Wednesday, June 29, 2011
June 29 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Unreported Trends - The Rebels In Afghanistan Know They're Fighting A Global Class War
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June 29 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: June 29 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Unreported Trends - The Rebels In Afghanistan Know They're Fighting A Global Class War
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After the commentary, Elvin Bishop asks a pertinent question about a number of issues in the news... What The Hell Is Going On?. Courtesy of the respective artists and KPIG Radio Freedom California... Earth.
» A bad evening in Kabul - There has been a full scale coordinated attack on Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel... Home to many foreign, umn... "Travelers" to Afghanistan. Details are still sketchy but at least 11 indigenous fighters and 12 visitors were killed. The Haqquani Pashtun tribal militia and the Taliban are claiming responsibility.
From the AfPak Channel @ Foreign Policy Magazine (Inside The War FOR South Asia... Emphasis Mine):
At least eight suicide attackers reportedly dressed as Afghan police and armed with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades laid siege to Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel Tuesday, shaking the relative calm of the capital and killing more than 12 people, including mostly hotel staff and three Afghan police (Post, Pajhwok, AFP, NYT, CNN, Times, BBC, Tel, AJE, WSJ, AP, Reuters, Guardian, LAT, McClatchy, Independent, Bloomberg). The siege ended nearly six hours after a suicide bomber blew himself up at the hotel's first security checkpoint, when at least one NATO helicopter killed three insurgents on the roof, and Afghan commandos, supported by Western Special Forces, retook the hotel (NYT, WSJ, Times, AFP, BBC, CNN, Post). The Taliban took credit for the attack, and officials believe the target could have been a two-day meeting of provincial government officials who had convened to discuss the transition to Afghan security control (AJE).The early report came through Reuters:
Afghan president Hamid Karzai insisted that his government would still take over security in the country according to established timetables, and President Barack Obama will hold a press conference today to discuss the transition, as well as other subjects (AP, Bloomberg). A group of warlords and political leaders representing minority communities in Afghanistan announced the formation Tuesday of an anti-Karzai political alliance (WSJ).
...And Kathy Gannon reports on the deteriorating security situation in northern Afghanistan, as militants pour into the area (AP). [In full with all links]
» In California, the legislature has delivered a "balanced budget" (balanced on the backs of California's poor, seniors. and children) under pressure from a law which forces a dollar-a-day salary and no 'bennies' on the legislators at the time the budget becomes due. Whether governor Brown will sign the budget bill remains to be seen.
The forest/brush fire threat to Los Alamos military nuclear research lab in New Mexico continues with the fresh fissionable materials 'safely stored' but hundreds of thousands of gallons of radioactive Plutonium waste stored on site remain exposed, albeit on asphalt and not in the woods, as the fire burns out of control.
» One of the nuclear power plants in Nebraska surrounded by floodwaters has been inundated by that water after at least one protective levee broke. It will take at least a month to clear the water.... assuming that the flooding from the Missouri river abates.
In OTHER News:
As promised yesterday, an update on the situation in Libya.
The destabilization of oil supplies brought on by the West's invasion of Libya is driving up the cost of your car's gasoline and that cost is now making a dent in many American's discretionary incomes, so...
Obama to release oil from strategic reserveNow git out there and shop to save Democracy!
By Ben Geman and Andrew Restuccia - 06/23/11
The Energy Department said Thursday that it will release 30 million barrels of oil from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve, citing supply disruptions threatening the global economy and hailing from the unrest in Libya and other nations.
If all 30 million barrels are sold, it would be the largest sale from the reserve in history.
The release is part of a coordinated effort with other members of the International Energy Agency that will send a total of 60 million barrels of crude oil into world markets over the next 30 days, according to the Energy Department.
The decision comes amid signs that the economic recovery is faltering which is a political threat to the White House heading into 2012 and concerns that high energy prices are acting as a brake on growth. [Details @ The Hill]
Just in case you thought the US involvement in Libya is just about equipment and whether there are boots on the ground, you should think again... The US pays in 25% of NATO's budget, hence America "Hires" NATO as a multinational military-mercenary organization, but with budget cuts coming in many nations defense budgets, including the US:
Libya May Be NATO's Last Mission (The Fiscal Times)More on NATO's pending disintegration from the Globe & Mail, UK:
There is no argument that America is NATO's sugar daddy. In 2009 and 2010, the United States kicked in $408 million and $430 million, respectively, to NATO's military budget; $462.5 million is earmarked for 2011 spending.
The U.S. contributed $66.1 million and $84.1 million to NATO's civil budget in 2009 and 2010
respectively. Some $90 million has been appropriated for this year's budget.
And U.S. contributions to the organization's security investment program, which pays for NATO installations and facilities, were $330 million and $197 million in 2009 and 2010, respectively, with $259 million earmarked for 2011.
Total U.S. financial contributions make up 25 percent of NATO's budget. Germany, the U.K. and France are the largest NATO contributors behind the U.S. Yet the differences between the contribution amounts are substantial. Germany contributes 18 percent, while France and the United Kingdom contribute 9 percent. From 2000 to 2003 between 3.1 and 3.2 percent of America's GDP to NATO, while Western Europe contributed between 2 and 1.9 percent of its GDP.
At the same time, Germany and the U.K. are in the midst of deep defense cuts that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned could cause long-term damage to strategic alliances, including NATO... [More @ The Fiscal Times]
NATO's military strategy in Libya is to press on, keep firing, until the people of Tripoli rise up against Moammar Gadhafi. But countries that backed the intervention are showing doubts about the plan. The cracks are now clearly visible. Italy, a key NATO ally, called for a ceasefire to deliver aid but the alliance and its military commander Canadian Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard said the air strikes must go on... [In Full]
Finally... Let it be noted... No one's hands are clean:
UN Libya team accuses both sides of war crimes
UN investigators accuse Libyan government forces of war crimes, but say there is evidence of opposition abuses as well.
The report raised concerns about alleged acts by Libyan rebels of torture and cruel treatment, particularly against migrant workers. It will be debated by the UN human rights council in Geneva on Monday.
Earlier on Wednesday at a meeting in Brussels, 28 Nato member states unanimously agreed to prolong the alliance's mission in Libya... [More @ BBC News]
(...and try not to let your government kill too many 'dusky natives' in the interim OK?)
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