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Pentagon Preparing For War With The Enemy: Russia By Rick Rozoff
Link
Global Research, May 14, 2009
Stop NATO

"Today the situation is much more serious than before August 2008....[A] possible recurrence of war will not be limited to the Caucasus. "The new President of the United States did not bring about any crucial changes in relation to Georgia, but having a dominant role in NATO he still insists on Georgia's soonest joining of the Alliance. If it happens, the world would face a more serious threat than the crises of the Cold War.

"Under the new realities, Georgia's war against South Ossetia may easily turn into NATO's war against Russia. This would be a third world war." (Irina Kadzhaev, South Ossetia political scientist, South Ossetia Information Agency, April 2009

On May 12 James Mattis, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Transformation [ACT] and commander of the U.S. Joint Forces Command, spoke at a three-day symposium called Joint Warfighting 09 in Norfolk, Virginia, where NATO's Allied Command Transformation is based, and stated: "I come with a sense of urgency. The enemy is meeting like this as well."

A local newspaper summarized his speech:

"Mattis outlined a future in which wars will not have clearly defined beginnings and ends. What is needed, he said, is a grand strategy, a political framework that can guide military planning."

He failed, for what passes for diplomatic reasons no doubt, to identify who "the enemy" is, but a series of recent developments, or rather an intensification of ongoing ones, indicate which nation it is.

Last week the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, Gen. Kevin Chilton, told reporters during a Defense Writers Group breakfast on May 7 "that the White House retains the option to respond with physical force - potentially even using nuclear weapons - if a foreign entity conducts a disabling cyber attack against U.S. computer networks...."

An account of his talk added "the general insisted that all strike options, including nuclear, would remain available to the commander in chief in defending the nation from cyber strikes."

Chilton "said he could not rule out the possibility of a military salvo against a nation like China, even though Beijing has nuclear arms," though the likely first target of alleged retaliation against equally alleged cyber attacks would be another nation already identified by US military officials as such: Russia.

In late April and early May of 2007 the government of Estonia, which was inducted into NATO in 2004 and whose president was and remains Toomas Hendrik Ilves, born in Sweden and raised in the United States (where he worked for Radio Free Europe), reported attacks on websites in the country which were blamed on Russia.

Over two years later no evidence has been presented to substantiate the claim that Russian hackers, much less the government itself, were behind the attacks, though it remains an article of faith among US and other Western officials and media that they were.

The response from American authorities in the first place was so sudden and severe, even before investigations were conducted, as to strongly suggest that if the attacks hadn't been staged they would need to be invented.

Right afterward Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne stated, "Russia, our Cold War nemesis, seems to have been the first to engage in cyber warfare."

The US Air Force news source from which the above is quoted added that the events in Estonia days earlier "did start a series of debates within NATO and the EU about the definition of clear military action and it may be the first test of the applicability of Article V of the NATO charter regarding collective self-defense in the non-kinetic realm."

NATO's Article 5 is a collective military defense provision, in fact a war clause, one which first and to date for the only time has been used to support the protracted and escalating war in Afghanistan.

References to it, then, are not to be taken lightly.

On a visit to Estonia last November Pentagon chief Robert Gates met with the country's prime minister, Andrus Ansip, and "discussed Russian behavior and new cooperation on cyber security...."

It was reported that "Ansip said NATO will operate under the principle of Article 5 of the alliance's treaty, which states that an attack on one ally is treated as an attack on all," and "We are convinced that Estonia, as a member of NATO, will be very well defended.”

That the repeated mention of NATO's Article 5 continued a year and a half after the alleged cyber attacks when none had occurred in the interim is revealing.

At the beginning of this month the Pentagon announced that it was launching what it called a "digital warfare force for the future," at Fort Meade in Maryland under the control of the U.S. Strategic Command, whose chief, Gen. Kevin Chilton, was quoted earlier as threatening the use of force up to and including nuclear weapons.

