Sino-Russian partnership cemented as leaders pursue common interests
President Hu Jintao and his Russian counterpart Dmitry
Medvedev attend a ceremony to mark completion of an oil pipelline project between the two countries at the Great Hall of the People in
Beijing on Monday. [Wu Zhiyi/China Daily]
BEIJING - China and Russia signed more than a dozen agreements on Monday to boost energy cooperation as leaders of the two countries
hailed a deepening strategic partnership.
President Hu Jintao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev witnessed the signing of 15 commercial deals as well as one on fighting
terrorism, separatism and extremism.
One of the key deals was signed by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and Russia's Transneft over the operation of the oil
pipeline that stretches from Skovorodino in eastern Siberia to Daqing in Northeast China.
The Russian section of the pipeline was completed last month, and the two leaders attended the completion ceremony of the Chinese section
after their meeting on Monday.
"The two nations should ensure the safe and normal operation of the oil pipeline, and reach the designated amount of oil supply as early
as possible," Hu said during the talks. He called the pipeline a "milestone" for energy cooperation between the two countries.
According to contracts signed earlier, Russia is due to supply oil to China through the pipeline, nearly 1,000 km long, from Jan 1 next
year with an annual capacity of 15 million tons of oil.
CNPC also signed an agreement with Russia's Gazprom, the world's largest gas producer, to export natural gas to China.
Russia's Itar-Tass News Agency said Russia is planning to launch gas supplies to China in 2015 and to sign commercial contracts before the
middle of next year.
Gazprom said that under that agreement it will supply China with 30 billion cubic meters of gas annually for 30 years starting in late
2015. The final deal is expected to be signed next summer, the AFP reported, quoting Gazprom.
"Russia is ready to meet China's full demand in gas," Itar-Tass quoted Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin as saying.
Sechin also said bilateral cooperation in the gas industry is strategic. "Russia is China's natural partner," he said.
Other deals signed include a protocol of memorandum of understanding on coal cooperation and a strategic agreement on peaceful utilization
of nuclear energy.
A letter of intent on investment between the China North Industries Corporation and RUSAL, the world's largest aluminum producer, was also
signed as was a contract on the design for the No 3 and No 4 units of the Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant in Lianyungang.
An additional agreement on buyer's credit for export between the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Russia's VTB Bank was signed
The two presidents also issued a joint statement on the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Medvedev said the documents would give a "new impetus" to the Sino-Russian relationship.
"Never before have our ties been characterized by such a high level of mutual trust," Medvedev said, adding that his government welcomed Chinese investments in high-tech industries including aircraft production.
Hu and Medvedev touched upon all the major international issues of common concern.
"It is an unshakable principle that the two countries' cooperation on global issues are within the framework of our strategic
partnership," said Medvedev, vowing that it has always been a priority in Russian diplomacy to develop the strategic partnership with
Hu called for the two countries to further strategic cooperation in international and regional affairs, and "continue to firmly support
each other in important issues that concern each other's core national interests".
Chinese experts see the meeting and signing of agreements as a "new era" between the two countries that have a lot of core national
interests in common.
Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, considered the gas supply deal as especially
"It means that all-round cooperation is to be launched," said Lin, noting the meeting and the agreements meant Sino-Russian ties on energy
had entered a "new era".
Russia's intent to strengthen its role in the Asia-Pacific region drives its cooperation with China, said Ding Peihua, a researcher on
Russia studies at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.
"The two countries are both new emerging economic powers and members of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China)," noted Ding. "They have a
lot of common interests such as anti-terrorism".
According to Ding, another factor driving Russia's cooperation with China is its wish to play a larger role in the Asia-Pacific
"Although Russia and the United States want to cooperate, their current and historical divergences of interests hinder substantial results
in their cooperation," said Ding.
It was the fifth meeting between Hu and Medvedev this year. Top legislator Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao also met Medvedev on
The Russian leader brought a large delegation for the three-day visit which started in Dalian on Sunday. Medvedev will go to Shanghai on
Pan Zhanlin, a specialist on Sino-Russian relations and former Chinese ambassador to Yugoslavia, said the joint statement of strategic
partnership proves that the fundamentals of bilateral relations have not changed and the strategic partnership is deepening.
