Friday, February 25, 2011

February 25 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Lost War Chronicles - U.S. Forces Withdraw Quietly From Kunar Province Afghanistan

"All The News You Never Knew You Needed To Know ...Until Now."

Cabale News ServiceFebruary 25 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Lost War Chronicles - U.S. Forces Withdraw Quietly From Kunar Province Afghanistan

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In The News:
Thanks this morning to ChrisM, my MP3Angel, for supplying the news and commentary audio files.

[After the commentary, Vietnamistan 'Reloaded'... Alabama 3 wrapped around an al Jazeera report from Kunar province a while back when now disgraced EX-general Stanley McChrystal began the retreat... Courtesy of Alabama3 & al Jazeera (Watch Now)... Full Metal Jacket Mix by Skidmark Bob @ PoP dEFECT Radio]

One Less Nation-State: We all may have been wrong about Mumaar al-Gadaffi fleeing Tripoli in a tactically outfitted armored car because what are rumored to be large numbers of mercenaries get ready for a standoff in the city... as his military continues deserting. But it IS correct to assume "Libya" as a nation is coming apart as communities and tribal group around the region begin forming militias and local governments to take measures to protect the security of their enclaves and cities such as Benghazi and Tobruk.

Some of those groups sit on top of oil, which they will begin selling as independent entities ASAP, leading to headlines such as this: Concerns over oil supply cause spike in prices as uprising hits exports Chaos in Libya jeopardises global recovery

Meanwhile, some people wonder about the "BIG RIG" in the oil reserve world collapsing:
Saudi probably won't fall, but if it does the world will change

25 February 2011

Fawaz Gerges

(The author is director of the LSE's Middle East Centre)

There is a revolution taking place in the Middle East. The young people are emboldened and confident in a way they have never been before, and what we have seen in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and Libya could yet take hold in other countries in the region.

But if the revolution is going to stop anywhere, it is likely to be in the desert at the gates of the House of Saud; crucially the home of the world's greatest supply of oil.
The rest of the world should be taking a careful look at the situation. If Saudi Arabia were to fall, an unlikely scenario, there would be an earthquake across the world economy. The two major spikes in Western inflation in recent memory were caused by Opec limiting supply in 1973 in protest at the US arming Israel, and later by the revolution in Iran. Saudi Arabia is a huge economy that oils the wheels of the rest of the world. Most of us believe Saudi is too big to fall... [In Full @ Independent UK]

Space Shuttle Discovery launched yesterday on its 39th and last mission. It made it's maiden flight in 1984 during the Reagan administration. This mission was supposed to have gotten off the ground in November... but the Discovery is old, and frail. Most of the cargo onboard is material for the International Space Station but it is also carrying a 'humanoid robot' perhaps capable of doing extended spacewalks. There are two more shuttle launches scheduled using other vehicles and that will be the end of the space shuttle program as we know it (perhaps the remaining craft will be used a bit longer on more skunkworks-like and 'dark' missions carrying military or intelligence personnel and equipment).

In Madison Wisconsin, the state assembly passed the intensely contested bill eliminating the right of most state workers to collectively bargain, but the fourteen Democratic Senators of the state are still hold up over the Illinois border leaving the state senate without a quorum and out of session.

Yesterday it was reported that Wisconsin governor Scott Walker had an extensive phone conversation with a prankster he thought to be David Koch, the industrialist billionaire and financier of much of the "Tea Party" activism. Governor Walker insinuated that he had considered infiltrating 'troublemakers' into the tens of thousands of protester now streaming in from all over the U.S. in support of the Wisconsin workers during that 20 minute BS session with a well known phone prankster. That got the state capital's Chief of Police, tasked with maintaining order during the protests a little "tight in the jaw", and he said so.

Funny thing about that (but no one I KNOW is laughing)... The Koch teabagger anti-union organization IS coming to town: Koch brothers quietly open lobbying office in downtown Madison (no wonder governor Walker thought the prank call real)

Bumper Sticker of the week (from the 2,197 comments and counting):

"My 12-year-old can blow up your honor student"

Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, a twenty year old Saudi honors student who has been on scholarship at Texas Tech in Lubbock Texas for several years has been found to be plotting a Jihadi bombing. He was targeting dams, nuclear facilities, Guantanamo guards, and... wait for it... G.W. Bush's home in Dallas. More.

Speaking of Jihad... Today in Foreign Policy Magazine, resigned in disgrace EX-general Stanley McChrystal said: "In bitter, bloody fights in both Afghanistan and Iraq, it became clear to me and to many others that to defeat a networked enemy we had to become a network ourselves." (source)

He's SUCH A KIDDER!... We have (re)created that network... with al-Qaeda as part of our not-yet-announced War On Pakistan!.

(al-Qaeda is Translated: The Database... of CIA affiliated Muslim fighters who fought our proxy war against the Russians in Afghanistan and worked for the Pentagon and NATO elsewhere.. the former Yugoslavia, 'Madeline's War' being notable.).

Mike Whitney give us a very clear picture of the US Foreign Policy Apparatus' ONGOING INVOLVEMENT with al-Qaeda affiliated elements in Pakistan and elsewhere. Whitney also give us many (many!) details on the recent imbroglio in Lahore where a supposed "diplomatic aide" apparently shot and killed two people he said were trying to mug him...

Or perhaps not...

