Central Asian Militants, Pan-Turkic Aims & Mysterious Financiers
I just finished reading an interesting article at Asia Times on the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), which is characterized by some as Central Asia’s most aggressive militant group. The main focus of the article is placed on the status, recent expansion and transformation of IMU: Continue reading →
On Tuesday, in an extremely troubling ruling in the District Court in Washington D.C., Judge John D. Bates dismissed a lawsuit contesting what is described as President Obama’s “targeted killing” policy, but which is, in fact, a program to assassinate US citizens anywhere in the world, without explanation, and without the involvement of Congress or the judiciary.
The case concerns Anwar al-Awlaqi (aka al-Awlaki or al-Aulaqi), an American citizen living in Yemen, who “was placed on kill lists maintained by the CIA and the US military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) earlier this year,” as the Center for Constitutional Rights has explained. Al-Awlaki was also labeled as a “specially designated global terrorist” on July 16, even though, behind the rhetoric, doubts have been expressed about his significance, which make it obvious that there are profound problems in allowing the executive branch to have the unfettered power to decide when American citizens should be designated for assassination.
This week plans for U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization military intervention in the Baltic Sea region gained attention after information from American State Department cables released by WikiLeaks were published in Britain’s Guardian newspaper.
Details include the alleged military defense of new NATO members Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania against Russia by nine NATO divisions composed of troops from the U.S., Britain, Germany and Poland – as many as 100,000-200,000 or more depending on the size of the divisions – U.S. and British warships and assault forces, and warplanes from the U.S. and other NATO nations.
I’ve been following what passes as “the news” from the mainstream media. The most peculiar set of circumstances have emerged as the Wikileaks phenomenon unfolds. I say “phenomenon” because I’ve never seen anything like this, except maybe The Pentagon Papers back in the early ‘70’s.
It seems as if the MSM can only talk around the subject without actually getting too specific. It’s as if they are trying their best to report on a subject without getting into too many details. It would be hilarious except for the fact that for many in this nation of ours, the MSM is their only news source. Most people that primarily get their news from various sites on the internet have probably seen or read many of the more salient parts from these latest diplomatic messages that were designed for government eyes only.
by Gareth Porter and Jim Lobe
WASHINGTON, Dec 6, 2010
The dominant theme that emerged in U.S. media coverage of the first round of Wikileaks diplomatic cables last week was that Arab regimes in the Gulf – led by Saudi Arabia – shared Israel’s view that Iran’s nuclear programme had to be stopped by military force, if necessary.
The New York Times generated that narrative with a front- page story featuring an alleged quote by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia urging the United States to “cut off the head of the snake”, as well as other statements by Gulf Arab leaders suggesting support for military action.
There is something very wrong with the independent media. It is unclear if this is somewhat about a failure to understand “priorities”… or if it is mainly something “darker” related to deliberate suppression and misdirection. We do know, that several important and vital stories very damning and damaging to the “status quo” are now not only suppressed by the corporate owned mainstream media (an old story for decades, but a phenomena that greatly increased after the events of “9/11” ); but are also now virtually ignored in the so-called “Independent” Internet media as well: The very people whom we trust to bring us information that the mainstream refuses to. This is a highly disturbing trend that appears to be growing; and what it causes as a result (for whatever reason), is to help maintain the “status quo” and the “hear-no, see-no-evil” mainstream media aura of : “No important questions ever asked, nor answered.”
For years certain pundits and political scientists have insisted that money is not all that important in winning elections. Large sums expended on campaigns glean only an extra percentage point or two in votes, we are told, and often the candidate who spends the most ends up losing anyway.
In 2010 Republican candidate Meg Whitman smothered the California gubernatorial contest with $142 million of her own money but still lost to Jerry Brown who spent a mere $24 million, along with another $27 million or so put up by independent groups. Such results are seized upon by those who argue that money does not guarantee victory. They insist that other variables–such as party affiliation, incumbency, candidate’s image, and key issues–may be the deciding factors.