Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Britain's Perverted Press

Forget about the nude photos.... 

"BBC scandal grows with 300 abuse allegations" by Alan Cowell  |  New York Times, October 26, 2012

LONDON — The scale of the sexual abuse scandal at the BBC widened significantly Thursday as police reported that the number of people accusing one of Britain’s best-known television hosts of misconduct had risen to about 300 from 200, and said other people may have acted with him.

The police account also seemed to reinforce British news reports that the inquiries into accusations of sexual abuse against the host, Jimmy Savile, were spreading to broader questions about possible misconduct in other parts of the BBC and to suggestions of networks of abuse at hospitals associated with Savile’s ostensibly philanthropic works.

Police said the number of potential victims had increased as more people contacted officers with abuse accusations. All but two of the cases involved girls, Peter Spindler, a police commander, told reporters. He said detectives had interviewed 130 people so far, and those conversations had produced 114 ‘‘allegations of crime.’’

He also said that while most of the accusations related to Savile, other people may have acted either with him or separately. No arrests have been made so far, but officers are ‘‘preparing an arrest strategy,’’ he said.

The scandal has drawn in several top figures at the BBC, including its current director general, George Entwistle, who took over in September from Mark Thompson, the incoming president and chief executive of The New York Times Co.

A rat deserting a sickening ship?

Thompson was director general of the BBC when the editor of a current affairs program canceled an investigation into Savile in late 2011, just as other divisions of the BBC were planning Christmastime tributes to him a few months after his death at age 84.

Thompson has said repeatedly that he knew nothing about the investigation by the ‘‘Newsnight’’ program while it was under way, had no role in canceling it and also had heard none of the suspicions about Savile.

The British Sgt. Schultz. 

On Thursday, Thompson won an enthusiastic endorsement from Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the chairman of The New York Times Co. and the publisher of The Times.

The WHOLE of WESTERN MEDIA is ILL, folks.  

UPDATE: New York Times columnist attacks 'willfully ignorant' Mark Thompson and openly questions his ability to take over as paper's CEO

Maybe the Times should find someone else. 

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RelatedBBC director defends handling of sex abuse crisis

How can any one defend such things?

Let's look to those with experience:

"Vatican won’t pull honor for BBC host

LONDON — The Vatican said Saturday it never would have given Jimmy Savile a papal knighthood had it known of allegations the BBC television host, was a child sex predator, but said it cannot rescind the honor now that he has died. The Catholic Church of England asked the Holy See last week to consider whether it could remove the honor (AP)." 

Just SOP for the church.  

"Former judge opens second BBC inquiry" by Alan Cowell  |  New York Times, October 30, 2012

LONDON — The British Broadcasting Corp. said Monday that a former senior judge has begun an inquiry into the corporation’s ‘‘culture and practices’’ that lay behind the sexual abuse scandal surrounding television host Jimmy Savile.

Inquiry is British for cover-up. 

The inquiry, one of two independent reviews commissioned by the BBC, opened on the first anniversary of Savile’s death at age 84 and a day after British police, widening the scandal, arrested a former pop star in connection with the case.

The Metropolitan Police on Sunday arrested Paul Gadd, better known as Gary Glitter from the 1970s heyday of glam rock, who is a convicted pedophile. Gadd’s arrest came after accusations that he abused a teenage girl on the premises of the BBC. He was released on bail after being questioned in a London police station.

RelatedBritish rocker arrested in sex abuse inquiry

Since the British television station ITV broadcast a documentary about Savile earlier this month, some 300 people have come forward saying that they were abused by the outlandish television star.

They described a depraved environment in Savile’s dressing room at the BBC studios where teenage girls were molested by Savile and others, including Gadd.

The investigation by Dame Janet Smith, a former appeals court judge, is one of two that the BBC has commissioned into the scandal.

The other by Nick Pollard, a former head of the rival Sky News, is looking specifically into a decision last December by an editor at the BBC to cancel an investigation of Savile’s misconduct at a time when other sections of the corporation were planning Christmastime tributes to him.

Compared with the Leveson Inquiry, which involved public hearings on the behavior of the British press in the separate phone hacking scandal, the inquiries into the BBC’s behavior seemed more opaque....

The case has shocked the nation and shone an intense spotlight on the BBC. Nagging questions remain about why the investigation by the ‘‘Newsnight’’ program was abruptly canceled, and how much BBC executives knew about allegations that one of its stars had engaged in widespread sexual molestation in the 1970s and 1980s.

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Also see: Pedophiles exposed in the UK

He's right: Aangirfan is the authority when it comes to these sorts of things. 

Then there is the voyeurism of Rupert Murdoch's spying operation:

"Rupert Murdoch steps down from News Corp. boards" Associated Press, July 22, 2012

LONDON — Saturday’s announcement suggests media mogul Rupert Murdoch may be distancing himself from his British newspaper interests, which have been shaken to the core by a widespread phone-hacking scandal.

The scandal erupted last year when it emerged that Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World tabloid had systematically hacked voicemails of politicians and celebrities. The revelations have rocked Britain’s establishment and triggered three parallel police investigations that have resulted in more than 40 arrests.

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That must have made him mad

"British hacking inquiry broadened" New York Times, July 24, 2012

LONDON — The phone-hacking investigation in Britain, which began with Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers, has broadened to include allegations that information was obtained from stolen cellphones, significant payoffs were made to public officials, and ‘‘medical, banking, and other personal records’’ were illegally accessed, a senior police officer told a judicial inquiry Monday....

The authorities are trying to establish whether the thefts were isolated incidents or ‘‘the tip of the iceberg,’’ said Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers of Scotland Yard...

Another inquiry, into bribes paid to public officials, has led to 41 arrests — including 23 current and former journalists, four police officers, nine current and former public officials, and others who were conduits for the bribes.

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"8 charged in British phone hacking" by John F. Burns and Ravi Somaiya  |  New York Times, July 25, 2012

LONDON — After a year of furious controversy over the widespread phone hacking by one of Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid newspapers, British prosecutors brought criminal charges Tuesday against eight of the most prominent figures in the scandal, including Andy Coulson, who was Prime Minister David Cameron’s communications chief at 10 Downing St. until the scandal forced his resignation last year.

Also charged was Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of Murdoch’s newspaper empire in Britain until she, too, resigned last summer. Others who were indicted include five journalists who played prominent roles at News of the World, the tabloid where Brooks and later Coulson were the top editors at the time that the hacking is alleged to have occurred, from 2000 to 2006.

