Toyota

Since the Dilly, Dally, Delay & Stall Law Firms are adding their billable hours, the Toyota U.S.A. and Route 44 Toyota posts have been separated here:

Route 44 Toyota Sold Me A Lemon



Thursday, April 30, 2015

RSN: The Day After Damascus Falls





 
Parry writes: "If Syrian President Bashar al-Assad meets the same fate as Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi or Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, much of Official Washington would rush out to some chic watering hole to celebrate – one more 'bad guy' down, one more 'regime change' notch on the belt. But the day after Damascus falls could mark the beginning of the end for the American Republic."
 
Jabhat al-Nusra fighters in Yarmouk refugee camp on southern outskirts of Syrian capital, Damascus. (photo: AFP/Archive)
Jabhat al-Nusra fighters in Yarmouk refugee camp on southern outskirts of Syrian capital, Damascus. (photo: AFP/Archive)

The Day After Damascus Falls

By Robert Parry, Consortium News
30 April 15

The Saudi-Israeli alliance has gone on the offensive, ramping up a “regime change” war in Syria and, in effect, promoting a military victory for Al-Qaeda or its spinoff, the Islamic State. But the consequences of that victory could toll the final bell for the American Republic, writes Robert Parry.

f Syrian President Bashar al-Assad meets the same fate as Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi or Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, much of Official Washington would rush out to some chic watering hole to celebrate – one more “bad guy” down, one more “regime change” notch on the belt. But the day after Damascus falls could mark the beginning of the end for the American Republic. 
As Syria would descend into even bloodier chaos – with an Al-Qaeda affiliate or its more violent spin-off, the Islamic State, the only real powers left – the first instinct of American politicians and pundits would be to cast blame, most likely at President Barack Obama for not having intervened more aggressively earlier.
 
A favorite myth of Official Washington is that Syrian “moderates” would have prevailed if only Obama had bombed the Syrian military and provided sophisticated weapons to the rebels.
 
Though no such “moderate” rebel movement ever existed – at least not in any significant numbers – that reality is ignored by all the “smart people” of Washington. It is simply too good a talking point to surrender. The truth is that Obama was right when he told New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman in August 2014 that the notion of a “moderate” rebel force that could achieve much was “always … a fantasy.”
 
As much fun as the “who lost Syria” finger-pointing would be, it would soon give way to the horror of what would likely unfold in Syria with either Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front or the spin-off Islamic State in charge – or possibly a coalition of the two with Al-Qaeda using its new base to plot terror attacks on the West while the Islamic State engaged in its favorite pastime, those YouTube decapitations of infidels – Alawites, Shiites, Christians, even some descendants of the survivors from Turkey’s Armenian genocide a century ago who fled to Syria for safety.
 
Such a spectacle would be hard for the world to watch and there would be demands on President Obama or his successor to “do something.” But realistic options would be few, with a shattered and scattered Syrian army no longer a viable force capable of driving the terrorists from power.
 
The remaining option would be to send in the American military, perhaps with some European allies, to try to dislodge Al-Qaeda and/or the Islamic State. But the prospects for success would be slim. The goal of conquering Syria – and possibly re-conquering much of Iraq as well – would be costly, bloody and almost certainly futile.
 
The further diversion of resources and manpower from America’s domestic needs also would fuel the growing social discontent in major U.S. cities, like what is now playing out in Baltimore where disaffected African-American communities are rising up in anger against poverty and the police brutality that goes with it. A new war in the Middle East would accelerate America’s descent into bankruptcy and a dystopian police state.
 
The last embers of the American Republic would fade. In its place would be endless war and a single-minded devotion to security. The National Security Agency already has in place the surveillance capabilities to ensure that any civil resistance could be thwarted.
 
Can This Fate Be Avoided?
 
But is there a way to avoid this grim fate? Is there a way to wind this scenario back to some point before this outcome becomes inevitable? Can the U.S. political/media system – as corrupt and cavalier as it is – find a way to avert such a devastating foreign policy disaster?
 
To do so would require Official Washington to throw off old dependencies, such as its obeisance to the Israel Lobby, and old habits, such as its reliance on manipulative PR to control the American people, patterns deeply engrained in the political process.
 
At least since the Reagan administration – with its “kick the Vietnam Syndrome” fascination via “public diplomacy” and “perception management” – the tendency has been to designate some foreign leader as the latest new villain and then whip up public hysteria in support of a “regime change.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Victory of Perception Management.”]
 
In the 1980s, we saw the use of these “black hat/white hat” exaggerations in Nicaragua, where President Ronald Reagan deemed President Daniel Ortega “the dictator in designer glasses” as Reagan’s propagandists depicted Sandinista-ruled Nicaragua as a “totalitarian dungeon” and the CIA-trained Contra “freedom fighters” the “moral equal of the Founding Fathers.”
 
And, since Ortega and the Sandinistas were surely not the embodiment of all virtue, it was hard to put Reagan’s black-and-white depiction into the proper shades of gray. To make the effort opened you to charges of being a “Sandinista apologist.” Similarly, any negative news about the Contras – such as their tendencies to rape, murder, torture and smuggle drugs – was sternly suppressed with offending U.S. journalists targeted for career retaliation.
 
The pattern set by Reagan around Nicaragua and other Central American conflicts became the blueprint for how to carry out these post-Vietnam War propaganda operations. Afterwards came Panama’s “madman” Manuel Noriega in 1989 and Iraq’s “worse than Hitler” Saddam Hussein in 1990-91. Each American war was given its own villainous lead actor.
 
