Monday, March 28, 2011

Libya--Who Are These People, and Etc.?

The Great People's Liberator and "Peace Prize" winner, Barak Obama, spoke tonight, but his predictably Orwellian ideas, oft repeated previously, do not merit repeating or comment from knowledgeable men and women. They have been shown to be false on these pages and elsewhere, and will soon be dissected and shown to be the lies of a flailing empire by history. Here are some actually useful articles, but first an old Bob Dylan song, sung by Pearl Jam:

Masters Of War (Pearl Jam, Washington 2004)

Masters of War Lyrics

Who Are The Libyan Freedom Fighters And Their Patrons?

By Peter Dale Scott


March 28, 2011 "JapanFocus" - -The world is facing a very unpredictable and potentially dangerous situation in North Africa and the Middle East. What began as a memorable, promising, relatively nonviolent achievement of New Politics - the Revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt - has morphed very swiftly into a recrudescence of old habits: America, already mired in two decade-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and sporadic air attacks in Yemen and Somalia, now bombing yet another Third World Country, in this case Libya.

The initially stated aim of this bombing was to diminish Libyan civilian casualties. But many senior figures in Washington, including President Obama, have indicated that the US is gearing up for a quite different war for regime change, one that may well be protracted and could also easily expand beyond Libya.1 If it does expand, the hope for a nonviolent transition to civilian government in Tunisia and Egypt and other Middle East nations experiencing political unrest, may be lost to a hard-edged militarization of government, especially in Egypt. All of us, not just Egyptians, have a major stake in seeing that that does not happen.

The present article does not attempt to propose solutions or a course of action for the United States and its allies, or for the people of the Middle East. It attempts rather to examine the nature of the forces that have emerged in Libya over the last four decades that are presently being played out.

To this end I have begun to compile what I call my Libyan Notebook, a collection of relevant facts that underlie the present crisis. This Notebook will be judgmental, in that I am biased towards collecting facts that the US media tend to ignore, facts that are the product in many instances of investigative reporting that cuts to the heart of power relations, deep structures, and economic interests in the region including the US, Israel, and the Arab States as these have played out over the last two decades and more. But I hope that it will be usefully objective and open-ended, permitting others to draw diverse conclusions from the same set of facts.2

I wish to begin with two ill-understood topics: I. Who Are the Libyan Opposition, and II. Where Are the Libyan Rebel Arms Coming From?

For rest of this informative article see URL in title above.

Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of Drugs Oil and War, The Road to 9/11, The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War. His most recent book is American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road to Afghanistan.
His website, which contains a wealth of his writings, is here.

Recommended citation: Peter Dale Scott, "Who are the Libyan Freedom Fighters and Their Patrons?," The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue 13 No 3, March 28, 2011.

Notes (see URL in the title for this long and informative article)

"Bait and Switch"

Libya and The Holy Triumvirate

William Blum

March 28, 2011 "Information Clearing House" -- The words they find it very difficult to say — "civil war".

Libya is engaged in a civil war. The United States and the European Union and NATO — The Holy Triumvirate — are intervening, bloodily, in a civil war. To overthrow Moammar Gaddafi. First The Holy Triumvirate spoke only of imposing a no-fly zone. After getting support from international bodies on that understanding they immediately began to wage war against Libyan military forces, and whoever was nearby, on a daily basis. In the world of commerce this is called "bait and switch".

Gaddafi's crime? He was never respectful enough of The Holy Triumvirate, which recognizes no higher power, and maneuvers the United Nations for its own purposes, depending on China and Russia to be as spineless and hypocritical as Barack Obama. The man the Triumvirate allows to replace Gaddafi will be more respectful.

So who are the good guys? The Libyan rebels, we're told. The ones who go around murdering and raping African blacks on the supposition that they're all mercenaries for Gaddafi. One or more of the victims may indeed have been members of a Libyan government military battalion; or may not have been. During the 1990s, in the name of pan-African unity, Gaddafi opened the borders to tens of thousands of sub-Saharan Africans to live and work in Libya. That, along with his earlier pan-Arab vision, did not win him points with The Holy Triumvirate. Corporate bosses have the same problem about their employees forming unions. Oh, and did I mention that Gaddafi is strongly anti-Zionist?

Does anyone know what kind of government the rebels would create? The Triumvirate has no idea. To what extent will the new government embody an Islamic influence as opposed to the present secular government? What jihadi forces might they unleash? (And these forces do indeed exist in eastern Libya, where the rebels are concentrated.) Will they do away with much of the welfare state that Gaddafi used his oil money to create? Will the state-dominated economy be privatized? Who will wind up owning Libya's oil? Will the new regime continue to invest Libyan oil revenues in sub-Saharan African development projects? Will they allow a US military base and NATO exercises? Will we find out before long that the "rebels" were instigated and armed by Holy Triumvirate intelligence services?

In the 1990s, Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia was guilty of "crimes" similar to Gaddafi's. His country was commonly referred to as "the last communists of Europe". The Holy Triumvirate bombed him, arrested him, and let him die in prison. The Libyan government, it should be noted, refers to itself as the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. American foreign policy is never far removed from the Cold War.

We must look closely at the no-fly zone set up for Iraq by the US and the UK (falsely claimed by them as being authorized by the United Nations) beginning in the early 1990s and lasting more than a decade. It was in actuality a license for very frequent bombing and killing of Iraqi citizens; softening up the country for the coming invasion. The no-fly zone-cum invasion force in Libya is killing people every day with no end in sight, softening up the country for regime change. Who in the universe can stand up to The Holy Triumvirate? Has the entire history of the world ever seen such power and such arrogance?

And by the way, for the 10th time, Gaddafi did not carry out the bombing of PanAm Flight 103 in 1988.1 Please enlighten your favorite progressive writers on this. . . . .

For rest of this informative article see URL in title above.

Published on Monday, March 28, 2011 by
Obama's March Madness

by Ralph Nader
President Obama’s pick of Kansas to win the “March Madness” collegiate basketball tournament ended with their defeat by Virginia Commonwealth University this past Saturday. He must know how the Jay Hawks are feeling because he is entangled in his own March Madness that will continue after this month ends.

From his stubborn and dangerous commitment to nuclear power to an unprecedented overseas military operation in Libya, the month has seen enormous missteps by Obama and his administration. Obama's college basketball picks are the least of his poor choices. (Dunand/Getty)

The expanding nuclear meltdown disaster from Japan’s cluster of nuclear plants gets worse by the day, yet President Obama continues to reassure the nuclear industry that he supports more plants guaranteed by the U.S. taxpayers because Wall Street otherwise will not risk loaning billions of dollars per plant.

Mr. Obama, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and their atomic power allies say that they’ll learn from the Japanese failures and make the U.S. plants safer. That puts off the urgency to act for an indefinite period.

What Mr. Obama should realize is that Japan’s human and economic catastrophe was a gigantic wakeup call to stop playing Russian roulette with the lives of millions of Americans and swing into action. First, he should shut down any plants near large population centers where untested evacuation plans are tragic farces. That means San Onofre and Diablo Canyon in California and the troubled Indian Point plants 26 miles from Manhattan that are near active seismic faults. That means closing all aging nukes as recommended by Russian scientist Alexey Yablokov (a member of the prestigious Russian Academy of Sciences), who had a news conference in Washington last Thursday (ignored by the major newspapers and network television but covered by CNN and C-SPAN) regarding 5000 scientific papers in Slavic languages on the consequences of the 1986 meltdown at Chernobyl (See his report here.) He estimated at least one million lives have been lost since.

For rest of this informative article see URL in title above.

Bob Dylan - Blowing In The Wind

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Benjamin Barber on the importance of 300 years of tribal conflict in Libya

Benjamin R. Barber - Director, CivWorld and Distinguished Senior Fellow, as well as a resident expert at DEMOS, was interviewed today on KPFA's Letters and Politics program. He spoke about the tribal and an internal political background of the Libyan civil war and the importance of 300 years of tribal conflict, including that between Tripoli in the west and Benghazi in the east. He is the author of a February 23 article on HuffPost titled "Why Libya Will Not Be Democratic."

KPFA.FM--Letters and Politics March 24, 2011

Download the interview with Benjanin Barber:

Listen Now:
Letters and Politics - March 24, 2011 at 10:00am

Click to listen (or download)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Libya--Howling Hypocrisy, Part 4

Not much to say. Fortunately, if you are paying attention, the actions of the US coalition making war on Libya speak for themselves. Here are a few more articles and ideas to consider from the internet press.

Libya: More Murder and Plunder Masquerading as “Humanitarian Intervention”…
March 22, 2011 by orwellwasright

Operation Odyssey Dawn - bombing in the name of peace...

On March 20th 2003 Western forces launched their “Shock and Awe” attack on Iraq, heavily bombarding Baghdad and elsewhere, massacring hundreds if not thousands of innocent men, women and children. On March 20th 2011 the very same forces attacked Libya, beginning what many believe will be yet another mass slaughter. Perhaps it’s a coincidence that both these massacres began on the eve of the Vernal Equinox, the time of the Sun’s resurrection which throughout history was often celebrated with a blood sacrifice to “impregnate the Earth”. Perhaps not.

Whether or not you believe that occult elements are at play in this latest round of imperial slaughter and mayhem, what is obvious to all but the most duped and apathetic is that once again we have another war launched by the imperialist powers thinly veiled as a “humanitarian intervention”, dressed up as a mission of peace driven by the use of heavy bombardment and murder, where the truth lies diametrically opposed to the propaganda being pushed by the mainstream media. Nothing is what it seems; the lies and deceptions are as Orwellian as ever. The similarities with Iraq go well beyond the date of the opening salvo – indeed, there are many consistencies between the current attack on Libya and numerous other military interventions and acts of aggression carried out by the US, NATO and their allies in recent years.

