My Common Sense Politics
Mar 22, 2015
by Eric Zuesse
World leaders — heads of state especially — tend to be tactful people, whatever else might be said about them. When they discover that one of their number happens to be incredibly arrogant and psychopathic (and some leading psychopaths are skilled charmers; they’re not necessarily blatant about their aggressive intents like Hitler was), they don’t generally publicize the discovery of this unpleasant fact, because doing so would be worse than tactless: it would be downright stupid — it would jeopardize lots of the interdependencies that nations have with one-another. It would be counterproductive.
U.S. Ships 50 Abrams Tanks to Ukraine: Europeans Are Furious
A good example of how they receive such negative information about one-another was provided by a telephone conversation on 26 February 2014 that was between Catherine Ashton, the EU’s Foreign Affairs chief, and her investigator, Urmas Paet, Estonia’s Foreign Minister, whom she had sent to Kiev when Ukraine’s democratically elected (though corrupt, as were all of his predecessors) President, Viktor Yanukovych, was overthrown in a very bloody sequence of events during January and February of 2014, and the question she needed an answer to now was whether this had been a revolution (authentically resulting from the Ukrainian public), or instead a coup (organized top-down, by “someone from the new coalition,” meaning a person who was on the side of the coalition against Yanukovych, the coalition that now controlled the Government). In other words: As the EU’s Foreign Affairs chief, Ashton needed to know whether the pro-EU coalition in Ukraine, who now were in control there, were in power because the Ukrainian public wanted them to be, or instead because they had seized power through those violent and, as yet, hard-to-understand, clashes, which might possibly have been orchestrated by “someone from the new coalition.”
That “coalition” were the leaders who had hoped that Yanukovych would seek to bring Ukraine into the EU. Just a few months earlier, Yanukovych had decided not to do that, but instead to continue Ukraine’s 1,200-year relationship with Russia. (Kiev was known as “the cradle of Russian civilization,” and the origin of the Rus people — those were the relocated Norsemen who had moved east and settled there (which is why so many Slavs are blond and why Hitler was an incredible bigot for worshipping the Norsemen while he despised the Slavs). It was a choice between Europe to the west, or Russia to the east; and Yanukovych had chosen to retain Ukraine’s ties to Russia. Ukraine is the main transit-route for Russian gas going into Europe, and received fees from Russia for that; Yanukovych chose to continue this; and he received, from Russia’s Gazprom company, steep discounts on Ukraine’s own gas-needs, as a further inducement for continuing that relationship. Polls of Ukrainians showed Ukrainians to be sharply divided about the issue, with western Ukraine strongly favoring to join the EU, and eastern Ukraine equally strongly favoring to stay with Russia. (For example, see this poll.)
Here is that phone-conversation, between Ashton and Paet, annotated by me to explain what they were referring to, and accompanied with a link to the phone-conversation itself, so that you can hear it if you wish.
As you can see (and hear) from that, Ashton was shocked to learn that it had been a coup that brought down Yanukovych, but she continued right on with the conversation, to other business, as if to indicate, “Well, let’s take care of less-disturbing matters, now.” It was clear from the conversation, up to that point, that Paet regretted needing to inform Ashton that the pro-EU side was actually controlled by some scoundrel (as yet unknown), and it’s clear that Ashton was shocked to hear this; but, as Ashton made evident from her response, she didn’t want to discuss this matter any further. These were two seasoned diplomats, and they both understood that there was nothing they could do about water already “under the bridge,” and on its way. But both of them realized, now, that its way was anything but democratic. This was useful information for Ashton to have, in her professional capacity for the EU.
She probably entertained a strong suspicion, even then, however, as to who was actually behind this coup (as she had only now learned it to have been). A few weeks before that phone-conversation, this youtube recording of yet another phone-conversation, in which Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, blurted to the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, her infamous “F—k the EU” statement (which, of course, was also an insult to Ashton personally), included also Nuland’s instruction to Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in Kiev, to get Arseniy Yatsenyuk appointed to run the post-coup Ukrainian Government (1:10 on the video): “I think Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience; he’s the guy, you know, who, what he needs is Klitch and Tyahnybok on the outside, he needs to be talking to them four times a week.” To which, Pyatt promptly said “Yeah, I think that’s right. Okay.” He had his assignment.
