jueves, 31 de julio de 2014

La Virgen de la Carretera

Lo que sigue no es una tontería. Es la materialización, en tiempo real, de un mito en un entorno tecnológico global. Proponemos, desde ya, un título al personaje real: La Virgen de la Carretera. Una aparición adecuada para tiempos apocalípticos.

Leemos en el diario español El País:

Título: ¿Quién es la mujer de negro?

Subtítulo: Una misteriosa figura recorre carreteras de EE UU e intriga a medios y redes sociales

Texto: La foto siempre está borrosa. La mujer de negro -seria, ropa oscura y gafas en la cabeza, un bastón y un carro metálico lleno de bultos- no se suele parar. Miles de personas (https://twitter.com/hashtag/womaninblack) especularon los últimos días sobre la identidad y los motivos de una desconocida que recorría carreteras de Estados Unidos en silencio: ¿una activista, una peregrina, una madre en duelo, una imitadora de Forrest Gump, una artista? Los medios y las redes sociales replicaban una y otra vez su imagen en movimiento.

La caminante alimentaba las leyendas porque no hablaba. El aura de misterio la convirtió, primero, en un fantasma y después en una especie de santa virtual. Los seguidores (64.000 el jueves) del grupo de Facebook ¿Dónde está la misteriosa mujer de negro? 
(https://www.facebook.com/mysteriouswomaninblack) la veneran: "¿Ha visto a la misteriosa mujer de negro vagar por su barrio? ¡Queremos saber! ¿A dónde se dirige? ¿Cuál es su misión?". Desde el 18 de julio recopilaron fotos y hasta crearon un mapa para seguirle la pista. A veces, los vecinos la recibían con aplausos. Al hablar para las televisiones algunos se emocionaban. "Cuando uno ve a una mujer así... le da esperanza, le hace sentir bien", decía alguien a la BBC.

La policía pide que respeten su privacidad.  [Ella] Les ha dicho a los agentes que quiere que la dejen sola.

Esta semana se han empezado a despejar dudas y el personaje etéreo se ha hecho un poco más terrenal. Según la policía de Winchester (Virginia, al este de EE UU), la mujer dice que esa es su ciudad de origen y que allí pretende quedarse. “La policía pide que respeten su privacidad si la ven en la zona. Les ha dicho a los agentes que quiere que la dejen sola”, reza el comunicado colgado en la web. Por su parte, un hombre identificado como Raymond Poles ha asegurado a la agencia Reuters que la caminante es su hermana Elizabeth, de 56 años. Poles es, según su versión, una veterana del Ejército estadounidense que desapareció de Phenix City (Alabama, a más de mil kilómetros de Winchester) unos meses después de quedar viuda y de perder a su padre.

Muchos se siguen aferrando al símbolo. “Es una gran inspiración”, dicen en Internet; “Le mando mis plegarias”; “Caminaría con ella si pudiese”. El periodista Paul Salopek escribió que andar es un "acto de fe" ("Cada paso que damos es una caída que detenemos a tiempo, un fracaso que evitamos, un desastre que sorteamos"). La foto, de tan movida, se ha convertido en lo que usted quiera que sea.

Suceso extraordinario


Olvidémonos por un segundo de los fondos buitres, Ucrania, Gaza y demás. Veamos por un rato un suceso extraordinario (todo lo anterior, lamentablemente, ya dejó de ser extraordinario). Primero, el video:

http://www.survivalinternational.org/films/uncontactedtribes

Luego, las noticias. Así lo relataba hoy Japan Times Online:

Título: Isolated indigenous people make first contact with outside world in Brazil

Texto: “RIO DE JANEIRO – Isolated native people wearing loincloths and carrying bows and arrows have emerged from the Amazon rain forest and made contact with the outside world in a video released by Brazil’s indigenous authority.

The video shows indigenous people from the Panoan linguistic group making contact with the Ashaninka native people of northern Brazil along the banks of the Envira River, near the Peruvian border.

In one scene, an ethnic Ashaninka in athletic shorts gives bananas to two loincloth-clad natives who appear wary of approaching, quickly grabbing the fruit and then retreating out of arm’s reach.

Brazilian experts said the indigenous people likely crossed the border from Peru facing pressure from illegal logging and drug trafficking at home.

After the native people made initial contact with the Ashaninka on June 26, a team from Brazil’s National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) traveled to the area and filmed a second encounter on June 30, according to news portal G1, which posted the video online.

The people, identified as members of a group known as the Rio Xinane, at first emerged only briefly and then returned to the forest, said FUNAI official Carlos Travassos.

“They were whistling and making animal sounds,” he said.

Two Panoan indigenous interpreters were then called in to speak with them on their next visit.
“They speak our language. I was so happy we could talk to each other,” said one of the interpreters, Jaminawa Jose Correia.

He said the natives had come in search of weapons and allies.

“They described being attacked by non-native people and many died after coming down with the flu and diphtheria,” he told G1.

Anthropologist Terri Aquino said the group had probably come in search of axes, knives and pots.
“This is a people looking for technology. It’s important in their lives because there’s an internal war among them and because of contact with non-indigenous groups,” he said.

Another scene in the video shows the natives taking axes from the ethnic Ashaninka village of Simpatia.
FUNAI said the group had returned from the forest after their initial visit because they had contracted the flu. A government medical team was sent to treat seven from the group.

Rights group Survival International said the episode was extremely worrying, since influenza epidemics have wiped out entire tribes in the past.

The Brazilian Amazon is home to an estimated 77 uncontacted tribes — the largest number in the world.”


Por su parte, la organización Survival International (http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10361) señalaba, hace una semana, lo siguiente: 

Título: ‘Violent attacks’ caused uncontacted Indians to emerge 

Texto: Highly vulnerable uncontacted Indians who recently emerged in the Brazil-Peru border region have said that they were fleeing violent attacks in Peru.

FUNAI, Brazil’s Indian Affairs Department, has announced that the group of uncontacted Indians has returned once more to their forest home. Seven Indians made peaceful contact with a settled indigenous Ashaninka community near the Envira River in the western Acre state, Brazil, three weeks ago.

A government health team was dispatched and has treated seven Indians for flu. FUNAI has announced it will reopen a monitoring post on the Envira River which it closed in 2011 when it was overrun by drug traffickers.

The emerging news has been condemned as “extremely worrying” by Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, as epidemics of flu, to which uncontacted Indians lack immunity, have wiped out entire tribes in the past.

Brazilian experts believe that the Indians, who belong to the Panoan linguistic group, crossed over the border from Peru into Brazil due to pressures from illegal loggers and drug traffickers on their land.

Nixiwaka Yawanawá, an Indian from Acre state, said, “This news proves that my uncontacted relatives are threatened by violence and infectious diseases. We already know what can happen if the authorities don’t take action to protect them, they will simply disappear. They need time and space to decide when they want to make contact and their choices must be respected. They are heroes!”

Uncontacted Indians in Peru suffer multiple threats to their survival as the government has carved up 70 percent of the Amazon rainforest for oil and gas exploration, including the lands of uncontacted tribes.

Plans to expand the notorious Camisea gas project, located in the heart of the Nahua-Nanti reserve for uncontacted Indians, recently received the government’s go-ahead, and Canadian-Colombian oil giant Pacific Rubiales is carrying out exploration on land inhabited by the Matsés tribe and their uncontacted neighbors.

Both projects will bring hundreds of oil and gas workers into the lands of uncontacted tribes, introducing the risk of deadly diseases and violent encounters, and scaring away the animals the Indians hunt for their survival.

