* NEWS AND WAR REPORT
Source: In Context
In this episode we speak with journalist Rick Rozoff, author of the blog Stop NATO about NATO’s broader plans in the middle east and how they connect to the possible interventions in Syria and Iran. We also speak about how the Chinese and Russians are economically and geopolitically interested in what happens with their allies. Then we speak about the internet phenomenon surrounding the Kony 2012 video from the activist group Invisible Children and how it is most likely slickly crafted war propaganda to get a popular movement behind another intervention into Africa in order to seize the oil in Sudan away from the Chinese. […]
* LIBYA: THE PARTITION BEGINS
By Farirai Chubvu,The Herald Online
When Nato murdered Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in cold blood, observers predicted that his demise would not mark the end of the war but would in fact mark its escalation. Libya has been in
the eye of a storm but now the winds are blowing again. The re-taking of Ben Walid by Gaddafi loyalists and the recent declaration of autonomy by tribal and militia leaders in oil-rich eastern Libya, are just harbingers of the strife to come.
While the NATO-installed head of the Tripoli-based National Transitional Council has threatened the use of “force” to prevent the country’s partition along regional lines, his words are bound to fall on deaf ears for the simple reason that he does not have the authority to back his words. He is just a Western mannequin.
In fact many members of the NTC do not move freely around Libya, with many reported to be sleeping in Malta, across the Mediterranean for fear of reprisals.
Nearly five months after the lynch-mob murder of Libya’s former leader, Muammar Gaddafi, and Nato’s declaration of victory in its war for regime change, the confrontation between Tripoli and Benghazi, the eastern city where the autonomy decision was taken, raises the spectre of civil war. […]
* ARE WE ABOUT TO GET EMBROILED IN A NIGHTMARE WAR WITH IRAN?
By Noam Chomsky, AlterNet
The January/February issue of Foreign Affairs featured the article “Time to Attack Iran: Why a Strike Is the Least Bad Option,” by Matthew Kroenig, along with commentary about other ways to contain the Iranian threat.
The media resound with warnings about a likely Israeli attack on Iran while the U.S. hesitates, keeping open the option of aggression – thus again routinely violating the U.N. Charter, the foundation of international law.
As tensions escalate, eerie echoes of the run-up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are in the air. Feverish U.S. primary campaign rhetoric adds to the drumbeat.
Concerns about “the imminent threat” of Iran are often attributed to the “international community” – code language for U.S. allies. The people of the world, however, tend to see matters rather differently.
The nonaligned countries, a movement with 120 member nations, has vigorously supported Iran’s right to enrich uranium – an opinion shared by the majority of Americans (as surveyed by WorldPublicOpinion.org) before the massive propaganda onslaught of the past two years.
China and Russia oppose U.S. policy on Iran, as does India, which announced that it would disregard U.S. sanctions and increase trade with Iran. Turkey has followed a similar course. […]
* GREECE PRESSES CHARGES OVER ALLEGED ’08 PLOT AGAINST PM
By Dina Kyriakidou, Reuters
A Greek prosecutor pressed charges of treason and trying to destabilize the country against unknown suspects on Wednesday over an alleged 2008 plot to overthrow the then-conservative prime minister, Costas Karamanlis.
Court officials said the plan was hatched to thwart efforts by Karamanlis efforts to improve energy relations with Russia and included overthrowing and even killing the premier. It was not clear who was behind it.
“An investigative prosecutor will now try to locate the persons who devised and organized the plan,” said a court official who requested anonymity.
The official said the charges were prompted by press reports about a Russian document revealing the plot and came after testimony from Greek secret service agents, police and Karamanlis’ security guards.
Karamanlis, who lost elections to the socialists in 2009 in the wake of a series of financial and political scandals, had improved ties with Moscow and advanced plans for a major pipeline to bring Russian gas to western Europe.
The criminal investigation by prosecutor Nikos Ornerakis was spurred by press reports last year, led by the Epikaira news magazine, that an assassination plot code-named “Pythia” was organized by a unnamed country allied to Greece to prevent it from clinching pipeline deals with Russia.
“I remember the PM’s security was beefed up at the time. It was taken quite seriously,” a former aide to Karamanlis told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Karamanlis pursued closer cooperation with Russia on energy issues, annoying Greece’s western allies.
He supported the South Stream gas pipeline, which will bring Russian natural gas to Greece and western Europe and rivals the Nabucco, the U.S.-backed pipeline that will convey gas from central Asia to the West. […]
* ICELAND PRIME MINISTER TRIAL UPDATE
Source: Ice News
11 witnesses gave testimony to the Landsdómur trial of former Icelandic Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde yesterday – day five. They included the current Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Highlights from the day’s testimony include:
Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir saying that laws should have been put in place forcing the FME financial regulator to break its confidentiality code and personally let the Prime Minister know of any potentially serious situations arising. She said that Geir Haarde was not in a position to do much to prevent the bank’s from collapsing and that the auditing companies had too much power. She described as reprehensible’ how positively the banks’ positions were described in Central Bank of Iceland reports in the lead up to the crash – adding that she did not remember ministers ever receiving information on an impending bank crash from then-Central Bank of Iceland governor Davíð Oddsson before he addressed the cabinet at a panicked meeting on 30th September 2008. She said that meeting came as a shock and that Davíð practically recommended locking the country down. He recommended implementing a national unity government and was visibly shaken. This was not surprising, given the seriousness of the message he was relaying, Jóhanna said. Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir is now PM but was previously minister for social affairs in Geir’s government from 2007 to 2009.
