US Still Training Honduran Military Against Own Stated Policy

Clearly the imperial establishment are happy with the coup and how sincere the Whitehouse is… well imagine a politician lying, who’d a thunk it? Or the establishment are fighting a Whitehouse they see as no longer ‘theirs’ (a non-white corporate centrist, why not just hand over Washington to Castro!!!!).

Lee Rials (for it is he) in an article by James Hodge & Linda Cooper (National Catholic Reporter) in Presente!

A controversial facility at Ft. Benning, Ga. —formerly known as the U.S. Army’s School of the Americas — is still training Honduran officers despite claims by the Obama administration that it cut military ties to Honduras after its president was overthrown June 28, NCR has learned.

A day after an SOA-trained army general ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya at gunpoint, President Barack Obama stated that “the coup was not legal” and that Zelaya remained “the democratically elected president.”

The Foreign Operations Appropriations Act requires that U.S. military aid and training be suspended when a country undergoes a military coup, and the Obama administration has indicated those steps have been taken.

However, Lee Rials, public affairs officer for the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, the successor of SOA, confirmed Monday that Honduran officers are still being trained at the school.

“Yes, they’re in class now.” Rials said

Asked about the Obama administration’s suspension of aid and training to Honduras, Rials said, “Well, all I know is they’re here, and they’re in class.”

The decision to continue training the Hondurans is “purely government policy,” he said, adding that it’s possible that other U.S. military schools are training them too. “We’re not the only place.”

Rials did not know exactly how many Hondurans were currently enrolled, but he said at least two officers are currently in the school’s Command and General Staff course, its premier year-long program.

The general who overthrew Zelaya — Romeo Orlando Vásquez Velásquez — is a two-time graduate of SOA, which critics have nicknamed the “School of Coups” because it trained so many coup leaders, including two other Honduran graduates, General Juan Melgar Castro and General Policarpo Paz Garcia.

Vasquez is not the only SOA graduate linked to the current coup or employed by the de facto government. Others are:

  • Gen. Luis Javier Prince Suazo, the head of the Honduran air force, who arranged to have Zelaya flown into exile in Costa Rica;
  • Gen. Nelson Willy Mejia Mejia, the newly appointed director of immigration, who is not only an SOA graduate, but a former SOA instructor. One year after he was awarded the U.S. Meritorious Service Medal, he faced charges in connection with the infamous death squad, Battalion 3-16, for which he was an intelligence officer.
  • Col. Herberth Bayardo Inestroza Membreño, the Honduran army’s top lawyer who admitted that flying Zelaya into exile was a crime, telling the Miama Herald that ”In the moment that we took him out of the country, in the way that he was taken out, there is a crime,” but it will be justified.
  • Lt. Col. Ramiro Archaga Paz,the army’s director of public relations, who has denied harassment of protesters and maintained that the army is not involved in internal security.
  • Col. Jorge Rodas Gamero, a two-time SOA graduate, who is the minister of security, a post he also held in Zelaya’s government.

The Uniforms in Honduras

You can’t do better than Inca Kola News coverage [label Honduras] from which these stills are taken-

Oh and guess where the coup leader Gen. Romeo Orlando Vásquez Velásquez went to school…Yep.

Latin America Solidarity Coalition- Petition Presidential Candidates To Commit To Closing SOA/WHINSEC


Given the way the primaries have been going, we are currently having more leverage with the U.S. presidential candidates than at any other time. Let’s use it! Committing one or more of them to come out publicly for the closure of the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC) is a realistic and attainable goal. Once the candidate is elected president, we can hold him or her accountable to follow through and to close the school by executive order.

The Latin America Solidarity Coalition (LASC) is circulating this petition to the Senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain. Urge them to take a public stand for the closure of the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC) and to commit to close this notorious institution by executive order if they will be elected as the next President of the United States.