This assignment ended up being fulfilled on 26 February 2014, just four days after the February 22nd coup.
March 13, 2015
Many people still think of the CIA as an agency designed to help American presidents make informed decisions about matters outside the United States. That was the basis for President Truman’s signing the legislation which created the agency, and indeed it does serve that role, generally rather inadequately, but it has become something far beyond that.
Information is certainly not something to which any reasonable person objects, but the CIA has two houses under its roof, and it is the operational side of the CIA which gives it a world-wide bad reputation. The scope of undercover operations has evolved to make the CIA into a kind of civilian army, one involving great secrecy, little accountability, and huge budgets – altogether a dangerous development indeed for any country which regards itself as a democracy and whose military is forbidden political activity. After all, the CIA’s secret operational army in practice is not curtailed by restrictions around politics, many of its tasks having been quite openly political. Yes, its charter forbids operations in the United States, but those restrictions have been ignored or bent countless times both in secret programs like Echelon (monitoring telephone communications by five English-speaking allies who then share the information obtained, a forerunner to the NSA’s recently-revealed collection of computer data) and years of mail-opening inside the United States or using substitutes to go around the rule, as was likely the case with the many Mossad agents trailing the eventual perpetrators of 9/11 inside the United States before the event.
As with all large, powerful institutions over time, the CIA constantly seeks expansion of its means and responsibilities, much like a growing child wanting ever more food and clothing and entertainment. This inherent tendency, the expansion of institutional empire, is difficult enough to control under normal circumstances, but when there are complex operations in many countries and tens of billions in spending and many levels of secrecy and secret multi-level files, the ability of any elected politicians – whose keenest attention is always directed towards re-election and acquiring enough funds to run a campaign – to exercise meaningful control and supervision becomes problematic at best. The larger and more complex the institution becomes, the truer this is.
Under Eisenhower, the CIA’s operational role first came to considerable prominence, which is hardly surprising considering Eisenhower was a former Supreme Commander in the military, the military having used many dark operations during WWII, operations still classified in some cases. In his farewell address, it is true, Eisenhower gave Americans a dark warning about the “military-industrial complex,” but as President he used CIA dark operations extensively, largely to protect American corporate interests in various parts of the world – everything from oil interests to banana monopolies in Central America. Perhaps, he viewed the approach as less destructive or dangerous or likely to tarnish America’s post-WWII reputation than “sending in the Marines,” America’s traditional gang of paid-muscle for such tasks, but, over the long term, he was wrong, and his extensive use of CIA operations would prove highly destructive and not just tarnish America’s image but totally shatter it. It set in motion a number of developments and problems that haunt America to this day.
In the 1950s, the CIA was involved in a number of operations whose success bred hubris and professional contempt for those not part of its secret cult, an attitude not unlike that of members of an elite fraternity or secret society at university. The toppling of disliked but democratic governments in Guatemala and Iran and other operations had, by about the time of President Kennedy’s coming to power in 1960, bred an arrogant and unwarranted belief in its ability to do almost anything it felt was needed. The case of Cuba became a watershed for the CIA and its relationship with Presidents of the United States, President Eisenhower and his CIA having come to believe that Castro, widely regarded by the public as a heroic figure at the time, had turned dangerous to American corporate and overseas interests and needed to be removed. Fairly elaborate preparations for doing so were put into place, and parts of the southern United States became large secret training grounds for would-be terrorists selected from the anti-Castro exile community by CIA officers in charge of a project which dwarfed Osama bin Laden’s later camp in the mountains of Afghanistan.
