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Closer Than You Think: Top 15 Things Romney and Obama Agree On

September 4, 2012 by  
Filed under General News

source:BAR

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Too much agreement between Republicans and Democrats has always been bad news for those at the bottom of America’s class and racial totem poles.

Back in 1875, Frederick Douglass observed that it took a war among the whites to free his people from slavery. What then, he wondered, would an era of peace among the whites bring us? He already knew the answer. Louisiana had its Colfax Massacre two years earlier. A wave of thousands upon thousands of terroristic bombings, shootings, mutilations, murders and threats had driven African Americans from courthouses, city halls, legislatures, from their own farms, businesses and private properties and from the voting rolls across the South. They didn’t get the vote back for 80 years, and they never did get the land back. But none of that mattered because on the broad and important questions of those days there was at last peace between white Republicans and white Democrats — squabbles around the edges about who’d get elected, but wide agreement on the rules of the game.

Like Douglass, the shallow talking heads who cover the 2012 presidential campaign on corporate media have noticed out loud the remarkable absence of disagreement between Republican and Democratic candidates on many matters. They usually mention what the establishment likes to call “foreign policy.” But the list of things Republicans and Democrat presidential candidates agree on, from coddling Wall Street speculators, protecting mortgage fraudsters and corporate wrongdoers to preventing Medicare For All to so-called “foreign policy,” “free trade,” “the deficit” “clean coal and safe nuclear power” and “entitlement reform,” is clearly longer and more important than the few points of mostly race and style, upon which they disagree.

15

Although unemployment is the highest it’s been since the Great Depression, the federal government should NOT enact any sort of WPA-style program to put millions of people back to work. Under Democrat Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s, Depression-era unemployment was tackled head on by direct federal hiring to dig subways, build roads, schools, parks, sewers, recreational facilities and public buildings. Oblivious of this history, Democrat Barack Obama maintains that only the private sector can or should create jobs.

14

Medicare, Medicaid and social security are “entitlements” that need to be cut to relieve what they call “the deficit.” Republicans have been on record for this since forever, though they claim not to want to mess with the Medicare people already over 65 are getting. One of the first acts of the Obama presidency was to appoint a bipartisan panel stacked with “deficit hawks” like Republican Allan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles to recommend raising retirement ages and cutting back Medicaid, Medicare and social security, and pass a law directing Congress to have an up or down no-amendments vote on its recommendations. Fortunately the “cat food commission”, as it was called, was deadlocked and offered none. But Obama and top Democrats, most recently House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi continue to express their readiness for some kind of “grand compromise” with Republicans on this issue.

13

Climate change treaties and negotiations that might lead to them should be avoided at all costs. The differences between them are only style. Democrats admit that climate change exists and is man-made, Republicans say it’s a myth. But both ignored the Kyoto protocol and Obama like Bush before him, has worked tirelessly to delay, derail and boycott any actual talks that might lead to constructive international climate change agreements.

12

NAFTA was such a great thing it really should be extended to Central and South America and the entire Pacific rim. Again, there are differences in style. On the 2008 campaign trail, Obama sometimes mumbled about renegotiating parts of NAFTA, and such. But even before the primaries were done, press reports had him assuring the Canadian government this was only campaign rhetoric, raw meat for the rubes. In four years he has pushed NAFTA-like “free trade” corporate rights agreements with South Korea, most of Central America and is now secretly hammering out something called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

11

Banksters and Wall Street speculators deserve their bailouts and protection from criminal liability, but underwater and foreclosed homeowners deserve nothing. Well, maybe not exactly nothing. Republicans think underwater homeowners deserve blame for forcing banksters to offer millions of fraudulent high-interest loans were then re-sold to investors around the world. Democrats think underwater homeowners deserve empty promises of help that never quite arrives for most of the foreclosed, the about-to-be foreclosed, their families and communities. But both agree on free money for banksters and speculators but no moratorium on foreclosures and no criminal investigations of mortgage and securities fraud.

10

Palestinians should be occupied, dispossessed and ignored. Iran should be starved and threatened from all sides. Cuba should be embargoed, and Americans prohibited from going there to see what its people have done in a half century free of Yankee rule. Black and brown babies and their parents, relatives and neighbors should be bombed with drones in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and similar places. The politicians and corporate commentators have a misleading name for this. They call it “foreign policy.” The realistic term for it is global empire.

