RSS

Tag Archives: USA

Snowden Documents Reveal Scope of Secrets Exposed to China in 2001 Spy Plane Incident

WHEN CHINA boldly seized a U.S. underwater drone in the South China Sea last December and initially refused to give it back, the incident ignited a weeklong political standoff and conjured memories of a similar event more than 15 years ago.

In April 2001, just months before the 9/11 attacks gripped the nation, a U.S. Navy spy plane flying a routine reconnaissance mission over the South China Sea was struck by a People’s Liberation Army fighter jet that veered aggressively close. The mid-air collision killed the Chinese pilot, crippled the Navy plane, and forced it to make an emergency landing at a Chinese airfield, touching off a tense international showdown for nearly two weeks while China refused to release the two-dozen American crew members and damaged aircraft.

https://theintercept.com/2017/04/10/snowden-documents-reveal-scope-of-secrets-exposed-to-china-in-2001-spy-plane-incident/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 24, 2017 in Asia, North America

 

Tags: ,

The spoils of war: Trump lavished with media and bipartisan praise for bombing Syria

IN EVERY TYPE of government, nothing unites people behind the leader more quickly, reflexively or reliably than war. Donald Trump now sees how true that is, as the same establishment leaders in U.S. politics and media who have spent months denouncing him as a mentally unstable and inept authoritarian and unprecedented threat to democracy are standing and applauding him as he launches bombs at Syrian government targets.

Trump, on Thursday night, ordered an attack that the Pentagon said included the launching of 59 Tomahawk missiles which “targeted aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars.” The governor of Homs, the Syrian province where the attack occurred, said early this morning that the bombs killed seven civilians and wounded nine.

https://theintercept.com/2017/04/07/the-spoils-of-war-trump-lavished-with-media-and-bipartisan-praise-for-bombing-syria/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 24, 2017 in North America

 

Tags: ,

Into the woods: how one man survived alone in the wilderness for 27 years 

Christopher Knight was only 20 years old when he walked away from society, not to be seen again for more than a quarter of a century. He had been working for less than a year installing home and vehicle alarm systems near Boston, Massachusetts, when abruptly, without giving notice to his boss, he quit his job. He never even returned his tools. He cashed his final pay cheque and left town.
Knight did not tell anyone where he was going. “I had no one to tell,” he says. “I didn’t have any friends. I had no interest in my co-workers.” He drove down the east coast of America, eating fast food and staying in cheap motels – “the cheapest I could find”. He travelled for days, alone, until he found himself deep into Florida, sticking mostly to major roads, watching the world go by.
Eventually, he turned around and headed north. He listened to the radio. Ronald Reagan was president; the Chernobyl nuclear disaster had just occurred. Driving through Georgia and the Carolinas and Virginia, blessed with invincibility of youth, buzzed by “the pleasure of driving”, he sensed an idea growing into a realisation, then solidifying into resolve.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/mar/15/stranger-in-the-woods-christopher-knight-hermit-maine

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 20, 2017 in North America, Reportages

 

Tags:

Trump’s dangerous delusions about Islam

In the aftermath of the attacks of 11 September 2001, amid the grief and rage that followed the toppling of the World Trade Center, President George W Bush did not declare war on Islam. “These acts of violence against innocents,” he told Americans in the week after 3,000 people were killed by Muslim terrorists, “violate the fundamental tenets of the Islamic faith.” The war that Bush went on to declare soon thereafter was not against a religion, but against “terror” – and within that baggy term, he focused on al-Qaida, “a fringe movement”, in Bush’s words, “that perverts the peaceful teaching of Islam”.Sign up to the long read emailRead moreBush’s tact may have been caused by a short-term desire to rein in attacks on American Muslims (and others mistaken for them, such as Sikhs) in the wake of 9/11. But it also served the longer view of the president and his advisers, who believed that the Muslim world, much like everywhere else, was capable of being improved by exposure to democracy, free market capitalism and individual freedoms. In this regard, Bush’s views were in line with the then-influential “end of history” thesis proposed by the American political scientist Francis Fukuyama in 1989. With the end of the cold war, Fukuyama argued, it was only a matter of time before western liberal democracy was recognised everywhere as the best form of government. By the turn of the century, the belief that we were witnessing “the total exhaustion of viable systematic alternatives to western liberalism” was never more widely shared, and it lay behind one of Bush’s professed goals in invading Afghanistan and Iraq: to shepherd the Muslim world towards the universal ideology of liberalism.

Source: Trump’s dangerous delusions about Islam | Christopher de Bellaigue | News | The Guardian

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 19, 2017 in Middle East, North America

 

Tags: , ,

The day I went hunting for the Ku Klux Klan

No one knew much, but the crowd was growing. We were at the rest stop off Highway 29 between Eden and Pelham, where North Carolina meets Virginia, and everyone was looking for the Ku Klux Klan. It was 8.40am.The day after the election of Donald Trump, the Loyal White Knights of Pelham, a chapter of the KKK with a suitably unhinged website, had announced that they would be holding a victory parade on 3 December. In the weeks since, there had been no word on the Knights’ website or anywhere else about when or where the parade would be. But the initial declaration was perhaps the most dramatic manifestation of what we might call the New Emboldening – a coast-to-coast rise in everyday American racism and bigotry spurred by the rhetoric and election of a billionaire who had taken swipes at certain Mexican-Americans and all Mexicans, certain women and all women, certain Muslim-Americans and all Muslims, all African Americans and all immigrants.In the month after the election, the Southern Poverty Law Center had tracked more than 900 incidents targeting non-whites. A Muslim college student in Ann Arbor had been told, by a young white man, to remove her hijab or he would light her on fire. At a Utah high school, two Mexican-American sisters were told by their white classmates, “You get a free trip back to Mexico. You should be happy.”The idea of a Klan rally in this kind of atmosphere was potentially explosive. The KKK had demonstrated a year earlier, in Columbia, South Carolina, and the results had been ugly. Three hundred Klan members had been there. The New Black Panthers had countered with 400 of their own members. In all, there were 2,000 protesters. There were cops in body armour. Ripped Confederate flags. A grandmother with a bloody nose. A Klan member, trying to flee in his vehicle, ran into a lamppost.