The propaganda currently being pumped out by the mainstream media, led by the usual suspects in the American corporate press and the liars and sycophants over at the BBC, is essentially a re-run of the Iraq invasions and Kosovo: a largely fabricated case for humanitarian intervention based on violence stoked by special forces troops and covert operations, with the consistent demonisation of the leader recast as a mass murdering tyrant to justify a heavy saturation bombing campaign in the name of human rights and justice. Any historical context that might cast the so-called “Allies” in a negative light – for instance large-scale sales of weapons to the new enemy figure – is carefully omitted from the narrative.

The assault on Iraq during the first Gulf War was launched on the back of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait – an invasion carried out with the tacit support of the US, who then betrayed their puppet dictator and launched a huge slaughter, killing more than 100,000 people. The war was sold to the American public with a horror story in which Iraqi troops were accused of throwing Kuwaiti babies out of hospital incubators. Trouble is, the story was a complete fabrication, utilizing fake testimony from an unnamed nurse who turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the United States, coached by the pubic relations firm Hill & Knowlton, a company with a track record of providing services to notorious human rights abusers around the globe.


And let’s not forget the fabricated “evidence” to justify the 2003 invasion – the non-existent WMDs, the yellow cake from Niger, the repeated, false association between Saddam and 9/11 … all since proven to be lies, and the occupation continues…
In Kosovo, the Western media went all out saturating their broadcasts of a photograph of a thin man behind a fence accompanied by cries of “concentration camps!” The truth was rather different: the ITN film crew were on the inside of a refugee camp, and had asked the man to take his top off to pose for the camera. The photo was another propaganda coup from the so-called “free press” of the West, which eventually led to a lethal 78 day bombing campaign which caused a fragmentation of the region from which they have yet to recover. Around the same time, NATO member Turkey – receiving some 80% of their arms from the Clinton administration – proceeded to murder, torture and massacre Kurds in untold numbers. There was no call for a humanitarian intervention there – after all, they were our allies.

In addition to such fabrications, the Western media conveniently omitted any mention of CIA/MI6 use of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA-UCK) to instigate violence in the region, subsequently used as part of the justification for the NATO “humanitarian intervention”. It should be noted that since this campaign KLA leaders such as Hashim Thaci and Agim Ceku have been tied to criminal syndicates involved in arms, drugs, and human trafficking, prostitution and illegal organ harvesting, in addition to the numerous war crimes carried out under the auspices of NATO. This blatant criminalization of Kosovo politics was carried out with the full consent of the EU and the US. It should also be noted that the US themselves described the KLA as a terrorist organization up until 1998, when Bill Clinton reclassified them as “freedom fighters” and unleashed them on the Serbs. NATO’s strategy of high altitude bombing quickly moved from legitimate military targets to the wholesale destruction of infrastructure, hospitals, television stations and civilians – all in the name of “humanitarian intervention” …

And as the historical record now shows, the refugee crisis and the swathe of massacres was precipitated by the NATO bombing campaign.

Similarly, the media build-up to the current attack on Libya has been characterised by the same level of fabricated propaganda against a backdrop of covert actions utilising known terrorist groups. The rebellion against Colonel Qaddafi, which the mainstream media would have us believe is a completely independent and organic grassroots uprising against a brutal oppressor, has actually been manipulated by agents from the CIA, MI6 and covert special forces groups such as the SAS for a number of weeks. A team of British SAS were recently arrested by Libyan rebels, echoing the arrest of SAS soldiers in Bazra in 2005, equipped with weapons, explosives and Arab-looking disguises, caught shooting at an Iraqi police checkpoint, in a textbook example of divide and rule tactics.

Arms and al-Qaida-affiliated fighters have also been flowing into the country to fuel the insurrection from Saudi Arabia and Egypt directly from NATO and other Western sources in an attempt to foment the overthrow of Qaddafi. There are additional reports that Israeli-affiliated African mercenaries have also infiltrated Libya to support the attempted insurrection. It is the reaction of the Libyan government – a completely justified response to a violent insurrection aided by agents from foreign governments with reciprocal force – that the Western press is characterising as the oppression of unarmed protesters.
Stories of atrocities carried out by Qaddafi have also turned out to be of questionable veracity, for instance the accusation that Qaddafi was using his air force to strafe crowds of protesters. These accusations remain unsupported, but that hasn’t stopped them being repeated ad nauseum across the mainstream media. If there is a grain of truth in them (and it’s not simply a case of Qaddafi’s forces legitimately striking back at armed, Western-backed “rebels”), one has to wonder why such a supposedly unpopular leader has recently handed out 1 million machine guns to the public to fight against a foreign occupation. Hardly the tactics of a dictator fearing overthrow from within. Perhaps the media will release photographic or video evidence supporting their claims, but if the past is anything to go by … well, perhaps they won’t.

Fox News got in on the act of making things up recently as well, using the well worn “human shields” hoax popular amongst defenders of Israeli barbarism towards the Palestinians. Fortunately, CNN correspondent Nic Robertson set the records straight:

Libya - Fox News Lies about a report on human shields in Libya

A predictable but entirely unfounded response to the above observations is the accusation of being a Qaddafi sympathizer. Those who make such accusations are guilty of obfuscation and missing the broader point. Certainly, Qaddafi is no angel – likewise Slobodan Milošević and Saddam Hussein were guilty of despotism, crimes against humanity and more. But those who make such charges miss the irony of their rhetoric, given that they support the unbridled use of violence by far more powerful military forces against largely civilian populations, leading to death tolls that far exceed those committed by the puppet dictators they seek to overthrow. That these dictators and despots committed their own atrocities with weapons supplied by Western nations is never mentioned, for doing so would lay bare their hypocrisy. “We must kill to avoid killing,” is the ideology they promote, oblivious to the inherent contradiction that lies within.

This hypocrisy is plain to see in the recent release of photos of American troops in Afghanistan posing for trophy shots with murdered civilians. While the BBC are busy ramming down the throats of the public endless news about our impressive fighter planes and their “precision” bombing and manufacturing tales of massacres at the hands of Qaddafi, photos such as this are completely ignored:

US Army "Kill Team" pose with with murdered civilians

And of course, there’s little mention of the genuinely brutal oppression in places like Bahrain, where the Saudi military were called in to massacre protesters there, or the recent outbreak of airstrikes and incursions into Gaza by the IDF over the weekend. Because they’re our “allies” and their crimes – like our own – are completely permissible.
Just another day in the Empire…


The manipulative pro-war argument in Libya

Please see link for entire, well reasoned article.

. . . .
Anyone looking for principle and logic in the attack on Moammar Gaddafi's tyrannical regime will be disappointed. . . . Why is Libya so different? Basically, because the dictators of Yemen, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia -- also Jordan and the Persian Gulf sheikdoms, for that matter -- are friendly, cooperative and useful. Gaddafi is not. . . .

Gaddafi is crazy and evil; obviously, he wasn’t going to listen to our advice about democracy. The world would be fortunate to be rid of him. But war in Libya is justifiable only if we are going to hold compliant dictators to the same standard we set for defiant ones. If not, then please spare us all the homilies about universal rights and freedoms. We'll know this isn’t about justice, it's about power.

I understand -- and absolutely believe -- that many people who support the intervention in Libya are doing so for good and noble reasons: disgust at standing by and watching Gadaffi murder hundreds or thousands of rebels. I also believe that some people who supported the attack on Iraq did so out of disgust for Saddam Hussein and a desire to see him removed from power. It's commendable to oppose that type of despotism, and I understand -- and share -- the impulse.

But what I cannot understand at all is how people are willing to believe that the U.S. Government is deploying its military and fighting this war because, out of abundant humanitarianism, it simply cannot abide internal repression, tyranny and violence against one's own citizens. This is the same government that enthusiastically supports and props up regimes around the world that do exactly that, and that have done exactly that for decades.

By all accounts, one of the prime administration advocates for this war was Hillary Clinton; she's the same person who, just two years ago, said this about the torture-loving Egyptian dictator: "I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family." They're the same people overseeing multiple wars that routinely result in all sorts of atrocities. They are winking and nodding to their Yemeni, Bahrani and Saudi friends who are doing very similar things to what Gadaffi is doing, albeit (for now) on a smaller scale. They just all suddenly woke up one day and decided to wage war in an oil-rich Muslim nation because they just can't stand idly by and tolerate internal repression and violence against civilians? Please.

For the reasons I identified the other day, there are major differences between the military actions in Iraq and Libya. But what is true of both -- as is true for most wars -- is that each will spawn suffering for some people even if they alleviate it for others. Dropping lots of American bombs on a country tends to kill a lot of innocent people. For that reason, indifference to suffering is often what war proponents -- not war opponents -- are guilty of. But whatever else is true, the notion that opposing a war is evidence of indifference to tyranny and suffering is equally simple-minded, propagandistic, manipulative and intellectually bankrupt in both the Iraq and Libya contexts. And, in particular, those who opposed or still oppose intervention in Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, Iraq, the Sudan, against Israel, in the Ivory Coast -- and/or any other similar places where there is widespread human-caused suffering -- have no business advancing that argument.


What will be the results of US bombing in Libya?

I don't know, but here is an MP3 audio account of the results of US Bombing in Iraq.

The toxic legacy left by the US in Iraq, Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

What is a" Civilian?"

The "bait" in the US/European "bait & switch" with regard to Libya, was a simple "No-Fly-Zone." That is, control the skies to make sure that Gadaffi doesn't use his Western supplied aircraft to bomb civilians. In the end, they also added the "switch," a bit about protecting civilians, which was somewhat open ended. What does that mean?

Yesterday, 3/22/11 at 8:00 AM, OPB/NPR's, Jeff Norcross, I believe it was, said something to the effect that the US bombing was protecting the "rebels." Of course the UN resolution approving the intervention referenced "civilians," not rebels. Was this a slip of the tongue, or simply an acknowledgement that, as we all know, the intervention was intended to let the West and the US ramp up the war and actively kill Gadaffi's forces on the ground to support the rebels? The answer is, like I wrote, "as we all know," an intervention aimed at enabling the rebels, whoever they are (apparently no one yet knows, or else they don't want you to know), to supplant the Gadaffi regime and allow Western interests to increase their influence in the country, in order to secure more agreeable energy contracts and eradicate any sentiment that may remain about socialist politics. The ignoble Arab League has since complained about the expansion of the war beyond a "No-Fly-Zone" of course.