In 2002-03, Hussein was brought back to reprise his “worse-than-Hitler” role in a post-9/11 sequel. His new evil-doing involved sharing nuclear weapons and other WMD with Al-Qaeda so the terror group could inflict even worse havoc on the innocent United States. Anyone who questioned Official Washington’s WMD “group think” was dismissed as a “Saddam apologist.”
 
Amid this enforced consensus, there was great joy when the U.S.-led invasion overthrew Hussein’s government and captured him. “We got him,” U.S. proconsul Paul Bremer exulted when Hussein was pulled from a “spider hole” and was soon heading to the gallows.
 
However, some of the triumphal excitement wore off when the U.S. occupation forces failed to discover the promised caches of WMD. Hussein’s ouster also didn’t produce the sunny new day that America’s neocons had promised for Iraq and the Middle East. Instead, Al-Qaeda, which had not existed under Hussein’s secular regime, found fertile soil to plant its “Al-Qaeda in Iraq,” a radical Sunni movement which pioneered a particularly graphic form of terrorist violence.
 
That brutality, often directed at Shiites, was met with brutality in kind from Iraq’s new Shiite leadership, touching off a sectarian civil war. Meanwhile, the war against the U.S. occupation turned into a messy struggle between America’s high-tech military and Iraq’s low-tech resistance.
 
Lessons Unlearned
 
What Americans should have learned from Iraq was that just because the neocons and their liberal-interventionist friends identify a foreign “bad guy” – and then exaggerate his faults – doesn’t mean that his violent removal is the best idea. It might actually lead to something worse. There is wisdom in the doctor’s oath, “first, do no harm,” and there’s truth in the old warning that before you tear down a wall, you should ask why someone built it in the first place.
 
However, in the propaganda world of Official Washington, a different lesson was learned: that it is easy to create designated villains and no one of importance will dare challenge the wisdom of removing that villain through another “regime change.”
 
Instead of the neocons and their liberal helpers being held accountable and removed from the corridors of power, they entrenched themselves more deeply inside the U.S. government, mainstream media and big-name think tanks. They also found new allies among the self-righteous “human rights” community espousing the theory of “responsibility to protect” or “R2P.”
 
Despite President Obama’s election – partly driven by the American people’s revulsion over the neocon excesses during President George W. Bush’s administration – there was no real purge of the neocons and their accomplices. Indeed, Obama kept in place Bush’s Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the neocons’ beloved Gen. David Petraeus while installing neocon-lite Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Around Obama at the White House were prominent R2Pers such as Samantha Power.
So, although Obama may have personally favored a more realist-driven foreign policy that would deal with the world as it is, not as one might dream it to be, he never took control of his own administration, passively accepting the rise of a new generation of interventionists who continued depicting designated foreign villains as evil and rejecting any discouraging word that “regime change” might actually unleash even worse evil.
 
In 2011, the R2Pers, as the neocons’ junior partners, largely initiated the U.S.-orchestrated “regime change” in Libya, which starred Muammar Gaddafi in a returning role as “the world’s most dangerous man.” All the old terror charges against him were resurrected, including some like the Pam Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 that he very likely didn’t do. But, again, no one wanted to quibble because that would make you a “Gaddafi apologist.”
 
So, to the gleeful delight of Secretary of State Clinton, Gaddafi was overthrown, captured, beaten, sodomized with a knife, and then murdered. Clinton made no effort to conceal her glee. “We came, we saw, he died,” she joked at the news of his murder (although it was not clear that she knew all the grisly details at the time).
 
But Gaddafi’s demise did not bring Nirvana to Libya. Indeed, Gaddafi’s warning about the need to attack Islamic terrorists operating in eastern Libya – his military offensive that led to the R2P demand that Obama intervene militarily to stop Gaddafi – proved to be prophetic.
 
Extremists grabbed control of much of Libya. They overran the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, killing the U.S. ambassador and three other U.S. diplomatic personnel. A civil war has now spread anarchy and mayhem across Libya and nearby countries.
 
Libya also now has its own branch of the Islamic State, which videotaped its beheadings of Coptic Christians along a beach on the Mediterranean Sea, a sickening sign of what could be expected after a possible Syrian “regime change” next. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The US Hand in Libya’s Tragedy.”]
 
On to Ukraine
 
While U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and other R2Pers took the lead in provoking the Libyan fiasco, neocon holdovers demonstrated their own “regime change” skills by turning a pedestrian political dispute in Ukraine – about how fast to build new economic ties to Europe while maintaining old ones with Russia – into not only a civil war in Ukraine but a revival of the Cold War between the United States and Russia.
 
In the Ukraine case, the neocons made elected President Viktor Yanukovych wear the black hat with Russian President Vladimir Putin fitted for even a bigger black hat. So, as Yanukovych and Putin were scripted as the new “bad guys,” the anti-Yanukovych protesters and rioters at the Maidan square were made into the white-hatted “good guys.”
 
Much as with the Sandinistas and the Contras in the 1980s, this dichotomy required assigning all evil to Yanukovych and Putin while absolving the Maidan crowd of all sins, including the key role played by neo-Nazi militias in both the Feb. 22, 2014 coup and the subsequent civil war. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Seeing No Neo-Nazi Militias in Ukraine.”]
 
