Archive | May 17th, 2011

NATO helicopter attacks Pakistani army post



Supporters of Pakistani religious group Jamaat-ud-Dawa, listen to their leaders during a rally to condemn the United States for the killing of al-Qaid

A NATO helicopter attacked a Pakistani army post near the Afghan border on Tuesday, injuring two soldiers and further increasing tensions following the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, Pakistani officials said.

A similar event last year in which two Pakistani soldiers were killed prompted Pakistan to close for over a week a key border crossing that NATO uses to ship supplies into landlocked Afghanistan.

NATO coalition spokesman Lt. Col. John Dorrian confirmed there were helicopters flying near the Pakistani border Tuesday and that there was “an incident.” The alliance was investigating, he said.

A Western military official said the incident started before dawn, when a NATO base in Afghanistan received intermittent direct and indirect fire from the Pakistani side of the border.

Two helicopters flew into the area to provide support, one of which fired across the border after twice receiving fire from the Pakistani side, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The Pakistani army said in a statement that its troops fired on the helicopter after it entered Pakistani airspace in the early hours of the morning. Two of its troops were injured when the helicopter returned fire, it said.

The attack took place in the Datta Khel area of the North Waziristan tribal region. The area is a known sanctuary for Taliban and al-Qaida militants and has been targeted repeatedly by covert U.S. drone strikes.

NATO said it was still trying to determine whether the helicopter crossed in to Pakistani airspace.

“We’re investigating the incident to determine a flight path by examining GPS waypoints in the helicopter computer, to construct a sequence of events and ultimately determine what led to the exchange of fire,” said Dorrian, the NATO spokesman.

He declined to say which coalition country was involved. But most of the helicopters that fly in that part of Afghanistan are American.

Dorrian said NATO will work with the Pakistani government to determine what happened, saying they expect it will reflect the same good cooperation seen in recent military operations along the border. In recent weeks, NATO and Pakistan have launched coordinated offensives against militants on their respective sides of the border.

“This is going to be transparently looked into,” Dorrian said.

The Pakistani army said it has lodged a strong protest and demanded a meeting with NATO officials to discuss the incident.

Last September, a U.S. helicopter attack killed two Pakistani soldiers at an outpost near the Afghan border, prompting Pakistan to close a key border crossing used by NATO for 11 days. The U.S. later apologized, saying the pilots mistook the soldiers for insurgents being pursued across the border from Afghanistan.

Relations are even more tense now following the Navy SEALs raid on May 2 that killed bin Laden in Abbottabad, an army town only about 35 miles (55 kilometers) outside the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

The Pakistani government is outraged that the U.S. carried out the operation without telling Pakistan first, and many U.S. officials have expressed disbelief that bin Laden could have lived in Abbottabad for at least five years without the authorities’ knowledge. However, the U.S. has also said it has not found any evidence yet that Pakistani leaders knew of bin Laden’s whereabouts.

The helicopter attack comes a day after U.S. Sen. John Kerry wrapped up a 24-hour visit to Islamabad in which he worked to salvage the relationship with Pakistan, but also warned the government that “actions, not words” were needed to get ties back on track. Kerry was the most high-profile American to visit Pakistan since the raid on bin Laden.

Kerry said Pakistan had agreed to immediately take several “specific steps” to improve ties, but did not say what they were. The only tangible signs of progress were a remark by Kerry that Pakistan had agreed to give America the tail of a classified stealth helicopter destroyed by U.S. commandos when it malfunctioned during the raid and an announcement that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton would soon announce a trip to the country.

But there have also been signs of Pakistan’s anger.

The Pakistani government sent the United States a written request following the bin Laden raid, asking Washington to reduce the number of American military personnel in the country, said a U.S. military official Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

There are currently more than 200 U.S. military personnel in Pakistan, some of whom are tasked with training Pakistani troops, said the official. Pakistan has asked the U.S. to reduce the number of trainers in the country, but the official would not specify the numbers involved.

