Olbermann: Worst Person + More Fallout Over the Petraeus Report (videos)

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heathr234

And the winner is…Bill O’Reilly!!

Two of the soldiers who penned the op ed in the New York Times about how we are not succeeding in Iraq were killed this week when their truck was hit by an IED. Keith talks to Paul Reickhoff about the reaction of the troops on the ground to the Petraeus report and the situation in Iraq and how the Pentagon report says we need a rapid withdrawl but Bush continues to ignore advice from those he doesn’t want to hear from.

Rev. Lennox Yearwood: Arrest Bush, Not Rev! + ANSWER Coalition’s Press Conference of Sept. 12, 2007

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liamh2 On September 12, 2007, the ANSWER Coa…

On September 12, 2007, the ANSWER Coalition presented a Press Conference at which it announced its plans for the massive September 15th Mass March and Die-In to be held in Washington, D.C. One of the speakers at the conference was the Rev. Lennox Yearwood. He was introduced by Brian Becker of the ANSWER Coalition. Rev. Yearwood is the CEO and President, Hip Hop Caucus. On September 10th, he was viciously assaulted by six Capitol Hill cops and sustained serious injuries. He said: “The lights went out for me” for a while when he was being beaten. But that when he came back to the light, he joined the chorus of supporters who were then shouting: “Arrest Bush, not Rev.” For background on the Sept. 15th rally, please see: http://www.ANSWERCoalition.org. The press conference was held at the National Press Club, in the “Murrow Room,” (located just a few blocks east of the White House), in Washington, D.C.

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Kucinich Challenges Obama’s ‘Newfound’ Withdrawal Strategy as Too Little, Too Late, Too Politically Convenient

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EarthTimes.org

Posted : Wed, 12 Sep 2007 23:41:27 GMT
Author : Kucinich for President 2008
Category : PressRelease

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Ohio Congressman and Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich today challenged Democratic rival Barack Obama’s “newfound” Iraq strategy as “too little, too late, and too politically contrived and convenient to be credible or persuasive.”

Kucinich, the only Democratic Presidential candidate who voted against the original Iraq war authorization in 2002 and every supplemental war appropriation since, said Obama’s announcement today of a “new approach” to Iraq is “sorely wanting at every level.”

“With all due respect to my friend and colleague, his newfound strategy for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq is too little, too late, and too politically contrived and convenient to be credible or persuasive,” Kucinich said.

“While Senator Obama is now struggling mightily to establish himself as the Party’s leading advocate of ending the war and bringing our troops home, until recently, his record shows that he voted for every re-authorization of the war by approving of every additional spending measure placed before him by the Bush Administration.

“He gave one highly publicized and highly promoted speech against the war before he was elected to the U.S. Senate. But, starting in 2004, when he was elected to do more than give speeches, his votes show that he bought the lies and paid for the war over and over again. It was only a few months ago — when he became a candidate for the Presidency — that he decided it was politically inconvenient to keep supporting the President, keep supporting the war, and keep supporting the diversion of hundreds of billions of dollars from our crucial domestic priorities.

“The Senator’s call for what’s being described as ‘an immediate withdrawal’ is actually an unacceptable, inadequate, and disingenuous campaign tactic that leaves our brave men and women in Iraq at risk and in jeopardy until the end of next year. They need to come home now. The war needs to end now. The Congress needs to stop supporting the President’s failed policies now.

“I welcome the Senator’s late arrival to the debate I began in 2002 when I led the opposition in the Congress to going to war. I’m glad that he has finally joined me in a call for more international involvement to stabilize the situation. I also appreciate his new willingness to support my call for additional spending to help Iraqi citizens whose lives and property have been destroyed by this war.

“After almost three years, the Senator has finally recognized that he has a lot of catching up to do. What America needs is a leader, not someone who spends years struggling to catch up,” Kucinich concluded.
Kucinich for President 2008

h/t: Brad (Kucinich for President in 2008!)

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

09.11.07 Uncensored News Reports From Across The Middle East (video; over 18 only)

Dandelion Salad

Warning

This video contains images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

Selected Episode

Sept. 11, 2007

linktv

“Rocket Launched from Gaza Injures Dozens of Israeli Soldiers,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Israeli MPs Call for the Re-Occupation of Gaza,” IBA TV, Israel
“Moroccan Independence Party Wins Elections,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Six Years after September 11,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“The Taliban are Back,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“General Petraeus Provides Anticipated Report,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Facts on the Ground in Iraq,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Ramadan Causes Consumption to Increase in Saudi Arabia,” LBC TV, Lebanon
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

Cindy Sheehan: “Most Americans Want the Occupation to End!” (video)

Dandelion Salad

liamh2 On September 12, 2007, the ANSWER Coa…

On September 12, 2007, the ANSWER Coalition presented a Press Conference at which it announced its plans for the massive September 15th Mass March and Die-In to be held in Washington, D.C. One of the speakers at the conference was Cindy Sheehan. She is the co-founder of the “Gold Star Families for Peace.” She was introduced by Brian Becker of the ANSWER Coalition. Ms. Sheehan said: “Most Americans want the occupation to end!” She added: “Impeach Bush and Cheney!” For background on the Sept. 15th rally, please see: http://www.ANSWERCoalition.org. The press conference was held at the National Press Club, in the “Murrow Room,” (located just a few blocks east of the White House), in Washington, D.C.

see:

Pigs of War By Cindy Sheehan

Al Jazeera: The last Jew in Afghanistan (video)

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AlJazeeraEnglish

Jewish communities around the world are celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year on Wednesday.
But for one man in Afghanistan, it will be a s…

Jewish communities around the world are celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year on Wednesday.

But for one man in Afghanistan, it will be a solitary event. Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher has been to meet the only Jew left in Afghanistan.

see:

L’Shana Tova + Ramadan Mubarak by Lo (very short post)

Al Jazeera: Witness- Last Jew of Babylon (videos)

Here’s the Smell of the Blood Still By Norman Solomon

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By Norman Solomon
ICH
09/12/07 “Common Dreams

The following essay is adapted from Norman Solomon’s new book, Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America’s Warfare State:

When Martin Luther King Jr. publicly referred to “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government,” he had no way of knowing that his description would ring so true 40 years later. As the autumn of 2007 begins, the reality of Uncle Sam as an unhinged mega-killer haunts a large minority of Americans. Many who can remember the horrific era of the Vietnam War are nearly incredulous that we could now be living in a time of similarly deranged official policy.