A just-elected President Kennedy was faced with a momentous decision: whether to permit and support the invasion of neighboring Cuba, great effort and expense having gone into the scheme. Kennedy supported it with limited reservations, reservations that became the source of the deepest resentment by the old boys at the CIA looking for someone to blame for the invasion’s embarrassing public failure. The truth is the CIA’s plans were ill-considered from the beginning, the product of those arrogant attitudes bred from “successes” such as Guatemala. Cuba was not Guatemala, it had a far larger population, fewer discontented elements to exploit, a cohort of soldiers freshly-experienced from the revolution against former dictator Batista, and Castro was widely regarded as a national hero. The Bay of Pigs invasion never had a chance of success, and the very fact that the CIA put so many resources into it and pressured the President to have it done shows how badly it had lost its way by that time.
That failure of the invasion, a highly public failure, created a serious rift between the President and the CIA. When the President, in an unprecedented act, fired three senior CIA figures, holding them responsible for the fiasco, we can only imagine the words that echoed in the halls of Langley. CIA plots against Castro nevertheless carried right on. America was an intensely hostile place on the matter of communism at that time, its press continuously beating the drums, and no President could afford politically to appear even slightly indifferent. Kennedy himself was not quite the peace-loving figure some of his later admirers would hold him to be. He was a work in progress, and he gave speeches often colored by strident martinet and jingo phrases. Secret attempts were made to assassinate Castro, and the Kennedys, at that time, undoubtedly would have been pleased had they succeeded.
by Eric Zuesse
March 16, 2015
The American Government’s biggest lie in 2002-2003 was about Saddam Hussein and Iraq. We’ve already seen what that lie produced. It cost the U.S. more than $3 trillion, produced ISIS, and caused death and destruction in Iraq that make Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship look benign by comparison. Are Americans still fooling themselves about that? (Some are; but most are not.)
The American Government’s biggest lie in 2014-2015 is instead about Vladimir Putin and Ukraine — and it’s even worse, and far more dangerous, because this one can very possibly lead to a nuclear war, one with Russia that’s totally unnecessary for America’s national-security, and that actually places all of our nation’s security at risk, for the shameful reasons of aristocrats (“oligarchs”) in both the U.S. and Ukraine — not for any real reasons of the American people, at all.
But, that’s where we are heading, nonetheless, because America's aristocrats overwhelmingly want it (as will be shown here).
Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, or RFE/RL, is a U.S. government broadcaster which, like NATO, was necessary when communism threatened the United States from the Soviet Union, and which, also like NATO, should have been disbanded when the U.S.S.R. and its communist ideology effectively ended. It, like NATO, is now really just a vile vestige of our war against communism, a war that’s gone but which America’s aristocrats want to continue fighting, because America’s aristocracy want to conquer the entire world and want U.S. taxpayers to fund the effort. The ideological excuse is gone, and they want us not to notice that.
A good example of RFE/RL’s current vileness was a story they ran on March 12th, "A Bipartisan Cause In Washington: Arming Ukraine Against Russia,” and it reported that, “Consensus appears to be snowballing among Democratic and Republican lawmakers in the U.S. capital on at least one issue: arming Ukraine. One exception, however, is the figure who matters most: President Barack Obama.”
The implicit thrust of this news article is that, as their propaganda-writer put it, "Obama has resisted providing such assistance despite the pressure from lawmakers and public statements by top military brass, including U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, supporting lethal aid to Kyiv. 'The president has all the authority he needs to do it. He just needs to have the will to do it,’ [Eliot] Engel [a House Democrat] told RFE/RL.” In other words: the article presents Obama as being obstructionist against something that supposedly needs to be done, and should be done.
Earlier, RFE/RL had brazenly reveled in the international success of its campaign to vilify Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin.
And, unfortunately, that entire propaganda campaign is based on blatant lies, just like the propaganda to invade Iraq in 2003 was. But this one is far more dangerous.
