Mar 20

Flashback.


In 2002 one of Dr. Rima E. Laibow’s patients, a head of state, told her:

“It’s almost time for the great culling to begin.”

Dr. Rima E. Laibow’s husband is Albert “Bert” Newton Stubblebine III a retired Major General in the United States Army. He was the commanding general of the United States Army Intelligence and Security Command from 1981 to 1984, when he retired from the Army.


Added: 2. April 2010

“The WHO Is A Private Corporation Just Like The Federal Reserve And Receives More Than Two Thirds of Its Funding From The Pharmaceutical Industry.”

As a side note: I would have preferred that she would have said that men and women should be educated to make a difference in their community.

In case you don’t believe what she says about the swine flu vaccine, see this: Continue reading »

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Nov 12

- Typhoon Haiyan: Philippines declares state of calamity (BBC News, Nov 12, 2013):

Philippine President Benigno Aquino has declared a state of national calamity to speed relief efforts for victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

In a statement, he said the two worst affected provinces, Leyte and Samar, had suffered massive destruction and loss of life.

Thousands of survivors are still desperately waiting for the aid effort to reach them.

Continue reading »

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Nov 12

- Corpses rot everywhere as Philippine typhoon survivors beg for help (CBS News, Nov 12, 2013):

Bloated bodies lie in the streets, in front of houses, on bridges, in the water, wherever the giant wall of water happened to dump them when Typhoon Haiyan hit.

The desperate survivors scrounging for food amid the mountains of debris use cloth to shield their noses from the overpowering stench of rotting corpses. Some relatives have been trying to bury their dead, but in too many cases, there is no one to cart away the corpses littering the city of Tacloban, which was all but decimated by on one of the most powerful storms to ever make landfall.

Continue reading »

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Nov 11

If ever you’ll find yourself in a situation where you do not have access to clean drinking water, then you can …

“Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.”
Proverbs 5:15

“Rivers of living water shall flow from your bellies.”
John 7:38:

Yes, you can safely drink your urine (= Shivambu = “Water of Shiva”) and even even heal yourself from all kinds of diseases.

Special forces and the Navy have been told to drink it in cases of emergency.

The former PM of India late Sri Morarji Desai (1896–1995) has also been paracticing urine therapy and has written the book Miracles of Urine Therapy (Price: $6.50).

Urine is (normally) more sterile than distilled water and absolutely safe to drink.

Drink it and you’ll survive, where others will perish.


- Typhoon Haiyan: Philippines destruction ‘absolute bedlam’ (BBC News, Nov 11, 2013):

The head of the Red Cross in the Philippines has described the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan as “absolute bedlam”.

Officials estimate up to 10,000 people have died in Tacloban city and hundreds elsewhere. Hundreds of thousands of people are displaced.

The typhoon flattened homes, schools and an airport.

It has since made landfall in northern Vietnam, near the Chinese border, where it has weakened to a tropical storm.

Supplies

Four million people have been affected in the Philippines, and many are now struggling to survive without food, shelter or clean drinking water.

Continue reading »

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Nov 10

- Survivors ‘walk like zombies’ after Philippine typhoon kills estimated 10,000 (Reuters, Nov 10, 2013):

One of the most powerful storms ever recorded killed at least 10,000 people in the central Philippines, a senior police official said on Sunday, with huge waves sweeping away entire coastal villages and devastating the region’s main city.

Super typhoon Haiyan destroyed about 70 to 80 percent of the area in its path as it tore through Leyte province on Friday, said police chief superintendent Elmer Soria.

As rescue workers struggled to reach ravaged villages along the coast, where the death toll is as yet unknown, survivors foraged for food as supplies dwindled or searched for lost loved ones.

“People are walking like zombies looking for food,” said Jenny Chu, a medical student in Leyte. “It’s like a movie.”

Continue reading »

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Nov 09

- Red Cross Fears 1000 Deaths in Philippine Typhoon (New York Times, Nov 8, 2013):

MANILA — The powerful typhoon that swept across the Philippines on Friday cut a path of destruction though several central islands, leaving the seaside city of Tacloban in ruins and leading to early, unconfirmed estimates of at least 1,200 dead.

