Sunday, October 31, 2010

U.S.A. - Where did all the jobs go ?

Globalization and U.S. Employment

It's time for the U.S. Midterm Elections, and President Obama
finds himself in an akward position. Even though he has reached
a compromise in his healthcare reform and brought initiatives on
their way to stop the financial crisis, he is steadily losing voters,
due to increasing unemployment that is above all hitting his Afro-
American supporters. Even the "American Dream" seems to be
damaged for those who are desperately looking for a job in one
of the most developed countries in the world.

But jobs did not simply vanish; instead, they have gone abroad to
all those people who are willing "to work more for less". That effect
of globalization could be predicted and handled if it had not been
accelerated by an unexpected global financial crisis and by national
development in China and India where an own infrastructure of
highly skilled workers and employees came into being.
It's a CNN feature that makes us understand what has happened in
the U.S. and what might influence European economy as well sooner
or later. Four CEOs, representing powerful U.S. companies like
Coca Cola, IBM, the world's greatest Aluminium smelter Alcoa and
Google, tell us what has happened in the frame of an unrestricted

Another feature, produced by AL-Jazeera, is dealing with Obama's
Federal Stimulus Act that was intended to boost small enterprises
in areas characterized by high unemployment. Here, it seems that
government stimulus helped in some cases while others are doomed
because the stimulus plan ended too early for them after the U.S.
Congress showed itself unwilling to extend that program.

Further News of the Day:

As both, the U.S.A. and the European Union, are on the alert
because of explosive parcels from Jemen reaching their countries
via UPS cargo planes, the Jemenite government now decided to
investigate that affair. On October 30, the Jemenite president
declared that the residence of one suspect has been besieged
by Jemenite security forces (picture 1 below). The UPS office
in Sanaa, capital of Jemen, has been closed (picture 2 below).
In the meantime, the German government decided to stop all
passenger and cargo flights from Jemen and ordered to search
every item that has already arrived.
Latest news from November 1st have it that a 22-year-old woman
and who had been arrested as a suspect the day before has been
released only some time later. Jemenite efforts are now concentrated
on hunting Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri (picture 3 below), regarded as
"Al-Qaeda's senior bombmaker" in Jemen while he is still at large
in an area of the country that is difficult to be controlled by regular
security forces.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

IRAQ - Murder and Torture

U.S. cover up Iraqi torture

Al-Jazeera gains access to nearly 400.000 Wikileaks' files
forming part of the biggest military leak in history. Those
files, covering the 2004-2009 war period in Iraq, reveal
1.300 recent cases of abuse and torture of Iraqi prisoners.
Obviously, U.S. military authorities of the Bush era ordered
troops not to intervene in cases of prisoner abuse by Iraqi
forces. The documents show that Iraqi forces sodomised and
electrocuted prisoners. According to Amnesty International,
no Iraqi personnel have been jailed for abusing prisoners.

U.S. units reporting probable detainee abuse by Iraqi police or army
(2006/2009) [Names of civilians and military units have been omitted]:

US shooting Iraqi civilists

Wikileaks now revealed the facts: Hundreds of unarmed civilians
have been shot at different checkpoints in Iraq. Al-Jazeera is
citing the up-to-now secret U.S. documents.

UPDATE, 25 Oct. 2010:
Wikileaks: Prime Minister Maliki abused power

Report on harassment of business owner
and family by local Iraqi authorities

Names of civilians and military units involved
in this case have been omitted by Wikileaks.

Barack Obama - Iraqi Memories

In January 2006, Barack Obama, then Senator of Illinois,
made a short visit to Baghdad. Here, an excerpt of what
Obama wrote about that trip in his book "The Audacity of
Hope". I think this might be an adequate add to the
Wikileak documents we are just facing:

"And now, three years later [after the toppling of Saddam
Hussein] - as the number of American deaths passed two
thousand and the number of wounded passed sixteen
thousand; after $250 billion in direct spending and
hundreds of billions more in future years to pay off
the resulting debt and care for disabled veterans;
after two Iraqi national elections, one Iraqi constitutional
referendum, and tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths; after
watching anti-American sentiment rise to record levels
around the world and Afghanistan begin to slip back into
chaos - I was flying into Baghdad as a member of the
Senate, partially responsible for trying to figure out just
what to do with this mess.

