By Hans Bennett
In her new book Blood & Capital: The Paramilitarization of Colombia, author Jasmin Hristov writes: “For roughly forty years, the Colombian state has been playing a double game: prohibiting the formation of paramilitary groups with one law and facilitating their existence with another; condemning their barbarities and at the same time assisting their operations; promising to bring perpetrators of crime to justice, while opening the door to perpetual immunity; convicting them of narco-trafficking, yet profiting from their drug deals; announcing to the world the government’s persecution of paramilitary organizations, even though in reality these ‘illegal armed groups’ have been carrying out the dirty work unseemly for a state that claims to be democratic and worthy of billions of dollars in US military aid.”
by Susenjit Guha
To win the war in Afghanistan, the United States will have to win the hearts and minds of the Afghans as well as the Pakistani people. And at the same time the Afghan leadership should tamp down on corruption and ensure that foreign aid goes to the right places while Pakistan has to take on the Taliban head-on.
But the ground reality is different and there is nothing to trigger optimism even after 8 years.
Top military officer Admiral Mike Mullen, in one of the most scathing criticisms of the war so far….in an article written for a US military publication, Joint Force Quarterly…. felt that instead of sending a positive message about US military action and development in Afghanistan and elsewhere, the efforts are hurting credibility as they do not coincide with what the populace sees on the ground.
Allen L Roland
Slowly but surely the pieces are falling into place on the most treasonous act in American History ~ the 9/11 false flag operation which most likely implicates George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice and other high level White House officials:
"False flag terrorism" occurs when elements within a government stage a secret operation whereby government forces pretend to be a targeted enemy while attacking their own forces or people. The attack is then falsely blamed on the enemy in order to justify going to war against that enemy. Or as Wikipedia defines it: " False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as if they are being carried out by other entities."
Michael Goldfarb's Scurrilous Attack on Rep. Schakowsky and Me. (P.S.: Erik Prince is Not Valerie Plame)
Michael Goldfarb of Bill Kristol’s neconservative magazine, The Weekly Standard, which has engaged in quite a bit of masturbation over how awesome Blackwater is, needs to give Rush Limbaugh back his supply of pharmaceuticals. Goldfarb has posted a story comparing the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame to the unsubstantiated claim from a Blackwater/Xe/US Training Center spokesperson that Erik Prince is now on an al Qaeda “Most Wanted” list in the aftermath of reporting on the company’s role in the CIA’s assassination program:
Eli Lake and Sarah Carter have a big scoop this morning on news that the CIA “has asked the Justice Department to examine what it regards as the criminal disclosure of a secret program to kill foreign terrorist leaders abroad.” As a result of those leaks, the head of the firm formerly known as Blackwater, Erik Prince, has ended up on an al Qaeda hit list. Given that there is just as much disdain for Prince among left-wing Democrats as there is in the al Qaeda organization, one shouldn’t expect too much concern about this development from those who screamed loudest about the disclosure of Valerie Plame’s identity. But the facts of the crime are eerily similar — with one key difference: this time it looks like the leak came from Congress and not the administration.
By David Kendall
"With millions unemployed, and health care costs rising through the roof, and the only answer ever given to unemployment is 'go back to school', why are there still so few medical schools that 1/3 of our doctors are imported and Americans who want to be doctors frequently have to resort to joining the military in order to be trained? We should have a doctor on every corner, competing with each other." 
The above quotation is an excerpt from a recent article regarding the economics of health care reform. My aim here is not to dispute those views but to expand upon them. The article cited above makes some key points regarding what economists call "perfect competition", specifically "many buyers and sellers" and "freedom of entry and exit". In addition to all the screaming and yelling about moral and ethical issues, if the American people would approach the health care debate from a truly "free-market" economic perspective, there probably wouldn't be anything left to "debate". According to the Office of Health Economics in London:
Roland Michel Tremblay
What are dreams? For that matter, what is sleeping? We spend at least a third of our time sleeping and perhaps also dreaming, in fact, sleeping and dreaming can almost define us more than anything else we will ever do or achieve in our lifetime, and yet so rarely we stop to wonder about their real significance, and how it could actually change the world.
Why do we need to sleep? Every single mechanical machine we have created requires fuel or energy to function, like oil, gas, hydro-electricity, nuclear energy, solar energy, etc. And yet, they could function all the time until they finally break down, and still they can be repaired on the spot and made to work for many more years. They don’t need to sleep, they certainly don’t need to dream.
It's funny how the cable news networks so often become the news topics themselves. And this was a big week for that kind of "news news" -- some good, some bad.
First, the good news:
According to a recent announcement from ColorofChange.org, 11 more advertisers have pulled their ads from Glenn Beck's program on Fox News, bringing the total to 57! This is in response to Beck's recent assertions that President Obama is a racist who has a "deep-seated hatred for white people."
by Stephen Lendman
Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises (1881 - 1973) said: "There is no means of avoiding a final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved."
Under Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and successive US Treasury Secretaries, America chose the latter path and now faces the consequences of their reckless, criminal behavior.
As many are aware, in March 2008, David M. Walker, the Comptroller General of the United States and head of the Government Accountability Office, resigned his commission 5 years before the end of his 15-year term expired. His reasons for resigning were that he was limited to what he could do and that the United States was in danger of collapsing in much the same manner as the Roman Empire.
“Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman empire, Mr Walker warned there were ‘striking similarities’ between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome…”
For months before his resignation he traveled the country educating Americans about the financial crisis and the pending bankruptcy of the United States.
What transpired with Walker jumping ship and in the first three months of 2008 was nothing short of the beginning of the largest consolidation of wealth in the history of the United States. Walker’s resignation removed the last obstacle for those controlling US fiscal policy to readily make available cheap money.
Allen L Roland
There is no known antidote for Spine Flu which is brought about by an addiction to Corporate soft money and a lack of backbone and determined leadership by the Democrats ~ beginning with their leader, Barack Obama:
As Chris Bowers points out yesterday in openleft.com " In both branches of Congress, Democrats already have the votes and procedural options in place to pass a public option on health care reform. This means it is possible to pass a public option now. It also means that if a public option does not pass as part of health care reform, it will be a because of a political calculation made by the Democratic leadership, not because there was no way to pass one." http://www.openleft.com/diary/14866/it-is-possible-to-pass-a-public-option-now In other words, the Democrats, starting with President Obama, are more concerned with the soft deep financial pockets of the heathcare corporate Wall Street elite than the growing anguish of Main Street America, which includes myself, who seek Single Pay healthcare but would settle reluctantly for a non-co-op Public Option.
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