Strong winds from the typhoon hit a coastal town in Laguna Province. More than 700,000 evacuated ahead of the storm.

Although the government said it could confirm only about 140 deaths so far, the Red Cross in Manila said its people on the ground were reporting an estimated 1,000 deaths on Leyte Island, where Tacloban is, and about 200 from the neighboring island of Samar.

Continue reading »

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Nov 08

- One of world’s strongest storms hits Philippines (CBS News, Nov 8, 2013):

One of the strongest storms on record slammed into the central Philippines on Friday, killing at least four people, forcing hundreds of thousands from their homes and knocking out power and communications in several provinces. But the nation appeared to avoid a major disaster because the rapidly moving typhoon blew away before wreaking more damage, officials said.Typhoon Haiyan raced across a string of islands from east to west – Samar, Leyte, Cebu and Panay – and lashed beach communities. Nearly 750,000 people were forced to flee their homes.

- Typhoon Haiyan makes Sandy, Katrina look like weak cousins (, Nov 8, 2013)

- Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of strongest storms ever, hits central Philippines (, Nov 8, 2013)

- Typhoon Haiyan slams into Philippines on Friday with 195 mph winds (, Nov 8, 2013)

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Oct 15

- Dozens dead as magnitude-7.1 earthquake hits the Philippines (CNN, Oct 15, 2013):

CEBU, Philippines (AP) — The death toll from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the central Philippine island of Bohol on Tuesday rose to 93, as rescuers struggled to reach patients in a collapsed hospital. Centuries-old stone churches crumbled and wide areas were without power.

Bohol police chief Dennis Agustin said 77 of the deaths came from the province. At least 15 others died in nearby Cebu province and another on Siquijor Island.

The quake struck at 8:12 a.m. and was centered about 20 miles below Carmen city, where many small buildings collapsed.

Many roads and bridges were reported damaged, making rescue operations difficult. But historic churches dating from the Spanish colonial period suffered the most. Among them was the country’s oldest, the 16th-century Basilica of the Holy Child in Cebu, which lost its bell tower.

- Death toll in Philippines quake jumps to 93 (USA TODAY, Oct 15, 2013):

A magnitude-7.1 earthquake struck the central Philippines on Tuesday, leaving at least 67 people dead and 164 more injured, and rattling many who were celebrating a religious holiday.The quake, which struck early in the morning, crumbled a number of buildings and sent panicked people streaming into the streets, witnesses said.

The bulk of the casualties — 57 deaths and 104 injuries — came in Bohol province. At least nine were killed in Cebu province and one died in the province of Siquijor, according to a report from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Continue reading »

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Sep 03

- Hagel urges Philippines for extended access to military base (PressTV, Aug 31, 2013):

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Friday asked the Philippines for more access to the country’s military bases for another twenty years as the two sides discuss a wider American military footprint in Asia.

The request for increased military presence is part of President Barack Obama‘s strategic “pivot” to Asia, a policy that calls for a stronger US military alliances and more troop presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Continue reading »

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Aug 10

- Farmers in the Philippines Storm and Destroyed Field Tests of Monsanto’s GM Golden Rice (Natural Revolution, Aug 9, 2013):

More than 400 farmers coming from all over Bicol stormed the ongoing field testing of Golden Rice at the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit No. 5 at Pili, Camarines Sur.

Farmers uprooted the genetically modified rice in order to stop the planned commercialization of Golden Rice.

Continue reading »

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Apr 29

- CHINA IS ON FIRE: China Orders Troops And Tanks To North Korean Border, Deploys Anti Aircraft Carrier Missiles Off Cost Of Taiwan, Sends More Than 40 Fighter Jet To Senkaku Islands, And Warns Philippines To Immediately Withdraw From Disputed Islands (InvestmentWatch, April 28, 2013)

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Dec 05


YouTube Added: 04.12.2012

Description:

Deadly flooding in the Philippines from a typhoon has claimed dozens of lives. A governor says at least 33 drowned when water dumped by the storm rushed down a mountain and engulfed the victims. Floodwaters also swept away a truck.

