Posts Tagged ‘American Imperialism’

WIRED’s Danger Room had too much relevant content so far this year for it to make sense trying to repost it all. The code from pasting their headlines went haywire, no time to manually fix, sorry.

Can Algorithms Find the Best Intelligence Analysts?

Pentagon Wants Magnetic Muscle Makers

How To: Smuggle Secret Information with VOIP

‘Don’t Be Evil,’ Meet ‘Spy on Everyone’: How the NSA Deal Could Kill Google

Darpa’s New Plans: Crowdsource Intel, Edit DNA

Paging James Cameron: Pentagon Wants 3-D Surveillance

Air Force Completes Killer Micro-Drone Project

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A document suggests the secretary of State rejected warning South American governments against international terrorism. Five days later, a bombing linked to Chile killed 2 in Washington.

April 11, 2010|By Andrew Zajac and David S. Cloud, Reporting from Washington
A newly declassified document has added to long-standing questions about whether Henry Kissinger, while secretary of State, halted a U.S. plan to curb a secret program of international assassinations by South American dictators.

The document, a set of instructions cabled from Kissinger to his top Latin American deputy, ended efforts by U.S. diplomats to warn the governments of Chile, Uruguay and Argentina against involvement in the covert plan known as Operation Condor, according to Peter Kornbluh, an analyst with the National Security Archive, a private research organization that uncovered the document and made it public Saturday.

In the cable, dated Sept. 16, 1976, Kissinger rejected delivering a proposed warning to the government of Uruguay about Condor operations and ordered that “no further action be taken on this matter” by the State Department.

Five days after Kissinger’s message, Chilean exile Orlando Letelier and an American colleague were killed in Washington’s Embassy Row in a car bombing later tied to Chilean secret police working through the Condor network. The killings are considered one of the most brazen attacks ever carried out in the capital.

“The document confirms that it’s Kissinger’s complete responsibility for having rescinded a cease-and-desist order to Condor killers,” said Kornbluh, author of a 2004 book on Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

In a statement, Kissinger said Kornbluh “distorted” the meaning of the cable and said it was intended only to disapprove a specific approach to the Uruguayan government, not to cancel the plan to issue warnings to other nations in the Condor network.

Former State Department officials who worked under Kissinger during that period now say that his cable did interrupt the U.S. effort to rein in Operation Condor, not just with Uruguay but with other countries in the region.

After being told of the existence of Condor by the CIA in mid-1976, Kissinger initially ordered U.S. ambassadors in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and other countries involved in the network to issue demarches, or formal diplomatic presentations, warning leaders that “Condor activities would undermine relations with the United States.”

“The instructions were never rescinded,” Kissinger said in his statement.

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For “keeping peace”:

LINK

To some, Obama appears to be anti missile “defense” at the moment …putting new people in charge of that program in the military …out-going general seemingly confrontational. Etc. Obama says he supports missile defense, but not if “unproven”. So some interpret that as if he doesn’t support it, that’s his way of taking a soft stance to sway republican voters, or something.

The Obama transition promptly issued a rebuttal: “President-elect Obama made no commitment on it. His position is as it was throughout the campaign — that he supports deploying a missile defense system when the technology is proved to be workable.”

But I take it as his way of honestly supporting it, but talking soft so that he doesn’t sound like McCain (like pretty much everything else). So I guess we’ll see how he handles it…

In the meantime the out-going general is pointing out that Obama’s rhetoric seems tuned to year 2000 technical status (meaning it needed lots of work still), and that they’ve gotten it together. So he’s all over the transition team telling them how great the program is.

The anti-missile defense system — which preliminary tests have shown is capable of shooting down ballistic missiles — “is workable,” Obering, who heads the Missile Defense Agency, told reporters by teleconference.

“Our testing has shown not only can we hit a bullet with a bullet, we can hit a spot on a bullet with a bullet,” the lieutenant general added.

Meanwhile, Russia has threatened to attack Poland if the missile sites are built, and even placed nuclear attack on the table. Some people say screw Russia.

I ask you to think of a Godzilla type movie where there are mobs of people frantically running down the streets pulling out their hair in panic and terror. That’s how “Americans” would respond if Russia were building missile sites on the borders of Canada & Mexico.

Yet the missile interceptors wouldn’t stop much. And notions that Iran would even fire on Europe are mere paranoid speculation. Talk about ‘conspiracy theorists’, or are they? I say no.

It’s all about aggravating a New Cold War with Russia, China and whoever else wants to get in on it. The US is a permanent war economy, with imperial posture. The end of the original Cold War was in fact a bad thing for the Military Industrial Complex,  and the Ruling Elite disaster capitalists whose stock portfolios are tuned to reap the benefits of catastrophes and never ending wars. The war against “new Hitlers” (Saddam), and then the War on Terror were meant to fill a void.

The end of the Cold War created a vacuum that was filled immediately by Hussein, and then the other ‘new Hitler’ Milosevic. Problem was, those sorts of conflict don’t exactly cause a ‘need’ to have something like 800 military bases overseas, and a $500+ billion military budget. 9/11 was all too convenient in hammering a new never-ending war into the minds of the populace. But sure enough the missile defense New Cold War contingency also went into overdrive at this time. It wasn’t enough that the US had-has various military bases in a better part of the nations surrounding both China & Russia.

Now that people are waking up to the lunacy and absurdity of this notion of a ‘Global War on Terror’ being fantastical delusion at best (considering the fact that US bases protecting dictatorships in Muslim nations is what ultimately drives them to become terrorists), here comes the New Cold War to fill that void. But maybe Obama might surprise, you say? Not likely, he says he supports it (if “workable”) and the facilities in question aren’t even supposed to be fully operational until something like 2011. So even if the systems weren’t “workable” at the moment, in 2+ years times you should be able to count on that.