Survival has launched an urgent petition to the Brazilian and Peruvian governments to protect the land of uncontacted Indians, and called on the authorities to honor their commitments of cross-border cooperation.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said, “This news could hardly be more worrying – not only have these people confirmed they suffered violent attacks from outsiders in Peru, but they have apparently already caught flu. The nightmare scenario is that they return to their former villages carrying flu with them. It’s a real test of Brazil’s ability to protect these vulnerable groups. Unless a proper and sustained medical program is immediately put in place, the result could be a humanitarian catastrophe.”

martes, 29 de julio de 2014

Esa rara sensación


Sí, esa rara sensación de que las cosas se terminan, que se acabó lo que se daba, que los chabones son realmente locos de atar y todo eso. El reciente pronunciamiento de los buitres de la Corte Internacional de la Haya "condenando" a Rusia a pagar 50.000 millones de dólares a... ¡Yukos!!! suena a afrenta final, a escupitajo en la cara. No sé si se vuelve de esto. Huele a guerra, chicos. El siguiente artículo de Paul Craig Roberts lo dice sin edulcorantes ni aditivos (http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/07/28/war-coming-paul-craig-roberts/):

Título: War Is Coming


Texto: The extraordinary propaganda being conducted against Russia by the US and UK governments and Ministries of Propaganda, a.k.a., the “Western media,” have the purpose of driving the world to war that no one can win. European governments need to rouse themselves from insouciance, because Europe will be the first to be vaporized due to the US missile bases that Europe hosts to guarantee its “security.”


As reported by Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge, the Russian response to the extra-legal ruling of a corrupt court in the Netherlands, which had no jurisdiction over the case on which it ruled, awarding $50 billion dollars from the Russian government to shareholders of Yukos, a corrupt entity that was looting Russia and evading taxes, is telling. Asked what Russia would do about the ruling, an advisor to President Putin replied, “There is a war coming in Europe.” Do you really think this ruling matters?”


The West has ganged up on Russia, because the West is totally corrupt. The wealth of the elites is based not only on looting weaker countries whose leaders can be purchased (read John Perkins’ Confessions of an Economic Hit Man for instruction on how the looting works), but also on looting their own citizens. The American elites excel at looting their fellow citizens and have wiped out most of the US middle class in the new 21st century.


In contrast, Russia has emerged from tyranny and from a government based on lies, while the US and UK submerge into tyranny shielded by lies. Western elites desire to loot Russia, a juicy prize, and there stands Putin in the way. The solution is to get rid of him like they got rid of President Yanukovich in Ukraine.


The looting elites and the neoconservative hegemonists have the same goal: make Russia a vassal state. This goal unites the Western financial imperialists with the political imperialists.


I have recorded for readers the propaganda that is used in order to demonize Putin and Russia. But even I was stunned by the astounding and vicious lies in the UK publication The Economist on July 26. The cover is Putin’s face in a spider web, and, you guessed it, the cover story is “A Web of Lies.” 


http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21608645-vladimir-putins-epic-deceits-have-grave-consequences-his-people-and-outside-world-web?spc=scode&spv=xm&ah=9d7f7ab945510a56fa6d37c30b6f1709 

You need to read this propaganda both in order to see the gutter level of propaganda in the West and the obvious drive to war with Russia. There is no evidence whatsoever in the story to support The Economist’s wild accusations and demand for the end of Western “appeasement” of Russia and the harshest possible action against Putin.


The kind of reckless lies and transparent propaganda that comprises The Economist’s story has no other purpose than to drive the world to war.


The Western elites and governments are not merely totally corrupt, they are insane. As I have previously written, don’t expect to live much longer. In this video one of Putin’s advisors and Russian journalists speak openly of US plans for a first strike on Russia:


http://financearmageddon.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/official-warning-u-s-to-hit-russia-with.html

 

lunes, 28 de julio de 2014

Mesut


La noticia tiene varios días. Leemos en el sitio chileno “Política y Sociedad”:

Título: Mediocampista alemán, Mesut Özil, donará todas sus ganancias del Mundial a víctimas del conflicto en Gaza

Texto: Parece que el mediocampista alemán Mesut Özil no sólo es un campeón en la cancha, sino también fuera de ella. Esto porque después de sus mensajes de apoyo a los hinchas brasileños tras la goleada que su equipo propinó a la selección anfitriona, volvió a sorprender a los fans al conocerse que donará la totalidad de sus ganancias obtenidas en el evento a las víctimas del conflicto en la Franja de Gaza.

La información fue difundida por la cadena deportiva ESPN, quien recordó que Özil recibió de parte de la Federación Alemana (DFB) 118 mil libras (112 millones de pesos chilenos) por llegar a la final de la Copa del Mundo, más otras 237 mil (224 millones de pesos) por ganarla.

Sin embargo la crudeza de los enfrentamientos en Medio Oriente, que ya cuentan un saldo de 207 palestinos muertos, afectaron de tal forma al jugador del Arsenal, que decidió donar la totalidad del pozo para el alivio de las víctimas.

Según relata ESPN, un hecho que marcó profundamente a Özil fue que uno de los misiles israelíes impactó un barrio donde un grupo de niños palestinos jugaban a la pelota, cobrando la vida de casi todos ellos.
Precisamente, uno de los pequeños usaba la camiseta del deportista alemán al momento del incidente, la cual fue exhibida a la prensa como prueba del infortunio del menor.

Cabe destacar que Özil, de ascendencia turca, no es el único que se ha compadecido de los afectados por el conflicto en Gaza. La selección de Argelia donó las 5.25 millones de libras (5.000 millones de pesos chilenos) que había recibido por llegar a octavos de final, íntegramente a las víctimas.

La BBC te informa

Ayer: 26 muertos en diversos enfrentamientos entre grupos armados en Benghazi

Ellos primero vienen con sus bombarderos y destrozan tu país. Revientan la infraestructura: caminos, escuelas, ministerios, plantas potabilizadoras, canales, fortificaciones, puertos, etc. Oleoductos y destilerías no; a esos los dejan intactos. Matan gente a lo pavote y, en cuanto pueden, asesinan a tiros a tu líder. Paralelamente se roban todo: activos en el exterior y en el Banco Central, lingotes de oro, antigüedades de tus museos públicos, etc. 

Al irse se aseguran de que queden como quichicientos grupos armados que continúen la destrucción, el saqueo y los asesinatos. Por si las moscas, ¿viste? Entonces, y ahí viene lo mejor, agarran y ponen a los noticieros de su país a filmar el desquicio que hicieron, la porquería que dejaron. Cosa que el resto del planeta entienda que tu país es ingobernable, un verdadero asco que no tiene solución. En síntesis, que sos una rata miserable que no merece tener un país. ¿Se entiende el mecanismo?

Leemos y vemos en la BBC de hoy:

Título: Why is Libya so lawless? In 45 seconds

Texto: "Libya is considering calling for international forces to help re-establish security after fierce fighting forced the country's main international airport to close.

"Anarchy has gripped the country since the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, with militias ruling swathes of territory and successive governments struggling to exercise control.

Here are some of the reasons the country is so lawless - in 45 seconds."

Video: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27502619 


Hoy: Un segundo tanque de combustible fue incendiado en cercanías del aeropuerto de Trípoli. Se prendieron fuego seis millones de litros. Cortesía de la NATO.

domingo, 27 de julio de 2014

Rutas de la Seda (2)


Un pensamiento suelto a propósito del post anterior. Cuando se mira un planisferio centrado en el Pacífico, se aprecian los puentes intercontinentales (esto es, los istmos o casi istmos, fácilmente atravesables por puentes o túneles, actuales o futuros), más que las barreras marítimas que se interponen entre ellos. Se entienden entonces varias cosas, a saber: (1) por qué China se ve a sí misma como el centro del mundo; (2) el valor estratégico de los puentes (Bering, Suez, Bósforo, Centroamérica, etc.); (3) el papel clave de Rusia en la comunicación eurasiática; (4) que el futuro del comercio mundial está el transporte ferroviario (esto es, terrestre), no en los barcos (marítimo); (5) Por último, y como consecuencia de lo anterior, se sugiere un paulatino declive en la importancia de las potencias marítimas y sus tratados de defensa. En fin, ideas sueltas, que seguramente ya fueron discutidas por docenas de analistas con anterioridad. Los argentinos seguimos quedando en la esquina del mundo, aunque esta vez abajo, a la derecha. Los australianos, chochos.