9

Africa should be militarized, destabilized, plundered and where necessary, invaded by proxy armies like those of Rwanda, Ethiopia, Burundi or Kenya, or directly by Western air and ground forces, as in Libya. President Georgia Bush announced the formation of AFRICOM, the US military command for the continent which has officially swallowed all US civilian diplomatic presence. But only a black US president, even under the cover of “humanitarian war” could have invaded an African nation and openly dispatched special forces to Central Africa.

8

US Presidents can kidnap citizens of their own or any nation on earth from anyplace on the planet for torture, indefinite imprisonment without trial or murder them and neighboring family and bystanders at will. To be perfectly fair, there are distinctions between Republicans and Democrats here that don’t amount to differences. Republicans Cheney and Bush got their lawyers to say these things were OK and did them. Democrat Obama got Congress to enact “laws” giving these acts a veneer of fake legality, something a Republican probably could not have done.

7

Oil and energy companies, and other mega-polluters must be freed to drill offshore almost everywhere, and permitted to poison land and watersheds with fracking to achieve “energy independence”. The Republicans say “drill baby drill” but it seems only Democrats can chill out enough supposed “environmentalists” to make this happen. Obama campaigned on restricting offshore drilling four years ago, and reversed himself just before the BP oil disaster in the Gulf. The White House cooperated with BP in lying to the public about the extent of the disaster and has shielded BO from paying anything like the value of actual damages incurred to livelihoods, human lives and the environment.

6

The FCC should not and must not regulate telecoms to ensure that poor and rural communities have access to internet, or to guarantee network neutrality. Republicans have always been in favor of digital redlining, against network neutrality. Barack Obama claimed on the campaign trail he’d take a back seat to nobody in guaranteeing network neutrality. But he appointed as FCC chair a man who helped write the infamous Telecommunications Act of 1995, which gave away the government-built internet backbone to a handful of immensely powerful telecoms like AT&T and Comcast, and flatly reversed himself on network neutrality. The Department of Justice was forced to stop the ATT-T-Mobile merger by a storm of public outrage, but approved the Comcast-NBC deal

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Libya arrests Gadhafi loyalists over Tripoli bombings

August 20, 2012 by  
Filed under General News

source:

Libya says it arrested 32 supporters of Moammar Gadhafi in connection with bombings that killed two people in the capital earlier Sunday.

An official from the country’s Supreme Security Committee, which has been supervising security matters since the Gadhafi regime was overthrown last year, said the 32 had been part of an organized network.

Three car bombs exploded near interior ministry and security buildings, according to reports.

One of the victims was killed by a blast near a police academy on one of Tripoli’s main streets, Omar al-Mukhtar, regional news channel Al Arabiya reported.

The blasts took place just before dawn as worshippers prepared for mass morning prayers marking Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim celebration that marks the end of the fasting month Ramadan.

readmore:http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/19/13366037-libya-arrests-gadhafi-loyalists-over-tripoli-bombings?lite