Many news sources, including even Democracy Now!, keep referring to most, if not all killings by the Gadaffi regime as being killings of "civilians."

So, you may ask, what is a "civilian?"

Definition(s) of "civilian."

One traditional definition, relevant to this situation, is this:

ci·vil·ian n.

1. A person following the pursuits of civil life, especially one who is not an active member of the military, the police, or a belligerent group.


bel·lig·er·ent (b-ljr-nt)
1. Inclined or eager to fight; hostile or aggressive.
2. Of, pertaining to, or engaged in warfare.
One that is hostile or aggressive, especially one that is engaged in war.

Oh well. . . .

What is the current reality as regards to US/Western intervention?

Military Admits Challenge Of Distinguishing "Civilians" and "Rebels" In Libya
Posted by Michael Scherer Tuesday, March 22, 2011

. . . . "While the U.S. mission is clear--protect civilians, not rebel fighters--the meaning of this mandate on the ground is a bit more blurry. Here is the key parts from the transcript:
Q:  As you go after the regime's ground forces, to what degree can it really be said that you're not providing close air support for the opposition, even if you're not being in contact with them?
GEN. HAM:  We do not provide close air support for the opposition forces.  We protect civilians.  Some -- I suspect some would argue that some within the opposition may be civilians.  And if they are attacked by regime forces, then we would be obliged, if we possess the capability, to try to protect them from attack.  But we have no mission and no intent to provide close air support to the opposition. . . ."

Libya fails Powell Doctrine
By Dick Morris - 03/22/11 05:50 PM ET

. . . .
"Defined war goals? The only one stated is to protect innocent civilians from Gadhafi’s forces. How we are going to do this from the air is a question that remains unanswered. In any event, we are clearly confused between the goal of regime change on the one hand and protecting civilians on the other. Our aerial attacks have little to do with protecting anyone and everything to do with killing as many of Gadhafi’s soldiers and disabling as much of his army as possible. .. . ."

Libya: Allied air strikes secure Misrata for rebels

. . . . Residents said yesterday that the aerial bombardment destroyed tanks and artillery and sent many of Muammar Gaddafi's forces fleeing from Misrata, ending a siege and attack by the regime that cost nearly 100 lives from random shelling, snipers and bitter street fighting.

Mohammed Ali, an IT engineer at Misrata's main hospital, said that waves of air strikes began shortly after midnight on Wednesday.

"They bombed a lot of sites of the Gaddafi army. There is a former hospital where his tanks were based. All the tanks and the hospital were destroyed. A column of tanks was destroyed on the edge of the city," he said. "After that there was no shelling. We are very relieved. We are very grateful. We want to thank the world. The Gaddafi forces are scattered around. All that is left is the snipers and our fighters can take care of them."

Ali said people in Misrata wanted the coalition to keep up the air strikes until all Gaddafi's forces were driven away from the town to ensure that those who were able to escape with armoured vehicles and guns did not return. . . . .

Monday, March 21, 2011

Libya--Some Pre-intervention Historical Background & "Howling Hypocrisy" part 3

In This Edition:

- Criteria For Western "Humanitarian" intervention

- Libya--Some Pre-intervention Historical Background

- "Howling Hypocrisy" part 3 (Cynical Western Foreign Policy)

- Afghanistan

Edited 3/22/11

Criteria and Recipe For Western "Humanitarian" intervention

1. Choose a country that has coveted resources used by Western Nations and/or strategic importance in the "Grand Chessboard" of American empire.

2. Establish that it has a socialistic and/or nationalistic government using central planning, and is willing to defend its people by resisting global capitalist "free market" takeover of its economy.

3. Be sure that it is weak enough militarily and socially to be unable to defend itself against a merciless and cowardly air attack that uses highly advanced Western military technology.

If the target fulfills the above criteria, and is not already subservient or willing to acquiesce to Western interests, then proceed with the following:

4. Demonize the leaders of the country, using as much psycho-babble as you think the people can endure without catching on to the intent of inciting contempt and hatred, as in Orwell's two minutes of hate.

5. Let it be known among dissatisfied potential insurgents, using the CIA, the National Endowment for Democracy, or other subversive agents, that you will support them.

6. After contacts are established, instigate age-old rivalries, tribal or national, via propaganda and financing (including payoffs), by way of the CIA and their institutional agents; choose, fund and otherwise support a subservient and allegedly willing disgruntled partner to agitate for regime change or whatever the goal happens to be.

7. Get the willing partners to begin agitating with protesters against human rights abuses in a way that threatens and provokes the current government, urging the partners to use armed force and terror tactics when the established government (over)reacts to defend themselves.

8. Enlist the multi-national elite corporate press (New York Times, BBC, Al Jazeera, etc.) to flood the print, televised and social media with reports of atrocities and human rights abuses, refugees and civilian deaths, to properly prepare public opinion for the "humanitarian" intervention to come. It is imperative to ignore or downplay other egregious atrocities, human rights abuses, civilian killings, and violations of international law by the Western "democracies" and their dictatorial allies, who wish to attack and take-over the target nation!

9. Make threats and lay down ultimatums, but refuse mediation or negotiations--after all, the target regimes had already been seen as obstacles to Western goals and placed on the list for "regime change."

10. Once public opinion has been properly prepared, either proceed with the bloody carnage of intervention in contravention of international law, or, if possible, coerce the undemocratic U.N. Security Council to approve same.

Voilà--another bloody mess that may, or may not, bring the promised objectives, but will surely drain nations of blood, treasure, and goodwill, often for long periods, all the while enriching the military-industrial complex. Did I leave anything out?


See also:
Another NATO Intervention?
Libya: Is This Kosovo All Over Again?


One of the questions I asked myself after hearing reports about a possible Western intervention on behalf of "democratic" rebels in eastern Libya was, "Who are these rebel people of the Libyan National Transitional Council?" Actually, this question came after another: "What are the oil and other interests of those pumping up the propaganda in favor if intervention?"

The answer to the first question could not be gained easily from reports by Western media. The answer to the second is fairly easily obtainable after a few Google searches.

The rebels were simply described as people fighting one of many repressive and undemocratic regimes in the North African and Eastern Mediterranean gulf region. White hats and black hats--all too simple in my mind. Wikipedia gave the name of a few prominent leaders (Seemingly from the eastern Libya Cyrenaica tribes, and a few from Gadaffi's regie.) and said many chose to remain anonymous. One wondered why, if it was simply to be a fight to secure the freedom of the Libyan people, that the West, the U.S. in particular, was not proposing to intervene on behalf of the besieged Palestinians, the people of Yemen and Bahrain, or even for those in other Gulf region oil providing monarchies and essential dictatorships, like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, or Jordan? As far as repressive regimes go, why not also go after our own puppet, Iraq's al-Maliki, who was also killing protesters seeking freedom and an improved quality of life?

OK, back to the original question. "Who are these rebel people of the Libyan National Transitional Council?" More importantly, why are "humanitarian" interventionists seemingly disinterested in the answer to that question? Perhaps the interventionists are not bright enough to even ask the question, or perhaps they are so craving for an act of bloody, destructive and righteous "humanitarianism" that they could not let their mind wander into that dangerously cloudy territory. With the righteous zeal and certainty of a prosecutor at the Salem Witch Trials, they screamed for justice against the demonized tyrant.

When one pokes around for answers, one cannot help to stumble upon the tribal history of North Africa, including the portion proclaimed by the UN, in 1951, to be "Libya." The events in Libya appear to be much more related to that fractious tribal history than to some deep respect for the writings of Thomas Jefferson, although, at the local tribal level, it does appear to have some relevance. If one reads even a smidgen of the history though, the romanticism of democracy melts away to reveal the self-interested tribal core. The conflict begins to look like the result of Western and UN meddling in the ages long conflict of tribes (clans if you will) in the area that was once at least three distinct tribally dominated regions, and people not particularly comfortable with Western notions of "democracy." The following articles tell some of that history and the policy implications that may be derived from it.

Libya-- Pre-intervention Historical Background

Wall Street Journal
MARCH 8, 2011
Behind Libya Rifts, Tribal Politics
Groups Sidelined by Gadhafi Form Opposition's Core; Ancient Allegiances Bear Upon Battle for Brega


BENGHAZI—On Saturday night, rebel fighters charged into the Libyan coastal village of Bin Jawad, stronghold of the Hasoony tribe, after residents there assured them the town would welcome forces opposed to Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

Instead, rebel fighters say, they walked into an ambush. Hasoony tribesmen—who leaders from other tribes said had been armed and paid off in recent days by Col. Gadhafi—opened fire. Rebels suffered at least a dozen deaths, according to various accounts, and retreated.

The Hasoony tribesmen's decision to back Col. Gadhafi illustrates how tribal allegiances are helping to guide the battle to control a fractured Libya. Many members of the new ruling class taking shape in eastern Libya are from long-privileged tribes that were relegated to second-class status under Col. Gadhafi. . . .

The Senussis' success in eastern Libya—a region known as Cyrenaica—partly explains why the Italians struggled as colonial ruler there from 1911 until World War II. In what is now western Libya, tribes waged separate struggles. But in the east, tribes mounted a unified opposition to Italian rule. Historians say the Italians, in repressing the eastern rebellion, were responsible for the death of about half of eastern Libya's population, many of them in concentration camps outside Benghazi.
Col. Gadhafi's predecessor, King Idriss Senussi, maintained power with the support of his privileged castle guard, known as the Cyrenaican Defense Force. Their ranks were filled almost exclusively with members of eastern Libya's Saady tribes.

See Groups Sidelined by Gadhafi Form Opposition's Core; Ancient Allegiances Bear Upon Battle for Brega for the rest of this informative article.

‘Libya’ Does Not Exist
Posted By Justin Raimondo On March 13, 2011

The idea that there is a nation called “Libya” is the central problem with our understanding of what is going on in that fake “country,” the flaw in our projections of what will or ought to happen.