The initiative was characterized in a news report as follows:

"Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, also the Pentagon's leading cyber warfare commander, said the U.S. is determined to lead the global effort to use computer technology to deter or defeat enemies...."

The Pentagon is a synecdoche for the Department of Defense and everything related to its activities is cloaked in the same euphemism, so when pressed the US will insist its new cyber warfare project is intended for defensive purposes only. Any nation which and people who have been on the receiving end of US Defense Department actions know better. The new US cyber warfare command, its rationale based on a supposed Russian threat emanating from a non-military incident in the Baltics over two years ago, will be used to cripple the computer systems of any nation targeted for direct military assault, thus rendering them defenseless, and will be particularly effective for space-based and Star Wars (missile shield, interceptor missiles) first strike plans.

On the same day the report of General Alexander's pledge to "defeat enemies" appeared another news item reported that "A quasi-classified satellite that will serve as an engineering trailblazer for ballistic missile tracking technologies flew into space Tuesday [May 12]."

It was a Space Tracking and Surveillance System Advanced Technology Risk Reduction (STSS-ATRR) satellite, which "is part of a space-based system for the Missile Defense Agency.

"Sensors aboard the STSS-ATRR satellite and on the ground will communicate with other systems to defend against incoming ballistic missiles."

A few days earlier the California-based manufacturer Ducommun in a news report titled Ducommun Incorporated Announces Delivery of Nanosatellites to U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command announced that "its Miltec Corporation subsidiary delivered flight-ready nanosatellites to the U.S. Army pace and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command (USASMDC/ARSTRAT) in Huntsville, Alabama on April 28, 2009."

The delivery was "the completion of the first U.S. Army satellite development program since the Courier 1B communications satellite in 1960."

Military satellites used for neutralizing the potential of a rival nation not so much to launch a first strike but to respond to one blur the distinction between so-called Son of Star Wars missile shield projects and full-fledged militarization of space.

A recent Russian commentary saw it in just that manner:

"Withdrawal from the 1972 ABM Treaty signified a switch to the testing and deployment of a global missile defense system, with a view to fully removing the deterrent potential of China, and partially that of Russia.

"Washington [is] still trying to eliminate international legal restrictions on the formation of a system, which would theoretically make it invulnerable towards an act of retaliation, and even a launch-under-attack strike."

Added to which is another "quasi-classified" subterfuge related to a prospective resumption of Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) talks between the US And Russia.

American Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller stated this week "that the US is not prepared to cut warheads removed from delivery means and kept in storage."

So in addition to US plans to deploy ground-, sea-, air- and space-based anti-missile systems primarily around and against Russia (Poland, the Czech Republic, Norway, Britain, Japan and Alaska to date), the Pentagon will hold in reserve nuclear warheads for activation without a monitoring mechanism provided to Russian inspectors and arms reduction negotiators.

On May 6 Euronews conducted an interview with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who warned, "The way it [the US anti-ballistic missile shield] is designed has nothing to do with Iran's nuclear program. It is aimed at Russian strategic forces, deployed in the European part of the Russian Federation."

To add to the concerns of Russia and other nations, On April 30 the US established a Navy Air and Missile Defense Command (NAMDC) at the Naval Support Facility at Dahlgren, Virginia.

"NAMDC is the lead organization for Navy, joint and combined Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD). NAMDC serves as the single warfare center of excellence to synchronize and integrate Navy efforts across the full spectrum of air and missile defense to include air defense, cruise missile defense and ballistic missile defense."

The past two weeks has been a fertile period for stories in this vein and, to bring attention nearer the Earth, the US-based Strategy Page reported from a Russian source that "The United States has bought two Su-27 fighter jets from Ukraine" to "be used to train American military pilots, who may face opponents in them" and that the "US military will use them to test its radar and electronic warfare equipment."

This was at the very moment that the US client in Ukraine, President Viktor Yushchenko, his national poll ratings plummeting to near 1%, signed a directive to prepare for full NATO membership and a few days after a US military delegation visited the country to inspect a tank unit and to plan "reforming the system of combat training...."