The criminal charges — and the possibility of prison terms if prosecutors win convictions — are a sharp turning point in the affair, adding the drama of high-profile trials to a saga that has already thrown the worlds of politics, policing, and journalism in Britain into a prolonged fit of self-examination and shaken the foundations of the Murdoch empire. 

Does that mean they are going to start reporting the truth?

The eighth person charged was Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator who served a prison term in 2007, together with News of the World’s reporter specializing in coverage of Britain’s royal family, for hacking into the cellphones of younger members of the royal family and their aides. Those convictions remain the only ones so far in the hacking furor.

After Tuesday’s announcement by Alison Levitt, the senior legal adviser at the Crown Prosecution Service, headlines in Britain focused on Coulson and Brooks, both of whom have strong personal links to Cameron — Coulson through his years at Cameron’s side, in and out of government, and Brooks because of the friendship she and her husband, Charlie Brooks, had with Cameron before the scandal erupted.

Political analysts said the fact that the two now face criminal trials that seem certain to run on at least through the next year, attracting wide news coverage, posed a potentially serious hazard to the prime minister. With a general election due in 2015, the analysts said, Cameron and the Conservative Party are now potentially vulnerable to any new revelations that might emerge from the trials, in the form of hitherto unpublished e-mails or testimony touching on the prime minister’s dealings with Coulson or Rebekah Brooks.

The charges, the most significant so far in a scandal that has rocked British public life and shaken faith in the media, politics, and police, relate to allegations that hundreds of celebrities, politicians, and others named in news stories had their voice mails intercepted by News of the World in search of scoops.

And there wasn't much in them to begin with. 

They refer specifically to more than a dozen high-profile figures, including actors Jude Law, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie, who prosecutors say were targeted between 2000 and 2006.

A spokesman for the prime minister said he had no comment on the matter, beyond his public statements.

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But he did take action:

"Cameron shakes up cabinet in Britain, but barely" by JOHN F. BURNS  |  NY Times Syndication, September 05, 2012

LONDON — In a bid to reshape his government halfway through its five-year term, Prime Minister David Cameron shook up his Cabinet on Tuesday, but produced only one major surprise: the promotion of a Cameron insider, Jeremy Hunt, to health minister, despite his entanglement in a furor over ties between the prime minister’s inner circle and Rupert Murdoch’s scandal-tainted media empire.

?????? Promoted?

The Cabinet reshuffle had been billed by Cameron aides as a move to put a ‘‘reinvigorated face’’ on the government. 

I'm sure the British people are as TIRED of the MAKS as I am.

In the face of political miscues and a recession-bound economy, political commentators have grown increasingly doubtful of the prospects for Cameron’s Conservative Party in a general election expected to be held in the spring of 2015. But Cameron’s new broom turned out to be a cautious one, with no changes in any of the top ministerial posts held by Conservatives, other than health.

The big message in the reshuffle appeared to be that Cameron will not be shaken from his course on the economy, in which he has hewed closely to an austerity program that aims at cutting government outlays by an average of 20 percent over four years.

To pay for tax cuts for the wealthy. 

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Related: Former top Murdoch executives appear at phone hacking hearing

For Lord's Sake

This is where the Liberal Democrats make a stand?

"In Britain, a parliamentary tit-for-tat; Clegg retaliates after Tories derail Lords overhaul" Bloomberg News, August 07, 2012

LONDON — Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg of England said Monday that he will order his Liberal Democrat lawmakers to block legislation wanted by the Conservatives after Tory rebels derailed plans to overhaul the House of Lords.

Clegg said the Conservatives had broken the contract between the coalition partners as he confirmed that the government has abandoned attempts to reform the 700-year-old upper chamber of Parliament until at least 2015. The Liberal Democrats will respond by opposing plans to redraw parliamentary boundaries that may help the Tories at the next general election.

The move plunges relations between the two parties to the lowest ebb since they came to power two years ago and will raise fresh doubts over whether the alliance can survive until 2015.

‘‘Clearly, I cannot permit a situation where Conservative rebels can pick and choose the parts of the contract they like, while Liberal Democrat MPs are bound to the entire agreement,’’ Clegg said at a press conference Monday....

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Related:

"UK papers keep Prince Harry under wraps; Agree not to run naked photos of prince in Vegas" by Jill Lawless  |  Associated Press, August 24, 2012

LONDON — The prince has no clothes — but British newspapers are not running the pictures.

The country’s scandal-loving tabloids devoted many pages Thursday to the story of Prince Harry’s naked romp in a Las Vegas hotel suite. But all heeded a warning from royal officials that printing the images, already seen by millions on the Internet, would infringe on the prince’s privacy.

So while Ireland’s Evening Herald ran the stark-naked prince on its front page, British newspapers made do with pictures of holiday Harry in bathing trunks and fedora hat.

The Sun tabloid came up with the most creative solution, getting a staff member named Harry and a 21-year-old female intern to re-create the naked pose under the headline ‘‘Harry grabs the crown jewels.’’

Bob Satchwell, head of industry group the Society of Editors, said papers were merely complying with editors’ voluntary Code of Practice, which declares ‘‘it is unacceptable to photograph individuals in private places without their consent.’’

But other media-watchers said it was a scandal that erupted a year ago over phone-hacking and other tabloid wrongdoing that had tamed Britain’s once-rambunctious press.

Newspapers were exposed to a trial of public opinion as Judge Brian Leveson’s media ethics inquiry heard from celebrities, politicians, and crime victims who said their lives had been turned upside down by press intrusion.

The scandal has killed one tabloid, the News of the World — shut down by owner Rupert Murdoch after revelations about its illegal eavesdropping — and tarnished the entire British media.

Yeah, turns out Murdoch's media empire is a cover for an intelligence-gathering operation. 

Related: Murdoch is Mad

Also seeWhy Bother Voting in Britain?

To see the links, that's why. 

Also related: FBI Saves Fox

Yeah, they did it here, too.

With the inquiry considering whether to impose stricter limits on press freedom, many feel the tabloids are staying away from kiss-and-tells and celebrity scoops that they once would have relished.

Neil Wallis, a former News of the World executive editor, said fallout from the hacking scandal had left newspapers ‘‘terrified of their own shadow.’’

‘‘In this post-Leveson era . . . they dare not do things that most of the country, if they saw it in the newspaper, would think, ‘that’s a bit of a laugh,’ ’’ Wallis told the BBC. 

Yeah, thank the Lord the British public still has fine and reputable organization in the BBC.

While newspapers, including The Sun and the Daily Mirror, proclaimed that the naked photos had been banned, that is not strictly true.

Several media organizations around the world ran the two naked photos of the prince, which are being sold, according to British media reports, for about $16,000. 

British outlets refrained, after receiving a warning Wednesday from palace officials.

Prince Harry’s office confirmed it had contacted the Press Complaints Commission, an industry watchdog, which in turn advised newspapers not to publish the pictures.

Any paper that ran them risks being chastised by the commission, which can demand a newspaper publish an apology, but has no power to issue fines.

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Also see:

"The judgment had already been outpaced by the Internet and the international gossip press, which have brought the grainy photos of the duchess to readers and viewers across the globe." 

I would have liked to have seen those. 

Also seePrince Andrew rappels 785 feet down UK tower

Admirers mark 15 years since Princess Diana died

Ruling shields Prince Charles’s letters from scrutiny

King Richard III grave hunters find bones in UK

I'm about to bury this post. 

The real royalty of Britain: The Rothschild family

Odd how I rarely if ever see their name in my newspaper or history books. 

Getting a Kick Out of This British Post

"Prime Minister David Cameron issued a full apology Wednesday for the wrongdoing of authorities and the subsequent coverup."

I've been told governments don't engage in cover-ups or conspiracies. 

Euthanizing the British Economy

It would save lives.... 

"Research links suicide increase in Britain to recession" by Makiko Kitamura  |  Bloomberg News,  August 16, 2012

LONDON — The recession that began in 2008 may have contributed to an increase in suicides in Britain, according to a study that echoes findings from research in the United States and Australia....

I suppose that is one way to get rid of useless eaters. 

The findings provide more evidence of an association between job losses and suicides, and suggest that a drop in suicides in 2010 was the result of lower unemployment. Suicide rates in the United States tend to rise during recessions and fall amid economic booms, said a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.

‘‘Unemployment and the unequal economic recovery in England are pressing public health issues,’’ the study’s authors said.

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Related: Sunday Globe Special: British Protest

Oh, the wealthy all got tax cuts, huh? 

"British court denies euthanasia plea" Associated Press, August 17, 2012

LONDON — Britain’s High Court rejected Thursday an attempt by a man who has locked-in syndrome to overturn the country’s euthanasia law, refusing to allow doctors to end his life legally.

Tony Nicklinson, 58, had a stroke in 2005 that left him unable to speak or move below his neck.

He requires constant care and communicates mostly by blinking, although his mind has remained unaffected and his condition is not terminal.

In January, Nicklinson had asked the High Court to declare that any doctor who kills him with his consent will not be charged with murder.

The High Court ruled Thursday that challenges from Nicklinson and another man, named only as Martin in court papers, to allow others to help them die without being prosecuted were a matter for Parliament to decide.

Nicklinson said he was devastated and heartbroken and planned to appeal.

‘‘I am saddened that the law wants to condemn me to a life of increasing indignity and misery,’’ he said in a statement.

Martin, 47, also has locked-in syndrome and asked the court to allow professionals to help him die, either by withholding food and water or by helping him go to a clinic in Switzerland to die.

His wife said she respects his wishes but does not want to help kill him.

Locked-in syndrome is a rare neurological disorder in which patients are completely paralyzed and able only to blink.

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"Briton who lost court bid for assisted suicide dies of natural causes" by JOHN F. BURNS  |  NY Times Syndication, August 23, 2012

LONDON — A 58-year-old British man suffering from a condition called locked-in syndrome died Wednesday, six days after the nation’s High Court rejected his request for help in ending his life.

His death is certain to galvanize the contentious debate about assisted suicide in Britain....

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The Great London Fire of 2012

"Firefighters battle blaze in London" Associated Press, August 13, 2012

LONDON — Firefighters battled a massive blaze at an east London recycling center Sunday as the city prepared for the closing ceremony of the Olympics. Officials said the blaze was the biggest they had seen in the city for years, but that the Games would in no way be affected.

The fire — about 7 miles east of the Olympic Park — was brought under control by late Sunday....

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British Message in a Bottle

Lost at sea....

"98-year-old message in bottle sets world record" Associated Press, August 31, 2012

LONDON — It was scooped from the sea after 98 years, and now officials say a message in a bottle discovered in Scotland has set a world record.

The message in a bottle discovered by fisherman Andrew Leaper.

Fisherman Andrew Leaper found the bottle — released in 1914 — in his nets in April while sailing east of the Shetland Islands, which lie off Scotland’s northern coast.

Guinness World Records confirmed Thursday the find is the oldest message in a bottle ever recovered, beating a previous record by five years.

It was released in a batch of 1,890 bottles in a government experiment to map the undercurrents of the seas around Scotland.

Inside each bottle, a postcard asks the finder to record details of the discovery and promises a reward of a sixpence. Unfortunately for Leaper, the coin no longer exists.

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I'm throwing it back. 

Boston Globe Makes a Quick British Withdrawal

And so will I. 

"UK lender’s stock plunges after Iran bank deals" by Gavin Finch, Bloomberg News / August 8, 2012

Standard Chartered PLC’s stock fell the most in almost 24 years as an analyst estimated it may face costs of $5.5 billion after being accused of violating US money laundering laws over its dealings with Iranian banks.

Standard Chartered may lose its license to operate in New York. Its Department of Financial Services found the bank conducted $250 billion of deals with Iranian banks over seven years and earned hundreds of millions of dollars in fees for handling transactions for institutions subject to US economic sanctions....

Click to continue reading this article 

Actually, the link sends you to a separate article by the New York Times.

RelatedStandard Chartered chief rejects N.Y. claims on Iran

Also seeJPMorgan agrees to pay $88.3m

The Boston Globe Takes a Dive

And I'm not referring to the ever-declining circulation:

"Weather may hold for sky diving stunt

ROSWELL — The weather in New Mexico appears to be cooperating this time for a daredevil trying to become the first sky diver to break the sound barrier. Meteorologist Don Day said the weather forecast is still favorable for the jump, scheduled for early Sunday near Roswell. Former Austrian paratrooper Felix Baumgartner will try to break a 1960 high-altitude parachuting record. He will also test a pressurized suit that was designed by the David Clark Co. of Worcester, Mass., for stratospheric jumps (AP)."