NOTA: En el mapa de arriba, las rutas de Indochina-Australia-Nueva Zelandia, y la de Filipinas-Nueva Guinea incluyen amplios tramos de circulación marítima. 

Rutas de la Seda

Nada, que nos gustan los mapas, así que no pudimos sustraernos al encanto de este, que reproducen los chicos de Zero Hedge, mostrando las vías de comunicación terrestres y marítimas entre China y Occidente (o al menos hasta sus puertas). Esto es sólo el mapa; la imagen completa puede verse en: http://scmpnews.tumblr.com/image/92801821005. Ojo que acá se habla (eufemísticamente) de una ruta "marítima" de la Seda; en realidad, la Ruta de la Seda histórica siempre fue terrestre. De paso, ofrece una gráfica comparación entre el tamaño de la Santa María, la carabela de Colón, con el casi contemporáneo (60 años más viejo) barquito de Zheng He (casi una cuadra y media de largo).


Título: China Cements Eurasian Trade Routes With Great Silk Road Revival: The Infographic

Texto: When it comes to the rise of Eurasia as the ascendent axis set to oppose US global hegemony, conventional wisdom focuses on the roles of China and Russia. However, the changing geopolitical landscape is certainly far more nuanced than merely the "west" versus the BRICS, and as the following infographic from SCMP shows, China has been quietly working to recreate one of the most legendary trade routes, "the Silk Road", linking Africa to the Middle East (Iraq and Iran) to India, to Indonesia and all culminating in Beijing, while at the same time the reverse leg of the route goes to Kazakhstan, Moscow and ultimately, Germany. The purpose: "to enhance political and economic ties with southeast Asia and beyond."

As SCMP reports, China has set up a 10 billion yuan fund to support infrastructure projects under the umbrella of the silk road plan. Initially floated in relation to Asean countries, the idea has grown to include ports such as Colombo and Gwadar. China is already working with Malaysia to upgrade the Malaysian port of Kuantan and Cambodian officials have made clear their enthusiasm in developing port infrastructure.

Container port data compiled by the United Nations shows China is already the world's biggest merchant marine operator. Around a quarter of the world's container tonnage passed through Chinese ports in 2012. The 155 million twenty foot equivalent Unites (TEUs) handled by Chinese ports dwarfs the 43 million handled by the second biggest operators, the United States. Customs administration figures show around 40,000 ships entered and left Chinese ports in the first half of 2014.

By naming the project the maritime silk road, Xi Jinping links the concept to the ancient sea routes piled by Admiral Zheng He in the 15th century. As head of a huge and technologically advanced fleet, Zheng He restored large-scale maritime trade after centuries of disruption, confirming China's status as the leading source of goods, technology and information for the rest of the world.

In June this year China's 2,400 year-old Grand Canal, which historically linked sections of the silk road, was awarded Unesco heritage status, as were large portions of the ancient overland silk road. The 11,179 kilometer Yunxinou International Railway linking Chongqing and Xinjiang with Europe and, commonly referred to as the "New Silk Road", runs alongside many of these ancient caravan tracts.

The message China is trying to send to the west by recreating trade routes that defined its dominance in global trade, and which would enmesh the entire eastern hemisphere into one massive trade zone, hardly needs to be clarified.

sábado, 26 de julio de 2014

Atrocidad del día: el Santuario de Jonás



Miembros del denominado Estado Islámico (ex_ Estado Islámico de Irak y del Levante, o EIIL, o también: Estado Islámico de Irak y Siria, o EIIS) acaban de destruir el Santuario de Jonás, en Mosul, Irak. Como se sabe, esta organización está fuertemente sospechada de ser una herramienta de la CIA, a los efectos de continuar con la “política” de USA en Medio Oriente. El video de la destrucción del santuario puede verse aquí: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jITkdB2xZM&feature=player_embedded. Así lo detallaba Russia Today:

Título: Video: Estado Islámico convierte en polvo importante santuario iraquí ante una multitud

Subtítulo: El santuario de Jonás, venerado tanto por cristianos como por musulmanes, fue dinamitado por milicianos del Estado Islámico (EI) cerca de la ciudad iraquí de Mosul ante una multitud de residentes locales.

Texto: El video de la explosión fue publicado en Internet. Varios testigos afirman que los yihadistas tardaron tan solo una hora en colocar explosivos en toda la mezquita.  

"Los milicianos del EIIL (el nombre antiguo del EI) han destruido el santuario del profeta Younis (o Jonás) al este de la ciudad de Mosul después de que se hicieran con el control del mismo", dijo una fuente en los círculos de seguridad a la cadena iraquí Al-Sumaria News.  

 Los musulmanes conocen el santuario como la 'tumba de Younis', mientras que los cristianos se refieren a él como a 'la tumba de Jonás'. El profeta, que es la figura central del libro del Antiguo Testamento que lleva su nombre, es popularmente conocido por haber sido tragado por un pez o una ballena, dependiendo de la traducción. Su historia con ciertas diferencias figura tanto en la Biblia como en el Corán. 

"El Estado Islámico destruyó completamente el santuario de Nabi Yunus después de avisar a las familias locales que permanecieran alejadas de la zona y de cerrar las carreteras a una distancia de 500 metros del edificio", dijo un funcionario de la fundación que gestiona los asuntos religiosos sunitas en Irak a AFP. © REUTERS

Después de la evacuación de los vecinos locales de la zona, los milicianos lo hicieron saltar por los aires frente a una gran multitud. Aunque en los últimos días varios lugares religiosos han sido destruidos por los yihadistas, "la peor destrucción fue la de Nabi Yunus, que se ha convertido en polvo", aseguró el funcionario.    

Los miembros del EI consideran que una veneración especial a las tumbas y otras reliquias contradice los preceptos del islam. En total 30 santuarios y 15 hussainias y mezquitas en las inmediaciones de Mosul han sido destruidos por el EI en los últimos meses.  UTERS

A finales de junio, el grupo yihadista Estado Islámico de Irak y el Levante (EIIL) anunció la "restauración del califato" y dio a conocer que cambia su nombre por el de Estado Islámico. Se cree que el EI intentará crear en cinco años un califato en casi todo el Gran Oriente Medio.


Lo único que quedó en pie. Gracias, CIA

viernes, 25 de julio de 2014

Ebola 2014

En lo que podríamos definir como la cabeza del virus, la macromolécula pega unas vueltas que simulan un signo de "infinito", seguidas por un rulito semicircular. Luego viene una larga cola un tanto aburrida. Lo que no es para nada aburrido son los efectos del virus en los humanos que se contagian de él. La muerte por esta enfermedad es algo sacado de una película de horror zombie, o peor. En fin.

El diario español El País lleva un registro de las noticias que publica sobre el virus del Ebola, que cubre los últimos 19 años, desde 1995 a la fecha. Precisamente, 1995 fue el año en el que se publicaron más notas sobre el virus y sus efectos en diversos países africanos. Cuarenta y dos notas en total para 1995. Astroboy se tomó el trabajo de contar cuántas notas fueron publicadas en el diario desde entonces. Fíjense acá abajo. 

1995: 42 notas
1996: 19
1997: 2
1998: 2
1999: 8
2000: 12
2001: 6
2002: 3
2003: 4
2005: 6
2006: 3
2007: 2
2008: 1
2009: 0
2010: 0
2011: 1
2012: 5
2013: 0
2014: 33

Notarán ustedes que, después de 1995, el 2014 es el año con más notas sobre el Ebola de los últimos 19. Uno se pregunta qué estará pasando en Africa, y cuál será el primer aeropuerto extra-africano en detectar un caso. 


Acá abajo va la lista de notas aparecidas en El País para lo que va del 2014. A este ritmo, será el año con mayor número de notas sobre el virus, sus efectos, la magnitud de la epidemia, los controles realizados, etc. En el listado constan la fecha de aparición del artículo, el título del mismo y el subtítulo. Todas estas notas están disponibles en: http://elpais.com/tag/ebola/a/5.
 
