Join the discussion below, or Read more at Los Angeles Times.
#286469 Feb 4, 2013
All hail the Ravens...congrats John
#286470 Feb 4, 2013
News you will not hear on IRNA...Costa Rican officials have raised the death toll in a suicide attack against anti-southern baptist fighters north of Hoboken to 18.
Two police officers say the southern baptist suicide bomber, who detonated his explosives belt on Monday among a group of roman catholics, killed at least 18 and wounding 42.
Three medical officials confirmed the casualties. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to release information to the media.
The blast comes a day after several suicide attackers on foot and in two explosives-laden cars hit a provincial police headquarters in Costa Del Rica, also north of Hoboken, killing at least 15 roman catholic people and wounding 90 roman catholic and southern baptist innocent by-standers...
Hey MUQ...I hear the the Israelis took out a chemical weapons factory in Syria as a bonus to the missiles they destroyed...why has Iran and Syria allowed Israel to attack unprovoked?
#286471 Feb 4, 2013
"when the music 's over turn out the lights"
#286472 Feb 4, 2013
Ray Lewis said one final prayer. LOL
#286473 Feb 4, 2013
Beat the Ravens Nevermore
#286474 Feb 4, 2013
Way to go killer.
#286476 Feb 4, 2013
#286477 Feb 4, 2013
PROOF Obama's Relection = ANTICHRIST_______
Qatif, Saudi Arabia
#286478 Feb 4, 2013
And WHICH President or Congressmen EVER put THEIR $$ on Line? I do not know even of a single person, do you know any?
They all feast on the Public Money!! All that pomp and show is paid by the public, who can rarely meet them.
This is "Modern Democracy" for you!!
Dammam, Saudi Arabia
#286479 Feb 4, 2013
News you will not see or hear on CNN and FOX News
The Permanent Militarization of America
By AARON B. OCONNELL
For proof of this phenomenon, one need look no further than the continuing furor over sequestration the automatic cuts, evenly divided between Pentagon and nonsecurity spending, that will go into effect in January if a deal on the debt and deficits isnt reached. As Bob Woodwards latest book reveals, the Obama administration devised the measure last year to include across-the-board defense cuts because it believed that slashing defense was so unthinkable that it would make compromise inevitable.
But after a grand budget deal collapsed, in large part because of resistance from House Republicans, both parties reframed sequestration as an attack on the troops (even though it has provisions that would protect military pay). The fact that sequestration would also devastate education, health and programs for children has not had the same impact.
Eisenhower understood the trade-offs between guns and butter.Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed, he warned in 1953, early in his presidency.The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.
He also knew that Congress was a big part of the problem.(In earlier drafts, he referred to the military-industrial-Congressi onal complex, but decided against alienating the legislature in his last days in office.) Today, there are just a select few in public life who are willing to question the military or its spending, and those who do from the libertarian Ron Paul to the leftist Dennis J. Kucinich are dismissed as unrealistic.
The fact that both President Obama and Mitt Romney are calling for increases to the defense budget (in the latter case, above what the military has asked for) is further proof that the military is the true third rail of American politics. In this strange universe where those without military credentials cant endorse defense cuts, it took a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Adm. Mike Mullen, to make the obvious point that the nations ballooning debt was the biggest threat to national security.
Uncritical support of all things martial is quickly becoming the new normal for our youth.
Qatif, Saudi Arabia
#286480 Feb 4, 2013
Hardly any of my students at the Naval Academy remember a time when their nation wasnt at war. Almost all think it ordinary to hear of drone strikes in Yemen or Taliban attacks in Afghanistan. The recent revelation of counterterrorism bases in Africa elicits no surprise in them, nor do the military ceremonies that are now regular features at sporting events. That which is left unexamined eventually becomes invisible, and as a result, few Americans today are giving sufficient consideration to the full range of violent activities the government undertakes in their names.
Were Eisenhower alive, hed be aghast at our debt, deficits and still expanding military-industrial complex. And he would certainly be critical of the insidious penetration of our minds by video game companies and television networks, the news media and the partisan pundits. With so little knowledge of what Eisenhower called the lingering sadness of war and the certain agony of the battlefield, they have done as much as anyone to turn the hard work of national security into the crass business of politics and entertainment.