Despite all the differences, the deep parallels between the two war efforts inform us that the basic madness of entrenched power in our midst is not about miscalculations or bad management or quagmires. The continuity tells us much more than we would probably like to know about the obstacles to decency that confront us every day.

The incredulity and numbing, the frequent bobbing-and-weaving of our own consciousness, the hollow comforts of passivity, insulate us from hard truths and harsher realities than we might ever have expected to need to confront — about our country and about ourselves.

Of all the words spewed from the Pet Crock hearings with General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker, maybe none were more revealing than Petraeus’s bid for a modicum of sympathy for his burdens as a commander. “This is going on three years for me, on top of a year deployment to Bosnia as well,” he said at the Senate hearing, “so my family also knows something about sacrifice.”

There’s sacrifice and sacrifice.

“It is as bad as it seems,” longtime activist Dave Dellinger told a gathering of protesters outside the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami Beach as it prepared to re-nominate a war-criminal president. “We must achieve a breakthrough in understanding reality.”

I listened, agreeing. But it was, and is, easier said. How do we truly grasp what’s being done in our names, with our tax dollars — and, most of all, with our inordinate self-restraint that tolerates what should be intolerable?

* * *

From an Oval Office tape, May 4, 1972: “I’ll see that the United States does not lose,” the president said while conferring with aides Al Haig, John Connally and Henry Kissinger. “I’m putting it quite bluntly. I’ll be quite precise. South Vietnam may lose. But the United States cannot lose. Which means, basically, I have made the decision. Whatever happens to South Vietnam, we are going to cream North Vietnam…. For once, we’ve got to use the maximum power of this country … against this shit-ass little country: to win the war. We can’t use the word, ‘win.’ But others can.”

By mid-1972, U.S. troop levels in Vietnam were way down — to around seventy thousand — almost half a million lower than three years earlier. Fewer Americans were dying, and the carnage in Vietnam was fading as a front-burner issue in U.S. politics. Nixon’s withdrawal strategy had changed the focus of media coverage.

The executive producer of ABC’s evening news, Av Westin, had written in a 1969 memo: “I have asked our Vietnam staff to alter the focus of their coverage from combat pieces to interpretive ones, pegged to the eventual pull-out of the American forces. This point should be stressed for all hands.” In a telex to the network’s Saigon bureau, Westin gave the news of his decree to the correspondents: “I think the time has come to shift some of our focus from the battlefield, or more specifically American military involvement with the enemy, to themes and stories under the general heading ‘We Are on Our Way Out of Vietnam.’”

The killing had gone more technological; from 1969 to 1972 the U.S. government dropped 3.5 million tons of bombs on Vietnam, a total higher than all the bombing in the previous five years. The combination of withdrawing U.S. troops and stepping up the bombardment was anything but a coincidence; the latest in military science would make it possible to, in President Nixon’s private words, “use the maximum power of this country” against a “shit-ass little country.”

In December 1972, Nixon delivered on his confidential pledge to “cream North Vietnam,” ordering eleven days and nights of almost round-the-clock sorties (Christmas was an off day) that dropped twenty thousand tons of bombs on North Vietnam. B-52s reached the city of Hanoi. During that week and a half, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg later noted, the U.S. government dropped “the explosive equivalent of the Nagasaki A-bomb.”

* * *

Visiting Baghdad near the end of 2002, I looked at Iraqi people and wondered what would happen to them when the missiles arrived, what would befall the earnest young man managing the little online computer shop in the hotel next to the alcohol-free bar, who invited me to a worship service at the Presbyterian church that he devoutly attended; or the sweet-faced middle-aged fellow with a moustache very much like Saddam Hussein’s (a ubiquitous police-state fashion statement) who stood near the elevator and put hand over heart whenever I passed; or the sweethearts chatting across candles at an outdoor restaurant as twilight settled on the banks of the Tigris.

* * *

That winter, movers and shakers in Washington shuffled along to the beat of a media drum that kept reporting on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction as a virtual certainty. At the same time, millions of Americans tried to prevent an invasion; their activism ranged from letters and petitions to picket lines, civil disobedience, marches, and mass rallies. On January 18, 2003, as the Washington Post recalled years later, “an antiwar protest described as the largest since the Vietnam War drew several hundred thousand … on the eve of the Iraq war, in subfreezing Washington weather. The high temperature reported that day was in the mid-20s.”

The outcry was global, and the numbers grew larger. On February 15, an estimated 10 million people demonstrated against the impending war. A dispatch from Knight-Ridder news service summed up the events of that day: “By the millions, peace marchers in cities around the world united Saturday behind a single demand: No war with Iraq.” But the war planners running the U.S. government were determined.

* * *

During one year after another, the warfare intensified in Iraq. And an air war kept escalating. The U.S. media assumed that almost any use of American air power was to the good. (Exceptions came with fleeting news of mishaps like dropping bombs on wedding parties.) What actually happened to human beings every day as explosives hit the ground would not be conveyed to the reputedly well-informed. What we didn’t know presumably wouldn’t hurt us or our self-image. We thought ourselves better — incomparably better — because we burned people with modern technology from high in the air. Car bombs and detonation belts were for the uncivilized.

One of the methodical quirks of U.S. Air Force news releases has been that they consistently refer to insurgents as “anti-Iraqi forces” — even though almost all of those fighters are Iraqis. So, in a release about activities on Christmas Day 2006, the Air Force reported that “Marine Corps F/A-18Ds conducted a strike against anti-Iraqi forces near Haqlaniyah.” The next day, it was the same story, as it would be for a long time to come — with U.S. Air Force jets bombing “anti-Iraqi forces” on behalf of missions for “Operation Iraqi Freedom” in order to “deter and disrupt terrorist activities.”