As the Ukraine crisis has played out, Official Washington and the mainstream U.S. news media have consistently placed all blame for the violence on Yanukovych – lodging the dubious charge that he had snipers kill both police and protesters on Feb. 20, 2014 – or on Putin – fingering him for the still-unsolved case of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shoot-down on July 17, 2014.
 
Evidence that suggests that right-wing Ukrainian elements were responsible for those pivotal events is sloughed off with anyone daring to dispute the conventional wisdom deemed a “Putin apologist.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “How Ukraine Commemorates the Holocaust.”]
 
Meanwhile, starting in 2011, the neocons and the R2Pers were both active in pushing for the overthrow of Syria’s President Assad, who – like all the other “bad guys” – has been made into a one-dimensional villain brutalizing innocent “moderates” who stand for all that is good and right in the world.
 
The fact that the anti-Assad opposition has always included Sunni extremists and terrorists drawing support from Saudi Arabia and other authoritarian Sunni Persian Gulf states is another inconvenient truth that usually gets kept out of the mainstream narrative.
 
Though it’s surely true that both sides in the Syrian civil war have engaged in atrocities, the neocon-R2P storyline – for much of the civil war – was to consistently blame Assad and to conveniently absolve the rebels. Thus, on Aug. 21, 2013, when a mysterious sarin gas attack killed several hundred people in a Damascus suburb, the rush to judgment blamed Assad’s forces, despite logic and evidence that it was more likely a provocation by rebel extremists. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “A Fact-Resistant ‘Group Think’ on Syria.”]
 
Though it was less clear in August 2013, it soon became obvious that the most effective rebel fighters were Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front and the Islamic State, which had evolved from the hyper-violent “Al-Qaeda in Iraq” into the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” before adopting the name, “Islamic State.” By September 2013, many of the U.S.-armed and CIA-trained fighters of the Free Syrian Army had thrown in their lot with either Nusra Front or Islamic State. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Syrian Rebels Embrace Al-Qaeda.”]
 
No Self-Criticism
 
But the opinion leaders of Official Washington are not exactly self-critical when they misread a foreign crisis. To explain why the beloved Syrian “moderates” joined forces with Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State, the neocons and the R2Pers blamed Obama for not intervening militarily earlier to achieve “regime change” against Assad.
 
In other words, no lessons were learned from the experiences in Iraq and Libya – that “regime change” is a dangerous strategy that fails to take into account the complexities of the countries where the United States decides to overthrow governments.
 
The same unlearned lesson should have applied to Ukraine, a strategically important nation to Russia and one in which much of the population is ethnic Russian. But there neocon Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland brushed aside the possibility of a costly showdown with Russia – a conflict that could potentially evolve into a nuclear conflagration – in order to pursue the “regime change” model.
 
While Ukraine today remains engulfed in chaos – the same as “regime change” experiments Iraq and Libya – the most potentially catastrophic “regime change” could come in Syria. The neocons and the R2Pers – as well as the mainstream U.S. media – remain set on ousting Assad, a goal also shared by Israel, Saudi Arabia and other hard-line Sunni states.
 
For his part, President Obama seems incapable of making the tough decisions that would avert a Syrian victory by Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. That’s because to help salvage the Assad regime – as the preferable alternative to transforming Syria into the bedlam of “terror central” – would require cooperating with Iran and Russia, Assad’s two most important backers.
That, in turn, would infuriate the neocons, the R2Pers and the mainstream media. Obama would face a rebellion across Official Washington, where the debating points regarding “who lost Syria” are more valuable than taking realistic actions to protect vital American interests.
Obama would also have to face down both Saudi Arabia and Israel, something he does not seem capable of doing, especially as he tries to salvage an international agreement to restrict Iran’s nuclear program to peaceful purposes only – when Saudi Arabia and Israel want to enlist the U.S. military in another “regime change” war in Iran.
Indeed, the recent decision by the Saudi-Israeli alliance to go on the offensive against what it deems Iranian “proxies” is possibly the major reason why the United States is incapable of taking action to avert what may be an impending Al-Qaeda/Islamic State victory in Syria. Between Saudi Arabia’s power over finance and energy and Israel’s political and media clout, these “strange-bedfellow” allies wield enormous influence over Official Washington. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Did Money Seal Israeli-Saudi Alliance?”]
This alliance is now entangling the United States in ancient Sunni-Shiite rivalries dating back to the Seventh Century. Saudi Arabia, Israel and their many U.S. backers are gluing black hats on Shiite-ruled Iran and its allies while adjusting white hats on the Saudi royals and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has unleashed the potent Israel Lobby to get Official Washington in line.
Israel also has intensified its airstrikes inside Syria, bombing targets associated with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia which is supporting the Assad regime. Israel rationalizes these attacks as designed to prevent Hezbollah from obtaining sophisticated weaponry but the practical effect is to weaken the forces battling Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front and the Islamic State.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, along with Turkey and some Persian Gulf states, has stepped up support for the Sunni Islamists battling Assad’s army, thus explaining the recent surge of new recruits and improved fighting capabilities of the rebels.
Yemen’s Suffering
In another front in this Sunni-Shiite regional war, Saudi Arabia – deploying sophisticated American warplanes – continues to pummel neighboring Yemen where Houthi rebels, belonging to a Shiite offshoot, have gained control of the capital Sanaa and other major cities.
 
On Tuesday, Saudi jets bombed Sanaa’s airport to prevent an Iranian humanitarian aid flight from landing, but the destruction also made the runway unusable for other supplies desperately needed by the Yemeni people. While the Saudis prevented this aid from the air, the U.S. Navy has mounted what amounts to a blockade at sea, turning back nine Iranian ships last weekend because of unconfirmed suspicions that weapons might be hidden in the food and medicine.
 