Also Tuesday, Pakistani security forces shot and killed four would-be suicide bombers, including three women, when they tried to attack an army checkpoint in the southwestern city of Quetta, said Daood Junejo, the city police chief. A fifth suicide bomber detonated his explosives but did not injure anyone, the police chief said.

Security forces stopped the five as they approached the checkpoint in a car, said Junejo. One of the men got out of the car and blew himself up. The other four, who were also wearing suicide vests, were shot when they tried to lob grenades, he said.

However, local TV footage showed what appeared to be security forces shooting at two of the women as they were laying on the ground, one of them with her hand raised over her head.

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A Jewish Phenomenon


A Jewish businessman in Chicago sent his son to Israel for a year to absorb the culture.

When the son returned, he said, “Papa, I had a great time in Israel .  By the way, I converted to Christianity.”

“Oy vey,” said the father. “What have I done?” He took his problem to his best friend, Ira.

“Ira,” he said, “I sent my son to Israel , and he came home a Christian.  What can I do?”

“Funny you should ask,” said Ira.  “I too, sent my son to Israel , and he also came home a Christian.  Perhaps we should go see the rabbi.”

So they did, and they explained their problem to the rabbi.

“Funny you should ask,” said the rabbi. “I, too, sent my son to Israel , and he also came home a Christian.  What is happening to our young people?”

And so they all prayed, telling the Lord about their sons.

As they finished their prayer, a voice came from the Heavens:  “Funny you should ask,” said the Voice… “I, too, sent my Son to Israel . . ”

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Glenn Beck announces Jerusalem rally


by crescentandcross


Conservative US media figure plans on staging rally ‘to restore courage’ in Jerusalem in August


Conservative US media figure Glenn Beck will hold a rally to “restore courage” in Jerusalem this August, he announced on his radio show Monday.

Beck said the aim of the rally is to “stand together with Israel” and “to show the world what living a life of faith and honor really means,” according to a statement on his website.

The rally is slated to be held one year after his “rally to restore honor” in Washington last August.

He warned that Israel, “center of our faith” was in danger because of the two-state solution.

“They are going to attack the center of our faith,” he said. “Our common faith. And that is Jerusalem. And it won’t be with bullets or bombs. It will be with a two state solution that cuts off Jerusalem, the old city, to the rest of the world.”

“We have gone to the capitals of our states and to the capitals of our government,” he continued. “We have talked to all the power brokers. The only power broker, the only seat of government that can and will solve this problem with or without us is God. It is time to return inside the walls that surround Jerusalem and stand with people of all faiths, all around the world.”

“In August, whether I’m there with seven people or 10 people or there alone, I will be counted and I will stand,” he said.

Beck asked his supporters to help him spread the word about the rally to Restore Courage.

“I ask you to join me,” he said, during the radio announcement. “I also ask you to take this message globally, to take this to every corner of the earth. If you have family living overseas, this is not an America solution. This is a people of faith solution. This is a people all over the world solution. I ask you to help get this word out.”

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worthless J Street



J Street reacts to “violence in, around Israel”:

J Street is deeply alarmed by the serious outbreaks of violence in and around Israel today.

We call on Palestinian leaders and the Israeli government to work to minimize further violence and casualties, and to prevent further escalation. We urge governments and communal leaders in surrounding states to similarly avoid escalation.

So the Saudi/Gulf Cooperation Council/Al-Jazeera lobby, AKA J Street, has decided that even Palestinian non-violence is violence. And why would J Street issue this call for the non-violent mobilizations to stop? Because J Street is working in the Beltway, and insurrection from below — violent or non-violent, Katyushas or BDS — is not what it wants. To that end J Street urges “governments and…leaders in surrounding states to…avoid escalation,” and especially to avoid the independent mobilization of the people of the region. Don’t worry. Everything will be figured out on the grassy swards of the White House and retreats at Camp David. Just shovel us some cash so we can lean on Obama. It wants a nice de-militarized two-state solution with an Israeli customs envelope enclosed inside a Jordanian-Israeli military alliance and with the support of the Saudis and the Lebanese government and the Egyptian military authorities that scandalously prevented the Egyptian march to Rafah. 