Pan said although Russia needs technology and capital from the West, it also values relations with the East. "Its two-direction diplomacy
are parallel, not contradictory," said Pan.
Yang Jing, Wang Chenyan, Xinhua and AFP contributed to this story.
What Monsanto’s fall from grace reveals about the GMO seed industry
I got caught up in a cyclone of travel, meetings, and speechifying the
last two weeks, so I'm a bit behind on the latest news in the food
world. But I did take note of Andrew Pollack's Oct. 4 New York Times story on the recent plight of genetically modified (GM) seed
Monsanto, long-time Wall Street darling and bête noire of the
sustainable food movement.
As recently as late December,
Monsanto was named "company of the year" by Forbes magazine. Last week, the
company earned a different accolade from Jim Cramer, the television
stock market commentator. "This may be the worst stock of 2010," he
On Tuesday, Forbes publicly lamented
decision to deem Monsanto "company of the year." The headline was
cutting: "Forbes was wrong about Monsanto. Really wrong." How did
Monsanto go from Wall Street hero to Wall Street doormat?
to The Times' Pollack, Monsanto's troubles are two-fold: 1) the patent
on Roundup, Monsanto's market-dominating herbicide, has run out,
exposing the company to competition from cheap Chinese imports; and 2)
its target audience -- large-scale commodity farmers in the south and
Midwest -- are turning against its core offerings in genetically
modified corn, soy, and cotton seed traits.
agree with Pollack's diagnosis, but I want to add a third and even more
fundamental problem to the mix: Monsanto's once-celebrated product
pipeline is looking empty. As I'll show below, its current whiz-bang seeds offer just
tarted-up versions of the same old traits it has been peddling for more
than a decade: herbicide tolerance and pest resistance. Meanwhile,
judging from the company's recent report on its latest quarterly
earnings, the "blockbuster" traits it has been promising for years -- drought
resistance and nitrogen-use efficiency -- don't seem to be coming along
do I say that? In my days as a reporter covering the stock market, I
read a lot of company financial reports. When a high-tech company like
Monsanto disappointed Wall Street analysts with its financial
performance, it would strain to draw attention to "next-generation"
products that promised huge future returns to investors. But in its
report on its disappointing quarter last week, Monsanto did no such
thing. It gave zero details about next-generation seeds, and instead
focused on its "revamped pricing approach." Translated, that means that
after years of constantly jacking up prices, the company is being forced
to slash them to keep farmers interested. The loss of pricing clout is
devastating for a high-tech company like Monsanto.
What gives? Why is the company that once ruled the Big Ag universe like Darth Vader now whimpering like a mouse?
Stuck in the mud
Pollack delicately puts it, Monsanto "has been buffeted by setbacks this year."
The most famous one is the rise of Roundup-resistant "superweeds," first in
the south and then in the Corn Belt, that
has forced thousands of
farmers to reconsider the merits of Monsanto's flagship Roundup Ready
Monsanto's response has been to roll out its
much-ballyhooed SmartStax corn seed, "stacked" with a mind-boggling
eight foreign genes. Colluding with its arch-rival Dow AgroSciences
-- whatever happened to antitrust, again? -- Monsanto loaded the new
wonder-seed with multiple varieties of the toxic gene from Bt, a
naturally occurring bacteria that had been used as a pesticide for
years before Monsanto came along. Each of the Bt varieties in SmartStax
targets a specific insect. To address the problem of Roundup-resistant
"superweeds," the SmartStax seed combines Monsanto's Roundup Ready
trait with Dow's trait for resistance to its own proprietary herbicide,
Liberty. Now corn farmers can douse their fields freely with not one
but two broad-spectrum herbicides!
