I am disappointed with the view of some knowledgeable commentators over Scotland’s release of the dying man who was convicted of the Lockerbie-airline bombing.
From a purely power-politics point of view, of course, they are right: judging by the ugly noises echoing across the oceans from America, Scotland has done itself no favor.
But if all affairs are to be carried on in every country from that point of view, it seems to me that it is acceptance of America's right to dictate every matter over the planet, including such intimate matters as how individual countries interpret justice and the government of laws.
By Ramzy Baroud
With elections just around the corner in Afghanistan, it might be timely to reflect on the US engagement with that stricken nation and consider just how much foreign intervention has contributed to the prospect and possibility of free and democratic elections. More, it is fitting to consider what kind of example the US and its allies have given to the people of Afghanistan, if they have bestowed any wisdom and guidance for a nation facing a turbulent and uncertain future, to say the least.
Dr. David Evans
[The big temperature picture. Graph and insight from Dr Syun Akasofu (2009 International Conference on Climate Change, New York, March 2009).]
The pattern suggests that the world has entered a period of slight cooling until about 2030.
The global temperature has been rising at a steady trend rate of 0.5°C per century since the end of the little ice age in the 1700s (when the Thames River would freeze over every winter; the last time it froze over was 1804). On top of the trend are oscillations that last about thirty years in each direction:
Here in Iceland people say, that if the country´s government agrees to give in to British and Dutch blackmail to pay the debts of the private internet-subsidiary Ice-Save of the private bank Landsbanki, we all will become Ice-Slaves. So public opinion is forcing the parliament to refuse unconditional debt-payments. According to a new agreement payments are only to be made conditional as a percentage of economic growth.
Already a large group of international banks have come together to sue Iceland for full and unconditional payments. Joseph Tirado, from the British law-firm Norton Rose said that a large group of banks will be part of this law-suit. He did not want to give the names of those institutions neither would he say in what court the case would be heard. EU officials and others are threatening Iceland with international isolation.
Bill Van Auken
The US Central Intelligence Agency contracted the now notorious private security firm Blackwater for a secret program of “targeted killings” against alleged Al Qaeda operatives, according to media reports Thursday.
The agency essentially was attempting to subcontract state assassinations to a private company employing mercenaries.
In June, current CIA Director Leon Panetta briefed leading members of congressional intelligence committees on the program and said he ordered it terminated. The existence of the assassination program had been kept secret from Congress, apparently on the orders of former Vice President Dick Cheney. Panetta said he learned of it only after six months as the agency’s chief.
■ Incapacitating chemical agents used by law enforcement officials are being given new names to hide their weapon potential.
■ Now being presented as riot control agents, these chemical concoctions have been reclassified to avoid being outlawed by CWC regulations.
■ Unfortunately, countries that have decried external chemical weapon proliferation threats haven't disavowed similar programs within their own countries.
In April 2007, 26 people from the U.S. Justice Department, local law enforcement, the military, academia, and civil society came together at the behest of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research arm of the Justice Department, to consider the issue of "nonlethal" weapons development. Based on the findings of this meeting, Penn State University won a $250,000 contract to conduct further research into new incapacitating chemical weapons--for example, sedatives, anaesthetics, morphine-like analgesic chemical agents, and certain brain-signalling bioregulators--for police use in the United States and "operationalize" these weapons.
These days you can’t swing a cat or open your mailbox without being hit by a flood of emails about the memorials, tributes, condolences, and donation sites for the victims of these tragedies that the conspiracy theorists say were created -- not right after the event, but right before the event.
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