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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,621

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Can you say FUBAR? .... U.S."strategy" in the Middle East

(Truthdig) The United States’ Middle East strategy is in trouble and its policymakers know it. There was an important article in the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/04/world/isis-making-political-gains.htmlthis month by Anne Barnard and Tim Arango. It admits that the U.S.’ Iraq/Syria attacks aren’t going well and Islamic State is making “political gains.” It notes that Islamic State took Ramadi and Palmyra “even after nearly 4,000 airstrikes by the American-led coalition and what United States officials say are the deaths of 10,000 ISIS militants.” The Times authors say “Washington is tinkering with tactics and weapons.”

Mostly the writers talk about unnamed “experts” and “analysts.” One of these says that by attacking Islamic State in Syria while doing nothing to stop Syrian President Bashar Assad from bombing Sunni areas that have rebelled, the U.S.-led campaign was driving some Syrians into the militant group’s camp. The U.S. has talked for months about training a force of Syrians, but, the Times writes, “the program is small, with only 90 fighters in the first round of training.” Ninety fighters!

The implication is that the “experts” want the air war to expand, to have the U.S. bomb Assad forces too. This is an embrace of the Saudi strategy that sees Assad/Iran as the main enemy and the slew of Sunni jihadi armies as either allies or a problem to be dealt with later.

It gets worse. Now the “experts” are toying with an alliance with al-Qaida. We’re supposed to put the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center behind us and be ultra-crafty and use one group of fanatics against the other. ...............(more)


Greek Crisis (cartoon)


Protest Is the New Terror: How US Law Enforcement Is Working to Criminalize Dissent

Protest Is the New Terror: How US Law Enforcement Is Working to Criminalize Dissent

Tuesday, 30 June 2015 09:19
By Derek Royden, Occupy.com | News Analysis

It's well established that the FBI surveilled civil rights and other activists from Martin Luther King Jr. to leaders of the National Lawyers Guild as part of its wide ranging COINTELPRO (counter intelligence program) during the 1960s and early 70s. The use of planted news stories, faked communications to create dissension within activist groups, informants to make dubious cases and even assassinations was revealed by a group of activists called the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI, who broke into a bureau office in Media, Pennsylvania, in 1971 and found ample evidence of the agency's misdeeds. This is generally seen as an era of terrible government overreach in the name of fighting "communism."

The problem is that the use of similar tactics has been discovered again and again in the years since. Following the anti-globalization protests of 1999, the 9/11 attacks, and the Occupy protests of 2011, similar strategies, enhanced by modern technology, have been ratcheted up and deployed against an ever-increasing number of activists and political groups of all ideological stripes as part of the even more dubious "wars" on drugs and terrorism.

Part of this is due to the fact that there simply aren't enough real threats of terrorism to justify all the money and toys that have been given to U.S. law enforcement. Add to this the fact that police at all levels seem eager to see potential terrorism in even the mildest forms of dissent and you have a recipe for disaster. In one of the most recent instances, it was revealed that the FBI has been coordinating with local law enforcement to target the Black Lives Matter movement.

Another story, unrelated to current anti-racist organizing, is a bizarre case out of Minneapolis in the lead up to the Republican national convention in 2008. According to the City Pages, a Univ. of Minnesota police officer who was the department's only officer on the local Joint Counter Terrorism Task Force worked with an FBI Special Agent to recruit college students who acted as paid informants at "vegan potlucks" hoping they'd discover activist plans to disrupt the city's upcoming convention. ..............(more)


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