In terms of US training for warfare against the Russian Air Force, the Ukrainian development is only the latest in a number of such activities.

Immediately following the nation becoming a full member of NATO, the US 81st Fighter Squadron flew to Constanta, Romania (in which nation the Pentagon has acquired four new bases since) to engage in combat training against Russian MiG-21s.

According to one US pilot present, “It was pretty neat - you're sitting in a MiG-21 that will be airborne with a MiG-21 pilot within days. This was an arm of the Soviet Union. These pilots were flying before the Soviet Union fell. They have quite a bit of perspective.”

In July of the next year the US 492nd Fighter Squadron was deployed to the Graf Ignatievo Air Base in neighoring Bulgaria to insure the opportunity for "Air Forces from multiple nations to learn about each other's aircraft tactics and capabilities.

"The pilots of the F-15E Strike Eagles and the MIG-29s and MIG-21s are sharing knowledge of aircraft and tactics as the exercise wraps up its first week of training."

A US Air Force colonel was quoted as saying, “Only two of the 38 aircrew members have had a chance to fly against MIGs. By the time the exercise is over, everyone will have had a chance to either fly in a MIG or fly against one.”

A month afterward the US Air Force 22nd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron arrived in Romania for the Viper Lance exercises which "marked the first time U.S. F-16 pilots have trained in Romania" and "where "MiG-21 and F-16 pilots [flew] integrated formations to conduct basic fighter maneuvers, dissimilar air combat training and air-to-ground strike missions...."

This time the quote is from an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot:

"My flight in the backseat of a Lancer [MiG-21] is a good opportunity to look at different aircraft and it's a real privilege and an honor. I want to see what they see from their cockpit, and view a new angle of understanding against our adversaries."

Two weeks ago a US Air Force fighter squadron flew to the Bezmer Air Base in Bulgaria where an American airman said, "This is the first time a USAFE [United States Air Forces in Europe] fighter squadron has deployed to this location....The most rewarding part of this experience is knowing that I am helping the pilots train for war."

To prepare the US for air combat against the full range of Russian military aircraft, India was invited to the annual Red Flag air combat exercises in Alaska in 2007, war games "meant to train pilots from the US, NATO and other allied countries for real combat situations.

"This includes the use of 'enemy' hardware and live ammunition for bombing exercises."

India provided six Sukhoi SU-30MKI fighters which were "particularly interesting to the exercise as [they are] Russian-made, thus traditionally considered 'hostile.'"

May 1st, on the occasion of the Czech Republic taking over the six-month NATO air patrol rotation in the Baltic skies over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - five minutes flight from Russia's second largest city of St. Petersburg - a Czech official boasted "The area we are protecting is about three times larger than that of the Czech Republic. This is a NATO outpost."

Lithuanian Air Force Commander Arturas Leita announced that "the Baltic countries would probably ask for the prolongation of the air force mission within NATO until 2018."

From June 8-16 Sweden will host a NATO drill, Loyal Arrow, described as "biggest air force drill ever in the Finnish-Swedish Bothnian Bay," [24], also not far from St. Petersburg, with a British aircraft carrier and more than 50 fighter jets participating.

That exercise will begin exactly a week after the US-led NATO Cooperative Lancer 09 war games end in Georgia on Russia's southern flank.

In speaking of the dangers of the last-named but with equal application to all that has preceded it, the South Ossetian Ministry for Press and Mass Media website recently quoted political scientist Irina Kadzhaev as warning:

"Today the situation is much more serious than before August 2008. The then threat endangered only South Ossetia and Abkhazia, but after Russia's recognition of these states' independence and the conclusion of agreements envisaging the presence of Russian armed forces on their territories, a possible recurrence of war will not be limited to the Caucasus.

"The new President of the United States did not bring about any crucial changes in relation to Georgia, but having a dominant role in NATO he still insists on Georgia's soonest joining of the Alliance. If it happens, the world would face a more serious threat than the crises of the Cold War.