* * *

In my kitchen is a dark-red little carpet with black designs, imported from Baghdad. I bought it there one afternoon in late January 2003 at the bazaar (not so different, to my eyes anyway, from the market I later visited in Tehran). My traveling companion was a former high-ranking U.N. official, Denis Halliday, who had lived in Baghdad for a while during the 1990s before resigning as head of the “oil for food” program in protest against the draconian sanctions that caused so much devastation among civilians. Denis was revisiting some of the shopkeepers he had come to know. After warm greetings and pleasantries, an Iraqi man in his middle years said that he’d heard on the BBC about a French proposal for averting an invasion. The earnest hope in his voice made my heart sink, as if falling into the dirty stretch of the Tigris River that Denis and I had just hopped a boat across, where people were beating rugs on stones alongside the banks.

Often when I look at the carpet in the kitchen I think that it is filled with blood, remembering how one country’s treasures become another’s aesthetic enhancements. I had carted home the rolled-up carpet and less than two months later came “shock and awe.” Now, more than four years afterward, the daily papers piled up on the breakfast table a few feet away tell of the latest carnage. I don’t think the rug has ever given me pleasure since the day it unfurled across the hardwood floor. It hasn’t been cleaned since presumably it soaked up the Tigris water during its last washing. There’s blood on the carpet and no amount of trips to the dry cleaners could change that.

Macbeth, Act V, Scene 1: “Out, damned spot! out, I say! … What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? — Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him? … What, will these hands ne’er be clean? … Here’s the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.”

Norman Solomon’s new book “Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America’s Warfare State” has just come off the press. For more information, go to: www.MadeLoveGotWar.com. The documentary film “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death” is based on Norman Solomon’s book of the same title. For information about the full-length movie, narrated by Sean Penn and produced by the Media Education Foundation, go to: www.WarMadeEasyTheMovie.org
FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Pigs of War By Cindy Sheehan

The Real Cindy Sheehan

By Cindy Sheehan
Dandelion Salad
featured writer

Sept. 12 2007

“I believe it is imperative that we never lose our voice of dissent, regardless of political pressure. As Martin Luther King, Jr said: ‘there comes a time when silence is betrayal’…However, it is unforgivable that Congress has been unwilling to examine these matters or take action to prevent these circumstances [executive branch crimes] from occurring again.”

– Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), Introduction to Constitution in Crisis (2006)

Pigs of War come in both political colors of red and blue. We are all unfortunately very familiar with the red pigs. The pigs of war who manipulated, cherry-picked, stove-piped and manufactured intelligence to suggest to the world that Saddam had mushroom cloud producing WMD and something to do with the tragic events of 9-11 that occurred six years ago now.

Many blue politicians are pigs of war and they willingly went along with the deceptions and even parroted red pig talking points whenever they got a chance but now claim that the “fiendishly clever” George fooled them into believing the nearly unbelievable. I don’t know about you, but I take small comfort in that excuse. When we have a system of government where our supposed public servants can profit off of war along with the corporations that pad their bank accounts both blue and red pigs benefit and young people needlessly lose their lives sometimes killing other humans in the process.

Our troops and the people of Iraq are the ones getting trapped between our pusillanimous politicians. These dear human beings become ciphers in purely political calculations from Congress and only an exercise in abstraction from pundits, poets, publishers and the majority of the average American who has not been personally touched by this excremental occupation. In Iraq, every citizen has been personally touched and the American occupation is a living, fire-breathing, palpable entity that has intruded its imperialistic self into every aspect of their daily lives.

How do I know that Congress is playing politics with human hearts? All one has to do is observe the lack of action on the part of the red and blue pigs to come to this sad but inevitable conclusion. Apparently, MAJORITY Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV) has spent more time over his summer recess trying to convince red pigs to go against George’s war plan than he spent trying to coalesce his blue caucus into something that would not resemble the red pigs so closely that the blur becomes purple. He and Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) have already decided that they do not have enough votes to end the occupation just as they decided that impeachment was “off the table” even before they were elected! So they will happily hand over to George more of your tax money and China’s money to continue the killing fields in Iraq. Why are they so miserly with democracy, but generous with our treasury and with our dear human treasure?

I got two very overt answers to this question one day in Congress this past spring when I was on the Hill. In one of my meetings with Congressman Conyers, he told me that it was more important to put a Democrat back in the White House in ‘08 than it was to “end the war.” After I recovered from my shock, I knew it was confirmed that partisan politics is exactly what is killing our children and the innocent civilians in Iraq. My next stop was in a Congresswoman’s office who has always been 100% correct about the war. She is a lovely woman with a lovely heart and does not in anyway qualify (and there are a few dozen others who do not) as a blue pig. She had tears in her eyes when she told me: “Cindy, when I go to Speaker’s meetings and we talk about the war, all the talk is about politics and not one of them mentions the heartbreak that will occur if we don’t pull our troops out, now.” People are dying for two diverse but equally deadly political agendas. The red pigs want to keep the war going because they feed out of the trough of carnage and the blue pigs want to keep it going for votes! Either way is reprehensible.

There is a lot of chatter about the Petraeus (written and produced by the White House ) report. Will the general recommend drawing down troops — even if he does, three-five thousand doesn’t even bring the number down to pre-surge levels — and the report says, in direct contradiction to the GAO report on the surge, that sectarian violence in Iraq is down 75%, without saying that the red pigs have re-defined the term “sectarian violence.” All I know is that the report will paint a rosier picture than what really exists on the ground in Iraq and like Ron Paul said the other day in the Fox News “Leader of the Red Pigs Wannabe” debate: “How can anyone believe anything they say?”

The blue pigs won’t believe the report, but they will expediently go along with the red pig request to further fund the disaster because they believe that it will mean political victory in ‘08.

It is up to we the people to care more about humanity and democracy than either the reds or the blues and it is mandatory that we mount campaigns to defeat the pigs and their masters: the war machine.

Twenty-one families here in America and dozens more in Iraq have felt the sting of the lethal politics of war just since the beginning of September, and the beat goes on.