West Point Terror Center Confirms Al Qaeda in Libya

August 6, 2012 by  
Filed under General News

by Tony Cartalucci- land destroyer

The 2007 CTC Report

West Point CTC Confirms LIFG Terrorists Leading Libyan Rebellion – then apologizes for them.
The 2007 West Point Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) report [1] examining the demographics of foreign fighters caught in Iraq fighting US troops has been cited by alarmed analysts as proof that the current NATO-backed rebellion in Libya is literally handing an entire nation over to Al Qaeda linked terrorists, namely those of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) listed by both the US State Department and UK Home Office as a foreign terrorist organization.
The report indicated that by far, the eastern region of Libya, in particular the cities of Darnah and Benghazi now serving as the epicenter of the NATO-backed rebellion, provided more fighters per capita to combat US troops in Iraq than any other nation, including Saudi Arabia. In the report, it is noted that most of these Libyan fighters were members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) who were involved in an increasingly cooperative relationship with Al Qaeda. This relationship culminated in November 3, 2007, when the CTC report claims that LIFG officially joined Al Qaeda. The report than goes on to elaborately depict just how close together LIFG has been working with Al Qaeda, including the mention of LIFG member Abu Yahya, who is noted as second only to Ayman al-Zawahiri within Al Qaeda – al-Zawahiri at the time was Al Qaeda’s #2 under “Osama Bin Laden.”
The report says of the Libyan fighters’ hometowns of Darnah and Benghazi, that they have both been long associated with Islamic militancy and that the LIFG in particular claimed to have Afghan veterans within their ranks. LIFG’s “Emir” Abu Layth would reference LIFG’s role in uprisings against Qaddafi’s government during his address in November inaugurating his organization’s official inclusion within Al Qaeda:
“It is with the grace of God that we were hoisting the banner of jihad against this apostate regime under the leadership of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which sacrificed the elite of its sons and commanders in combating this regime whose blood was spilled on the mountains of Darnah, the streets of Benghazi, the outskirts of Tripoli, the desert of Sabha, and the sands of the beach.”
The April 2011 CTC Report
Someone, somewhere within the CTC at West Point decided to do damage control as their previous report served as fodder to directly undermine NATO’s mission in Libya. Countering, contradicting, or outright apologizing for, almost point-for-point, the 2007 report, Alison Pargeter wrote, “Are Islamist Extremists Fighting Among LIbya’s Rebels?” The hamhanded effort begins by downplaying concerns over “stark warnings” regarding the West’s support for opposition forces that included militants that fought Americans in Iraq. It cites Muammar Qaddafi himself as being the greatest purveyor of this fear which it promptly discards as “clearly propaganda efforts aimed at scaring not only the international community, but also those in western Libya about what might come next if Qadhafi is overthrown.” Now, Qaddafi’s words in hindsight seem more like prophecy than propaganda as wholesale genocide is conducted across Libya, and notorious Al Qaeda leaders begin declaring themselves “brigade commanders” of entire cities.
The report goes on to concede that indeed there is some merit behind these concerns and goes over a quick review of evidence presented in the earlier 2007 CTC report. The report also notes that, “on an individual basis, it is a certainty that some former LIFG members are fighting with the rebels. One former LIFG fighter, Khalid al-Tagdi, was killed on March 2 in Brega while fighting against regime forces. Similarly, in mid-April, another senior LIFG military commander, Abdelmonem Mukhtar, known as Ourwa, was killed after he was ambushed by Qadhafi forces on the road between Ajdabiya and Brega. Mukhtar had been imprisoned in Iran until the end of 2010 and returned to Libya when the uprisings began where he was made commander of the 160-strong Omar al-Mukhtar rebel battalion.”
Definitively, LIFG fighters are involved in the rebellion, though the CTC is attempting to downplay their role. Furthermore, the CTC attempts to portray the LIFG’s role in fighting US forces in Iraq as merely “going to fight against an occupying force in a Muslim land,” and “is very different from supporting Bin Ladin’s global ambitions or even taking up arms against one’s own government.” Quite clearly, this directly and entirely contradicts the conclusions of the 2007 CTC report which depicted LIFG as having a long collaborative relationship with Al Qaeda before being fully incorporated into the organization in 2007.
The latest CTC report now denies that LIFG ever joined Al Qaeda, citing the London coddled terrorist Noman Benotman, a chief proponent of the current rebel uprising, who claims “we refused right from the beginning to be absorbed into this group because that would make us lose our ability to move freely and independently in Libya.” Despite the less than credible assurances from Benotman, neither he, nor this more recent CTC report can explain why the LIFG “Emir,” Abu Layth al‐Libi, was acting as Al Qaeda’s #3 after al-Zawahiri and “Bin Laden.”
Also worth noting, the CTC report states that many of LIFG’s most hardcore terrorists were still in (as of April 2011 and recently released from) Abu Salim prison in Tripoli – not “political prisoners” as the media is now portraying them. These unrepentant terrorists are now once again run loose throughout Libya, with their former commander al-Hasadi holding large sections of the capital, Tripoli.
In both the 2007 and 2011 CTC report, LIFG is mentioned as working closely with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) [2], a notorious terrorist organization in Algeria who is once again taking up arms and carrying out attacks ahead of a second US-backed attempt at destabilizing the large North African nation. Algeria has recently sealed its borders with Libya in an attempt to stem the flow of seized weapons being trafficked into the nation by Libyan rebels. The Libyan rebels have also accused the Algerian government of trying to smuggle weapons into Libya to bolster Libyan government troops. With the CTC reports providing us a proper context, we see that indeed NATO has literally breathed new life into Al Qaeda’s North African affiliates, all listed by both the US, UK as well as nations around the world as terrorists organizations, while Algeria and Libya, both under siege by the West are in fact the only governments truly trying to end Al Qaeda’s operations in the region.
The Bottom Line
More recently, a torrent of evidence has been revealed exposing just how completely the rebel movement is run by LIFG members, with LIFG’s Abdulhakim al-Hasidi now the defacto rebel representative in Tripoli and the atrocities synonymous with Al Qaeda’s method of operation becoming ubiquitous across Libya. The CTC had gone out on a limb in April of this year to apologize and downplay the role of these notorious, internationally scorned terrorists and it has now implicated itself as part of what can be considered the greatest betrayal in American history.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of US soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen who were separated from their families for years, faced deadly adversity, injury, mental anguish and even death, because they were told they needed to confront the threat that was international terrorism. Now the very same men they sacrificed so much to fight against, are being apologized for and propped up as the new leaders of an entire nation. This is not just being done by politicians or corporate interests, but also by organizations affiliated with the US military itself.
What’s more is that US pilots, special forces, sailors, and Marines are being called upon now to help depose Qaddafi – a man genuinely dedicated to ending LIFG’s and thus Al Qaeda’s reign of terror in Northern Africa. And as LIFG is still listed as an foreign terrorist organization by the US State Department, it is clear that US Congressmen supporting NATO’s intervention in Libya, including John McCain [3], Lindsey Graham, and Joseph Lieberman, along with Obama’s presidential cabinet, especially Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, are all guilty of knowingly providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization in violation of USC § 2339A & USC § 2339B. This is an egregious betrayal against both the United States as a nation, and America’s armed forces who have been thoroughly made fools of by a government reveling in their duplicity.
It should be mentioned, that George Bush’s cadre of Neo-Conservatives have played a central role in engineering and gathering support for this current intervention in Libya, and that this isn’t exclusively “Obama’s War.” In fact, a letter written to House Republicans in June of 2011, implored undecided Republicans to pledge full support for NATO’s intervention in Libya and in fact discard the UNSC resolution, as it was holding America “hostage” in achieving the intervention’s real goal, not protecting civilians, but rather deposing Qaddafi from power. The signatories included Elliott Abrams, Gary Bauer, Max Boot, Frederick Kagan, Karl Rove, Ellen Bork, Robert Kagan, Liz Cheney, William Kristol, Dan Senor, Jamie Fly, Clifford May, Paul Wolfowitz, and James Woolsey as signatories, and all key Neo-Conservatives that helped engineer Bush’s 8 years of “War on Terror,” and still clearly driving it to this very day.
[1] A full break-down of the 2007 West Point CTC report can be found on Tarpley.net here.
[2] AQIM is listed as number 37 on the US State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations. This organization will be used in an analogous fashion to begin unrest in Algeria, just as LIFG has been used to destabilize Libya.
[3] John McCain would claim, while in Benghazi, Libya, “I have met with these brave fighters, and they are not Al-Qaeda. To the contrary: They are Libyan patriots who want to liberate their nation.” From his official press release. From “Warmonger McCain in Benghazi” April 22, 2011