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US to deploy troops if Pak nukes come under threat



LONDON: US troops will be deployed in Pakistan if the nation’s nuclear installations come under threat from terrorists out to avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden, the Sunday Express can reveal on Sunday.

The plan, which would be activated without President Asif Ali Zardaris consent, provoked an angry reaction from Pakistan officials last night. Barack Obama would order troops to parachute in to protect key nuclear missile sites. These include the air forces central Sargodha HQ, home base for nuclear-capable F-16 combat aircraft and at least 80 ballistic missiles.

A US source told the Sunday Express: The plan is green lit and the president has already shown he is wiling to deploy troops in Pakistan if he feels it is important for national security. However, news of the plan has further increased tension between the US and Pakistan with relations already at an all-time low after the Operation Geronimo raid by the US Navy Seal special forces team that killed bin Laden at the house where he had been hiding in Abbottabad, near to a Pakistan military academy.

An angry Pakistani official said: Pakistan has an elaborate command and control structure and is fully capable of defending its strategic assets under any circumstances and does not need any assistance from any country, including the US, to safeguard its nuclear installations.

The plan reflects growing concern over reprisals for the al-Qaeda terror leaders death. More than 80 people were killed and 140 injured when two Taliban suicide bombers struck at a military academy in the north-western town of Charsadda on Friday.

Alex Neill, of the Royal United Services Institute, said: The United States places its own national security issues above all other sovereignty issues and trust in Pakistans abilities are extremely low.

If Obama can persuade congress that placing US troops at the installations is necessary to protect US citizens from possible nuclear attack, then thats what he will do. The Pentagon on Saturday refused to deny the existence of the plan, with a spokesman saying only: We are confident that Pakistan has taken appropriate steps towards securing its nuclear arsenal.

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US Strike Kills 12 in North Waziristan



Reports: US Quietly ‘Apologizes’ to Pakistan Leadership After Strike

US drones fired four missiles against a house and a vehicle in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency today,killing at least 12 people and wounding an unknown number of others. The identities of the slain were unknown.

The strikes came fresh off the Pakistani parliament’s resolution over the weekend reiterating the demand that the US stop all unilateral strikes against the nation. The US has been escalating the number of strikes in recent weeks.

Perhaps the oddest aspect of today’s attack was that sources inside the Pakistani government claim that the US quietly issued an “apology” for the killings almost immediately after they happened.

The secretive apology has created speculation as to its purpose. Surely the drone strike was not accidental, but is the apology an attempt to signal that such strikes are winding down or just an attempt to placate the Pakistani government?

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Pakistani Nuclear scientist– “Bomb saved Pakistan”



WASHINGTON — The father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb has vigorously defended the program as sparing his country the fate of Iraq or Libya, amid signs that Islamabad is ramping up its weapons capacities.

Writing in Newsweek magazine, Abdul Qadeer Khan said that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons had prevented war with historic rival India, which he accused of pursuing a “massive program” due to ambitions of superpower status.

“Don’t overlook the fact that no nuclear-capable country has been subjected to aggression or occupied, or had its borders redrawn. Had Iraq and Libya been nuclear powers, they wouldn’t have been destroyed in the way we have seen recently,” Khan said.

Khan also argued that Bangladesh would not have won independence in 1971 if Pakistan had nuclear weapons. India supported Bangladesh’s independence, which came after a nine-month struggle that was harshly put down by Pakistani forces.

Many Pakistanis regard Khan as a hero for building the Islamic world’s first nuclear bomb. India and Pakistan carried out nuclear tests in 1998.

He admitted in 2004 that he ran a nuclear black-market selling secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea. But Khan later retracted his remarks and in 2009 was freed from house arrest, although he was asked to keep a low profile.

Western powers in March launched a military campaign against Libya over concerns of violence against civilians. Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi agreed in 2003 to end his nuclear program and tried to reconcile with the West.

Pakistan has been increasingly worried about its nuclear program after US forces on May 2 managed to enter the country covertly to kill the world’s most wanted man, Osama bin Laden, who was living in the garrison city of Abbottabad.