What if instead of pigs of war in our government, we had elected officials who put humanity before politics and people before profits? Maybe the horrible twin tragedies of the Bush Regime and 9-11 would have never occurred within our borders and the rest of the world could look up to the USA with respect as a true leader in world peace instead of glaring at our shocking and awful quest for empire off the backs of the many who benefit the pocketbooks of the few? It’s not to late, but we are getting there.

Silence is betrayal and the silence of a host of blue pigs is the biggest betrayal of all.

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was killed in Bush’s war of terror on 04/04/04. She is the co-founder and president of Gold Star Families for Peace and The Camp Casey Peace Institute.

h/t: ICH

 

 

Daily Show examines Republican Party ‘Trapped in the Closet’ (video link)

Dandelion Salad

David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Raw Story
Published: Tuesday September 11, 2007

Jon Stewart returned to The Daily Show on Monday, saying sarcastically, “Thank God, that while we were on break, we didn’t miss any inherently funny scandals,” and then wailing, “Senator Craig, he gets busted on the gay sex thing on my first day of vacation! … Unfortunately, two weeks is a lifetime.”After being assured that the Craig story is still developing, Stewart turned with relief to “our senior anonymous Congressional gay public restroom sex correspondent.” The door of a bathroom stall then opened to reveal Ron Corddry, who left the Daily Show in 2006, seated on a toilet, fully clothed.

“Been right here, Jon,” explained Corddry. “Spent the past 14 months holed up in this stall. … I knew there was a story here, Jon, I just didn’t know what it was.”

Corddry went on to explain the complexities of the gay sex toe-tap code. “Wingtips mean you’re a married man. Socks with sandals means this is your first time. And, Jon, anyone in those brightly-colored plastic Crocs? That means anything goes. … That’s not just in bathrooms. Any time you see anyone wearing Crocs, beware. … They are soliciting incredibly depraved gay sex.”

When Stewart pointed out that Corddry was no longer on contract with the show and wasn’t being paid, Corddry replied, “That’s okay, Jon. I don’t want the money. To me, coming back to the show after more than a year for three minutes of anal sex jokes while sitting on a prop toilet — that’s its own reward.”

The segment concluded with “R. Party Trapped in the Closet,” a parody of R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” song series, consisting of clips of Senator Craig interspersed with comments by Stewart and further commentary by a Kelly-style singer.

The following video is from Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, broadcast on September 10.

LINK

Vodpod videos no longer available. from rawstory.com posted with vodpod

.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

The Daily Show: The Keys to Success By Manila Ryce + Daily Show: Petraeus and Bush must be friends on MySpace (video)

Dandelion Salad

By Manila Ryce
The Largest Minority
Published Wednesday, September 12th, 2007, 6:34 am

I’ve avoided covering General Petraeus’ report due to the fact that it’s absolutely ridiculous that our “progress” in Iraq would matter at all since we’ve understood for years that our occupation is illegal. Well, The Daily Show finally convinced me to post something semi-related with the following exchange between Stewart and the always brilliant John Hodgman. John shares his expertise with the golden door of success and the eight keys needed to unlock it. As was the case with “enemy combatants”, Bush has once again convinced just enough people that reality is subject to his own sliding definitions… That in itself may be Bush’s true success.

http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/gmoyp0/keys-to-success

***

Daily Show: Petraeus and Bush must be friends on MySpace

Dandelion Salad

David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Raw Story
Published: Wednesday September 12, 2007

Jon Stewart cautioned on Tuesday against the recent over-hyping of the Iraq report from General Petraeus.

“His powers have not always been so great,” Stewart warned. “For instance, six weeks before the 2004 presidential election, General Petraeus wrote a Washington Post op-ed about the Iraq War that was so upbeat you would have thought the insurgency was in its last throes.”

Stewart then turned to Petraeus’s testimony before Congress, saying, “We keep hearing from President Bush how the surge is meeting its military objectives but we need more time. Well, yesterday the good general was whistling a different tune.”

“The military objectives of the surge are in large measure being met. … It will take time,” testified Petraeus.

“My god,” whispered Stewart. “The president’s been right the whole time.” He then played a series of additional clips of Petraeus echoing earlier Bush comments. “Wow! I bet they’re friends on MySpace!” Stewart exclaimed.

Stewart also commented on Petraeus’s many charts and graphs, noting gravely, “It’s an important reminder that our troops and the Iraqis aren’t just fathers, sons, mothers, and sisters. They’re also statistics.”

Finally, after playing Petraeus’s extensive warnings of chaos and slaughter if we leave Iraq prematurely, Stewart concluded, “But that’s what happened when we went into Iraq — wait a minute! Going in is the same as leaving? My god, it’s a wormhole! No wonder we can’t do it. It’s a Mobius strip!”

The following video is from Comedy Central’s Daily Show, broadcast on September 11, 2007.

http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/359ty5/iraq-me-dave-petraeus

Al Jazeera: Searching for the real Iraq in Abu Ghraib (video)

Dandelion Salad

AlJazeeraEnglish

In his testimony to the US Congress, General David Petraeus pointed to what he claims is his army’s success in Iraq’s Al Anbar province. Once an Al… In his testimony to the US Congress, General David Petraeus pointed to what he claims is his army’s success in Iraq’s Al Anbar province. Once an Al Qaeda heartland, General Petraeus says that with the help of local sunni tribes, Al Qaeda has now been forced out of Anbar.But, as Josh Rushing discovered on a trip with the US army in Abu Ghraib, Sunni tribal support may be creating resentments that could explode once US forces withdraw.

Bashing Bashall? From Basra Frying Pan into Iran Border Fire by Glitzqueen (aka The Other Katherine Harris)

glitzqueen

Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

by The Other Katherine Harris

Glitzqueen’s blog post

Sept. 12, 2007

Sometimes an “exclusive” really is. So far, London Independent reporter Kim Sengupta seems to own the latest news of British forces in Iraq – namely, that many of Basra Bunch have been ordered to the Iran border. Definitively off is the homecoming promised just a few days ago to hundreds of service members. One can only wonder how they’re taking it, but their commander — Brigadier James Bashall, last heard railing against American pressure that kept his group in Basra five months longer than he viewed as necessary, at the cost of 11 soldiers killed and 62 wounded — is, well, sucking it up.