In a press release heralding the advent of SmartStax when it was
still in development back in 2007, a Monsanto exec expressed the company's hopes and dreams for the new product:
bringing together the two companies that have developed and
commercialized the trait technologies widely used in agriculture today,
we can provide farmers an 'all-in-one' answer to demands for
comprehensive yield protection from weed and insect threats," said Carl
Casale, executive vice president of strategy and operations for
Monsanto. "Farmers will have more product choices to optimize
performance and protection, and that translates into a higher-yielding
opportunity and a new growth proposition for their businesses and ours."
as I say above, SmartStax is just a mashup of various forms of the only
two traits Monsanto has ever brought to market: herbicide tolerance and Bt toxicity.
unfortunately for Monsanto and its once fat-and-happy shareholders,
SmartStax corn is starting to look, well, not so smart. According to The
Times' Pollack, early data from this year's corn harvest suggest that
SmartStax is "providing yields no higher than the company's less
expensive corn, which contains only three foreign genes." As a result,
the company is having to slash prices on both SmartStax and its
new soybean seed, cleverly called Roundup Ready 2 Yield. Oops.
evident failure of SmartStax to deliver yield gains may be the straw
that crushes Monsanto's long-time claim that its products offer farmers
dramatically higher yields than do conventional seeds. In a 2009 paper
called "Failure to Yield,"Doug Gurian-Sherman,
a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, showed that
since their public debut in 1996, GM traits have actually provided, at best,
marginal yield gains -- and in fact in some cases have caused
yields to decrease.
So why is Monsanto merely rearranging and stacking up last year's traits, and not rolling out new ones?
Tough row to hoe
what I think, from years of listening to industry critics like
Gurian-Sherman and the Center for Food Safety's Andrew Kimbrell: It is
one thing to splice a particular trait like herbicide or pesticide
resistance into the corn genome. You isolate the gene in an organism
like Bt that kills insects, splice it into the corn genome, and watch it
transforming a crop's way of taking up water and fertilizer -- the
goal of engineering crops that can withstand drought and use nitrogen
more efficiently -- is infinitely more complex. These intricate
processes developed through millions of years of evolution. They don't involve a single gene, but rather groups of genes interacting in ways
that are little understood. And
as the Union of Concerned Scientists' Gurian-Sherman told me in an
interview, in the process of achieving a complex trait like
drought resistance, breeders often generate unintended traits, such as
susceptibility to disease. These are known as "pleiotropic effects" -- simply the idea that changing one aspect of a thing can create
multiple, unpredictable effects. Pleiotropy is the scourge of GMO breeders looking to create the next
generation of miracle transgenic seeds.
In his 2009 paper No Sure Fix
[PDF], Gurian-Sherman shows that attempts to create nitrogen-efficient
GM seeds that actually work well in the field have so far failed -- and
that conventional breeders have actually managed to generate
significant gains in nitrogen-use efficiency in the field without
resorting to transgenic methods.
his Times piece, Andrew Pollack reports that Monsanto "hopes" to
introduce another complex trait, drought-tolerance in corn, sometime in
2012. My experience as a business reporter tells me that if Monsanto
execs were confident in their ability to do so, they would have
trumpeted it in their dismal recent quarterly report.
my perspective, what we're seeing is signs that GMO technology is much
cruder and less effective than its champions have let on. After decades
of hype and billions of dollars worth of research, much of it publicly
funded, the industry has managed to market exactly two traits. More
devastating still, it has failed on its own terms: it has not delivered
the promised dazzling yield gains.
Monsanto execs scramble to win back their mojo with Wall Street
investors -- the lot that brought us the dot-com and housing busts in
the past decade alone -- the rest of us would do well to remember that
the surest path to a bountiful future lies in supporting biodiversity,
not in narrowing it away by handing the globe's seed heritage to a few
Washington, Oct 16: A Washington D.C. middle school is facing the wrath of parents after distributing a sex survey to seventh-graders,
which asked whether they knew how to apply a condom.
The survey, whose respondents were both boys and girls, also interrogated the kids' sexual orientation among other adult sex
As per the reports from MyFoxDC.com the survey, developed by Metro TeenAIDS, a group dedicated to helping young
people fight against HIV/AIDS, was intended to raise awareness of sexually transmitted diseases and teach the children how to avoid them.
However, some parents at Hardy Middle School complained that the questions crossed the line, sparking the principal to put the survey
Other questions included: How sure are you that you know the difference between oral, vaginal, and anal sex? Would know
where to get condoms if/when you or a friend needed them? Can correctly put a condom on yourself or your partner?