Furthermore, this propaganda campaign (including that article) ignores that the top leaders in Ukraine who are pressing for the U.S. and other Western nations to supply arms to the Ukrainian Government are Ukraine’s ultra-nationalist outright nazis, especially the leaders of Ukraine’s two nazi parties, both of which were created as local copies of Hitler’s Nazi Party, and one of which even called itself the Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine, in order to signal to Ukrainians that it’s in the tradition of Adolf Hitler but just the local, Ukrainian nationalist, version of it. That party’s leader (Andrei Parubiy) was the chief organizer of the Maidan demonstrations that were used by the Obama Administration as cover for the coup that the Obama Administration planned and carried out, which installed the current, rabidly Russia-hating, racist-fascist, Government in Ukraine.
Sun, Mar 29th, 2015
While attention has been focused in recent weeks on the role of Russia and President Vladimir Putin in brokering a new ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, the Russian president has made time for two crucial state missions—one to Cyprus and one to Egypt. What they both share in common is a border on the shore of the eastern Mediterranean Sea, a strategic body of water whose importance in the escalating NATO confrontation with Russia cannot be underestimated.
For more than 2000 years the Mediterranean Sea has been one of the world’s most strategic waters. It joins Middle East oil and gas with markets in the European Union. It joins Indian Ocean shipping, increasingly from China, India, South Korea and the rest of Asia to European markets and to the Atlantic Ocean through the Egyptian Suez Canal. It joins the vital Russian Black Sea Fleet naval base in Crimea to both the Atlantic and Indian Ocean. In brief it connects Europe, Eurasia and Africa.
With this in mind, let’s look at Putin’s most recent travels.
On February 9 the Russian President met Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo. When al-Sisi as chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces led the putsch that ousted Egypt’s US-backed Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood regime in August 2012, Putin was one of the first to support al-Sisi’s presidential bid. In August 2014 al-Sisi was invited to meet Putin in Moscow as Washington became an open opponent of the Egyptian president.
Few details of the latest Cairo visit are being released but Putin said they agreed to boost trade and military cooperation, and Russia has begun supplying weapons to Egypt after signing a memorandum. Commercial agreements are also expected on Putin’s two-day visit, including a likely deal between Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya and Egypt’s state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper.
And days following Putin’s Cairo meeting with al-Sisi, Russia and Egypt signed an agreement to build four advanced Russian nuclear power reactors in Egypt. They will be a major boost to Egypt’s weak electricity grid and power problems.
At the same time al-Sisi announced that Egypt would join Russia’s new Eurasian Economic Union in the form of a joint Free Trade Agreement. The union consists of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia. It was Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich’s November announcement to the EU that Ukraine would join the Eurasian union that triggered the US blatant coup d’etat of Maidan Square.
Cypriot Jewel in the Sea
Then two weeks after his Cairo talks on February 25 President Putin received Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in the Kremlin to discuss a variety of mutual issues. Anastasiades took the occasion to criticize the European Union’s sanctions against Moscow. He declared, “the least I could do is visit Russia during these difficult times to assure it that, despite this situation, our relations will still develop. Whatever sanctions are introduced against Russia, they impact other countries, members of the EU, which include my motherland, that in a lot of ways depends on Russia.”
A glance at the map of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean shows the jewel rich in oil and gas and in a militarily strategic location
Sat, Mar 28th, 2015
The Giza Criminal Court sentenced Egyptian national Ramzy al-Shebini and two Israeli officers of the Intelligence Service (Mossad) to life in prison each over forming an espionage network in Egypt spying for Israel, Youm7 reported Saturday.
The court also sentenced Sahar Salama, a co-defendant in the case known as “The German Submarines” to 15 years.
Shebini and Salama were present for the verdicts while the two Israeli officers were tried in absentia.
Investigations, carried out by Egypt’s Homeland Security prosecution, asserted the two Egyptian defendants:
“supplied the Mossad officers with strategic information related to Egypt’s internal situation and several economic establishments and army institutions,” according to Youm7.
Furthermore, the investigations accused Shebini of recruiting Salama to work for Mossad and urged her, as a journalist, to exploit her contacts with several people in various sectors.
