Friday, March 27, 2015

Agent Orange Funding Opens Door To US Militarism And Covert Action In Vietnam

Is the United States finally accepting responsibility for the devastating ongoing effects of Agent Orange in Vietnam, or is this funding just a way to get USAID in the door to meddle in the country’s affairs as part of Obama’s “Asian Pivot” strategy? 

MintPress News investigates.


@PopResistance March 24, 2015

Martin DempseyU.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, right, and Vietnamese Chief of General Staff of the Army, Lt. Gen. Do Ba Ty, left, during an honor guard review before their talks in Hanoi, Vietnam. The easing of an arms embargo against Vietnam and a military agreement with the Philippines show the Obama administration wants deeper security ties with Asia. On Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014, the State Department announced it would allow sales, on a case-by-case basis, of lethal equipment to help the maritime security of Vietnam, easing a ban that has been in place since communists took power at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. Hanoi welcomed the step, saying it would promote the U.S.-Vietnam partnership.

WASHINGTON — The use of Agent Orange constitutes a war crime with devastating effects on the people in Vietnam not only during the war but even today. The U.S. military knew that its use of Agent Orange would be damaging, but, as an Air Force scientist wrote to Congress, “because the material was to be used on the enemy, none of us were overly concerned.”
Ecocide was committed when “the U.S. military sprayed 79 million liters of herbicides and defoliants over about one-seventh of the land area of southern Vietnam.” The 2008-2009 President’s Cancer Panel Reportfound that nearly five million Vietnamese were exposed to Agent Orange, resulting in “400,000 deaths and disabilities and a half million children born with birth defects.”
In this photo taken on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, Le Van Tam, 14, is picked up by his father at a rehabilitation center in Danang, Vietnam. The children were born with physical and mental disabilities that the center's director says were caused by their parents' exposure to the chemical dioxin in the defoliant Agent Orange. On Thursday, the U.S. for the first time will begin cleaning up leftover dioxin that was stored at the former military base that's now part of Danang's airport.  (AP Photo/Maika Elan)
Le Van Tam, 14, is picked up by his father at a rehabilitation center in Danang, Vietnam. The children were born with physical and mental disabilities that the center’s director says were caused by their parents’ exposure to the chemical dioxin in the defoliant Agent Orange used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam war. Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012.

No one has been held accountable for this crime. U.S. courts have blocked lawsuits brought by the people of Vietnam, and the United States has never paid adequate war reparations to assist in caring for the victims of Agent Orange or to clean up the environment.
In recent years, however, the U.S. has begun to fund cleanup and treatment programs for Agent Orange victims. The timing of this change in policy comes as the U.S. military has been building a relationship with the Vietnamese military as part of the so-called “Asian Pivot.” Yet this relationship has been impaired by the United States’ failure to properly deal with Agent Orange.
Funding for Agent Orange damages is being used to open the door to greater U.S. military involvement and influence in the region, but it will also allow an expansion of U.S. covert operations in Vietnam that set the stage for the U.S. to install a “friendlier” government, if necessary for U.S. hegemony in the region.
This funding is coming through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which has close ties to the CIA and a long history of covert intelligence and destabilization. Vietnam is experiencing a greater U.S. military presence along with USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy, also known for fomenting regime change.