The survey also
asked about the student's history of sexual activity and what types of sex.
"Unfortunately, the opt-out letter to parents
regarding this unit in the health class went home on the same day that the assessment was administered. As a result, there was not enough
time to allow for parental response before the unit began," Fox News quoted school officials as saying.
The Georgetown Dish also
reported that D.C. mayor Mayor-elect Vincent Gray said, "Raising awareness among students about HIV and AIDS is certainly an important and
necessary task schools must carry out, and families have an important role to play in the planning and execution of the sex education
To parents who are concerned the survey revealed too much information for a 12-year-old, Metro TeenAIDS' executive
director, Adam Tenner said that most of those 12-year-olds are much more experienced sexually than those parents might think.
Caught on Tape: A Lobbyist's Golf Party for Lawmakers
(From Ben, news contributor.)
Can it get any worse then these bustards in office? The below links really illustrates the out right crap that happens everyday in this
country by our law officials. The first link is the real story here and the other two are related stories. As an American I’m so sick and
tired of this so called, “this is how it is done here to help out ourselves. When in the hell are the people of this country going to say, if
one more politician make any deal that benefits him or any of his buddies using our tax dollars, you will go right to jail today. Every
single one of them should be out of office today not tomorrow. I pound my fist everyday; I have stopped crashing my head against the wall,
because it’s getting really sore. After all this bulls#%@ that has been going on for so long and I can’t believe it is still happening,
WHAT!!!!!!! Can anyone tell me why people are not so outraged at these out of control and I just can’t even put into words, still are able to
sleep at night knowing that they are putting every single person in this country in the poor house, except for them self’s.
ABC News Investigates with Brian Ross did a segment on state level legislators and their cozy relationship with lobbyists that interviews the Sunlight Foundation's executive director Ellen Miller.
ABC News Investigates - A Lobbyist's Golf Party for Lawmakers - Ellen Miller - 10-20-10
Per the article copied below "Predatory Property Tax
Collection" here is the why government did this. The feds put it through last year at the recommendation of a few private associations
that represented many local governments and it was the government that pushed forward to require
the banks and mortgage companies to do the tax collection tied directly into the mortgage. (Quicker money for the local governments) Read
the new mortgage documentation and the banks have been required to collect property taxation up front for the local government.
Government in most venues had to wait four (4) years to move forward with foreclosure for delinquent property taxes. Well now that they
have assigned the banks to do the collection, the banks usually move on foreclosure in six months which gets a new head in the door to pay
the same levied property taxes quicker.
I note that is a severe conflict of interest and that all who own a home should move on code enforcement against their local
The property tax is for the benefit of the local government (the beneficiary) of which in many venues when established the people
securing their interests to protect themselves made sure there were strict time-lines and procedures required before a local government
could try to grab your home for past due property taxes.
Well, it appears they have bypassed those restrictions with this one tactic. BUT, being that the local government is the beneficiary of
that property tax collected through the mortgage they are also the primary responsible party by assignment or allowance for assignment as
the underling direct beneficiary. In doing so or by participation, they have broken their own laws and statutes firmly put into place on
their books that allowed them to collect property taxes in the first place.
In fact based on the damaged parties (number of home owners effected) the potential of claim value from these type of collection actions
actions to bypass standing local government restrictions; statute; and law here for the direct benefit of those same local governments, it
would be good grounds for suspension of that or any local governments charter (shut them down) for having participated for the purpose of
It turns out that the big Wall Street banks have found a dirty new way to make loads of cash from U.S. homeowners, and they really,
really don't want to talk about it. So what is this dirty new business? America's biggest financial institutions have become property tax
collectors, and it is extremely lucrative.