The information allegedly gathered was related to “the influence of Egypt’s popular, religious and political trends, the condition of the Egyptian people during the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood along with trends in the Egyptian society and public opinion regarding the January 25 Revolution,” Youm7 reported.
12th Anniversary Of Illegal Iraq Invasion – 2.7 Million Iraqi Dead From Violence Or War-imposed Deprivation
By Dr Gideon Polya
23 March, 2015
Those with consciences recently marked the 12th anniversary on 19 March 2015 of the illegal and war criminal US, UK and Australian invasion of Iraq in 2003 that was based on false assertions of Iraqi possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction, was conducted in the absence of UN sanction or Iraqi threat to the invading nations, and led to 2.7 million Iraqi deaths from violence (1.5 million) or from violently-imposed deprivation (1.2 million). The West has now commenced its Seventh Iraq War since 1914 in over a century of Western violence in which Iraqi deaths from violence or violently-imposed deprivation have totalled 9 million. However Western Mainstream media have resolutely ignored the carnage, this tragically illustrating the adage “History ignored yields history repeated” .
Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist (NAZI)-subverted and perverted Western Mainstream media utterly ignore expert assessments of how many people the US Alliance has killed in Iraq and resolutely ignore the crucial epidemiological concept of non-violent avoidable deaths (excess deaths, avoidable mortality, excess mortality, deaths that should not have happened) associated with war-imposed deprivation (for detailed analysis see ). Thus, by way of example, on the occasion of US withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 the Australian ABC (Australia's equivalent of the UK BBC) reported that “The withdrawal ends a war that left tens of thousands of Iraqis and nearly 4,500 American soldiers dead" . In contrast, the expert and eminent US Just Foreign Policy organization estimates, based on the data of expert UK analysts and top US medical epidemiologists, 1.5 million violent deaths in the Iraq War (2003-2011) [4-7] and UN data indicate a further 0.8 million Iraq avoidable deaths from war-imposed deprivation in this period . Violent deaths and avoidable deaths from violently -imposed deprivation in the Gulf War (1990-1991) and Sanctions period (1990-2003) total 0.2 million and 1.2 million, respectively . Accordingly, Iraqi deaths from violence (1.7 million) or war-imposed deprivation (2.9 million) since 1990 total 4.6 million .
However Western violation of Iraq commenced with the British invasion in 1914. Assuming excess mortality of Iraqis under British rule or hegemony (1914- 1948) was the same as for Indians under the British (interpolation from available data indicate Indian avoidable death rates in “deaths per 1,000 of population per year” of 37 (1757-1920), 35 (1920-1930), 30 (1930-1940) and 24 (1940-1950) ), one can estimate from Iraqi population data  that Iraqi avoidable deaths from deprivation under British occupation and hegemony from 1914-1950 totalled about 4 million. Thus ignoring Iraqi deaths associated with the US-backed Iraq-Iran War, one can estimate that about 9 million Iraqi deaths from UK or US violence or imposed deprivation in the century after the 1914 invasion of Iraq by Britain, this constituting an Iraqi Holocaust and an Iraqi Genocide as discussed below.
Holocaust is the destruction of a large number of people and 9 million Iraqi deaths from Anglo-American violence or violently-imposed deprivation certainly constitutes an Iraqi Holocaust. The term “holocaust” was first applied to a WW2 atrocity by Jog in 1944  in relation to the “forgotten” man-made Bengal Famine (Bengali Holocaust) in which 6-7 million Indians (many of them Muslims, and hence the term WW2 Muslim Holocaust) were deliberately starved to death by the British in 1942-1945 (Australia was complicit in this atrocity by withholding grain from its huge wartime wheat stores from starving India) [11-14]. The term “holocaust” was subsequently applied to the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million killed, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation according to the recently deceased, pro-Iraq War, and Iraqi Genocide-ignoring British Zionist historian Professor Sir Martin Gilbert ), noting that the WW2 Jewish Holocaust was part of a vastly greater WW2 European Holocaust in which 30 million Slavs, Jews and Gypsies were killed .