Drawing Vietnam into US militarism

With its Asian Pivot, the U.S. intends to surround and isolate China by moving 60 percent of its Navy to the Asia-Pacific region, developing military agreements with countries there, and conducting joint military exercises with Pacific countries. The U.S. is also negotiating a massive corporate power-expanding treaty, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which excludes China.
Map of current US military deployments in S.E. Asia.  (Courtesy of the   Copyright Schiller Institute, Inc. 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
Map of current US military deployments in S.E. Asia. (Courtesy of the Schiller Institute, Inc. 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
Vietnam has been a focal point for the U.S. military since the end of the George W. Bush administration, a prelude to the Asian Pivot that was formally announced by President Obama. For the last five years, the U.S. and Vietnam have been involved in joint military exercises. The U.S. has also started to sell weapons to Vietnam, seeking to transition the Vietnamese from Russian weapons to American weapons. And there has been a series of high-level meetings between the two countries.
In June 2013, The Diplomat reported, “the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff hosted the first visit by the Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army (and Deputy Minister of National Defense), General Do Ba Ty. Ty’s delegation included the commander of Vietnam’s Air Force and the deputy commanders of the Navy and General Intelligence Department. His trip included a visit to the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state suggesting future possible joint activities.”
On July 25, 2013 Obama met with President Truong Tan Sang in Washington to form a U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership, covering a range of concerns including war legacy and security issues. They agreed to cooperate militarily through the U.S.-Vietnam Defense Policy Dialogue and the bilateral Political, Security, and Defense dialogue to discuss future military cooperation.
That meeting was followed by two high-level meetings between the U.S. and Vietnamese militaries. On Oct. 1, 2013 they held the 6th U.S.-Vietnam Political, Security and Defense Dialogue. The U.S. delegation included representatives from the State Department, Defense Department, USAID and the U.S. Pacific Command, while the Vietnamese delegation included representatives from the foreign affairs, public security and national defense ministries. The agenda included counterterrorism, counternarcotics, human trafficking, cyber law enforcement, defense and security, disaster response, search and rescue, war legacy and cooperation in regional organizations.
On Oct. 28 to 29, 2013 a second meeting was held in Washington. The 4th U.S.-Vietnam Defense Policy Dialogue was a deputy minister-level meeting and involved officials from their respective defense ministries.The Diplomat reported that “both dialogues were held within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding on Advancing Bilateral Defense Cooperation signed on September 19, 2011 and the U.S.-Vietnam Joint Statement of July 25, 2013.”
“What was new?” The Diplomat continued. “The two sides agreed to step up cooperation between their navies and their respective defense academies and institutions.”
Yet the Vietnamese are continuing to move slowly in building a military relationship with the U.S. Vietnam limits the U.S. Navy to one port call per year and continues to bar U.S. Navy warships from entry to Cam Ranh Bay. Further, Vietnam has yet to approve a request made by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in June 2012 to set up an Office of Defense Cooperation in the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi.
A key factor holding back a closer military relationship is the inadequate cleanup of Agent Orange and the United States’ insufficient commitment to dealing with war legacies. After the 4th Defense Policy Dialogue, Vietnamese Deputy Defense Minister Nguyen Chi told Voice of Vietnam, “A better defense relationship should be based on the efficiency of practical cooperation, including overcoming [the] war aftermath… General speaking (sic), the U.S. has offered Vietnam active cooperation in the issue, but it is not enough as the consequences of war are terrible.”
Bloomberg reported last year on the fifth year of joint military operations, tying them to the Asian Pivot: “Two U.S. Navy ships began six days of non-combat exercises with the Vietnamese military as the U.S. seeks to bolster its presence in Asia at a time of growing tension between China and its neighbors.” Lt. Comm. Clay Doss, a Navy public affairs officer, described the evolution, saying: “The quality and depth of the exchanges is increasing each year as our navies get to know each other better.”
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey visited Vietnam in August – the first visit of a Joint Chiefs chairman since 1971. Dempsey’s trip came amid an escalation in conflicts between China and Vietnam. Among other things, he visited a U.S. military base where toxic defoliants had been stored.
In October, the U.S. eased a ban on lethal weapons sales to Vietnam. The U.S. said the arms sales would improve the maritime military capabilities of Vietnam so it could be more effective in conflicts in the Asia-Pacific region. In December 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry announced $18 million in assistance to Vietnam to provide its coast guard with five unarmed, high-speed patrol boats.
An October commentary in the People’s Daily, the flagship newspaper of China’s Communist Party, described these acts as destabilizing and “a clear extension of America’s interference with the balance of power in the region.” Maritime conflicts between Vietnam and China have been increasing as the U.S. adds military strength to Vietnam’s navy and coast guard. China maintains that disputes should be resolved through negotiations. Citing the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, the Chinese side maintains that “related countries should solve maritime disputes peacefully.”
Meanwhile, in Vietnam there are also concerns about an escalation of disputes: “Some senior Vietnam Communist Party leaders have worried over the years that moving to upgrade military-to-military ties with the US would provoke China to increase its pressure on Vietnam and its assertiveness in the South China Sea.”
In addition to challenging China, the U.S. also seeks to undermine the relationship between Vietnam and Russia. Russia, an arch rival of the U.S., has been the main weapons supplier for Vietnam since 2009. The U.S. wants to reorient Vietnam’s military away from Russia, which holds multi-billion dollar arms sales contracts with Vietnam, including the sale of submarines and fighter jets.
Sputnik, a Russian government-owned news media outlet, reported earlier this month that the U.S. “bullied” Vietnam to stop allowing Russia to use the Cam Ranh Bay naval base. The State Department says it has “urged Vietnamese officials to ensure that Russia is not able to use its access to Cam Ranh Bay to conduct activities that could raise tensions in the region.” Igor Korotchenko, director general of the Russian Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade, described the U.S. as stirring up tensions, instituting an arms race and creating regional instability.

Agent Orange funding a tool for US militarism — and what else?

A U.S. Air Force C-123 flies low along a South Vietnamese highway spraying Agent Orange on dense jungle growth beside the road to eliminate ambush sites for the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. During the Vietnam War, Air Force C-123 planes sprayed millions of gallons of herbicides over the jungles of Southeast Asia to destroy enemy crops and tree cover. A U.S. Air Force C-123 flies low along a South Vietnamese highway spraying Agent Orange on dense jungle growth beside the road to eliminate ambush sites for the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. During the Vietnam War, Air Force C-123 planes sprayed millions of gallons of herbicides over the jungles of Southeast Asia to destroy enemy crops and tree cover. 

The Vietnamese government told the U.S. that one thing preventing a closer relationship between the U.S. and Vietnamese militaries is the failure of the U.S. to deal with the lasting effects of Agent Orange. After 50 years of the Agent Orange crisis the U.S. is finally beginning to fund some cleanup efforts. This funding is coming from USAID, which has a sordid history of serving as a cover for U.S. militarism and the CIA in Vietnam and around the world.
In William Blum’s 2004 book “Killing Hope,” John Gilligan, director of USAID under the Carter administration, describes the depth of the CIA-USAID relationship: “At one time, many AID [USAID] field offices were infiltrated from top to bottom with CIA people. The idea was to plant operatives in every kind of activity we had overseas, government, volunteer, religious, every kind.”
Likewise, The Washington Post reported in 2010 that, “In South Vietnam, the USAID provided cover for CIA operatives so widely that the two became almost synonymous.”
During the Vietnam War, USAID operated a police training program that was tied to death squadsFormer New York Times correspondent A. J. Langguth wrote that “the two primary functions” of the USAID police training program were to allow the CIA to “plant men with local police in sensitive places around the world,” and bring to the U.S. “prime candidates for enrollment as CIA employees.”
The covert role of USAID has persisted. As The Washington Post reported in 2010, then-CIA Director Leon Panetta promised spies “new cover” for secret ops, and agencies that provide such cover include USAID and the State Department.
USAID has recently used health crises as cover for its covert operations. In 2011, Pakistan had a polio crisis, recording the highest number of polio cases in the world; it was a spiraling health catastrophe. USAID used a vaccination program organized by Save the Children, which had operated for 30 years in Pakistan, as cover to find Osama bin Laden.
The USAID-funded vaccination program used a Pakistani doctor and a local group, Lady Health Workers, to gain entrance to bin Laden’s home by going door-to-door to administer vaccinations. When vaccinations were administered to bin Laden’s children and grandchildren USAID tested the DNA of the used needles. It is likely that the doctor and two organizations were not aware they were being used by USAID. Save the Children staff members were expelled from Pakistan and the doctor was sentenced to 33 years in prison. His lawyer was murdered last week, and 74 health care workers have been killed since December 2012.
Last year, The Associated Press uncovered a USAID HIV-prevention program in Cuba used for covert operations. Beginning in October 2009, USAID, working through the Washington-based Creative Associates International, sent “Venezuelan, Costa Rican and Peruvian young people to Cuba in hopes of ginning up rebellion. The travelers worked undercover, often posing as tourists, and traveled around the island scouting for people they could turn into political activists.” They created an HIV-prevention workshop that “memos called ‘the perfect excuse’ for the program’s political goals.” Cuba uncovered the covert mission when the youth were questioned about their funding.
David Shear Nguyen Chi VinhU.S. Ambassador to Vietnam David Shear, center, and Vietnam’s Deputy Defense Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh, third left, along with delegates, attend a ceremony marking the start of a project to clean up dioxin left over from the Vietnam War, at a former U.S. military base in Danang, Vietnam Thursday Aug. 9, 2012.