Khan lashed out at Pakistanis who contend that the country, which suffers grinding poverty and receives billions of dollars in US assistance each year, cannot afford its nuclear program.

“The propaganda about spending exorbitant sums on the nuclear program circulated by ignorant, often foreign-paid, Pakistanis has no substance,” he wrote.

But Khan also said that Pakistan’s “incompetent and ignorant rulers” never devoted enough resources to development, which he argued should have been easier due to the protection ensure by nuclear weapons.

While Khan said he was not familiar with the latest developments in Pakistan’s nuclear program, Newsweek published a commercial satellite image that appeared to show expedited construction at the country’s Khushab nuclear site.

The Institute for Science and International Security, which assessed the image, said it showed “significant progress” on a fourth reactor. A frame of a building was now visible, which did not appear in a picture taken in January.

The Washington-based think-tank said that plutonium from the new reactors would allow a “dramatic increase” in production, potentially allowing Pakistan to double its annual production of nuclear weapons.

Pakistan is the sole country blocking talks in the Conference of Disarmament that would lead to an international agreement banning production of new nuclear bomb-making material.

Pakistan said that Senator John Kerry, on a mission to Islamabad to ease tensions in the wake of bin Laden’s killing, assured Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani that the United States had no designs on taking over the country’s nuclear arsenal.

“He said that he can write this with his blood, that we have no interest in Pakistan’s nuclear assets,” Gilani’s office said in a statement.

But the statement quoted Kerry as hoping that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons would be “well-protected and secure” under a “proper command and control system.”

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Pakistan’s Gilani visits old ally China as Islamabad deals with strained ties with Washington






BEIJING — Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani began a visit to China on Tuesday with his country’s old ally looking more attractive after the U.S. killing of Osama bin Laden further strained Islamabad’s ties with Washington.

The sentiment is mutual, with China now in the process of shoring up its relations with Islamabad, Afghanistan and several other Central Asia states in step with an expected diminished U.S. presence as it winds down military operations in Afghanistan.

For Pakistan, Beijing represents an uncritical friend ready to provide aid, investment and military assistance. To the leaders in Beijing, ties with Pakistan and other countries in its neighborhood offer a bigger diplomatic footprint, better access to resources and a larger stable of allies to challenge U.S. supremacy.

“Pakistan wants to give a show that it is an independent actor and has options, and China offers a model of a functioning non-democratic state,” said Indiana University China scholar Elliot Sperling.

Gilani arrived in Shanghai on Tuesday evening, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Although Gilani’s four-day visit was planned well in advance, it comes at a critical time for his country’s relations with the U.S., which have been thrown into crisis over the American raid that killed bin Laden in the northern Pakistani city of Abbottabad on May 2. Pakistan has called it a violation of its sovereignty and threatened to retaliate if there are any similar operations in the future.

While American politicians served up withering criticisms of Pakistan’s failure to find bin Laden’s hide-out — or the possibility that officials were protecting him — China offered welcome reassurance, praising Pakistan as resolute in the fight against terrorism.

Gilani made Pakistan’s appreciation clear, singling out China in a testy May 9 speech to parliament as Islamabad’s “all-weather friend.”

China-Pakistan ties were forged shortly after the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949 and have thrived in part on both countries’ distrust of their mutual neighbor India.

Gilani’s visit is formally pitched as part of celebrations of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties, and he is scheduled to meet with top Chinese leaders and oversee the signing of a series of agreements beginning Wednesday.

“Further consolidating and developing our friendship and cooperation is the common aspiration of the two peoples,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regularly scheduled news briefing Tuesday.

Along with billions of dollars in investment — up to $30 billion over the next five years, according to agreements signed last year — China supports Pakistan’s nuclear power industry and sells it military hardware including surface-to-air missiles, navy frigates and fighter jets.

China for its part receives strong diplomatic backing from Pakistan in the region and among Islamic nations who might otherwise be more critical of China’s repressive policies toward its Muslim Uighur minority.

