Here’s a map of Afghanistan’s opium poppy production by province:
Here’s a map of coalition casualties in Afghanistan, with a highlight of Waziristan, where drone strikes are most prevalent.
Kandahar and Helmand are the gold mine, they are where coalition troops were most at risk. The area being droned is Waziristan, home to the political leadership of the bi-national Haqqani network. Afghan Logistics Just Got Much Harder describes the added distance and costs we face in our withdrawal due to the slaughter of 24 Pakistani troops in 2011. We are simply not wanted in Afghanistan, and the residents have the temperament to make that decision, and then make it stick.
This will never work politically, but if we intended to reduce the hazard Afghanistan poses the right thing to do would have been a short, sharp action against radicalized Arabs in the country, then spending our dollars facilitating legal use of the country’s opium crop. Global Access to Pain Relief Initiative is just one many efforts that could use opium derivatives, relieving the suffering of both Afghans and cancer victims worldwide.
By Richard Trumka and Christine Owens
CNN, December 2, 2013
Editor’s note: Richard Trumka is president of the AFL-CIO. Christine Owens is executive director of the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group for lower-wage workers.
(CNN) — For the first time since the Great Depression, the U.S. Census Bureau tells us, middle-class family incomes have lost ground for more than a decade.
The sad truth is that the rewards for productivity and hard work such as health care coverage, retirement security, opportunity — rewards that used to make America’s workers “middle class” — are on the rocks.
All the wage increases over the past 15 years have gone to the wealthiest 10%, according to the Economic Policy Institute. All of them. And almost all, 95%, of the income gains from 2009 to 2012, the first three years of recovery from the Great Recession, went to the very richest 1%.
Something else has happened, too. The bottom has fallen out of America’s wage floor. And the erosion of the minimum wage has lowered pay and working standards for all of us.
Pakistan-US: The government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan has vowed to close the Khyber Pass to NATO in reaction a US drone attack in the province this week. Chief Minister Imran Khan said his provincial administration will blockade the pass to all NATO traffic
Comment: Khan had initially threatened such a blockade after the 1 November US drone strike that killed Hakimullah Mehsud, just 24 hours before Hakimullah was set to open peace talks with the Pakistani government, but delayed his plans when no US strikes followed.
At least fifty people have been murdered to cover up the CIA’s assassination of JFK, as explained in the book Hit List by Richard Belzer and David Wayne. A few of them, including Dorothy Kilgallen and Mary Meyer, were journalists or writers who were poised to blow the case wide open. But in the US stealth police state, unlike overt police states, psychological rather than physical means are usually employed to silence serious opposition.
Several people involved in the CIA’s assassination of JFK have confessed, including Chauncey Holt, David Sanchez Morales, and even Lyndon Johnson. But the star witness among the confessed JFK assassins is CIA officer E. Howard Hunt, who, on February 6th, 1985, was legally found by a jury to have participated in the CIA’s assassination of JFK.
Includes copy of John McCone letter on Oswald being trained by and working for the CIA. Focus on how technology — the Zapruder film — undermined the best-laid plans.
President Kennedy made a profound and very true statement when he said,
“With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”
Here, in a nut shell, is what really happened on November 22,1963
The Secret Service stood down.
Dallas and Texas law enforcement stood down.
Military intelligence, which is normally enrolled to provide presidential security, stood down.
The FBI stood down.
These elements opened the door to the assassination, but did not have the resources to deliver the shooters and the complicated cover story and witness elimination program that followed.
Corrupt elements of the CIA and their long term friends and colleagues in organized crime did. And they did it because their very survival was at stake.
After decades of non-investigation by the epically corrupt J. Edgar Hoover, organized crime was on the receiving end of a massive attack by Robert Kennedy ~ the president’s brother and Attorney General.
At the same time, his brother was going after organized crime, JFK was going after the criminal elements that had taken over the CIA.
This article refers to GMO labeling, but also to toxic pharmaceuticals, harmful vaccines, and other chemical assaults on human health and life.
There is a myth that the free market wins out against all odds. The consumer decides. He buys what he wants, and doesn’t buy what he thinks is unhealthy. Pretty to think so, but false.
There is another factor at work.
It’s called: crime.
It’s a crime to poison people.
If you’re the CEO of a corporation which sells poison under any name, in any package, a state or federal attorney should have your ass in court, and then in jail. For a long time.
Please be aware that “the Israel Lobby” is not equivalent to “American Jews.” As MJ Rosenberg notes, most American Jews are far more progressive than the organizations that officially speak for them (because most American Jews are not affiliated with those organizations). The Israel Lobby gets much of its strength from a minority of American Jews who back their positions with lots of money, and by the Christian Zionists.
The Israel Lobby Is Killing Iran Negotiations In Favor Of War
The Israel Lobby has truly gotten out of control.
The Obama administration is close to an agreement with the Iranian government to achieve a decade’s long goal. Iran would give up any plans it might have to develop nuclear weapons (verified by international inspections) in exchange for the lifting of some international sanctions that are doing significant damage to the Iranian economy.
Two months ago, hundreds of thousands of Chileans somberly marked the 40th anniversary of their nation’s September 11th terrorist event. It was on that date in 1973 that the Chilean military, armed with a generous supply of funds and weapons from the United States, and assisted by the CIA and other operatives, overthrew the democratically-elected government of the moderate socialist Salvador Allende.
Sixteen years of repression, torture and death followed under the fascist Augusto Pinochet, while the flow of hefty profits to US multinationals – IT&T, Anaconda Copper and the like – resumed. Profits, along with concern that people in other nations might get ideas about independence, were the very reason for the coup and even the partial moves toward nationalization instituted by Allende could not be tolerated by the US business class.
Henry Kissinger was national security advisor and one of the principle architects – perhaps the principle architect – of the coup in Chile. US-instigated coups were nothing new in 1973, certainly not in Latin America, and Kissinger and his boss Richard Nixon were carrying on a violent tradition that spanned the breadth of the 20th century and continues in the 21st – see, for example, Venezuela in 2002 (failed) and Honduras in 2009 (successful).
Where possible, such as in Guatemala in 1954 and Brazil in 1964, coups were the preferred method for dealing with popular insurgencies. In other instances, direct invasion by US forces such as happened on numerous occasions in Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and many other places, was the fallback option.
The coup in Santiago occurred as US aggression in Indochina was finally winding down after more than a decade. From 1969 through 1973, it was Kissinger again, along with Nixon, who oversaw the slaughter in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
It is impossible to know with precision how many were killed during those four years; all the victims were considered enemies, including the vast majority who were non-combatants, and the US has never been much interested in calculating the deaths of enemies.
Estimates of Indochinese killed by the US for the war as a whole start at four million and are likely more, perhaps far more. It can thus be reasonably extrapolated that probably more than a million, and certainly hundreds of thousands, were killed while Kissinger and Nixon were in power.
In addition, countless thousands of Indochinese have died in the years since from the affects of the massive doses of Agent Orange and other Chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction unleashed by the US. Many of us here know (or, sadly, knew) soldiers who suffered from exposure to such chemicals; multiply their numbers by 1,000 or 10,000 or 50,000 – again, it’s impossible to know with accuracy – and we can begin to understand the impact on those who live in and on the land that was so thoroughly poisoned as a matter of US policy.
Studies by a variety of organizations including the United Nations also indicate that at least 25,000 people have died in Indochina since war’s end from unexploded US bombs that pocket the countryside, with an equivalent number maimed. As with Agent Orange, deaths and ruined lives from such explosions continue to this day. So 40 years on, the war quite literally goes on for the people of Indochina, and it is likely it will go on for decades more.
Near the end of his time in office, Kissinger and his new boss Gerald Ford pre-approved the Indonesian dictator Suharto’s invasion of East Timor in 1975, an illegal act of aggression again carried out with weapons made in and furnished by the US.
Penguin: Wikileaks Exposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership for What It Is — Secret Predatory Corporate Corruption Enabled by Secret Government Complicty in Looting the Public Purse
The TPP, based on the draft chapter, seems set to be yet another boon for corporate interests
Salon, Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement — an international trade agreement some years in the making between major world powers including the U.S., Canada and Japan — has seemed in some minor jeopardy over revelations that the NSA has secretly been spying on ally world leaders. Secretary of State John Kerry has been in damage control mode to keep the deal afloat and on schedule.
On Tuesday, WikiLeaks offered a peak into the trade agreement, publishing a leaked draft chapter. Predictably, the TPP promises to be a deal in the interest of major corporations above consumers. Having received an exclusive early view of the draft from WikiLeaks, the Sydney Morning Herald called it a “bitter medicine.”
…. Read this obscene description of the “let them eat cake” policies of the Fed (and by extension, the President and Congress) that feed Wall Street at the expense of Main Street.
We went on a bond-buying spree that was supposed to help Main Street. Instead, it was a feast for Wall Street.
By ANDREW HUSZAR
I can only say: I’m sorry, America. As a former Federal Reserve official, I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed’s first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing. The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I’ve come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.
Five years ago this month, on Black Friday, the Fed launched an unprecedented shopping spree. By that point in the financial crisis, Congress had already passed legislation, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, to halt the U.S. banking system’s free fall. Beyond Wall Street, though, the economic pain was still soaring. In the last three months of 2008 alone, almost two million Americans would lose their jobs.
The Fed said it wanted to help—through a new program of massive bond purchases. There were secondary goals, but Chairman Ben Bernanke made clear that the Fed’s central motivation was to “affect credit conditions for households and businesses”: to drive down the cost of credit so that more Americans hurting from the tanking economy could use it to weather the downturn. For this reason, he originally called the initiative “credit easing.”