Mérida, December 18th 2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – During a meeting with trade unions, political organizations, and social movement leaders in Copenhagen, Denmark on Thursday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez accused the Netherlands of allowing the United States military to plan a future attack against Venezuela from its island territories in the Caribbean, known as the Dutch Antilles.
“I am accusing the Kingdom of the Netherlands together with the Yankee empire of preparing a military aggression against Venezuela,” said Chavez, who came to Copenhagen to participate in the XV United Nations International Conference on Climate Change this week.
Houthi fighters say Saudi warplanes have fired some 1,011 missiles on the borderline with Yemen where the Shia population is already under heavy state-led and US-aided bombardment.
The fighters also said on Saturday that the warplanes had carried out nearly 60 air assaults on the residential areas in the northern Al-Jabiri, Al-Dukhan and Al-Malaheet districts.
The Houthis said US attacks on Thursday killed 120 civilians, among whom were women and children. Also on Saturday, a report on the Houthis’ website said that three civilians, including a woman and a child, had been killed in fresh air raids carried out by US warplanes.
Around this time of year, some brave souls venture to put their reputations at risk by attempting to predict what the next year will bring. Some do so with uncanny accuracy, others — not so much. Being a serious author who hardly ever makes jokes, I generally sit out this annual bout of frivolity, but, noting that a new decade is about to burst upon us, I thought it reasonably safe to paint a picture of how I see the next decade. In the unlikely case that my predictions turn out to be completely wrong, I would think that they will have been very thoroughly forgotten by the time 2020 rolls around. And so, without further ado, here are my predictions for what it will be like in The United States of America during the second decade of the XXI century.
… Distressed municipalities throughout the country will resort to charging exorbitant fees for such things as dog licenses. Many will experiment with imprisoning those unable to pay these fees in state and county jails, only to release them again as the jails continuously overflow and resources run low. The citizenry will come to regard jails as conveniently combining the features of a soup kitchen and a homeless shelter. Some towns will abandon the idea of having a fire department and decide that it is more cost-effective to just let house fires run their course, to save on demolitions.
The way words are used, the way people, places and things are described, will make a difference regardless of the subject matter. Today I was reading USA Today (Friday Dec 18, 2009), specifically a letter titled “Independents Unite!” about the possible creation of a third party. In the letter the writer (Alan Mohr) wrote that we should drive the extremists from both political parties from office. I agree whole-heartedly with him, but in the next paragraph he writes;
“Another solution would be to have a new national third party, one that would appeal to independents and the moderates of the two major parties. Such a bloc could control Congress and be a positive influence and do what is best for America.”
Readers might not be very familiar with Private Eye, the UK’s one and only satirical magazine that’s been going for decades and long a thorn in the side of the Establishment in spite of the fact that its editors are very much a part of the Establishment. But then this why they get the ‘inside dope’ on the corruption and other nefarious ‘dealings’ that occupy the ruling elite who assist their business pals in ripping off the public purse.
For me as a lifelong adsorber of information of all kinds, PE’s major strength is in its inside info on the relationship between (big) business and the state, whether at the national or local level. Pretty much every major scandal that finally breaks in the mainstream press, for example the Trafigura disaster was reported in PEfirst. The oil trading company Trafigura dumped thousands of tons of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, 31,000 people were injured by the foul stuff and 16 died.
compiled by Cem Ertür
Featured Writer Dandelion Salad
19 December 2009
1) The Guardian: Iran test-fires missile that could hit Europe (December 2009)
from the archives:
2) US official: Iranian missile Shahab-4 could hit Central Europe (July 1998)
excerpts from: US condemns Iran’s ‘provocative actions’ as regime test-fires missile that could hit Europe (*)
by Ewen MacAskill and Ian Black, Guardian, 17 December 2009
The US and its allies yesterday branded as provocative Iran’s test-firing of an upgraded version of its most advanced [ballistic] missile, one claimed to be capable of hitting parts of Europe.
The Iranian defence minister, General Ahmad Vahidi, said the Sajjil-2 missile […] would act as “a strong deterrent” against possible foreign attack. Israel has repeatedly threatened to bomb Iranian nuclear plants to prevent it acquiring a nuclear weapons capability. Continue reading →
by Ian Cobain in Ramallah
Thursday 17 December 2009
US agency co-operating with Palestinian counterparts who allegedly torture Hamas supporters in West Bank
Palestinian security agents who have been detaining and allegedly torturing supporters of the Islamist organisation Hamas in the West Bank have been working closely with the CIA, the Guardian has learned.
Less than a year after Barack Obama signed an executive order that prohibited torture and provided for the lawful interrogation of detainees in US custody, evidence is emerging the CIA is co-operating with security agents whose continuing use of torture has been widely documented by human rights groups.