"Under the new realities, Georgia's war against South Ossetia may easily turn into NATO's war against Russia. This would be a third world war."[

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They want our guns!

Obama pushing for anti gun treaty...Gee I wonder why the United Nations is GPS marking every household in America and 99 other countries.

Penn and Teller,tell it like it is.

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Are the people who 'really run the world' meeting this weekend?
By Adam Abrams
Link

The Bilderberg group, the topic of many conspiracy theories, is now meeting behind closed doors in Greece.

From today until May 17, approximately 150 of the most influential members of the world's elite will be meeting behind closed doors at a hotel in Greece. They are called the Bilderberg Group or the "Bilderbergers," and you have probably never heard of them.

The group, co-founded by Prince Bernard of the Netherlands, has been meeting in secret every year since 1954. This year, says the British broadsheet The Times, they are meeting at the Nafsika Astir Palace in Vouliagmeni.

The individuals at the meeting come from such power houses as Google and the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Senate and European royalty. Governments, the banking industry, big oil, media and even the world of academia are amongst the Bilderberg ranks.

Those reportedly in attendance at last year's conference in Virginia include former U.S. senator Tom Daschle; Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner and his predecessor Henry M. Paulson; former U.S. secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and Condoleezza Rice; Microsoft executive Craig Mundie; senior Wall Street Journal editor Paul Gigot; World Bank President Robert Zoellick and Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

There is no official list of who's who in Bilderberg and there are no press conferences about the meetings. This is because the group operates under the "Chatham House Rule," and no details of what goes on inside are released to the press.

This secrecy has led to many claims that the Bilderberg Group are the world's real "kingmakers," and, some even suggest, behind the global financial crisis.

There are also rumors concerning Bilderberg's 2008 conference in Virginia, claiming that the recent U.S. presidential election was decided upon in a secret meeting between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, courtesy of Bilderberg.

Those involved in Bilderberg reject such claims outright, arguing that the forum offers a chance for world leaders to discuss international affairs openly and honestly.

Former British cabinet minister, Lord Denis Healey, who was one of the founders of the group, branded assumptions of world domination as "crap!" and said that the group's aims were much purer.

In an interview to journalist Jon Ronson of the Guardian, Healey said: "Those of us in Bilderberg felt we couldn't go on forever fighting one another for nothing and killing people and rendering millions homeless. So we felt that a single community throughout the world would be a good thing."

Veteran Bilderberg-watcher Daniel Estulin says that the big topic on the agenda for this year is the global depression.

Estulin quotes sources connected to the group as saying that the group is looking at two options, "either a prolonged, agonizing depression that dooms the world to decades of stagnation, decline, and poverty... or an intense-but-shorter depression that paves the way for a new sustainable economic world order, with less sovereignty but more efficiency."

As the BBC's Jonathan Duffy noted in 2004, the air of mystery has fueled the increasingly popular conspiracy theory that the Bilderberg meetings are where decisions affecting the entire world are made.

"No reporters are invited in and while confidential minutes of meetings are taken, names are not noted," Duffy wrote. "In the void created by such aloofness, an extraordinary conspiracy theory has grown up around the group that alleges the fate of the world is largely decided by Bilderberg."

Recently, mainstream press coverage of the Bilderberg meeting has grown, largely due to the internet. This year's conference may have been covered by British broadsheets, but don't expect to see any coverage from U.S. news outlets such as The Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post - they will most likely be at the conference.

Adam Abrams is a British-American blogger, currently working as an intern at Haaretz.com

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Secession: the Ultimate States' Right
by Ron Paul
Link

Last week the governor of Texas ignited a media firestorm for his remarks involving the idea of secession. He did not call for Texas to secede from the United States. He merely pointed out that the federal government was treading heavily on the sovereignty of the states and that this can not continue indefinitely without a breaking point.

The reaction to Governor Perry’s statements has been nothing short of hysterical. He has been called treasonous for making this obvious point and opening up a discussion. I am not calling for secession either, however there is nothing wrong with a healthy and open discussion of this issue.