Aaron B. OConnell, an assistant professor of history at the United States Naval Academy and a Marine reserve officer, is the author of Underdogs: The Making of the Modern Marine Corps.
© 2012 The New York Times Company
#286481 Feb 4, 2013
The Making of the Modern Marine Corps
#286482 Feb 4, 2013
After a three-year investigation, Whitewater independent counsel Ken Starr released a report in 1997 also concluding that the death was a suicide. In addition, two investigations by the U.S. Congress found that Foster committed suicide.
#286483 Feb 5, 2013
How the CIA created Osama bin Laden
Wednesday, September 19, 2001
BY NORM DIXON
"Throughout the world ... its agents, client states and satellites are on the defensive on the moral defensive, the intellectual defensive, and the political and economic defensive. Freedom movements arise and assert themselves. They're doing so on almost every continent populated by man in the hills of Afghanistan, in Angola, in Kampuchea, in Central America ...[They are] freedom fighters."
Is this a call to jihad (holy war) taken from one of Islamic fundamentalist Osama bin Laden's notorious fatwas? Or perhaps a communique issued by the repressive Taliban regime in Kabul?
In fact, this glowing praise of the murderous exploits of today's supporters of arch-terrorist bin Laden and his Taliban collaborators, and their holy war against the "evil empire", was issued by US President Ronald Reagan on March 8, 1985. The "evil empire" was the Soviet Union, as well as Third World movements fighting US-backed colonialism, apartheid and dictatorship.
How things change. In the aftermath of a series of terrorist atrocities the most despicable being the mass murder of more than 6000 working people in New York and Washington on September 11 bin Laden the "freedom fighter" is now lambasted by US leaders and the Western mass media as a "terrorist mastermind" and an "evil-doer".
Yet the US government refuses to admit its central role in creating the vicious movement that spawned bin Laden, the Taliban and Islamic fundamentalist terrorists that plague Algeria and Egypt and perhaps the disaster that befell New York.
The mass media has also downplayed the origins of bin Laden and his toxic brand of Islamic fundamentalism.
In April 1978, the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) seized power in Afghanistan in reaction to a crackdown against the party by that country's repressive government.
The PDPA was committed to a radical land reform that favoured the peasants, trade union rights, an expansion of education and social services, equality for women and the separation of church and state. The PDPA also supported strengthening Afghanistan's relationship with the Soviet Union.
Such policies enraged the wealthy semi-feudal landlords, the Muslim religious establishment (many mullahs were also big landlords) and the tribal chiefs. They immediately began organising resistance to the government's progressive policies, under the guise of defending Islam.
Washington, fearing the spread of Soviet influence (and worse the new government's radical example) to its allies in Pakistan, Iran and the Gulf states, immediately offered support to the Afghan mujaheddin, as the "contra" force was known.
Following an internal PDPA power struggle in December 1979 which toppled Afghanistan's leader, thousands of Soviet troops entered the country to prevent the new government's fall. This only galvanised the disparate fundamentalist factions. Their reactionary jihad now gained legitimacy as a "national liberation" struggle in the eyes of many Afghans.
The Soviet Union was eventually to withdraw from Afghanistan in 1989 and the mujaheddin captured the capital, Kabul, in 1992.
Between 1978 and 1992, the US government poured at least US$6 billion (some estimates range as high as $20 billion) worth of arms, training and funds to prop up the mujaheddin factions. Other Western governments, as well as oil-rich Saudi Arabia, kicked in as much again. Wealthy Arab fanatics, like Osama bin Laden, provided millions more.
#286484 Feb 5, 2013
After the mujaheddin took Kabul in 1992, Hekmatyar's forces rained US-supplied missiles and rockets on that city killing at least 2000 civilians until the new government agreed to give him the post of prime minister. Osama bin Laden was a close associate of Hekmatyar and his faction.
Hekmatyar was also infamous for his side trade in the cultivation and trafficking in opium. Backing of the mujaheddin from the CIA coincided with a boom in the drug business. Within two years, the Afghanistan-Pakistan border was the world's single largest source of heroin, supplying 60% of US drug users.
