Posted by: quiscus | January 14, 2010

January 14, 2010

1.  “Congressman Prepares Legislation to Ban Blackwater

As multiple scandals involving Blackwater continue to emerge almost daily, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is preparing to introduce legislation aimed at ending the US government’s relationship with Blackwater and other armed contracting companies. “In 2009, the U.S. government employed well over 20,000 armed private security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, and there is every indication that these figures will continue to rise in 2010,” Schakowsky wrote in a “Dear Colleage” letter asking for support for her Stop Outsourcing Security (SOS) Act. “These men and women are not part of the U.S. military or government.  They do not wear the uniform of the United States, though their behavior has, on numerous occasions, severely damaged the credibility and security of our military and harmed our relationship with other governments.”

Schakowsky originally introduced the bill in 2007, but it only won two co-sponsors in the Senate: Vermont’s Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Ironically, Clinton—now Secretary of State— is currently the US official responsible for most of Blackwater’s contracts. “The legislation would prohibit the use of private contractors for military, security, law enforcement, intelligence, and armed rescue functions unless the President tells Congress why the military is unable to perform those functions,” according to Schakowsky. “It would also increase transparency over any remaining security contracts by increasing reporting requirements and giving Congress access to details about large contracts.”

2.  The vast majority are American war crimes:

UN Details Record Afghan Civilian Toll in 2009

Though the final tally will no doubt be a source of much dispute in the coming weeks, the United Nations issued a report today showing that the civilian death toll in Afghanistan in 2009 set yet another new record, with 2,412 civilians slain.”

3.  Totally America’s fault:

“Almost seven years later, the most catastrophic legacy of the Iraq war is shaping up to be the more than 2 million refugees who are locked in limbo on its borders with no hope of moving on. Here’s what daily life is like in the monotonous depths of a humanitarian nightmare.

This story illustrates a crucial fact about refugee crises: It takes impressively extreme conditions to create them. No matter how dangerous a war zone becomes, leaving is almost always the option of last resort. Nobody wants to bid farewell, possibly forever, to a familiar and beloved life. And yet, since the Iraq war began in March 2003, roughly 4.5 million people have fled. A little over half are IDPs, internally displaced people who were forced from their communities and sought haven elsewhere in Iraq. The rest are refugees, primarily in Syria (which hosts up to 1 million Iraqis), but also in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, and Lebanon. Taken together, they represent one of the largest forced migrations in the world. By way of comparison, the crisis in Darfur involves a similar number of IDPs, but only a tenth as many refugees.”

4.  “The Neo-Wilsonian Worldview

In ignoring Human Nature 101, Lowry seems to be saying that unlike taxation and welfare, two intrusive government interventions conservatives have long insisted affect human behavior, intervening in the business of other nations by invading, occupying or bombing them-for decades — does not elicit any specific reactions from the native population. Predictably, Lowry’s explanation for the underwear bomber’s actions is the same, lacking government narrative we’ve all become accustomed to: “Abdul Mutallab was in the grip of a violent ideology with an existential hatred of the United States at its core.”

Former National Review editor Joseph Sobran once wrote, that “War has all the characteristics of socialism most conservatives hate: Centralized power, state planning, false rationalism, restricted liberties, foolish optimism about intended results, and blindness to unintended secondary results.”

5.  “US Threatens Venezuela. Netherlands has Granted US Military Use of its Islands in the Caribbean”

6.  “Scanners Are Not the Solution

Also, the type of radiation the scanners emit is particularly harmful. Terahertz waves, the type of radiation emitted, have been described by Los Alamos researchers as “ripping DNA apart.” Apparently, strands of DNA are loosely joined, so they can separate easily for replication. The resonant effects of the terahertz waves “unzip” the strands. If your DNA has been “unzipped,” it can’t replicate properly.”

7.  “So the question is relevant. How’d Haiti become so poor?

The story begins in 1910, when a U.S. State Department-National City Bank of New York (now called Citibank) consortium bought the Banque National d’Haïti–Haiti’s only commercial bank and its national treasury–in effect transferring Haiti’s debts to the Americans. Five years later, President Woodrow Wilson ordered troops to occupy the country in order to keep tabs on “our” investment.

From 1915 to 1934, the U.S. Marines imposed harsh military occupation, murdered Haitians patriots and diverted 40 percent of Haiti’s gross domestic product to U.S. bankers. Haitians were banned from government jobs. Ambitious Haitians were shunted into the puppet military, setting the stage for a half-century of U.S.-backed military dictatorship.

The U.S. kept control of Haiti’s finances until 1947.

Still–why should Haitians complain? Sure, we stole 40 percent of Haiti’s national wealth for 32 years. But we let them keep 60 percent.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: