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Massive US Weapons Deals and Obama’s Middle East ‘Reset Button’

6:27 am in Uncategorized by wendydavis

A couple weeks ago I’d read a piece at Al Jazeera about the President being dismayed that India had rejected the fighter jet deal he had pushed on his recent visit to India.  Apparently India decided that Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet and Lockheed Martin’s F-16 failed to meet technical criteria.

The Nation reported that the NYT had this to say:

“In a report from New Delhi, The New York Times described India’s decision as “a blow for President (Barack) Obama, who had pushed hard for this and other defence deals during his visit to India in November as part of his agenda to deepen and broaden the United States’ relationship with India.”

“While political and economic relations between India and the United States have been warming for years, American arms makers have struggled to win big contracts” in New Delhi, it said.
“After decades of frosty relations during the cold war, which pushed India to rely extensively on the Soviet Union for military hardware, many in the Indian defence establishment are still wary of American intentions and United States military aid to Pakistan, India’s main adversary,” the Times said.”

Now I don’t know about you, but when I read some of the Wilileaked cables that spoke about US Ambassadors pushing deals for arms and weapons systems at cocktail parties, it disturbed me; I was stuck in the past as to the meaning of diplomacy and diplomat; you remember, the old-school talking to each other to solve problems. Since then, I’d been considering writing a play about the subject except for the fact that a) I don’t know how to write a play and b) I don’t know enough about either the military hardware of the international players to write it as believable satire.

And some might argue that it’s really not very funny any more. And this week, I’d almost be forced to agree after a new package of information was published at TomDispatch.

Nick Turse recently did an in-depth analysis of the Pentagon documents and found some pretty startling and damning numbers concerning the volume and dollar amounts of arms sales around the globe, and especially to the most oppressive nations of the Middle East.  A lot of deals are in the works, and it’s hard to see how any of them will be reneged upon.
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End of Pax Americana? Discussion with Sy Hersh and Rashid Khaladi [Updated]

7:37 pm in Uncategorized by wendydavis

(Update at bottom of post, after jump.)

From English Al Jazeera: Empire looks at the dramatic changes taking place in the Arab world and their strategic implications.

As the breath of freedom sweeps across the Middle East, interviewer Marwan Bashara hosts a panel discussion with Seymour Hersh, author and professor Rashid Khaladi, and former under-Secretary of State Thomas Pickering to consider whether or not this movement might retire the ironic term, Pax Americana. . . . Read the rest of this entry →

People of Egypt: Let Us Help You Stay Strong, Our Hands in Your Hands

7:12 pm in Uncategorized by wendydavis

Bravehearts of Egypt: we close our eyes and see you coming together in Tahrir Square nine days ago, first in trepidation, but with conviction and courage.  As the hours and the days passed, you grew into a glorious organism, a whole that grew and multiplied, fed by the love you feel for each other and your nation, strengthening your bonds so well that your brothers in the Army could not resist your Rightness and Light.

We marvel at your strength as a people.  You have for centuries been ruled by Pharaohs and those who have ruled as proxies for them, victimized by those who would keep you half-buried in sand to further their own ends.

We attempt to name the reasons you have now risen to throw off the yokes of oppression and tyranny as if we can know.  Perhaps you can’t even name all of the pieces that propelled you here , but you feel that it must be thus.

Perhaps you feel it on the wind, the voice of freedom that may be wafting over the planet, emanating from the stars and planets beyond…we close our eyes to imagine being you, and can almost hear the same celestial chimes, almost hear the sounds your poets and musicians will translate and sing of from now into eternity:

A change is going to come. Read the rest of this entry →

Are Agents Provocateur Responsible for Looting in Cairo, and Can This Be an Arendtian Revolution?

5:55 am in Uncategorized by wendydavis

(by Anthony Freda, www.anthonyfreda.com)

GeorgeWashington has collected many quotes and interviews that might substantiate the claim.  In addition, many protestors believe that government forces let the incarcerated members of the Muslim Brotherhood out of various prisons.

Media Conventional Wisdom on all this will be hugely important.  Huffington Post just changed its glaringly red and large-font headline announcing that Protestors were looting, implying anarchy.  That would seem designed to give the Mubarak government license to crack down further.

From GeorgeWashington:

“Al Jazeera reported today:

[Al Jazeera reporter] Ayman Mohyeldin reports that eyewitnesses have said “party thugs” associated with the Egyptian regime’s Central Security Services – in plainclothes but bearing government-issued weapons – have been looting in Cairo. Ayman says the reports started off as isolated accounts but are now growing in number.The Telegraph reports:

“Thugs” going around on motorcycles looting shops and houses, according to Al Jazeera. They say they are getting more and more reports of looting. More worryingly, one group of looters who were captured by citizens in the upmarket Cairo district of Heliopolis turned out to have ID cards identifying them as members of the regime security forces.Similarly, Egyptian newspaper Al MasryAlyoum provides several eyewitness accounts of agents provocateur:

Thugs looting residential neighborhoods and intimidating civilians are government-hires, say eyewitnesses.

In Nasr City, an Eastern Cairo neighborhood, residents attempting to restore security told Al-Masry Al-Youm that looters were caught yesterday.

“They were sent by the government. The government got them out of prison and told them to rob us,” says Nameer Nashaat, a resident working alongside other youths to preserve order in the district. “When we caught them, they said that the Ministry of Interior has sent them.”

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