Sign the petition here

Text of petition below

Read the rest of this entry »

Dirty War Scumbag To Face Trial

Spain has agreed to extradite a former Argentine navy officer accused of torturing and killing thousands of dissidents during Argentina’s so-called Dirty War. Ricardo Miguel Cavallo was arrested in Mexico in 2000 and extradited to Spain in 2003 on genocide and terrorism charges.

Now then Cavallo, what a lovely man he is, let’s count the ways-

The former naval officer was known as “Serpico” (for his resemblance to Al Pacino) when he worked at the Navy Mechanics School–often called the “Argentine Auschwitz” or the “Harvard of Death” — where he was famous both for executing and teaching the art of torture.

According to the indictment issued by the Spanish Court, Ricardo Miguel Cavallo, also known by the pseudonyms “Miguel Angel Cavallo,” “Serpico,” or “Marcelo,” was part of ESMA’s Task Group 3.3.2. The procedures used by ESMA Task Group 3.3.2 included, among others, kidnapping specific targets, torture, murder, disappearances, servitude, and selection of prisoners for “recovery,” a practice designed to recruit persons thought to have betrayed their former friends. These recruits were intended to form the base of a political party to launch Admiral Massera’s political ambitions. Cavallo served in the intelligence sector of ESMA from 1976 until early 1979, when he became responsible for kidnapped people who were in the process of “recovery.” According to the indictment and survivors, Cavallo was a “Capitan de Corbeta,” a relatively high-ranking position in ESMA, ultimately under Massera’s command. Cavallo, in addition to committing torture himself, made operational decisions such as identifying targets for torture. He also contributed to the decisions of his superiors regarding the final disposition of the victims.

According to Judge Garzón, Ricardo Miguel Cavallo is accused of having participated in 227 kidnappings and acts of torture concerning 110 people, as well as in the kidnapping of 16 babies who had been removed from their mothers who were in prison. The Judge’s investigation also mentions the cases of 248 individuals who had been arrested, detained and finally freed.

Now then about that Al Pacino thing:-


Um, not seeing it myself, maybe when he was younger he was not such a pasty, pig-eyed, sack of -torturing- shit. And in case you forget let Chalmers Johnson remind you of US involvement and support of the torture regimes.

It is said that dead men tell no tales, but in Latin America they are speaking with exceptional clarity– revealing the sordid details of U.S. Cold War foreign policy toward the area. In 1992, in AsunciÑn, Paraguay, a survivor of the regime of former dictator Gen. Alfredo Stroessner stumbled on five tons of reports and photographs left over from Operation Condor. This was the cooperative effort from 1975 on among military and police officials of Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Bolivia to identify, torture, and kill as many representatives of workers and advocates of democracy as they could find.

The “methods” that the CIA contends are too delicate to reveal to the American public are its routine practice of turning over the names of people it wants executed to military and police authorities that it has trained and helped put in power. It can then pretend that it had nothing to do with their subsequent deaths, even expressing shock and disappointment at the excesses of its former pupils. This was the pattern of American operations in Indonesia from Gen. Suharto’s rise to power in 1965 to the American refusal in the autumn of 1999 to get involved in rescuing the victims of Indonesian army terror in East Timor.34 The CIA employed these same methods in bringing Pinochet to power and in its relations with Operation Condor.

Nulabour’s Union Murdering Allies

“It is bad enough that the UK is aiding Colombian military units that violate human rights, but for a British minister to be photographed posing with the very unit that has tortured and assassinated trade unionists is shameful.”


Surrounding the smiling face of the Foreign Office minister Kim Howells in a picture taken in the Colombian region of Sumapaz are a general linked to paramilitary death squads and soldiers of a notorious unit of the Colombian army accused, including by Amnesty International, of torturing and killing trade unionists.

The photograph, taken in a military base and posted on the Foreign Office website, was yesterday greeted with outrage by Labour parliamentarians and trade union leaders. Howells is pictured with the High Mountain Brigades, a unit held responsible for the killing of trade union activists, peasants and anti-narcotics police during the past three years.

Behind him stand the Colombian defence minister, Juan Santos, and General Mario Montoya, head of the Colombian army, reports of whose collaboration with paramilitary death squads and drug traffickers and links with disappearances and killings – including leaked CIA reports – were cited last year by US congressional leaders as part of the reason for the suspension of tens of millions of dollars of US military aid to the south American regime. The Colombian government denies the accusations.

Of course this is not new for nulabour, hey there ‘Sir’ Mark Malloch-Brown.

PS. As Korova reminds me, General Mario Montoya is a SOA/WHINSEC  alumnus. It’s a small world.

Prisoners Of Empire

  • Joan Anderson, 65, Casper, WY – 30 days and a $500 fine
  • Ozone Bhaguan, 33, Duluth, MN – 90 days and no fine
  • Le Anne Clausen, 29, Chicago, IL. – 30 days and no fine
  • Art Landis, 74, Perkasie, PA – 30 days and no fine
  • Ed Lewinson, 78, Newark NJ – 90 days and a $500 fine
  • Chris Lieberman, 54, Albuquerque, NM – 60 days and no fine
  • Diane Lopez Hughes, 58, Springfield, IL – 45 days and a $500 fine
  • Tiel Rainelli, 25, Canton, OH. – 90 days and a $500 fine
  • Gus Roddy, 45, Chicago, IL – 30 days and a $500 fine
  • Stephen Schweitzer, 45, Binghamtom, NY – 60 days and a $500 fine
  • Michelle Yipé, 45, of Argonia, KS – 30 days and a $500 fine

The Eleven courageous souls that willingly put their freedom and bodies at risk to stand in witness against the SOA/WHINSEC during the November 2007 Vigil have been sentenced to federal prison on charges of “trespassing on a military base”.

The trial, which began at 9:00 AM this morning in Columbus, Georgia, took place in a courthouse located just a few miles from Fort Benning, the current site of the SOA/WHINSEC. An institute known around the world for its ties to brutal dictatorships and human rights abuses, which continues to operate, unchallenged by our government but not by the people.

Take action to close SOA/WHINSEC: Legislative Action Index

War On Democracy: SOA Involved In False Flag Attacks In Colombian ’06 Elections

From SOA watch-

A director of Colombian military intelligence and another officer implicated in a series of false attacks and a bombing that killed a civilian and injured 19 soldiers in Bogotá in 2006, attended the US Army School of the Americas, an examination of records shows.

The Colombian Public Ministry is investigating Colonel Horacio Arbelaez, former director of the Army’s Joint Intelligence Center; Major Javier Efrén Hermida Benavides; and Captain Luis Eduardo Barrero for orchestrating placement of bombs in a Bogota shopping mall and other sites in July 2006, on the eve of President Uribe’s inauguration for his second term. At the time of the bombing and false attacks, they were attributed to guerrillas of the FARC. In most cases, the bombs were not detonated, but were denounced by the accused officers and deactivated to demonstrate the FARC threat and show military intelligence was doing its work.

Hermida took two courses at the School of the Americas, including a three-month military intelligence intensive in 2000, while Arbelaez took an infantry course at the School in 1981. A statistical study by sociologist Katherine McCoy found that the more courses Latin American officers took at the School, the more likely they were to commit abuses. (Latin American Perspectives, 2005, )

In addition, the Army Joint Intelligence Center that Arbelaez directed receives US aid, according to a State Department list of units vetted to receive assistance.

The officers reportedly collaborated with a FARC deserter on placing the bombs, according to tapes, videos and documents. Hermida, who claims his innocence, told a Colombian radio station that the operation at the shopping mall was carried out with knowledge of high military officials.

Hermida and Barrero also face criminal charges for the false attacks, five of which had been united into one case by the Prosecutor General’s office.

Arbelaez, who is now Colombia’s defense attaché in Israel, was previously head of intelligence for the Army’s 18th Brigade. That brigade, based in oil-rich Arauca state, has received extensive assistance and in-country training from US Special Forces.

Press reports identified Hermida and Barrero as belonging to the Army’s 13th Brigade part of which receives US assistance, as well as to a regional military intelligence center that also receives US aid.