The country known today as Libya has only existed since the end of World War II, and was the product of a shotgun marriage of the three “provinces”: Tripolitania, in the West, Cyrenaica, in the East, and Fezzan in the South. “Libya” was created, first, by the Italians in 1933, who sought to incorporate the three distinct areas into a unified colony, under a single Fascist proconsul. After the defeat of the Axis powers, the British took control and installed an “emir” in Cyrenaica. Writing in the New York Daily News recently, Diedreick Vandewalle, a professor of government at Dartmouth, gives us some historical perspective:

“History has not been kind to this nation. Its three provinces — Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fazzan — were united for strategic purposes by the Great Powers after World War II. Cyrenaica in the east, and Tripolitania in the west, the two most important provinces, shared no common history and were suspicious of each other.

“The monarch, King Idris al-Sanusi, the heir to a Sufi Islamic movement that had its headquarters in Cyrenaica, kept complaining to the U.S. ambassador that he wanted to rule only as Amir of Cyrenaica, not as King of Libya.”

The kindness of history is found lacking, by Vandewalle, because, as he complains later on in his piece,

“In many ways, Libya remains the tribal society it was in 1951, when the country became independent. As a political concept, Libya for many of its citizens remains limited to tribe, family or province: The notion of a unified system of political checks and balances remains terra incognita.

“The danger for future governments is that they could easily continue this hands-off government, remaining little more than a conduit for the country’s vast natural resources. The real challenge for Libya will not only be reconstruction — but the creation, for the first time since 1951, of a true state with a shared national identity.” . . . .

See ‘Libya’ Does Not Exist for linksa nd entire article.

Riding the Sandstorm
Posted By Nebojsa Malic On March 4, 2011

. . . .
Coveting Cyrenaica

And then there is Libya. Ruled since a 1969 coup by Colonel Muammar el-Gadhafi, the "Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" has North Africa’s largest reserves of oil. Protests that started in the eastern city of Benghazi on February 16 met with a violent government reaction.

Since then, news from Libya has been contradictory and confusing. Gadhafi claims his enemies are "al-Qaeda" and Imperial lackeys, and that his military isn’t killing civilians. The rebels accuse the government of widespread atrocities, while alternately pleading for Imperial intervention and rejecting it.

By just about any rational standard, invading Libya is a horrible idea. Claims of atrocities perpetrated by Gadhafi’s forces sound a little too much like the atrocity porn concocted to justify interventions in the Balkans. Even if they are all true, the rebels seem more than capable of handling it.

Brendan O’Neill has derided the advocates of intervention as "iPad imperialists" and warned of the dangers of faux "ethical" foreign policy, that is actually anything but. His position is worth noting because he has been a consistent critic of Imperial meddling in the Balkans, and the way the creeping intervention in Libya is shaping up bears uncanny similarities to how events unfolded in Bosnia. . . . .


Again, who are these people?

From Democracy Now!

MOHAMMED NABBOUS: Yes, on the Facebook and on other websites, like Twitter, like—you know, I was just trying to send as many information as I can to encourage people to go on the 17th. But, fortunately, it happened even before the 17th. It happened on the 15th, and I was so happy to go on the streets. I was trying to find these protesters, but the first day we couldn’t find anyone. So, the second day, we found some people, and we started protesting, but it wasn’t that serious. The third day, it was really serious, and the fourth day it was really serious. And then, we just, you know, joined our brothers and sisters down here in front of the court, and we started getting united and just, you know, telling people what we want, telling what we had to say. We started chanting and writing signs and just doing all of what we can do.

ANJALI KAMAT: What inspired you to get involved with the 17th demonstration?

MOHAMMED NABBOUS: The system. I mean, me, myself, I wasn’t actually damaged by the system that much, but other peoples are really suffering from this system, so it’s not fair. Not because I am—I am happily, I mean, living a normal life, that means everybody else is. I mean, even some people were telling me, "Why are you on the streets? Why are you demonstrating? You have nothing to complain. You have everything. Why are you here?” I was like, "It doesn’t matter. I mean, there are other people that I can see they are suffering, and they need more. And if my country is better, I’m going to be even better."

[I'm thinking--Hmmm, " I wasn’t actually damaged by the system that much, but other peoples are really suffering from this system. . . . I mean, there are other people that I can see they are suffering, and they need more. And if my country is better, I’m going to be even better." Even though I am not from an identifiable tribe, maybe the U.N. can help the millions of poor and disenfranchised in our country, and support the rehabilitation of unions for our working people? Should we start in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, or just where? Maybe some civilized medical benefits like in Western Europe? A national no-corporate dominance zone? Must be dreaming again.]

"Howling Hypocrisy" part 3

Ancient Poison Bears New Fruit: Western Frenzy Grows in Libya

MONDAY, 21 MARCH 2011 00:36

The American war against Libya grew in intensity on Sunday, raining death in all directions -- including on civilian vehicles and Libyan forces in full retreat. Behind the full-scale barrage launched by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, the armed opposition led by recent henchmen of Moamar Gadafy pressed forward in a military offensive. Libyan soldiers were gunned down as they fled -- a reprise of the "turkey shoot" American forces conducted on retreating Iraqis back in the first glorious Gulf War. 

(But weren't they supposed to retreat? Wasn't that the purpose of the UN directive? Oh, it's so confusing!)

Here's what happened today, following yesterday's hell-storm of 110 Tomahawk missiles:

American warplanes became more involved on Sunday, with B-2 stealth bombers, F-16 and F-15 fighter jets and Harrier attack jets flown by the Marine Corps striking at Libyan ground forces, air defenses and airfields, while Navy electronic warplanes, EA-18G Growlers, jammed Libyan radar and communications ... 

Rebel forces ... began to regroup in the east as allied warplanes destroyed dozens of government armored vehicles near the rebel capital, Benghazi, leaving a field of burned wreckage along the coastal road to the city. By nightfall, the rebels had pressed almost 40 miles back west...

For miles leading south, the roadsides were littered with burned trucks and burned civilian cars. In some places battle tanks had simply been abandoned, intact, as their crews fled. ... To the south, though, many had been hit as they headed away from the city in a headlong dash for escape on the long road leading to a distant Tripoli.

In other words, the "no-fly zone" supposedly imposed to stop the fighting in Libya and secure the safety of its civilians morphed very quickly into what it was always intended to be: a military intervention on behalf of one side of a civil war, leading to more war -- and to many, many more civilian casualties.

Let us put it as plainly as possible: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and Nicolas Sarkozy and the ludicrous upper-class twit called David Cameron do not give one good goddamn about the "security and freedom" of the Libyan people. They simply do not. They care about one thing only: imposing the domination of their monied, militarized elites.

Or as Alexis de Tocqueville put it following his tour of the society that Europeans had imposed -- with great savagery and deceit -- in America:

"The European is to other races of men what man in general is to animate nature. When he cannot bend them to his use or make them serve his self-interests, he destroys them and makes them vanish little by little before him."
. . . .
Support for military action was also muted by deep-seated suspicions that the West is more concerned with securing access to Arab oil supplies than supporting Arab aspirations.

"They are hitting Libya because of the oil, not to protect the Libyans," said Ali al-Jassem, 53, in the village of Sitra in Bahrain, where protests by the Shi'ite Muslim majority against the Sunni ruling Al-Khalifa family have triggered military reinforcement by neighboring Gulf Arab forces.

A spokesman for Bahrain's largest Shi'ite opposition party Wefaq questioned why the West was intervening against Gadhafi while it allowed oil-producing allies to support a crackdown on protesters in Bahrain in which 11 people have been killed.

"We think what is happening in Bahrain is no different to what was happening in Libya," Ibrahim Mattar said. "Bahrain is very small so the deaths are significant for a country where Bahrainis are only 600,000."

Yet on the same day the Peace Laureate was drawing his first blood in Libya with his Zeus-like hurtling of a hundred and ten thunderbolts, his Secretary of State was publicly supporting the Saudi incursion into Bahrain, which enabled the murderous crackdown there. At the same time, American officials admitted that they did, in fact, know of the Saudi incursion in advance -- despite their heartsworn denials just a few days ago.

Again: Obama, Clinton, Sarkozy and Cameron do not give a damn about the killing of unarmed protestors in Bahrain -- any more than they give a damn about the killing of protestors, armed or unarmed, in Libya. It suits their current purposes to wage war in Libya, and so they wage war in Libya. It suits their current purposes to stand with one of the most oppressive and extremist regimes on earth to suppress, with deadly force, the yearning for democracy in Bahrain; so that's what they do.

The Peace Laureate and the bipartisan war-lovers in the American political and media elite tell us over and over that the assault on Libya is a "humanitarian intervention" aimed solely at "protecting the Libyan people." Yet at the same time, the ever-bellicose but often brutally frank Clinton states plainly, in public: "a final result of any negotiations would have to be the decision by Colonel Gadhafi to leave.”

How much plainer can it be? It is not a humanitarian intervention; it is a military operation to impose regime change -- which is, needless to say, patently illegal under the international laws which the US and the UN say they are upholding. But who cares about that?

The fact that anyone takes anything these compulsive, demonstrable liars say at face value, even for a micro-second, is one of the great mysteries of our age. Yet how many oceans of newsprint, how many blizzards of pixels have already been spent in earnest disquisitions on the serious import of their statements!
 . . . .

See URL above for the rest of the article.

Obamaʼs Libya War: Unconstitutional, Naïve, Hypocritical
By Matthew Rothschild
, March 19, 2011

. . . .
Finally, Obamaʼs stated reasons for this war, which he refuses to call by its proper name, are hypocritical and incoherent.

He said “innocent men and women face brutality and death at the hands of their own government.”

Thatʼs true of the people of Yemen, our ally, which just mowed down dozens of peaceful protesters.

Thatʼs true of the people of Bahrain, our ally, which also just mowed down dozens of peaceful protesters.