Genocide is very precisely defined in International Law as “ acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group”, as set out by Article 2 of the 1948 UN Genocide Convention: “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: a) Killing members of the group; b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.” . Any argument that the British and Americans did not “intend” to kill 9 million Iraqis is belied by the remorseless slaughter over 101 years interrupted only by the period between the overthrow of the British-installed monarchy in 1958 and the commencement of Sanctions in 1990.
The Anglo-American Iraqi Genocide since 1990 has been associated with 2 million under-5 year old infant deaths comprising 1.2 million (1990-2003) and 0.8 million (2003-2011), 90% avoidable and due to gross violation of Articles 55 and 56 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War which demand that an Occupier must supply their conquered Subjects with food and medical requisites to “the fullest extent of the means available to it” . The Iraqi Holocaust and Iraqi Genocide was also war criminal mass infanticide and mass paedocide.
25 March 2015
by Seyed Nasrollah Tabatabaei, Hélène Girouard, Anne-Sophie Carret, and Sylvain Martel
Magnetic nanoparticles can open the blood-brain barrier and deliver molecules directly to the brain, say researchers from the University of Montreal, Polytechnique Montréal, and CHU Sainte-Justine.
This barrier runs inside almost all vessels in the brain and protects it from elements circulating in the blood that may be toxic to the brain. The research is important as currently 98% of therapeutic molecules are also unable to cross the blood-brain barrier. “The barrier is temporary opened at a desired location for approximately 2 hours by a small elevation of the temperature generated by the nanoparticles when exposed to a radio-frequency field,” explained first author and co-inventor Seyed Nasrollah Tabatabaei. “Our tests revealed that this technique is not associated with any inflammation of the brain. This new result could lead to a breakthrough in the way nanoparticles are used in the treatment and diagnosis of brain diseases,” explained the co-investigator, Hélène Girouard. “At the present time, surgery is the only way to treat patients with brain disorders. Moreover, while surgeons are able to operate to remove certain kinds of tumors, some disorders are located in the brain stem, amongst nerves, making surgery impossible,” added collaborator and senior author Anne-Sophie Carret.
Although the technology was developed using murine models and has not yet been tested in humans, the researchers are confident that future research will enable its use in people. “Building on earlier findings and drawing on the global effort of an interdisciplinary team of researchers, this technology proposes a modern version of the vision described almost 40 years ago in the movie Fantastic Voyage, where a miniature submarine navigated in the vascular network to reach a specific region of the brain,” said principal investigator Sylvain Martel. In earlier research, Martel and his team had managed to manipulate the movement of nanoparticles through the body using the magnetic forces generated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines.
To open the blood-brain barrier, the magnetic nanoparticles are sent to the surface of the blood-brain barrier at a desired location in the brain. Although it was not the technique used in this study, the placement could be achieved by using the MRI technology described above. Then, the researchers generated a radio-frequency field. The nanoparticles reacted to the radio-frequency field by dissipating heat thereby creating a mechanical stress on the barrier. This allows a temporary and localized opening of the barrier for diffusion of therapeutics into the brain.
By Frank J. Maduri
March 26, 2015
Kraft issued a voluntary recall for original flavor macaroni and cheese due to possible contamination of metal fragments.
File photo courtesy of Kraft Foods Group
The merger between Kraft Foods and H.G. Heinz further consolidates the global food production into the hands of about a half dozen companies. These six multinational powerhouse corporations can exert enormous power over the retail grocery channel, and by extension control the dynamics of a necessary area for all people: the access to food. These corporations represent an emerging monopoly in an area where competition is needed, arguably, more than just about any other industry in the world.