Related: Massachusetts firm outfits daredevil sky diver

Daredevil’s jumpsuit marks a leap for local firm

UPDATE:  "This death-defying venture is being sponsored by energy drink maker Red Bull, which has funded other extreme athletic events."

RelatedSunday Globe Special: Red Bull Billionaire Rises to Heaven

Daredevil sky diver leaps into the record books

Also seeGlobe Decline a Decade in the Making

The Boston Globe Admits Iraq Lies Killed It

I think those things had a lot more to do with it. No one likes a liar. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sunday Globe Special: British Protest

"Britons protest austerity measures; Deep cuts have not helped stem economy’s slide" by Raphael Satter  |  Associated Press, October 21, 2012


Marchers in Central London expressed frustration at deep government cuts — and persistent economic malaise.
Marchers in Central London expressed frustration at deep government cuts — and persistent economic malaise (Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images).

And I'm too old for it. 


LONDON — Tens of thousands of demonstrators descended on the British capital on Saturday in a noisy but peaceful protest at a government austerity drive aimed at slashing the nation’s debt.

Unions, antiwar campaigners, left-wing leaders, community groups, and other activists poured down London’s streets in a demonstration against reductions to public sector spending which officials are pushing through in order to rein in the Britain’s debt, which stands at more than $1.7 trillion.

Although the austerity program has had some modest successes — the country’s deficit has dropped slightly — the British economy has shrunk for three consecutive quarters amid cuts at home and economic turmoil on the continent.

Brendan Barber, whose Trades Union Congress helped organize the march, said that the message of Saturday’s protest was that ‘‘austerity is simply failing.’’

‘‘The government is making life desperately hard for millions of people because of pay cuts for workers, while the rich are given tax cuts,’’ he said.

It's worth it if bankers are served, right?

Britain borrowed $20.8 billion in September alone, and with other European countries — including next-door neighbor Ireland — struggling to make good on their debt, there is a general consensus that the budget needs to be rebalanced.

But the right-leaning government did little to endear itself with ordinary Britons when it reduced income taxes for the country’s wealthiest citizens earlier this year. And its leadership has struggled to fight perceptions of elitism in this class-conscious country.

On Friday, the Conservative Party’s chief whip stepped down following a dispute over whether he’d described officers guarding the prime minister’s official residence at Downing Street as ‘‘plebs’’ or warned them to ‘‘learn your [expletive] place.’’

Even opposition Labor Party leader Ed Miliband, who is known for his close ties with unions, was booed when he told protesters gathered in London’s Hyde Park that some cuts would have to be made one way or the other.

Labor is Britain's version of Democrats.

‘‘It’s right that we level with people,’’ he argued. The cheers returned after he criticized what he described as ‘‘self-defeating austerity.’’ 

That would be a first for any government.

Jeers aside, the protests were good-natured. One group of children dressed up as government workers, including a nurse and a traffic warden. Another child, dressed as a chef, held up a sign warning that Prime Minister David Cameron was ‘‘a recipe for disaster.’’

Yeah, the protesters are using children to advance their agenda. You would almost think they were a war-promoting newspaper or government.

Following the rally a splinter group of demonstrators — some wearing the Guy Fawkes masks associated with the Anonymous movement — ran through the streets of London with officers in tow. A Scotland Yard spokesman said there had been no arrests.

There is your controlled opposition right there. 

Official crowd estimates were not immediately available, although Associated Press journalists at the scene said the protesters were tens of thousands strong.

In other words, they are the VOICE of the PEOPLE!

Similar protests were also held in Belfast, Northern Ireland’s capital, and Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city.

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UPDATE:

"Occupy London activists stage St. Paul’s protest" Associated Press, October 15, 2012

LONDON —Several supporters of the anticorporate Occupy movement chained themselves to the pulpit of St. Paul’s Cathedral during a service Sunday in an action marking the anniversary of its now-dismantled protest camp outside the London landmark....

A statement read by the protesters and posted online by the movement accused cathedral authorities of neglecting their Christian duty by siding with the rich and powerful.

‘‘In the fight for economic justice, Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple, but you invited them in and instead evicted us,’’ it said.

In a statement, the cathedral said it disagreed ‘‘with the way in which some protesters are continuing to pursue the agenda or conflict with St. Paul’s, rather than consulting with us about how together we might better achieve the reforms which many people including Occupy are looking for.’’ 

Like what? Politics?

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Sunday Globe Special: Spanish Supper

Bon appetite:

A man ate raw meat scavenged from the garbage at a market in Madrid. Spain has nearly 6 million unemployed.
A man ate raw meat scavenged from the garbage at a market in Madrid. Spain has nearly 6 million unemployed (Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press) 

1 out of 4 in Spain are now unemployed; Economy has yet to reap benefits of austerity steps 

That's when I stopped reading it. The "benefits" of austerity skew made me sicker than the photograph. I suppose that's why they doth protest.

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No, that is what they serve. 

Sunday Globe Special: Wining About Fracking

"In upstate New York, wine vs. drilling; Grape growers in Finger Lakes fear fracking could spoil pristine region" by Michael Hill  |  Associated Press,  October 28, 2012

Some grape growers fear that if shale gas drilling, or fracking, is allowed in this region of postcard-perfect hills and crystal-clear lakes, the muddy well sites and rumbling trucks will not only endanger the environment but threaten the Finger Lakes’ reputation for pristine beauty....

The Finger Lakes sit atop the Utica shale formation and on the northern fringe of the Marcellus Shale formation, which is being tapped just across the state line in Pennsylvania through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The process involves the injection of massive amounts of chemically treated water into wells, and is denounced by many environmentalists as a danger to drinking water supplies....

Fracking pits residents eager for new economic activity in a job-hungry region against those with environmental concerns. More than 110 upstate New York municipalities have passed moratoriums or outright bans on gas drilling....

At least they are not job thirsty. 

A spokesman for the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York, a trade group, said fears of a forest of rigs and roads choked with trucks are unfounded. The buildup in New York is expected to be slow, wells will be spaced far apart, and water used in the process will be drawn from nearby ponds, lakes, and streams when possible, instead of being brought in by truck, spokesman Jim Smith said.

That is supposed to make us feel better?

Allied with the drilling companies are hundreds of residents looking forward to new jobs or big profits from leasing their land. Some farmers are among those who would welcome the economic jolt.

Related: Globe $chilling For Shale

Not really a $urpri$e anymore. 

‘‘The drilling operation is temporary and then all there is is a pad and pipe sticking out of the ground,’’ said Gerald Urda, who grows organic vegetables and fruit, including grapes, southeast of the Finger Lakes in Windsor, N.Y. ‘‘I think the two can coexist. It’s not going to be drilling forever, and it’s not going to be the whole area at once.’’

I'm sure water that burns will make great wine. 

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RelatedNew York suit to review fracking rebuffed

I've got a finger for the frackers. 

Also see: Obama Fracking Up His Chances For Reelection

Here, have a glass of wine. 

Sunday Globe Specials: Political Knock-Knock Joke

Don't ask who is there. 

Related: Sunday Globe Special: Political Sell-Outs

No wonder the calls won't stop coming.

"New tools aid door-to-door push for votes; There is an extraordinary calculus behind the work of door-knockers for President Obama and Mitt Romney, backed by millions of dollars of scientific research" by Michael Kranish, Alan Wirzbicki and Brian MacQuarrie  |  Globe Staff, October 28, 2012

BEDFORD, N.H. — It is the fruit of an extraordinary and very modern calculus, one backed by millions of dollars of political science research — and one that could well determine who becomes president....

Enormous databases that include everything from car ownership to church membership, providing clues about which houses the door-knockers should target.

I knew all that spying was good for something, 'murkn. 

Globe reporters followed the ground forces of both candidates in two battleground states, New Hampshire and Ohio....

What once seemed revolutionary — setting up countless phone banks to reach every potential voter, blitzing mailboxes with fliers and the airwaves with commercials — now is viewed as seriously flawed. The noise is so great, the telephone calls so often ignored, and the commercials so frequent, that no one can be sure the message is getting out, or sinking in.

I'll clear it up for them. It isn't. They have been tuned out. 

So....

New Hampshire, on paper at least, may not look like fertile ground for Obama. The president’s strongest supporters include African-Americans and Hispanics, but blacks make up only 1.3 percent of the state’s population, compared with 13 percent nationally, and Hispanics account for 3 percent, compared with nearly 17 percent nationally. Romney has a summer home in Wolfeboro and easily won the Republican primary in January.

RelatedSununu backs off remarks on Powell

Of course, it's okay for the elitist and supremacist media to divide us all into subgroups based on race, gender, sexual orientation, age, etc, etc.

Yet a few weeks ago, Obama was up by 15 points in a University of New Hampshire poll. Then, after Obama’s poor showing in the first debate, the margin eroded. The Romney campaign, which had been heavily outspent on television commercials, began buying airtime. A University of New Hampshire poll released last week found that Obama’s lead had been cut to 8 points, while an American Research Group poll surprised many by finding Romney ahead by 2 points.

See: Sunday Globe Special: Romney's Recalibration

Maybe the rig really is in for Mitt. 

Such a surge might be too late to carry the day in states with heavy early voting, but New Hampshire does not have early voting.

Moreover, New Hampshire encourages voters to show up on Election Day by allowing registration at the polls, whereas many other states shut down registration weeks ahead of Nov. 6. As many as 100,000 voters are expected to take advantage of the law allowing last-minute registration, which would set a state record. The result is that the old-fashioned business of getting out voters on Election Day is vital in New Hampshire.

In Ohio, meanwhile, the rules and demographics are different. It has nearly nine times the population of New Hampshire, with a black population close to the national average and a Hispanic population of 3.2 percent.

New Hampshire is the second-least churchgoing state in the nation and is socially libertarian, while parts of Ohio are more socially and religiously conservative. Early voting is crucial in Ohio, where at least 35 percent of voters are expected to cast ballots before Election Day.

And yet they didn't vote for Ron Paul. 

Yet in both states, as in every battleground, it is widely believed that the race will be won by the campaign that can get out its voters. That truism is buttressed by some national polls that have shown Obama leads Romney among registered voters but is statistically deadlocked among “likely voters.”

In 2008, Obama’s victory was all but assured by what was widely acknowledged to be his superior ground game, in which many new voters, particularly younger ones, padded his lead. Republicans said they have learned their lesson and have spent much of the last year trying to build the infrastructure for a record turnout. Democrats said they have redoubled their efforts.

The feeling here is the machines have already been programmed. We will all find out who the masters have selected as their next administrator the night of November 6. 

And so, in the leafy neighborhoods and cities in New Hampshire and Ohio, the race is on to ferret out not just undecided or wavering voters, but those who might not follow through on their preferences and cast a ballot.

Focus on crucial counties

Of all the once-Republican counties that swung to support President Obama in 2008, perhaps none was more symbolic of the sweep of his victory than Ohio’s Hamilton County, long a fabled GOP stronghold.

“I was shellshocked’’ in 2008, said Deb Voss, 54, a homemaker who also runs a home decor business. She was knocking on doors in Madeira, a suburb of Cincinnati, last Wednesday, part of the GOP’s extensive get-out-the-vote effort to reclaim the county. Voss said she had never been involved with politics — until now.

The work is laborious. In two hours, Voss and Karen Schreckenhofer, 46, a homemaker who volunteers for the GOP four days a week, reached households with a total of only 17 voters. But the GOP says that as fewer people answer their phones, staffers have reemphasized face-to-face contact to reach voters.

The next day, a starkly different side of Hamilton County emerges, one that underscores Romney’s challenges. On an unseasonably hot afternoon downtown, voters fanned themselves with campaign fliers as they waited in lines for 45 minutes to an hour to cast ballots. Almost all were from Cincinnati rather than the GOP-leaning suburbs. Many of them were African-American. Virtually all of them were Obama supporters.

The Obama campaign has pushed voters to take advantage of in-person early voting, an option added after the state’s disastrous election in 2004, when hours-long lines at many precincts proved a national embarrassment. Yet for all the campaign’s efforts, many voters Thursday said they had come on their own....

It was the one and only time (or so we are told) the exit polls were wrong.

See: Stolen Elections (Part 2)

Not that it really mattered. Kerry would have simply carried forward the same policies with a neo-liberal bent, just as Obama has. 

A similar scene played out in Dayton, where a stream of early voters, about two-thirds of them African-American, flowed into the Montgomery County Administration Building from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, peaking at 350 an hour in late afternoon. They came with canes, with spouses, and with children.