The combination of these interdictions is creating a humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the poorest nation in the Middle East. The U.S. Navy, which likes to call itself “a global force for good,” has, in effect, been drawn into a strategy of starving the Yemeni people into submission as just more collateral damage in the Saudi war against Iranian influence.
 
Another consequence of the Saudi air campaign has been to boost “Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” which has exploited the Saudi targeting of Houthi forces to seize more territory in Yemen’s east.
 
Yet, as tragic as the Yemeni situation is becoming, the more consequential crisis is emerging in Syria, where some analysts are seeing signs of a possible collapse of the Assad regime, a chief goal of the Saudi-Israeli alliance. Senior Israelis have been saying since 2013 that they would prefer a victory by Al-Qaeda over a victory by Assad.
 
For instance, in September 2013, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, then a close adviser to Prime Minister Netanyahu, told the Jerusalem Post in an interview: “The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc. … We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” He said this was the case even if the “bad guys” were affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
 
In June 2014, Oren expanded on this thinking at an Aspen Institute conference, extending Israel’s preference to include even the hyper-brutal Islamic State. “From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail,” Oren said.
 
During Netanyahu’s March 3, 2015 speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, he also downplayed the danger from the Islamic State – with its “butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube” – compared to Iran, which he accused of “gobbling up the nations” of the Middle East.
 
However, Iran has not gobbled up any nations in the Middle East. It has not invaded any country for centuries. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Inventing a Record of Iranian Aggression.”]
 
Yet, while the Saudi-Israeli alarums about Iran may border on the hysterical, the alliance’s combined influence over Official Washington cannot be overstated. Thus, as absurd and outrageous as many of the claims are, they are not only taken seriously, they are treated as gospel. Anyone who points to the reality immediately becomes an “Iranian apologist.”
 
But the power of the Saudi-Israeli alliance is not simply a political curiosity or an obstacle to sensible policies. As it creates the conditions for an Al-Qaeda/Islamic State victory in Syria – and the possible reintroduction of the U.S. military into the middle of the Middle East – the Saudi-Israeli alliance has become an existential threat to the survival of the American Republic.
 
As the nation’s first presidents wisely recognized, there are grave dangers to a republic when it entangles itself in foreign conflicts. It’s almost always wiser to seek out realistic albeit imperfect political solutions or at least to evaluate what the negative ramifications of the military option might be before undertaking it. Otherwise, as the early presidents realized, if the country plunges into one costly conflict after another, it becomes a martial state, not a democratic republic.

Are you a whiner?





Elizabeth Warren: We have a clear choice.
"Me? I'm going to fight."








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RSN: The Right Is Race-Baiting on Baltimore




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FOCUS: Frank Rich | The Right Is Race-Baiting on Baltimore
Protestors gather Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in Baltimore. (photo: Matt Rourke/AP/Corbis)
Frank Rich, New York Magazine
Rich writes: "To exploit urban riots as a wedge issue, as Richard Nixon did in 1968, is to pour gasoline on the flames. And there is reason to fear it is already happening."
READ MORE
 
 
 
 
 
 

'Enough is enough'!





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Bernie Sanders | I Will Be a Candidate for President
Senator Bernie Sanders. (photo: Reuters)
Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News
"After a year of travel, discussion and dialogue, I have decided to be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president. But let's be clear. This campaign is not about Bernie Sanders. It about a grassroots movement of Americans standing up and saying: 'Enough is enough.'"
READ MORE

Freddie Gray: Protests Across US as Baltimore Forced to Free 100 Suspects
Nicky Woolf, Oliver Laughland and Steven W. Thrasher, Guardian UK
Excerpt: "Protests over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray spread across the US overnight as the city at the centre of the storm used national guard troops to help maintain a curfew and authorities were forced into an apparent backdown after holding suspected rioters for days without charge."
READ MORE

Pope Francis Calls for Equal Pay for Women
Associated Press
Excerpt: "Pope Francis added his voice Wednesday to calls for equal pay for women, saying it is 'pure scandal' that many of them earn less than men for doing the same jobs."
READ MORE

Supreme Court Asks if Execution Drugs Are Like Being 'Burned Alive at the Stake'
Ed Pilkington, Guardian UK
Pilkington writes: "The prospect of death row inmates being 'burned alive at the stake from inside' in the absence of effective anesthesia was invoked at the US supreme court on Wednesday as the justices wrestled with the nationwide crisis caused by the European-led boycott of lethal injection drugs."
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Lawmakers Seek to End Spies' Mass Collection of Phone Data
Reuters
Excerpt: "U.S. lawmakers introduced legislation on Tuesday to end spy agencies' bulk collection of Americans' telephone data, setting up a potential showdown over the program, which expires on June 1."
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US Doesn't Know How Many Afghans Are Fighting the Taliban
Jonathan Broder, Newsweek
Broder writes: "After nearly a decade of training, equipping and paying for Afghanistan's security forces, the United States has no idea how many Afghan soldiers and police are currently serving or how effective they are at fighting the Taliban."
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Frack-Happy Texas Forced to Face the Reality of Fracking-Related Earthquakes
Anastasia Pantsios, EcoWatch
Pantsios writes: "Texas is not known for using caution when it comes to oil and gas development. Fracking has swept the state like a hurricane, despite attempts by some environmental and community activists."
READ MORE
 
 
 
 
 

Main Stream Media ignores Vietnam!


