Cynthia McKinney: From Libya with Love and Dismay

Cynthia McKinney

Phi Beta Iota: Cynthia McKinney has integrity, and is committed to transparency and truth.  Most of what the public is viewing and reading about Libya is a manufactured lie.  What NATO is doing in attacking Tripoli is illegal, immoral, and a war crime by any standard.  As we have previously shown, this is about oil, water, and gold (the paper gold market is about to crash, Libya has a great deal of real gold that has not been tainted with titanium by the New York banks).

Below the line is a lengthy post from Cynthia McKinney in Tripoli, with many links and some photographs.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Jun 12

Joint US-Russia Assessment Nuclear Terrorism

Berto Jongman Recommends...

“First Joint U.S.-Russia Assessment of Nuclear Terror Threat”

Study Warns of Multiple Dangers, Calls for Urgent Action

June 6, 2011

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: The US-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism

Learn More

Phi Beta Iota: This is a good initiative, something we should have been doing for decades.  However, it does not go far enough.  No such study can be credible without the participation of Brazil, China, Iran, Israel, and Pakistan, as well as major “interested parties” such as South Africa and Turkey.  In short, we are long over-due for a Multinational Decision-Support Centre that does M4IS2 on all topics.

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Jun 10

Link TV Educating Americans About Real World

John Steiner

Dear Friends far and wide:

Link TV in San Francisco is a precious resource for the progressive/transpartisan communities, and we¹re asking you to join us in making a gift to Link.

In December 1999, our good friend and colleague, Kim Spencer, launched Link TV, the first nationwide television network dedicated to providing Americans with global perspectives on news, events and culture. In the wake of media consolidation. Americans have little access to diverse perspectives on critical global issues, and Link challenges this trend.  Today, Link is now broadcast into 35 million homes across the US (largely through DISH, DIRECT TV and with some cable outlets), has 6.7 million regular viewers (many across the political and cultural divides), and provides coverage not found anywhere else in the US.

Link is the only US provider of Al Jazeera English, broadcasts Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! daily, and has won a Peabody Award for its Middle East news program, Mosaic.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Jun 5

LIBYA: Cynthia McKinney & Independent Journalists

Cynthia McKinney

McKinney Leads DIGNITY Delegation of Independent Journalists to Libya on Fact-Finding Mission

1 June 2011

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – Today, independent journalists from across the United States departed on a truth-telling, fact-finding mission to Libya.  This coincides with what was supposed to have been a debate in Congress on U.S. involvement in the war against Libya, but the debate got sidelined due to the fact that the legislation requiring a pullout by the U.S. could actually have passed.  Both Democratic and Republican leadership are responsible for pulling the bill at the last minute.

Al Jazeera film footage shows that Western soldiers have their “boots on the ground” in Libya overstepping authority granted by the United Nations Security Council for action in Libya.  Every day that President Obama contributes to the military action against Libya, he tests the United States Congress and defies the United States Constitution and the War Powers Act which limit Presidential acts of war, subject to authorization by the U.S. Congress.

Incredibly, in what yet may prove to be another act beyond the mandate of the United Nations Security Council Resolution, NATO extended its operations in Libya for another 90 days.

Because the public has become increasingly unable to rely on embedded media to tell the American people the “whole truth and nothing but the truth,” the  DIGNITY Delegation will shed rare light on NATO’s actions inside that country.

According to some estimates, the American people and the global community were lied to 935 times by Administration officials and the media in the lead-up to the Iraq War.  As Aeschylus said, “In war, truth is the first casualty.”  The DIGNITY Delegation is expected to make daily reports while on the ground of the ongoing NATO actions in the country.

For more information please contact:

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Jun 1

Open Source Insights Into the Taliban

Chuck Spinney Recommends...

Insights into the Taliban….not available from US intelligence….


TALIBAN: The Unknown Enemy

By James Fergusson

Da Capo, 432 pp., $27.50

By Chuck Leddy – Boston Globe Correspondent / June 1, 2011

Journalist James Fergusson has spent more than a decade covering the Taliban, from its beginnings in the 1990s as a militant Islamist response to the brutal warlordism then dominating Afghanistan to its 2001 ouster by US-led forces to its present-day battle to topple the US-supported Afghan regime of President Hamid Karzai. Rather than present the Taliban as a caricature of jihadist, misogynistic thugs, Fergusson has worked hard to understand them. Filled with insights about the group’s origins and motivations, this sympathetic and eye-opening account should be required reading for anyone seeking to understand contemporary Afghanistan.

Amazon Page

Fergusson opens with a portrait of the burned-out, lawless hellscape of Afghanistan in the aftermath of Soviet occupation. With multiple tribal warlords practicing highway robbery and murder, absent any control from a viable, centralized government, Afghanistan was a Hobbesian “failed state’’ run by bandits. The Taliban coalesced around a few mujahideen — holy warriors — who had been part of the insurgency that ousted the Soviet army. These fighters sought to restore order under sharia, Islamic holy law. But the Taliban were also Pashtun tribesmen. It is in explaining the complex interconnections between Pashtun and Islamic traditions that Fergusson truly shows his understanding of the organization.

Fergusson describes how the militarily powerful Taliban took over Afghanistan in the late 1990s but lost the global public relations war. The movement was irreparably tainted by horrific videos of public executions and reports of extreme restrictions against women. “From 1997 on,’’ Fergusson writes, “the Taliban were almost universally portrayed in the West as a regime beyond comprehension or redemption.’’

But what these Western reports never quite explained, Fergusson notes, is how the Taliban brought law (however harsh) and order to a nation that had rarely seen either. Today, Fergusson reports, the Taliban are riding a growing wave of anti-Americanism and anti-corruption sentiment triggered by both US military operations and strong support for Karzai, who is considered unusually corrupt by the standards of a country where governmental corruption is the norm.

As he travels a few miles outside the capital, Kabul, Fergusson observes the resurgent Taliban collecting taxes, meting out local justice, attacking American soldiers, and pockmarking the roads with bombs. Taliban commanders repeatedly tell Fergusson that the Americans must depart before national reconciliation can begin. Even an Afghan police officer, ostensibly an agent of the Karzai government, denounces the American military presence: “If [US soldiers] kill fifty people, they create five hundred Taliban,’’ he tells Fergusson, “If they did something to my family . . . I’d take revenge. I hate the Americans.’’ And he’s supposed to be on our side.

One disillusioned local official tells Fergusson, “Warlordism and insecurity have returned, and the people are fed up. They are ready to welcome the Taliban back again.’’ Indeed, the Taliban are coming back just when the Obama administration has reduced US forces in Afghanistan. Fergusson makes clear the differences between the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Many of those inside the Taliban told Fergusson that they would welcome an agreement with Washington that would swap the exclusion of Al Qaeda from Afghanistan for an American pullout and foreign aid.

Fergusson makes a powerful case that US strategy in the region is failing, and that bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table is the most sensible option. This is a provocative account written by somebody who’s talked to all the relevant parties, however unsavory, and has learned to navigate some of the world’s most treacherous terrain. In the end, Fergusson believes that talking with the Taliban might work better than fighting them.

Chuck Leddy, a freelance writer who lives in Dorchester, can be reached at

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Jun 1

Dennis Kucinich: Impeach Obama for Libya?

Dennis Kucinich

Congress Returns to Town With Demand Obama Get OK on Libya

Fox News,  May 22, 2011

President Obama could be impeached for violating U.S. Constitution and law by going into Libya without congressional consent, but Rep. Dennis Kucinich says he doesn’t want to cause that kind of havoc on the Republic, he just wants the United States to get out of Libya’s civil war. While many lawmakers in general support the U.S. role in Libya, even if they want the final say on approving military action, Kucinich, D-Ohio, will introduce a joint resolution when Congress returns this week that he says “hopefully will lead us out of this mess that we’ve waded into in Libya.”

. . . . . . .

Kucinich said the U.S. has no business intervening in Libya because it’s a civil war. He added that the rebel forces the U.S. and NATO appear to be backing are demonstrating some disturbing behaviors, including “committing some of the same practices that they accused Colonel Qaddafi of.” Beyond that, he added, the whole operation stinks of a bid for the oil fields of Benghazi, where the rebels have set up their stronghold.

Read full article….

See Also:

Looting Libya: Insider View of Reasons for War….

Libya, Water, and War + RECAP

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May 30

Why the U.S. Should ‘Give’ Af-Pak to China

Richard Wright

Worth a look — even if only the first paragraph.

