Thursday, August 21, 2008
News fashioned by the people in charge, the corporations and your government. Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine.
"The good news is that, at the present rate of progress, reliable missile defence is only 50 years away. The bad news is that it has been 50 years away for the past six decades.
The system has been in development since 1946, and so far it has achieved a grand total of nothing. You wouldn't know it if you read the press releases published by the Pentagon's missile defense agency: the word "success" features more often than any other noun. It is true that the programme has managed to hit two out of the five missiles fired over the past five years during tests of its main component, the ground-based midcourse missile defence (GMD) system. But, sadly, these tests bear no relation to anything resembling a real nuclear strike.
All the trials run so far - successful or otherwise - have been rigged. The target, its type, trajectory and destination, are known before the test begins... In order to try to enhance the appearance of success, recent flight tests have become even less realistic: the agency has now stopped using decoys altogether when testing its GMD system...
If we seek to understand American foreign policy in terms of a rational engagement with international problems, or even as an effective means of projecting power, we are looking in the wrong place. The government's interests have always been provincial. It seeks to appease lobbyists, shift public opinion at crucial stages of the political cycle, accommodate crazy Christian fantasies and pander to television companies run by eccentric billionaires. The US does not really have a foreign policy. It has a series of domestic policies which it projects beyond its borders. That they threaten the world with 57 varieties of destruction is of no concern to the current administration. The only question of interest is who gets paid and what the political kickbacks will be."
--->150 billion on a scam? How is it that the US media can't figure this out? This analysis is from the Guardian in the UK. Don't look for such honesty in the pages of the NY Times.
"WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is refusing to disclose records about a new class of pesticides that could be playing a role in the disappearance of millions of honeybees in the United States, a lawsuit filed Monday charges.
The Natural Resources Defense Council wants to see the studies that the EPA required when it approved a pesticide made by Bayer CropScience five years ago. The environmental group filed the suit as part of an effort to find out how diligently the EPA is protecting honeybees from dangerous pesticides, said Aaron Colangelo, a lawyer for the group in Washington.
Bees pollinate about one-third of the human diet, $15 billion worth of U.S. crops...Clothianidin is the pesticide at the center of controversy. It is used to coat corn, sugar beet and sorghum seeds and is part of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids. The pesticide was blamed for bee deaths in France and Germany, which also is dealing with a colony collapse. Those two countries have suspended its use until further study. An EPA fact sheet from 2003 says clothianidin has the potential for toxic chronic exposure to honey bees, as well as other pollinators, through residues in nectar and pollen."
--->The NY Times has reported on bee deaths (April 24, 2007), but keeps US readers in the dark about chemicals like Clthianidin. The NY Times, like the EPA, puts the profits of chemical companies above the common good.
"Though the national sentiment favors wrapping up the Iraq War, there exists a small but powerful movement for starting a new military conflict with Iran. The bipartisan drumbeats for aggression reverberate throughout the corridors of Congress. House Resolution 362 and Senate Resolution 580, for example, call on the United States to prevent Iran from "acquiring a nuclear weapons capability through all appropriate economic, political, and diplomatic means...The "squeeze Iran" and "confront Iran" positions are strongly encouraged by the increasingly powerful Zionist Christian Fundamentalist community (Christians United for Israel: CUFI).
According to a Nation article, White House officials met with CUFI leaders in 2006 in a series of off-the-record meetings to discuss its policies in the Middle East. "CUFI's Washington lobbyist, David Brog, told me that during the meetings, CUFI representatives pressed White House officials to adopt a more confrontational posture toward Iran, refuse aid to the Palestinians and give Israel a free hand as it ramped up its military conflict with Hezbollah," Blumenthal wrote. Brog, who serves as CUFI's Executive Director, couldn't disclose who CUFI leaders met with at the White House.
--->Christian Zionist organizations pushing for war on Iran? Links to present and past members of the Bush administration (like Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, David Wurmser, Douglas Feith, and Elliott Abrams)? Links to McCain's Reverand Hagee? While the NY Times has reported on such links, it has failed to report the influence of this powerful group on US foreign policy.