only natural that there will be those who strike back.

Yesterday, five rockets were shot into Eilat and the Jordanian resort town of Al Aqaba, days after Katyusha rockets fell in the Negev Desert. True, the attacks did not reap any major damages or human losses, but the fact that rockets are fired into Israel from Gaza and now apparently from outside of Israel's borders says volumes. Israel does not enjoy a blanket acceptance as a dignified nation among nations, something clear from the sporadic signs of resistance to it from inside and abroad.

However, the world is far from an epiphany as to Israel's true nature. What is so eerily similar between the US and Israel is that both have secured a position in the world community as "protectors of democracy", of freedom and equality. In attacking Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States claims to have freed their people from tyranny and to have planted the seeds of democracy and freedom. No matter that Iraq is in shambles, tens of thousands of people have been killed in the process, that Iraqi society is now embroiled in bitter civil strife that has claimed scores of lives or that the US forces there are an occupying power, there only to rule, oppress and suppress the people.

It is understandable why the US and Israel would justify their oppressive measures. They are simply protecting their own interests. However, how much does the world question why some people or nations choose not to accept these justifications? Those rockets that fell on Eilat or on the Negev or in Askalan are not coincidental. Neither are the attacks on American soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan, or even the attacks of September 11. Instead of accepting the Israeli or American propaganda, which gives a one-dimensional perception of who is right and who is wrong (they are always right, by the way), when is the world going to look at the underlying causes of all of this resentment?

There is no doubt that if the US or Israel were truly the peaceful countries they claim to be, such attacks and pent up resentment would not exist. It is only natural that Israel, a country that displaced hundreds and thousands of Palestine's indigenous population and then proceeded to occupy and oppress those who remained would be perceived as a rogue state by many. It was just over 200 years ago that the United States had these same beginnings, slaughtering and oppressing the indigenous population of a country it later claimed as its own. Today, the plight of Native Americans is honored mostly by the descendents of those who originally lived on the land, largely forgotten by the rest of the world. If Israel has its way, the Palestinians will one day share that same plight, pushed into reservation-like areas, their natural resources usurped, their land plundered and their history recreated and encapsulated into a one-day delusional celebration similar to modern day "Thanksgiving."

The Palestinians and hopefully the Iraqis, Afghanis and any other people who find themselves trampled beneath the heels of oppressive regimes, will not allow this fate to befall them. All that is needed is for the mask to fall and for Israel to be exposed in its ugly nakedness. Look beyond the headlines, beyond the accusations of terror and anti-Semitism and the attack on "freedom and democracy" along with all the other catch-phrases Israel has learned from America. Just behind these smokescreens is the real truth why Israel is constantly under attack, why so many oppressed peoples abhor US foreign policies and why it is inevitable for justice to eventually prevail.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Martin Luther King Tells Us Why The Mosque Must Be Built

By Stephanie J. Jones
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Courtesy Of "The Washington Post"

 Lost in the furor over the proposed Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero is a simple fact: The opposition to the center is the strongest argument in favor of it going right where it is planned. By most accounts, much of the opposition is based on an inaccurate conflation of Islam with terrorism, stemming from ignorance about the Muslim religion, culture and people. While troubling, this is hardly surprising in a nation in which a significant minority of Americans believe that our Christian president is Muslim (and so what if he were?).

Exiling the center to another part of Manhattan will expand and deepen the gulf between the Islamic community and its neighbors. The best way to bridge this gap is to help people understand that their trepidation is based not in reality but born of a myth that has been cruelly exploited. The Islamic cultural center can help span this chasm.

Of course, it's not fair to expect a minority community to educate the majority, especially when the majority is so hostile to it. Sadly, minorities have long shouldered the burden of proving to the majority that they pose no threat, that they are not inferior and that they, too, deserve everything the majority takes for granted as its due -- while patiently enduring misunderstanding and even abuse. They do all this in the face of demands that they are going too fast, pushing too hard and making life too uncomfortable for others.