That night, our delegation accompanied Ambassador
Khalilzad for dinner at the home of Iraqi interim President
Jalal Talabani. ... where we were greeted by the president
and several members of the Iraqi interim government. They
were all heavyset men, most in their fifties or sixties, with
broad smiles but eyes that betrayed no emotion. I recognized
only one of the ministers - Mr. Ahmed Chalabi, the Western-
educated Shi'ite who, as a leader of the exile group the
Iraqi National Congress, had reportedly fed U.S. intelligence
agencies and Bush policy makers some of the prewar information
on which the decision to invade was made - information for
which Chalabi's group had received millions of dollars, and
that had turned out to be bogus. Since then Chalabi had fallen
out with his U.S. patrons; there were reports that he had
steered U.S. classified information to the Iranians, and that
Jordan still had a warrant out for his arrest after he'd been
convicted in absentia on thirty-one charges of embezzlement,
theft, misuse of depositor funds, and currency speculation.
But he appeared to have landed on his feet; immaculately
dressed, accompanied by his grown daughter, he was now
the interim government's acting oil minister.

I didn't speak much to Chalabi during dinner. Instead I
was seated next to the former interim finance minister.
He seemed impressive, speaking knowledgeably about Iraq's
economy, its need to improve transparency and strengthen
its legal framework to attract foreign investment. At the
end of the evening, I mentioned my favorable impression
to one of the embassy staff.
"He's smart, no doubt about it," the staffer said . "Of
course, he's also one of the leaders of the SCIRI Party.
They control the Ministry of the Interior, which controls
the police. And the police, well ... there have been problems
with militia infiltration. Accusations that they're grabbing
Sunni leaders, bodies found the next morning, that kind of
thing ..." The staffer's voice trailed off, and he shrugged.
"We work with what we have."

I had difficulty sleeping that night ...

The following morning, we took a Black Hawk to the Marine
base in Fallujah, out in the arid, western portion of Iraq
called Anbar Province. Some of the fiercest fighting against
the insurgency had taken place in Sunni-dominated Anbar, and
the atmosphere in the camp was considerably grimmer than in
the Green Zone; just the previous day, five Marines on patrol
had been killed by roadside bombs or small-arms fire. The
troops here looked rawer as well, most of them in their early
twenties, many still with pimples and the unformed bodies of
The general in charge of the camp had arranged a briefing,
and we listened as the camp's senior officers explained the
dilemma facing U.S. forces: With improved capabilities, they
were arresting more and more insurgent leaders each day,
but like street gangs back in Chikago, for every insurgent
they arrested, there seemed to be two ready to take his
place. Economics, and not just politics, seemed to be feeding
the insurgency - the central government had been neglecting
Anbar, and male unemployment hovered around 70 percent.
"For two or three dollars, you can pay some kid to plant
a bomb," one of the officers said. "That's a lot of money
out here." ..... "

For recent information on AFGHANISTAN, like BAGS OF MONEY
from IRAN and about KARZAI'S DEAL with TALIBAN members
and Afghan WARLORDS, please, refer to another blog of mine
Afghanistan and Iraq - The Beginning of the End
that contains further information adds about both countries.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

AFGHANISTAN - Gigantic Election Fraud

While 4 million Afghan citizens took part in the September 2010 general elections, 1,3 million votes have had to be cancelled because of election fraud in 2.500 of 17.000 polling stations. Fraud was accomplished by allegedly 10% of the 2.500 candidates who then bought lots and lots of fake identity cards, manufactured in Pakistani backyard workshops and distributed on the black market in Afghanistan weeks before the elections took place. Those fake cards, intended to push up the candidates' ballot, have been sorted out and further investigation has been started.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Afghanistan - President under Pressure

In the frame of a constant deterioration of security in Afghanistan, President Karzai finds himself under increased pressure.

On one hand, he is forced to hold direct talks with the Taliban without renouncing to the essential demands of the occupying powers. On the other hand, even his own son is considering to leave the country for a better life abroad.

Now, Karzai claims to have met with certain unnamed Taliban leaders and that informal talks have taken place. Earlier meetings of that kind have already taken place and have been approved by the U.S. as long as their basic demands, to be met with in advance of any further negotiations, are being transmitted to the Taliban:
"Give up fighting! Deliver your weapons! Renounce to Al-Qaeda and the insurgency! Abide by the laws!" (Original soundtrack U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.)

Naturally, those are demands the Taliban are unwilling to fulfill as their own adage can be put like this:
"Official talks with the Afghan government not before all foreign troops have left the country!"

The situation given like this, it may be asked with whom Karzai and his peace envoys are really holding talks. Sure, it cannot be the militant Taliban leaders engaged in their daily fighting with Afghan national and NATO troops and who are recently supposed to be rather on the winning side. Accordingly, such Taliban units and their leaders are now officially denying that any talks whatsoever have taken place with the Afghan government under the leadership of president Karzai.

Such, it seems that other "third parties" like some always hostile tribal leaders, "Afghan highwaymen" or independent drug merchants are willing to come to terms with their government when finding themselves "between the front lines" or at the margin of the Afghan society. Thus, earlier talks, secretly held in a luxurious Maldive Islands' resort, would have turned out adequate to give those guys a glance at Allah's Paradise, so brightly described in the Holy Koran, and make them reliable allies of Karzai's alliance for a splendid future of Afghanistan.

If this turned out to be true, it might only underline the tragic situation president Karzai finds himself in and would explain the desolate expression he recently carries on his face.

Karzai: Really touched father or just another talented actor on the stage ?

Friday, October 08, 2010

Pakistan - NATO supply lines endangered

Update October 9, 2010, for the above image !

While NATO supply lines from Pakistan to Afghanistan are breaking down because of local insurgents regularly torching truck convoys, one question becomes more and more important:
Who is really in control of the frontier region between both countries ? Now, the Arabic channel of Al-Jazeera dealt with that subject in one of their features "Behind the News" [Al-Jazeera, Arabic Channel, October 7, 2010].

It seems that a network of local Islamists can be seen behind all those operations endangering NATO supplies. They have named themselves the "Network for the Splendid Belief's Rescue".

The essential features of that organization are as follows:

- The network examines the leaders of the Mujahidin.

- It cares for their sons by "enlightening their belief" in their daily actions

- All of its operations are restricted to the North of Waziristan.

- The network is providing a striking force of 3.000 to 4.000 men.

- It is in control of the tribal areas.

- The network is connected with Al-Qaeda and Pakistan's national security service.

- It is responsible for most specific operations.

- The network's essential aim is to launch attacks at the U.S. in Waziristan.

In their feature, Al-Jazeera separately questioned Abdussalam Daif, the former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, and Marvin Weinbaum, a former U.S. diplomate in Afghanistan, both live from Kabul and Washington.

Further news of the day:

مقتل 15 شخصا بينهم حاكم ولاية قندوز في تفجير بولاية تاخار شمال أفغانستان

In Afghanistan, the governor of Kunduz province was killed together with 14 others in an attack launched by the Taliban. A sergeant of the German troup contingent equally lost his life.

We recently heard that U.S. General Petraeus had asked the German government to increase their troup contingent in Afghanistan. As the full number of 5.000 soldiers, agreed by German parliament (Bundestag) to support the North Atlantic Alliance in Afghanistan, has not been reached by now, the U.S. request will most probably be dealt with by German Defence Minister zu Guttenberg who could sent some additional troops without delay.

Update, October 9, 2010:
While I'm working on my newsblog, another 30 NATO fuel trucks bound for Afghanistan have been set on fire by the above mentioned Pakistani insurgents (first picture above and video below).

Additional information about insurgents torching Nato supply trucks is available on another blog of mine. !

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Osama Bin Laden - Latest News

Within the last few days, two audio messages from Bin Laden have been received. They are dealing with subjects like the climate catastrophe and missing help from the Arabic nations for Pakistani victims of the recent flood disaster. As to the second message, critisizing half-hearted aiding efforts in Pakistan, an Australian anti-terror specialist describes it as "hypocritical". International media therefore interpret both messages as a mere trial to attract a new brand of Al-Qaeda followers.

Those are the first messages from Bin Laden since March 2010 when death penalty was to be executed on Khalid Sheikh Muhammed, the man behind the attacks of September 11, 2001. It is estimated that both letters are inspired by Al-Qaeda's No.2, Ayman Zawahiri.

Further information is available from Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya

ابن لادن ينتقد جهود الإغاثة في باكستان عبر رسالة صوتية جديدة

Saturday, October 02, 2010

ECUADOR - President Saved from Coup d'État

Today, president Correa of Ecuador became the target of an attempted coup d'état carried out by several armed men. The shooting took place in front of a police hospital in the northern part of Quito. Correa was saved by special forces and the coup was put down leaving three persons dead.

A majority of Latin-American leaders condemned the coup directed against Ecuador's elected president Correa. Venezuela's foreign minister Maduro and Argentine's president Cristina Fernández were among the first voices to be heard. This is a very important incident as Ecuador makes part of a new Latin-American Alliance founded between nations that are ruled by socialist governments.