Then thereʼs the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, our chief Arab ally and a repressive government in its own right, which just rolled its tanks into Bahrain.

In the Ivory Coast today, another country on good terms with Washington, a dictatorial government is brutalizing its people.

And a brutal junta has ruled the people of Burma for decades now.

There is no consistent humanitarian standard for Obamaʼs war against Libya. None whatsoever. Obama has now pushed the United States to a place where we are now engaged in three wars simultaneously. [four if you count Pakistan-Chris]

Heʼs a man, and weʼre a country, that has gone crazy on war.''

See URL above for whole article.

Protecting Libyan Civilians, Not Others
By Robert Parry

March 20, 2011

Even if you think that the incipient Libyan civil war was an unfolding humanitarian tragedy that justified some international intervention, it is hard not to take note of the endless double standards and selective outrage that pervade U.S. foreign policy.

For instance, there’s the parallel hypocrisy in Washington’s tepid reaction to the invasion of Bahrain by military forces from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, supporting a brutal crackdown on prodemocracy demonstrators by Bahrain’s king. Where are the warnings of a muscular Western response in the home port of the U.S. Fifth Fleet?

Indeed, many Washington policymakers and pundits quietly justify the Saudi/UAE military action by noting that the protesters are part of Bahrain’s Shiite majority who might favor closer ties to Shiite-ruled Iran if some form of democracy came to the island kingdom.

Since Iran is considered a U.S. adversary – and because the Sunni-run Persian Gulf sheikdoms provide lots of oil to the West – Realpolitik suddenly takes over. The principles of majority rule and human rights are shoved into the back seat.

Similarly, when Yemen, a key U.S. ally in the “war on terror,” opens fire on pro-democracy protesters, there’s only a little finger-waving, no international clamor for a military intervention.

Of course, this double standard is even more striking when it is Israel killing civilians – such as when it escalated minor border clashes into full-scale assaults against nearby enemies, inflicting heavy civilian losses in Lebanon in 2006 and in Gaza in 2008-09, not to mention Israel’s repeated assaults on Palestinians in the West Bank.

In such cases, U.S. politicians, including then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, endorsed Israel’s acts of “self-defense.” Prominent columnists like the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer cheered on the mayhem against the Lebanese and the Palestinians as a justifiable collective punishment for them tolerating Hezbollah and Hamas. . . . .

See URL above for rest of article.


When polled, American have repeatedly said they do not think the Afghan War is worth fighting. In polls over the last year, the CNN poll returned numbers in the range of 52 to 63% against the war.

Last week, the House voted on a bill, H CON RES 28, sponsored in part by Dennis Kucinich, to end the war and bring the troops home.

The bill:

On Agreeing to the Resolution
Directing the President, Pursuant to Section 5(C) of the War Powers Resolution, to Remove the United States Armed Forces From Afghanistan.

The war-mongering House of Representatives voted 321 to 93 against bringing the troops home. Our "democracy" produces these undemocratic results all the time on issue after issue where the people feel one way on an important policies but are overruled by their "representatives."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wallowa History & Wildlife News--Nez Perce, Wolves and Bison

In this Edition:

- The Nez Perce: A Sometimes Un-recognized Piece of Wallowa County History

- Wolf News

- Wild Bison Herd in Wallowa County

- "Inside Job"--Another "must see" documentary

- Quote on war from an American living in Norway

- Nuclear Nightmare


The Nez Perce: A Sometimes Un-recognized Piece of Wallowa County History

My best friend was going through her files today and discovered a bit of history from Wallowa County. It was an old 1985 brochure from the Forest Service titled "Nee-Me-Poo National Recreational Trail."

This from the portion under the heading of "History:"

The Nez Perce Treaty of 1855 reserved vast areas of land for the Nez Perce Indian Tribe. The land stretched from what is now central Idaho to the eastern edges of both Washington and Oregon. Tucked remotely away in the Oregon allotment was the beautiful and fertile Wallowa Valley. Here, among the picturesque setting and the superior hunting grounds, Chief Tu-eka-kas (Chief Joseph's father) and his band of Nez Perce lived peacefully. For unnumbered generations the Wallowa Valley had been the home of their ancestors.

Hostilities began when settlers and cattlemen increasingly trespassed upon the Indian's land. In 1861, when gold was discovered in Orofino, Idaho, 10,000 miners invaded their home land in search of the precious mineral. The friendly Indians became restless.

In 1863, the U.S. Government offered a new treaty in an attempt to pacify the new settlers and give unobstructed access to the newly discovered mines, Chief Tu-eka-kas refused to sign the treaty because it totally excluded the Wallowa Valley and outlying areas from the Indian's land. However, a number of Chiefs whose interests were not affected, signed the new treaty and the Government contended that all the Nez Perce were bound. Tu-eka-kas and his tribe were to leave the Wallowa Valley and move to the newly designated Lapwai reservation In Idaho.

Tu-eka-kas Ignored the treaty, and despite grievances against the Government, skillfully maintained peace with the settlers. He and his people remained in the Wallowa Valley until his death.

With Tu-eka-kas now in his grave, the mantle of authority fell upon Joseph. His young braves were held in check in spite of the growing resentment felt at losing more land and horses to an increasing white population. The Government continued to urge Joseph to give up the land peacefully and move his people to the reservation.

Finally, in the spring of1877, General Howard of the United States Army became impatient and notified Chief Joseph that he must move within 30 days or be driven out by soldiers. Joseph, realizing the unfavorable odds of a fight With the U.S. Army, reluctantly agreed to move. The disappointed tribe dismantled their Wallowa Valley camp for the last time in late May of 1877, moving off toward the Snake River.

Chief Josephs band consisted of approximately 400 indians, including about 64 braves, ages 16 and over. They took over 1,000 head of horses and cattle, leaving much of their stock behind. The Nee-Me-Poo National Recreation Trail was the route followed to the Snake River.

After crossing the Snake River, Joseph's people joined with other bands of Nez Perce and a small group of Palouses. Thereafter, the historical Nez Perce War began, turning the peaceful journey into a flight for freedom and sanctuary in Canada.

Every mile of the retreat brought danger. Aided by Chlef Joseph's surpassing military genius, the Nez Perce confused and outwitted the 2,000 regular troops of the United States Army. Though the warriors were encumbered with women, children and the elderly throughout their flight, they were able to outdistance the fresh troops continually appearing in their path.

Joseph and his people came to the end of their bloody trail in the Bear Paw Mountains of Montana, only 30 miles from the Canadian refuge. Hemmed in by winter snow the Indians were besieged by the U.S. Army and forced to surrender. After three months of unquestionable grief, anxiety and hardship, Joseph, in a pathetic, yet dramatic surrender, said: "From where the sun now shines, I shall fight no more forever."

Wikipedia account: Nez Perce War

And: The Nez Perce (Nee-Me-Poo) National Historic Trail (print brochure)

Wolf News

Interior Announces Proposed Settlement of Gray Wolf Lawsuit

Terms of Proposed Agreement: Endangered Species Act (ESA) Protections for Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

Western Watersheds Project Doesn't agree (via email report)

Western Watersheds Project Continues to Fight For Wolves In The Northern Rocky Mountains

. . . .

As political pressure grows to delist wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains Western Watersheds Project stands up to the pressure.

Several of WWP's co-plaintiffs in litigation that successfully re-instated Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in August 2010 have agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and are asking the federal court for Montana to partially vacate that decision and delist wolves in Idaho and Montana from protections of the Endangered Species Act.
. . . .
Western Watersheds Project along with our co-plaintiffs the Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Friends of the Clearwater oppose the proposed settlement and will ask the federal court to deny the request to partially vacate its August 2010 decision and delist wolves in Idaho and Montana.

Western Watersheds Project does not support the settlement for the following reasons:

- The settlement will result in wolves being killed in Idaho and Montana beyond their ability to recover a viable population.

- Western Watersheds Project supports the laws of the United States. The proposed settlement asks a federal judge to authorize the breaking of federal law.

- The proposed settlement includes no requirements to protect any specific minimum number of wolves in Idaho and Montana.

- Western Watersheds Project does not believe that this proposed settlement will prevent or dissuade Congress from taking legislative action to delist wolves.

Western Watersheds Project is committed by science and law to the protection of wolves across the United States.

Please Support Western Watersheds Project

• Defenders of Wildlife
Settlement reached on wolf recovery in Idaho and Montana
Wolves to remain protected in Oregon and Washington

Q&A--Settlement of Litigation over Endangered Species Act Protections for Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolves

8. Who are the Settling Plaintiffs?
Defenders of Wildlife
Natural Resources Defense Council
Sierra Club
Center for Biological Diversity
Hells Canyon Preservation Council
Greater Yellowstone Coalition
Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance
Oregon Wild
Cascadia Wildlands Project
Wildlands Network (formerly the Wildlands Project)

9. Who are the non-Settling Plaintiffs?
Alliance for the Wild Rockies
Humane Society of the United States
Friends of the Clearwater
Western Watersheds Project


No comment right now on death of female wolf that could have expanded wolf numbers:

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Contact: Michelle Dennehy (503) 947-6022, (503) 931-2748
Internet: Fax: (541) 947-6009
For Immediate Release March 16, 2011

Cause of Imnaha wolf’s death unclear

LA GRANDE, Ore.—The exact cause of death for the Imnaha wolf found dead in early March is unclear.

Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory ran several tests on the carcass looking for injuries, disease and toxins but test results did not point to a specific cause of death.

The only abnormal finding was some internal hemorrhage in the wolf’s chest cavity. Forensic analysis did not point to a clear cause of the hemorrhage but biologists believe the hemorrhage may have contributed to the wolf’s death.

While the cause of the wolf’s death is unclear, wildlife managers acknowledge that capture-related deaths of wildlife can happen.

Wildlife managers take several steps to reduce the risk of injury during capture efforts, including blindfolding the animal (to protect eyes and reduce stress), cooling or warming the animal as needed, providing sedatives when necessary, and having a veterinarian on site.