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Dec 05

- Typhoon pounds the Philippines, killing at least 7 (AP, Dec 4, 2012):

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — One of the strongest typhoons to hit the Philippines this year barreled across the country’s south on Tuesday, killing at least seven people and forcing more than 50,000 to flee from inundated villages.

Typhoon Bopha slammed into the Davao region at dawn, its ferocious winds ripping roofs from homes and its 500-kilometer- (311-mile-) wide rain band flooding low-lying farmland. The storm, packing winds of 160 kilometers (99 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 195 kph (121 mph), toppled trees, triggered landslides and sent flash floods surging across the region’s mountains and valleys. Continue reading »

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Nov 08


YouTube

Description:

Gerald Celente, the founder of the Trends Research Institute, at the Marriott Hotel in Munich, Germany, on November 3rd, 2012. Celente was holding a presentation later on on the Internationale Edelmetall- und Rohstoffmesse, the largest precious metals conference in Europe. You can find Gerald Celente at trendsresearch.com and trendsjournal.com.

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Aug 31


YouTube Added: 31.08.2012

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Aug 14


An MQ-1 Predator armed with Hellfire missiles flies over southern Afghanistan. Photo: Air Force

- Hidden History: America’s Secret Drone War in Africa (Wired, Ag 13, 2012):

More secret bases. More and better unmanned warplanes. More frequent and deadly robotic attacks. Some five years after a U.S. Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle flew the type’s first mission over lawless Somalia, the shadowy American-led drone campaign in the Horn of Africa is targeting Islamic militants more ruthlessly than ever.

Thanks to media accounts, indirect official statements, fragmentary crash reports and one complaint by a U.N. monitoring group, we can finally begin to define — however vaguely — the scope and scale of the secret African drone war.

The details that follow are in part conjecture, albeit informed conjecture. They outline of just one of America’s ongoing shadow wars — and one possible model for the future U.S. way of war. Along with the counterterrorism campaigns in Pakistan, Yemen and the Philippines, the Somalia drone war demonstrates how high-tech U.S. forces can inflict major damage on America’s enemies at relatively low cost … and without most U.S. citizens having any idea it’s even happening.

Since 2007, Predator drones and the larger, more powerful Reapers — reinforced by Ravens and Scan Eagle UAVs and Fire Scout robot helicopters plus a small number of huge, high-flying Global Hawks — have hunted Somali jihadists on scores of occasions. It’s part of a broader campaign of jet bombing runs, naval gun bombardment, cruise-missile attacks, raids by Special Operations Forces and assistance to regional armies such as Uganda’s.

In all, air raids by manned and unmanned U.S. aircraft have killed at least 112 Somali militants, according to a count by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Fifty-seven innocent civilians also died in the raids, the nonprofit Bureau found. The dead jihadists have included several senior members of al-Qaeda or the affiliated al-Shabaab extremist group. In January, a drone launched three Hellfire missiles at a convoy near Mogadishu and killed Bilaal al-Barjawi, the mastermind of the 2010 bombing in Kampala, Uganda, that claimed the lives of 74 soccer fans.

In an escalating secret war, drones are doing an ever-greater proportion of the American fighting.

The Drones Are Coming

It wasn’t until relatively recently that U.S. drones were permanently stationed in East Africa. The military and CIA have operated armed versions of General Atomics’ one-ton Predator since 2001, but early on the remote-controlled warplanes were in high demand and short supply. Afghanistan and later Iraq monopolized the drones.

That was a big problem for the small U.S. force in East Africa struggling to keep tabs on increasingly radical, and dangerous, Somali militants. “The largest gap is knowledge,” Navy Rear Adm. Tony Kurta, former commander of U.S. troops in Djibouti, told Danger Room in 2009. Continue reading »

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Apr 20

- US Begins Military Exercises With Philippines (China Daily, April 17, 2012):

Nearly 7,000 American and Filipino soldiers began a 12-day military exercise in Manila on Monday amid wide suspicion of the annual drill’s aim at containing China and growing concerns over the South China Sea.

The joint exercise, named “Balikatan” or “shoulder to shoulder”, started with an opening ceremony attended by Philippine Armed Forces Chief General Jessie Dellosa and US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Tomas at the military’s general headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo. It will continue through April 27.

