Alan Grayson Introduces the War Is Making You Poor Act

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The memos and minutes that confirm Israel’s nuclear stockpile Documents reveal how then-defence minister Shimon Perez tried to sell South Africa’s apartheid government the bomb

This is the secret memo by South Africa‘s military chief of staff, General RF Armstrong, asking for nukes on the Jericho missiles. It has been revealed before, but its context was not understood. We now know the memo was the direct result of a meeting between PW Botha and Shimon Peres, and the basis of Botha’s demand for nukes. This memo was uncovered by Peter Liberman and published in the Nonproliferation Review.

• Declassified memo from General RF Armstrong

Israel documents: Cover page of memo revealing secret nuclear  agreement with South Afric

This cover page of an ISSA (ISrael-South Africa agreement) meeting in Pretoria between Israeli and South African officials on 30 June 1975 establishes the presence of General Armstrong, who wrote the nuclear memo.

• Minutes of third ISSA meeting, 30/6/1975

Israel documents: Memo showing secret nuclear agreement with South  Africa

This document details the another ISSA meeting during which Botha says he needs the ‘right payload’ and Peres offers it in ‘three sizes’ (paragraph 10).

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Obama widens drone attacks in Pakistan

The Obama administration has granted secret permission to the CIA to carry out more indiscriminate drone missile strikes in Pakistan, even as protests over civilian casualties caused by the attacks continue to grow.

Officials revealed this week that the US intelligence agency is operating under rules that allow it to target suspected “militants” in Pakistan based upon “pattern of life” analyses, without even ascertaining their identity. For the most part, they acknowledge, the names of those assassinated with Hellfire missiles fired from Predator and the larger Reaper drones are never known.

This description of the drone program flies in the face of official propaganda, which has presented the missile attacks as part of a carefully prepared exercise in “targeted killings” aimed against high-ranking leaders of Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

But according to the Los Angeles Times, which cited current and former intelligence officials, “The CIA received secret permission to attack a wider range of targets, including militants whose names are not known, as part of a dramatic expansion of drone strikes in Pakistan’s border region.”

The newspaper reported that the initial permission to broaden the drone campaign came during the last year of the Bush administration, but has been continued and even widened under the presidency of Barack Obama.

“Instead of just a few dozen attacks per year, CIA operated unmanned aircraft now carry out multiple missile strikes each week against safe houses, training camps and other hiding places used by militants in the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan,” the LA Times notes.

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No One Cares, by Chris Hedges

We are approaching a decade of war in Afghanistan, and the war in Iraq is in its eighth year. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands more Afghans and Pakistani civilians have been killed. Millions have been driven into squalid displacement and refugee camps. Thousands of our own soldiers and Marines have died or been crippled physically and psychologically. We sustain these wars, which have no real popular support, by borrowing trillions of dollars that can never be repaid, even as we close schools, states go into bankruptcy, social services are cut, our infrastructure crumbles, tens of millions of Americans are reduced to poverty, and real unemployment approaches 17 percent. Collective, suicidal inertia rolls us forward toward national insolvency and the collapse of empire. And we do not protest. The peace movement, despite the heroic efforts of a handful of groups such as Iraq Veterans Against the War, the Green Party and Code Pink, is dead. No one cares.

The roots of mass apathy are found in the profound divide between liberals, who are mostly white and well educated, and our disenfranchised working class, whose sons and daughters, because they cannot get decent jobs with benefits, have few options besides the military. Liberals, whose children are more often to be found in elite colleges than the Marine Corps, did not fight the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994 and the dismantling of our manufacturing base. They did nothing when the Democrats gutted welfare two years later and stood by as our banks were turned over to Wall Street speculators. They signed on, by supporting the Clinton and Obama Democrats, for the corporate rape carried out in the name of globalization and endless war, and they ignored the plight of the poor. And for this reason the poor have little interest in the moral protestations of liberals. We have lost all credibility. We are justly hated for our tacit complicity in the corporate assault on workers and their families.

Our passivity has resulted, however, in much more than imperial adventurism and a permanent underclass. A slow-motion coup by a corporate state has cemented into place a neofeudalism in which there are only masters and serfs. And the process is one that cannot be reversed through the traditional mechanisms of electoral politics.

Last Thursday I traveled to Washington to join Rep. Dennis Kucinich for a public teach-in on the wars. Kucinich used the Capitol Hill event to denounce the new request by Barack Obama for an additional $33 billion for the war in Afghanistan. The Ohio Democrat has introduced H. Con Res. 248, with 16 co-sponsors, which would require the House of Representatives to debate whether to continue the Afghanistan war. Kucinich, to his credit, is the only member of Congress to publicly condemn the Obama administration’s authorization to assassinate Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen and cleric living in Yemen, over alleged links to a failed Christmas airline bombing in Detroit. Kucinich also invited investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill, writer/activist David Swanson, retired Army Col. Ann Wright and Iraq war veteran Josh Stieber to the event.

The gathering, held in the Rayburn Building, was a sober reminder of our insignificance.

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Demonizing Iran: US Media Continues Beating War Drums

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal had a lead story about Israeli planning to possibly “go it alone” in an attack on Iran if the US were not to “succeed” in its diplomatic efforts to get Iran to “stop” it’s alleged attempts to develop a nuclear weapon capability.

Aside from the fact that there is no hard evidence that Iran is trying to make a nuclear bomb or even to refine uranium to obtain nuclear-grade material, the paper ignored one crucial point: Israel cannot “go it alone” in any strike on Iran, since its key weapons–American fighter-bombers–are supplied to it, and kept flying, thanks to the equipment and spare parts provided by the United States. Indeed the entire Israeli military machine is largely financed and armed by the US.

No Israeli military effort can go forward without the full backing of the US, and to say otherwise is to simply perpetrate a fraud on the American public, implying that Israel is an independent actor on the world stage. It is not.

Another example of media warmongering came in an interview by Terri Gross on her program “Fresh Air,” which I believe is the most widely syndicated and popular program on National Public Radio, produced here in Philadelphia at the studios of NPR affiliate WHYY. Listening to “Fresh Air” this week, which featured an interview with New York Times war correspondent Dexter Filkins, a generally excellent reporter who distinguished himself for his reporting on the Iraq War, and particularly on the brutal US assault on the city of Fallujah, I heard Filkins refer casually to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as “America’s arch-enemy.”

Now it’s possible, and I certainly do hope it’s the case, that Filkins was being ironic here. But Terri Gross allowed this characterization of Iran’s president pass without comment. America’s arch-enemy?

Really? On what basis?

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Why Mislead About Pentagon-NASA Connection?

I was a bit surprised to hear Obama last week promote the Mars missions with such vigor. His call for manned missions to the red planet won’t be cheap and you wonder how the nation can afford to pay for them. He intends to increase NASA funding by $6 billion over the next five years – one of the few budget increases in government discretionary funding.

Democracy Now did a short story on the Obama announcement and had Victoria Samson from the Secure World Foundation on to talk about it. Amy Goodman asked her about the military connection to NASA and she denied there was one. Anyone who follows the space program knows differently.

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