Thursday, July 9, 2009

Defying the Government Thousands Protest in Iran

If the protests in Iran succeed in bringing down the government, which is highly unlikely, it will happen without much help from the rest of the world. As I've written before, revolution in Iran will not be achieved without publicity. And that means video coming out of that country. The Iranian people must find a way to get their story out. Twitter is helpful but enough. Without video it is hopeless. The Iranian government understands this. That is they've done everything to prevent pictures and news from coming out of the country. If the Obama administration had any sense it would use the CIA to get those video cameras out to the protesters. In addition, the protesters should use not violent means for achieving their goals; not violence. They need to take a lesson from the civil rights movement in America. They should legal means against the criminal government in Iran. Jim Crow was not destroyed because of inspired leadership, but because video and pictures that shocked America. The protesters do not have enough force, along with leadership to overthrow the government in Tehran. They are using the wrong tactics. They must focus on using the freedoms to push for greater democracy - Peaceably. It can be done only if they use weapons that are available. Not guns but video, the internet, and civil disobedience.

Thousands of protesters streamed down avenues of the capital Thursday, chanting "death to the dictator" and defying security forces who fired tear gas and charged with batons, witnesses said.

Turning garbage bins into burning barricades and darting through choking clouds of tear gas, the opposition made its first foray into the streets in nearly two weeks in an attempt to revive mass demonstrations that were crushed in Iran's postelection turmoil.

Iranian authorities had promised tough action to prevent the marches, which supporters of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi have been planning for days through the Internet. Heavy police forces deployed at key points in the city ahead of the marches, and Tehran's governor vowed to "smash" anyone who heeded the demonstration calls.

In some places, police struck hard. Security forces chased after protesters, beating them with clubs on Valiasr Street, Tehran's biggest north-south avenue, witnesses said.

Women in headscarves and young men dashed away, rubbing their eyes in pain as police fired tear gas, in footage aired on state-run Press TV. In a photo from Thursday's events in Tehran obtained by The Associated Press outside Iran, a woman with her black headscarf looped over her face thrust her fist into the air in front of a garbage bin that had been set on fire.

[...]Many of the marchers were young men and women, some wearing green surgical masks, the color of Mousavi's movement, but older people joined them in some places. Vehicles caught in traffic honked their horns in support of the marchers, witnesses said. Police were seen with a pile of license plates, apparently pried off honking cars in order to investigate the drivers later, the witnesses said.

Soon after the confrontations began, mobile phone service was cut off in central Tehran, a step that was also taken during the height of the postelection protests to cut off communications. Mobile phone messaging has been off for the past three days, apparently to disrupt attempts at planning.

The calls for a new march have been circulating for days on social networking Web sites and pro-opposition Web sites. Opposition supporters planned the marches to coincide with the anniversary Thursday of a 1999 attack by Basij on a Tehran University dorm to stop protests in which one student was killed.

Secret Program Fuels CIA-Congress Dispute

What the hell is going on here. Is anyone is charge? Or is reminiscent of the Weimar Republic? Whatever they're doing very little of it has to do with preserving and protecting America. And everyday we lose more and more of our freedoms. We have a rogue government, folks.

Four months after he was sworn in, CIA Director Leon E. Panetta learned of an intelligence program that had been hidden from Congress since 2001, a revelation that prompted him to immediately cancel the initiative and schedule a pair of closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill.

The next day, June 24, Panetta informed the House and Senate intelligence committees of the program and the action he had taken, according to Democratic and Republican members of the panels.

The incident has reignited a long-running dispute between congressional Democrats and the CIA, with some calling it part of a broader pattern of the agency withholding information from Congress. Some Republicans, meanwhile, privately questioned whether Panetta -- who has stood with CIA officers in a dispute with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) -- was looking to score points with House Democrats.

The program remains classified, and those knowledgeable about it would describe it only vaguely yesterday. Several current and former administration officials called it an "on-again, off-again" attempt to create a new intelligence capability and said it was related to the collection of information on suspected terrorists that was instituted after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Mexican Army Using Torture to Fight Drug Cartel

They obviously learned well from Cheney/Bush. We could be seeing the death of democracy in Mexico:

The Mexican army has carried out forced disappearances, acts of torture and illegal raids in pursuit of drug traffickers, according to documents and interviews with victims, their families, political leaders and human rights monitors.

From the violent border cities where drugs are brought into the United States to the remote highland regions where poppies and marijuana are harvested, residents and human rights groups describe an increasingly brutal war in which the government, led by the army, is using harsh measures to battle the cartels that continue to terrorize much of the country.

In Puerto Las Ollas, a mountain village of 50 people in the southern state of Guerrero, residents recounted how soldiers seeking information last month stuck needles under the fingernails of a disabled 37-year-old farmer, jabbed a knife into the back of his 13-year-old nephew, fired on a pastor, and stole food, milk, clothing and medication.