Noting that USAID has “a long history of engaging in intelligence work and meddling in the domestic politics of aid recipients,” Foreign Policy reported on another USAID program in Cuba, also exposed in 2014, where USAID covertly launched a social media platform in 2010, creating a Twitter-like service that would spark a “Cuban Spring.” The digital Bay of Pigs failed to spark a revolt, but it did expose the political leanings of 40,000 Cubans. This was reportedly not a CIA project, but a USAID project meant to undermine the Cuban government. Indeed, USAID has evolved to carry out its own meddling in the affairs of governments.
A 2006 State Department cable, released by WikiLeaks in 2013, outlined the United States’ strategy for undermining the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chávez by “Penetrating Chavez’ Political Base,” “Dividing Chavismo,” and “Isolating Chavez internationally.” The same office responsible for the digital Bay of Pigs in Cuba, USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives, also carried out the program in Venezuela.
Bolivia expelled USAID in 2013 because it was meddling in Bolivian politics. President Evo Morales was upset that USAID money reached lowland regional governments that attempted to overthrow him in 2008. A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request showed that USAID provided “$10.5 million for ‘democracy-building’ awarded to Chemonics International in 2006 ‘to support improved governance in a changing political environment.’” (Democracy development is a common cover for programs to foment rebellion.)
Bolivia is one of the many countries that have recently expelled USAID over the organization’s meddling in internal politics. The Los Angeles Times reported in 2013 that “about 50 countries have adopted laws to limit foreign funding of civic groups or more strictly control their activities. About 30 other countries are considering restrictions.”
Meanwhile, U.S. covert actions in Vietnam have not ended. A blogger and lawyer who spent a year in the U.S. as a fellow the National Endowment for Democracy was arrested in December 2012 for pro-democracy activities. The National Endowment for Democracy has been providing hundreds of thousands of dollars to various Vietnamese projects related to changing the government in recent years. USAID has a major presence with 38 ongoing projects in Vietnam.
It may be that regime change activities are already beginning in Vietnam. In 2014, there were large anti-China protests and attacks on Chinese businesses in Vietnam. Some speculated that the Vietnamese government was behind the protests, but David Koh, a reporter for Singapore’s Straits Times, who works with NGOs in Vietnam, interviewed officials and businessmen in Vietnam and reported that the government was surprised by the protests.
The protests were also against economic conditions and other issues in Vietnam, and it remains unclear who planned and funded the events. Researchers in Singapore who interviewed people on the ground in Vietnam wrote:
“A large number of Vietnamese flags and T-shirts had been purchased before the demonstrations suggesting that the attacks were not spontaneous. Even maps locating Chinese and Taiwanese factories had been photocopied in large numbers. The leaders of the riots have been reported to have been using walkie-talkies to communicate with each other. The fact that the violence affected as many as 200 factories in a single day already suggests that a high level of professionalism and organization was involved. This suggests that the riots were premeditated, although unlike the earlier peaceful demonstration of the patriots, they were not announced openly. Workers were believed to receive from VND50,000 to VND300,000 VND (equivalent to US$2.3 to US$14) to follow the agitators. This begs the question: where did the money come from?”
It’s important to note that people were paid more than a day’s labor to participate.
The Singapore researchers ultimately concluded that the Vietnamese government was the big loser:
“However, for now, the notion that the riots and violence were simply the result of a wave of blind nationalism and anti-Chinese sentiments must be re-examined. The current crisis presents major challenges for not only Vietnam-China relations, regional stability and ASEAN’s unity, but most of all, for Vietnam’s political system.”

Agent Orange Trojan Horse compounds war crimes

In addition to opening up Vietnam to a deeper relationship with the U.S. military – which is dangerous enough for Vietnam, China, Russia and the broader Asia-Pacific region – what else will USAID do with its foothold in Vietnam? As USAID so routinely involves itself in the affairs of foreign governments, it would be foolish to assume that USAID does not have other plans for Vietnam.
Rather than paying war reparations, the U.S. is using Agent Orange as a Trojan Horse to further U.S. militarization in Vietnam, escalate conflict with China and break the Vietnamese relationship with Russia. It may also be laying the groundwork for regime change if Vietnam does not comply as a tool of U.S. empire.
Vietnam should continue to demand war reparations that are adequate for the problems the U.S. created and keep the U.S. military at arm’s length. Vietnam should kick out USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy, and demand that payments be made directly to Vietnam to keep U.S. meddling out of their country. Indeed, the U.S. should not be allowed to leverage the war crime of its use of Agent Orange as a tool for more U.S. militarism and intervention.