Continue reading »

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Apr 07

- Marine contamination reached Philippines last April (Fukushima Diary April 3, 2012):

Kobayashi fellow-researcher from Japan Atomic Energy Agency analyzed that 18,000 trillion Bq of Iodine 131 and cesium 134 + 137 directly leaked from Fukushima to Pacific ocean.

However, because it is the estimation after 3/26, it would be much more than that if it includes what leaked from 3/11 to 3/25.

Also, it will be a several times much as 18,000 trillion Bq to count the radiation to fall from air down to the sea.

From their simulation, marine contamination already reached Philippines by 4/10/2011, will reach Hawaii by March of 2014, where is 5300 km away from Fukushima. Continue reading »

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Jan 19

- No One Knows Truth About $300 Billion Bonds From Alleged ’34 Plane Crash (Bloomberg, Jan. 18, 2012):

Chris Estrella, a Filipino social worker, says he led a troop of five porters out of a Mindanao jungle in January 2000 with a weather-beaten iron and leather box crammed with $25 billion of U.S. government bearer bonds.

“The elders of the Umayamnon tribe told me an American plane crashed in their river in the 1930s,” Estrella, 47, says by mobile phone from a footpath between the tribal village and Davao, the largest city on the Philippine island. “The river dried up in the 1990s, and the natives went into the plane and found 12 boxes that contained $300 billion in bonds.”

Each box, emblazoned with the Great Seal of the United States and the words “Federal Reserved Bond,” held five gold coins struck with a portrait of George Washington on one side, Estrella says. They rested atop stacks of certificates purporting to have been issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in 1934 and redeemable in gold bullion. The notes bore the signature of then Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau Jr.

Such fixed-income instruments, also known as coupon bonds, belong to whoever holds them, rather than to a registered owner. Vouchers representing interest payments were attached to the 30- year bonds that were denominated in amounts of as much as $100 million. Estrella says he later brought three other similarly filled chests out of the jungle. Continue reading »

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Dec 17


Philippines storm victims look for missing relatives among houses swept away by rampaging flood waters in Cagayan de Oro, southern Mindanao. Photograph: Bobby Lagsa/EPA

- Philippines tropical storm kills hundreds (Guardian, Dec. 17, 2011):

The death toll from the devastating flash floods that swept across the southern Philippines in the wake of a tropical storm has risen to more than 400.

The Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) said 436 people are now confirmed dead based on a body count in funeral parlours.

The storm sent walls of water cascading through coastal cities in the country’s Mindanao group of islands, with 215 killed in Cagayan de Oro and 144 in nearby Iligan and the rest in other southern and central provinces, said the aid agency’s secretary general Gwen Pang.

She said the hardest-hit areas were in the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, with many houses being swept into the sea. Most of the dead were swept away while they slept when floodwaters tore through their homes following 12 hours of torrential rain.

Earlier Colonel Leopoldo Galon, an army spokesman, said emergency workers had recovered 97 bodies, most of them children, in Cagayan de Oro.“I can’t explain how these things happened, entire villages were swept to the sea by flash floods,” Galon told Reuters. He said the death toll was expected to rise.

“I have not seen anything like this before. This could be worse than Ondoy,” he said, referring to a 2009 storm that killed hundreds of people in the capital, Manila.

Continue reading »

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Aug 05

See also:

- Swiss National Bank Intervention Epic Fail #2


- Global Currency Wars Enter New Stage; Brazil Calls Off Truce, South Korea Reviews “All Possibilities”, Philippines Threatens “Prudential Limits” (Global Economic Analysis, August 04, 2011):

Fighting the Fed has reached a new stage: all out currency wars.

The Fed is desperate to tank the US dollar to stimulate exports and further fuel a stock market that is clearly back in bubble territory. However, central bankers in other countries have had enough.

Japan and Switzerland intervened heavily in the forex markets on Wednesday. Other countries, fed up with Fed policies and a weak dollar now threaten to do the same.