From coast to coast, the big Wall Street banks are buying up thousands upon thousands of tax liens and are making a killing by socking
distressed homeowners with predatory interest, outrageous penalties and almost unbelievable legal fees. In some areas, the big banks are
able to foreclose on these homes in as little as six months. The elderly and the poor are the most common targets of these practices. An absolutely brilliant expose in the Huffington Post has brought these issues to light, and it is creating quite a controversy in the financial world. The big banks are doing nothing illegal here. Local governments are offering to sell thousands of tax liens and somebody is going to end up buying them. But something seems extremely
unsavory about the big Wall Street banks capitalizing on the economic downturn that they were so instrumental in causing in such a
Today, millions of American families are barely hanging on to their homes by their fingernails. Millions are out of work and millions
of others are barely making enough to put food on the table. Meanwhile, property taxes have absolutely soared in most areas of the nation
over the past decade. Many Americans are finding that when that time rolls around they simply do not have a big chunk of extra money to
pay a property tax bill.
So millions of American families, including many that have completely paid off their homes, now find themselves in danger of being
thrown out on to the street over an unpaid property tax bill.
For many local governments, the headache of trying to collect on thousands of property tax liens is just too much, so they are glad to
outsource the work of collection.
So how do the big Wall Street banks get involved? Well, it goes something like this.
1) The big Wall Street banks set up or invest in shell companies that will disguise who they really are.
2) These shell companies run around and buy up all of the tax liens that they can get their hands on.
3) Predatory levels of interest (in some states as high as 18 percent), fees and penalties rapidly pile up on these unpaid tax liens.
The affected homeowners quickly end up owing much, much more than what the original tax bills were for.
4) If the collecting firm has to hire a lawyer, then that gets charged to the homeowner as well. The bloated legal fees for some of
these lawyers can end up being the biggest expense of all.
5) If the tax liens do not get paid, the collecting firms move in to foreclose as quickly as legally possible.
According to the Huffington Post, Wall Street banks such as
Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase have been gobbling up several hundred thousand tax liens from local governments. It appears that
distressed housing markets are being particularly targeted.
Many of these tax liens are sold in online auctions, so it is unclear if many local government officials even realize who the big money
behind many of these shell companies is.
Once again, this is all perfectly legal, but it is more than a little distasteful.
The following video by the Huffington Post does a good job of summarizing what they found. The truth is that there is a huge difference
between the letter of the law and true justice.
Barbara Carpenter, a 58-year-old disabled Ohio retiree, found herself in such a situation. The former worker for the American Red
Cross struggled to save her Toledo home from a JPMorgan entity called Plymouth Park Tax Services, which in recent years has been among the
nation's top buyers of tax liens.
It's a great neighborhood and the house is in good condition, said Carpenter, who paid $67,000 for the one-story home in 2004. But
she fell behind in paying her taxes and a certificate for $1,500 in unpaid taxes was sold off to Plymouth Park, which is based in New
Carpenter's lawyer, Joseph Westmeyer, said Plymouth Park routinely charges an upfront fee of around $1,500 as soon as it buys the
lien and 18 percent interest on the debt. If they don't get paid, they foreclose.
It's not a good deal for poor customers,â€ said Westmeyer. Carpenter wound up selling the house in August for less than
half what she had paid. Plymouth Park received about $12,000 in legal fees and other charges, including some additional taxes, Westmeyer
said, quoting from court records.
Does that sound like an honorable way of making money to you?
Would you like to make your living by throwing elderly women out of their homes and into the street over unpaid tax bills?
Unfortunately, this problem is not going to go away any time soon. One out of every six Americans is enrolled in a
government anti-poverty program. Tens of millions of Americans are barely hanging in there. In addition, tens of millions of elderly
Americans live on fixed incomes. Meanwhile, property taxes just continue to go up in many areas of the United States.
Unless the U.S. economy experiences a dramatic turnaround, we are going to continue to see large numbers of Americans get behind on
their property taxes, and the big banks will continue to be there to scoop up the tax liens.
Large numbers of poor and elderly Americans that don't even have a mortgage will lose their homes and it will all be perfectly legal.
Executives at the big banks will be having a good laugh about their huge bonus checks as thousands upon thousands of our most vulnerable
citizens are dumped out into the street.
But weren't the big banks largely responsible for causing the housing crash and the economic meltdown that followed?
But so far none of them is really paying any kind of a price. The big banks got bailed out by the U.S. government, and now it looks
like the Federal Reserve is preparing another round of backdoor bailouts to help them out again.
