Georgians caught in the middle of NATO war games, Russian bases, anti-government blockades and suspicious army mutinies. Newspaper publisher Malkhaz Gulashvili provides his radical vision for a Georgia that is independent of both the US and Russia.
by Rick Rozoff
May 8, 2009
On May 6 the Cooperative Longbow 09/Cooperative Lancer 09 US-led NATO Partnership for Peace exercises began in Georgia.
More exactly, the first half of the paired exercises, Cooperative Longbow 09, which is a command post operation conducted at Georgian military headquarters in Tbilisi. The second, Cooperative Lancer 09, is a field exercise and was scheduled to include 1,300 servicemen from 19 countries (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Greece, Kazakhstan, Moldavia, Serbia, Spain, Macedonia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Britain, and the US), including 1,089 foreign troops and 214 Georgian servicemen in exercises at the Vaziani base of the Georgian Defence Ministry near the capital. The first started on May 6; the second will run from May 17-June 1.
This is the fourth in what have become annual Cooperative Longbow/Cooperative Lancer exercises, the first having been held in the former Soviet Republic of Moldova in 2006, the following year’s in Albania and last year’s in Armenia.
The exercises are referred to by NATO and the United States as routine and no cause for concern.
LOS ANGELES–American soldiers serving in Vietnam wondered what they were fighting for. U.S. troops in Afghanistan don’t have that problem. They know exactly what they’re fighting for: rapists.
After President Obama’s coming “Afghan surge” there will be 72,000 soldiers in Afghanistan. Their primary mission is to prevent Afghans from overthrowing the unpopular regime of Hamid Karzai, the former oil consultant installed by George W. Bush when the U.S. occupation began nearly eight years ago. Continue reading
by Ralph Nader
The Nader Page
May 8, 2009
Among the giant taboos afflicting Congress these days is the proposal to create a single payer health insurance system often called full Medicare for everyone.
How can this be? Don’t the elected politicians represent the people? Don’t they always have their finger to the wind?
Well, single payer is only supported by a majority of the American people, physicians and nurses. They like the idea of public funding and private delivery. They like the free choice of doctors and hospitals that many are now denied by the HMOs.
by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, May 8, 2009
The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the National Security Agency’s “kissin’ cousin” across the pond, has awarded a £200m ($300m U.S.) contract for an internet panopticon.
American defense and security giant Lockheed Martin and BAE subsidiary Detica (yet another firm specializing “in collecting, managing and exploiting information to reveal actionable intelligence”), snagged the contract The Register and The Sunday Times revealed May 3.
According to The Register the new system, called Mastering the Internet (MTI) “will include thousands of deep packet inspection probes inside communications providers’ networks, as well as massive computing power at the intelligence agency’s Cheltenham base, ‘the concrete doughnut’.”
Lockheed Martin and Detica aren’t talking and have referred all inquiries on the MTI contract to GCHQ. ComputerWeekly however, reported May 6 that Detica, a firm with close ties to MI5 and MI6, “has data mining software that can detect links between individuals based on their contacts with sometimes widely separated organisations.”
Dick Cheney, John Boehner, Porter Goss, Condi “We were terrified” Rice, Fox “News” Channel, Savagely O’RHannibaugh. They are all telling us that “they,” meaning the Cheney-lead decision-makers on torture, made us safe. By using torture that is. After all, they say, they were no attacks after 9/11. And so there weren’t. That justifies the use of torture, or anything else for that matter, I suppose. After all, at one time relatively early in the Iraq War, but at the time when things started to go not so well in Anbar Province, O’Reilly said “nuke ’em.” Hey, why not? The end justifies the means, doesn’t it?
But hey, isn’t that what the anti-Commies used to hang the Commies with, especially Stalin? “They are so awful. You know, for them, the end always justifies the means. That such shows how low they will go. Why even to the use of torture and the Gulag to accomplish their ends. Well, that’s what the Commies are,” the Cheney-types would say (and worse). But hey again, you know, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. The GOP is never consistent (well, hardly ever). It thus becomes obvious that when some accuse them of having small minds the accusers are being just totally unfair. But that’s another question.
This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.
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The Daily Show
May 7, 2009
John Oliver defends Great Britain’s ban of Michael Savage because a civilized society is more important than freedom of speech.
At a press conference to mark his first 100 days in office, President Obama declared, “We have rejected the false choice between our security and our ideals by closing the detention center at Guantánamo Bay and banning torture without exception.” I have looked at the President’s misleading statement about Guantánamo, and analyzed his progress — or lack of it — in closing the prison in a previous article, and in this second article I’m going to focus on his assertion that the new administration has been responsible for “banning torture without exception.”
On the surface, Obama appears to have been true to his word. In two Executive Orders issued on his second day in office (along with an order relating to the closure of Guantánamo), he established that the questioning of prisoners by any US government agency (including the CIA) must follow the interrogation guidelines laid down in the Army Field Manual, which guarantees humane treatment under the Geneva Conventions, and also required the CIA to close any still-existing secret prisons.
May 07, 2009
Rachel Maddow-Professor Jonathan Turley: Speaker Pelosi’s denials not credible
05_07_09 visit: http://firedoglake.com
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by Prof. Peter Dale Scott
Global Research, May 8, 2009
Why one should think of Afghanistan, not as a “failed state,” but as a heroin-ravaged state
One of the most frustrating features of observing American foreign policy is to see the gap between the encapsulated thinking of the national security bureaucracy and the sensible unfettered observations of the experts outside. In the case of Afghanistan, outside commentators have called for terminating current specific American policies and tactics – many reminiscent of the US in Vietnam.
Observers decry the use of air strikes to decapitate the Taliban and al Qaeda, usually resulting in the death of other civilians. They counsel against is the insertion of more and more US and other foreign troops, in an effort to secure the safety and allegiance of the population. And they regret the on-going interference in the fragile Afghan political process, in order to secure outcomes desired in Washington.