That was the case in 1963 when white ministers in Birmingham, Ala., accused Martin Luther King Jr. of exacerbating racial tensions by leading protests against the city's segregation laws. They called his actions "unwise and untimely." Dr. King responded with his "Letter from Birmingham Jail," in which he wrote: "Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was 'well timed' in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word 'Wait!' It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This 'Wait' has almost always meant 'Never.' "

 Nearly 50 years later, it is Muslims who are being told to wait, to go away and remain out of sight until their presence can be tolerated by others. While much has changed in the past five decades, the drumbeat against the Islamic center echoes the calls of the well-meaning but misguided Birmingham ministers. Following in the footsteps of those who called for King and his "outsiders" to retreat, opponents of the cultural center urge that it be banished to another neighborhood because its presence near Ground Zero is unsettling and potentially dangerous.

But forcing the Islamic center out of sight will only allow ignorance and fear to fester and grow. It will keep more Americans from learning a lesson that King shared with the ministers: "Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds."

If the center is established in Lower Manhattan, the people most opposed to it now will eventually have a chance to learn that Muslims aren't the enemy. That they aren't dangerous or terrorists or even, in fact, outsiders. They are the lady who smiles at them in the grocery store; the teenager who roots for the Yankees; the little girl who plays with their daughter. Muslims are their neighbors. They are Americans. They are their friends.

The Islamic center needs to be right where it is planned because that's where human change will come about -- one parent, one child, one friend at a time. Instead of demanding that the Muslims get out, the residents of Lower Manhattan should be grateful that their fellow Americans are willing to stay put and make the effort, under difficult circumstances, to build bridges so that, as King said, "the deep fog of misunderstanding can be lifted from our fear-drenched communities."

The writer, a public affairs and government relations strategist, was executive director of the National Urban League Policy Institute from 2005 to 2010.

When Past Mistakes Haunt Our Present

"The core of the issue is Israel's occupation and all the illegal measures that follow (settlements, land confiscation, the separation wall) to name a few. Somewhere along the line, the international community began to tow Israel's line and allowed itself to be plunged into the secondary details as a means of deflecting attention from the center. What is unfortunate is that somewhere down that same line, the Palestinians made the same mistake."

By Joharah Baker
(Monday, July 26, 2010)
Courtesy Of "Media Monitors"

Many Palestinians have been saying it all along. The establishment of a free, independent and sovereign Palestinian state cannot be achieved by working from the outside inwards. That is, the theory of creating the outer shell and working slowly towards the core will always fall through, namely because the pressure from outside will eventually collapse the thus-far empty center.

While this has not yet completely happened, the writing is one the wall. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is seemingly a "man with a mission", trying to build up the state, one institution at a time before the actual entity is declared. Many may see this as a sound philosophy, with the argument that there needs to be a solid foundation when independence is actually declared. However, the fact that Israel is the occupying authority and does not seem to have any plans to relinquish power any time soon through negotiations or any other civilized means, this approach can hardly bear fruit.

Just yesterday, a report complied by the US Government Accountability Office, a government watchdog, was presented to the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia. The report found that Israel systematically hinders American efforts to train PA security forces in the West Bank by delaying the transfer of weapons, uniforms, radios and vehicles to them. Furthermore, the report says Israel has blocked US aid to the Palestinians in setting up counter-terrorist units. Since 2007, the US, in line with the Roadmap agreement, has poured money into the PA security forces in a bid to beef up internal security systems that would eventually impose law and order in the West Bank. According to the report, the US has invested $392 million since 2007 in training PA forces in the West Bank.

The point is, if the Americans, Israel's most loyal and staunchest ally, cannot reign in Israel on something the Israelis themselves agreed to, there is something undeniably wrong with the master plan. Palestinian police, under the strictest orders to steer clear of clashing with the Israelis are still not allowed to operate freely. Their guns, if ever, are pointed towards their own, never at the invading Israeli army. The flaw, as many see it, is this creation of an illusion of a state and government (complete with ministries, security and police forces and a president) that sits on the shaky foundation of Israeli domination. As long as Israel is the overriding authority for the Palestinians, neither they nor even the Americans, who are huge proponents of the security paradigm as a basis for a more comprehensive settlement, will ever be able to push a real agenda for peace.