America was born from an act of secession. When King George’s rule trampled on the rights of the colonies, we successfully seceded from England. It took a war, but we were well within our rights. We applauded when former soviet states seceded from the USSR and declared their sovereignty. And hopefully the United States will eventually secede from the United Nations. We pay most of the bills of the UN, yet do not have the commensurate votes, so someday we will wake up and realize that membership, for these and other reasons, does not serve our interests.

On a personal level, contracts you enter into can be terminated if one side unilaterally changes the terms. If a credit card company jacks up your interest rate, you have every right to fulfill your obligations and close the account. Imagine if you were forced to stay with a credit card company forever no matter what just because you previously signed up! The principle of self-determination applies to political unions as well. In the cases I mentioned above, governing organizations transformed into much more overbearing entities than originally agreed upon. Several state constitutions originally had clauses explicitly allowing them to opt out of the Union down the road if they so chose. I doubt our country would have ever come together if this were not the case. Just because the north successfully kept the union together by force with the Civil War does not mean that enslaving the states is a legitimate alternative.

Secession is the last resort of states whose sovereignty is over-ridden by an overreaching federal government. The federal government has only itself to blame for this talk. Recently, some states have enacted laws allowing for the medicinal use of marijuana, yet these laws are basically voided by the continuing raids by the DEA, sanctioned by the administration. The federal government is also strong-arming states with stimulus money, forcing them to expand programs they know they will not be able to afford in the future, at a time when many states’ budgets are already in the red. This is not a new problem. No Child Left Behind burdened the states’ education systems and forced them through many hoops designed by federal bureaucrats in distant Washington DC rather than allowing communities to tailor education to their children’s unique needs. There are numerous other examples of the erosion of state sovereignty and many governors are frustrated, not just ours in Texas. Without the right to secede, state’s rights are meaningless.

A republican form of government should also be as close to the people as possible, which means the decisions of local governing bodies must be respected. Where the decisions of local governments are disregarded, the voice of the people is also disregarded. The more that happens, the more frustrated and angry the people will become.

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Who Rules America?
By Paul Craig Roberts
Link

What do you suppose it is like to be elected president of the United States only to find that your power is restricted to the service of powerful interest groups?

A president who does a good job for the ruling interest groups is paid off with remunerative corporate directorships, outrageous speaking fees, and a lucrative book contract. If he is young when he assumes office, like Bill Clinton and Obama, it means a long life of luxurious leisure. Fighting the special interests doesn’t pay and doesn’t succeed.

On April 30 the primacy of special over public interests was demonstrated yet again. The Democrats’ bill to prevent 1.7 million mortgage foreclosures and, thus, preserve $300 billion in home equity by permitting homeowners to renegotiate their mortgages, was defeated in the Senate, despite the 60-vote majority of the Democrats. The banksters were able to defeat the bill 51 to 45.

These are the same financial gangsters whose unbridled greed and utter irresponsibility have wiped out half of Americans’ retirement savings, sent the economy into a deep hole, and threatened the US dollar’s reserve currency role. It is difficult to imagine an interest group with a more damaged reputation. Yet, a majority of “the people’s representatives” voted as the discredited banksters instructed.

Hundreds of billions of public dollars have gone to bail out the banksters, but when some Democrats tried to get the Senate to do a mite for homeowners, the US Senate stuck with the banks. The Senate’s motto is: “Hundreds of billions for the banksters, not a dime for homeowners.”

If Obama was naive about well-intentioned change before the vote, he no longer has this political handicap.

Democratic Majority Whip Dick Durbin acknowledged the voters’ defeat by the discredited banksters. The banks, Durbin said, “frankly own the place”.

