Thursday, June 05, 2014

Green Shadow Cabinet:
“The New York Times and Obama's Afghanistan Draw Down: Selling the Never-Ending War on Terror. Mark Landler's "U.S. Troops to Leave Afghanistan by End of 2016" was the lead story … on Wednesday, May 28. Landler reports President Obama's decision to reduce troop levels from the present 32,000 to 9,800 by the end of 2014 to half that by the end of 2015 to ‘a vestigial force’ by the end of 2016. There are several reasons why one ought to be skeptical of these numbers (not least of which are that that Obama for years referred to Afghanistan as ‘a war of necessity,’ he ordered two troop surges during his first term, the number of U.S. paid contractors to remain is not clear, and predictable events may upset the timetable). Landler expresses no such skepticism. …

The only critical voices Landler rounds up are those unhappy with Obama's plans to draw down American forces on what they consider an overly brisk two-year schedule. Code Pink and the American Friends Service Committee—unhappy with the fact that the withdrawal is not immediate and complete—are not to be found in the piece. …

The story fails on another basic level. … He fails to ask a single follow up question of his sources. Landler and his editor let Keane get away with: ‘Just arbitrarily pulling those forces out absolutely risks successful completion of the mission.’ Even a cub reporter and novice editor might have queried Keane as what mission he had in mind, what successful completion of it looked like, and when it might be accomplished.”

—>Selling the war on terror to the American elites has always been a top priority of our newspaper of record.


Common Dreams:
“After months of demanding a hefty administrative fee for the privilege, national archives officials have announced that due to public interest they will post on-line an estimated 2,500 pages of FBI files on iconic activist, patriot, music historian, alleged seditionist and ‘well-known left-wing folk singer’ Pete Seeger, who died in January at 94. With a cogent look at the way the blacklist of the 1950s, like the NSA abuses and any other form of political repression, worked - through not just the actions of those in power, but the infrastructure of support, cooperation and coercion of many others seeking ‘their own personal definition of the good’ that ‘made the machine go.’ With a link to Seeger's memorable appearance before HUAC, when he politely declined to name names but happily offered to sing songs. He was the best.

(Sample from released archives) ‘(Redacted) took the tape home and played same and found that it consisted largely of parodies that were highly inflammatory and derogatory toward the Armed Services of the United States, U.S. defense systems and the FBI....(He) became highly incensed (and his) feelings of revulsion were shared by his family and some neighbors who also heard the tape.’ “

—>To no one’s surprise, The NYT redacted this whole story. Why make the FBI look bad when the history of surveillance can just be omitted? 


Ynet News (the Hebrew Israel News portal):
“Legislation obligates the president to report to Congress every 3 months on Qualitative Military Edge issues for Israel, authorizes provisions for Iron Dome, David's Sling and Arrow 3. The US House of Representatives, controlled by a pro-Israel Republican majority, adopted the National Defense Authorization Act for 2015 that includes the approval of $600 million military aid package for Israel for missile defense.

The bill authorizes $350.9 million for the Iron Dome rocket defense system, that protects from short and medium-range missiles and rockets, and $268.7 million for David's Sling - providing protection from long-range missiles - and Arrow 3 - that could intercept ballistic missiles before they enter the atmosphere. Both David's Sling and Arrow 3 are missile defense programs developed in cooperation with the United States. …

The adoption of the NDAA reiterates that it is ‘the policy of the United States to take all necessary steps to ensure that Israel possesses and maintains an independent capability to remove existential threats to its security and defend its vital national interests,’ an amendment to the act said.”

—>Why remind the American public of the obscene amounts of military aid we send to Israel? Our newspaper of record left this story out.