Breaking: US reveals that CIA agent Raymond Davis worked for private security firm Xe, formerly known as Blackwater. "...eyebrows were raised when it emerged that he shot the men 10 times, one as he fled the scene." More @ Guardian UK

An Excerpt From Whitney's Article At...

The CIA's Killing Spree in Lahore

By Mike Whitney
February 24, 2011

When CIA-agent Raymond Davis gunned down two Pakistani civilians in broad daylight on a crowded street in Lahore, he probably never imagined that the entire Washington establishment would spring to his defense. But that's precisely what happened. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mike Mullen, John Kerry, Leon Panetta and a number of other US bigwigs have all made appeals on Davis's behalf. None of these stalwart defenders of "the rule of law" have shown a speck of interest in justice for the victims or of even allowing the investigation to go forward so they could know what really happened. Oh, no. What Clinton and the rest want, is to see their man Davis packed onto the next plane to Langley so he can play shoot-'em-up someplace else in the world.
But why all the intrigue and arm-twisting? Why has the State Department invoked the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to make its case that Davis is entitled to diplomatic immunity?

If Davis is innocent, then he has nothing to worry about, right?

Why not let the trial go forward and stop reinforcing the widely-held belief that Davis is a vital cog in the US's clandestine operations in Pakistan?

The truth is that Davis had been photographing sensitive installations and madrassas for some time, the kind of intelligence gathering that spies do when scouting-out prospective targets. Also, he'd been in close contact with members of terrorist organizations, which suggests a link between the CIA and terrorist incidents in Pakistan. Here's an excerpt from Wednesday's The Express Tribune:

"His cell phone has revealed contacts with two ancillaries of al Qaeda in Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Taliban of Pakistan (TTP) and sectarian Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), which has led to the public conclusion that he was behind terrorism committed against Pakistan's security personnel and its people ....This will strike people as America in cahoots with the Taliban and al Qaeda against the state of Pakistan targeting, as one official opined, Pakistan's nuclear installations." ("Raymond Davis: The plot thickens, The Express Tribune)

"Al Qaeda"? The CIA is working with "ancillaries of al Qaeda in Pakistan"? No wonder the US media has been keeping a wrap on this story for so long.

Naturally, most Pakistanis now believe that the US is colluding with terrorists to spread instability, weaken the state, and increase its power in the region. But isn't that America's M.O. everywhere?

Also, many people noticed that US drone attacks suddenly stopped as soon as Davis was arrested. Was that a coincidence? Not likely. Davis was probably getting coordinates from his new buddies in the tribal hinterland and then passing them along to the Pentagon. The drone bombings are extremely unpopular in Pakistan. More then 1400 people have been killed since August 2008, and most of them have been civilians.

And, there's more. This is from (Pakistan's) The Nation... [A MUST READ @ CounterPunch]

The Senate Democrats will include spending cuts of their own in their own version of the Continuing Resolution Budget to run the US government until the end of September, but the cuts will probably not match the requirements of the House Republican majority. So far it's looking like the U.S.government will "Shut Down". The Christian Science Monitor on what that means and more from the Washington Post where we read.
The House plan, which was approved on a party-line vote at 4:40 a.m. after five days of debate, eliminates dozens of programs and offices while slashing agency budgets by as much as 40 percent. Federal funding for AmeriCorps and PBS would cease. Hundreds of millions would be cut from border security, and tens of millions would be withheld from funding for the District of Columbia.

A massive US-Mexico law enforcement sweep targeting drug gangs, mostly the "Zetas", has resulted in 150 arrests from Miami to San Diego. There are claims that the Mexican task force has caught the person who recently shot a U.S. DEA agent, taking some pressure off the strained-by-drug-wars relations between the two countries.

For a very real recent and graphic look at the Mexican end of the drug war by someone who lives in the middle of what he describes as "Zeta" territory see this piece in The eXiled... "Mankind's Only Alternative". (WARNING GRAPHICALLY VIOLENT IMAGERY!)

In OTHER News:

When only automatic weapons will "contain" those legally protesting American (or Iraqi or...) demonstrators:
"The army's existing crowd-control rounds are single shots fired from handheld grenade launchers with a range of about 50 metres - the XM1044 would double this range. It would be supplied in belts for the Mk19 grenade launcher, a truck-mounted weapon that can fire almost six rounds per second."

Army wants rapid-fire rubber bullets for crowd control

By David Hambling

New Scientist
17 February 2011

THE US army is planning to field "rubber bullets" for machine guns. Military officials claim the ammunition will allow them to more effectively quell violent protests without loss of life, but human rights campaigners are alarmed by the new weapon.

The final design for the XM1044 round has not been selected, according to an order placed on the Federal Business Opportunities website last month, but the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate has been working on a ring aerofoil projectile for some years. The round is a hollow plastic cylinder 40 millimetres across, looking something like a short toilet-paper roll. In flight its shape generates lift, giving it a longer range.
Firing rapidly at long range is likely to be dangerously inaccurate, says Angela Wright of Amnesty International. "Such a weapon system would allow for a burst of non-accurate fire at a crowd, with high risk of hitting bystanders, ricochets and of hitting vulnerable areas of the body," she says.

Despite being hollow and plastic, if a round were to strike someone in the head, it could severely injure or kill them, she adds. [More @ NewScientist]


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