Last week offered another humiliating reminder of who has the ultimate control over Palestinian lives. As most people know, West Bank Palestinians are only allowed to travel outside the country via the Allenby Bridge into Jordan. The "bridge" as it is infamously called, is a horrendous journey to say the least. After reaching the Palestinian controlled- "rest area" – a term that should be applied loosely – travelers are then herded onto a bus and taken to the first checkpoint or the "crossing", where Palestinian security forces check passports before travelling to the actual border. Prior to the Oslo Accords, the real border crossing consisted of Israeli security personnel on one side and the Jordanians on the other. Then the accords were signed and uniformed Palestinians appeared behind the desks at passport control. This semblance of sovereignty at a Palestinian border was short lived. Even then, the dutiful Palestinians would slip the Palestinian passport into a drawer that would mysteriously disappear behind a one-way mirror. If all went well, minutes later, the passport would magically appear again, stamped and ready to go. Of course, behind the mirror, out of Palestinian sight, were the Israelis, from whom permission to cross had to be granted. Only then would passengers be allowed to proceed to the next stop.

After 2000, however when all hell broke loose and even those flimsy semblances of normalcy fell through, Palestinian personnel were ousted from their places at the border crossing and the Israelis boldly returned to the front desk. Only after a security okay is granted are travelers allowed to proceed to the Jordanian side. This is where dozens of people are taken in for questioning (both going in and out of the country) or are turned back for any number of reasons.

Last week, however, buses and buses of people were made to sleep in Jericho or on the hard benches of the rest area because the Israelis decided to go on strike at the border. Summer months are always the worst, with West Bankers traveling in and out of Jordan throughout the season and Palestinians residing abroad returning home for vacation. The bridge, a virtual bottleneck exit, is reportedly open until 9:00 pm, a huge improvement from earlier arrangements when it would close by four. However, for two days in a row, Israeli border authorities have closed down the crossing, reportedly because of the overcrowding. Those who did not make it across were forced to go back, either to wait in Jericho or on the Jordanian side until Israel decided to open the crossing again. Thousands of people including hundreds of small children were made to wait for hours in the sweltering heat in the hopes of crossing over before being forced to return.

All the Palestinians could do at the rest area at this point was try to make the miserable travelers more comfortable and fashion some kind of order out of the mayhem the Israelis had created. They have no authority over the actual crossing (the goal of anyone there) and what's worse, are made to clean up the mess the Israelis make.

Such instances have created a mishmash of mixed feelings among the Palestinians. Initially, the sight of uniformed Palestinians in their cities and Palestinian "border" police at the crossing was a welcomed comfort after years of having to answer directly to belligerent Israeli security forces. It did not take long however, to realize the façade. Israel is always there, either directly or ominously lurking in the background.

That is why the notion of building Palestine from the outside in has been criticized so much. The core of the issue is Israel's occupation and all the illegal measures that follow (settlements, land confiscation, the separation wall) to name a few. Somewhere along the line, the international community began to tow Israel's line and allowed itself to be plunged into the secondary details as a means of deflecting attention from the center. What is unfortunate is that somewhere down that same line, the Palestinians made the same mistake.

The West's Frankenstein Out Of Control

"While Israel demolishes Palestinian homes and expropriates the properties of absent Palestinians by forcibly expelling them from their homes, it demands that Arab countries return the possessions of the Jews who used to live in them. It expels African children from Israel so that it remains ‘Jewish and white’. Reading Mya Guarnieri’s article “children are just Israel’s latest victims” in The Guardian (July 20, 2010) makes you disgusted at a policy that does not give value to any human being or any human relationship. What makes you angry is that such a policy receives support and funding from most western countries which never tire of talking about human rights and freedom."

By Bouthaina Shaaban
(Wednesday, July 28, 2010)
Courtesy Of "Media Monitors"

When international condemnation intensified in relation to the crime committed by Israel against the aid flotilla unarmed activists, who were trying to bring food and medicine to the civilians besieged in Gaza, the Netanyahu government started to use expressions like ‘intentions to ease the blockade’. But here is Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who visited Gaza last week, saying that she saw no sign of easing the blockade and declaring, on behalf of the EU that keeping the blockade on one and a half million Palestinian civilians is “unacceptable”.