But do the big banks show any mercy on the poor and the elderly who have gotten behind on their property taxes?
Not at all.
This is 2010 a time when greed dominates the financial world and when most banks don't seem to know a thing about kindness or mercy.
remember the "cakewalk war" that would last six weeks,
cost $50-60 billion, and be paid for out of Iraqi oil revenues?
remember that White House economist Lawrence Lindsey was fired by
Dubya because Lindsey estimated that the Iraq war could cost as
much as $200 billion?
fired for over-estimating the cost of a war that, according
to Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, has cost 15 times more than
Lindsey estimated. And the US still has 50,000 troops in Iraq.
remember that just prior to the US invasion of Iraq, the US government
declared victory over the Taliban in Afghanistan?
remember that the reason Dubya gave for invading Iraq was Saddam
Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, weapons that the US government
knew did not exist?
aware that the same neoconservatives who made these fantastic mistakes,
or told these fabulous lies, are still in control of the government
on terror" is now in its tenth year. What is it really all
line answer is that the "war on terror" is about creating
real terrorists. The US government desperately needs real terrorists
in order to justify its expansion of its wars against Muslim countries
and to keep the American people sufficiently fearful that they continue
to accept the police state that provides "security from terrorists,"
but not from the government that has discarded civil liberties.
The US government
creates terrorists by invading Muslim countries, wrecking infrastructure
and killing vast numbers of civilians. The US also creates terrorists
by installing puppet governments to rule over Muslims and by using
the puppet governments to murder and persecute citizens as is occurring
on a vast scale in Pakistan today.
used 9/11 to launch their plan for US world hegemony. Their plan
fit with the interests of America's ruling oligarchies. Wars are
good for the profits of the military/security complex, about which
President Eisenhower warned us in vain a half century ago. American
hegemony is good for the oil industry's control over resources and
resource flows. The transformation of the Middle East into a vast
American puppet state serves well the Israel Lobby's Zionist aspirations
for Israeli territorial expansion.
cannot see what is happening because of their conditioning. Most
Americans believe that their government is the best on earth, that
it is morally motivated to help others and to do good, that it rushes
aid to countries where there is famine and natural catastrophes.
Most believe that their presidents tell the truth, except about
their sexual affairs.
of these delusions is extraordinary in the face of daily headlines
that report US government bullying of, and interference with, virtually
every country on earth. The US policy is to buy off, overthrow,
or make war on leaders of other countries who represent their peoples'
interests instead of American interests. A recent victim was the
president of Honduras who had the wild idea that the Honduran government
should serve the Honduran people.
government was able to have the Honduran president discarded, because
the Honduran military is trained and supplied by the US military.
It is the same case in Pakistan, where the US government has the
Pakistani government making war on its own people by invading tribal
areas that the Americans consider to be friendly to the Taliban,
al Qaeda, "militants" and "terrorists."
year a deputy US Treasury secretary ordered Pakistan to raise taxes
so that the Pakistani government could more effectively make war
on its own citizens for the Americans. On October 14 US Secretary
of State Hillary Clinton ordered Pakistan to again raise taxes or
the US would withhold flood aid. Clinton pressured America's European
puppet states to do the same, expressing in the same breath that
the US government was worried by British cuts in the military budget.
God forbid that the hard-pressed British, still reeling from American
financial fraud, don't allocate enough money to fight America's
orders, the Pakistani government launched a military offensive against
Pakistani citizens in the Swat Valley that killed large numbers
of Pakistanis and drove millions of civilians from their homes.
Last July the US instructed Pakistan to send its troops against
the Pakistani residents of North Waziristan. On July 6 Jason Ditz
reported on Antiwar.com that "at
America's behest, Pakistan has launched offensives against [the
Pakistani provinces of] Swat Valley, Bajaur, South Waziristan, Orakzai,
A week later
Israel's US Senator Carl Levin (D,MI) called for escalating the
Obama Administration's policies of US airstrikes against Pakistan's
tribal areas. On September 30, the Pakistani newspaper, The Frontier
Post, wrote that the American air strikes "are, plain and
simple, a naked aggression against Pakistan."