readmore:http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/09/west-point-terror-center-confirms-al.html

Libya sees claims of beatings and human rights abuses as elections near

June 4, 2012 by  
Filed under General News

gaurdian uk:

Members of an elite unit set up by the Libyan government to rein in the country’s rival militia forces have been accused of kidnapping and severely beating one of the country’s foremost surgeons.

The abduction appears further evidence that 10 months after taking over, Libya‘s new interim government has failed to curb human rights abuses, and is seemingly incapable of controlling either the militias or its own security force. It comes as the country faces its first national elections later this month – a key test of whether Libya is heading towards democracy or violent secessionism.

Salem Forjani, a heart surgeon working for the health ministry, was seized on 17 May when he went to Tripoli medical centre – the city’s largest hospital – on orders of the health minister to remove the director, who was accused of links with the Gaddafi regime.

Instead, he was confronted by members of the government’s supreme security committee (SSC) waiting in the director’s office, who dragged Forjani through the hospital, beating him so badly he lost consciousness in front of horrified staff.

A fellow medic photographed Forjani being carried, his shirt off, spreadeagled, down the hospital’s ambulance ramp while an SSC soldier threatened to shoot unarmed hospital security staff giving chase.

The SSC troops bundled the doctor into a car and incarcerated him in a base at Naklia, a suburb of Tripoli, where he was beaten and kicked so hard in the groin that he was left with a ruptured testicle.

Forjani escaped with his life. But for five days neither his family nor health minister Fatima Hamroush could find him, or even get confirmation he was still alive.