I could try really, really hard and be surprised but…America training people to fake terror attacks to help the election of a right wing client leader, it’s all so Gladio darling! Not to mention all the labour organisers who keep turning up dead, the corporate backing of paramilitary terror gangs and the support from both main parties in America & Britain for Uribe’s terrorist regime (with some notable and brave exceptions).

Italia Magnifico!


Once again not just for Ms. Bellucci *sigh* (damn you Cassel, damn you to hell!) but for opening up the can of worms labelled ‘Condor’-

Prosecutors in Italy have issued arrest warrants for 140 people over a decades-old plot by South American dictatorships called Operation Condor.

Now the BBC are ever so polite about Condor, so let’s just lay out the real deal-

 a shadowy Latin American military network created in the 1970s whose key members were Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil, later joined by Peru and Ecuador. Condor was a covert intelligence and operations system that enabled the Latin American military states to hunt down, seize, and execute political opponents across borders. Refugees fleeing military coups and repression in their own countries were “disappeared” in combined transnational operations. The militaries defied international law and traditions of political sanctuary to carry out their ferocious anticommunist crusade…The “anticommunist crusade” became a crusade against the principles and institutions of democracy and against progressive and liberal as well as revolutionary forces, and the national security states institutionalized state terrorism.

To the U.S. national security apparatus–which fostered the new continent-wide security doctrine in its training centers, such as the Army School of the Americas in Panama–and most of the Latin American militaries, the Cold War represented World War III, the war of ideologies. Security forces in Latin America classified and targeted persons on the basis of their political ideas rather than illegal acts. The regimes hunted down dissidents and leftists, union and peasant leaders, priests and nuns, intellectuals, students and teachers–not only guerrillas (who, under international law, are also entitled to due process).

Declassified U.S. documents make clear that U.S. security officers saw Condor as a legitimate “counterterror” organization. One 1976 DIA report stated, for example, that one Condor team was “structured much like a U.S. Special Forces Team,” and described Condor’s “joint counterinsurgency operations” to “eliminate Marxist terrorist activities.” This report noted that Latin American military officers bragged about Condor to their U.S. counterparts. Numerous other CIA, DIA, and State Department documents referred to Condor as a counterterror or countersubversive organization and some described its assassination capability in a matter-of-fact manner. In 1978, for example, the CIA wrote that by July 1976 “the Agency was receiving reports that Condor planned to engage in `executive action’ outside the territory of member countries.” In fact, the documentary evidence shows that the CIA was fully aware of such capabilities and operations years earlier.

And of course our ‘enry,

 A September 20th cable from Kissinger’s top deputy on Latin America, discovered by Archive analyst Carlos Osorio, instructed U.S. ambassadors in the region to “take no further action” on deterring Condor plots because “there have been no reports in some weeks indicating an intention to activate the Condor scheme.”

The next day, a bomb planted by agents of the Chilean secret police exploded under the car of Pinochet’s leading critic in the United States, Orlando Letelier, killing him and his American colleague Ronni Moffitt. Until the attacks on 9/11, the Letelier-Moffitt assassination was considered the most egregious act of international terrorism ever committed in Washington D.C.

Gee, I guess the intelligence was ‘wrong’ just like those gosh darned ‘mistakes’ made over Iraq WMD. Oh the CIA, those bumbling muppets!

Thousands Protest SOA/WHINSEC


 Sunday was the culmination of SOA Watch’s weekend of action and thousands (authorities est. 10-12,000, SOAW as many as 20,000) marched on Fort Benning-

Veterans who have been a strong presence all weekend marched in the morning along Victory Drive to the gates of Fort Benning, where Genaro Jacinto Calel from the International Mayan League offered a Mayan Blessing. U.S. presidential candidates Dennis Kucinich and Cynthia McKinney, Sister Mary Waskowiak; President of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and Rabbi Michael Lerner addressed the crowd, and Adriana Portillo Bartow gave a tribute to Rufina Amaya, the sole survivor of the El Mozote massacre of over 900 men, women and children in El Salvador. In 1999, Rufina traveled from El Salvador to the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia, where 19 of the 26 people later found responsible for the massacre were trained at the School of the Americas. She told the story of the massacre and worked for justice until her death of a heart illness earlier this year. 