The Obama campaign’s emphasis on early voting played a major role in its 2008 victory....

A Time magazine poll released Wednesday showed Obama leading 60 percent to 30 percent among Ohio voters who already had cast ballots. However, the president and Romney were tied at 45 percent among people who said they intend to vote but had not yet done so.

Then Obama should win Ohio. 

Both campaigns are relying on surrogates in Ohio to deliver their message among union members and evangelical voters.

In 2008, 58 percent of union voters in Ohio voted for Obama, according to exit polls. But this year, the Obama campaign is hoping that the auto industry bailout, which benefited union members in Ohio, will lead to greater support.

Unions are being aided in canvassing by Working America, a national group with 3 million members, including 1 million in Ohio, who do not belong to organized labor but would like its benefits.

White evangelicals also have the potential to play a key role for Romney in Ohio, where they made up about 30 percent of the electorate in 2008 and broke 72 percent to 28 percent for John McCain. Throughout the state, Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition is contacting Christian conservatives.

Related: Sunday Globe Special: Ralph Reed's Redemption

Also see: Other Ohio Items

Looks like Ohio will be stolen, I mean, going red again.

Microtargeting voters

In New Hampshire, meanwhile, so much rides on turnout that the two campaigns are relying heavily on their computer databases to identify every potential vote.

The databases are part of what is known as “microtargeting,” a collection of information from public records and consumer lists that is entered into spreadsheets....

They know you better than you know yourself. 

Indeed, Tom Rath, a senior Romney adviser, said the use of microtargeting innately appeals to the data-driven Romney. “If you are an organizational type like Mitt Romney, the idea that there is a process that can be measured and calibrated and tracked is very soothing,” Rath said....

Meaning Mitt is a control freak. 

Michael Cote, a Teamster and UPS driver, said he has been inundated with union literature urging him to vote for Obama. The Teamsters have their own microtargeting effort; the union president, Jimmy Hoffa Jr., who supports Obama, can be heard in a message on Cote’s answering machine.

Cote is sympathetic to concerns that union interests could be undermined by a Romney presidency but he is undecided because of the tough economy.

“The only thing that is preventing me from voting for Romney is the fact that I’m a Teamster,” he said. “I like Mitt Romney more than I like Oba­ma but I’m still kind of torn.’’

Richard Christie, a retired federal employee, tried to close the sale, but Cote said he won’t decide until a day or two before Election Day, one of the last of the undecided. “I’ll be voting, trust me,” Cote said. “That’s a sacred right.”

He's one of the Ohio's one percent

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Related(?):

"Despite the upbeat rally, several supporters said they are worried about the outcome on Election Day. “I’m really scared. I see more Romney signs than Obama signs, and that makes me nervous,” said Meg Maroni, 58, a school psychologist from Plymouth, N.H.

Me, too, even here in Massachusetts.  Of course, signs mean nothing; otherwise, Ron Paul would be the Republican nominee. 

After a warm-up concert by James Taylor, the president was introduced by US Senator Jeanne Shaheen, former governor of New Hampshire, who spoke of the small state’s outsized importance in the election: “The next 10 days will clearly determine the future of our state and our country.”

Already has been. Romney agrees on foreign policy, and I am no longer falling for the s*** fooleys when it comes to domestic politics. 

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Also seeObama making 6th visit to N.H.

"Poll finds majority in US hold racist views; Prejudice has risen since 2008 Obama victory" by Jennifer Agiesta and Sonya Ross  |  Associated Press,  October 28, 2012

WASHINGTON — Racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the nation elected its first black president, an Associated Press poll finds, as a slight majority of Americans now express prejudice toward black people whether they recognize those feelings or not.

(Blog editor notes the irony of the supremacist Jew media hollering racism at us ignorant slobs)

Those views could cost President Obama votes as he tries for reelection, the survey found, though the effects are mitigated by some people’s more favorable views of black people.

Oh, I LOVE CONTRADICTORY HORSE SHIT served up to DIVIDE as the RIGGED ELECTION NARRATIVE is WRITTEN!!

Racial prejudice has risen slightly since 2008 whether those feelings were measured using questions that explicitly asked respondents about racist attitudes, or through an experimental test that measured implicit views toward race without asking questions about that topic directly.

Mind-reading or agenda-pushing pollsters. 

In all, 51 percent of those surveyed expressed explicit racist attitudes toward black people, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the share with racist sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing positive attitudes toward black people fell....

I am SO TIRED of being DIVIDED by the ELITIST PRESS when WE ALL -- black, white, yellow, red, green, purple, and blue -- WANT an END to the WARS, UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE, and OUR SOCIAL NEEDS MET!

Obama has tread cautiously on the subject of race, but many blacks have talked openly about perceived antagonism toward them since he took office. As evidence, they point to events involving police brutality or cite bumper stickers, cartoons, and protest posters that mock the president as a lion or a monkey, or lynch him in effigy.

‘‘Part of it is growing polarization within American society,’’ said Fredrick Harris, director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University.

Overall, the survey found that by virtue of racial prejudice, Obama could lose 5 percentage points off his share of the popular vote in his Nov. 6 contest against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

But Obama also stands to benefit from a 3 percentage point gain because of nonracist sentiment, the researchers said. Overall, that means an estimated net loss of 2 percentage points because of racist attitudes....

Enough to throw the election to Romney. 

Most Americans also expressed racist attitudes toward Hispanics....

But they rarely express alleged anti-Semitism due to the decades of Zionist inculcation and indoctrination in the educational institutions and mass media. 

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And when I answered the door no one was there. 

And I would like to state for the LAST TIME that it is ACTIONS and POLICIES that I disagree with. I don't see race or gender when I read a paper; all I see is black and white ink with a name. 

Where I DO NOTE the DIFFERENCE is that it is PREDOMINATELY BROWN PEOPLE standing under the DRONE MISSILES approved by the "Peace Prize" president, and who are the predominate victims of EUSraeli imperialism across the planet. 

Sunday Globe Special: The Army of the Empire

May it soon collapse and spare the world more misery.

"Army to revamp for post-Afghanistan era; Special Forces, drones, cyber capabilities key" by Ernesto LondoƱo  |  Washington Post, October 21, 2012

FORT POLK, La. — Shortly after dark, the paratroopers jumped out of C-130s into a Caspian Sea country teeming with mayhem, political unrest, and insurgents.