The present Minister for Foreign Affairs, Össur Skarðhéðinsson, was industry minister in Geir’s government. He told the Landsdómur yesterday that on the weekend it was decided that the government would take over three-quarters of Glitnir Bank, there was no mention at all of any danger the action could cause other banks to fail. He told the court he had asked about the possibility at that weekend’s meeting at the Central Bank and was told that one of Landsbanki’s chief executives, Sigurjón Þ. Árnason, had said at a meeting the previous day that action to take over Glitnir would not adversely affect the other banks. Össur said that he was not personally convinced at the time that Sigurjón was telling the truth. […]
* NUCLEAR INSIDER: SURPRISE AT HOW MUCH CESIUM IS MOVING THROUGH THE ENVIRONMENT
Promoting produce from Fukushima, a Tokyo store lists the cesium levels beside the price — just one way life has changed a year after an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident struck Japan. In the final report in his series, Miles O’Brien examines food-safety concerns and a cottage industry of testing groceries for radiation.
* RULE OF LAW OR RULE OF PRESIDENT? CONGRESSIONAL WAR POWERS ARE HEART OF ‘IMPEACHMENT BILL’
By Andrew Bashi, In These Times
On March 7, anti-war Congressman Walter Jones (R- N.C.) introduced a bill declaring that executive use of offensive military force not explicitly authorized by Congress constitutes an impeachable offense under the Constitution of the United States.
The bill, H. Con. Res. 107, is a concurrent resolution that would serve as a reminder to President Obama and future presidents that such use of force is “an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor.” Even if passed, the bill would not be submitted to the president and thus would not have the force of law. But, following a long period in which Congress appears to have abdicated its Constitutional authority to declare war, the bill could mark the beginning of a push to curb executive powers.
Unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case as of yet. Instead, numerous outlets across the Right have labeled the resolution the “Obama Impeachment Bill.” While Republicans will likely utilize the bill as a tool to fuel further hatred of the incumbent president, the president’s main media supporters have largely ignored it. Most of those who have chosen to discuss it, primarily bloggers, have completely dismissed its validity, labeling it a ridiculous political attack. […]
* MEET THE WORST SENATE AMENDMENT THAT EVER LIVED
By Sarah Parsons, GristList
It’s ba-aack — the Keystone XL pipeline, that is. The Senate is set to vote tomorrow on an amendment created by Big Oil wearing a Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) mask. The amendment would revive everyone’s favorite pipeline — and, while it was at it, greenlight all the other oil-hungry environmental ruination that Republicans go in for.
The Senate defeated Keystone yet again last week, but Sen. Roberts included the pipeline in amendment #1826 of the Senate transportation bill (S. 1813). And that’s not the only Big Oil party favor he stuck in this grab bag of evil:
It would mandate drilling off of every coast in our nation and in the Arctic Refuge, allow oil shale development on millions of acres in America’s west, and allow the already-rejected Keystone XL pipeline to go forward. […]
* RETURNING LEGISLATURE IS MET WITH OCCUPY PROTEST
Occupy the Stage and Occupy NOLA will be joining Occupy Baton Rouge in a day of action on the steps of the state capital on Monday, March 12, 2012 starting at 11:00 am. We will then proceed into the great hall to hear the Governors speech. Occupy the Stage, Occupy NOLA and Occupy Baton Rouge will then have a press conference following the Governors speech.The occupy action is directed at challenging the recent decisionsby the Governor and legislature to slash health care and especially mental healthcare, which will tragically affect our most vulnerable citizens. We are protesting for a reinstatment of funding for health care and mental health in the State of Louisiana. Futhermore we are at odds with the cuts to public education and higher learning in this state. We are also demanding that the state stop seeking to privatize prisons through out the state. […]
* RESPONSIBLE POPULISM
“Populism” is a loaded term in modern American politics. On the one hand, it conveys the idea that someone represents (or claims to represent) the broad mass of society against a privileged elite. This is a theme that plays well on the right as well as the left – although they sometimes have different ideas about who is in that troublesome “elite.”
At the same time, populism is often used in a pejorative way – as a putdown, implying “the people” want irresponsible things that would undermine the fabric of society or the smooth functioning of the economy.
In Latin America, for example, there is a long tradition of populists falling into bed with a corrupt political elite, and the results invariably include irresponsible macroeconomic policies and various kinds of financial disaster (see “The Macroeconomics of Populism in Latin America,” edited by Rudiger Dornbush and Sebastian Edwards). […]
* GOLDMAN BANKER GOES ROGUE AMID THE FED’S RECENT STRESS TESTS WITH NAKED CAPITALISM’S YVES SMITH