This is why we need an INDEPENDENT MEDIA!

Corporate Media has ignored the Legacy of Vietnam, pretending there are no similarities with Afghanistan and Iraq, pretending the US isn't the War Monger clearly revealed.

We can't ignore HISTORY!   







On the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, we’ll look back on the end and long resonance of the Vietnam War.
Americans and Vietnamese run for a U.S. Marine helicopter in Saigon during the evacuation of the city, April 29, 1975. (AP)
Americans and Vietnamese run for a U.S. Marine helicopter in Saigon during the evacuation of the city, April 29, 1975. (AP)

etnam War was unforgettable. After so many years of blood and protest and napalm and drama – American and Vietnamese – there was the image of the helicopter taking desperate, fleeing people off the very rooftop of the US embassy in Saigon. Of choppers being shoved off the sides of a US aircraft carrier into the sea to make room for more waves of desperate evacuees. Of history turning. Nations’ fates, parting. This hour On Point: Forty years later, we look back on the fall of Saigon and the epic war it ended.
– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

H.D.S. Greenway, long-time foreign correspondent, formerly of theWashington Post and TIME magazine. He covered the fall of Saigon.
Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of the new book, “The Sympathizer: A Novel.” (@viet_t_nguyen)

From Tom’s Reading List

Boston Globe: The unlearned lessons of Vietnam — “The unlearned lessons of Vietnam are that, in the post-colonial age, military intervention and occupation is hard to maintain both at home and abroad.”
New York Times: Our Vietnam War Never Ended — “For anyone who has lived through a war, that war needs no name. It is always and only “the war,” which is what my family and I call it. Anniversaries are the time for war stories to be told, and the stories of my family and other refugees are war stories, too. This is important, for when Americans think of war, they tend to think of men fighting “over there.” The tendency to separate war stories from immigrant stories means that most Americans don’t understand how many of the immigrants and refugees in the United States have fled from wars — many of which this country has had a hand in.”
Washington Post: ‘The Sympathizer’: A cerebral thriller about Vietnam and its aftermath — “In the opening pages of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s extraordinary first novel, ‘The Sympathizer,’ that terror feels so real that you’ll mistake your beating heart for helicopter blades thumping the air. Nguyen brings us right inside the barbed-wire-encircled home of a South Vietnamese general just waking from his faith in American resilience. Thrashing all around him, officers and cronies are bargaining for survival: Who will get out? Who will be left to the hands of their inexorable enemy?”

Special WBUR Series

Read An Excerpt Of “The Sympathizer” By Viet Thanh Nguyen





https://onpoint.wbur.org/2015/04/29/40th-anniversary-vietnam-saigon


Another Republican Hatchet Job with INACCURACIES! PLEASE USE YOUR BRAIN FOLKS!




The link to the broadcast is not yet posted - recommended listening! [CLICK ON THE LINK TO CHECK]  One of the poorest programs on NPR, beats MSM!

You might also consider reading:

THE NATIONAL MEMO




Joe Conason points out some of the GLARING INACCURACIES  included in this latest REPUBLICAN HATCHET JOB.




CORPORATE MAINSTREAM MEDIA condemned the Clintons without FACT CHECKING!




All this to promote MUD and HIS BOOK!



Most of the SHEEP are too focused on following the Judas Goat of Propaganda to slaughter to use their brains!




Where was this CLOWN...I mean dubious author of PROPAGANDA when Willard Mitt Romney refused to release his tax returns? Where was he when Romney's records as ....hmmm....Fearless Absentee Leader of Massachusetts misrepresented his record? Did this reporter of UNTRUTHS report that Romney's MISDEEDS while in office were erased in violation of State Law? and much else....NO! That's not the game he's playing!





April 30, 2015

With guest host Jane Clayson.
The author of the new book “Clinton Cash” on Clinton Foundation money and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
 
 
 
Hillary Rodham Clinton, a 2016 Democratic presidential contender, asks the audience to join her in praying for the people of Baltimore during a speech at the David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum, Wednesday, April 29, 2015 in New York. (AP)
Hillary Rodham Clinton, a 2016 Democratic presidential contender, asks the audience to join her in praying for the people of Baltimore during a speech at the David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum, Wednesday, April 29, 2015 in New York. (AP)
 
 
The allegations are shocking. Foreign money going to the Clinton Foundation. Undisclosed donors. Higher and higher speaking fees for Bill Clinton during his wife’s tenure at State. Preferential treatment for Hillary’s brother for a business in Haiti. And much more. Whether or not any or if it is illegal or just unseemly, everyone agrees the optics aren’t good. And that, says author Peter Schweizer, is call for concern. He did his investigation and then turned over his findings to some of the nation’s top journalists, who then did their own. This hour On Point: Peter Schweizer and “Clinton Cash.”
– Jane Clayson

Guests

Peter Schweizer, founder and director of the Government Accountability Institute. Author of the new book, “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How And Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.” Also author of “Extortion,” “Throw Them All Out” and “Architects of Ruin.” (@peterschweizer)
Joshua Green, senior national correspondent at Bloomberg Businessweek. (@joshuagreen)
Joe Conason, editor in chief of the National Memo. Co-author, with Gene Lyons, of “The Hunting of the President: The Ten Year Campaign To Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton.” (@joeconason)
Rosalind Helderman, political enterprise and investigations reporter for the Washington Post. (@postroz)
 