Among other benefits: Pakistani officials have suggested they might offer Chinese experts a chance to examine the wreckage of a sophisticated U.S. helicopter that crashed during the operation to take out bin Laden.

Strong Pakistan ties also help anchor China’s improving relations with other countries in the region.

A visit by Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmay Rasoul this month put a fresh sheen on bilateral relations at a time when the reduction in U.S. troop strength is expected to open up space for other countries to expand their influence there.

Days earlier, Beijing had underscored its regional heft by hosting forces from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan for joint anti-terrorism drills in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang, part of its embrace of Central Asia through the Chinese and Russian-dominated Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Still, there are questions as to how much further China is willing to go in building up relations with Islamabad. China also needs to keep its crucial but delicate relationship with Washington in balance, and wouldn’t want to be seen as exacerbating tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan.

Sperling said he doesn’t expect much of substance to result from the visit, although China is happy to accommodate Pakistan’s desire to alter perceptions.

China is also deeply concerned about radical Islamic threats on its border and has little interest in backing Pakistan’s support for the Taliban in Afghanistan to counter Indian influence.

Greater turmoil in Afghanistan would be a “challenge instead of an opportunity for China,” said Zhao Gancheng, director of South Asia studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies.

“China is willing to have cooperation with any Afghanistan government and provide help within its ability, but the role will be limited,” he said.

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White House: Nazi’s Right Over Border Killings



Spokesman Blames Syria for All Deaths

Speaking one day after Israeli troops killed at least 20 civilian protesters in cross border attacks, White House spokesman Jay Carney praised Israel for its “restraint” and said that the Netanyahu government had every right to kill those people “to prevent unauthorized crossing at its borders.”

The protesters were commemorating the “Nakba” or “catastrophe,” which refers to the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homes at the founding of the Israeli state. The commemoration is explicitly banned within Israel since 2009.

Late Sunday night Israeli media reports emerged showing that the Foreign Ministry had dispatched an official memorandum on the killings, which ordered Israeli diplomats to blame Syria for all the deaths, including apparently the 10 people killed inside Lebanon by Israeli troops.

That message appears to have reached the White House as well, as Carney was quick to blame the Assad government for “inciting” the protests, and said that “such behavior is unacceptable.” Though Syria has nominal control over their side of the border, in the face of massive nationwide protests it is unclear how able the Assad regime would even theoretically be in drumming up rallies among the nation’s Palestinian refugees.

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Look East to China the next Bin Laden



“Hillary is now moving China into the role of Emmanuel Goldstein. Hate has to be mobilized, before Washington can move the ignorant patriotic masses to war.”

by Debbie Menon

PC Roberts has a keen knack for seeing things and fitting them into their broader scope,which helps connect the dots and illustrate the entire picture as he does in this article:

China: The New Bin Laden. “Just as the military/security complex pressured President John F. Kennedy to start a war with the Soviet Union over the Cuban missile crisis while the US still had the nuclear advantage, Hillary is now moving China into the role of Emmanuel Goldstein. Hate has to be mobilized, before Washington can move the ignorant patriotic masses to war.”

It is so much simpler if one starts and sticks with the facts. Then, no one has to scramble to change the story-line as contradictions arise which do not coincide with the “evidence.”

I have been reading a number of  writers recently who are also dealing with fear and frightened men and women in high places, about fear in the lofty reaches of government, how some of the people up there are reacting to it and what they are doing about or because of it.

The killing of Osama bin Laden: how the White House changed its story. Bin Laden not armed and did not use woman as human shield, US admits; Barack Obama’s spokesman blames ‘fog of war’”

I had always thought “fog of war,”  was a literary device, a “figure of speech” and not a practical or acceptable excuse for “losing it” in combat, or a substitute alibi for murder.

So, they shot an unarmed man?  Regardless of his status, civilian, soldier, combatant, he was unarmed, in custody, or about to be taken into custody, therefore, a prisoner.   Murder!

He was shot because he “resisted,” even though unarmed?  Excessive Force, it is called!  Over-aggressive response, unnecessary and brutal force…  Murder!