For a recap Wednesday’s intervention news, please see

What’s next is already at hand: Currency Wars Enter ‘New Stage’

“We seem to be entering a new stage of the currency wars where it’s not just the emerging markets that are responding to broad dollar weakness,” said Callum Henderson, global head of currency research at Standard Chartered Plc in Singapore, who has written books on currency markets. “Expect much more intervention in the future and further acrimony in terms of how the U.S. dollar is doing.”

Here are some highlights from the article. Continue reading »

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Jul 05

- Mayor punches Sheriff in the head after he refuses to help the poor (Daily Mail, July 3, 2011)

Fighting for the poor is something most politicians like to boast about on a daily basis.

But one Philippines mayor has taken the phrase literally after she was caught on camera punching a stubborn sheriff in the head as he tried to demolish a shanty town.

Sara Duterte-Carpio, mayor of Davao City, was trying to stop the demolition of shanty area where 217 families live.

Pleading with Sheriff Abe Andres, Mrs Duterte-Carpio is seen growing increasingly frustrated.

After being turned down by the sheriff, Mrs Carpio asks to have the demolition postponed for two hours while relief work could be undertaken for the families.

But after Mr Andres again refuses, the mayor looses her temper and lashes out at the sheriff, striking him repeatedly on the head.

To cheers from the assembled crowd, Mrs Carpio and Mr Andres have to be pulled apart by officials.

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May 10



Pressure is building on the north American plate beyond the rocky mountain continental divide. As far north as the Cascadia range in the Pacific Northwest, south east to Yellowstone, then further south east to Georgia, up north to Montreal / New York …

The threat of a new madrid earthquake , in my opinion, goes up ANOTHER notch, with the signs of more activity in the north east, extending along the faults down to Arkansas.

Continue reading »

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Oct 18


Super Typhoon Megi satellite photo

Oct. 18 (Bloomberg) — The Philippines, the world’s biggest rice buyer, may lose 600,000 metric tons of the crop as Supertyphoon Megi, the strongest to hit the nation this year, strikes some of the nation’s biggest producing areas, a government official said. Rice futures advanced.

“Once the typhoon hits those areas, the crop will be affected,” Agriculture Undersecretary Antonio Fleta said in a phone interview from Manila. “Even if farmers harvest the damaged rice, they’d have a hard time drying the grain. There may not be much left to sell.”

About 157,000 hectares of land planted to rice in Cagayan and Isabela provinces may be in the path of the typhoon, Fleta said. Megi has sustained winds of 270 kilometers (168 miles) per hour, the U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center said, making it a Category 5 storm capable of catastrophic damage.

Half of the planted areas in the two provinces are ready for harvest and the rest are in the reproductive stage, leaving them susceptible to damage, Fleta said.

Damage to Philippine crops would come amid production losses in other countries, further curbing the global harvest and potentially sustaining a rally in prices.

Rough-rice futures have surged 43 percent from this year’s low of $9.55 per 100 pounds on June 30 as flooding in Pakistan and dry weather in the U.S. cut harvests. The contract for November delivery advanced for a fifth consecutive day today, gaining 0.3 percent to $13.655 on the Chicago Board of Trade at 12:10 p.m. Singapore time.

Continue reading »

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Apr 29

In 2002 one of Dr. Rima E. Laibow’s patients, a head of state, told her:

“It’s almost time for the great culling to begin.”

Dr. Rima E. Laibow’s husband is Albert “Bert” Newton Stubblebine III a retired Major General in the United States Army. He was the commanding general of the United States Army Intelligence and Security Command from 1981 to 1984, when he retired from the Army.


Added: 2. April 2010

“The WHO Is A Private Corporation Just Like The Federal Reserve And Receives More Than Two Thirds of Its Funding From The Pharmaceutical Industry.”

As a side note: I would have preferred that she would have said that men and women should be educated to make a difference in their community.

In case you don’t believe what she says about the swine flu vaccine, see this: Continue reading »

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Jan 09

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D. is the Francis Walsingham Fellow at The American Conservative Defense Alliance (www.ACDAlliance.org) and a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer.