But such statements remain statements if not translated into an action plan or sanctions to force Netanyahu’s extremist government to lift the blockade. And here is Israel, months after the publication of the Goldstone report and the UN request that Israel respond to the report, “pledging” to reduce civilian casualties and limit the use of “phosphorous bombs”. In other words, Israel confirms that it will continue to target Palestinian civilians and use internationally banned weapons against them.

On the same day, Israel demolished Palestinian houses and shops and expelled hundreds of Palestinians from pre-1948 Palestinian territories to the West Bank in implementation of its declared racist ‘transfer’ policy. It will also build a separation barrier with Egypt next week. At the same time, the Israeli defence minister will visit Washington soon to discuss bilateral cooperation and conditions for resuming negotiations. In other words, Ehud Barak, indicted with war crimes against civilians in South Lebanon and Gaza, will ask the American administration for more financial, military, political and diplomatic support in order to continue the policies of blockade, demolition, oppression, starvation and transfer against Palestinian civilians. This will of course be given coverage by the pro-Israeli media in order to maintain Israel’s image as “an oasis of freedom in the Middle East”, in Joe Biden’ words.

For western governments and media to accept a brutal blockade to be imposed on one and a half Palestinians is shocking, particularly that they claim to defend ‘human rights’ and support the causes of justice, freedom and democracy. It is also shocking that the United Nations calls on Israel to stop demolishing Palestinian houses, while it has, for years, carried out a policy of judaizing Jerusalem and demolished some of the most beautiful architectural monuments in the neighbourhoods of Jarrah and Silwan without the UN taking any measure against Israel as it has done with other countries.

This contradiction and use of double standards exposes the false claims of western democracies that they support human rights and believe in the rule of law; for every day we see Palestinians being arrested for demonstrating peacefully against the demolition of their houses; and we see them turned into refugees. Accepting words like ‘easing’ and ‘reducing’ means not respecting Palestinians’ life and not equating their suffering and pain with the suffering and pain of western people. Otherwise, why had all human-rights organizations, the United Nations, the United States and Europe failed to impose sanctions against Israel because of all these crimes committed against unarmed Palestinian, while they do so against countries for mere suspicion that they have intentions to develop weapons? The credibility of the White House in supporting peace in the Middle East is completely shattered when an official in this house, which has a long history of supporting dictatorships, expresses pride that the United States provides Israel with $ 4 billion to equip it with the most devastating weapons, including nuclear weapons, while it spends $ 3 billion on more than seventy other countries.

There is no need to interpret intentions here, because Israel has demonstrated for the past sixty years that it uses these American weapons to eliminate the Palestinian people, suppress their right to freedom, steal their land and water and destroy their future. So, why arming Israel is a source of pride, while other countries’ attempt to get weapons to defend themselves justifies accusing them with terrorism? Why are not the measures and standards applied against others, who have not committed a crime, be applied against Israel? This is the question raised by Seth Freedman in The Guardian (July 15, 2010) in an article entitled “Force Israel’s hand on Palestinian home demolition”. The writer stresses that “Israel's resumption of demolition in East Jerusalem requires firm intervention to prevent a total breakdown in talks”, and I say to prevent more crimes against innocent people. The writer goes on to say “Unfortunately, it is not hard to see where their arrogance stems from: for years, no American or European leader has dared match their angry words with concrete actions, such as sanctions against Israel”. He adds: “Judaising" East Jerusalem is a stated policy of numerous settler groups and their financial and political backers, and every home demolition and family eviction expedites the process of ethnic cleansing already embarked upon”.

While Israel demolishes Palestinian homes and expropriates the properties of absent Palestinians by forcibly expelling them from their homes, it demands that Arab countries return the possessions of the Jews who used to live in them. It expels African children from Israel so that it remains ‘Jewish and white’. Reading Mya Guarnieri’s article “children are just Israel’s latest victims” in The Guardian (July 20, 2010) makes you disgusted at a policy that does not give value to any human being or any human relationship. What makes you angry is that such a policy receives support and funding from most western countries which never tire of talking about human rights and freedom.

I once wrote that Israel is the 20th-century Frankenstein invented by the west. Has this Frankenstein gone beyond the control of its western creators? Or, is there still no sufficient conviction of its danger to others, to itself, and ultimately to the entire world?