An unarmed man poses no threat to a heavily armed, highly trained force such as this one regardless of how fiercely he resists.  The man just saw his wife, or companion, get shot in the leg by an armed intruder…. I would expect any man to take umbrage, respond and fight back, or “resist.”

Crimes such as murder, performed in the “line of duty” or even under orders, are still chargeable and prosecutable as crimes.  Nuremberg!

The US and its Allies have hung dozens of former enemies, Japanese and Germans, for such “crimes.  The Israelis have hung dozens, if not hundreds, of Germans for just such “crimes.

Law is not Justice unless it is applied equally to all, the victor as well as the vanquished… and, the victim as well as the perpetrator.

Even those fallen in battle or murdered unjustly, have a right to equal protection under the Law.

Osama bin Laden watching TV at his compound in Pakistan

Joe Quinn  writes in the OpEd News, “The US government released “new”  videos of ‘bin Laden’ that they claimed were part of the haul from the ‘compound’ in Pakistan. The problem is, these videos do not feature Osama bin Laden and the photos are just as persuasive that a lot of Photoshopping and forgeries have been presented as “evidence” regarding bin Laden.”

I am not surprised at any of this, and am actually only surprised that anyone could be so amateurish and stupid as to think that such amateurish efforts would work and carry the day. This is childish, and either the work of someone who wants to fail for some reason, or someone who is literally an amateur and knows not what they are doing, a rare mistake for professional “covert” or propaganda experts who work this kind of stuff.

Jeff Gates, author of Guilt by AssociationHow Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War, wrote  about the effectiveness of  “the people in between,” and how they can gum up the works,  distort, sabotage and destroy the intended results.  Can it be that there may be some of these  “on our side of the fence” working from within the “system” reluctant wildcatters ?

Or have the current and past administrations actually gotten rid of the professionals who once worked for the US Government, and brought in a lot of Ivy Leaguers, dilettantes, ideologues, and Hollywood “friends” to  do the “stage work” for them?

We have seen what looks like a lot of amateurism all the way through the system from top to bottom in the past few years.

SURPRISE! Dick Cheney Admits Osama Bin Laden Wasn’t Directly Involved In 9 /11

I am not totally surprised that Cheney is denying Osama involvement or that they have “…never made the case that Osama was directly involved in 9/11…,”  but it is a blatant lie that they did not do their best to make the case, and actually accused Osama of directing the operation.

It was President George Bush who appeared on TV laying the alleged attack by Al Qaeda and at Osama bin Laden’s  doors, not VP Dick Cheney.

But, now that Osama is officially “dead,” and the intimate relationship between Osama and the CIA is becoming more talked about and accepted every day, and as time passes the possibility of Grand Jury hearings or investigations, subpoenas and indictments begins to hover on the horizon.  It is imperative to either disassociate the USG from Osama, or disassociate Osama from the attack, for members of the USG could be liable as accessories, before, during and after the fact.

It is probably easier to disassociate Osama from the attack, which is a Truth, than it would be to disassociate the US Government from Osama, which is a lie (and for which there seems to be quite a bit of testimony and evidence).  And, you will recall, it was Dick Cheney who was in real tight with the CIA at the time, spending a lot of time in their office, “interfering” and “meddling,” for which he was criticized at the time.

I think they might be becoming frightened by the possibilities of what may happen if the truth gets all the way out of the bag, and the American public gets up in arms about it.

George Bush might be protected from jail somewhat, because few Americans would like to see a former President actually jailed, but in either case, he would need a patsy and Dick knows all about setting up patsies.

If this stuff starts moving through the fan you can look for Cheney to beat the doors down at the Attorney General’s Office with offers to cop a plea in return for testimony.  He will try to hang it on the Commander- in-Chief, at whose chair the buck always stops, but he is highly vulnerable to counter charges from the Bush camp that he “exceeded and abused the powers of his office” as VP, and ran his own show, which is not very far from the truth.