Philip Giraldi was the foreign policy advisor to Ron Paul during his last presidential run.

philip-m-giraldi
Philip M. Giraldi


Imagine if you will a country dominated by heavily armed tribesmen who are fiercely independent, frequently engaged in activities that most observers would regard as criminal, deeply conservative in religion and culture but further divided along sectarian lines, and ruled over by a highly corrupt government that is fighting both a civil war and an insurgency. Throw into the hopper extremely rugged trackless terrain, porous borders, and security forces incapable of exercising jurisdiction outside of the capital city and it is a virtual witches’ brew. Many would immediately think of Afghanistan, where all of the above applies but the description equally fits Yemen, which also enjoys crushing poverty and high unemployment coupled with declining oil revenues and water supplies that can no longer sustain the population. Intelligence officers who are familiar with Yemen agree that coming to grips with the country’s tribesmen in an attempt to root out al-Qaeda will make Afghanistan look like a walk in the park.

Yemen might well become the next American quagmire if the plans of the Obama Administration in its global war on terrorism that is now referred to as “overseas contingency operations” are implemented. As is frequently the case in the imperial capital city Washington, the Obamas see another Yemen. It is an opportunity for nation building, to strengthen institutions and the economy and support an ostensibly friendly government to suppress terrorism. But it doesn’t take much to see what’s wrong with that approach. The Yemenis themselves are fearful of the consequences of too tight an embrace by Washington and are already trying to distance themselves. They see gangsterism and tribalism as their greatest internal security threats, not terrorism, and the best estimates for the number of al-Qaeda adherents in the country number in the low hundreds. And many of those are believed to be the grapes of wrath fruit of Guantanamo Bay, where the United States successfully confined Yemenis who were completely innocent, radicalizing them and turning them into terrorism proselytizers upon their return home.

Let’s face it, there is no such thing as complete security. Whatever security arrangements are made for air travel it will still be possible for someone to circumvent the system either through guile or luck. The Obama Administration’s response to a single thwarted terrorist incident involving an airline in which a small number of Yemenis were involved has proven that American presidents appear to need war, and an identifiable enemy to rally against, more than they need a foreign and security policy that is both proportionate and answerable to the national interest. Yemen is no more a threat to the United States than was Iraq even if its wild deserts do harbor a small number of terrorists. If one accepts at face value the claim of al-Qaeda in Yemen that the attempted airline bombing was in response to several American drone strikes, most particularly a devastating attack on December 17 that killed twenty-three, largely civilians, then it is clear that Congressman Ron Paul’s analysis that “they’re over here because we’re over there” is accurate.

The correct response to the Nigerian underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is to fix the information sharing problems and modify existing screening procedures in light of the new developments. That would be the sane thing to do, but apparently it is not good enough for the White House. Instead, President Obama has designated a new front for a military confrontation with the terrorist menace, and that will be Yemen. There are reports that special ops soldiers are already in country with plans to introduce still more US soldiers and double the military assistance to Sana’a. By my tally, the US is now actively fighting terrorists in a number of lands to include Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, the Philippines, and Yemen. That makes a minimum of six separate and distinct overseas wars all being engaged in without an act of war from Congress and directed against enemies that do not actually directly threaten the United States.

Continue reading »

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Dec 06

- Arroyo’s spokesman defends martial law declaration (Xinhua)

- ‘Overkill, overreaction’—opposition solons (Inquirer):

MANILA, Philippines –(UPDATE)“Unconstitutional,” “overreaction,” and “overkill” were just some of the reactions by lawmakers at the House of Representatives over President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s declaration of martial law in Maguindanao Saturday.

Opposition lawmakers said they would question before the plenary the basis of Proclamation 1959, which placed Maguindanao, except in areas occupied by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, under martial law and suspended the writ of habeas corpus.

“Under the Constitution, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo may only declare martial law or suspend the writ of habeas corpus in case of invasion or rebellion. These conditions do not exist, ergo Proclamation 1959 is unconstitutional,” Bayan Muna partylist Representative Satur Ocampo said in a text message.



Philippines Martial Law

Soldiers take a break as they stand in front of their armored personnel carrier at the gate of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009 in Shariff Aguak town in Maguindanao province in southern Philippines. Government soldiers took the patriarch of a powerful clan, a former governor, and three other members of his family into custody after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo put the entire province under martial law to hunt down suspects in the country’s worst political violence. (AP Photo/Pat Roque)

SHARIFF AGUAK, Philippines — Philippine troops arrested 62 people and discovered another major weapons cache Sunday after martial law was imposed in a southern province following the country’s worst political massacre.