Finally, after he had been moved to a second facility, at Tripoli’s Mitiga airport, the SSC contacted the health ministry and released him, having failed to charge him with any offence or even explain the reason for his capture.

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Russia’s FM warns against arming Syrian opposition

April 4, 2012 by  
Filed under General News

By AIDA SULTANOVA, Associated Press:

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Russia’s foreign minister warned other nations again Wednesday not to arm the Syrian opposition, saying it would only escalate hostilities.

Speaking on a trip to Azerbaijan, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the Syrian opposition wouldn’t be able to overwhelm government forces even if it was supplied with weapons from abroad. He warned that a foreign military intervention would lead to even more disastrous consequences for Syria, where President Bashar Assad’s forces have violently cracked down on a yearlong uprising in which more than 9,000 people have died.

“Even if they arm the Syrian opposition to the teeth, it won’t be able to defeat the Syrian army,” Lavrov said. “The carnage will go on for many years.”

Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two Sunni-ruled nations, have backed the idea of arming the opposition against Assad’s Shiite-ruled government, but the West remains opposed. Western nations moved instead to create a fund for the rebels at a meeting in Istanbul.

Russia, along with China, has twice shielded Assad from United Nations sanctions over his bloody crackdown on dissent. But Moscow also has strongly supported U.N. envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan, which gives an April 10 deadline for Syrian troops to pull out of towns and cities.

Lavrov reaffirmed that Assad needs to take the first step to end bloodshed, but all international players need to back Annan’s proposals.

He criticized Sunday’s meeting of the “Friends of the Syrian People” in Istanbul, saying it sent signals to the opposition that would undermine Annan’s plan.

“All that would undermine efforts to end violence,” he said. “They want to solve the Syrian problem with the opposition only, but it’s impossible to settle the situation like that. There must be a dialogue of all the parties involved.”

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said that Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem will hold talks with Lavrov in Moscow next Tuesday, and representatives of the Syrian opposition will visit the Russian capital on April 17-18.

While Moscow has shown signs of increasing impatience with its old ally, criticizing Assad for being too slow at reforms, it also has criticized the West and Arab Gulf states for backing the opposition. It has strongly opposed U.N. sanctions against Assad, saying that the global body shouldn’t be turned into an instrument for regime change.

Russia has vowed to block any U.N. resolution that could pave the way for a replay of what happened in Libya, where NATO action helped oust longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

Lavrov said NATO nations had abused a U.N. resolution that cleared the way for a military action in Libya, killing civilians and “leaving something that can’t be called a state in the end.”

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Libyan tribal leaders declare semi-autonomous eastern state

March 6, 2012 by  
Filed under General News

Libyan tribal leaders have unilaterally declared nearly half of the oil-rich east of the country to be semi-autonomous in a move that opponents fear is the first step towards a carve-up of Libya six months after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.

Thousands of tribal representatives, militia commanders and politicians told a conference in Benghazi that the new state, known as Barqa, would have its own parliament, police force and courts to run its own affairs and place its capital in Benghazi.

Under their plan, foreign policy, the national army and oil resources would be left to a central, federal government in Tripoli. Barqa would cover nearly half the country, from central Libya to the Egyptian border in the east and down to the borders with Chad and Sudan in the south.

Libya’s National Transitional Council, the interim central government based in Tripoli, has repeatedly voiced its opposition to the creation of a partly autonomous eastern region, warning it could eventually lead to the breakup of the North African nation of 6 million people.

“This is very dangerous. This is a blatant call for fragmentation. We reject it in its entirety,” said Fathi Baja, the head of political committee of the NTC. “We are against divisions and against any move that hurts the unity of the Libyan people.”

The declaration underscored the weakness of the NTC, which has been largely unable to establish its authority around the country since the fall of Gaddafi in August and his death in October.

In fact, the NTC holds little sway even in Tripoli, where militias that arose during the anti-Gaddafi revolt have divided districts into fiefdoms.

The prime minister of the interim government created by the NTC, Abdel-Rahim al-Keeb, admitted on Monday that the government was not performing satisfactorily. “The government is not doing its job. My evaluation of its performance is not good,” he said in an interview on state TV. “The steps we are taking are slow.”

The NTC has called for national elections in June to select a 200-member assembly that will name a prime minister to form a new government and write a constitution.

source:

Post-Gaddafi Nightmare: Libya rebels unleash revenge

December 21, 2011 by  
Filed under General News

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