Need Or Nationality?

U.S. military rescuers searching through the rubble of Haiti’s earthquake-crushed buildings have found no American survivors in the last two days and are now contemplating moving their efforts from seeking the living to recovering the dead.

This raise the inevitable questions, if US survivors were prioritised, to what detriment was that to non US survivors? Was need or nationality prioritised?

PS. Also see Nelson Valdés on rescue priorities in Haiti @ Machetera

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Avatar From Someone Who Knows

Interestingly Avatar is extremely popular outside the US, seems they are enjoying the film’s right-to-resist action which some US reviewers sort of ignore…oddly (a Tweet from Ali Abunimah today- Going west to east from Palestine to Afghanistan, every other country is occupied by US or Israel. All in between except Iran are puppets). A review of Avatar from someone who daily fights actual fascists, imperialists, corporations and racists (so drop the liberal hand wringing) most of whom get some funding from the US government-

Evo Morales, Bolivia’s socialist president, said the blockbuster movie Avatar was an inspiration in the fight against capitalism and efforts to protect the environment, Latin American media reported on Tuesday. James Cameron’s 3D blockbuster is the story of a man sent to infiltrate an alien race – tall blue creatures inhabiting Pandora – who are in conflict with humans, who want to seize their planet’s resources.

The movie, featuring lavish special effects, has reportedly made more than $1.1 billion at the box office worldwide and is likely to become the biggest grossing film in history. “There is a lot of fiction in the movie, but at the same time it makes a perfect model for the struggle against capitalism and efforts to protect nature,” Morales said, according to regional media. Morales has said he wants the Bolivian revolution to be promoted in Africa to help the continent shed the “imperialistic manacles” and nationalize its natural resources. The UN General Assembly last year declared Morales a “World Hero of Mother Earth” for his efforts to protect the environment.

Morales, 50, watched the movie on Sunday with his 15-year-old daughter. It was just his third visit to a movie theater. He said the film impressed him and he shares many of its messages. (Ht’s2 Otto El Duderino)

And as ever-

Bolivian President Evo Morales’ 10 commandments to save the planet, life and humanity:

1-Acabar con el sistema capitalista/Stopping the capitalist system

2-Renunciar a las guerras/Renouncing wars

3-Un mundo sin imperialismo ni colonialismo/A world without imperialism or colonialism

4-Derecho al agua/Right to water

5-Desarrollo de energías limpias/Development of clean energies

6-Respeto a la madre tierra/Respect for Mother Earth

7-Servicios básicos como derechos humanos/Basic services as human rights

8-Combatir las desigualdades/Fighting inequalities

9-Promover la diversidad de culturas y economías/Promoting diversity of cultures and economies

10-Vivir bien, no vivir mejor a costa del otro/Living well, not living better at the expense of others

First:  a call to end the capitalist system.  The capitalist system was inhuman and encouraged unbridled economic development.  The exploitation of human beings and pillaging of natural resources must end, as should wars aimed at securing access to those resources.  Also, the world should end the plundering of fossil fuels; excessive consumption of goods; the accumulation of waste; as well as the egoism, regionalism and thirst for earning where the pursuit of luxury was taking place at the expense of human beings.  Countries of the south were heaped with external debt, when it was the ecological debt that needed paying.

Second, the world should denounce war, which brought advantage to a small few, he said.  In that vein, it was time to end occupation under the pretext of “combating drugs”, such as in South America, as well as other pretexts such as searching for weapons of mass destruction.  Money earmarked for war should be channeled to make reparations for damage caused to the Earth.
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Peace & Arms Deals- ‘the IDF’s qualitative edge’

While Clinton creates another piece of theatre in the ongoing fictitious peace process… what are these self declared peace seeking Nobeled saints actually talking about-

The Bush administration violated security related agreements with Israel in which the U.S. promised to preserve the IDF’s qualitative edge over Arab armies, according to senior officials in the Obama administration and Israel.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak traveled to the U.S. in September for a rushed meeting in which it was agreed that the two allies would discuss how to resolve the problems regarding this issue.

U.S. National Security Adviser General James Jones is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Tuesday for what is likely to be talks on the issue of the IDF’s qualitative edge. Senior sources in the current U.S. administration, and senior officials at the foreign and defense ministries in Israel, have suggested that during the last year of the Bush administration the U.S. sold advanced military equipment to moderate Arab states – Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. The Americans justified the arms sales with the need to bolster these countries against the perceived threat posed by Iran.

In an address before the National Jewish Democratic Council, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, commented on the matter. “We discovered that the qualitative edge of the IDF has been eroded,” Oren said. “We came to the Obama administration and said: ‘Listen, we have a problem.'”

According to Oren the response of the Obama administration was positive and immediate. “They said they are going to deal with this matter and ensure that the qualitative edge of the IDF is preserved,” he said. “Since then we have embarked on a dialogue [on preserving the IDF’s qualitative edge].”

The arms transfers that were particularly disturbing for Israel were of advanced air and naval systems. For example, the U.S. sold Saudi Arabia advanced F-15 fighter-bombers, similar to the ones it sold Israel. According to Israeli assessments, following the U.S. sales to the Saudi kingdom, the Saudi Air Force is currently in possession of 200-250 aircraft of this type.