Thousands of troops, backed by tanks and warplanes, have taken control of Maguindanao province in a government crackdown on the powerful Ampatuan clan, accused in the Nov. 23 killing of 57 people traveling in a convoy of a political rival. The clan has denied involvement.

Late Friday, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo imposed martial law in Maguindanao — the first use of martial law in the Philippines since late dictator Ferdinand Marcos imposed it nationwide more than 30 years ago. The move was announced on national television Saturday morning.

The government says it feared the Ampatuans, who have ruled unopposed with an iron fist over predominantly Muslim Maguindanao for years, were fomenting rebellion in response to the crackdown on them since the massacre.

Those arrested so far include the clan’s patriarch, at least six other family members, and clan followers, national police Chief Jesus Verzosa said.

Continue reading »

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Nov 24

philippines-political-massacre
Map of the Philippines showing Maguindanao province, now under a state of emergency

SANIAG, Philippines — The Philippines declared a state of emergency in parts of the volatile south on Tuesday as anger spiralled over a savage political massacre that left at least 46 people dead.

Police on Mindanao island pulled bullet-riddled bodies from shallow graves after gunmen allegedly hired by a local political chief abducted then shot dead a group of politicians from a rival clan and accompanying journalists.

As thousands of troops fanned out across the ultra-tense Maguindanao province on Mindanao, President Gloria Arroyo declared a state of emergency for the area that would allow curfews and road checkpoints to be imposed.

“No effort will be spared to bring justice to the victims and hold the perpetrators accountable to the full limit of the law,” Arroyo said on national television.

National police spokesman Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina told reporters in Manila that 24 bodies had been recovered on Tuesday, on top of 22 that had been found on Monday.

Continue reading »

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Oct 25

association-of-southeast-asian-nations
Graphic highlighting facts on the 10-member states of the ASEAN national grouping

HUA HIN, Thailand — Asian leaders will pledge to overcome their differences and push towards the formation of an EU-style community as they wrap up an annual summit in Thailand on Sunday.

Human rights issues, border disputes and signs of apathy over a meeting that was twice delayed by protests have at times marred the gathering of leaders from a region that contains more than half the world’s population.

But plans to increase the region’s global clout by building closer ties eventually dominated the three-day meeting of Southeast Asian nations along with China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Heads of state at the Thai beach resort of Hua Hin will sign a raft of agreements Sunday on boosting economic and political integration and cooperating on subjects including climate change and disaster management.

Japan’s proposal for a so-called East Asian community will be up for further discussion, after Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said the region should “have the aspiration that East Asia is going to lead the world.”

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is also set to restate its commitment to create its own political and economic community by 2015.

Continue reading »

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Oct 08

The Philippines is intervening to prop up the US dollar. That is a good one. :-)

The Philippines should have bought gold and silver, instead of very expensive toilet paper.


us-dollar

SINGAPORE — The U.S. dollar continued to tumble against most Asian currencies Thursday, prompting a wave of foreign-exchange intervention by central banks in South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and Thailand seeking to limit damage to their export industries.

Traders said the dollar selloff is unlikely to fade soon, given the prospect for a long period of low U.S. interest rates to support a sluggish U.S. economy and increasing signs central banks in Asia will begin tightening monetary policies in the months ahead.

Surprisingly strong employment data in Australia bolstered speculation the Reserve Bank of Australia — which Tuesday became the first among Group of 20 central banks to raise rates — will deliver another increase before the end of the year. The news pushed the Australia dollar up sharply, and intensified buying of Asian currencies against the U.S. dollar.

“Investors need little encouragement to extend selling of dollars, but received two further green lights today in the form of ongoing weak U.S. consumer credit and a stunningly strong Australian employment report,” said Patrick Bennett, a strategist with Societe Generale.

The U.S. dollar’s downside against Asian currencies is “being slowed by intervention, but consolidation or rallies are opportunities to establish or add to shorts,” he said.

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