From The Reading List

Associated Press: Clinton defends family foundation from charges of favoritism — “Hillary Rodham Clinton dismissed swirling questions about her family foundation Monday as little more than political attacks from Republicans eager to gain an early advantage in the 2016 presidential contest. Clinton, campaigning for the Democratic nomination in the liberal bastion of Keene, pushed back against accusations that foreign governments that made donations to the Clintons’ charity received preferential treatment from the State Department while she served in the Obama administration.”
Washington Post: 1,100 donors to a Canadian charity tied to Clinton Foundation remain secret — “A charity affiliated with the Clinton Foundation failed to reveal the identities of its 1,100 donors, creating a broad exception to the foundation’s promise to disclose funding sources as part of an ethics agreement with the Obama administration. The number of undisclosed contributors to the charity, the Canada-based Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, signals a larger zone of secrecy around foundation donors than was previously known.”
New York Times: Clinton Charities Review Tax Returns Amid Scrutiny of Foreign Grants — “Like all nonprofit organizations, the foundation is also required by law to file publicly available tax returns detailing broad categories of revenue and expenses, including the total financing it received from government entities. The Clinton Foundation and its work are heavily financed by grants from foreign governments, and the foundation reported substantial income from government entities as recently as 2009, when tax returns indicate it took in more than $122 million in government grants.”

Read An Excerpt Of “Clinton Cash” By Peter Schweizer


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Toyota Damage Control









RSN: Jeb's Faith-Based Prisons Were More Like "Work Camps", Could Fracking Spark a Modern-Day Dust Bowl?, Baltimore Clergy: "State of Emergency Way Before Tonight" Due to Poverty, Disenfranchisement





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Matt Taibbi | Give 'Em Hell, Bernie
Sen. Bernie Sanders. (photo: Win McNamee/Getty)
Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
Taibbi writes: "He is the rarest of Washington animals, a completely honest person."
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Clinton Links Police, Justice Reforms to Income Inequality
David McCabe, The Hill
McCabe writes: "Hillary Clinton on Wednesday argued that turmoil in Baltimore and other cities is symptomatic of larger issues plaguing the criminal justice system."
READ MORE

Obama Doing Republicans Dirty Work for Them With TPP
Bill Press, The Hill
Press writes: "Opposition is led, in the Senate, by Democrats Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren, Harry Reid and Debbie Stabenow, as well as independent Sen. Bernie Sanders."
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Trevor Timm | CIA's Torture Experts Now Use Their Skills in Secret Drones Program
Trevor Timm, Guardian UK
Timm writes: "There are many similarities between CIA's use of drones and torture: Secrecy, lack of oversight and yes, even some of the people overseeing the programs."
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Baltimore Clergy: "State of Emergency Way Before Tonight" Due to Poverty, Disenfranchisement
Judd Legum, ThinkProgress
Legum writes: "Hundreds of Baltimore clergy linked arms and took to the streets in an effort to restore the peace."
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Jeb's Faith-Based Prisons Were More Like "Work Camps"
Betsy Woodruff, The Daily Beast
Woodruff writes: "Jeb Bush touts his record as a prison reformer because of the success of his faith-based prison program, but does that really make him a reformer?"
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Could Fracking Spark a Modern-Day Dust Bowl?
Tim Radford, Climate News Network
Radford writes: "Oil wells and natural gas may have made individual Americans rich, but they have impoverished the great plains of North America, according to new research."
READ MORE
 
 
 
 
 

CLG: What Happened to $1.3 Billion of Taxpayer Money Sent Directly to U.S. Military Officers in Afghanistan? Pentagon won't Say, Unarmed Teen Shot, Killed by Police, Cried for His Mother: 'Mommy, Mommy, Please Come'




News Updates from CLG
30 April 2015



Previous edition: FBI agent's sniper rifle stolen at Salt Lake City hotel, days before President Obama's Utah visit


Freddie Gray Severed His Own Spine Just Like Steve Biko Died of a 'Hunger Strike' By Lori Price, www.legitgov.org | 30 April 2015 | On Wednesday we read: A prisoner sharing a police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he could hear Gray "banging against the walls" of the vehicle and believed that he "was intentionally trying to injure himself," according to a police document obtained by The Washington Post. (See: Prisoner in van said Freddie Gray was 'banging against the walls' during ride 29 April 2015.) Are we to actually believe that while in police custody, 25-year-old African American Freddie Gray severed his own spinal cord -- and crushed his own larynx, too? Recall a death decades earlier of South African anti-apartheid activist, Stephen Bantu Biko. The founder of the Black Consciousness Movement also died in police custody -- and the cause of his death was similarly reported as 'self-inflicted' -- due to an alleged hunger strike.


More than 100 arrested in clashes between cops and Freddie Gray protesters in New York as thousands take to the streets of six American cities on a third night of anger --Protests in the name of Freddie Gray were held in Baltimore, New York, Washington DC, Boston, Houston and Indianapolis Wednesday night | 29 April 2015 | Outrage over the unexplained death of a black man in Baltimore, Maryland prompted nationwide protests against police brutality on Wednesday from Houston to Boston. Baltimore has been the scene of near-nightly protests ever since the April 19 death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who is believed to have been fatally injured while in police custody. However, the most dramatic protests Wednesday night happened in New York City, where a group of activists started an illegal march resulting in the arrests of several protesters in scuffles with police officers trying to maintain order on the streets. More than 100 people were arrested by the New York Police Department, according to reports as up to 1,000 marchers blocked streets - including the entrance to the Holland Tunnel - a main passage under the Hudson River - and the West Side Highway.