All the above steps were taken with this wolf. According to the veterinarian and wildlife biologists at the capture site, no problems were observed when the wolf was released. Radio tracking data indicated that the wolf recovered and traveled at least five miles after the collaring.

Wild Bison Herd in Wallowa County

Wild herd of bison roams base of Wallowa Mountains in Oregon
Published: Saturday, March 19, 2011, 1:00 PM Updated: Saturday, March 19, 2011, 7:20 PM
By Richard Cockle, The Oregonian

Before the white settlement era, bison shared eastern Oregon with deer, elk, bears and wolves. Nevertheless, they aren't wildlife under Oregon law. And while their meat is prominent in supermarkets and restaurant menus, they aren't livestock, either.

They are private property and considered domestic animals -- similar to peacocks and llamas, said Rodger Huffman, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Agriculture's Animal Health and Identification Division.

Bison found grazing on private or public lands without grazing rights are trespassing, Huffman said. That makes for a thorny issue in this case because the herd has no owner.


"Inside Job"--Another "must see" documentary

Watched "Inside Job" last night--very impressive and even more important documentary--which may have something to do with it winning the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature (not that I would normally pay any attention to the Academy Awards, but sometimes they do the right thing.)

You can get "Inside Job" at Redbox and probably Blockbuster box outlets in Baker City for a buck, or order it on NetFlix.

Here is an interesting review from Inside Job-Amazon.

217 of 224 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars

A must-see movie, October 19, 2010
By Domenico Rosa -

This priceless documentary presents a devastating expose of the staggering Wall Street swindle that caused the economic meltdown of 2008. The interview with Martin Feldstein brought back to mind the hoopla of his appointment as chief economic adviser to President Reagan. The movie points out that Feldstein initiated the financial deregulation follies that led to the looting of the Savings and Loans and culminated with the passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, the lead sponsor of which was Senator Phil Gramm. It was truly depressing to see how this massive swindle was pulled off through the collusion of the economic advisers, politicians, high-flown professors of economics with scandalous and highly unethical conflicts-of-interest, investment banks, and ratings agencies. At the end of "Inside Job," Robert Gnaizda lists various groups that should be prosecuted. When asked why this has not been done, he answered: "It's a Wall Street government!"

Some of the topics in the movie were covered in the FRONTLINE broadcast "Inside the Meltdown" and in the FRONTLINE broadcast "The Warning." The latter exposed how Brookley Born was sabotaged by Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin and Larry Summers--the Troika that is directly responsible for the massive fraud perpetrated by the Wall Street crowd.

It is reassuring to see that some members of Congress were competent. Senator Byron Dorgan (D. North Dakota) voted against his own party, predicting that the repeal of Glass-Steagall would lead to massive taxpayer bailouts. On 19 September 2009, Senator Dorgan was interviewed by Scott Simon on "Weekend Edition Saturday." The following is from the transcript at:

Sen. DORGAN: Well, I mean, it does precious little to say I told you so, but this was 10 years ago on the floor of the U.S. Senate. At the time, I said I thought it was a huge mistake and, you know, I was critical of the Clinton administration and critical of the Republicans in Congress who were pushing it.

But what I said is I think within a decade we're going to see massive taxpayer bailouts. I didn't necessarily know that for sure but it turns out my prognostication was a pretty expensive lesson. Because it made no sense that we should repeal Glass-Steagall and the protections that were put in place after the Great Depression.

And the result of that, in my judgment, was to steer this economy into the ditch and cause a significant economic wreck that's going to take us some time to get out of.

SIMON: The timing is something that intrigues me, 'cause you said this in 1999, whereas you note your party was in party.

Sen. DORGAN: Uh-huh. Well, but let me just say to you that the legislation that was passed by the Congress was called Gramm-Leach-Bliley--all three Republicans. Phil Gramm--those three Republicans led the approach. It was Republican legislation but warmly embraced by President Clinton, Secretary of Treasury Rubin and so on.

But I was one of eight U.S. senators that went to the floor of the Senate repeatedly in opposition to what they were doing. And, you know, as I said, I made some prognostications and say if we do this we're going to see massive taxpayer bailouts in the future.

And unfortunately, that has been the case.

"Inside Job" goes much deeper in exposing the extensive unethical conduct and shameless conflicts-of-interest of so many professors of economics, especially Frederic Mishkin, a governor at the Federal Reserve until August 2008 and now at Columbia University. According to the movie, he co-authored a fraudulent paper "The Stability of Icelandic Banks," without divulging that he had been paid $124,000 by the Iceland Chamber of Commerce to write it. In his current list of publications, he has changed the title to "The Instability ..." John Campbell, the chairman of Harvard's department of economics is left speechless--with a bewildered facial expression--when he is asked about the conflicts-of-interest of his department members.

How can anyone believe anything that is published by economists?


Quote from an American living in Norway:
"The disparity between what we are told or what we believe about war and war itself is so vast that those who come back are often rendered speechless. What do you say to those who advocate war as an instrument to liberate the women of Afghanistan or bring democracy to Iraq? How do you tell them what war is like? How do you explain that the very proposition of war as an instrument of virtue is absurd? How do you cope with memories of children bleeding to death with bits of iron fragments peppered throughout their small bodies? How do you speak of war without tears?"

From The Photographer by Emmanuel Guibert

From Jay Hanson (& Ralph Nader):
Nuclear Nightmare

The unfolding multiple nuclear reactor catastrophe in Japan is prompting overdue attention to the 104 nuclear plants in the United States—many of them aging, many of them near earthquake faults, some on the west coast exposed to potential tsunamis.

Nuclear power plants boil water to produce steam to turn turbines that generate electricity. Nuclear power’s overly complex fuel cycle begins with uranium mines and ends with deadly radioactive wastes for which there still are no permanent storage facilities to contain them for tens of thousands of years.

Atomic power plants generate 20 percent of the nation’s electricity. Over forty years ago, the industry’s promoter and regulator, the Atomic Energy Commission estimated that a full nuclear meltdown could contaminate an area “the size of Pennsylvania” and cause massive casualties. You, the taxpayers, have heavily subsidized nuclear power research, development, and promotion from day one with tens of billions of dollars.

Because of many costs, perils, close calls at various reactors, and the partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania in 1979, there has not been a nuclear power plant built in the United States since 1974.

Now the industry is coming back “on your back” claiming it will help reduce global warming from fossil fuel emitted greenhouse gases.

Pushed aggressively by President Obama and Energy Secretary Chu, who refuses to meet with longtime nuclear industry critics, here is what “on your back” means:

1. Wall Street will not finance new nuclear plants without a 100% taxpayer loan guarantee. Too risky. That’s a lot of guarantee given that new nukes cost $12 billion each, assuming no mishaps. Obama and the Congress are OK with that arrangement.

2. Nuclear power is uninsurable in the private insurance market—too risky. Under the Price-Anderson Act, taxpayers pay the greatest cost of a meltdown’s devastation.

3. Nuclear power plants and transports of radioactive wastes are a national security nightmare for the Department of Homeland Security. Imagine the target that thousands of vulnerable spent fuel rods present for sabotage.

4. Guess who pays for whatever final waste repositories are licensed? You the taxpayer and your descendants as far as your gene line persists. Huge decommissioning costs, at the end of a nuclear plant’s existence come from the ratepayers’ pockets.

5. Nuclear plant disasters present impossible evacuation burdens for those living anywhere near a plant, especially if time is short.

Imagine evacuating the long-troubled Indian Point plants 26 miles north of New York City. Workers in that region have a hard enough time evacuating their places of employment during 5 pm rush hour. That’s one reason Secretary of State Clinton (in her time as Senator of New York) and Governor Andrew Cuomo called for the shutdown of Indian Point.

6. Nuclear power is both uneconomical and unnecessary. It can’t compete against energy conservation, including cogeneration, windpower and ever more efficient, quicker, safer, renewable forms of providing electricity. Amory Lovins argues this point convincingly (see Physicist Lovins asserts that nuclear power “will reduce and retard climate protection.” His reasoning: shifting the tens of billions invested in nuclear power to efficiency and renewables reduce far more carbon per dollar (WHY A FUTURE FOR THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY IS RISKY). The country should move deliberately to shutdown nuclear plants, starting with the aging and seismically threatened reactors. Peter Bradford, a former Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) commissioner has also made a compelling case against nuclear power on economic and safety grounds ((WHY A FUTURE FOR THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY IS RISKY)).

There is far more for ratepayers, taxpayers and families near nuclear plants to find out. Here’s how you can start:

1. Demand public hearings in your communities where there is a nuke, sponsored either by your member of Congress or the NRC, to put the facts, risks and evacuation plans on the table. Insist that the critics as well as the proponents testify and cross-examine each other in front of you and the media.

2. If you call yourself conservative, ask why nuclear power requires such huge amounts of your tax dollars and guarantees and can’t buy adequate private insurance. If you have a small business that can’t buy insurance because what you do is too risky, you don’t stay in business.

3. If you are an environmentalist, ask why nuclear power isn’t required to meet a cost-efficient market test against investments in energy conservation and renewables.

4. If you understand traffic congestion, ask for an actual real life evacuation drill for those living and working 10 miles around the plant (some scientists think it should be at least 25 miles) and watch the hemming and hawing from proponents of nuclear power.

The people in northern Japan may lose their land, homes, relatives, and friends as a result of a dangerous technology designed simply to boil water. There are better ways to generate steam.

Like the troubled Japanese nuclear plants, the Indian Point plants and the four plants at San Onofre and Diablo Canyon in southern California rest near earthquake faults. The seismologists concur that there is a 94% chance of a big earthquake in California within the next thirty years. Obama, Chu and the powerful nuke industry must not be allowed to force the American people to play Russian Roulette!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Howling Hypocrisy--part two: Selective "humanitarianism" and the subsequent slaughters

Edited/Updated 3/20/11

If hypocrites are bad or evil, even when they don't perceive their own deception, then what can be said about those in our government, or said about the global mafia Don's running other western nations, who intentionally deceive their people for the sake of theft, murder, mayhem and utterly debased criminality? -- Chris

A very good blog with updates on the Libya situation can be found here:


Also, follow Jason Ditz on

Arab League Slams Libya Attacks Amid Reports of Growing Civilian Toll
Posted By Jason Ditz On March 20, 2011 @ 9:13 am

The escalation of the Western intervention has come much faster than anyone imagined, from a Thursday approval of a no-fly zone to mass air strikes on Saturday. Still, with Saturday also serving as the eight-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, the notion that such a resolution would fall victim to “mission creep” should not come as a surprise.

