As protests and unrest continue to spread across Syria, Western pressure including sanctions and even open talk of military intervention is mounting against the regime of “President” Bashar Al-Assad.
Numerous sources report that NATO is already plotting an invasion as foreign powers covertly arm Syrian rebels. And some analysts believe military intervention against Damascus would merely serve as a prelude to an attack on Iran.
Mass demonstrations in Syria, sometimes violent, began in mid-March. Since then, human rights groups and various governments claim thousands of civilians have been killed by security forces trying to put down the unrest.
The European Union and the U.S. government already imposed economic sanctions on the Assad dictatorship. More might be on the way as EU officials consider joining the American embargo on Syrian oil imports.
Although the Obama administration has made much of the fact that U.S. forces are scheduled to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, it clearly has no intention of leaving that war-ravaged country to its own devices. In fact, plans are afoot to keep as many as 25,000 American troops in Afghanistan for at least a decade longer than the official deadline, according to the Daily Telegraph.
“America and Afghanistan are close to signing a strategic pact which would allow thousands of United States troops to remain in the country until at least 2024,” the London newspaper reports. “The agreement would allow not only military trainers to stay to build up the Afghan army and police, but also American special forces soldiers and air power to remain.” Both sides hope to seal the deal by December.
Some observers have commented that, in short, the American empire is not about to relinquish control over one of its satrapies. As former Indian diplomat M.K. Bhadrakumar observed, “The ‘hidden agenda’ of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan can no longer be disowned. Quite obviously, the U.S. intends to plunge into the ‘great game’ in Central Asia.”
Rep. Allen West, (R-Fla.) offered Florida’s branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations a little history lesson in a letter to the group, and officials from CAIR don’t like it. Even worse, they couldn’t figure out what West meant.
Responding to a lengthy diatribe against West that demanded he stop associating with anti-jihad writers such as Robert Spencer, who runs the Jihad Watch website, and Pamela Geller, proprietress of the Atlas Shrugs site, West sent a one-word reply. “Nuts.”
Nazir Hamze, one of the officers at CAIR to whom West wrote, was clueless. And so were many of the people that CBS4 in Miami talked to about the laconic rejoinder.
The Chinese Communist Party has exerted every effort to manage all high-tech activities within its borders. While the government has allowed the market forces more freedom, it has attempted to retain iron control over projects such as manned space travel and high-speed trains. Unfortunately for technology, the decision-making in these sorts of projects in China, critics maintain, is driven by politics, not science. Analysts note that invariably, government-controlled technology projects are inherently weak. In July, after a Chinese high-speed train crashed into a stalled train, killing 40 people, Xianfang Ren, chief economist for IHS Global Insight, noted: “If they are taking one step back to think again about these railway projects, more broadly it should have an impact on their overall planning of such projects ... It is not quite clear that stepping on the brake is the only viable option."
The decision-making in these sorts of projects in China, critics maintain, is driven by politics, not science. Liu Zhijun, Railway Minister until February, was fired amid charges of graft. Chinese state broadcasting has even showed residents in the eastern province of Anhui complaining about the noise and property damage that a bullet train line caused them, seeming to indicate that Communist Party support was backing off.
A new U.S. military report — which will give additional credence to those advocating an end to foreign aid and interventionism — reveals that America has been funding her enemies to the tune of $360 million. After a careful examination of combat support and reconstruction contracts, researchers determined that the U.S. tax dollars had ended up with the Taliban and other enemies whom the United States has been fighting for the past decade.
The Blaze observes:
The losses underscore the challenges the U.S. and its international partners face in overcoming corruption in Afghanistan. A central part of the Obama administration’s strategy has been to award U.S.-financed contracts to Afghan businesses to help improve quality of life and stoke the country’s economy.
The investigation into the contracts, led by U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, reveals many connections between the Afghan companies and their subcontractors to groups which the military would classify as “malign actors.”
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has declared that the United States should cut off aid to Israel on the grounds of “human rights violations.” As head of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on foreign operations, Leahy is promoting a bill that would suspend U.S. assistance to three units in the Israeli Defense Forces, asserting that they are involved in human rights abuses in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. According to The Blaze, “Leahy’s legislation would seek to withhold assistance from the Israeli Navy’s Shayetet 13 unit, the undercover Duvdevan unit and the Israeli Air Force’s Shaldag unit.”
Leahy was the key sponsor of a 1997 bill that prohibits the United States from giving aid or military assistance to any foreign military suspected of human rights abuses or war crimes and now wants the new clause pertaining to the IDF to become part of the U.S. foreign assistance legislation for 2012.
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has been riding the promotion circuit since his latest book, On China, was released on May 17 by Penguin Press. The release was timed to precede the 40th anniversary (July 9, 1971) of his secret trip to China that is credited with opening relations between the United States and the Communist regime of Mao Zedong (which was then assisting the Communist forces that were killing American troops in Southeast Asia).
The book's release also, coincidentally, was well timed for exploitation by the Chinese Politburo for the 90th Anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (July 1, 1921). As to be expected, the 608-page tome has been showered with adulatory reviews from the Kissinger-adoring mainstream media. Some examples: "Nobody living can claim greater credit than Mr. Kissinger for America's 1971 opening to Beijing ... a fluent, fascinating...book," — the Wall Street Journal. "Fascinating, shrewd..." — the New York Times. "From the eminent elder statesman, an astute appraisal on Chinese diplomacy ... Sage words and critical perspective ..." — Kirkus Reviews.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is being heavily criticized for civilian casualties and a series of bombings apparently targeting essential non-military infrastructure in Libya, with some observers calling the actions war crimes. The Libyan rebels being supported by coalition forces have also been accused of wanton savagery and even crimes against humanity.
Most recently, a NATO bombing campaign near the Libyan city of Zlitan earlier this month reportedly killed almost 100 civilians — more than half of them women and children. The attack sparked a new wave of outrage worldwide as journalists and activists called for investigations.
Representatives of the Gaddafi regime took a large group of foreign reporters to the site. They were reportedly shown bodies of women and children, including the remains of a baby. Multiple bombed out homes were also presented to international journalists.
The U.S. Air Force has cancelled a course entitled “Christian Just War Theory” that was required for all nuclear missile launch officers, reported the Associated Press. The course, which has been taught for the past 20 years by military chaplains at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, is being revised following complaints by some participants that Scripture was used by teachers to show that war can be a moral endeavor, explained David Smith, a spokesman for the Air Force Air Education and Training Command. While the Air Force once felt the Bible-based training was necessary “because of the nature of the job” missile officers might be called upon to do, Smith said, it is now considered inappropriate in a society that has become increasingly pluralistic.
According to CNN, the Air Force suspended the ethics class “after 31 missile launch officers reported the religious nature of the briefing to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation,” a secular watchdog group that targets faith in the armed forces. Mikey Weinstein, a spokesman for the organization, said that there were several things the missile officers “found disgusting. The first was the fact that there is actually a slide that makes it clear that they’re trying to teach that, under fundamentalist Christian doctrine, war is a good thing.”