Afghanistan

Noam Chomsky – The Costs of Violence

May 10, 2016

In brief, the Global War on Terror sledgehammer strategy has spread jihadi terror from a tiny corner of Afghanistan to much of the world, from Africa through the Levant and South Asia to Southeast Asia. It has also incited attacks in Europe and the United States. The invasion of Iraq made a substantial contribution to this process, much as intelligence agencies had predicted. Terrorism specialists Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank estimate that the Iraq War “generated a stunning sevenfold increase in the yearly rate of fatal jihadist attacks, amounting to literally hundreds of additional terrorist attacks and thousands of civilian lives lost; even when terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan is excluded, fatal attacks in the rest of the world have increased by more than one-third.” Other exercises have been similarly productive. A group of major human rights organizations — Physicians for Social Responsibility (U.S.), Physicians for Global Survival (Canada), and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (Germany) — conducted a study that sought “to provide as realistic an estimate as possible of the total body count in the three main war zones [Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan] during 12 years of ‘war on terrorism,'” including an extensive review “of

Sanders backs Obama “kill list,” troops to Syria

April 28, 2016

Towards the end of a town hall meeting in Philadelphia broadcast last Monday night over MSNBC, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders declared his support for the Obama administration’s program of assassination by drone-fired missiles and its steady build-up of US troop strength in Syria and Iraq. These statements underscore the unity across the bourgeois political spectrum, among all the presidential candidates of the Democratic and Republican parties, in favor of stepped-up military intervention in the Middle East, including the use of drones that have killed thousands of civilians. The discussion was initiated by a 29-year-old Sanders supporter, not by MSNBC host Chris Hayes, the moderator of the town hall—a significant fact, since no journalist for the corporate-controlled media has pressed any of the candidates about drone missile assassinations or other lawless actions by the Obama administration. Read

Vijay Prashad – Why NATO Has Become One of the Most Destructive Forces on the Planet

April 27, 2016

In May 2012, in the warm Chicago sunshine, I sat with journalist Jim Foley who had just returned from Syria. Jim and I had come for a large demonstration against a meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). War reporting in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria had not been easy on Jim, who was an easy-going man. “You can’t get what the Afghan people really think,” he said, when you travel with US troops and rely upon a US-military translator. Nearby sat a group of Afghanistan and Iraq War veterans who had planned to return their medals to their commanders. Jim had a great deal to say about warmongers, the merchants of war. NATO’s advocates were among them. They had come to celebrate their war on Libya. Meanwhile, in Libya, the devastation had spilled social toxicity across its landscape. This mattered little to NATO’s bureaucrats. Jim would later return to Syria, where ISIL took him prisoner. Sadly, two years later, Jim would be the first American to be beheaded by ISIL on camera. He was another victim of a senseless war. At the NATO protest in 2012, one protestor carried a sign, “I can’t believe we still have to protest

Pratap Chatterjee – Drone Whistleblowers Step Out of the Shadows

April 21, 2016

In a trio of recent action-packed movies, good guys watch terrorists mingling with innocent women and children via real-time video feeds from halfway across the world. A clock ticks and we, the audience, are let in on the secret that mayhem is going to break loose. After much agonized soul-searching about possible collateral damage, the good guys call in a missile strike from a U.S. drone to try to save the day by taking out a set of terrorists. Such is the premise of Gavin Hood’s Eye in the Sky, Andrew Niccol’s Good Kill, and Rick Rosenthal’s Drones. In reality, in Washington’s drone wars neither the “good guys” nor the helpless, endangered villagers under those robotic aircraft actually survive the not-so secret drone war that the Obama administration has been waging relentlessly across the Greater Middle East — not, at least, without some kind of collateral damage.  In addition to those they kill, Washington’s drones turn out to wound (in ways both physical and psychological) their own operators and the populations who live under their constant surveillance. They leave behind very real victims with all-too-real damage, often in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder on opposite sides of the globe. “Sometimes I am

The Gary Null Show – 04.20.16

April 20, 2016

On "The Gary Null Show" today, Gary discussed these topics and had on special guest, Joseph Mangano. Click on the links to learn more about what Gary discussed and expand your brain. Fast food may expose consumers to harmful chemicals called phthalates Transfer of gut bacteria affects brain function, nerve fiber insulation Can positive memories help treat mental health problems? Fatty diets lead to daytime sleepiness, poor sleep Sugar cravings can be treated — because sugar addiction is like any other drug addiction Mushroom nutrition benefits: cancer fighters and cell renewers Gary takes a quick music break and plays this great song: Jerry Butler - Only The Strong Survive Obama went from condemning Saudis for abuses to arming them to the teeth Saudi blockade threatens famine in Yemen Tomgram: Engelhardt, Roads to nowhere, ghost soldiers, and a $43 million gas station in Afghanistan Gary introduces his guest, Joseph Mangano. Here is his bio and some links to learn more about him and his organzation: Joseph Mangano is the Executive Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project – a nonprofit organization founded by scientists and physicians to understand the relationships between low level nuclear radiation and public health and the risks of diseases such as cancer and damage to newborns. Joe has published numerous articles and letters in medical and other journals in addition to books, including Low Level Radiation and Immune System Disorders: An Atomic Era Legacy. There he examines the connection between radiation exposure and current widespread health problems. His website is Radiation.org Gary added these facts about Fukushima while taking with Joseph Mangano: The Slow Bleed: Fukushima Five Years On Lastly this video to end the show: Antidepressants found to be no more effective than a placebo pill

Michael Krieger – Swiss Bank Whistleblower Claims Panama Papers Was a CIA Operation

April 13, 2016

Bradley Birkenfeld is the most significant financial whistleblower of all time, so you might think he’d be cheering on the disclosures in the new Panama Papers leaks. But today, Birkenfeld is raising questions about the source of the information that is shaking political regimes around the world.  “The CIA I’m sure is behind this, in my opinion,” Birkenfeld said.  – From the CNBC article: Swiss Banker Whistleblower: CIA Behind Panama Papers Last Friday, I published a post titled, Was the Panama Papers “Leak” a Russian Intelligence Operation? Here’s some of what I wrote: Initially, this seemed to be a theory worth exploring, but in the following days I’ve come to a far different conclusion. The primary divergence between what I currently believe and what Mr. Murray proposed is that I do not think the leaker was a genuine whistleblower motived by the public interest. I think the leaker was working on behalf of a sophisticated intelligence agency. Read

Lee Fang – BEAUTY SECRETS OF THE SPIES

April 11, 2016

KINCENTIAL SCIENCES, a company with an innovative line of cosmetic products marketed as a way to erase blemishes and soften skin, has caught the attention of beauty bloggers on YouTube, Oprah’s lifestyle magazine, and celebrity skin care professionals. Documents obtained by The Intercept reveal that the firm has also attracted interest and funding from In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the Central Intelligence Agency. The previously undisclosed relationship with the CIA might come as some surprise to a visitor to the website of Clearista, the main product line of Skincential Sciences, which boasts of a “formula so you can feel confident and beautiful in your skin’s most natural state.” Though the public-facing side of the company touts a range of skin care products, Skincential Sciences developed a patented technology that removes a thin outer layer of the skin, revealing unique biomarkers that can be used for a variety of diagnostic tests, including DNA collection. Read

Chris Hedges – The Lie of Patriotism

April 4, 2016

BALTIMORE—When Rory Fanning, a burly veteran who served in the 2nd Army Ranger Battalion and was deployed in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2004, appeared at the Donald Trump rallyin Chicago last month he was wearing the top half of his combat fatigues. As he moved through the crowd, dozens of Trump supporters shouted greetings such as “Welcome home, brother” and “Thank you for your service.” Then came the protest that shut down the rally. Fanning, one of the demonstrators, pulled out a flag that read “Vets Against Racism, War and Empire.” “Immediately someone threw a drink on me,” he said when I interviewed him on my teleSUR show, “Days of Revolt.” “I got hit from behind in the head three or four times. It was quite the switch, quite the pivot on me. Questioning the narrative, questioning Donald Trump’s narrative, and I was suddenly out of their good graces.” Nationalists do not venerate veterans. They venerate veterans who read from the approved patriotic script. America is the greatest and most powerful country on earth. Those we fight are depraved barbarians. Our enemies deserve death. God is on our side. Victory is assured. Our soldiers and Marines are heroes.Deviate from this cant, no

The Gary Null Show – 03.15.16

March 15, 2016

Prof. Joseph Hickman is an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University School of Law and a senior research fellow at its Center for Policy and Research. Joe is also a former Marine and army sergeant who has worked on a variety of sensitive operations worldwide, including security at Guantanamo prison in Cuba. His revelations about the abuse of prisoners at the facility resulted in his award winning story in Harper’s magazine and his book “Murder at Camp Delta.” Prof. Hickman’s most recent book “The Burn Pits: The Poisoning of America’s Soldiers” investigates the Department of Defense’s and its private contractors’ negligence and subsequent denial about the human health and environmental dangers of “burn pits” in Afghanistan and Iraq, which exposed tens of 1000s of soldiers to life threatening toxins. The book has been banned by the Defense Department, and Joe is donating his royalties to the non-profit advocacy organization, BurnPit360.org, that is fighting on behalf of 1000s of soldiers suffering from a wide range of diseases, including autoimmune disorders, untreatable respiratory illnesses, and a variety of cancers due to burn pit exposure.

Tom Engelhardt – Been There, Done That

March 11, 2016

With General John Campbell’s tour of duty in Afghanistan finished, a new commander has taken over.  Admittedly, things did not go well during Campbell’s year and a half heading up the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) there, but that’s par for the course.  In late 2015, while he was in the saddle, the Talibantook the provincial capital of Kunduz, the first city to be (briefly) theirs since the American invasion of 2001.  In response, U.S. forces devastated a Doctors Without Borders hospital.  The Taliban is also now in control of more territory than at any time since the invasion and gaining an ever-firmer grip on contested Helmand Province in the heart of the country’s poppy-growing region (and so the staggering drug funds that go with it).  In that same province, only about half of the “on duty” Afghan security forces the United States trained, equipped, and largely funded (to the tune of more than $65 billion over the years) were reportedly even present. On his way into retirement, General Campbell has been vigorously urging the Obama administration to expand its operations in that country. (“I’m not going to leave,” he said, “without making sure my leadership understands that there are things we need to do.”)  In this, he’s been in good company.  Behind the
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