Russia, Arab League, India Blast U.S.-NATO Indiscriminate Use Of Military Force In Libya
Anti-Gaddafi coalition hits civilians – Russia

Voice of Russia

March 20, 2011
Coalition bombs and rockets destroyed roads, bridges and a heart clinic, leaving 65 civilians dead and over 150 injured.

Mr Lukashevich called attention to the fact that the Libya resolution of the UN Security Council, although dubious, clearly demands that the coalition protect Libyan civilians, not kill them.


Washington and the Civilians of Libya

By Professor Lawrence Davidson

March 19, 2011 "Information Clearing House" --
Whether you believe that the United Nations resolution authorizing extensive intervention in the Libyan civil war is justified or not, and whether you believe that the admittedly eccentric forty two year rule of Muammar Gadhafi over a complex and fractious tribal society has been cruel or not, there is one thing that all objective observers should be able to agree on. All should agree that the rationale put forth by the United States government for supporting the impending NATO intervention, that this action is to be taken to bring about an immediate end to attacks on civilians, is one of the biggest acts of hypocrisy in a modern era ridden with hypocrisy.

There is, of course, no arguing with the principle put forth. The protection of civilians in times of warfare, a moral good in itself, is a requirement of international law. Yet it is a requirement that is almost always ignored. And no great power has ignored it more than the United States. In Iraq the civilian death count due to the American invasion may well have approached one million. In Afghanistan, again directly due to the war initiated by U.S. intervention, civilian deaths between 2007 and 2010 are estimated at about 10,000. In Vietnam, United States military intervention managed to reduce the civilian population by about two million.

And then there is United States protection of the Israeli process of ethnic cleansing in Palestine. America’s hypocrisy as Washington consistently does nothting about the Israeli blockade of Gaza and the slow reduction of a million and half Gazans to poverty and malnutrition. And, finally, the unforgettable hypocrisy inherent in U.S. support for the 2009 Israeli invasion of that tiny and crowded enclave. The 2009 invasion was the most striking example of an outright attack on civilians and civilian infrastructure since the World War II. And the American government supported every single moment of it.

Thus, when President Obama gets up before the TV cameras and tells us that Libyan civilians have to be protected, when UN ambassador Susan Rice tells us that the aim of the UN resolution is to safeguard Libya’s civilian population and bring those who attack civilians, including Gadhafi, before the International Criminal Court, a certain sense of nausea starts to gather in the pit of one’s stomach. If Washington wants regime change in Libya, which is almost certainly the case, government spokespersons ought to just say it and spare us all a feeling of spiritual despair worthy of Soren Kieregaard!

It was Oscar Wilde who once said that "the true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity." I think that politicians learn, some easier than others, to live their lives like this. And, as I have said before, the only way they can be successful in sharing their delusions with the rest of us is that the majority do not have the contextual knowledge to analyze and make accurate judgments on their utterances. The successful hypocrite and his or her ignorant audience go hand in hand.

Professor Lawrence Davidson Department of History West Chester University -

The UN Security Council Has Not Authorized Regime Change in Libya

By Robert Naiman
March 18, 2011 "Information Clearing House" ---

It's a great thing that the Obama Administration has resisted calls for unilateral U.S. military action in Libya, and instead is working through the United Nations Security Council, as it is required to do by the United Nations Charter.

Now, the Administration needs to follow through on this commitment to international law by ensuring that foreign military intervention remains within the four corners of what the UN Security Council has approved. If it does not, and instead Western powers take the view that we now have a blank check to do whatever we want, the certain consequence will be that it will be much more difficult to achieve Security Council action in a similar situation in the future, and those who complain that the Security Council is too cautious will have only themselves to blame.

Some of the reporting on the Security Council resolution has been misleading. The Security Council has not authorized military action for any purpose. The Security Council has authorized military action necessary to protect civilians. It has not authorized military action to overthrow the Libyan government. Clearly, some people do want foreign military action to assist in the overthrow of the Libyan government, but such action has not been approved by the Security Council.

The text of the UN Security Council resolution can be found here. . . . .


Selective nature of UN intervention
Sasha Simic

March 19, 2011 "The Guardian" --

When Israel bombed Gaza at the end of 2008 in a brutal action which killed 1,300 people and destroyed 20,000 buildings, there was no question of the US allowing the UN to impose a no-fly zone over Gaza to protect its people, 50% of which are children. Those who support the UN security council's authorisation of a no-fly zone over Libya (Britain, France and US line up for air strikes against Gaddafi, 18 March) need to reflect on the selective nature of UN intervention throughout the world and in the Middle East in particular.

The UN will not be intervening in the Libyan revolution to protect civilians from Gaddafi's brutality. It will go in to further the interests of the world's major powers in the region. It will be an imperialist action, not a humanitarian one. After the bloodshed it produced in Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan, the doctrine of "humanitarian military intervention" should be discredited beyond rehabilitation. The west is a major source of the problems of the Middle East and north Africa. It's not part of the solution, even when its troops wear blue helmets.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Japan's Tsunami, Nuclear Energy, & Energy/People/Earth Future

The earthquake/tsunami created nuclear crisis in Japan will hopefully focus everyone's attention on the issue of energy, technology, and human population growth. Human population growth requires energy to support a decent quality of life that the earth is likely unable to provide at current levels. This post attempts to provide links that give the reader information on the tsunami's effects on human populations in Japan, some information on the science that explains what is happening in Japan's nuclear facilities and what could happen here, threats of radiation from partial melt down of nuclear facilities in Japan or elsewhere, concerns about the safety of US nuclear plants, the requirements placed on energy production by population growth, and more. Nuclear energy provides around 20% (or less) of our energy consumption.

Energy, whether from fossil fuels, nuclear fission, or renewables, is a necessity to sustain the burgeoning population of humans and their life sustaining activities, whether it be in Japan, the US & the West, or developing nations in China, India, and elsewhere. Shortages, especially long-term ever increasing shortages in energy, from fossil fuels (See also Wikileaks goes peak-oil wild in Saudi Arabia … or did it?) and nuclear, will lead human populations and their societies towards collapse. Having ignored forty years of warnings to develop renewables and reduce population, humans desperate for energy will take increasing risks to get it with attendant assurances of safety from corporate government. More oil wars and severe economic deterioration are a near certainty if nations refuse to cooperate. This is where we are heading due to our own shortsightedness and inability in the social and political arenas to restrain population growth.

Obama and Health Care, etc., plus Edward Abbey Tidbit on Growth & Population
Abbey's comment on nuclear energy (December 1982):

"EA) I find nuclear power very unappealing, first of all because it's undemocratic; it centralizes control. It puts our lives and livelihoods in the hands of a very few people, probably one big utility, one big public agency over which the public has very little control. And of course there are the well known dangers of it. (Editor's note: Abbey gave this interview five years before the nuclear disaster at Chernoble) There's no guarantee that these nuclear plants won't break down, melt down and maybe force the evacuation of the entire city of Phoenix someday. And it's a very expensive form of power; I don't know the economic details but it may turn out to cost more that it's worth...simply in dollars. Nuclear power has been a heavily subsidized industry so far, subsidized by us taxpayers in one way or another and that's how it has survived as long as it has. I doubt if nuclear power would last another 10 years if we had a really free market economy. It's expensive and it's dangerous and it's undemocratic, and uranium mining of course also destroys rangeland again, in some cases wilderness. And the problem of what to do with the nuclear waste has still not been solved. Nobody wants these nuclear waste dumps in their own state."
More links at bottom of this blog article on population issues.


Now on to the tsunami and potential nuclear catastrophe.

Good links for updates:

All Things Nuclear--Insights on Science and Security
Google News

From a friend:
Satellite Photos of Japan, Before and After the Quake and Tsunami
Move the slider from right hand side of photo to the left to compare satellite images--before and after.

Markets plummet on fears of a nuclear meltdown

Democracy Now! Special Coverage on Japan's Nuclear Disaster:

March 15, 2011

Japan Facing Biggest Catastrophe Since Dawn of Nuclear Age (DN! 3/14/11)

Well, it’s hugely significant, and it’s a very, very dangerous situation. I should note that the first reactor at Fukushima is identical to the Vermont Yankee plant, and which is now up for relicensing and which the people of Vermont are trying to shut. And we should also note that this kind of accident, this kind of disaster, could have occurred at four reactors in California, had the 9.0-Richter-scale earthquake hit close to Diablo Canyon at San Luis Obispo or San Onofre between L.A. and San Diego. We could very well now be watching Los Angeles or San Diego being evacuated, had this kind of thing happened in California. And, of course, the issue is the same in Vermont. There are 23 reactors in the United States that are identical or close to identical to the first Fukushima reactor.

Now, this exposure of fuel is about as bad as it gets. It means that these fuel rods, superheated fuel rods, could melt if they are exposed to water, which they’re trying to pour water in there. It could create radioactive steam, conceivably blow off the containment and result in another Chernobyl and a horrific, horrendous release of radiation that could, and in fact would, come to the United States within a week or so, as the Chernobyl radiation came to California within 10 days. This is about as bad as it gets. And we are not 100 percent sure we’re getting fully accurate information. We only know that the worst case scenario is very much a possibility. There are 10 reactors at the Fukushima site—two separate sites, one with six reactors and one with four. And the fact that a U.S. aircraft carrier has detected significant radiation 60 miles away is very much a dangerous sign. It means that radiation releases are ongoing and probably will only get worse.
See for current information.
. . . .