The New Rules: Why the U.S. Should ‘Give’ Af-Pak to China

Thomas P.M. Barnett | Bio | 30 May 2011

Nuclear Pakistan, we are often told, is the Islamic-state equivalent of a Wall Street firm: In geostrategic terms, it is too big to fail. That explains why, even as the Obama administration begins preparing for modest troop withdrawals from Afghanistan this July, it dispatched Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Islamabad last week to smooth over bilateral relations with Pakistan’s paranoid regime, which were strained even before the killing of Osama bin Laden. But Clinton’s trip and the Obama administration’s instinctive embrace of Islamabad is a fool’s errand, doomed by history, geography and globalization itself.

In fact, the U.S. should drop the entire Afghanistan-Pakistan mess in China’s lap now, while the getting is good, and here are the reasons why: …

Phi Beta Iota: World Politics Review has not figured out the new world of information quite yet, and we have no desire to copy their entire article.  Suffice to say that Barnett, who has gotten much more coherent since his first book, is on target here, but add to that that the US Government’s foreign policy is both ideological and idiotic —  apart from the huge error by Zbigniew Brzezinski giving Pakistan the nuclear bomb in  the first place, the US has no business in Central Asia that is of benefit to the American people, only to the American carpet-baggers that feed at the public treasury (now much depleted and greatly in debt) while looting foreign countries.

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May 30

US Navy Strategic Languages List Updated

Marcus Aurelius Recommends

Of general interest.

US Navy Strategic Languages (PDF) DOI: May 2011

Phi Beta Iota: Immediately obvious are the immediate focus on Iraq, Iran, Somalia, and Yemen.  No big picture focus on preventive peace from the sea here.  The emergent focus is on Central Asia (far from the sea) and the Indian Ocean area.  One wonders if the time has come to tell the Navy to focus on defending the USA, not trying to intervene everywhere.  Finally, the enduring languages are the usual suspects, but (we do not make this stuff up) we observe that there is no such thing as a Saigon Vietnamese dialect/language.  Could they mean Ho Chi Minh (VS/QNS)?

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May 27

Snapshot: African Union

The African Union says only a political solution in Libya can lead to a lasting peace (AFP/File, Warren Allott)

AU demands end to NATO Libya strikes

India calls for immediate cessation of hostilities in Libya

NATO launches fourth night of Libyan strikes

Phi Beta Iota: We consider the attacks on Tripoli to be outrageously illegal and immoral by every standard.  There is every reason for the non-NATO world to bring war crime charges against every participating NATO nation.

The African Union High Level Ad Hoc Committee on Libya Convened Its 5th Meeting in Addis Ababa

Model African Union Summit deliberates on youth empowerment

Peacekeepers from the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) park their tanks near the main Bakara market during fighting between Somalia government soldiers and Islamist insurgents in the capital Mogadishu, on May 23. Feisal Omar/Reuters

African Union lays siege to Al Shabab-controlled market in Somalia’s capital

African Union delegation arrives in Somalia

Government, African Union Consult on Abyei Security[Sudan]

African Union to Bolster Ties with India

Africa: Restore Peace in War-Torn States, AU Told

Phi Beta Iota: As with all regional organizations including security organizations such as NATO, the AU lacks a multinational, multiagency, multidisciplinary, multidomain information-sharing and sense-making (M4IS2) capability.  Until they have one, they will remain at the mercy of predatory states and corporations.

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May 27

The Role of Facebook in Disaster Response

Patrick Meier

The Role of Facebook in Disaster Response

Posted on May 22, 2011 by Patrick Meier|

I recently met up with Facebook colleagues Simon Axten and Matt Perault to discuss the role that they and their platform might play in disaster response. So I thought I’d share some thoughts that come up during the conversation seeing as I’ve been thinking about this topic with a number of other colleagues for a while. I’m also very interested to hear any ideas and suggestions that iRevolution readers may have on this.

There’s no doubt that Facebook can—and already does—play an important role in disaster response. In Haiti, my colleague Rob Munro used Facebook to recruit hundreds of Creole speaking volunteers to translate tens of thousands of text messages into English as part of Mission 4636. When an earthquake struck New Zealand earlier this year, thousands of students organized their response via a Facebook group and also used the platform’s check-in’s feature to alert others in their social network that they were alright.

But how else might Facebook be used? Read the rest of this entry »

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May 22