In a letter to Congress (below), AG Eric Holder admitted that the administration deliberately killed American Anwar al-Awlaki (the radical Muslim cleric) in a drone strike in September 2011 adding, as the NY Times reports, "the decision to target Anwar al-Awlaki was lawful, it was considered, and it was just." As RT notes, there was collateral damage, as it has been widely reported but rarely acknowledged in Washington that two other US citizens - Samir Khan, and al-Awlaki's teenage son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki - were executed in that same Yemen strike. With Holder’s latest admission, however, a fourth American - Jude Mohammed - has also been officially named a casualty of America’s continuing drone war; bringing the total 'known' Americans killed under the US Drone War to 4 since 2009.
The debate over what actions actually constitute “terrorism,” we believe, will become one of the defining ideological battles of our era. Terrorism is not a word often used by common people to describe aberrant behaviors or dastardly deeds; however, it is used by governments around the world to label and marginalize political enemies. That is to say, it is the government that normally decides who is a “terrorist” and who is a mere “criminal,” the assertion being that one is clearly far worse than the other. The more naïve subsections of our society will accept unConstitutional methods against the “radicalized” out of fear and conditioning, without realizing that the machinations of bureaucracy being used against those they hate could just as easily be used against them in the future.
ConvergEx's Nick Colas undertook a recent trip to Afghanistan. As he notes, the country has a long way to go to reestablish a viable economy and political stability, but he saw enough to be optimistic on both counts. Security around the capital is tight, and Afghan troops look professional and disciplined. There is ample food on display in countless local grocery stands. Girls go to school throughout the city, although women are a less common sight on the streets. Scarcity makes for odd economic outcomes – the only passenger car you’ll see is a Toyota Corolla, imported from different countries. No Afghan will be surprised that you are a tourist in their country – they are still very proud of its history and resilience. Westerners there will assume you are “On business.” Here are seven “Postcards from Kabul” with his last observations from this trip.
Politicians love good asset bubbles. Until they blow up. Which they always do.
All Empires Crash Soon After They Reach Their Peak
The policy approach that no one dares to question - "In the long-term, we need to fix our public finances. We’re on an unsustainable path that needs to be corrected to protect younger and future generations. But in the short-term, we need to focus on growth. The economy stinks and people are suffering. Any attempt to lower debt in these conditions would be folly. On the contrary, the government needs to provide more stimulus to promote growth" has no support to its key premise in business cycle history, the idea that the economy will return to full employment and stick there, allowing ample time for debt reduction. Once stimulus is removed, expansions often struggle to continue for much longer. And if the stimulus is replaced with restraint, it seems logical that the expansion’s expected life shortens further. In other words, there is no Magic Pendulum. What’s the typical life of an unassisted expansion? Based on the data presented here, I’ll call it two years.
The Government – Which Has Taken Away Our Liberties and Destroyed Our Prosperity to Fight An Endless War On Terror – Has Been Arming, Funding and Otherwise Backing the Very Terrorists Who Are Carrying Out Most of the Attacks
You're More Likely to Die from Brain-Eating Parasites, Alcoholism, Obesity, Medical Errors, Risky Sexual Behavior or ...Submitted by George Washington on 04/28/2013 13:01 -0500
... Just About Anything OTHER THAN Terrorism
The political class set in motion the eventual obliteration of our economic system with the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913. Placing the fate of the American people in the hands of a powerful cabal of unaccountable greedy wealthy elitist bankers was destined to lead to poverty for the many, riches for the connected crony capitalists, debasement of the currency, endless war, and ultimately the decline and fall of an empire. The 100 year downward spiral began gradually but has picked up steam in the last sixteen years, as the exponential growth model, built upon ever increasing levels of debt and an ever increasing supply of cheap oil, has proven to be unsustainable and unstable. Those in power are frantically using every tool at their disposal to convince Boobus Americanus they have everything under control and the system is operating normally. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Often times, for the best, closest to the ground perspective on economic opportunities in any given economy, there is hardly any more convincing metric than observing the level of net migration of foreigners into a country, and subsequently out. First, it was Italy, where net immigrants from Afghanistan and Bangladesh came, they saw, and promptly took the first boat back to whereever it was they came from. Then, a year ago we first showed that the endless media propaganda has little to no impact on the marginal cheap worker in the US, as Mexican immigrants finally became emigrants after realizing that real demand for their services, even as bargain basement wages, simply does not exist. And now, it was only logical that Europe's economic basket case with unemployment levels so high one literally needs bigger charts, was the next to follow. As BBC reports, in 2012 the Spanish population of 47.3 million declined by some 206,000 as "immigrants left the country amid a major economic crisis." The actual population change consisted of native Spaniards growing by a token 10,000 more than offset by the 216,000 registered foreign residents who decided to just pack it up and go back, mostly from Ecuador and Colombia. One could say they threw in the proverbial (Spiderman) towel, or at least sold it on Ebay.
Please Don’t Kill Everyone Who “Looks Muslim” Just Because the Boston Terrorists Were Allegedly MuslimSubmitted by George Washington on 04/19/2013 20:14 -0500
No, We Shouldn't Kill Everyone from a Particular Religion
Terror Bombing Shows that Our Anti-Terrorism Policies Are Ineffective
Homeland Security Agencies Wasted Money On Seminars Like “Did Jesus Die for Klingons Too?” & Training for a “Zombie Apocalypse”Submitted by George Washington on 04/16/2013 10:54 -0500
While We’re Waiting to Learn Who the Boston Terrorists Were … Let’s Review How Stupid Our Anti-Terrorism Policies Have Been
It was only a week ago that Iran was shaken by a major 6.1 earthquake, striking just 100 km away from the Busher nuclear power plant: a location so "opportune" some, so inclined, saw in this phenomenon anoter demonstration of the HAARP's capabilities. Those same people will then hardly be surprised to learn that moments ago the entire middle east, from Dubai to Delhi, shook in the aftermath of yet another massive earthquake, this time measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, which once again was located as the USGS reports, some 86 km East South East of Khash, Iran. According to preliminary reports, the USGS says there is possibility of heavy damage in area of epicenter, and an estimated 359,000 people felt very strong to severe shaking. USGS also estimates that 16K may have felt 'severe' shaking, 343K 'very strong' shaking, 1.7M 'strong' shaking; 1.1M 'moderate' shaking. An Iranian official was promptly on the tape saying hundreds of dead expected from quake in southeast of country, even as the Russian company that built the Busher NPP saying there was no damage from the quake. How much more shaking can either the existing Iranian nuclear power plant, or the much maligned nuclear facility in Fordow, sustain before they go off in a big glowing mushroom cloud: that is the
First the US fanfared the placement of two F-22 Raptors in the Osan airbase of South Korea. Then it demonstratively launched a B-2 stealth bomber on a training mission over a South Korean gunnery range. Then it deployed an anti-ballistic missile defense system to Guam and positioned two guided-missile destroyers in the waters near Korea. And now, courtesy of the Aviationist, we learn that the Pentagon has escalated once more in an ongoing cat and mouse game with North Korea, of who blinks first, and dispatched several B-1 ("Bone") Lancer strategic long-range bombers to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. What is different this time, however, is that unlike the previous very public and widely trumpeted reciprocal escalation steps, this particular deployment has been kept secret from the public (at least the broader public), "a fact that could be the sign that the U.S. is not only making symbolic moves (as the above mentioned ones), but it is preparing for the worst scenario: an attack on North Korea."