Rep. Jim McGovern, who led the charge in the House of Representatives to close down the school that failed by a 214-203 vote, was clearly the most popular of Saturday’s long lineup of speakers and protesters. “This school symbolizes everything the rest of America is not,” said McGovern, who toured the institute Saturday and spoke to its commandant, Col. Gilbert Perez. “I knew some of the priests that graduates of this school murdered.” Another vote is not expected during the next session of Congress, he said. “We’ll wait for the election. The new president may choose to close the school.”

Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich said Sunday the thinking that went into producing an Army school blamed for human rights abuses in Latin America was the same that led the U.S. to war in Iraq and could cause it to raid Iran. Kucinich was speaking at the 18th annual protest of the school at Fort Benning that trains Latin American soldiers, police and government officials. One of his first acts as president if elected would be to close the school, he said.

And what is the counter (started 6 years ago) protest called? God Bless Fort Benning. That would be the American Christo-fascist Bush voting pro-torture imperial God of course. God bless ’em indeed.

Guatemala Rejects Fascist

Colom is no dream but at least he isn’t SOA graduate and the Empire’s place man Otto Perez Molina

Alvaro Colom, a left-leaning factory owner promising to end Guatemala’s desperate poverty, has won the country’s presidential election. He defeated Otto Perez Molina, a retired army general who conceded defeat on Monday after results from 95 per cent of the vote showed him trailing Colom by six percentage points. Colom, 56, secured more than 51 per cent of the votes in the presidential run-off in his third bid for the post, while Molina picked up just under 49 per cent.

Mariana Sanchez, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Guatemala City, said the general mood during voting was dull and there were no queues outside voting centres. “There is a sense of apathy here,” she said. “There is a belief the new president will not be able to deliver on his promises as they have not been able to in the past.”

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War On Democracy- Del Monte (Produce) & Guatemala

Masked gunmen dumped a Guatemalan banana picker’s bullet-ridden corpse yards from fields of fruit bound for the United States, a grim reminder of the risks of organizing labor in the Central American country. Marco Tulio Ramirez, killed last month, was the fifth Guatemalan labor leader murdered this year.Activists say the deaths show promises to protect labor rights under a U.S. trade pact have changed little at a time President George W. Bush is pressing for similar deals in other Latin American nations with bad labor records. The Central American Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA, was approved by the U.S. Congress in 2005 after a tough battle with Democrats who argued that worker safeguards in the agreement were too weak.

Since Ramirez’s death, suspicious cars have followed union members on and off the company’s property, his brother said. Hundreds of union members were murdered or ‘disappeared’ by state security forces during the country’s 1960-1996 civil war between the army and left-wing rebels.

The war began after a coup backed by banana company United Fruit, now known as Chiquita Brands International. United Fruit sold many of its plantations, including the ones where Ramirez worked, to Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. Representatives from the Fresh Del Monte Produce subsidiary Ramirez was employed by said they have nothing to do with his killing and urged authorities to conduct a full investigation. (h/t commenter at Lenin’s Tomb)

And of course Chiquta were a paragon of non-criminal non-terrorism supporting behaviour, oh except they had to plead guilty to that in court. Del Monte’s statement calling on the government is sickly disingenious, the govt. works with them in the intimidation-

The company refused to agree to one of the union’s primary demands, the reinstatement of 900 workers illegally fired in violation of the union’s collective bargaining agreement. The workers were fired when Del Monte abruptly shut down three of its Guatemalan plantations in September.

Meanwhile, the Guatemalan government has not moved to arrest any of the 200 armed men who forced the union leadership to resign at gunpoint and flee for their lives on October 13, 1999. National Police investigators finally interviewed the union leaders officially on November 3. The government had previously known the names of at least 40 people who had been cited by the union for participating in the violent intimidation, but the government said it needed an official complaint to move forward, which the union said it would give as soon as the government provided security to them and their families. The security was eventually provided but it took another week before National Police investigators conducted the interviews.

On the question of Del Monte-

In 1989, the Del Monte Corporation split into two separate corporations, Del Monte Tropical Fruit and Del Monte Foods. The former changed its name in 1993 to Fresh Del Monte Produce, while the latter still exists as a separate entity. However, the “Del Monte Shield” mark is still used by both companies. Fresh Del Monte Produce is based in George Town, Cayman Islands. The current chief executive officer is Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh.

So a tax dodging corporation supported by US trade pacts where labour organisers wind up dead…just an isolated incident, right?

SOA Watch Launch Presente! Web Site

We have launched a webpage for ¡Presente!, the newspaper of the movement to close the SOA. The webpage contains past and current articles, an archive, and videos about the SOA and the campaign to shut it down. The address of the new webpage is

And very nice it is too, go have a mooch. I have an increasing case of the dreaded lurgi so posting may be sporadic and anything I manage should be greeted with applause and Nobel prizes for triumphing over my clearly very serious and life threatening illness.

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Evo Morales Tells SOA/WHINSEC To Fuck Off!

Hell Yeah!

“We will gradually withdraw until there are no Bolivian officers attending the School of the Americas,” said Morales. Questioning the U.S. government’s foreign policy he noted that “they are teaching high ranking officers to confront their own people, to identify social movements as their enemies.”  

This is a great victory for torture survivors, social movement leaders and human rights activists of Bolivia and the Americas. The SOA/WHINSEC has played a significant role in Bolivia’s recent political history, Hugo Banzer Suarez, who ruled Bolivia from 1971-1978 under a brutal military dictatorship attended the school in 1956 and was later inducted into the school’s “hall of fame” in 1988. The SOA has trained tens of thousands of Bolivian military officers in the past fifty years. In October of 2006, two former graduates of the SOA/WHINSEC, Generals Juan Veliz Herrera and Gonzalo Rocabado Mercado were arrested on charges of torture, murder, and violation of the constitution for their responsibility in the death of 67 civilians in El Alto Bolivia during the “Gas Wars” of September-October 2003.

In March 2006 a School of the Americas Watch (SOAW) delegation led by Lisa Sullivan-Rodriguez, Salvadoran torture survivor Carlos Mauricio, and SOA Watch founder Father Roy Bourgeois met with President Evo Morales to request that Bolivia cease to send troops for training at the SOA/WHINSEC. -SOA Watch email bulletin

This is part of what Morales announced about removing the empires stormtroopers from Bolivian soil-

President Evo Morales said he expects U.S. military aid to Bolivia to stop soon, as his government plans to bar U.S. troops from assisting in anti-drug operations.

“Happily, it’s ending,” Morales told reporters at a news conference Tuesday night. “No foreigner in uniform will be operating here.”

Morales also suggested on Tuesday that Bolivia’s new constitution, now being drafted by a popularly elected assembly, should include a clause banning foreign military bases on Bolivian soil. 

Much is happening in Bolivia and all due to the empire’s grip being rejected-

The Cold War in South America was financed through the arms and drugs trade, although few cases became as well known as the “Iran-Contra affair” that involved the late US President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.

The current Bolivian President, Evo Morales, puts it bluntly: “The Americans used the drug trade to infiltrate our countries. They brought cocaine to Bolivia, as here we only used to chew the coca from the times of the Incas.

“We believe in a democratic revolution, an indigenous revolution, to claim back our land and all of our natural resources.”

An intricate ideological struggle is taking place within the government that will determine the movement’s revolutionary identity. A coca peasant once told me that all his people wanted was a decent house, a job, their kids to go to school, just like everybody else.

Two years after President Morales came to power, the poorest peasants have free healthcare and literacy programmes have been set up across the country. A new constitution is being written that will ideally borrow less from the political systems of the West and more from the Inca traditions and political system, entirely based on the idea of community as opposed to the individual, and on the balance between man, nature and cosmos.