Link to original article and comments: 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Malcolm Fraser 
(May 21,1930 - March 20, 2015)


Malcolm Fraser was planning to start a new political party before his death

Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser, who died on Friday, was in the process of setting up a new political party that would have advocated cutting military ties to the United States.
Mr Fraser, who led the Liberal Party from 1975 to 1983, quit the party in 2009, shortly after Tony Abbott replaced Malcolm Turnbull as leader. He campaigned for Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young at the last election because of her stance on asylum seekers.
With an election due in mid to late 2016, Mr Fraser's new party could have potentially run candidates at the next election.

Mr Fraser, who died aged 84, would not have led the party but would have driven its policy agenda. Fairfax Media understands Mr Fraser had developed a written draft policy platform for the party that included:
  • ending Australia's alliance with the United States
  • a closer relationship with South-East Asian nations
  • ending the offshore processing of asylum seekers
  • stronger anti-corruption and transparency laws
  • tighter regulation of the sale of arable land
Mr Fraser discussed the party with confidants late last year.
In his last book, Dangerous Allies, published last year, Mr Fraser argued that Australia should become a "strategically independent country" and that the ANZUS Treaty with the United States was possibly the biggest threat to Australia's security.
"If a war between China and the United States were to occur with a continuation of current policies, it would be very hard, if not impossible, for Australia to become involved," he wrote.
Mr Fraser advocated closing down the US military base in Darwin and the Pine Gap communications facility
Mr Fraser had been a staunch defender of the US alliance during the Cold War but changed his view radically in his later years.
Mr Fraser was also deeply unhappy with the tough asylum-seeker policies of both major parties, including the use of mandatory detention and the offshore processing of asylum seekers.
Last year Mr Fraser tweeted in support of the creation of a federal Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
As prime minister, Mr Fraser introduced several measures to increase transparency of government decision making. These included the creation of the Commonwealth Ombudsman in 1977 to handle complaints about government agencies. He also introduced Australia's first freedom of information laws and created the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

NATO Knew Its Intervention In Libya Would Create Chaos And Aid al-Qaeda: Canadian Military Intelligence

By What's Left 


March 17, 2015 "ICH" - "What's Left" -  


Canadian military intelligence knew that NATO’s March 2011 intervention in Libya would aid militant theocratic Islamists aligned with al-Qaeda and could create long-term chaos in the country, according to David Pugliese, a reporter with The Ottawa Citizen, who obtained Canadian intelligence documents.


At the time, NATO military leader, U.S. Admiral James Stavridis, denied that opposition to the secular leftist Libyan leader Muamar Gaddafi was dominated by rightwing Islamist theocrats, calling the bulk of the opposition forces “responsible men and women.”

But Canadian intelligence was clear-eyed about the nature of the Libyan opposition.

Pugliese revealed that “A Canadian intelligence report written in late 2009 described the anti-Gadhafi stronghold of eastern Libya,” from which the uprising against Gaddafi erupted, “as an epicentre of Islamist extremism.”


And Canadian pilots joked privately that they were part of al-Qaeda’s air force, “since their bombing runs helped to pave the way for rebels aligned with the terrorist group.”


Pugliese reports that just days before NATO’s intervention in Libya,

Canadian intelligence specialists sent a briefing report shared with senior officers. ‘There is the increasing possibility that the situation in Libya will transform into a long-term tribal/civil war,’ they wrote in their March 15, 2011 assessment. ‘This is particularly probable if opposition forces receive military assistance from foreign militaries.’
Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper later denied that NATO’s intervention created the chaos that has paralyzed Libya, despite his own military’s warning that there was a good chance it would.

This reveals a dishonest attempt to manipulate public opinion through outright deception, in line with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s efforts to mobilize support for military intervention in Iran by warning in 2012 that Iran was only a year away from making a nuclear bomb when his own intelligence agency had concluded that Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons”.


Pugliese’s report can be read here.




A comment:

Of course, Canadian intelligence (and others) knew what the aftermath of the overthrow of Gaddafi would be: chaos. We really should understand that this was absolutely intentional.

The U.S. and NATO powers wanted control over Libya. They cynically used the fake excuse of supporting "popular opposition" to Gaddafi to push through their imperialist plans of raping Libya of its vital resources, even knowing this would empower extremist terrorists like al-Qaeda.

After the horrific legacy of Iraq, how could any foreign policy professional not predict this current state of affairs in Libya. So, this outcome was predicted and predictable.

This should be a surprise to no one who actually takes the time to follow alternative perspectives of world news. Check back through this blog, and you will see these truths have been known from the very beginning of the tragic destruction of Libya.

