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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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American Hemp Farming Poised for Resurgence Despite US Prohibition

Washington Hemp

This month Ryan Loflin, along with a group of volunteers, completed on his Colorado farm the first public hemp harvest in the US since Colorado voters approved legalizing the farming and distribution of both marijuana and hemp last November. The Loflin farm harvest is one of several recent developments that suggest American hemp farming that has been suppressed by the US government for decades may soon enjoy a resurgence.

While the Colorado government says legal hemp farming is on hold until regulations are enacted, Loflin jumped the gun, growing his hemp the old fashioned way—without a government permit. As reported in the New York Times in August, Loflin ordered fertile hemp seeds through the mail from suppliers in countries in which the plant is legally grown. He then planted the seeds on his farm.
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The OPCW wins Nobel by default

Obamasyria

The award of the Nobel Peace Prize has gone to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons based in The Hague. This has come as a surprise – even to the OPCW. So far, according to the OPCW’s own records, only Albania and India have completely destroyed their chemical weapon stockpiles. The OPCW has a long way to go and why now?

The answer lies in a five-letter word – Putin. The OPCW got the Nobel by default. The only way to dodge the claim of Russian president Vladimir Putin for a Nobel was to sidestep gingerly and instead to award his contribution in the abstract. That explains the metaphysics of the decision to honor the OPCW. 

Looking back at the entire year behind us, it is clear that international security came to a flashpoint on August 30 when the United States president Barack Obama threatened to launch a “limited, narrow act” against Syria – shorn of diplomatese, when he threatened to launch a militarily attack against Syria. To cut short a dramatic story played out on the world stage over the next ten-day period, Russian president Vladimir Putin’s timely initiative to bring Syria’s chemical weapons under international control compelled Obama to come back to the path of negotiations.
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Obscuring the Details: A Panoramic Look at America’s Case Against Syria

UN Inspectors Chemical

The US federal government and the various agencies, media organizations, individuals, foreign governments, non-governmental organizations, lobbies, forces, and other entities that are tied to it have done everything in their power to obscure the details involving the chemical attacks in that took place in Syria on August 21, 2013. The aim has been to justify the US-led foreign campaign that was launched against Syria in 2011 by making the Syrian government appear culpable of grievous crimes. The chemical attack on Ghouta has now come to represent the crux of the matter.

From the very start there was double-speaking coming from Washington and its cohorts about what happened in Ghouta. The Obama Administration and America’s allies deliberately pretended to ignore that chemical weapons were used in Syria prior to August 21, 2013. They have pretended that the United Nations investigation team that had arrived in Syria when chemical weapons were used in Ghouta had just stumbled there coincidently or with the purpose of “inspecting” the Syrian government’s chemical weapon depots.
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That Big Salmonella Outbreak: Chickens Coming Home to Roost on Bankrupt Food Safety Double Standard

Factory Chicken Farm

There’s an outbreak of illnesses from salmonella in chicken that is making national headlines --278 people in 18 states have been sickened. More alarming is the fact that 42% of those sickened have been hospitalized, and that the pathogen seems resistant to treatment with antibiotics. (According to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, less than one per cent of its estimated 48 million cases of foodborne illness require hospitalization.) 

The media is making much out of the fact that employees of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control are being called back from furlough to monitor the situation. But the media are ignoring the real dangers underscored by this outbreak.

This outbreak is a vivid example of the double standard applied to food safety--one set of highly permissive standards for corporate producers of factory food and a second set for small producers of artisanal nutrient-dense food. As if the favoritism shown the corporations that fatten politicians’ campaign coffers isn’t enough, we are now getting a bird’s-eye view (pardon the pun) of how the double standard is being allowed to truly endanger large numbers of people. It is a double standard I warn about and document in my book, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights.
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The Myth of American Exceptionalism

America Zoom

When the Soviet Union collapsed, America loomed as the gleaming superpower. It looked like the country had solved all of its problems. It was the envy of the world. An end of history loomed. No longer. History has come back with a vengeance. And today, after a decade of ruinous wars, the only things worth copying are the memories.

Americans are only beginning to comprehend their difficulties. Perhaps this should not be surprising. For Americans have long been weaned on the notion that they represent an exceptional nation. And, to be fair, the American belief in exceptionalism is not exceptional. Quite the contrary. Throughout history, countries and peoples have believed that they were exceptional. The ancient Greeks believed it, and called everyone else “barbarian.” So did the Romans, who conquered the world and believed they were gods.

In more recent history, we had the Anglo-Saxons, who built the British Empire, which, in its expanse, spread further and wider than any previous imperium. Russia, too, is intimately acquainted with the idea of its own exceptionalism. We need only recall Hegumen Philotheus of Pskov, who talked about Moscow being the third Rome and that there would not be a fourth one. The idea of Russian exceptionalism was even more strongly expressed in Marxist-Leninist ideology, when Moscow created a denationalized ideological empire with a calling to free mankind from the tyranny of capitalism, and believed it had a historic mission to bring happiness to the entire world through a global victory of socialism, and later communism. It claimed that all people in the world would enjoy not only equality of opportunity, but of results. As a rule, all these ideas of exceptionalism rested on the twin pillars of ideology and myths.
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The Fourth Branch of Government

Military Industrial Complex

One of the most interesting aspects of President Eisenhower’s Farewell Address in 1960 was his warning to the American people regarding the danger that America’s military-industrial complex posed to our democratic processes. Eisenhower didn’t make it clear whether he was referring to the economic dimension associated with warfare-state spending or to the possibility of a military takeover here in the United States.

Of course, statists would say that there’s no way that Eisenhower would have been referring to the danger of a coup here in the United States. He would have had to be talking about the economic danger posed by ever-increasing spending on warfare-state programs, they would say. The United States is the last place where people would have to fear the danger of a military coup.

Eisenhower’s successor, John F. Kennedy, however, did not share that sentiment. Kennedy was truly concerned about the possibility of a military coup during his administration, especially given the deep animosity that the military and the CIA had toward his foreign policies, as I outlined in my article “The War Between JFK and the National-Security State.” Interestingly, while I may have missed it, I have never come across anyone who has mocked or ridiculed Kennedy for his concern over this possibility.
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