Last year the commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), General William Ward, said the Pentagon had military partnerships with 35 of the continent’s 53 nations, “representing U.S. relationships that span the continent.” 
That number has increased in the interim.
As the first overseas regional military command set up by Washington in this century, the first since the end of the Cold War, and the first in 25 years, the activation of AFRICOM, initially under the wing of U.S. European Command on October 1, 2007, then as an independent entity a year later, emphasizes the geostrategic importance of Africa in U.S. international military, political and economic planning.
I’ve seen this movie before. In 1989, I was a fraud investigator hired to dig into the cause of the Exxon Valdez disaster. Despite Exxon’s name on that boat, I found the party most to blame for the destruction was … British Petroleum. That’s important to know, because the way BP caused devastation in Alaska is exactly the way BP is now sliming the entire Gulf Coast.
Tankers run aground, wells blow out, pipes burst. It shouldn’t happen but it does. And when it does, the name of the game is containment. Both in Alaska, when the Exxon Valdez grounded, and in the Gulf over a week ago, when the Deepwater Horizon platform blew, it was British Petroleum that was charged with carrying out the Oil Spill Response Plans (“OSRP”) which the company itself drafted and filed with the government.
“This is not our debt, but we are being made to pay for it,” said one angry Greek worker, explaining why he like thousands of other Greeks are taking to the streets in protest at their country’s bail-out plan.
The so-called rescue package of €110 billion ($143 billion) facilitated by the European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF) is not just aimed at shoring up Greece from total economic collapse. At stake too is the solvency of several other Eurozone countries – Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain – and even the euro currency itself.
Please donate your old pantyhose to the Gulf Coast oil disaster cleanup, right now; shave your head and donate the hair! Our goal is to carry a 3 room apartment U-haul from NYC to Gulf Shores 7 days from now.
In order to keep what we have up here, we need to protect what is at stake on the Gulf Coast. It’s very simple, email me at email@example.com, tell me you will donate washed hair clippings from your head, from your favorite salon, and washed pantyhose from your ass and the asses of your friends. We will come pick it up. Simple as that!
EXCLUSIVE…Secret Recording of Erik Prince Reveals Previously Undisclosed Blackwater Ops
Investigative journalist and Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill obtains a rare audio recording of a recent, private speech delivered by Erik Prince, the owner of Blackwater, to a friendly audience in January. The speech, which Prince attempted to keep from public consumption, provides a stunning glimpse into his views and future plans and reveals details of previously undisclosed activities of Blackwater. In a Democracy Now! exclusive broadcast we play excerpts of the recording and speak with Scahill about the revelations. [Includes rush transcript]
Jeremy Scahill, award-winning independent journalist, a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute and the author of the international bestseller, “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.” His article, Secret Erik Prince Tape Exposed is published on his new blog for TheNation.com.
by Franklin Lamb
Featured Writer Dandelion Salad
Shatila Palestinian Refugee Camp
5 May, 2010
In Lebanon this month, like spring flowers, proposals to give Palestinians the right to work are bursting out all over
Part III of a six part series on securing Palestinian Civil Rights in Lebanon
This year , the Merry Month of May in Lebanon includes Labor day, the May 15 anniversary of the Nakba, the month long Lebanese municipal elections and the May 5 elevation of Lebanon to the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council.
Yet, for most Palestinians wiling away their lives in Lebanon’s 12 fetid refugee camps and 27 gatherings, May will pass anything but Merry. The festive Labor day and month long elections, held in the 26 municipalities in Lebanon, with the participation of more than 650 glad-handing -vote seeking candidates extolling the Lebanese virtue of working to provide for one’s family, constitute a cruel joke for Palestinian refugees denied the right to work.