We should all be able to think for ourselves, and see where the warmongers are leading us. Then, bring pressure to bear on the politicians - and the mainstream 'news' media, which facilitates their evil intents by reporting uncritically whatever lies they are told by those in power.

We know the terrible things that have happened to Libyan infrastructure, society, and its people. But what about the theft of the Libyan sovereign wealth fund, totaling almost $30 billion. (The same happened to the Iraq "Oil-For-Food" funds which were in the billions of $.)

War is just another way for the imperial ruling class to enrich themselves at the expense of the ordinary people. The mainstream media is their tool to distract and brainwash the public into apathy or ignorance. 

When will enough people wake up and understand the deceit, and act to stop it?


- Bruce



Power Play Behind Regime Change in Russia 

By Pepe Escobar

"...The Empire of Chaos dream of regime change in Russia has always hinged on controlling large swathes of Eurasia... Provoking the Russian bear is a self-defeating proposition..."

Continue




Some other news, some good; some bad! ~


Syria denies deadly gas attack: A Syrian military source described the report of an attack in the village of Sarmin in Idlib province as propaganda. “We confirm that we would not use this type of weapon, and we don't need to use it,” the source said.

U.S. Omits Iran and Hezbollah From Terror Threat List: An annual security assessment presented to the U.S. Senate by James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, has excluded Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah from its list of terror threats to U.S. interests, despite both being consistently included as threats in previous years.

Major American Allies Ignore U.S. Pleas and Join China’s Alternative Bank: UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and India All Sign On … South Korea Next?

Putin accuses US over Ukraine coup: “The trick of the situation was that outwardly the [Ukrainian] opposition was supported mostly by the Europeans. But we knew for sure that the real masterminds were our American friends,” President Putin said.

Moscow Launches Ruble-Renminbi Futures To "Facilitate Trade Between China And Russia": An "isolated" Russia is looking to outside, and to the east, and as part of its most recent de-dollarization initiative, the Moscow Exchange announced it has started trading Chinese Renminbi-Russian Ruble currency futures.

Greek PM To Meet With Putin Amid Cash Crunch: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will visit Moscow on April 8 after being invited to talks by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a Greek government official said on Tuesday.

The melting of Antarctica was already really bad. It just got worse.: A hundred years from now, humans may remember 2014 as the year that we first learned that we may have irreversibly destabilized the great ice sheet of West Antarctica, and thus set in motion more than 10 feet of sea level rise.

Evo Morales: Latin America Stands United Against US Aggression : Bolivian President Evo Morales said Tuesday that Latin America is more united than ever against the policies that the United States government is intending to impose on the region.





Gallup: U.S. Population Highly Militaristic 

By David Swanson 


"In early 2014 there were unusual news stories about Gallup's end-of-2013 polling because after polling in 65 countries with the question


"Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?"


the overwhelming winner had been the United States of America.

Had Gallup then conducted a poll on whether Gallup would ever ask that question again, I'm willing to bet large numbers would have said no. And thus far they would have been right...


the United States routinely launches wars that, before long, a majority of its population says shouldn't have been launched. What percentage of Americans will nonetheless say they're theoretically willing to join in any war whatsoever?...


Despite waging the greatest number of most baseless and most costly wars, the United States manages 44 percent claiming a willingness to fight and 31 percent refusing...



The United States has 44 percent saying that despite the destruction of Iraq, despite the chaos brought to Libya, despite the misery added to Afghanistan's lot, despite the destabilization of Yemen, despite the costs even to the aggressor and despite the world believing the United States to be the greatest threat to peace on earth, those 44 percent at least feel obliged to claim they would participate in an unspecified war.

Are those 44 percent rushing to the recruitment offices to get trained up and be ready? Luckily, no. It's just a poll, and we all know how Brian Williams and Bill O'Reilly would have answered it, but even lies told in polls reflect cultural preferences. 


The fact is that there is a sizable minority in the United States that has never believed any of its recent wars were crimes or blunders, never questioned trillion dollar military spending, and never desired a world without war in it. 


Trying to explain that to people from the Netherlands can be like trying to explain why Americans don't want healthcare. The gap is wide, and I thank Gallup for accidentally revealing it.


Further study is needed to find the roots of the relative degrees of militarism revealed."


From: 

David Swanson's blog




Considering the enormous power the USA still wields around the world, this public perception is very scary, indeed!