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“Gentlemen do not read other gentlemen’s mail” sniffed US Secretary of State Henry Stimson in 1929 when told that American cryptographers had broken Japan’s naval and diplomatic codes.

Stimson, who later headed the War Department, ordered code-breaking shut down.

Alas, there are not any old-school gentlemen left in Washington these days. Revelations of US electronic spying by whistleblower Edward Snowden have ignited a furor across Latin America and now Europe.
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Crying Wolf Over Iran

Bibi

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been trying to convince the audience in both the United States and Europe that new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is a "wolf in sheep’s clothing" intent on beguiling the west with empty promises while proceeding full speed with a nuclear weapons program. Unfortunately for Netanyahu, few are interested in hearing an argument that has been repeated over and over again for more than twenty years in one form or another regarding the imminence of a "Mullah nuke." If there is a true predatory beast tale intrinsic to the oft repeated narrative, it perhaps should be the story of the boy who cried wolf.

All of which is not to suggest that Netanyahu’s friends in the United States have given up. Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Mark Kirk have welcomed the overture from Iran by calling for tightened sanctions to send the signal that Washington is really serious about using a stick before offering any carrots, a hardening of the same old punishment cycle that would hardly be an inducement for concessions by Tehran. They also demand that Iran give up any ability to enrich uranium, guaranteeing that negotiations will go nowhere. A number of Democratic Senators who are close to the Israel Lobby are also on board in opposing any easing of sanctions.
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Beirut Bombings at 30: Interventionism Kills

Beirut Memorial

Today, October 23, 2013, marks the 30th anniversary of the US Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, Lebanon. Some 241 American servicemembers were killed. These deaths were the direct result of US intervention in an area where there was neither US interest nor any threat to the United States.

Although after the bombing President Ronald Reagan initially pledged to stay the course in Lebanon, within months, facing waning support and a realization that his was a futile policy, he decided to withdraw the US military.

The US troops were sent in after the June, 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, which was supported by the US government at the time. Resentment ran high at the US (and French) military presence, increasing with the gradual involvement of US forces on one side of the conflict. Following the grisly September 1982 Sabra and Shatilla massacres, carried out by the Israel-allied Phalangists facilitated by the Israeli Defense Forces, the temporarily withdrawn US forces were sent back in to Lebanon where they became magnets for increasing resentment and therefore targets for attack. It was recklessness.
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As Ye Sow, So Shall Ye Reap

Bernanke Troops

The year 2014 could be shaping up as the year that the chickens come home to roost.

Americans, even well-informed ones, don’t know all of the mistakes made by neoconized and corrupted Washington in the past two decades. However, enough is known to see that the US has lost economic and political power, and that the loss is irreversible.

The economic cost of this lost will be born by what remains of the middle class and the increasingly poverty-stricken lower class. The one percent will have offshore gold holdings and large sums of money in foreign currencies and other foreign assets to see them through.
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Who Will Protect You from the Police? The Rise of Government-Sanctioned Home Invasions

SWAT

It’s 3 a.m. You’ve been asleep for hours when suddenly you hear a loud “Crash! Bang! Boom!” Based on the yelling, shouting and mayhem, it sounds as if someone—or several someones—are breaking through your front door. With your heart racing and your stomach churning, all you can think about is keeping your family safe from the intruders who have invaded your home. You have mere seconds before the intruders make their way to your bedroom.


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Washington Casts Blame for Expansion of Al-Qaeda on Turkey

Erdogan Obama

It is no longer possible to conceal the obvious. The West, in its attempts to remove Bashar al-Asad from power during the years of the war in Syria, has nurtured a force so sinister that its tentacles are now reaching to the Western capitals themselves. Al-Qaed is at the peak of its influence in the Middle East. In Somalia, the group al-Shabaab has announced its complete merger with this organization.
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Ukraine: Europe’s Partner or Puppet?

As the second most populous former Soviet republic, Ukraine has seemed uncomfortable with its independence since 1991 and less than committed to making it work. The fundamental issue has always been, does the country remain entwined with its larger neighbour Russia, or does it succumb to the blandishments of the West and distance itself completely from a country with which it was co-joined for over 1000 years?

Within the USSR Ukraine was an economic power house with a large heavy industrial sector and flourishing agriculture based on its excellent ‘black soil’. To Western eyes, the typical Ukrainian was Nikita Khrushchev -- a plump, jolly fellow; a bit crude, perhaps, but a good, stolid Soviet citizen. When Gorbachev arranged a referendum on preserving a reformed Soviet Union in March 1991, 76 percent of voters in Ukraine supported remaining in the USSR. Yet only eight months later 90 percent of them voted for independence. Some might say, how capricious! Could things have changed so quickly? They obviously did, meaning that the Communist apparatchiki jumped the sinking ship and the sheep followed.
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British Press Shills for Syria War With 'Baby Snipers' Story

Baby Bullet

The Times of London yesterday published a sensational Syria story based on an interview with British doctor David Nott, who had volunteered his medical expertise in Syria over the past several weeks. Dr. Nott said that he had seen several pregnant women come in with abdominal wounds. He speculated that snipers must have been playing some sort of game where they would target the fetuses of pregnant women -- a grisly business to be sure.

Said Dr. Nott:
It seemed to me that it was some sort of a game they (the snipers) were having with each other... One day we'd have pregnant women being brought in with gunshot wounds to the uterus. Not just one or two, but seven or eight, which meant to me they (the snipers) must be targeting pregnant women.
Nott "heard local rumors" that these snipers, who seemed were playing a game, were Chinese or Azeri mercenaries fighting with Assad's government forces.
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Does Our Military Spending Really Make Us Better Off?

Us Vs World

The ill-advised launching of a few barrages of cruise missiles at Syria, which was the White House’s fervent desire back in August could have cost as much as five billion dollars or so by the time it was all over, an act of war carried out just to establish the "credibility" of the White House. Would it have been money well spent to kill a few hundred Syrians?

The Navy meanwhile keeps building multi-billion dollar aircraft carriers even though they are highly vulnerable to much cheaper missiles and although it already has eleven of them while the Air Force is getting the problem plagued and cost overrun prone F-35 fighter at $100 million a pop in a $857 billion program even though the aircraft is demonstrably not needed for national defense.
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Obama Sidesteps Detractors to Engage Iran

Obama Iran

Below the radar, the tortuous process leading to an Iran nuclear deal may have got under way in Geneva where the two-day talks between the protagonists – P5+1 and Iran – ended on a positive note on Wednesday. The joint statement issued after the talks was a “first” of its kind, symbolizing that there is reason to believe in the strong likelihood of a critical mass forming.
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