Source: The day I went hunting for the Ku Klux Klan | Dave Eggers | World news | The Guardian

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 19, 2017 in North America

 

Tags: ,

Love Trumps Domination (Without the Combover)

You could hear the deep sadness in the preacher’s voice as he named “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government.”  With those words, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., launched a scathing indictment of America’s war in Vietnam. It was April 4, 1967.

That first antiwar sermon of his seemed to signal a new high tide of opposition to a brutal set of American policies in Southeast Asia. Just 11 days later, unexpectedly large crowds would come out in New York and San Francisco for the first truly massive antiwar rallies. Back then, a protest of at least a quarter of a million seemed yuge.

King signaled another turning point when he concluded his speech by bringing up “something even more disturbing” — something that would deeply disturb the developing antiwar movement as well. “The war in Vietnam,” he said, “is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 19, 2017 in North America

 

Tags:

A Mysterious Case Involving Turkey, Iran, and Rudy Giuliani

The mysterious case of Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian businessman facing federal charges in New York, has grown even stranger over the past couple of weeks.Zarrab, who is thirty-three, was arrested by F.B.I. agents, in Miami, last March. At the time, he was one of the flashiest and wealthiest businessmen in Turkey. He sported a pouf of black hair; owned twenty houses, seven yachts, and a private jet; was married to one of Turkey’s biggest pop stars; and counted among his friends Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s strongman President.The U.S. government, however, believes that Zarrab masterminded a sprawling operation to help the Iranian government evade economic sanctions that were put in place to hinder the country’s nuclear-weapons program. Zarrab’s operation—which relied on what the Turkish government claimed was a legal loophole in the sanctions—involved shipping gold to Iran in exchange for oil and natural gas, which Zarrab then sold. The scheme, according to prosecutors in New York’s Southern District, involved moving enormous amounts of cash, gas, and gold; at the operation’s peak—around 2012—Zarrab was buying a metric ton of gold and shipping it to Iran every day. The Obama Administration protested Zarrab’s operation, which the media dubbed “gas for gold,’’ but he carried on anyway. For the Iranians, the gold was as good as American cash, and it helped shore up the rial, Iran’s currency, whose value was collapsing.

Source: A Mysterious Case Involving Turkey, Iran, and Rudy Giuliani – The New Yorker

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 19, 2017 in Middle East, North America

 

Tags: , ,

It’s time America explored how to end the multiple wars it has helped cause since 2001, rather than dropping more bombs

War-whoops and loud applause from foreign policy establishments and their media supporters have greeted President Trump’s missile strike in Syria, the dropping of the world’s largest non-nuclear bomb on Afghanistan and the dispatch of a naval task force in the direction of North Korea.

This spurt in belligerence over the last week has as much to do with domestic American politics as any fundamental new development in the rest of the world. Trump needed to defuse the accusation that he was too close to President Putin and too tolerant of a Russian ally like Bashar al-Assad. The resort to military action was largely in keeping with the old Pentagon saying that “defence policy ends at the water’s edge”, meaning that it is politics inside, not outside the US, which is the real decision-maker.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/donald-trump-moab-bomb-syria-afghanistan-libya-wars-caused-middle-east-a7684181.html

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 18, 2017 in Middle East, North America

 

Tags: , ,

Trump’s CIA Director Pompeo, Targeting WikiLeaks, Explicitly Threatens Speech and Press Freedoms

In February, after Donald Trump tweeted that the U.S. media were the “enemy of the people,” the targets of his insult exploded with indignation, devoting wall-to-wall media coverage to what they depicted as a grave assault on press freedoms more befitting of a tyranny. By stark and disturbing contrast, the media reaction yesterday was far more muted, even welcoming, when Trump’s CIA Director, Michael Pompeo, actually and explicitly vowed to target freedoms of speech and press in a blistering, threatening speech he delivered to the D.C. think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.What made Pompeo’s overt threats of repression so palatable to many was that they were not directed at CNN, the New York Times or other beloved-in-D.C. outlets, but rather at WikiLeaks, more marginalized publishers of information, and various leakers and whistleblowers, including Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.

Source: Trump’s CIA Director Pompeo, Targeting WikiLeaks, Explicitly Threatens Speech and Press Freedoms

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 14, 2017 in North America

 

Tags:

How to Jam the Trump Brand

United’s stock plunges after video emerges of a passenger being violently dragged off an oversold flight. Pepsi yanks an ad that portrays police and Black Lives Matter-ish protestors making peace over a can of soda. Fox News faces an advertiser exodus after new revelations of massive payouts to settle sexual harassment and verbal abuse allegations against host Bill O’Reilly.If there is one lesson that emerges from all these controversies it is this: Institutions organized around a powerful brand image – often understood as “a promise” from a corporation to its customers – are in big trouble when that image gets battered and the promise appears to have been broken. These facts make corporate brands intensely vulnerable to public pressure, particularly when that pressure is loud and organized.

Source: How to Jam the Trump Brand

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 13, 2017 in North America

 

Tags: