an extensive operation or sphere of activity controlled by one person or group

One group today has more foreign military bases than any other in world history, spends more on violence and domination than the rest of the world combined, and has overthrown or attempted to overthrow some 60 governments, most of them democracies.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

First State Approves Drones with Rubber Bullets, Tasers, Pepper Spray, Tear Gas, Sound Cannons for Domestic Use

North Dakota has become the first state to approve government use of drones equipped with “less than lethal weapons”, including “rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers”.

The bill passsed largely due to the inherent corruption of the US political system, as the wording was modified to allow for weaponized drones and approved "thanks to a last-minute push by a ... lobbyist representing law enforcement—tight with a booming drone industry".

The Republican who originally proposed the bill had written it to ban all weaponization of drones, and he was dismayed that it was ultimately allowed to pass in a form that allowed non-lethal weaponization.

Police claim the drones will only be used in “non-criminal” situations, such as surveilance, but did not mention that they have already been used in at least one criminal situation, or that the claim is dubious at best given the ultra-militarized and brutal state of policing in the US, which many, particularly those in ethnic minority groups, liken to military occupation.

A police deputy, explaining why he opposed requiring search warrants for use of drones, told Daily Beast that “you don’t want things that would potentially have a chilling effect on [drone] manufacturers”.

“It’s really all about the commercial development,” said Republican rep. Gary Paur.

As Daily Beast puts it, “In other words, limit civil liberties so Big Drone can spread its wings.”

Of course, there is a bit more to it than that, as numerous US crackdowns on pro-democracy protesters, including mass arrests of civilians and journalists, demonstrate.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Visual of Global Military Expenditures

How did the US propel itself so far ahead, to the point that it could, alone, comprise about half of global military spending?

Professor of history at Cornell University: “The idea that the commodification and suffering and forced labor of African-Americans is what made the United States powerful and rich is not an idea that people necessarily are happy to hear. Yet it is the truth.”

Even divided in half, the two halves of the US would still be tied for the lead in global military spending, 89 billion dollars each ahead of the number two spender, China.

Also notice how North Korea’s spending is represented by a pin-prick dot above South Korea, and that Iran’s budget is not high enough even to be given a number on the chart (it was under 10 billion in 2009).

It would take 16 billion dollars to clean up the un-exploded bombs the US left in Laos, which continue to kill thousands of people, mostly children. But the US won’t pay it.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Former IAEA Head of Verification: AP’s Iran Doc a “Crude” Forgery

Former head of verification and security policy coordination at the International Atomic Energy Agency, Tariq Rauf, told The Huffington Post that a document disseminated by AP, which purportedly says Iran will “self-inspect” the Parchin center, is “Likely a crude attempt to hinder [the negotiation process]… [The] origin of the document could be similar to that of the ‘Niger Letter’ re uranium purchases by Iraq.” The “Niger Letter” was used as part of the effort to persuade the US public to support the US’s illegal invasion of Iraq.

Rauf annotates in the AP/Iran document 13 instances of “incorrect terminology and practices that are inconsistent with IAEA safeguards methods”, including:

“Iran never calls itself ‘Islamic State’.”

“Iran refers to itself as ‘Islamic Republic of Iran’ in official documents, not just ‘Iran’.”

“Not standard IAEA language…”

“Not standard IAEA language…”

“Not standard IAEA language… There is no logical rationale for the inclusion of such a paragraph.”

AP continues to defend the report and the sources from which it obtained the document.

More on this:

AP Wrongly Claims Iran to ‘Self-Inspect’ Site

IAEA: AP’s Claims on Iran ‘Self-Inspection’ False

The AP story “was already falling apart by evening, with the AP cutting many of the bogus allegations from the initial story.”

IAEA Chief Amano Yukiya said he was “‘disturbed’ by the false claims and attempts at ‘misrepresentation‘ of the deal, saying that the IAEA actually would be given access to Parchin.”

It must be remembered that the US, a rogue state, is an unreliable source and dishonest broker regarding Iran, having overthrown its democracy for control of oil resources and having participated, as was pointed out yesterday in HuffPo, in killing hundreds of thousands of Iranians: “…not a day has passed since 1953 in which the U.S. was not harming Iranians.”

Added up, the US has, since 1953, been involved in killing well over a million Iranians, and continues to harm them today through sanctions that are transparently hypocritical and aggressive (see above and here).

Author focuses on force dynamics, national and global. @_DirtyTruths