Of course, Cheney was probably much more culpable in whatever involvement they had in the attack than Bush, for he was the Edgar Bergen of the Administration, and George Bush the Charlie McCarthy.

If it comes down to hard ball, George might even acknowledge that he was a hoodwinked stooge as a President in an attempt to shovel all the dog manure across the fence into Dick’s back yard… and no one, neither of them, will mention the Jew who owns the dog and who lives in between their houses… who also holds the mortgages on both of their places.

George Bush is very good at appearing in public, raising his eyebrows and looking into the camera with an “innocent” and quizzical, “Who, me?” look on his face. It has gotten him through life, kept him out of trouble with his mother when he was a kid, and out of jail as a drunken and dilettante deserter Fighter Pilot a number of times. He has money and family connections which Dick Cheney has not.

Dick Cheney is a worried man.

Not only has there been a change in the wind or in the weather, but I suspect we are in for a change in climate, literally as well as figuratively….and an earth-shaking change, for better or for worse, in both dimensions.

If the US wants to pick on China, they will discover that China is no Middle Eastern petty sandbox, “Banana Republic” in the hands of a petty despot.  It is a big place, with a lot of resources, and an almost inexhaustible supply of man and woman power, none of whom have ever been conquered or overwhelmed by anyone other than one of their own, using their own people and resources.

Newsweek columnist, Fareed Zakaria was right on the money when he wrote,  Does the Future Belong to China ?

“When historians look back at the last decades of the 20th century, they might well point to 1979 as a watershed. That year the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, digging its grave as a superpower. It was also the year that China began its economic reforms. They were launched at a most unlikely gathering, the Third Plenum of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, held in December 1978. Before the formal meetings, at a working-group session, the newly empowered party boss, Deng Xiaoping, gave a speech that turned out to be the most important one in modern Chinese history. He urged that the regime focus on development and modernization, and let facts — not ideology — guide its path. “It doesn’t matter if it is a black cat or a white cat,” Deng often said. “As long as it can catch mice, it’s a good cat.” Since then, China has done just that, pursued a modernization path that is ruthlessly pragmatic and non-ideological.

The results have been astonishing. China has grown around 9 per cent a year for more than 25 years, the fastest growth rate for a major economy in recorded history. In that same period it has moved 300 million people out of poverty and quadrupled the average Chinese person’s income. And all this has happened, so far, without catastrophic social upheavals.  The Chinese leadership has to be given credit for this historic achievement. There are many who criticize China’s economic path. They argue that the numbers are fudged, that corruption is rampant, that its banks are teetering on the edge, that regional tensions will explode, that inequality is rising dangerously and that things are coming to a head. For a decade now they have been predicting, “This cannot last, China will crash, it cannot keep this up.” So far at least, none of these prognoses has come true. And while China has many problems, it also has something any Third World country would kill for—consistently high growth.”

We are living in changing times, and the times are changing at an exponential rate! With the sheer numbers which Zakaria cites in his article he spells out the inevitability of this World power, Sooperpower, Snooperpower, a rose by any other name….we could deny their existence, and say whatever we like, but whenever an elephant moves into your tent he sooner or later, will make his presence felt to a degree which becomes hard to ignore. Eventually he, like the Arab’s camel, will own the tent.

Neither Chiang Kai-shek nor his nemesis Mao were men of peace, nor were their struggles for power or “Liberation” from foreign powers, or themselves, peaceful. If The PROC has not been in an actual shooting war with the ROC, then the conflict which has existed between them since the late 1940’s is about as close to the same thing as you can get without the massive flow of blood.

The various reforms which occurred under Deng were hardly bloodless, and might be regarded by many who did not survive them as the equivalent of war, civil or otherwise.

China has not engaged the rest of the world in military confrontation, colonialist adventurism and wars while establishing itself on the world stage. Perhaps they have learned something from Western history (or the failures of), or the teachings of Confucius.

I suspect the latter, for they have not done very well when practicing the forceful and brutal ways of the West. They are on a roll, and it looks like they will get there, and probably stay there, for some time to come. As Zakaria says: “They know how to apply themselves.”

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