The US claims
that its forces in Afghanistan have the right to cross into Pakistan
in pursuit of "militants." Recently US helicopter gunships
killed three Pakistani soldiers who they mistook for Taliban. Pakistan
closed the main US supply route to Afghanistan until the Americans
Washington against future attacks. However, US military officials,
under pressure from Obama to show progress in the endless Afghan
war, responded to Pakistan's warning by calling for expanding the
Afghan war into Pakistan. On October 5 the Canadian journalist Eric
Margolis wrote that "the US edges closer to invading Pakistan."
In his book,
Wars, Bob Woodward reports that America's puppet president
of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, believes that terrorist bombing attacks
inside Pakistan for which the Taliban are blamed are in fact CIA
operations designed to destabilize Pakistan and allow Washington
to seize Pakistan's nuclear weapons.
To keep Pakistan
in line, the US government changed its position that the "Times
Square Bombing" was the work of a "lone wolf." Attorney
General Eric Holder switched the blame to the "Pakistani Taliban,"
and Secretary of State Clinton threatened Pakistan with "very
serious consequences" for the unsuccessful Times Square bombing,
which likely was a false flag operation aimed at Pakistan.
heighten tensions, on September 1 the eight members of a high-ranking
Pakistani military delegation in route to a meeting in Tampa, Florida,
with US Central Command, were rudely treated and detained as terrorist
suspects at Washington DC's Dulles Airport.
the US government has enabled repeated Israeli military aggression
against Lebanon and now appears to be getting into gear for another
Israeli assault on the former American protectorate of Lebanon.
On October 14 the US government expressed its "outrage"
that the Lebanese government had permitted a visit by Iranian President
Ahmadinejad, who is the focus of Washington's intense demonization
efforts. Israel's representatives in the US Congress threatened
to stop US military aid to Lebanon, forgetting that US Rep. Howard
Berman (D,CA) has had aid to Lebanon blocked since last August to
punish Lebanon for a border clash with Israel.
most telling headline of all is the October 14 report, "Somalia's
New American Primer Minister." An American has been installed
as the Prime Minister of Somalia, an American puppet government
in Mogadishu backed up by thousands of Ugandan troops paid by Washington.
scratches the surface of Washington's benevolence toward other countries
and respect for their rights, borders, and lives of their citizens.
to silence the whistleblower website WikiLeaks and to prevent any
more revelations of American war crimes, the "freedom and democracy"
government in DC has closed down WikiLeaks' donations by placing
the company that collects its money on its "watch list" and by having
the Australian puppet government blacklist WikiLeaks.
now akin to a terrorist organization. The American government's
practice of silencing critics will spread across the Internet.
hate us because we have freedom and democracy, First Amendment rights,
habeas corpus, respect for human rights, and show justice and mercy
Craig Roberts [send
him mail], a
former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate
editor of the Wall Street Journal, has been reporting shocking cases
of prosecutorial abuse for two decades. A new edition of his book,
Tyranny of Good Intentions,
co-authored with Lawrence Stratton, a documented account of how
Americans lost the protection of law, has been released by Random
'The US is seeking to redeem itself after the "horrible" Iraq war but has no qualms about changing history to achieve this, says justice
and political activist Dahlia Wasli.
Washington continues to ignore studies by independent organizations questioning the accuracy of the US military's tally of the civilian
death toll in Iraq, Wasli told Press TV on Saturday. "I guess in any empire, we like to rewrite history to make ourselves look good. This is
just another step in declaring 'mission accomplished,” she added.
"This was the first statement by Bush back in 2003 that which have done what came to do. Now Barack Obama has
made his mission accomplished comment."
While the US military claims 77,000 Iraqis were killed between January 2004 and August 2008, a former Iraqi lawmaker has dismissed the
figure, protesting that the estimate is misleading as it does not include assassinations and victims of US military operations.
In 2006, a study conducted by the British medical journal The Lancet, revealed that 655,000 Iraqis had died in the war. The Opinion
Research Business (ORB)'s study, similarly, put the number of post-invasion deaths at over 1 million.'