The merger between these two U.S. based food industry giants, each with a collective stable of some of the most revered and iconic branded food product lines in the industry, is just the latest in a wave of M&A activity to strike the industry over the past several years. It is, however, a huge transaction involving stock and a special cash dividend financed by a $10 billion investment by 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway, which are the two firms who combined forces to purchase Heinz in 2013 and transition it into a privately held company.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, Heinz will return to being a public traded entity with a 51% ownership stake in Kraft. The owners of Kraft stock will control a 49% portion of the new combined food industry titan. The prognosis for the future is interesting because while the magnitude of this merger transaction will preclude Heinz-Kraft from completing any further brand purchases in the near term; the newly minted company upon completion of the regulatory process will be well positioned to be able to make additional acquisitions of other competing food brands in the future.
The rise of celiac disease and heightened awareness regarding food allergens combined with the wellness trends in the industry have given windows of opportunity to privately owned companies, especially in the natural foods area, to challenge the large scale food manufacturing companies.
A few examples of this scenario would be Chobani, Food for Life, Nature's Path, and until recently Enjoy Life. The Enjoy Life brands were purchased by Mondelez International (formerly Kraft's snack foods division) in a deal which demonstrates the value of allergen free product lines in the new American consumer consciousness.
An 800-page independent report commissioned by the US-friendly Colombian government and the radical left rebel group FARC found that US military soldiers and contractors had sexually abused at least 54 children in Colombia between 2003 and 2007 and, in all cases, the rapists were never punished–either in Colombia or stateside–due to American military personnel being immune from prosecution under diplomatic immunity agreements between the two countries.
The report was part of a broader historical analysis meant to establish the “causes and violence aggravators” of the 50-year-long conflict between the government and rebels that’s presently being negotiated to an end. As Colombia Reports (3/23/15) would spell out:
In his report, the historian [Renan Vega] cited one 2004 case in the central Colombian town of Melgar where 53 underage girls were sexually abused by nearby stationed military contractors “who moreover filmed [the abuse] and sold the films as pornographic material.”
According to Colombia’s leading newspaper, El Tiempo, the victims of the sexual abuse practices were forced to flee the region after their families received death threats.
RT report on accusations of child rape in Colombia by US military personnel.
Other Americans stationed at the Tolemaida Air Base allegedly committed similar crimes, but possibly also never saw a day in court due to an immunity arrangement for American soldiers and military contractors agreed by Washington and Bogota.
One case that has called most attention in Colombian media was that of a 12-year-old who in 2007 was raped by a US Army sergeant and a former US military officer who was working in Melgar as a military contractor.
Colombian prosecutors established that the girl had been drugged and subsequently raped inside the military base by US sergeant Michael J. Coen and defense contractor Cesar Ruiz.
However, prosecution officials were not allowed to arrest the suspected child rapists who were subsequently flown out of the country.
Telesur‘s coverage of the Colombian report on US military sexual abuse.
Thus far, however, these explosive claims seem to have received zero coverage in the general US press, despite having been reported on Venezuela’s Telesur (3/23/15), the British tabloid Daily Mail (3/24/15) and Russian RT (3/25/15).
But why? These aren’t fringe claims, nor can the government of American ally Colombia be dismissed as a peddler of Bolivarian propaganda. Indeed, the Miami Herald (9/3/09) documented the case of US Sgt. Michael Coen and contractor César Ruiz in 2009:
The US government has made little effort to investigate a US Army sergeant and a Mexican civil contractor implicated in Colombia in the raping of a 12-year-old girl in August 2007, according to an El Nuevo Herald investigation.
The suspects, Sgt. Michael Coen and contractor César Ruiz, were taken out of Colombia under diplomatic immunity, and do not face criminal charges in the United States in the rape in a room at Colombia’s Germán Olano Air Force Base in Melgar, 62 miles west of Bogotá.
So why no coverage? Certainly one of Washington’s stanchest Latin American allies co-authoring a blistering report about systemic US military child rape of a civilian population should be of note–if for no other reason than, as the report lays out, it undermined American military efforts to stop drug trafficking and fight leftist rebels:
However, prosecution officials were not allowed to arrest the suspected child rapists who were subsequently flown out of the country.