Their first mission was to prevent a US consulate from being overrun.

Then they were to repel an invasion by a hostile neighboring nation that was after oil wealth of the fictional country of Atropia. If all went according to plan, the mission would last no longer than a few weeks.

A protracted ground war this was not.

The training exercise — which kicked off in this Army base in Louisiana this month — is among the first the US Army has designed in an effort to overhaul the country’s fighting force as the war in Afghanistan draws to a close.

The withdrawal of US combat forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 will conclude a chapter of expensive and unpopular war in that country and in Iraq that began more than a decade ago and has led to the deaths of more than 6,000 American troops.

And how many Iraqis and Afghans were killed based on mouthpiece media lies?

The new Army, senior military leaders say, must become more nimble, its officers more savvy, and its engagements more nuanced and almost certainly shorter. The lessons of the Arab Spring weigh heavily on war planners, with an array of threats looming in the Middle East and elsewhere. A high premium is being placed on devising the proper use of Special Forces, drones, and cyber capabilities....

The transition is fraught with challenges. The Pentagon has been ordered to slash its budget by $487 billion over the next decade. As part of that effort, the Army intends to shrink from its 2010 wartime peak of 570,000 active-duty soldiers to 490,000 in 2017.


After growing accustomed to largely unquestioned spending during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, commanders will now face painful fiscal choices, but it is hard to tell what the next major conflict will look like, so the new training exercises encompass an amalgam of threats, military officials say.

The soldiers involved in the exercise here are tasked with helping an allied nation push back an invading force, while battling two insurgencies.

What about when WE ARE the INVADERS (a far more likely possibility)?

Special Forces working closely with conventional units and troops have been ordered to show deference to American civilian officials with vast experience in the country.

‘‘As we focus the Army for what we think the next conflict is going to look like, we need to be mindful that it will require closer cooperation among State, Defense, and intelligence agencies working together to fulfill the mission,’’ said Robert Mosher, a retired Foreign Service officer playing the role of an embattled consul general in the exercise.

I was told it was going to be Iran. 

To make the training more realistic, a would-be consulate was created as part of a fake village that had previously been built for the training of soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Surrounding woods became Atropia, a battlespace for roaming soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division.

Colonel Bill Burleson, a commander at the Joint Readiness Training Center, said today’s Army is more battle-tested than it has been in decades.

Which is why it is riddled with PTSD.

But the flurry of threats — ranging from hostile nations with nuclear programs, a possible war between Israel and Iran, and burgeoning insurgencies in North Africa and the Arab world — can be dizzying to contemplate, he said.

‘‘We’ve got tremendous operational experience after 10 years-plus of fighting,’’ he said. ‘‘What we’ve set out to do is put together a training exercise that trains for the uncertainty and ambiguity of the future.’’

A key challenge, Army officials acknowledge, will be retaining top talent as midcareer officers and enlisted soldiers mull new job prospects and the era of major land wars ends.

What job prospects?

Frederick Wellman, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who runs a public relations firm focused on defense and veterans issues, said the thought of a peacetime job will probably be jarring for troops who have spent a decade at war.

So re-up. You'll be lucky to find a job, I don't care what the lying, agenda-pushing AmeriKan media says. 

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Sunday Globe Special: Al-CIA-Duh Returning to Afghanistan

Well, I guess we can't leave in 2014 like they told you we were even though they never had any intention of leaving.

"Al Qaeda remnants angling for Afghan comeback" by Deb Riechmann and ROBERT BURNS  |  Associated Press, October 21, 2012

KABUL — A diminished but resilient Al Qaeda, whose 9/11 attacks drew America into its longest war, is attempting a comeback in Afghanistan’s mountainous east even as US and allied forces wind down their combat mission and concede a small but steady toehold to the terrorist group.

Excuse me, but I've gotta take a crap

Who are the terrorists again?

Oh, btw, it turns out Muslims didn't do 9/11; Israel and her helpers in various western governments and intelligence agencies did.  

That concerns US commanders, who have intensified strikes against Al Qaeda cells in recent months. It also undercuts an Obama administration narrative portraying Al Qaeda as battered to the point of being a nonissue in Afghanistan as Western troops start leaving.

When he visited Afghanistan in May to mark the one-year anniversary of the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden, President Obama said his administration had turned the tide of war. ‘‘The goal that I set — to defeat Al Qaeda, and deny it a chance to rebuild — is within reach,’’ he said.

As things stand, however, an unquestionably weakened Al Qaeda appears to have preserved at least limited means of regenerating inside Afghanistan as US influence in the country wanes. The last US combat troops are scheduled to be gone by Dec. 31, 2014, and security matters turned over to the Afghan government....

The police chief of Paktika Province, General Dawlat Khan Zadran, through a translator in an interview this month in the governor’s compound, mentioned no numbers, but said Al Qaeda has moved more weapons across the border from Pakistan. 

Sorry, but I really can't read this shit any more. 

For years the main target of US-led forces has been the Taliban, rulers of Afghanistan and protectors of Al Qaeda before the US invasion 11 years ago. But the strategic goal is to prevent Al Qaeda from again  finding a haven in Afghanistan from which to launch attacks on the United States.

Al Qaeda’s leadership fled in late 2001 to neighboring Pakistan, where it remains.

The group remains active inside Afghanistan, fighting US troops, spreading extremist messages, raising money, recruiting young Afghans, and providing military expertise to the Taliban and other radical groups.

US General John Allen, the top commander of international forces in Afghanistan, has said Al Qaeda has reemerged, and although its numbers are small, he says the group does not need a large presence to be influential.

US officials say they are committed, even after the combat mission ends in 2014, to doing whatever it takes to prevent a major resurgence. The Americans intend, for example, to have special operation forces at the ready to keep a long-term lid on Al Qaeda inside Afghanistan.

A more immediate worry is the threat posed by the growing presence of Al Qaeda and affiliated groups in Yemen, Somalia, and across a broad swath of North Africa, where it is believed Al Qaeda-linked militants may have been responsible for the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Oh, so THAT is where the EMPIRE is going NEXT! 

How odd they are RIGHT NEXT TO VITAL SHIPPING LANES and OIL SUPPLIES, huh?

--more--"

Sunday Globe Special: Israel Interdicts Another Gazan Aid Ship

And the "world community" doesn't even bat an eye.

