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Showing posts from August 20, 2014

How America's ‘War on Drugs’ turned Ferguson into a warzone

Police officers setup to push protesters to disperse during a protest by using tear gas on West Florissant Road in Ferguson, Missouri on August 17, 2014. (AFP Photo / Michael B. Thomas)

The violent protests that continue to plague Ferguson, Missouri, where an unarmed black teenager was shot dead by a white police officer, has brought military-grade hardware onto the streets in a frightening display of force. How did America get here?

LIVE UPDATES: Militarized US cops face off against Ferguson protesters

Long before most Americans had heard of the names Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, or Ferguson, Missouri for that matter, Washington had declared war on a different sort of evil. This one, popularly known as cocaine, arrived from south of the border: the drug of choice for everybody from middle-class suburbanites to Hollywood celebrities.

On Sept. 5, 1989, George H.W. Bush told the nation he would increase spending on the “war on drugs” to $7.9 billion – “the largest increase in history,” he a…

Russia should sue the United States for defamation of national character

Courtesy of US State Department

Washington is leading a massive smear campaign in an effort to blame Russia for the downing of flight MH17 by firing off a tirade of unsubstantiated claims and outright lies. Moscow should seek legal recourse for slander in an international court of law.

The latest bombastic blast against Russia came on Sunday when US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, released via Twitter satellite images, dating between July 21 and July 25/26 allegedly “proving” that Russia fired rockets at Ukrainian troops across the border.

Many experts were immediately puzzled by the undiplomatic channels the US ambassador chose to divulge the information.

Paul Craig Roberts, head of the Institute for Political Economy told RT that he doubts the credibility of the photographs released by the State Department.

“I can state with complete confidence that information this important would not be released in this way,” Roberts said. “If this was released by the State Department, which …

‘World’s most dangerous’: Iraq’s retaken Mosul Dam could cause 500,000 deaths in days

Reports indicate that Kurdish and Iraqi forces have all but taken back the key Mosul Dam from Islamic State militants. However it is rigged with explosives which, together with other issues, could lead to hundreds of thousands killed in just days.

Two major problems are the deliberate setting of booby traps by the militants, who took the dam in early August, and the already extremely dangerous, under-maintained state of the Tigris River dam itself.

The dam, the largest in Iraq, could be used as “a weapon of mass destruction,” experts have warned, alluding to its capacity to hold back 11-12 billion cubic meters of water, as well as to produce 1,000 megawatts of electricity.

In essence, the dam can either deprive half a million people of energy and water, or simply drown them.

A 2006 US Army Corps of Engineers report obtained by the Washington Post said the dam, which blocks the Tigris, could wipe out whole cities, and was considered to be "the most dangerous dam in the world."…

Brussels Demand on Argentina – Arrogance and Stupidity

By Peter Koenig

Imagine – Argentina – and the rest of Latin America - being urged by the EU, ultimate puppet of the naked emperor, Sir Obama, not to supply Russia with food stuff – vegetables, fruit, meat – after Argentina was ‘punished’ by a corrupt court in New York to pay 1.5 billion dollars to the fraudulent NML Capital et al vulture funds – out of its current agreed upon debt of US$29 billion – equivalent to Argentina’s total reserves. And yes, the hedge funds have to be paid 100%, when the remaining 93% of creditors agreed on a 20% reimbursement rate. – And, yes, Mr. Griesa, the bought NY judge, has blocked all of Argentina’s payments to the other creditors, unless his vulture clients are paid in full. So, Argentina is in forced default – having to pay now much higher interest rates on international money markets, if she is indeed still eligible for international credits.

Unimaginable but true.

Under these circumstances, the boundless arrogance of Brussels expects Argentina t…

How the Islamic State Became the Juggernaut It Is Today

By Patrick Cockburn

The following article is an extract from a new book, The Jihadis Return: Isis and the New Sunni Uprising, by Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent. The book – published by OR Books, and available exclusively here – analyses one of the West's worst foreign policy disasters and maps the rise of the new jihadis. This is the final chapter, "Shock and War".
 In the second half of 2013 I started to write about the way in which jihadis were taking over the Syrian armed opposition; at the same time there was mounting evidence that ISIS, formerly al-Qa‘ida in Iraq, was rapidly increasing in strength. My newspaper, The Independent, asked me to nominate a “man of the year” for the Middle East and I chose Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the shadowy figure who had become leader of ISIS in 2010.

 A few days later, on the 3rd of January, 2014, ISIS moved into Fallujah and the government proved unable to recapture it. This was not quite as alarming as i…