In 1995, the former director of the CIA's operation in Afghanistan was unrepentant about the explosion in the flow of drugs: "Our main mission was to do as much damage as possible to the Soviets... There was a fallout in terms of drugs, yes. But the main objective was accomplished. The Soviets left Afghanistan."
Made in the USA
According to Ahmed Rashid, a correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review, in 1986 CIA chief William Casey committed CIA support to a long-standing ISI proposal to recruit from around the world to join the Afghan jihad. At least 100,000 Islamic militants flocked to Pakistan between 1982 and 1992 (some 60,000 attended fundamentalist schools in Pakistan without necessarily taking part in the fighting).
John Cooley, a former journalist with the US ABC television network and author of Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism, has revealed that Muslims recruited in the US for the mujaheddin were sent to Camp Peary, the CIA's spy training camp in Virginia, where young Afghans, Arabs from Egypt and Jordan, and even some African-American "black Muslims" were taught "sabotage skills".
The November 1, 1998, British Independent reported that one of those charged with the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, Ali Mohammed, had trained "bin Laden's operatives" in 1989.
#286485 Feb 5, 2013
Osama bin Laden, one of 20 sons of a billionaire construction magnate, arrived in Afghanistan to join the jihad in 1980. An austere religious fanatic and business tycoon, bin Laden specialised in recruiting, financing and training the estimated 35,000 non-Afghan mercenaries who joined the mujaheddin.
The bin Laden family is a prominent pillar of the Saudi Arabian ruling class, with close personal, financial and political ties to that country's pro-US royal family.
Bin Laden senior was appointed Saudi Arabia's minister of public works as a favour by King Faisal. The new minister awarded his own construction companies lucrative contracts to rebuild Islam's holiest mosques in Mecca and Medina. In the process, the bin Laden family company in 1966 became the world's largest private construction company.
Osama bin Laden's father died in 1968. Until 1994, he had access to the dividends from this ill-gotten business empire.
(Bin Laden junior's oft-quoted personal fortune of US$200-300 million has been arrived at by the US State Department by dividing today's value of the bin Laden family net worth estimated to be US$5 billion by the number of bin Laden senior's sons. A fact rarely mentioned is that in 1994 the bin Laden family disowned Osama and took control of his share.)
Osama's military and business adventures in Afghanistan had the blessing of the bin Laden dynasty and the reactionary Saudi Arabian regime. His close working relationship with MAK also meant that the CIA was fully aware of his activities.
Milt Bearden, the CIA's station chief in Pakistan from 1986 to 1989, admitted to the January 24, 2000, New Yorker that while he never personally met bin Laden, "Did I know that he was out there? Yes, I did ...[Guys like] bin Laden were bringing $20-$25 million a month from other Saudis and Gulf Arabs to underwrite the war. And that is a lot of money. It's an extra $200-$300 million a year. And this is what bin Laden did."
In 1986, bin Laden brought heavy construction equipment from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan. Using his extensive knowledge of construction techniques (he has a degree in civil engineering), he built "training camps", some dug deep into the sides of mountains, and built roads to reach them.
These camps, now dubbed "terrorist universities" by Washington, were built in collaboration with the ISI and the CIA. The Afghan contra fighters, including the tens of thousands of mercenaries recruited and paid for by bin Laden, were armed by the CIA. Pakistan, the US and Britain provided military trainers.
Tom Carew, a former British SAS soldier who secretly fought for the mujaheddin told the August 13, 2000, British Observer, "The Americans were keen to teach the Afghans the techniques of urban terrorism car bombing and so on so that they could strike at the Russians in major towns ... Many of them are now using their knowledge and expertise to wage war on everything they hate."
#286486 Feb 5, 2013
Al Qaeda (the Base), bin Laden's organisation, was established in 1987-88 to run the camps and other business enterprises. It is a tightly-run capitalist holding company albeit one that integrates the operations of a mercenary force and related logistical services with "legitimate" business operations.
Bin Laden has simply continued to do the job he was asked to do in Afghanistan during the 1980s fund, feed and train mercenaries. All that has changed is his primary customer. Then it was the ISI and, behind the scenes, the CIA. Today, his services are utilised primarily by the reactionary Taliban regime.