"Israeli naval vessels take control of boat headed for Gaza" by Diaa Hadid  |  Associated Press, October 21, 2012

JERUSALEM — Israeli troops commandeered a Gaza-bound ship that tried to break through Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-ruled seaside strip on Saturday, the military said. European lawmakers and other pro-Palestinian activists aboard did not resist, and the Finnish-flagged vessel was diverted to an Israeli port.

The trip by the ship, Estelle, marked the latest challenge to the air, land, and sea embargo of Gaza that Israel imposed after the Islamic militant Hamas group seized the territory in 2007. Israeli officials say they need to enforce the blockade to prevent weapons smuggling.

Actually, they WON ELECTIONS and the AmeriKan media KNOWS they WON ELECTIONS -- and yet they STILL PROMULGATE a LIE!!  

That being the case they are NOT TO BE BELIEVED or TRUSTED on all things Palestine! Interesting that Hamas seized territory and yet Israel's siege is never referred to as such.

Hamas called for more attempts to break the sea blockade.

As do I.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement praising the military for enforcing the blockade, said there ‘‘is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza,’’ and accused the activists of trying to ‘‘provoke and slander Israel’s name.’’

Israel does that by its actions. 

‘‘If human rights were really important to these activists they would have sailed for Syria. We will continue to protect our borders,’’ he said.

Don't change the subject. 

Six Israeli naval vessels stopped the Estelle when it was about 30 nautical miles from Gaza. Masked soldiers boarded the ship and ordered it to sail to Israel’s Ashdod port, said Victoria Strand, a spokeswoman for the activists.

The Swedish-owned Estelle left Naples on Oct. 7 with about 30 people from eight countries, including lawmakers from Norway, Sweden, Greece, and Spain, as well as Israeli activists and a 79-year-old former legislator from Canada.

Israeli military spokeswoman Lieutenant Avital Leibovich accused the activists of staging a provocation.


‘‘We have this blockade because there are constant smuggling attempts of weapons, munitions, that eventually reach the hands of terror organizations inside Gaza,’’ she said. 

The ship was checked at every port and nothing like that was found -- at all. 

Although Hamas and Israel have maintained an unwritten truce for more than two years, violence occasionally flares in the area. 

It's a one-sided truce, but I expect the skewish journalism these days. 

Most recently, an Israeli strike on a prominent Al Qaeda-inspired jihadi prompted two days of tit-for-tat rocket fire and strikes last week.

Excuse me, but I've gotta take a crap

Strand said the takeover of the Estelle by Israeli forces was a ‘‘demonstration of ruthlessness.’’ The ship was carrying cement, basketballs, and musical instruments, she said.

Israel, aided by Egypt, closed Gaza’s borders after Hamas seized control and drove out forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas more than five years ago.

There they go again.

Israel eased its restrictions after its raid of a Turkish-led blockade-busting flotilla in 2010 left nine activists dead and sparked international condemnation.

Not really, but you know. 

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Sunday Globe Special: Saudis Weigh In On Syria

"Saudis hold heavy weapons back from Syrian rebels; US discourages such support" by Robert F. Worth  |  New York Times, October 07, 2012

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — For months, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been funneling money and small arms to Syria’s rebels but have refused to provide heavier weapons, like shoulder-fired missiles, that could allow opposition fighters to bring down government aircraft, take out armored vehicles, and turn the war’s tide.

While they have publicly called for arming the rebels, they have held back, officials in both countries said, in part because they have been discouraged by the United States, which fears the heavier weapons could end up in the hands of terrorists.

As a result, the rebels have just enough weapons to maintain a stalemate, the war grinds on, and more jihadist militants join the fray every month.

‘‘You can give the rebels AKs, but you can’t stop the Syrian regime’s military with AKs,’’ said Khalid al-Attiyah, a state minister for foreign affairs in Qatar. Providing the rebels with heavier weapons ‘‘has to happen,’’ he added. ‘‘But first we need the backing of the United States, and preferably the UN.’’

Saudi officials here said the United States was not barring them from providing shoulder-fired missiles but was warning about the risks. The Saudis and Qataris said they hoped to persuade their allies that those risks could be overcome....

US support for such weapons transfers is unlikely to materialize any time soon. President Obama’s administration has made clear that it has no desire to deepen its efforts, mostly providing logistical support for the rebels....

Related: "US intelligence agents have helped funnel arms to rebel groups"

And yet so often I am told we they not. 


Backing from the UN Security Council, where any intervention is blocked by the vetoes of Russia and China, seems even less likely. Nor is the call for an Arab-led military action in Syria, voiced two weeks ago by the emir of Qatar at the UN General Assembly, expected to bear fruit.


Many Saudi and Qatari officials now fear that the fighting in Syria is awakening deep sectarian animosities and, barring such intervention, could turn into an uncontrollable popular jihad with consequences far more threatening to Arab governments than the Afghan war of the 1980s.... 

That's the narrative some (cui bono) would like you to believe. I'm sorry I no longer believe the intelligence agency cover story known as sectarianism, readers. 

Saudi Arabia has long had an antagonistic relationship with the government of President Bashar Assad in Syria and sees itself as the protector of Syria’s Sunni majority in a country governed by Assad’s Alawite minority. But the prospect of an increasingly sectarian civil war in Syria is deeply troubling to many here, where the Afghan jihad spawned a generation of battle-tested zealots who returned home and waged a bloody insurgency that was brought under control only recently.


‘‘The government really doesn’t want to repeat the experience we had with the guys who went to Afghanistan and Iraq,’’ said Mshari al-Zaydi, a Saudi columnist and a specialist on jihadi movements. ‘‘The damage from Al Qaeda was worse in Saudi Arabia than it was in the USA.’’ 

Excuse me, but I've gotta take a crap

Who are the "terrorists" again? 


In May, a group of Saudi clerics announced a fund-raising drive on Facebook to support the Syrian rebels. Days later, they posted messages saying the government had barred them from sending donations.


Some clerics criticized the government’s restriction, including Awda, who sent an apparent warning on Twitter: ‘‘The donations to Syria cannot be limited to this route or that route, and those who want to provide support will find a way.’’

The Saudi government must also manage the rising demand for greater action to defend the rebels against the Syrian government. Behind these political fault lines lies a deep sectarian hostility: Saudis are increasingly angry about the mistreatment of their fellow Sunni Muslims in Syria by an Alawite regime they see as heretical.

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