“We have been asked to help at the Iranian border to stop the flow of weapons and I am willing to do so,” Bashall said, adding, “We are also prepared to restore order in Basra City if asked to do so.”

Thus a vocal critic has been turned handmaid. Sengupta writes, “The decision to return to the frontier has been heavily influenced by the highly charged and very public dispute with the U.S. British commanders feel that they cannot turn down the fresh American request for help after refusing to delay the withdrawal from Basra Palace.”

The author of this excellent article filed from Baghdad today also tells us: “In signs of a fast-developing confrontation, the Iranians have threatened military action in response to attacks launched from Iraqi territory while the Pentagon has announced the building of a US base and fortified checkpoints at the frontier… The (British) operation is regarded as a high-risk strategy which could lead to clashes with Iranian-backed Shia militias or even Iranian forces and also leaves open the possibility of Iranian retaliation in the form of attacks against British forces at the Basra air base or inciting violence to draw them back into Basra City. Relations between the two countries are already fraught after the Iranian Revolutionary Guards seized a British naval party in the Gulf earlier this year.”

So, if your stomach wasn’t already churning with horror after the Petraeus performance yesterday, this should do it.

see:

British Basra Withdrawal: You Never Know Unless You Go By Liam Bailey

Bedless in Basra. A Review of a Predictable Disaster – Britain commits extensive war crimes by Felicity Arbuthnot

09.05.07 Uncensored News Reports From Across The Middle East (video; over 18 only)

Economic Crisis: The U.S. Political Leadership Has Failed by Richard C. Cook

Dandelion Salad

by Richard C. Cook

Global Research, September 12, 2007

As the 2007 economic collapse picks up speed, it’s time to take a hard look at the performance of the U.S. national political leadership in meeting some of their most fundamental responsibilities. It’s time to face the fact of serious failure over the last quarter century.

During this time, the leaders of both political parties and of major institutions such as the Federal Reserve have presided over the abandonment of some of the most solemn obligations of constitutional government. They have done this in order to embrace an agenda favorable mainly to the financial, corporate, and government elites.

On January 20, 1981, a full generation ago, President Ronald Reagan said in his first inaugural address, “Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem.”

Reagan was both right and wrong.

The problem the U.S. was facing then was the collapse of the nation’s manufacturing base through a recession that happened when the Federal Reserve raised interest rates to over the twenty percent level. It did so almost a decade after President Richard Nixon removed the gold peg for the dollar, leading to the inflation of the 1970s when our currency flooded world markets through the oil trade.

Reagan’s statement that “government is the problem” was correct to the extent that failed financial policies and the out-of-control actions of a Federal Reserve beholden to private financial interests combined in the worse economic downturn since the Great Depression to wreck the world’s greatest industrial powerhouse.

But he was wrong in thinking that the solution was deregulation of the economy, particularly deregulation of financial and investment institutions which took place during his two terms. The result was enormous growth in the power and influence of Wall Street and the big banks over the rest of the economy. The era of leveraged mergers, acquisitions, and buyouts was the predecessor of the disaster of today with the unfolding fiasco of equity, hedge, and derivative funds in the process of collapse.

After Reagan came President George H.W. Bush. By the end of his term, the loss of manufacturing jobs had produced another recession. Within a couple of years of Bill Clinton’s election in 1992, action by Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin to strengthen the dollar attracted enough foreign investment to create the dot.com bubble.

Clinton then cut the federal budget enough by reducing federal employment that he was able to achieve a budget surplus. This lessened the drag on the economy from the national debt which Reagan had left behind from his tax cuts and trillion dollar military build-up. But the over-leveraged dot.com bubble burst with the stock market collapse of 2000, leaving us in recession again.

Enter President George W. Bush. Despite the “achievement” of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan in creating another bubble—the housing one—big enough to float the U.S. economy for four consecutive years—2002 to 2005—the economic fundamentals today are horrendous. We are living in an economy that has begun to crash, with the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department, and Congress cobbling together bail-outs of various descriptions which they hope will right what is obviously a sinking ship.

We can only hope they will succeed to some extent, because it would be heartless to wish disaster on the ones who suffer the most from the consequences of the greed and stupidity of people in power—namely the ordinary people who work for a living and who honestly try to raise their families and hold to a decent standard of living. But life is becoming very hard for the vast majority of Americans who have been bearing the brunt of our failed economic and monetary polices of the last three decades.

Our political leadership has let us down in the following critical respects:

 

  • Going back to the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established an economic system—the New Deal—that pulled the U.S. out of the Great Depression, enabled us to fight World War II, and created the world’s greatest industrial democracy. He did this largely through programs that, taken together, were based on the principle of low-cost credit treated as a public utility. This persisted into the 1960s and 70s, when it was replaced with the system of monetarism, whereby the economy is now regulated by the Federal Reserve through raising and lowering of interest rates. This system, with interest rates much higher, on average, than during previous decades, has been catastrophic for the U.S. economy. It has enriched the financial industry at the expense of everyone else through what can only be called institutionalized usury. Under this system, every period of economic growth since 1983 has been a bank-created bubble, while the general population has become steadily poorer. The Federal Reserve claims that it raises interest rates to reduce inflation, when in fact higher interest rates cause inflation by making every transaction more expensive. Under the reign of monetarism, the U.S. dollar has lost over eighty percent of its value. In fact, government policies are designed to generate inflation, because this makes it cheaper to pay down the national debt and while augmenting tax revenues.

  • It has been well-documented that since the early 1980s the federal government has acquiesced in every respect to economic policies that have resulted in the steady erosion of our manufacturing base, elimination of millions of skilled industrial jobs, creation of a crushing burden of household and individual debt, crumbling of our physical infrastructure, privatization or elimination of public services, failure to meet such crises as the Katrina disaster, export of jobs to low-cost foreign labor markets, unfair distribution of taxation, and toleration of the influx of millions of illegal aliens who keep wages low within the domestic economy.

  • Since the Clinton administration, the government has misled the public through distortion of economic indicators. Calculations of the GDP are too high and exaggerate the growth of the economy. The consumer price index on which government cost-of-living adjustments are based has eliminated such items as food, fuel, and home buying. Actual inflation is running at a rate of three times what the government estimates; i.e. closer to ten percent than the three percent which is claimed. Regarding the money supply, the Federal Reserve has stopped reporting one of the most important indicators, which is M3—the amount of money available to the largest institutional investors. Data which are available today show without question that the producing economy—that is, the everyday world of people who work for a living—has been in recession for over a year. Meanwhile, the financial economy that lives off the producers as a parasite continues to float on rollovers of mega-loans originating with the Federal Reserve and its policy of allowing banks to capitalize the massive amounts of repurchase agreements generated by electronic funds transfer.

  • Insufficient attention has been paid to the disastrous effects of NAFTA in destroying family farming in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. On top of this has been the diversion of agricultural products into bio-fuel production with the attendant inflationary effects. Meanwhile, our food supply has been taken over by agribusiness and the financial markets at the same time that two-thirds of the nation has been in the grip of long-term drought. The high interest rates of the monetarist regime have worked to make farming at the local level impossible and have destroyed the production of entire regions, such as the once-great Idaho potato industry. Unless local farming can be revived, there is a real-danger of massive food shortages breaking out under a prolonged economic crisis.

  • Finally, there are our failed foreign and military policies. After the U.S. lost the Vietnam War, we had reason to believe that our political leaders might have learned a lesson about military adventures abroad, particularly land wars on the continent of Asia. Instead, starting in earnest with the “Reagan doctrine” of endless proxy conflicts on every continent, the U.S. has embarked on a policy of world military conquest. The Iraq War, the planned permanent occupation of that country, and the designs being formulated against Iran, are part of a policy of military control of the Middle East that has been ongoing for almost twenty years. The dual objectives of this policy are to control Middle Eastern oil and advance the interests of Israel. Talk of the “surge,” troop drawdown, etc., are nonsense, because the U.S. plans to occupy permanent bases and control the remaining oil reserves in the region. These wars are being paid for by sale of Treasury bonds to possible future adversaries such as China, while the U.S. bubble economy that is backing up our military forces overseas is deflating. Clearly something has to give, either through exhaustion of our military capability abroad, economic collapse at home, or the catastrophe of a world war. The denouement seems to be drawing closer as foreign governments dump their U.S. dollars which are declining in value due to the twin trade and fiscal deficits. What our leaders should now be doing is recognize the fact that we live in a multilateral world where conflicts can only be resolved by nations acting as equals under the umbrella of the U.N.

So many mistakes have been made over the last several decades that it is difficult to see how real change could take place without a revolutionary transformation of American society. Those who worked for change in the 1960s through opposition to the Vietnam War hoped for such a transformation, but the opposite has happened.

The cause has been the assertion of influence by the corporate-financial-government elites, who have essentially negated the ability of the people through their elected representatives to manage affairs for the sake of the general welfare as stated in the preamble to our Constitution.

The government under the leadership of both political parties has even violated some of its basic constitutional mandates.

Congress, for instance, has failed to exercise its duties with respect to oversight and control of the monetary system, having ceded its authority to the private banking industry through the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. Congress has also failed to provide effective regulation of the financial industry under the interstate commerce clause of Article One, as the subprime mortgage debacle and other abuses have clearly demonstrated.

The government as a whole has failed to provide for equal protection of the laws as specified in the Fourteenth Amendment by allowing so much of the wealth of the nation to be transferred to the upper income brackets who manipulate the corporate and financial systems to their advantage. It could also be argued that the passivity of the government in standing by while millions of people have lost their homes, jobs, or pensions due to fraudulent financial practices or speculative bubbles violates the Fifth Amendment provision which specifies that “no person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

Finally, it could be argued that many of our economic and tax policies violate the Thirteenth Amendment which states that, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

We’re used to interpreting the Thirteenth Amendment as applying only to chattel slavery, but economic servitude can be almost as onerous. Certainly the provision of the 2005 bankruptcy reform legislation which makes student loan debt and unpaid taxes a lifetime obligation, not subject to bankruptcy write-off, constitutes “involuntary servitude.” So too may a cumulative tax burden where up to fifty percent of an individual’s income goes for taxes at the federal, state, and local levels.

It is obvious that the elite intend to make every effort to ride out the current crisis. This is what the so-called “soft landing” is about.

At the point in time when it may become possible to have real change, it can only be done effectively as it was accomplished during the New Deal—through control of credit as a public utility. This is because the causes of social distress are economic, and the economy is controlled through the monetary system. The essence of monetary policy is who controls credit and for what ends.

It would not be difficult to create programs, institutions, and systems to develop an updated New Deal to meet present conditions. The knowledge is there, as is the technology. What is lacking is political recognition and will. Today most individuals are passive spectators to the ongoing train wreck, and none of the leading presidential candidates is addressing basic policy issues. Ninety-five percent of what they are saying is media fluff.

As an example of what could be done, it would be possible immediately to place all pubic infrastructure programs within the U.S. under a funding mechanism whereby a federal infrastructure bank could be self-capitalized by special Treasury infrastructure bonds with lending at zero percent interest for a multitude of long-term projects.

A new money supply would thereby come into being that would completely by-pass the Federal Reserve System. This could be supplemented by a citizens’ basic income guarantee and a National Dividend, similar to the Alaska Permanent Fund, which would reduce poverty and inject purchasing power at the grassroots level. The denial of purchasing power except through more debt in a country where the wage and salary base has stagnated is an economic crime. One purpose is doubtless to create an impoverished underclass as a source of military recruitment.

Such measures would revolutionize local economies and restore the ability of the general population to participate in the economic life of the nation. But until enough people wake up to what is going on and the fact that they have the power within themselves to make a difference, nothing will change. They will continue to be fleeced by the rich and powerful as they have been throughout most of history.

Richard C. Cook is a retired federal analyst, whose career included service with the U.S. Civil Service Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Carter White House, and NASA, followed by twenty-one years with the U.S. Treasury Department. His articles on monetary reform, economics, and space policy have appeared on Global Research, Economy in Crisis, Dissident Voice, Atlantic Free Press, and elsewhere. He is the author of “Challenger Revealed: An Insider’s Account of How the Reagan Administration Caused the Greatest Tragedy of the Space Age.” His website is at www.richardccook.com.

Richard C. Cook is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Richard C. Cook

 


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Bipartisan consensus pushes for Iran attack by Larry Chin

Dandelion Salad

by Larry Chin

Global Research, September 12, 2007

Online Journal

The 2008 US presidential dance has already been decided: the winner will be a corrupt elite warmonger who will intensify and expand Bush-Cheney’s criminal “war on terrorism” into Iran and beyond, and with the full support of an acquiescent US populace. The latest rhetoric from Bush, and the candidates, spells this out in black and white.

“First Afghanistan, then Iraq, then Iran”

Covert destabilization and increasing military escalation towards a full-scale Iran attack have been underway for months. In recent weeks, the bellicose, cocky and certifiably insane George W. Bush named Iran as the “world’s leading supporter of terrorism.” His administration is openly constructing an attack plan against Tehran.

As astutely noted by Patrick Buchanan in “Phase III of Bush’s War,” “those who hoped that . . . America was headed out of Iraq got a rude awakening. They are about to get another.” Remarking on the “astonishing” rhetoric from a Bush who is “brimming with self-assurance,” Buchanan notes, “Confident of victory this fall on The Hill, Bush is now moving into Phase III in his ‘War on Terror’: First, Afghanistan, then Iraq, then Iran . . .” and that “U.S. forces may already be engaged in combat operations against Iranians. Who or what can stop this drive to war? . . . What is to prevent Bush from attacking Iran and widening the war, sooner than we think? Nothing and no one.”

The virtual certainty of an attack on Iran, and the absence of any resistance to such a war, is echoed by the analysis of former CIA analysts Kathleen and Bill Christison, and many other observers.

The only remaining debate is if an attack will take place during Bush-Cheney’s final months in power, or after, led by their successors. In fact, the successors seem even more eager to do Bush-Cheney one better by fighting the “real war on terrorism” that was, according to the now infamous deception, “squandered” by the mismanagement of the occupation of Iraq.

Presidential candidates fight for place at Iran/war feeding trough

From the start, candidates from both Democratic and Republican factions have fallen over themselves, and each other, to proclaim their “tough on terrorism and security” credentials, and their eagerness to “confront Tehran.” From Mitt Romney, Rudy Guiliani (thoroughly exposed as a 9/11 insider in Mike Ruppert’s Crossing The Rubicon and here) and just announced candidate Fred Thompson, to the slippery Democrats, the war rhetoric is the same.

The Democrats have been particularly hawkish in recent weeks. See:

“If Bush doesn’t force Iran to back down, then his successors will”

Barack Obama: “Hit Iran where it hurts”

“Obama and Clinton go nuclear” (William Arkin, Washington Post)

“Welcome to Hillary’s wars” (Pepe Escobar, Asia Times)

“Hillary Clinton: clear and present danger”

Bipartisan “war on terrorism” consensus

With increasing frequency, the myriad of Iran “terrorism” red herrings and lies have been irrevocably fused on to the larger 9/11 “war on terrorism” deception that has justified every criminal activity since 2001. The wealth of these deceptions has been detailed by Scott Ritter, author of the book Target: Iran, who has tracked the impending Iran war for years. The same template that led to the attack and occupation of Iraq is being applied to Iran.

As this writer previously noted in “Washington’s consensus Al-Qaeda deception“: “The ‘war on terrorism’ is a foreign policy weapon favored by an elite and ironclad Anglo-American consensus, supported equally by Washington’s political factions. The surge of “Al-Qaeda” covert operations and “terrorism” propaganda over the past three weeks, and reports of “renewed Al-Qaeda power,” marks the beginning of intensified false flag deception . . .

“Neocons, neoliberals, and “antiwar progressives” continue to enthusiastically embrace and reinforce the myth of the “ever-more powerful, ever-more cunning outside ‘terrorist’ threat to America” — and will continue to do so ad nauseum, as they have for nearly six years since 9/11. Meanwhile, the long-standing and enduring relationship between Islamic ‘terrorists,’ ‘Al-Qaeda,’ Osama bin Laden, etc. and Anglo-American and US-allied intelligence agencies (CIA, FBI, MI-6, Pakistani ISI, Mossad, etc.) and their ongoing use and manipulation of these ‘terrorist’ groups on behalf of Anglo-Anerican geostrategy remains completely ignored, and the focus of ongoing cover-up, media silence and academic obfuscation . . .

” . . . Slippery variations on the “war on terrorism” theme include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • “The Bush administration has failed to fight the ‘real war on terrorism’ begun after 9/11

  • “Mismanagement and blunders of the war in Iraq have created radical jihadist insurgencies that wish to destroy the United States

  • “The Iraq mistake has distracted us from fighting the ‘real’ war on terrorism

  • “We should declare war on Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, which harbor the real ‘terrorists’ who attacked us on 9/11

  • “The Iraq distraction has prevented us from capturing Osama

  • “The world was united after 9/11, but Bush squandered it all”

“As pointed out by Michel Chossudovsky, the “Al-Qaeda” deception is central to Anglo-American foreign policy, which rests squarely on the perpetual threat of a fabricated outside enemy, and fear of a “new 9/11.” This deception provides the ongoing pretext used to justify endless warfare and endless criminality.”

The presidential candidates have continued to feast on “Al-Qaeda” propaganda meat, and its most recent incarnation, the “Iran-as-leading-terrorist-nation” rhetoric now being spearheaded by Bush himself.