Bin Laden only became a "terrorist" in US eyes when he fell out with the Saudi royal family over its decision to allow more than 540,000 US troops to be stationed on Saudi soil following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.
When thousands of US troops remained in Saudi Arabia after the end of the Gulf War, bin Laden's anger turned to outright opposition. He declared that Saudi Arabia and other regimes such as Egypt in the Middle East were puppets of the US, just as the PDPA government of Afghanistan had been a puppet of the Soviet Union.
He called for the overthrow of these client regimes and declared it the duty of all Muslims to drive the US out of the Gulf states. In 1994, he was stripped of his Saudi citizenship and forced to leave the country. His assets there were frozen.
After a period in Sudan, he returned to Afghanistan in May 1996. He refurbished the camps he had helped build during the Afghan war and offered the facilities and services and thousands of his mercenaries to the Taliban, which took power that September.
Today, bin Laden's private army of non-Afghan religious fanatics is a key prop of the Taliban regime.
Prior to the devastating September 11 attack on the twin towers of World Trade Center, US ruling-class figures remained unrepentant about the consequences of their dirty deals with the likes of bin Laden, Hekmatyar and the Taliban. Since the awful attack, they have been downright hypocritical.
In an August 28, 1998, report posted on MSNBC, Michael Moran quotes Senator Orrin Hatch, who was a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee which approved US dealings with the mujaheddin, as saying he would make "the same call again", even knowing what bin Laden would become.
"It was worth it. Those were very important, pivotal matters that played an important role in the downfall of the Soviet Union."
Hatch today is one of the most gung-ho voices demanding military retaliation.
Another face that has appeared repeatedly on television screens since the attack has been Vincent Cannistrano, described as a former CIA chief of "counter-terrorism operations".
Cannistrano is certainly an expert on terrorists like bin Laden, because he directed their "work". He was in charge of the CIA-backed Nicaraguan contras during the early 1980s. In 1984, he became the supervisor of covert aid to the Afghan mujaheddin for the US National Security Council.
The last word goes to Zbigniew Brzezinski: "What was more important in the world view of history? The Taliban or the fall of the Soviet Empire? A few stirred up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?"
#286487 Feb 5, 2013
Babrak Karmal (Pashto: بب 85;ک کا 85;مل& #8206;, born Sultan Hussein; 6 January 1929 1 or 3 December 1996) was an Afghan politician and statesman during the Cold War. Karmal was born in Kamari and educated at Kabul University, after which he started his career as a bureaucrat. Before, during and after his career as a bureaucrat Karmal was a leading member of the Afghan movement. He was introduced to Marxism by Mir Akbar Khyber during his imprisonment for activities deemed too radical by the government. When the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) was formed, Karmal became one of its leading members, and eventually became the leader of the Parcham faction. When the PDPA split in 1967, the Parcham-faction established a Parcham PDPA, while their ideological nemesis, the Khalqs, established a Khalqist PDPA. Under Karmal's leadership, the Parchamite PDPA participated in Mohammad Daoud Khan's rise to power, and his subsequent regime. While relations were good at the beginning, Daoud began a major purge of leftist influence in the mid-1970s. This in turn led to the refoundation of the PDPA in 1977. The PDPA took power in the 1978 Saur Revolution.
Karmal was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Revolutionary Council, synonymous with vice head of state, in the communist government. The Parchamite faction found itself squeezed by the Khalqists soon after taking power and shortly after, in June, a PDPA Central Committee meeting voted in favour of giving the Khalqist faction exclusive right to formulate and decide PDPA policy. This decision was followed by a failed Parchamite coup, which in turn led Hafizullah Amin, a Khalqist, to initiate a purge against the Parchamites. Karmal survived this purge, probably due to his contacts with the Soviets, and was sent to exile in Prague. Karmal would remain in exile until December 1979, when the Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan (with the consent of the Afghan government) to stabilise the situation in the country, they killed Amin, the leader of the PDPA and the Afghan government.
#286488 Feb 5, 2013
#286489 Feb 5, 2013
And the pundit reaction is just starting to come in: On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough said, "If George Bush had done this, it would have been stopped."
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