Nada. Por si les interesa el tema, nomás. Hasta la próxima.


25/07/2014
El ébola llega a Nigeria
Un hombre que llegó a Lagos desde Liberia es la primera víctima de la enfermedad en el país

24/07/2014
El jefe de la lucha contra el ébola en Sierra Leona se infecta
Más de mil personas han enfermado por el virus en África. Este caso es la muestra más evidente de que el patógeno parece que ha desplazado su centro de actuación

11/07/2014
El ébola mata a 21 personas e infecta a otras 44 en solo dos días
Los cifras acumuladas hasta la fecha son de 888 contagios y 539 muertes, según la Organización Mundial de la Salud

04/07/2014
España vigila puertos y aeropuertos pese al “muy bajo” riesgo de ébola
El protocolo de actuación solo se ha activado una vez por un caso sospechoso en Valencia, que se descartó enseguida

04/07/2014
Los ritos y las costumbres locales frenan el combate del ébola.
La OMS pide la colaboración de los líderes religiosos y políticos de la zona para ahuyentar los miedos y el estigma

02/07/2014
El Ébola se cobra casi 500 víctimas en tres países de África occidental.
La epidemia causa más de 750 casos de fiebre hemorrágica en Liberia, Guinea y Sierra Leona, según la OMS

26/06/2014
La OMS reclama “medidas drásticas” para combatir el ébola.
Médicos sin Fronteras afirma que la epidemia está "fuera de control". El organismo teme que el virus "se internacionalice más"

20/06/2014
El Ébola más mortífero de la historia.
La transmisión del virus se ha intensificado en las últimas dos semanas y se ha cobrado la vida de 337 personas en poco más de seis meses

13/06/2014
Sobrevivir al Ébola.
Sia pasó 10 días hospitalizada, pero logró superar una enfermedad que en su país, Guinea Conakry, ha matado a 226 personas desde enero

05/06/2014
El Ébola ya se ha cobrado 224 víctimas en África occidental.
La epidemia, aún sin controlar, se ha cobrado ya la vida de 224 personas y se convierte en la tercera más mortífera de la historia

26/05/2014
Sierra Leona anuncia la primera muerte confirmada por Ébola.
Otras cuatro personas han fallecido por fiebres hemorrágicas y no se descarta que tengan la misma causa

20/04/2014
Brotes de Ébola en las últimas décadas.
Casos desde 1976 y brote del virus en África occidental

20/04/2014
Yo sobreviví al Ébola.
Mamadou es de los pocos que han vencido al rebrote del virus mientras veía morir a varios familiares.

11/04/2014
Unicef pide 1,8 millones de euros para frenar el Ébola en África.
Servirán para proporcionar medicamentos y apoyo a las comunicaciones en los países vecinos a Guinea

08/04/2014
El Ébola se ha cobrado ya 111 víctimas mortales.
Son 101 en Guinea y 10 en Liberia. La OMS descarta casos sospechosos de Sierra Leona y Malí

07/04/2014
Ghana descarta un posible caso de Ébola.
El análisis de sangre muestra que la niña de 12 años que falleció por fiebre con hemorragias no tenía el virus

06/04/2014
No podemos dejarles solos.
El sanitario relata su experiencia ayudando a enfermos de Ébola

04/04/2014
El Ébola se extiende a Malí, el cuarto país afectado.
El nerviosismo llega a Europa: París paraliza dos horas un avión de Guinea. Arabia Saudí veta los visados a los guineanos

03/04/2014
Los enfermos aumentan un 60% en una semana.
Según datos de la OMS, los casos han subido de 86 el 26 de marzo a 137. Se ha cobrado ya 90 víctimas mortales

03/04/2014
El Ébola avanza imparable.
Médicos Sin Fronteras lucha contra la epidemia en Guinea y Liberia, donde es mortal entre el 25% y el 90% de los casos

02/04/2014
Qué es y cómo se contagia el Ébola.
Olimpia de la Rosa, de Médicos Sin Fronteras, detalla las características de una enfermedad que ya ha matado a más de 80 personas en Guinea Conakry

02/04/2014
El brote más extenso de Ébola.
La Organización Mundial de la Salud envía 3,5 toneladas de material de aislamiento a África occidental para combatir la epidemia

31/03/2014
Médicos sin Fronteras: “La escala del Ébola no tiene precedentes”.
Médicos Sin Fronteras eleva la cifra de muertos a 78, frente a los 72 de los que habló el presidente guineano el domingo

31/03/2014
El Ébola se confirma en Liberia.
Los exámenes clínicos han confirmado dos casos. La OMS señala que habían viajado a Guinea, donde comenzó el brote

30/03/2014
Senegal cierra su frontera con Guinea para sortear el ébola.
El virus, que ya ha llegado a Conakri, ha acabado con la vida de cerca de 70 personas

28/03/2014
“Afortunadamente, cuando el virus circula pierde virulencia”.
El director del Instituto de Enfermedades Tropicales considera que las condiciones de hacinamiento pueden hacer que haya más infectados

28/03/2014
El Ébola llega a la ciudad.
La OMS confirma cuatro casos en Conakry. El virus se ha cobrado ya la vida de 77 personas en el país

26/03/2014
Guinea prohíbe el consumo de murciélagos tras el Ébola.
El Gobierno hace el anuncio después de la muerte de 62 personas por el virus

25/03/2014
Todo sobre la enfermedad
Esther Sterk, especialista de Médicos Sin Fronteras, señala las características del virus y cómo se combate un brote

25/03/2014
Canadá descarta el caso sospechoso de Ébola
El hombre viajó recientemente a Liberia, pero no se ha confirmado la infección

25/03/2014
El Ébola más letal sacude Guinea
Las autoridades confirman 59 muertes y casos sospechosos en Sierra Leona y Liberia. Españoles solicitan su evacuación

25/03/2014
“Lo primero es aislar a los enfermos”
Olimpia de la Rosa se ha enfrentado múltiples veces a los brotes de Ebola como enviada de Médicos sin Fronteras

22/03/2014
Un brote de Ébola mata a 59 personas en Guinea
El Gobierno confirma que este virus es el responsable de la última epidemia de fiebre hemorrágica en el país

jueves, 24 de julio de 2014

Arsenio se nos va


Los nazis de Kiev están que arden. Parece que las cosas les siguen saliendo mal. Leemos en el diario El País (el subrayado es nuestro):

Título: Dimite el primer ministro ucranio

Texto: El primer ministro de Ucrania, Arseni Yatseniuk, ha presentado este jueves su dimisión ante la Rada Suprema, el Parlamento del país, después de que los partidos UDAR y Svoboda abandonaran la coalición parlamentaria. La intención de estas dos formaciones es acelerar la convocatoria de elecciones legislativas, algo a lo que siempre se había opuesto Batkivshina, el partido de Yatseniuk y de la ex primera ministra Yulia Timoshenko.

“'Anuncio mi dimisión debido la ruptura de la coalición y el bloqueo (en el Parlamento) de las iniciativas del Gobierno”, dijo Yatseniuk a los diputados. El dimitido jefe de Gobierno justificó su decisión por el voto negativo de la Rada a un paquete de leyes que afectaban a los ingresos presupuestarios.

El Gobierno ucranio no logró este jueves el apoyo de una mayoría de los diputados a una reforma fiscal que habría subido los impuestos a la población ni tampoco al proyecto de ley que habría permitido vender a inversores extranjeros la mitad de todos los gasoductos del país.

“No se han votado las leyes y no hay dinero para pagar al policía, al médico, al maestro. No hay dinero para comprar un rifle, para poner combustible al blindado”, lamentó Yatseniuk en alusión a las necesidades del Ejército ucranio para costear la campaña militar contra los separatistas prorrusos en el este del país.