It goes without saying that a Hillary Clinton presidency would continue the Bush-Cheney agenda, and return Anglo-American criminality to its 1990s glory. Not surprisingly, Hillary Clinton’s advisors include legendary war criminals Madeline Albright, Sandy Berger, Richard Holbrooke, Strobe Talbott and, of course, Bill Clinton himself. The “Al-Qaeda” war politics blossomed during the Bill Clinton administration with the use of Al-Qaeda/militant Islamic mercenaries in Kosovo and Bosnia, and what is arguably the true start of today’s “war on terror” — the identification of Osama bin Laden as “enemy number one” in 1998, followed by the bombing of Sudan. The cooperative role that the deeply corrupt Clinton faction played alongside the Bush “crime family,” in virtually all of the major US government crimes from the 1980s to the present, can fill several libraries.

Other former Clinton security hands, such as former National Security Advisor Anthony Lake and former Assistant Secretary of State Susan Rice can be found in the Obama camp.

Despite his inexplicable popularity among liberals and “progressives” who are easily fooled by his smooth style and projections inspired by his dark complexion, Obama’s foreign policy agenda is identical to that of the Bush administration, including his approach to the “war on terrorism.” Obama virtually promises to be a worldwide mass murderer, justifying his crimes with “blowback” deceptions. Like other members of Congress, Obama has access to classified material. He and others are complicit in hiding the fact of Anglo-American intelligence connections behind both the “terrorism” and the “insurgencies” . . .

John Edwards, desperate to gain ground on the clear front-runner, recently blasted Clinton as the candidate of a process “rigged by the elites.” This deceptive rhetoric hides the fact that Edwards himself is an elite, supported by Jimmy Carter, and backed by equally powerful and unsavory financial and political interests. Edwards has never stopped proclaiming his intention, should be become president (or vice president) to “kill terrorists.”

The election is, of course, rigged, but not in the red herring manner that Edwards suggests. All modern US elections have been rigged, as grotesquely evidenced by the open theft of every election since 2000, and the still-unaddressed electronic control and scripting of the entire voting process.

The elite forces in control of the rigging of the world political power are amply documented. According to investigative journalists such as Daniel Estulin, author of a soon-to-be released book on Bilderberg, the leading US presidential candidates (who stand any realistic chance of being selected) share extensive Bilderberger connections, including the Clintons (members of long standing), and Edwards.

With the exception of Democrats Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel, Republican Ron Paul (all of whom continue to be routinely shut out by the political establishment, and dismissed by their own party apparatuses), and even more marginal names, the war and “anti-terror” platforms of the leading candidates are malodorously pure fascism, straight out of the Bush-Cheney’s playbook.

What is clear is that the next US president will not only continue but also expand the “war on terrorism” and the “war against radical extremists” into Iran, and beyond. If Bush-Cheney engineer a “next 9/11,” crushing political and popular resistance, the war will come even sooner. Both Republican and Democratic Party factions are hell-bent on pushing the same post-Peak Oil geostrategic control agenda, the same false flag terror, and the same propaganda.

With an empire and its survival at stake, the most “unthinkable,” apocalyptic and criminal options are “on the table.” And the table is getting smaller.


Larry Chin is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Larry Chin


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Russia tests superstrength bomb

Dandelion Salad

Global Research, September 12, 2007

Reuters

Russia tests superstrength bomb: military

By Dmitry Solovyov
Tue Sep 11, 5:09 PM ET (Reuters)

Russia has tested the world’s most powerful vacuum bomb, which unleashes a destructive shockwave with the power of a nuclear blast, the military said on Tuesday, dubbing it the “father of all bombs.”

The bomb is the latest in a series of new Russian weapons and policy moves as President Vladimir Putin tries to reassert Moscow’s role on the international stage.

“Test results of the new airborne weapon have shown that its efficiency and power is commensurate with a nuclear weapon,” Alexander Rukshin, Russian deputy armed forces chief of staff, told Russia’s state ORT First Channel television. The same report was later shown on the state-sponsored Vesti channel.

“You will now see it in action, the bomb which has no match in the world is being tested at a military site.”

It showed a Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomber dropping the bomb over a testing ground. A large explosion followed.

Pictures showed what looked like a flattened multi-storey block of flats surrounded by scorched soil and boulders. “The soil looks like a lunar landscape,” the report said.

“The defense ministry stresses this military invention does not contradict a single international treaty. Russia is not unleashing a new arms race.”

Such devices generally detonate in two stages. First a small blast disperses a main load of explosive material into a cloud, which then either spontaneously ignites in air or is set off by a second charge.

This explosion generates a pressure wave that reaches much further than that from a conventional explosive. The consumption of gases in the blast also generates a partial vacuum that can compound damage and injuries caused by the explosion itself.

“The main destruction is inflicted by an ultrasonic shockwave and an incredibly high temperature,” the reports said. “All that is alive merely evaporates.”

Rukshin said: “At the same time, I want to stress that the action of this weapon does not contaminate the environment, in contrast to a nuclear one.”

“FATHER OF ALL BOMBS”

The Tu-160 supersonic bomber that dropped the bomb, widely known under its NATO nickname of “Blackjack,” is the heaviest combat aircraft ever built.

Putin, who has overseen the roll-out of new tactical and anti-aircraft missiles and combat aircraft, has ordered “Blackjacks” and the Tu-95 “Bear” bombers to patrol around the world.

The report said the new bomb was much stronger than the U.S.-built Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb — MOAB, also known under its name “Mother of All Bombs.” “So, Russian designers called the new weapon ‘Father of All Bombs’,” it said.

Showing the orange-painted U.S. prototype, the report said the Russian bomb was four times more powerful — 44 metric tons of TNT equivalent — and the temperature at the epicenter of its blast was two times higher.

In 1999 Russian generals threatened to use vacuum bombs to wipe out rebels from the mountains during the “anti-terrorist operation” in its restive Chechnya province.

New York-based Human Rights Watch then appealed to Putin to refrain from using fuel-air explosives. It remains unclear if weapons of this type were used during the Chechen war.

U.S. forces have used a “thermobaric” bomb, which works on similar principles, in their campaign against al Qaeda and Taliban forces in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan.

“It (the bomb) will allow us to safeguard our state’s security and fight international terrorism in any circumstances and in any part of the world,” Rukshin said.

 


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