A report by Jeremy Scahill in The Nation (Blackwater’s Black Ops, 9/15/2010) revealed that the largest mercenary army in the
world, Blackwater (now called Xe Services) clandestine intelligence services was sold to the multinational Monsanto. Blackwater was renamed
in 2009 after becoming famous in the world with numerous reports of abuses in Iraq, including massacres of civilians. It remains the largest
private contractor of the U.S. Department of State “security services,” that practices state terrorism by giving the government the
opportunity to deny it.
Many military and former CIA officers work for Blackwater or related companies created to divert attention from their bad reputation and
make more profit selling their nefarious services-ranging from information and intelligence to infiltration, political lobbying and
paramilitary training – for other governments, banks and multinational corporations. According to Scahill, business with multinationals, like
Monsanto, Chevron, and financial giants such as Barclays and Deutsche Bank, are channeled through two companies owned by Erik Prince, owner
of Blackwater: Total Intelligence Solutions and Terrorism Research Center. These officers and directors share Blackwater.
One of them, Cofer Black, known for his brutality as one of the directors of the CIA, was the one who made contact with Monsanto in 2008
as director of Total Intelligence, entering into the contract with the company to spy on and infiltrate organizations of animal rights
activists, anti-GM and other dirty activities of the biotech giant.
Contacted by Scahill, the Monsanto executive Kevin Wilson declined to comment, but later confirmed to The Nation that they had
hired Total Intelligence in 2008 and 2009, according to Monsanto only to
keep track of “public disclosure” of its opponents. He also said that Total Intelligence was a “totally separate entity from
However, Scahill has copies of emails from Cofer Black after the meeting with Wilson for Monsanto, where he explains to other former CIA
agents, using their Blackwater e-mails, that the discussion with Wilson was that Total Intelligence had become “Monsanto’s intelligence arm,”
spying on activists and other actions, including “our people to legally integrate these groups.” Total Intelligence Monsanto paid $ 127,000
in 2008 and $ 105,000 in 2009.
No wonder that a company engaged in the “science of death” as Monsanto, which has been dedicated from the outset to produce toxic poisons
spilling from Agent Orange to PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), pesticides, hormones and genetically modified seeds, is associated with
another company of thugs.
Almost simultaneously with the publication of this article in The Nation, the Via Campesina reported the purchase of 500,000
shares of Monsanto, for more than $23 million by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which with this action completed the outing of the
mask of “philanthropy.” Another association that is not surprising.
It is a marriage between the two most brutal monopolies in the history of industrialism: Bill Gates controls more than 90 percent of the
market share of proprietary computing and Monsanto about 90 percent of the global transgenic seed market and most global commercial seed.
There does not exist in any other industrial sector monopolies so vast, whose very existence is a negation of the vaunted principle of
“market competition” of capitalism. Both Gates and Monsanto are very aggressive in defending their ill-gotten monopolies.
Although Bill Gates might try to say that the Foundation is not linked to his business, all it proves is the opposite: most of their
donations end up favoring the commercial investments of the tycoon, not really “donating” anything, but instead of paying taxes to the state
coffers, he invests his profits in where it is favorable to him economically, including propaganda from their supposed good intentions. On
the contrary, their “donations” finance projects as destructive as geoengineering or replacement of natural community medicines for high-tech
patented medicines in the poorest areas of the world. What a coincidence, former Secretary of Health Julio Frenk and Ernesto Zedillo are
advisers of the Foundation.
Like Monsanto, Gates is also engaged in trying to destroy rural farming worldwide, mainly through the “Alliance for a Green Revolution in
Africa” (AGRA). It works as a Trojan horse to deprive poor African farmers of their traditional seeds, replacing them with the seeds of their
companies first, finally by genetically modified (GM). To this end, the Foundation hired Robert Horsch in 2006, the director of Monsanto. Now
Gates, airing major profits, went straight to the source.
Blackwater, Monsanto and Gates are three sides of the same figure: the war machine on the planet and most people who inhabit it, are
peasants, indigenous communities, people who want to share information and knowledge or any other who does not want to be in the aegis of
profit and the destructiveness of capitalism.