Tras la dimisión de Yatseniuk, el presidente de la Rada, el también miembro de Batkivshina Alexandr Turchínov, pidió a las dos formaciones que rompieron el pacto “que presenten inmediatamente sus candidaturas al cargo del primer ministro interino, que estará al frente del Gobierno hasta la celebración de las elecciones parlamentarias”.

La Constitución de Ucrania señala que en caso de que en un plazo de 30 días no se constituya una nueva coalición de mayoría, el jefe de Estado puede disolver el Parlamento y convocar elecciones legislativas. El presidente ucraniano, Petró Poroshenko, se ha pronunciado varias veces sobre la conveniencia de adelantar las elecciones parlamentarias.

Actualización religiosa

Interrumpimos nuestras habituales reflexiones geoestratégicas para reproducir un artículo aparecido hoy en Al Manar. Porque no debemos descuidar nuestro desarrollo espiritual.

Título: Rabino israelí: está permitido matar a civiles inocentes y destruir Gaza

Texto: "Un rabino israelí ha emitido un decreto religioso que permite matar a civiles inocentes en la asediada Franja de Gaza.

Dov Liot, un rabino israelí del asentamiento ilegal de Kiryat Arba, en la Cisjordania ocupada, dijo en un decreto que era lícito, en base a la religión judía, matar a civiles inocentes y destruir Gaza.

El decreto también dice que no hace falta cercionarse que las personas atacadas sean combatientes o civiles.

El decreto religioso autoriza también a “negar suministros o electricidad” a la población. También señala que las fuerzas militares tienen permiso para “bombardear la totalidad de un área a discreción del Ejército”.

“En el caso de Gaza”, dijo el rabino, los oficiales del Ejército israelí “tienen permiso para llevar a cabo la destrucción de este territorio”. Él añadió que “cualquier tipo de charla sobre humanismo y consideraciones humanitarias es discutible”.

El rabino ha sido elegido por miles de israelíes que lo siguen.

El rabino expresó en su día el apoyo a Baruch Goldstein, el terrorista que mató a 29 fieles musulmanes en una mezquita en Hebrón en 1994, y al asesinato del ex primer ministro israelí Yitzhak Rabin."

miércoles, 23 de julio de 2014

Noticias

Avión de Malasia II: Ahora dicen que andá a saber quién fue. En efecto, parece que ahora, en una de esas, quién te dice, los rusos no fueron los asesinos hijoputiconchisumadre que voltearon el avión. Pero si no fueron le pegan en el poste, como aseveran varios informes re-serios de la hintelijenzia de la Gran Democracia del Norte. Entre otras fuentes igualmente dignas de crédito, estas agencias (que consumen 62 mil millones de dólares al año, chupate esa mandarina) citan a… naaaaaaa… síiiiii… Féisbu!!!!! Tremendo, te digo. 

En síntesis: en menos de doce horas, casi sin solución de continuidad, casi toda la prensa occidental pasó de la acusación pura y dura al silbido bajito  --excepto El País, por supuesto, que ni se enteró lo que estaba pasando. En fin, ¡duro con los ruskis, chicos!
 

Pero no todas son pálidas para la gran prensa de Occidente. El mismo El País, sin ir más lejos, publica en tapa, en valiente tipografía: “La ONU investigará posibles violaciones de derechos en Gaza” (¡Grande, ONU!). Inmediatamente a la izquierda reproduce una entrevista exclusiva al primer ministro de Francia, Manuel Valls. El título de la entrevista, una frase aparentemente textual del ministro francés, es antológico: “La izquierda puede morir si no se reinventa y renuncia al progreso”. Llamen al médico, porfis.

martes, 22 de julio de 2014

Infancia en Gaza


































Nuevas cimas


Tanto los gobiernos de la NATO como la prensa occidental están alcanzando nuevas cimas, nuevos récords, en su loca carrera hacia la abyección y la guerra. Nos preguntamos hasta cuándo van a seguir idiotizando a sus respectivos pueblos. Nos preguntamos hasta cuándo esos mismos pueblos van a seguir dejando que los idioticen. ¿Puede ser que no haya ninguna respuesta organizada a la serie demencial de mentiras que llegan del norte en estos días? ¡El Mundial ya pasó, chicos!!! Se están generando las condiciones objetivas para una conflagración en gran escala. Despierten!!! 

Nos referimos, por supuesto, al episodio del avión malayo derribado en territorio ucraniano hace pocos días. Por suerte, algunas voces se alzan, acá y allá, denunciando la barbarie de gobiernos y medios occidentales. La siguiente nota de Paul Craigh Roberts, aparecida en el sitio web Global Research (http://www.globalresearch.ca/how-american-propaganda-works-guilt-by-insinuation/5392573) es elocuente al respecto. El Sr. Roberts es tan preciso, claro, incisivo y valiente en sus declaraciones que comenzamos a temer por su integridad física. Vayamos a la nota.

Título: How American Propaganda Works: “Guilt By Insinuation” 

Texto: "Why hasn’t Washington joined Russian President Putin in calling for an objective, non-politicized international investigation by experts of the case of the Malaysian jetliner?
  
The Russian government continues to release facts, including satellite photos showing the presence of Ukrainian Buk anti-aircraft missiles in locations from which the airliner could have been brought down by the missile system and documentation that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet rapidly approached the Malaysian airliner prior to its downing.

The head of the Operations Directorate of Russian military headquarters said at a Moscow press conference today (July 21) that the presence of the Ukrainian military jet is confirmed by the Rostov monitoring center.

The Russian Defense Ministry pointed out that at the moment of destruction of MH-17 an American satellite was flying over the area. The Russian government urges Washington to make available the photos and data captured by the satellite.

President Putin has repeatedly stressed that the investigation of MH-17 requires “a fully representative group of experts to be working at the site under the guidance of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).”  Putin’s call for an independent expert examination by ICAO does not sound like a person with anything to hide.

Turning to Washington Putin stated: “In the meantime, no one [not even the “exceptional nation”] has the right to use this tragedy to achieve their narrowly selfish political goals.”

Putin reminded Washington: “We repeatedly called upon all conflicting sides to stop the bloodshed immediately and to sit down at the negotiating table. I can say with confidence that if military operations were not resumed [by Kiev] on June 28 in eastern Ukraine, this tragedy wouldn’t have happened.”

What is the American response?

Lies and insinuations.

Yesterday (July 20) the US Secretary of State, John Kerry confirmed that pro-Russian separatists were involved in the downing of the Malaysian airliner and said that it was “pretty clear” that Russia was involved. Here are Kerry’s words:  “It’s pretty clear that this is a system that was transferred from Russia into the hands of separatists. We know with confidence, with confidence, that the Ukrainians did not have such a system anywhere near the vicinity at that point and time, so it obviously points a very clear finger at the separatists.”

Kerry’s statement is just another of the endless lies told by US secretaries of state in the 21st century.  Who can forget Colin Powell’s package of lies delivered to the UN about Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction” or Kerry’s lie repeated endlessly that Assad “used chemical weapons against his own people” or the endless lies about “Iranian nukes”?

Remember that Kerry on a number of occasions stated that the US had proof that Assad crossed the “red line” by using chemical weapons.  However, Kerry was never able to back up his statements with evidence.  The US had no evidence to give the British prime minister whose effort to have Parliament approve Britain’s participation with Washington in a military attack on Syria was voted down. Parliament told the prime minister, “no evidence, no war.”

Again here is Kerry declaring “confidence” in statements that are directly contradicted by the Russian satellite photos and endless eye witnesses on the ground.

Why doesn’t Washington release its photos from its satellite?

The answer is for the same reason that Washington will not release all the videos it confiscated and that it claims prove that a hijacked 9/11 airliner hit the Pentagon.  The videos do not support Washington’s claim, and the US satellite photos do not support Kerry’s claim.

The UN weapons inspectors on the ground in Iraq reported that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.  However, the fact did not support Washington’s propaganda and was ignored. Washington started a highly destructive war based on nothing but Washington’s intentional lie.