Locked Out: Orioles Fans Booted From Ballgame Amid Unrest | 29 April 2105 | Baseball in Baltimore was closed to the public for one day. The only shutout in the final score Wednesday at Camden Yards came in the attendance total: Orioles 8, White Sox 2, Fans 0. MLB decided to play the game behind closed doors because of looting and rioting around Camden Yards that broke out amid tensions between residents and police. The turmoil prompting a citywide curfew came hours after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who sustained a fatal spinal cord injury while in police custody. The sounds of the game had been silenced.


Martial law is the plan: Baltimore enforces night-time curfew, 'essentially 24 hours per day' for youth | 29 April 2015 | Pepper spray has been deployed to enforce a citywide curfew in Baltimore, Maryland. While scheduled to be lifted at 5:00am, it will recur nightly for a week. Minors' movements will be restricted even further. Violating the restrictions is a misdemeanor. After the curfew kicked in in Baltimore at 10:00pm ET on Tuesday, few patches of protesters remained on the street with authorities warning that violators could face arrest.


2,000 National Guard troops fan out across Baltimore | 28 April 2015 | A force of 2,000 soldiers from the Maryland National Guard has activated to assist efforts by the Maryland State Police to prevent a repeat of last night's violence in Baltimore. Guard troops are posted at City Hall and throughout the city and various neighborhoods. The Maryland Guard's Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 175 Infantry Regiment, had set up in an area of operations including City Hall, Johns Hopkins Medial Center, and other parts of downtown under the leadership of 1st Lt. Sean Gramm and 1st Lt. Henry Hensley.


Baltimore police use flash bangs, pepper pellets to clear protesters after curfew | 28 April 2015 | Law enforcement officers in Baltimore used flash bangs and shot pepper pellets to disperse protesters who remained after a 10 p.m. curfew. Hundreds of officers created walls with shields to slowly push the remaining protesters from where they were gathered. Some plastic and glass bottles were thrown at police and at least one of the smoke bombs was thrown back toward officers. It's unclear how many protesters remained after curfew.

Hundreds gather in Chicago to protest police violence | 28 April 2015 | In the aftermath of riots in Baltimore, hundreds of protesters gathered Tuesday evening outside Chicago Police Headquarters on the South Side to voice displeasure with a number of shootings by police across the country. The peaceful protest became confrontational shortly after more than 200 people began marching east on 35th Street and King Drive. The crowd pushed back against a line of bicycle police as the protesters chanted "Whose streets? Our streets!"

Protests return in Ferguson for second night | 29 April 2015 | Protesters returned to Ferguson on Wednesday night, a day after looting, fires and gunfire broke out there during demonstrations over the death of a black man who died of spinal injuries after his arrest by Baltimore police. Several dozen people marched down West Florissant Avenue in the St. Louis suburb on Wednesday night, protesting the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray and calling for police reforms, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. They chanted "No justice; no peace. No racist police," and also referenced the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed, by a white Ferguson police officer in August.

Gunfire wounds one amid protest near Brown shooting scene in Ferguson | 28 April 2015 | A man was shot as a group of about 50 protesters took to West Florissant Avenue near Canfield Drive Tuesday night. The man was carried to the safety of a restaurant by bystanders and a Post-Dispatch photographer at the scene. Police who were at the scene to monitor the protest quickly took a person into custody in the shooting and recovered a gun. It was unclear if the shooting was related to the protest.

Washington Post: Freddie Gray Severed His Own Spinal Cord --Prisoner in van said Freddie Gray was 'banging against the walls' during ride | 29 April 2105 | prisoner sharing a police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he could hear Gray "banging against the walls" of the vehicle and believed that he "was intentionally trying to injure himself," according to a police document obtained by The Washington Post. The prisoner, who is currently in jail, was separated from Gray by a metal partition and could not see him...The Post was given the document under the condition that the prisoner not be named because the person who provided it feared for the inmate's safety. The document, written by a Baltimore police investigator [sic], offers the first glimpse of what might have happened inside the van. It is not clear whether any additional evidence backs up the prisoner’s version, which is just one piece of a much larger probe.

Unarmed Teen Shot, Killed by Police, Cried for His Mother: 'Mommy, Mommy, Please Come' | 28 April 2105 | Lucia Morejon cannot escape the haunting memory she has of the final desperate words spoken to her by her teenage son after he was shot by police: "Mommy, Mommy, please come, please come." Hector Morejon, the youngest of five children, made that plea for help after he was shot by a Long Beach, California, police officer, who allegedly thought the 19-year-old was in possession of a firearm Thursday afternoon. The teen, who Lucia Morejon's attorney says was unarmed, directed the cries for help toward his mother when she saw him in an ambulance directly after the shooting. His final words to his mother came, the attorney alleges, after police denied Lucia Morejon access to her son before the ambulance drove away.

Explosion, gunshots, chemical exposure part of mock emergency in Barrie | 29 April 2015 | (Central Ontario, Canada) Barrie Police, firefighters and Simcoe County paramedics worked together this morning during a mock emergency. Set inside an abandoned house on Georgian Drive, emergency crews were told a story about a hostage situation, which turned into a volatile chemical threat, followed by an explosion and gunshots. A dozen volunteers spent the morning acting as victims, with some ending up as mock fatalities.

