On October 12 the United States and India launched an eighteen-day military exercise codenamed Yudh Abhyas (war study) in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Described as “one of their largest-ever ground combat joint exercises,” , the war games “involve the Indian Army Motorized Infantry Battalion and the 2nd Squadron of 14 CAV of 25 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, comprising some 320 U.S. servicemen.” 
The deployment of Stryker armored combat vehicles for the drills marks the first time they have been used overseas since being introduced in Iraq in 2003 and sent to Afghanistan earlier this year. A week before the exercise began the Pentagon reported that “The Army plans to deploy 17 of its Stryker combat vehicles this month to India for the first exercise of its kind in the country.
Commenting on a column by Prof. Andrew Bacevich (republished on The Planetary Movement), I noted that looking backward (and some noted this some years ago), it was obvious that the number one foreign/military objective of the Cheney/Bush administration was to create Permanent War. It would benefit their party politically over the long term. It would also benefit the major economic interests their party represents: the wealthy, the extractive industries, the military industry, and all of the others, large and small, opposed to any major reforms in domestic policy.
Former insurance executive Wendell Potter tells Greg Palast, in an exclusive interview for Truthout.org, that “the system’s rigged” to kill off so-called “health cooperatives.” Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine cast the only Republican vote on the Senate Finance Committee for the Obama health care plan, but only on the condition that Democrats drop their demand for a “public option” insurer in favor of private doctor/hospital cooperatives.
Earlier today, Potter told Truthout.org that the Senator’s plan is “disingenuous or naive,” because, in most states, “the system’s rigged” to lock up all patients under one for-profit monopoly. While a publicly-funded insurer might succeed in forcing insurers to cut premium charges, Snowe’s cooperatives “don’t stand a snowball’s chance” of competing against the for-profit monopolies.
The credit crunch is getting worse on Main Street, despite a Wall Street bailout that is now in the trillions of dollars. The Federal Reserve’s charts show that “base money” is rapidly expanding – meaning coins, paper money, and commercial banks’ reserves with the central bank. But the money isn’t making it to where it needs to go to stimulate economic growth: into the bank accounts of American businesses and consumers. The Fed has been pumping out money to the banks, and their reserves have been growing at unprecedented rates; but the money supply in the real economy has been declining.
According to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, writing last month in the UK Telegraph, U.S. bank credit and M3 (the broadest measure of the money supply) contracted over the summer at rates comparable to the onset of the Great Depression. In the summer quarter, U.S. bank loans fell at an annual pace of almost 14 percent. “There has been nothing like this in the USA since the 1930s,” said Professor Tim Congdon of International Monetary Research. “The rapid destruction of money balances is madness.”
In this final installment, Sibel gives us a guided tour of the Turkish network of influence in the US. As a guide, we cite the work of Luke Rosiak at the Sunlight Foundation, and his chart of the Turkish Lobby you can find here. We name names: the last 3 Speakers of the House are all registered lobbyists for Turkey: Livingston, Hastert and Gephardt. Along the way, Sibel describes the “deep state”–the real US government with Henry Kissinger and his crony Brent Scowcroft influencing every administration and linking US foreign policy to the interests of our military-industrial complex. We also look closely at the role of Bruce Fein in advancing Turkish interests, which seems to conflict with his advocacy for our Constitution and the impeachment of Bush and Cheney. And Sibel has special criticism of Colin Powell for failing to stand up to the bad policies and illegal events he witnessed as Secretary of State. Continue reading →
Jennifer Nordstrom, co-ordinator of the Carbon-Free Nuclear-Free project has noted “Telling states to build new nuclear plants to combat global warming is like telling a patient to smoke to lose weight.”
A recent study sponsored by the German government (the KiKK study – Kaatsch P, Spix C, Schultze-Rath R, et al. Leukemia in young children living in the vicinity of German nuclear power plants. Int J Cancer. 2008; 1220:721-726,) examined children who lived near 16 of the country’s commercial nuclear power plants. The results revealed a strongly increased risk of all childhood cancers, particularly leukaemia, the closer the proximity of the children’s residence to the reactor. In particular, the study found that children less than the age five years, living within a 5km radius of the power plant exhaust stacks were more than twice as likely to develop leukaemia compared with those children residing more that 5km away. The KiKK team studied other carcinogenic factors which may be responsible for the cancer clusters but none were found.