The International Atomic Energy Commission’s inspectors on the ground in Iran and all 16 US intelligence agencies reported that Iran had no nuclear weapons program. However, the fact was inconsistent with Washington’s agenda and was ignored by both the US government and the presstitute media.

We are witnessing the same thing right now with the assertions in the absence of evidence that Russia is responsible for the downing of the Malaysian airliner.

Not every member of the US government is as reckless as Kerry and John McCain.

In place of direct lies, many US officials use insinuations. US Senator Diane Feinstein is the perfect example.  Interviewed on the presstitute TV station CNN, Feinstein said: “The issue is where is Putin?  I would say, ‘Putin, you have to man up. You should talk to the world. You should say, if this is a mistake, which I hope it was, say it.’”

Putin has been talking to the world nonstop calling for an expert non-politicized investigation, and Feinstein is asking Putin why he is hiding behind silence. We know you did it, Feinstein insinuates, so just tell us whether you meant to or whether it was an accident.

The way the entire Western news cycle was orchestrated with blame instantly being placed on Russia long in advance of real information suggests that the downing of the airliner was a Washington operation.  It is, of course, possible that the well-trained presstitute media needed no orchestration from Washington in order to lay the blame on Russia.  On the other hand, some of the news performances seem too scripted not to have been prepared in advance.

We also have the advanced preparation of the youtube video that purports to show a Russian general and Ukrainian separatists discussing having mistakenly downed a civilian airliner.  As I pointed out earlier, this video is twice damned.  It was ready in advance and by implicating the Russian military, it overlooked that the Russian military can tell the difference between a civilian airliner and a military airplane. The existence of the video itself implies that there was a plot to down the airliner and blame Russia.

I have seen reports that the Russian anti-aircraft missile system, as a safety device, is capable of contacting aircraft transponders in order to verify the type of aircraft.  If the reports are correct and if the transponders from MH-17 are found, they might record the contact.

I have seen reports that Ukrainian air control changed the route of MH-17 and directed it to fly over the conflict area.  The transponders should also indicate whether this is correct.  If so, there clearly is at least circumstantial evidence that this was an intentional act on the part of Kiev, an act which would have required Washington’s blessing.

There are other reports that there is a divergence between the Ukrainian military and the unofficial militias formed by the right-wing Ukrainian extremists who apparently were the first to attack the separatists.  It is possible that Washington used the extremists to plot the airliner’s destruction in order to blame Russia and use the accusations to pressure the EU to go along with Washington’s unilateral sanctions against Russia.

We do know that Washington is desperate to break up the growing economic and political ties between Russia and Europe.

If it was a plot to down an airliner, any safety device on the missile system could have been turned off so as to give no warning or leave any telltale sign.  That could be the reason a Ukrainian fighter was sent to inspect the airliner.  Possibly the real target was Putin’s airliner and incompetence in implementing the plot resulted in the destruction of a civilian airliner.

As there are a number of possible explanations, let’s keep open minds and resist Washington’s propaganda until facts and evidence are in.  In the very least Washington is guilty of using the incident to blame Russia in advance of the evidence. All Washington has shown us so far is accusations and insinuations.  If that is all Washington continues to show us, we will know where the blame resides.

In the meantime, remember the story of the boy who cried “wolf!”  He lied so many times that when the wolf did come, no one believed him.  Will this be Washington’s ultimate fate?

Instead of declaring war on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, and Syria, why did Washington hide behind lies?  If Washington wants war with Iran, Russia, and China, why not simply declare war?  The reason that the US Constitution requires war to begin with a declaration of war by Congress is to prevent the executive branch from orchestrating wars in order to further hidden agendas.  By abdicating its constitutional responsibility, the US Congress is complicit in the executive branch’s war crimes.  By approving Israel’s premeditated murder of Palestinians, the US government is complicit in Israel’s war crimes.

Ask yourself this question: Would the world be a safer place with less death, destruction and displaced peoples and more truth and justice if the United States and Israel did not exist?"


lunes, 21 de julio de 2014

Mundo pintoresco


Un lunes aburrido de Julio de 2014. Todavía estás dormido y no sabés qué postear. Tonces, agarrás el Russia Today y mirás esas notis pintorescas que aparecen a la derecha. Pequeñas grajeas que nos enriquecen la vida. Hasta mañana.

Título: 'Selfie' en Auschwitz genera polémica

Texto: Un autoretrato sacado con un móvil por una joven con un campo de concentración nazi como un telón de fondo, que se ha vuelto viral, ha causado una ola de indignación en la red social Twitter. 

Muchos usuarios comentaron que la 'selfie' en la que la joven –llamada Breanna-, posa sonriente junto a un emoticono feliz muestra una total falta de respeto por los exterminados en Auschwitz, donde fue sacada la foto.

Breanna lamentó la reacción que provocó, explicando que su sonrisa en la foto indicaba lo contenta que estaba por haber llegado al lugar, dado que esa visita la había planeado junto con su difunto padre, informó el portal Buzzfeed.

[Nota de Astroboy: Tremendo el lío que se armó con la pobre Breanna. Totalmente injusto, por lo demás. La chica andaba con los audífonos al palo escuchando música disco y de pronto se le ocurre lo de la selfie. El ritmo no le dio tiempo para la reflexión. Se le ocurrió y lo hizo; por lo menos es espontánea. Claro, un millón de viejos vinagre le saltaron al cuello. Muéransé, amargosssssss]

***

Título: Francia: Seis futbolistas sudamericanos del Shakhtar Donetsk se fugan para no volver a Ucrania

Texto: Cinco futbolistas brasileños y uno argentino del club Shakhtar Donetsk se han fugado de la concentración de su equipo, que se encontraba de gira de pretemporada por Francia. Según medios franceses, la fuga se debe a que los jugadores no creen contar en Ucrania con las garantías de seguridad necesarias.

Por otro lado, medios argentinos revelan que el mediocampista Sebastián Blanco, del Metalist Járkov, regresó a Argentina, asegurando que no volverá a Europa del Este. Mientras, embajadas de estas naciones en Ucrania recomiendan a los futbolistas que militan en clubes de este país que busquen nuevos horizontes.

A la guerra civil en el este del país, se ha sumado esta semana la tragedia del avión malayo en Ucrania, que se cobró la vida de las 298 personas que iban a bordo, confirmando a los futbolistas la sensación de peligro al que se sienten expuestos. 

***

Título: Una banda de sicarios peruanos recluta nuevos miembros a través de Facebook

Texto: Una banda peruana de la ciudad de Trujillo conocida como 'La Jauría' usa abiertamente Facebook para buscar nuevos miembros, según el diario peruano 'El Comercio'.  

"Reclutamos gente que esté dispuesta a todo lo que le manden”, dice una de las publicaciones del grupo. En los comentarios muchos usuarios se interesan por el pago, y escriben que están dispuestos a viajar de Lima a Trujillo.

El pasado mes marzo pasado, la Policía peruana reveló la existencia de 17 cuentas de Facebook de organizaciones criminales que operan en la región de La Libertad, mediante las cuales ofrecían sus crímenes por encargo.

***

Título: Los combates por el aeropuerto de Tripoli dejan 47 muertos

Texto: Los combates por el aeropuerto principal en Tripoli, capital de Libia, han dejado 47 muertos en una semana, informa la agencia AFP, citando al Ministerio de Salud del país. Al menos 120 personas han resultado heridas, mientras que el 90% de los aviones en el aeropuerto han quedado dañados. 

Los milicianos islamistas intensificaron este domingo sus ataques contra el aeropuerto, que permanece controlado por un grupo de rebeldes opositores al gobierno, dejando un saldo de tres muertos.   

***

Título: Fotos: El Estado Islámico ejecuta por 'adulterio' a dos mujeres en Siria por medio de lapidación

Texto: El grupo Estado Islámico (ex EIIL) ha ejecutado al menos a dos mujeres acusadas de 'adulterio' a través de lapidación en últimos días, informa la revista en línea 'IBTimes', citando a la ONG Observatorio Sirio para los Derechos Humanos. Ambos casos han tenido lugar en la provincia de Raqqa en Siria.