In addition, the U.S. sold Saudi Arabia and other Arab states satellite-guided and laser-guided “smart bombs” for their fighter aircraft, as well as advanced anti-ship missiles and electronic suites for aircraft, all similar to the equipment in the IDF.

Toward the end of the Bush term in office, the defense establishment recommended to the political leadership to raise the issue with the incoming U.S. administration. Defense establishment officials warned that the U.S. is arming countries in the moderate Arab camp in “a way that erodes the qualitative edge of the IDF, especially in the air.”

In recent months officials close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began quiet exchanges with their U.S. counterparts on ways of retaining the IDF’s balance of arms. The negotiations are held at the highest levels, with the White House and the Pentagon.

In September, for example, a day before the start of the United Nations General Assembly conference in New York, Barak traveled to Washington and the purpose of his meetings there were kept under wraps. At the time, the defense minister’s office announced that Barak had met with Jones and other senior administration officials in order to discuss the resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians.

In subsequent talks between the Obama administration and Israel, Israeli officials have stressed that the arms provided with the aim of bolstering moderate Arab states against Iran could be directed in the future against Israel. A number of meetings have taken place since, in an effort to “assess the damage” and find ways of securing the IDF’s qualitative edge. Last week, Haaretz reported that the Obama administration will sell advanced weapons systems to Arab states.

According to the weekly Jewish publication Forward, as a result of Israeli concerns the Obama administration intends to make changes to deals that the Bush administration signed with Arab states and are currently being implemented.

So further confirmation of the legal requirement the US imposed on itself to maintain Israel’s military superiority (22 USC Sec. 2776) and a rather predictable glimpse of the Bush regime’s fondness for money and aggression towards Iran, which apparently meant to the entitled Zionists superior arms sales were insufficiently centred on Israel even if they liked the Iran bashing (but it seems that is their gig and they do not trust Arabs to do it even if the neocons attempts to divide and conquer Shia and Sunni worked), so they whine and Obama promises to do better. Y’konw, the guy with the peace prize. That would be two sides of the peace talks promising to ensure the third party and all others in the region are militarily weak. Yes of course they seek peace, isn’t that what they said? And politician’s would never lie. Which is also perhaps why when the IAEA was ‘concerned’ over Israel’s rogue nukes, it was reported virtually nowhere and aid convoys can be delayed and attacked. Our country along with the US, Israel and Egypt are conspiring to besiege Gaza, which is also not a very peace seeking thing to do. And dutifully our media tell us about the peace process as if bullies’ conditions for submission are such a great deal.

Obama Kills 140 Civilians For Every Alleged Al Qaeda Target

Bush killed 49 per target, comes to something when that becomes the good old days…

PESHAWAR: Of the 44 predator strikes carried out by US drones in the tribal areas of Pakistan over the past 12 months, only five were able to hit their actual targets, killing five key Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders, but at the cost of over 700 innocent civilians.

Over 700 killed in 44 drone strikes in 2009

According to the statistics compiled by Pakistani authorities, the Afghanistan-based US drones killed 708 people in 44 predator attacks targeting the tribal areas between January 1 and December 31, 2009.

For each Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorist killed by US drones, 140 innocent Pakistanis also had to die.

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I Got My Orange Crush

But critics believe the U.S. is playing a grim waiting game: waiting for people to die in order to avoid potentially costly lawsuits. For a country currently engaged in two wars, accepting comprehensive responsibility for wartime damages could set an expensive precedent. “They know what the problem is and where it is,” says Chuck Searcy, country representative of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. “Why do they now need an environmental impact assessment? They are studying this to death.”

Since 2007, Congress has allocated a total of $6 million to help address Agent Orange issues in Vietnam. Not only does the amount not begin to scratch the surface of the problem or get rid of the tons of toxic soil around the nation, but there are questions about how the money is being spent. And several parties have noted with growing frustration that the money is primarily going to study the issue and hire consultants rather than implementing measures to prevent new generations from being exposed.

Luckily there will always be plenty of money to pay pundits to write ‘Why Do They Hate US?’ articles ad infinitum to soothe the imperial ego.

.Huge rise in birth defects in Falluja Iraqi former battle zone sees abnormal clusters of infant tumours and deformities

Ad infinitum.

Atlanticists Eyeing The Blogoshpere

NATO hosts first ever briefing for bloggers organised by the Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom which is NATO’s PR arm-

The Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom is an independent non-governmental organisation based in London. Its mission is to explain and promote the benefits the UK enjoys from its membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the constructive role the nation can play in ensuring global peace and security.

Patrons
Gordon Brown
“NATO has emerged from the Cold War with a new sense of purpose, and I am keen that the UK is a driving force behind its continued development and strong leadership role; the
Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom has an important part to play in spreading this message”

David Cameron
“I am delighted to be a Partron of the
Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom and am wholly supportive of both theCouncil and its mission”

Nick Clegg

“I fully support the work of the
Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom in promoting and explaining the role of NATO and am delighted to act as Patron”

Mmmm, smell the party political consensus in the 51st state. So blogs are a taken seriously in NATO’s information operations we may now conclude. Interesting.

Nobel Prize For Comedy Maybe

(Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama will frame the war in Afghanistan as part of a wider pursuit for peace when he accepts the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on Thursday, a U.S. official said.