The case has caused major indignation among Colombians for years….
The special envoy will possibly have to deal with the role of the US military and its members in the alleged victimization of Colombians.
Yet here we are, over 72 hours since the Colombian and foreign press first reported on the allegations, and there’s a virtual media blackout in America over the case. Nothing on CNN, nothing on MSNBC, nothing in the New York Times or Miami Herald. Nothing in Huffington Post. Nothing in Fusion or Vice. Why?
As UK authorities and NATO officials stress the importance of clamping down on “false Russian” narratives in the media, perhaps our own media could stop providing a shining example as to why such anti-Western narratives are so often the only outlet for certain ugly truths.
Adminstrative News: Meanstream Media same Pigeon Poop Puffing Political Presstitutes
Tue, Mar 24th, 2015
September 10, 2001. U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeldt stated that 2.3 trillion dollar from the Pentagon’s annual budget could not be accounted for. September 11, 2001, the Pentagon’s accounting office and the Naval Command Center were targeted, allegedly by a plane. Survivors would report about explosions inside the Pentagon prior to the alleged plane impact. During a 2012 Forestall Lecture , Admiral James G. Stavridis noted that he was working as a newly selected 1-star accounting officer at the Pentagon and that he was lucky to have survived. By 2009 Stavridis would have been promoted to the rank of Admiral and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe. Responsible for NATO’s 2011 military operations in Libya, Stavridis would describe NATO’s intervention in Libya as “a teachable moment and model for future interventions”.
On September 10, 2001, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeldt declared a war on waste, stressing that 2.3 trillion dollar from the Pentagon’s annual budget could not be accounted for. CBS quoted Rumsfeld as saying that money wasted by the military poses a serious threat “In fact, it could be said it’s a matter of life and death”. Rumsfeldt would proceed, promising change as of September 11.
Indeed, change came on September 11; For many of those who were working at the Pentagon it would literally become a change that cost their lives while it turned into a life or death situation for survivors who were working in the offices which were targeted on September 11.
One of these survivors is April Gallop. April Gallop would testify under oath in a two-hour-long, video-taped interview with Barbara Honegger who has conducted an in-depth investigation into the events at the Pentagon on September 11.
April Gallop would state that a violent explosion near her desk in Wedge Two on Corridor Five, more than 100 ft north from the official narratives’ alleged plane impact point stopped her watch at 9:30.
April Gallop saw no debris from an aircraft, no seats, no luggage, no passenger’ bodies, nor did she observe any jet fuel. Her watch is kept at a safe location. Gallop would state the she saw fires coming out of computers. Barbara Honegger reports that other eyewitnesses, including Tracy Webb experienced such computer fires at the E Ring of Corridor Four. Ms. April Gallop is in contact with several other survivors who can corroborate her experience but who would need to be guaranteed protection before they could come forward. The alleged plane impact happened at least eight minutes after massive explosions inside the Pentagon. Another clock from the Pentagon that is kept at the Smithsonian as well as photographic evidence prove that other clocks stopped due to explosions before the alleged plane impact. Barbara Honegger’s research would show that “something” struck the Pentagon from the outside too. That object, however, was not a jetliner and struck some 150 meters from the alleged jetliner impact site.
Donald Rumsfeldt’s war on waste would turn into the Global War on Terror and lead to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Information about the missing 2.3 trillion dollar was destroyed on September 11.
In 2012 NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), Admiral James G. Stavridis would hold the Forestal Lecture at the Naval Academy. Stavridis would talk about service selection and about the development of warfare throughout the 20thcentury. Stavridis would point out that both WW I and WW II as well as the Cold War were wars of walls pointing at the Maginot Line, the Iron Curtain, the Bamboo Curtain, the Berlin Wall. Stavridis would stress that it took “a shocking lesson”, the events on September 11, 2001, to prove that walls don’t provide security in a modern world.