It seems like I’ve been starting every single round up as ‘a quick one.’ Blame it on a life truly in the fast lane. Now I’ll be in an even faster lane for a couple of weeks, since I’ll be leaving tomorrow for ten days. And yes, I’ll be flying; meaning, I’ll be going through what I’ve been talking about, writing about, and truly dreading. If you don’t read about me on the front page of…let’s say Guardian-UK, since I’ve been a blacked-out person for a long time over here, by Tuesday, consider that as ‘she must have made it.’
I’m almost done with Part VI of my ‘The Makings of a Police State’. I’ll save it as a draft, go over it again, and post it while I’m gone; on or before Wednesday, February 3. There is one caveat, as almost always, I picked a place where high speed internet is a rarity. I’ll do my best to publish the piece, our next Podcast interview (Coleen Rowley), and one or two articles by our team members. We’ll see.
I am counting on you to take care of this site and nurture it with your comments while I’m goneJ
Fethullah Gulen Movement in Tucson Arizona Charter School?!
Thanks to a reader’s tip I became aware of this peculiar and interesting story published by Tucson Weekly. Those of you who’ve followed my case closely and those of you who’ve been following Mizgin’s articles will find this easy-to-miss story interesting. I haven’t had a chance to dig further, but I will. Meanwhile I’ll invite Mizgin to stop by and provide you with her sound analysis and feedback on our infamous Mr. Gulen, his dear protectors and trainers at Langley, Virginia, and his valuable contributions to Brzezinski’s Central Asia Dream. Without these relevant contexts and familiarity with Gulen’s movement the story may not register as of any significance:
Parents raise concerns that a Tucson charter school has ties to a Turkish nationalist movement
No one can knock the numbers. In recent years, students at Tucson's Sonoran Science Academy have secured stellar scores in math, science and other categories. The academy has earned glowing mentions in national magazines such as U.S. News and World Report, and in 2009, was deemed Charter School of the Year by the Arizona Charter School Association.
But some parents of children who attend the academy on West Sunset Road believe it harbors goals reaching far beyond academia. They suspect the Sonoran Academy of being part of a confederation of learning institutions secretly linked to, and advancing, the cause of Turkish scholar and Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen
While most of those parents have resisted coming forward, fearing reprisal from an organization they say is known to target critics, one parent did agree to speak to the Weekly if we pledged to keep her identity hidden. The parent says she represents others at the academy who've become suspicious about the striking similarities of its educational programs to those of other schools around the United States which are operated by Turkish-born staff members.
According to this parent, all of these ties may lead covertly back to the Gülen movement, named for the scholar, who founded a network of schools around the world and now lives in exile in Pennsylvania. She says several Sonoran Academy parents believe the school has a hidden agenda to promote Gülen's brand of Turkish nationalism, advance sympathy for that country's political goals such as winning acceptance into the European Union, and discourage official acknowledgement of Turkey's genocide against the Armenians during World War I.
Okay, I used up my quote quota limitation again. You can read the rest here.
Phil Giraldi on Stealing Success Tel Aviv Style
Last Wednesday Phil Giraldi had a nicely-done piece on Israel titled Stealing Success Tel Aviv Style. A must read editorial, since it is one of our topics of interest written by a man I respect, and interestingly related to my latest commentary on the New York Times last Wednesday. Here are a few excerpts:
A curious op-ed "The Tel Aviv Cluster" by the reliably neoconnish David Brooks appeared in the New York Times on January 12th. Brooks enthused over the prowess of Israel’s high tech businesses, attributing their success in large part to Jewish exceptionalism and genius, which must have provided the ultimate feel good moment for Brooks, who is himself Jewish. That Israel has a booming technology sector is undeniably true, but Brooks failed to mention other contributing factors such as the $101 billion dollars in US economic and military aid over the course of more than four decades, which does not include the additional $30 billion recently approved by President Barack Obama. American assistance has financed and fueled Israel’s business growth while the open access and even "preferential treatment" afforded to Israeli exporters through the Israel Free Trade Implementation Act of 1985 has provided Israelis with the enormous US market to sell their products and services. By act of Congress, Israeli businesses can even bid on most American Federal and State government contracts just as if they were US companies.