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An Empire Of Murder


But the Empire doesn’t just make itself a garrison state of unrivaled aggression, it exports it too-

The US has reaffirmed its domination of global weapons trading, cornering nearly 42 per cent of the arms market, according to a US congressional report. The US concluded $16.9bn worth of arms deals last year, a $3.4bn increase over 2005, the Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations report said.

Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the traditional rivalry between India and Pakistan, seemed to be fuelling regional arms races, the report, officially published on Monday, said. Pakistan, a key US ally, was the developing nation which purchased the most arms with $5.1bn worth of deals. Along with a variety of other weapons, the US will supply Pakistan with 36 upgraded versions of the F-16 fighter aircraft for $1.4 bn, a variety of missiles and bombs for them for over $640m, and $52m worth of upgrades for self-propelled howitzers.

In Saudi Arabia, it will be modernising the kingdom’s AH-64A Apache helicopters, a deal worth $340m, and providing new military communications equipment, the report said. Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates is buying Seasparrow ship-to-air missiles from Washington for $106m.

Iran’s nuclear ambitions appear to have led to Washington’s regional allies stocking up on weapons in recent years.

Iran war pimping IS good for business, how splendid. Some US officials say they ‘hate all Iranians’ and some while invited by our Conservative party make do with recommending bombing them. While the Whitehouse funds anyone willing to cooperate in its war of terror on its targets-

…a report from the Gulf reveals the US is training Arab militaries and regional leaders for a possible war with Iran. A Washington-based air warfare conference last month, led by Air Force chief of staff Gen. Michael Mosley, was told how the US has helped coordinate intelligence sharing and organize group military exercises designed to make parallel warfare easier.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, Mosley “used the conference to seek closer links with allies whose support America might need if President George W. Bush chooses to bomb Iran.” The report says the Pentagon has helped set up an air warfare center in the United Arab Emirates, modeled on a US base in Nevada. Dubai and Amman are participating in the program.

The US Air Force has reestablished the elite fighting force which planned the 1991 Gulf War’s air campaign and tasked them with “fighting the next war” as US-Iran tensions bloom, the London Sunday Times reports Sunday.

The news came on the heels of another Sunday report in Newsweek, which confirmed a quotation from a Cheney advisor who said that the Vice President “had been mulling the idea of pushing for limited Israeli missile strikes against the Iranian nuclear site at Natanz – and perhaps other sites – in order to provoke Tehran into lashing out.”

And this hilariously transparent macho war pimping including in the previously noted article by Sy Hersh-

A retired American four-star general with close ties to the British military told me that there was another reason for Britain’s interest—shame over the failure of the Royal Navy to protect the sailors and Royal Marines who were seized by Iran on March 23rd, in the Persian Gulf. “The professional guys are saying that British honor is at stake, and if there’s another event like that in the water off Iran the British will hit back,” he said.

Yeah that’s right General we have some loonies too and isn’t it nice you either hang out together or feel confident enough in our military housing fellow mental patients you can make this shit up. Now as the tories were hosting Bolton and we already know what NuLabour does when confronted with American dominance (swallow) it does leave us a bit fucked. Such is the ruling class of a client state, however the rest of us are not so ‘poodle’ whipped and as our ‘professional guys’ know all too well how the US treats those allies it kills in friendly fire incidents, take your special relationship General, and shove it.

PS. The pie chart I found linked in a post by Kyle at Immigration Orange-

Pedro Zapeta had worked for 11 years on less than $6 an hour in hopes of one day returning to Guatemala to build a home for his mother and his sisters. He had $59,000 with him when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement took it all away for failing to fill out the form you need to declare you’re carrying more than $10,000. They assumed he was a drug dealer until lawyers went through the pay stubs he meticulously saved to prove he had earned every last cent. He even earned a generous $0.25 raise.

Now the Internal Revenue Service wants not only the $59,000 he’s taking back with him, but the $10,000 that have been set up for him in a trust fund by well-wishers who found out about the story last year through CNN or the Palm Beach Post.