RAWSTORY:

The Pentagon said it was prepared to begin briefing the president-elect’s team immediately, stressing the importance of a smooth wartime transition, as the US voted for a new president Tuesday.

“If somebody were to show up here tomorrow, we would start working with them tomorrow,” said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman.

Changes of US administrations historically are periods of heightened risk, but wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and an ever present danger of attack by Al-Qaeda make an orderly transition crucial this year.

Whitman said Defense Secretary Robert Gates has undertaken “pretty unprecedented early preparations to minimize disruption while ensuring we provide the most comprehensive guidance possible.”

A Pentagon task force has identified and is highlighting the most important events, milestones and actions that the new administration will face in the first 90 days, he said.

Among them are troop rotations and the presentation of the 2010 defense budget, which is due to go to Congress in February, just weeks after the new president — Republican John McCain or Democrat Barack Obama — moves into the White House. The others were not disclosed.

“Obviously, they (the incoming administration) will give immediate attention to whatever it is they want to, whatever their priorities are,” Whitman said.

“But there are some things that in the natural course of this department have to be addressed, like the budget, or you’re not going to have money,” he said.

Work space and computers have been set aside in the Pentagon for as many as two dozen people assigned by the new president to manage the transition.

Transition team members must receive security clearances, but Whitman said that can be done quickly for at least small numbers of people that typically make up the initial teams.

There are at least 215 political appointees at the Pentagon who will be replaced in the transition.

About 50 are presidentially appointed positions that require Senate confirmation, which can move slowly.

Gates has polled members of the outgoing team to see who would be prepared to stay on in a new administration until their replacement can be confirmed.

A number of them have agreed to stay on, if asked, but other key positions are already vacant.

Bolivia’s first indeginous president, a former coca grower, halted DEA operations. I guess there’s room for debate here.

I find the ignorance of the BBC article striking: “Coca is widely used by Bolivian Indians”. “Indians”?

Anyways, here’s the claims of president Evo Morales:

“From today all the activities of the US DEA are suspended indefinitely,” the Bolivian leader said in the coca-growing region of Chimore, in the central province of Chapare.

“Personnel from the DEA supported activities of the unsuccessful coup d’etat in Bolivia,” he added, referring to the unrest in September which left 19 people dead.

“We have the obligation to defend the dignity and sovereignty of the Bolivian people.”

I’m sure there will more news about this ordeal to come…

Paul Craig Roberts
Counterpunch
October 28, 2008

“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re  studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new  realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s  actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

–Bush White House aide explaining the New Reality

The New American Century lasted a decade.  Financial crisis and defeated objectives in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Georgia brought the neoconservative project for American world hegemony crashing to a close in the autumn of 2008.

The neocons used September 11, 2001, as a “new Pearl Harbor” to give power precedence over law domestically and internationally.  The executive branch no longer had to obey federal statutes, such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or honor international treaties, such as the Geneva Conventions.  An asserted “terrorist threat” to national security became the cloak which hid US imperial interests as the Bush Regime set about dismantling US civil liberties and the existing order of international law constructed by previous governments during the post-war era.

Perhaps the neoconservative project for world hegemony would have lasted a bit longer had the neocons possessed intellectual competence.

On the war front, the incompetent neocons predicted that the Iraq war would be a six-week cakewalk, whose $70 billion cost would be paid out of Iraqi oil revenues.  President Bush fired White House economist Larry Lindsey for estimating that the war would cost $200 billion.   The current estimate by experts is that the Iraq war has cost American taxpayers between two and three trillion dollars. And the six-week war is now the six-year war.

On the economic front, the incompetent neocons overlooked the fact that a country that relocates its industry and best jobs abroad in order to maximize short-run profits becomes progressively economically weaker.  Propagandistic talk about a “New Economy” built around financial dominance covered up the fact that the US was the world’s greatest debtor country, dependent on foreigners to finance the daily operation of its government, the home mortgages of its citizens, and its military operations abroad.

In Iraq the neocons gave up their hegemonic military pretensions when they put 80,000 Sunni insurgents on the US Army’s payroll in order to scale down the fighting and reduce US casualties.

In Afghanistan the neocons gave up more military pretensions when they had to rely on NATO troops to fight the Taliban.

US military pretensions came to an end in Georgia when the Bush Regime sent Georgian troops to ethnically cleanse South Ossetia of Russian residents in order to end the secessionist movement in the province, thereby clearing the path for Georgia’s NATO membership. It took Russian soldiers only a few hours to destroy the US and Israeli trained and equipped Georgian Army.

The ongoing financial crisis has put an end to the pretensions of American financial hegemony and free-market illusions that deregulation and offshoring had brought prosperity to America.

In a long article, “The End of Arrogance,” on September 30, the German news magazine Der Spiegel observed:

This is no longer the muscular and arrogant United States the world knows, the  superpower that sets the rules for everyone else and that considers its  way of  thinking and doing business to be the only road to success.

Also on display is the end of arrogance. The Americans are now paying the price for  their pride.

Gone are the days when the US could go into debt with abandon, without considering  who would end up footing the bill. And gone are the days when it could impose its  economic rules of engagement on the rest of the world, rules that emphasized  profit above all else — without ever considering that such returns cannot be  achieved by doing business in a respectable way.

A new chapter in economic history has begun, one in which the United States will no longer play its former dominant role. A process of redistributing money and power  around the world — away from America and toward the resource-rich countries and  rising industrialized nations in Asia — has been underway for years. The financial  crisis will only accelerate the process.

Looking at his defeated adversary, George W. Bush, brought down by military and economic failure, Iranian President Ahmadinejad observed:  “The American empire in the world is reaching the end of its road, and its next rulers must limit their interference to their own borders.”

Truer words were never spoken.