…And there is another aspect of Israel’s growing high tech sector that he understandably chose to ignore because it is extremely sleazy. That is the significant advantage that Israel has gained by systematically stealing American technology with both military and civilian applications. The US developed technology is then reverse engineered and used by the Israelis to support their own exports with considerably reduced research and development costs, giving them a huge advantage against American companies. Sometimes, when the technology is military in nature and winds up in the hands of a US adversary, the consequences can be serious. Israel has sold advanced weapons systems to China that are believed to incorporate technology developed by American companies, including the Python-3 air-to-air missile and the Delilah cruise missile. There is evidence that Israel has also stolen Patriot missile avionics to incorporate into its own Arrow system and that it used US technology obtained in its Lavi fighter development program, which was funded by the US taxpayer to the tune of $1.5 billion, to help the Chinese develop their own J-10 fighter.
You can read the entire piece here at AntiWar.
Night Time Terrorization of Afghans
On Friday Asia Times published a well-written and highly disturbing piece by Anand Gopal titled Terror Comes at Night in Afghanistan:
Sometime in the past few years, Pashtun villagers in Afghanistan's rugged heartland began to lose faith in the American project. Many of them can point to the precise moment of this transformation, and it usually took place in the dead of the night, when most of the country was fast asleep. In the secretive US detentions process, suspects are usually nabbed in the darkness and then sent to one of a number of detention areas on military bases, often on the slightest suspicion and without the knowledge of their families.
This process has become even more feared and hated in Afghanistan than coalition air strikes. The night raids and detentions, little known or understood outside of these Pashtun villages, are slowly turning Afghans against the very forces they greeted as liberators just a few years ago.
Gopal continues with related real life stories too real yet too gruesome to be real. I highly encourage you to read the entire article and share it with others.
UN Envoy on Doomed Afghan Strategy
The Australian reports on a damning assessment and warning issued by outgoing UN Special Representative, Kai Eide. As you know, Eide too has been the subject of major controversy. Peter Galbrait accused Eide of colluding with Karzai in vote-rigging elections. So let’s keep that in mind:
He warned that the military focus was at the expense of a "meaningful, Afghan-led political strategy" and that Western troops and governments had left Afghans feeling they faced "cultural invasion". Speaking before last night's conference on Afghanistan, being held in London, he said the international community must stop operating according to "strategies and decisions that are taken far away from Afghanistan".
"Very unfortunately, the political strategy has become an appendix to the military strategy," he said. "The strategy has to be demilitarised - a political strategy with a military component."
He expressed deep concern at the tactical approach of British and other Western troops, which aimed to remove the Taliban from an area, hold it and then develop local infrastructure and security forces."The so-called clear, hold, build, military strategy has serious flaws," Mr Eide said. "First of all, we are not able to `clear' when our opponents are insurgents one day and a normal inhabitant of a village the next day. "We are not able to `hold' because it takes time to train and put in place police and sub-national governance. "And we are not able to `build' because we cannot expect civilian development agencies to come into what they feel is a military campaign."
Former Marine accused of killing 2 Iraqis running for Congress
This was reported by AP on January 28:
Ilario Pantano announced his candidacy Thursday in Wilmington. He is seeking the Republican nomination. The 35-year-old wants to challenge Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre for North Carolina's 7th Congressional District.
Pantano shot two men in Mahmudiyah, Iraq, in 2004 and hung a warning sign on their corpses. He claimed self defense and a Marine general decided not to bring him to trial.
Here is a photo of Mr. Pantano with G. Gordon Liddy:
Needed Dosage of Secrecy for Blair Inquiry?
The following excerpts are from the Independent on the latest involving the Iraq Inquiry of Blair and his government:
Tony Blair's long-awaited appearance at the Iraq inquiry looked set to be hampered last night after the Government refused to declassify crucial documents relating to his decision to take Britain to war.
The failure to release the papers led to calls yesterday for the inquiry to be suspended. While Sir John Chilcot's team have been handed all the documents, they are unable to quote from classified material and may have to restrict questioning.
The missing documents feature prominently in the questions that Mr Blair is expected to face. The inquiry team are planning to ask about a series of secret letters he sent to President Bush in 2002, apparently pledging that British troops would "be there" if military action became necessary.