This does tie in with the theme of a hateful Empire as-

Sadly, the anti-migrant online machine has been at it again. About two-thirds of the messages I’ve seen say he deserves to be deported and have all of his money taken from him, in harsher terms, obviously.

White, stupid, hateful, violent. An individual case of what is done institutionally, theft and violence against the less powerful, the less white. If you don’t know what America did in Guatemala try this or this-

The Historical Clarification Commission, an independent human rights body, estimated that the Guatemalan conflict claimed the lives of some 200,000 people with the most savage bloodletting occurring in the 1980s. Based on a review of about 20 percent of the dead, the panel blamed the army for 93 percent of the killings and leftist guerrillas for three percent. Four percent were listed as unresolved.

To manage U.S. perceptions of the wars in Central America, Reagan also authorized a systematic program of distorting information and intimidating American journalists. Called “public diplomacy,” the project was run by a CIA propaganda veteran, Walter Raymond Jr., who was assigned to the National Security Council staff. The project’s key operatives developed propaganda “themes,” selected “hot buttons” to excite the American people, cultivated pliable journalists who would cooperate, and bullied reporters who wouldn’t go along.

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‘Death Squad’ Negroponte Visits Pakistan- Salvador Option Deployed?

More War on Democracy by the Empire-

 Amid growing doubts over Musharraf’s grip on power, with elections looming, visiting Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte heaped praise on Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts, before meeting the general who took control after a coup in 1999.

Negroponte headed a delegation aimed at developing long-term ties with Pakistan covering business, energy, education and defense, but he was also accompanied by Dell L. Dailey, U.S. ambassador at large and counter-terrorism coordinator.

Now then his chum Dell L. Dailey is quite the cloak & dagger aficionado himself-

…Center for Special Operations as the nerve center to coordinate global operations and actionable intelligence, particularly against “high value targets.” Previous directorates of operations, plans and policy; and intelligence and information operations; have already have been consolidated into the new Center under three groups: the Intelligence Support Group (J2), the Operations Support Group (J3), and the Campaign Support Group (J5).

The director of the Center is Lt. Gen. Dell L. Dailey, the commander of Joint Special Operations Command from 2001 to May 2003. Dailey was the overall clandestine special operations commander after 9/11, operating from Oman and then from Afghanistan as Commander, Task Force Sword (later called TF-11). Unlike Gen. Brown, who himself is rumored to be less than enthusiastic to be given responsibility for the war on terrorism; Dailey is considered one of the administration’s primo shadow warriors.

And for those unfamiliar with Negroponte-

Mr. Negroponte has served as U.S. Ambassador to Honduras from 1981-1985; a period during which the U.S. military aid to Honduras grew from $5 million to nearly $100 million, and more than $200 million in economic aid, making Honduras the largest aid recipient in the region. Honduras was the launching pad from which the Reagan administration runs its violent “war on terror” in Central American. The U.S-backed atrocities and terror were condemned by the International World Court in the Hague (1). Like most of his colleagues in the Bush administration, Mr. Negroponte is a “recycled reaganites”.

At the time Mr. Negroponte was in Honduras, Honduras was a military dictatorship. Kidnapping, rape, torture and executions of dissidents was rampant. The military top and middle ranks were U.S-trained at the School of the Americas (SOA), the Harvard version of the CIA, based in Fort Benning, Georgia. According to Human Rights Watch, graduates of the SOA are responsible for the worst human rights abuses and torture of dissidents in Latin America. Some of its 60,000 graduates are notorious Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos of Panama, Leopoldo Galtieri and Roberto Viola of Argentina, Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru, Guillermo Rodriguez of Ecuador, Hugo Banzer Suarez of Bolivia and Gustavo Álvarez Martínez, Honduras security police chief and later Honduran top military commander.

Ok, so I call the ‘Salvador’ option being deployed in Pakistan, thanks Empire’s Ambassador, with these gifts of death & military dictatorship you are really spoiling us.