KEVIN KAMPS: Yes, Amy, as your Japanese guest said, the cores of at least three reactors now at Fukushima Daiichi are uncovered from water, and so, therefore, a meltdown is likely underway at three reactors. Something that has not gotten much mention yet are the pools of high-level radioactive waste at these very same reactors, which also need cooling. They need electricity to cool, to circulate the water with circulation pumps. And each of the—well, two of these three reactors have suffered explosions, as your guests may have seen online in videos. And the pools that hold the high-level radioactive waste are located above, just slightly above, and to the right of the reactors. So, our hope and our prayer at this point is that not only the reactor itself, the containment around the reactor, but also the pools, which contain massive amounts of radioactivity, have somehow remained intact. That’s what the officials are saying. As Harvey said, we don’t know whether to believe them or not.

In the pools, you have a lot of radioactive waste, which contains a lot of hazardous radioactivity. And now, because those explosions took place at two of those reactors, that is open to the sky at this point. There is no roof or walls over the pools. And the hope is—but we have indications that at Fukushima Daiichi unit 1, that the pool is experiencing difficulty in cooling the waste, because electricity has been lost. They lost the electricity grid with the earthquake. They lost the emergency diesel generators with the tsunami. The backup batteries only had a life of four to eight hours. That’s long passed.

And I just wanted to comment on what Fertel of Nuclear Energy Institute said—"Oh, we have great earthquake regulations in the United States." The reactor that got me involved in this issue, in southwest Michigan, Palisades nuclear power plant, has been storing its high-level radioactive waste in outdoor silos of concrete and steel on the beach of Lake Michigan, a hundred yards from the water, in violation of NRC earthquake regulations since 1993. An NRC whistleblower in Chicago called attention to this problem in 1994. Nothing’s been done. There are two dozen containers, dry casks, of high-level radioactive waste next to the drinking water supply for 40 million people downstream in the U.S. and Canada, in violation of NRC earthquake regulations.

And another reactor in the U.S., Fermi 2, also in Michigan, just another example of how safety is being just thrown to the wind, the emergency diesel generators, which have proven to be such a central component of this disaster in Japan, because they were located vulnerable to the tsunami—what appears to have happened is the tsunami flooded the basements where these emergency diesel generator connections are at. So, even though they brought in mobile units, new emergency diesel generators, to hook them up to run the safety systems, the basements were flooded, where they needed to do the hook-up. Well, at Fermi 2 in Michigan, again, the same exact design as the Fukushima Daiichi unit 1, the emergency diesel generators in the year 2006 were discovered to have not been operable for 20 years. From 1986 to 2006, the emergency diesel generators at Fermi 2 in Michigan would not have operated if called upon. So, thank God that they were not needed during that 20-year period of time, or we could have lost Detroit, or we could have lost Toledo, or we could have lost Windsor, Ontario. That’s the level of safety with the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the industry in this country.

AMY GOODMAN: You have said, Kevin Kamps, that a cover-up is a huge part of this story, as it was with Chernobyl. Why?

KEVIN KAMPS: Well, I mean, as Harvey indicated, if the U.S. Navy—and as you reported—if the U.S. Navy, which is a hundred miles away, has to move an aircraft carrier away from the shore because the radioactivity levels are of concern, then all of these assurances by Tokyo Electric Power Company and the Japanese government that everything’s really OK—I mean, a statement made two days ago by the chief spokesman for the government, the secretary of the cabinet, was that the evacuation is underway, and the wind is blowing out to sea, so everything is really going to be OK. Well, we have indications that the wind direction may change towards the mainland of Japan. So, those false assurances are not helping the situation.

And another question that needs to be asked is, well, if the wind is blowing out to sea, what’s in that direction? Well, the United States is in that direction. And we see, again, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission saying no harmful level of radioactivity could reach the United States. While we’re in the middle of this crisis, a new reactor is now melting down. How did they determine that the containments are going to hold? How did they determine that the radioactivity will not blow in large quantities to the United States?

Nuclear fails the test

Nuclear Rods Melting Inside Three Fukushima Reactors, Japan Admits

Can U.S. Nuclear Plants Handle a Major Natural Disaster?

Union of Concerned Scientists

All Things Nuclear
Insights on Science and Security
Reactor Core Cooling

ABCs of Japan's Nuclear Reactor Disaster

Nuclear Power: A resurgence we Can't Afford

Greenpeace--The latest updates

Articles From Jay Hanson:

Japan Faces Potential Nuclear Disaster as Radiation Levels Rise

Panic swept Tokyo on Tuesday as radiation levels surged there

Japan radioactivity could enter food chain, kids at risk
'For some individuals even a small amount of radiation can raise the risk of cancer'

Japan crisis: third explosion raises spectre of nuclear nightmare

By Gordon Rayner and Martin Evans 11:53PM GMT 14 Mar 2011

A huge explosion hit another reactor at an earthquake-damaged Japanese nuclear power plant early Tuesday, the third blast since Saturday, the plant operator said.

"There was a huge explosion" between 6:00 am (2100 GMT Monday) and 6:15 am at the number-two reactor of Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant, a Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) spokesman said.

The government also reported apparent damage to part of the container shielding the same reactor at Fukushima 250 kilometres (155 miles) northeast of Tokyo, although it was unclear whether this resulted from the blast.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters the suppression pool of the number-two nuclear reactor appeared to have been damaged.

This is the bottom part of the container, which holds water used to cool it down and control air pressure inside.

"But we have not recorded any sudden jump in radiation indicators," Edano added.
Earlier a cloud of radioactive dust billowed from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant after it suffered its second explosion in three days.

Government officials admitted that it was “highly likely” the fuel rods in three separate reactors had started to melt despite repeated efforts to cool them with sea water. Safety officials said they could not rule out a full meltdown as workers struggled to keep temperatures under control in the cores of the reactors.

The Fukushima crisis now rates as a more serious accident than the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in the US in 1979, and is second only to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, according to the French nuclear safety authority. After insisting for three days that the situation was under control, Japan urgently appealed to US and UN nuclear experts for technical help on preventing white-hot fuel rods melting.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it was “unlikely” that the accident would turn into another Chernobyl, but failed to rule it out completely.

US Nuclear Power Policy
The commitment to nuclear power as part of the USA's long-term energy strategy continues with the Obama administration, but there has been a reduction in some nuclear programs as a result of greater emphasis on alternative sources of energy. . . . .
[But perhaps Obama deserves credit for the following. . . .]
State and local governments also have a major impact on the framework and economics of the US nuclear power industry. Deregulation of electricity prices in some states in the 1990s led to greater concentration in nuclear power production. In 1976, a voter referendum in California led to a law that prohibited the construction of new nuclear plants in the nation's largest state and the prohibition still remains in effect. Opposition in the state of Nevada was a key factor in the decision by the new Democratic administration of Barack Obama in early 2009 to abandon the government's long-standing plans for a 70,000 tonne geological repository in that state for disposal of the high-level nuclear waste that has accumulated at reactor sites across the nation. . . . .
Most of the federal programs concerned with civilian use of nuclear energy are run by the DOE's Office of Nuclear Energy, including research and development of next-generation nuclear plants, advanced fuel cycle technology, funding for government-industry partnerships for construction of new reactors, and operations and funding for nuclear energy projects at national laboratories. Budgets for these programs have generally grown in recent years as the US government has sought to meet the goals of energy independence, reduction of carbon emissions and meeting the future demand for electricity. However, under the Obama administration the total level of funding for the Office of Nuclear Energy has been reduced. The major increases in the DOE budget are in the areas of alternative energy sources, such as wind, solar and geothermal, and energy efficiency and conservation. . . . .
The Obama administration's FY 2010 budget request drastically reduced funding for the Nuclear Power 2010 program, with only $20 million requested for that fiscal year, versus $177.5 million for fiscal 2009. The budget cuts brought criticism from the nuclear industry, and the US Congress, which has the final decision on appropriations, allocated $105 million for FY 2010. For FY 2011, the budget request was zero, on the basis that the program had been successfully completed. While the broad outlines of US nuclear policy, on matters such as energy independence and controlling carbon emissions remain the same, each new administration brings shifts in policy.
2009 Polls on Nuclear plants in the back Yard:
In mid-2009, a survey of 1,152 people living within 16 km of 64 nuclear power plants in the USA, but without any personal involvement with them, showed very strong support for new nuclear plants. Some 84% favoured nuclear energy, 90% had a positive view of their local nuclear power plant, and 76% would support construction of a new reactor near them. The survey also found that 88% give the nearest nuclear plant a 'high' safety rating, 91% have confidence in the company’s ability to operate the power plant safely, and 86% believe the company is doing a good job protecting the environment. On nuclear waste, only 56% said it can be safely stored at the plant and 82% said the federal government should get on with developing the Yucca Mountain repository, despite the Obama administration's decision not to proceed with it. A surprising 91% said that the USA should recycle used nuclear fuel. Regarding accurate and reliable sources of information about nuclear energy, various nuclear plant sources were rated 75-76%, compared with environmental groups 42% and anti-nuclear groups 19%.

It was the third time since 2005 that this survey – commissioned by the Nuclear Energy Institute and conducted by Bisconti Research with Quest Global Research – was carried out. The overall findings are slightly more positive than those in 2007, where the researchers concluded that "Nimby (not in my back yard) does not apply at existing plant sites because close neighbours have a positive view of nuclear energy, are familiar with the plant, and believe that the plant benefits the community."

Population Issues:

Jay Hanson's

International Energy Outlook 2010
Economic trends and population growth drive commercial-sector activity and the resulting energy use. The need for services (health, education, financial, and government) increases as populations increase. The degree to which additional needs are met depends in large measure on economic resources—whether from domestic or foreign sources—and economic growth.

How Refreshing! Center for Biological Diversity and Kieran Suckling Tells It Like It Is!

Center For Biological Diversity Takes On Population Growth

The Elephant in the Climate Change Living Room Revisited

Hell on Earth

Calculating Growth, Doubling Times, and etc.
Calculating Growth: What does Baker City's "Slow Growth Option" really mean?