28 Months Later, Review of State Police Response to Sandy Hook Shooting Lags | 28 April 2015 | 28 months since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings [aka drill gone live], Connecticut state police have yet to issue an after-action report analyzing law enforcement response...Sources have said many state police radios did not work inside the school, making it difficult for officers to communicate, a potentially deadly situation with so many officers searching from different areas looking for the shooter. At one point, an officer had to go outside the school and use a cellphone to call headquarters and relay the gravity of the situation. There also were questions about the 911 calls going to the regional dispatch center in Litchfield rather than to the closest state police barracks in Southbury, and whether that affected the response times of troopers who were unfamiliar with the Newtown area.

What Happened to $1.3 Billion of Taxpayer Money Sent Directly to U.S. Military Officers in Afghanistan? Pentagon won't Say. | 27 April 2015 | The Department of Defense (DOD) refuses to detail what it did with 1.3 billion that was supposed to be used on urgent humanitarian and reconstruction projects. A report from Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko pointed out that 2.26 billion had been put into the Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP)...The SIGAR report said "DOD could only provide financial information relating to the disbursement of funds for CERP projects totaling 890 million (40%) of the approximately 2.2 billion in obligated funds at that time." The other 1.3 billion of the CERP money that has been sent to Afghanistan has been spent on projects classified as "unknown" [aka protecting the CIA's opi-m pipeline].


Former commander of US nuclear force urges taking missiles off high alert, citing cyberthreats | 29 April 2015 | Taking U.S. and Russian missiles off high alert could keep a possible cyberattack from starting a nuclear war, a former commander of U.S. nuclear forces says, but neither country appears willing to increase the lead-time to prepare the weapons for launch. Retired Gen. James Cartwright said in an interview that "de-alerting" nuclear arsenals could foil hackers by reducing the chance of firing a weapon in response to a false warning of attack. Essentially adding a longer fuse can be done without eroding the weapons' deterrent value, said Cartwright, who headed Strategic Command from 2004 to 2007 and was vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff before retiring in 2011.


Ukrainian Forces Open Fire on Russian Humanitarian Aid Convoy | 27 April 2015 | The Ukrainian Armed Forces [aka US-backed Nazis, terrorists, and sociopaths] have opened fire on a Russian humanitarian convoy. According to Gleb Kornilov, head of the Relief Fund and the New Russia Donbass, Ukrainian soldiers opened fire on a convoy carrying humanitarian aid to Donbas, killing one person. All the people from the humanitarian convoy were taken prisoner; one of them was injured in the shooting.


Forest fires heading for Chernobyl nuclear plant - Ukraine Interior Ministry | 28 April 2015 | The Ukrainian National Guard has been put on high alert due to worsening forest fires around the crippled Chernobyl nuclear power plant, according to Ukraine Interior Minister Arsen Avakov. "The forest fire situation around the Chernobyl power plant has worsened," a statement on Avakov's Fb page says. "The forest fire is heading in the direction of Chernobyl's installations. Treetop flames and strong gusts of wind have created a real danger of the fire spreading to an area within 20 kilometers of the power plant. There are about 400 hectares [988 acres] of forests in the endangered area."


Aid reaches quake-hit Nepal villagers as death toll passes 5,000 | 28 April 2015 | Hungry and desperate villagers rushed towards relief helicopters in remote areas of Nepal Tuesday, begging to be airlifted to safety, four days after a monster earthquake killed more than 5,000 people. In a televised address late Tuesday, Koirala declared three days of national mourning for the 5,057 people known to have perished in Nepal alone. Around 8,000 people had been injured while the United Nations estimated that eight million people had been affected.


Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders: 'I am running for president' | 29 April 2015 | Promising to fight what he deems "obscene levels" of income disparity and a campaign finance system that is a "real disgrace," independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Wednesday he will run for president as a Democrat. In an interview with The Associated Press, Sanders confirmed his plans to formally join the race Thursday. The self-described "democratic socialist" enters the race as a robust liberal alternative to Hillary Rodham Clinton, and he pledged to do more than simply raise progressive issues or nudge the former secretary of state to the left in a campaign in which she is heavily favored.


With All Eyes on California, Vermont Forces Through Vaccine Bill | 27 April 2015 | With the public focused on the lobbyist-driven California Senate Bill 277 (SB-277), the Vermont Senate quietly eliminated vaccine exemptions Thursday with an 18-11 vote. Missing the starting gun, communities across America are now facing the political push to remove the barrier between their bodies and a private company's medical product. Attempting to squeeze every last drop of credibility from the "safe and effective" argument, senators across the U.S. appear to be ignoring the voices of their people in addition to over 3 billion of payouts in the U.S. alone from The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.


United Express flight with engine fire forced to land in Philadelphia | 28 April 2015 | A plane with an engine on fire was forced to make an emergency landing on Tuesday at Philadelphia International Airport, where it landed safely, according to the airport and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. The fire broke out in the No. 2 engine of United Airlines Express Flight No. 4882, bound for Newark, New Jersey, with 75 people on board, Philadelphia International Airport said on its Twitter feed.


Lynch Sworn In as U.S. Attorney General, Succeeding Holder | 27 April 2015 | [Rudy Giuliani-backed] Loretta Lynch was sworn in as U.S. attorney general on Monday, becoming the first black woman to serve as the nation's top law enforcement officer. Lynch, who was confirmed by the Senate on April 23, replaces Eric Holder as head of the Justice Department. Her confirmation on a 56-43 vote ended a five-month wait after her nomination.


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