El primer caso tuvo lugar el jueves, cuando fue asesinada una joven recién casada, a quién su marido acusó de no ser virgen. El segundo caso se registró horas después en la ciudad de Raqqa, cuando fue ejecutada una viuda.



domingo, 20 de julio de 2014

Sobre el caos


Nada de esto fue un error, chicos. El caos en buena parte del mundo no es una consecuencia indeseada del accionar político-militar del Imperio, sino precisamente el objetivo. El siguiente artículo de Ismael Hossein-Zadeh apareció estos días en Counterpunch. Vale la pena leerlo.


Título: Planned Chaos in the Middle East—and Beyond

Texto: Geopolitical observers of the Middle East turbulence tend to blame the raging chaos in the area on the presumed failure of the “incoherent,” “illogical” or “contradictory” policies of the United States. Irrefutable evidence (some of which presented in this study) suggests, however, that in fact the chaos represents the success, not failure, of those policies—policies that are designed by the beneficiaries of war and military adventures in the region, and beyond. While U.S. policies in the region are certainly irrational and conflicting from the standpoint of international peace, or even from the standpoint of the U.S. national interests as a whole, they are quite logical from the viewpoint of economic and geopolitical beneficiaries of war and international hostilities, that is, from the viewpoint of (a) the military-industrial complex, and (b) the militant Zionist proponents of “greater Israel.”

The seeds of the chaos were planted some 25 years ago, when the Berlin Wall Collapsed. Since the rationale for the large and growing military apparatus during the Cold War years was the “threat of communism,” U.S. citizens celebrated the collapse of the Wall as the end of militarism and the dawn of “peace dividends”—a reference to the benefits that, it was hoped, many would enjoy in the United States as a result of a reorientation of part of the Pentagon’s budget toward non-military social needs.

But while the majority of the U.S. citizens celebrated the prospects of what appeared to be imminent “peace dividends,” the powerful interests vested in the expansion of military/security spending felt threatened. Not surprisingly, these influential forces moved swiftly to safeguard their interests in the face of the “threat of peace.”

To stifle the voices that demanded peace dividends, beneficiaries of war and militarism began to methodically redefine the post-Cold War “sources of threat” in the broader framework of the new multi-polar world, which goes way beyond the traditional “Soviet threat” of the bipolar world of the Cold War era. Instead of the “communist threat” of the Soviet era, the “menace” of “rogue states,” of radical Islam and of “global terrorism” would have to do as new enemies.
Publicly, most of the reassessment of the post-Cold War world was presented by the top military brass. For example, General Carl Vuno, Chief of Staff of the US Army, told a House Committee in May 1989: “Much more complex [than any peril posed by the Soviet Union] is the threat situation developing in the rest of the world. . . . In this increasingly multipolar world, we face the potential of multiple threats from countries and factors which are becoming more sophisticated militarily and more aggressive politically” [2].


General Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, likewise argued before a Senate Committee that despite the collapse of the Soviet Union the United States needed to continue its military buildup because of numerous other obligations: “With all these challenges and opportunities confronting our nation, it is impossible for me to believe that demobilizing or hollowing out the American military is a feasible course of action for the future. The true ‘peace dividend’ is peace itself. . . . Peace comes about through the maintenance of strength” [3].

While the military brass, often donned in nifty and flamboyant uniforms, publicly took the center stage in the fight against the downsizing of the military-industrial complex, civilian militarists, working in and around the Pentagon and the associated hawkish think-tanks, schemed from behind the scenes. These included the then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, his Undersecretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz, Zalmay Khalilzad, then a Wolfowitz aide, and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, then principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Strategy. This group of men and their co-thinkers and collaborators (such as Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Michael Ladeen, Elliott Abrams, Donald Rumsfeld, William Kristol, John Bolton, and others) worked diligently together on averting post-Cold War cutbacks. “What we were afraid of was people who would say, ‘Let’s bring all of the troops home, and let’s abandon our position in Europe’,” recalled Wolfowitz in an interview [4].
While these military planners were officially affiliated with the Pentagon and/or the Bush (Sr.) administration, they also closely collaborated with a number of jingoistic lobbying think-tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute, Project for the New American Century and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs that were set up to serve either as the armaments lobby or the Israel lobby or both. Even a cursory look at the records of these militaristic think tanks—their membership, their financial sources, their institutional structures, and the like—shows that they are created to essentially serve as institutional fronts to camouflage the incestuous business and/or political relationship between the Pentagon, its major contractors, the top military brass, the Israel lobby, and other similarly hawkish bodies in and around the government [5].

In a carefully calculated effort to redefine the post-Cold War world as a “more dangerous” world, and accordingly craft a new “National Security Strategy” for the United States, this team of military planners and militaristic think-tanks produced a new military-geopolitical document in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union which came to be known as “Defense Planning Guidance,” or “Defense Strategy for the 1990s.” The document, unveiled by the White House in the early 1990s before the Congress, focused on “unpredictable turbulent spots in the Third World” as new sources of attention for the U.S. military power in the post-Cold War era: “In the new era, we foresee that our military power will remain an essential underpinning of the global balance . . . that the more likely demands for the use of our military forces may not involve the Soviet Union and may be in the Third World, where new capabilities and approaches may be required” [6].
To respond to “turbulences in the most vital regions,” the new situation called for a strategy of “discriminate deterrence”—a military strategy that “would contain and quell regional or local conflicts in the Third World with lightning speed and sweeping effectiveness before they get out of hand.” In the post-Cold War world of “multiple sources of threats” the United States would also need to be prepared to fight “low-intensity” and “mid-intensity” wars. Low or mid-intensity does not refer to the level of firepower and violence employed but to the geographic scale compared to an all-out war on a global or regional war that could disrupt international trade and paralyze global markets.

The “Defense Strategy for the 1990s” also spoke about maintaining and expanding America’s “strategic depth”—a term coined by the then Defense Secretary Dick Cheney. “Strategic depth” had a geopolitical connotation, meaning that, in the aftermath of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the United States must extend its global presence—in terms of military bases, listening and/or intelligence stations, and military technology—to areas previously neutral or under the influence of the Soviet Union.

Policy prescriptions of these self-fulfilling prophecies were unmistakable: having thus portrayed (and subsequently created) the post-Cold War world as a place fraught with “multiple sources of threats to U.S. national interest,” powerful beneficiaries of the Pentagon budget succeeded in maintaining military spending at essentially the Cold War levels. Proponents of continued militarism “moved with remarkable speed to ensure that the collapse [of the Soviet Union] would not affect the Pentagon’s budget or our ‘strategic position’ on the globe we had garrisoned in the name of anti-communism” [7].

To carry out the thus-outlined “National Security Strategy” of the post-Cold War world, militaristic U.S. planners need pretexts, which often means inventing or manufacturing enemies. Beneficiaries of war dividends sometimes find “external enemies and threats” by definition, “by deciding unilaterally what actions around the world constitute terrorism,” or by arbitrarily classifying certain countries as “supporters of terrorism,” as Bill Christison, retired CIA advisor, put it [8].

They also create international frictions by insidious policies of provoking anger and violence, thereby justifying war and destruction, which will trigger further acts of terror and violence in the fashion of a vicious cycle. Of course, the nefarious driving force behind this self-fulfilling strategy of war and terrorism is to maintain the high dividends of the business of war. The late Gore Vidal has satirically characterized this wicked need of the beneficiaries of war and militarism to constantly come up with new threats and enemies as an “enemy of the month club: each month we are confronted by a new horrendous enemy at whom we must strike before he destroys us” [9].

A small war here, a small war there, a “low-intensity” war in country x, and a “mid-intensity” war in country y—cynically scripted as “controlled wars”—are strategies that would keep military appropriations flowing into the coffers of the military-industrial complex without causing a major or worldwide conflict that could cripple world markets altogether.