It is not difficult to understand why. Among those who defeated the homeowners bill are senators Jon Tester (Mont), Max Baucus (Mont), Blanche Lincoln (Ark), Ben Nelson (Neb), Many Landrieu (La), Tim Johnson (SD), and Arlan Specter (Pa). According to reports, the banksters have poured a half million dollars into Tester’s campaign funds. Baucus has received $3.5 million; Lincoln $1.3 million; Nelson $1.4 million; Landrieu $2 million; Johnson $2.5 million; Specter $4.5 million.

The same Congress that can’t find a dime for homeowners or health care appropriates hundreds of billions of dollars for the military/security complex. The week after the Senate foreclosed on American homeowners, the Obama “change” administration asked Congress for an additional $61 billion dollars for the neoconservatives’ war in Iraq and $65 billion more for the neoconservatives’ war in Afghanistan. Congress greeted this request with a rousing “Yes we can!”

The additional $126 billion comes on top of the $533.7 billion “defense” budget for this year. The $660 billion--probably a low-ball number--is ten times the military spending of China, the second most powerful country in the world.

How is it possible that “the world’s only superpower” is threatened by the likes of Iraq and Afghanistan? How can the US be a superpower if it is threatened by countries that have no military capability other than a guerilla capability to resist invaders?

These “wars” are a hoax designed to enrich the US armaments industry and to infuse the “security forces” with police powers over American citizenry.

Not a dime to prevent millions of Americans from losing their homes, but hundreds of billions of dollars to murder Muslim women and children and to create millions of refugees, many of whom will either sign up with insurgents or end up as the next wave of immigrants into America.

This is the way the American government works. And it thinks it is a “city on the hill, a light unto the world”.

Americans elected Obama because he said he would end the gratuitous criminal wars of the Bush brownshirts, wars that have destroyed America’s reputation and financial solvency and serve no public interest. But once in office Obama found that he was ruled by the military/security complex. War is not being ended, merely transferred from the unpopular war in Iraq to the more popular war in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Obama, in violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, continues to attack “targets” in Pakistan. In place of a war in Iraq, the military/security complex now has two wars going in much more difficult circumstances.

Viewing the promotion gravy train that results from decades of warfare, the US officer corps has responded to the “challenge to American security” from the Taliban. “We have to kill them over there before they come over here.” No member of the US government or its numerous well-paid agents has ever explained how the Taliban, which is focused on Afghanistan, could ever get to America. Yet this hyped fear is sufficient for the public to support the continuing enrichment of the military/security complex, while American homes are foreclosed by the banksters who have destroyed the retirement prospects of the US population.

According to Pentagon budget documents, by next year the cost of the war against Afghanistan will exceed the cost of the war against Iraq. According to a Nobel prize-winning economist and a budget expert at Harvard University, the war against Iraq has cost the American taxpayers $3 trillion, that is, $3,000 billion in out-of-pocket and already incurred future costs, such as caring for veterans.

If the Pentagon is correct, then by next year the US government will have squandered $6 trillion dollars on two wars, the only purpose of which is to enrich the munitions manufacturers and the “security” bureaucracy.

The human and social costs are dramatic as well and not only for the Iraqi, Afghan, and Pakistani populations ravaged by American bombs. Dahr Jamail reports that US Army psychiatrists have concluded that by their third deployment, 30 percent of American troops are mental wrecks. Among the costs that reverberate across generations of Americans are elevated rates of suicide, unemployment, divorce, child and spousal abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness and incarceration.

In the Afghan “desert of death” the Obama administration is constructing a giant military base. Why? What does the internal politics of Afghanistan have to do with the US?

What is this enormous waste of resources that America does not have accomplishing—besides enriching the American munitions industry?

China and to some extent India are the rising powers in the world. Russia, the largest country on earth, is armed with a nuclear arsenal as terrifying as the American one. The US dollar’s role as reserve currency, the most important source of American power, is undermined by the budget deficits that result from the munitions corporations’ wars and the bankster bailouts.

Why is the US making itself impotent fighting wars that have nothing whatsoever to do with is security, wars that are, in fact, threatening its security?

The answer is that the military/security lobby, the financial gangsters, and AIPAC rule. The American people be damned.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand.

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