Against this backdrop—the collapse of the Soviet Union, the “threat of peace dividends” to the interests of the military-industrial complex, and the consequent need of the beneficiaries of war dividends for substitutes for the “communist threat” of the Cold War era—the U.S. government’s approach to the heinous attacks of 9/11 as an opportunity for war and aggression should not have come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the vicious needs of militarism. The monstrous attacks were treated not as crimes but as “war on America.” Once it was thus established that the United States was “at war,” military buildup and imperialist aggressions followed accordingly. As the late Chalmers Johnson put it, the 9/11 tragedy “served as manna from heaven to an administration determined to ramp up military budgets” [10].

Champions of the U.S. wars of choice had already labeled “unfriendly” governments such as those ruling in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and North Korea as rogue and/or supporter of terrorism, which required “regime change.” Before the 9/11 attacks, however, such demonizing labels were apparently not enough to convince the American people to support U.S. wars of preemption. The 9/11 tragedy served as the militarists’ coveted pretext for such wars—hence, the regime change in Iraq, to be followed by similar changes of “unfriendly” regimes in many other countries in the region and around the world.

Just as the beneficiaries of war dividends, the military-security-industrial complex, view international peace and stability inimical to their interests, so too the militant Zionist proponents of “greater Israel” perceive peace between Israel and its Palestinian/Arab neighbors perilous to their goal of gaining control over the “promised land.” The reason for this fear of peace is that, according to a number of the United Nations’ resolutions, peace would mean Israel’s return to its pre-1967 borders, that is, withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But because proponents of “greater Israel” are unwilling to withdraw from these occupied territories, they are therefore afraid of peace—hence, their continued attempts at sabotaging peace efforts/negotiations.

By the same token, these proponents view war and convulsion (or, as David Ben-Gurion, one of the key founders of the State of Israel, put it, “revolutionary atmosphere”) as opportunities that are conducive to the expulsion of Palestinians, to the geographic recasting of the region, and to the expansion of Israel’s territory. “What is inconceivable in normal times,” Ben-Gurion pointed out, “is possible in revolutionary times; and if at this time the opportunity is missed and what is possible in such great hours is not carried out—a whole world is lost” [11].

Echoing a similarly evil sentiment that the dissolution and fragmentation of the Arab states into a mosaic of ethnic groupings is possible only under conditions of war and sociopolitical convulsion, the notoriously hawkish Ariel Sharon likewise pointed out on March 24, 1988, “that if the Palestinian uprising continued, Israel would have to make war on her Arab neighbors. The war, he stated, would provide ‘the circumstances’ for the removal of the entire Palestinian population from the West Bank and Gaza and even from inside Israel proper” [12].

The view that war would “provide the circumstances” for the removal of Palestinians from the occupied territories is premised on the expectation that the United States would go along with the notion and would, therefore, support Israeli expansionism in the event of the contemplated war. The expectation is by no means outlandish or unusual, as the beneficiaries of war and military spending in the U.S. do, indeed, gladly oblige, not so much for the sake of Israel or the Jewish people as for their own nefarious purposes—hence, the de facto alliance between the military-industrial complex and the Israel lobby.

Because the interests of these two powerful interest groups converge over fomenting war and political convulsion in the Middle East, an ominously potent alliance has been forged between them—ominous, because the mighty U.S. war machine is now supplemented by the almost unrivaled public relations capabilities of the hardline pro-Israel lobby in the United States. The convergence and/or interdependence of the interests of the military-industrial complex and those of militant Zionism on war and political convulsion in the Middle East is at the heart of the perpetual cycle of violence in the region.

The alliance between the military-industrial complex and the Israel lobby is unofficial and de facto; it is subtlely forged through an elaborate network of powerful militaristic think tanks such as The American Enterprise Institute, Project for the New American Century, America Israel Public Affairs Committee, Middle East Media Research Institute, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Middle East Forum, National Institute for Public Policy, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, and Center for Security Policy.

In the immediate aftermath of the Cold War, these militaristic think tanks and their hawkish operatives in and around the government published a number of policy papers that clearly and forcefully advocated plans for border change, for demographic change, and for regime change in the Middle East. For example, in 1996 an influential Israeli think tank, the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, sponsored and published a policy document titled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” which argued that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “should ‘make a clean break’ with the Oslo peace process and reassert Israel’s claim to the West Bank and Gaza. It presented a plan whereby Israel would ‘shape its strategic environment,’ beginning with the removal of Saddam Hussein and the installation of a Hashemite monarchy in Baghdad, to serve as a first step toward eliminating the anti-Israeli governments of Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Iran” [13].


In an “Open Letter to the President” (Clinton), dated 19 February1998, a number of hawkish think tanks and individuals, representing the military-industrial complex and the Israel lobby, recommended “a comprehensive political and military strategy for bringing down Saddam and his regime.” Among the letter’s signers were the following: Elliott Abrams, Richard Armitage, John Bolton, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, David Wurmser, Dov Zakheim, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, William Kristol, Joshua Muravchik, Leon Wieseltier, and former Congressman Stephen Solarz [14].

In September 2000, another militaristic think tank, called Project for the New American Century (PNAC), issued a report, titled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century,” which explicitly projected an imperial role for the United States the world over. It stated, for example, “The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in [Persian] Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”  The sponsors of the report included Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Lewis Libby, and William Kristol, who was also a co-author of the report [15].

The influential Jewish Institute for the National Security Affairs (JINSA) also occasionally issued statements and policy papers that strongly advocated “regime changes” in the Middle East. Its advisor Michael Ladeen, who also unofficially advised the Bush administration on Middle Eastern issues, openly talked about the coming era of “total war,” indicating that the United States should expand its policy of “regime change” in Iraq to other countries in the region such as Iran and Syria. “In its fervent support for the hardline, pro-settlement, anti-Palestinian Likud-style policies in Israel, JINSA has essentially recommended that ‘regime change’ in Iraq should be just the beginning of a cascade of toppling dominoes in the Middle East” [16].

In brief, the evidence is overwhelming (and irrefutable) that the raging chaos in the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe/Ukraine is not because of the “misguided” policies of the United States and its allies, as many critics and commentators tend to maintain. It is, rather, because of premeditated and carefully-crafted policies that have been pursued by an unholy alliance of the military-security-industrial complex and the Israel lobby in the post-Cold War world.

References

[1] Extensive excerpts from my book, The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism, especially from chapters 4 and 6, are used in this essay.

[2] Quoted in Sheila Ryan, “Power Projection in the Middle East,” inMobilizing Democracy, edited by Greg Bates (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1991), p. 47.

[3] Ibid., p. 46.

[4] James Mann, “The True Rationale? It’s a Decade Old,” Washington Post, Sunday (7 March 2004), page B02.

[5] For a detailed exposition of this dubious relationship see Ismael Hossein-zadeh, The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism (Palgrave-Macmillan 2007), chapter 6.

[6] Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire (New York, NY: Metropolitan Books, 2004), pp. 20-21.

[7] Ibid., p. 20.

[8] Bill Christison, “The Disastrous Foreign Policies of the United States,”Counterpunch.org (9 May 2002), <http://www.counterpunch.org/christison0806.html>.

[9] Gore Vidal, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: How We Got To Be So Hated (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press/Nation Books, 2002), pp. 20-1.

[10] Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire (New York, NY: Metropolitan Books, 2004), p. 64.

[11] Quoted in Stephen J. Sniegoski, “The War on Iraq: Conceived in Israel,” <http://vho.org/tr/2003/3/Sniegoski285-298.html>.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] William D. Hartung, How Much Are You Making on the War, Daddy? (New York: Nation Books, 2003), p.109.

(Sobre el autor:) Ismael Hossein-zadeh is Professor Emeritus of Economics (Drake University). He is the author of Beyond Mainstream Explanations of the Financial Crisis (Routledge 2014), The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism (Palgrave–Macmillan 2007), and the Soviet Non-capitalist Development: The Case of Nasser’s Egypt (Praeger Publishers 1989). He is also a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press 2012).