In Tijuana, across the border from San Diego, two dozen policemen who were arrested on drug charges in March alleged that, to extract confessions, soldiers beat them, held plastic bags over their heads until some lost consciousness, strapped their feet to a ceiling while dunking their heads in water and applied electric shocks, according to court documents, letters and interviews with their relatives and defense lawyers.

The brutality of some Mexican soldiers cannot match the staggering brutality of the narco-traffickers in that country. The killing of Americans should get the attention of this worthless government. I won't hold my breath.
A multiagency search is under way for the killers of two U.S. citizens in northern Mexico, according to Chihuahua state officials.

Benjamin LeBaron, 32, and his brother-in-law, Luis Widmar, in his mid-30s, were beaten and shot to death after armed men stormed into their home in Galeana on Tuesday morning.

The killers have yet to be identified, but the case seems to be connected to local drug lords, said Arturo Sandoval, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state attorney general's office.

Sandoval said a note was found on LeBaron's body, but he could not confirm the contents.

Local media reported that the note indicated the slayings were in retribution for the capture of 25 drug suspects in a nearby town.

LeBaron's younger brother, Eric, was kidnapped in May and returned unharmed after a week. The incident prompted LeBaron to become a nationally recognized anti-crime activist who moved the local community to take a stand.

"There are no leaders here, or we are all leaders," LeBaron's brother, Julian LeBaron, told CNN television affiliate KINT in El Paso, Texas. "If they kill my brother another three will take his place, and if they kill us, another hundred will take their place. We are not giving up. No way."
- Related Post:
Mexico Drug Cartel Murders Anti-Crime Activist

U.S. Under Attack by Ciber Terrorists, Particularly China

This is a war that is going on. Who needs bombs when you can destroy America with ciber attacks. A successful major attack on our major computer systems could paralyze us the same way 9-11 did. And as happened then, our government seems incapable of stopping it. You can bet your declining-in-value house that any attack coming from North Korea is being orchestrated by their big brother, China. And if not, then we've got a bigger problem. We are being attacked and don't know where its coming from.

U.S. authorities on Wednesday eyed North Korea as the origin of the widespread cyber attack that overwhelmed government Web sites in the United States and South Korea, although they warned it would be difficult to definitively identify the attackers quickly.

The powerful attack that targeted dozens of government and private sites underscored how unevenly prepared the U.S. government is to block such multipronged assaults.

While Treasury Department and Federal Trade Commission Web sites were shut down by the software attack, which lasted for days over the holiday weekend, others such as the Pentagon and the White House were able to fend it off with little disruption.

The North Korea link, described by three officials, more firmly connected the U.S. attacks to another wave of cyber assaults that hit government agencies Tuesday in South Korea. The officials said that while Internet addresses have been traced to North Korea, that does not necessarily mean the attack involved the Pyongyang government.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

South Korea intelligence officials have identified North Korea as a suspect in those attacks and said that the sophistication of the assault suggested it was carried out at a higher level that just rogue or individual hackers.
Why China:
Defense analysts say that 90 percent of the probes and scans of American defense systems as well as commercial computer networks come from China.

China's auto sales up 17.7% in 1st half of 2009

How is it that China's car industry is booming while ours is collapsing? Can you say - outsourcing.

Sales of made-in-China automobiles totaled 6.1 million units in the first six months this year, up 17.7 percent from a year earlier, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said Thursday.

According to figures released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, sales of such automobiles topped 1.14 million units in June, an increase of 36.5 percent on the year, the report said.

This is the fourth month in a row that sales of locally made automobiles surpassed 1.1 million units, Xinhua quoted CAAM as saying.

China manufactured 15.2 percent more automobiles in the first half of the year as compared to 2008, an increase CAAM said is due to a government stimulus package to boost domestic spending, Xinhua said.

That might explain why the U.S. dollar is becoming worthless. Sounds like a recipe for disaster.
The U.S. dollar traded for a time at a five-month low in the upper 92 yen zone Thursday morning in Tokyo as market participants sold it to shun risk on mounting worries about a quick economic recovery.

At noon, the dollar fetched 93.19-24 yen versus 92.83-93 yen in New York and 94.25-28 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The euro traded at $1.3897-3902 and 129.61-66 yen against $1.3879- 3889 and 128.91-129.01 yen in New York and $1.3887-3890 and 130.91-95 yen in Tokyo late Wednesday.

Continued concern about the prospects of an economic recovery in the U.S. and global economies prompted risk aversion overnight in New York, with the dollar plunging at one point to as low as 91.80 yen, its lowest level there since mid-February.

We're are in the process of being surpassed by China as an economy:
The number of US companies featured in a emminent business magazine's annual list of the world's top 500 global companies fell to its lowest level ever, Fortune magazine has said, while more Chinese firms appeared than ever before.

Signaling the effects of the devastating financial crisis on the US economy, a non-US firm topped the list for the first time in over a decade, with Anglo-Dutch energy giant Royal Dutch Shell coming in first.

The firm brought in 15 billion dollars (11 billion euros) more in sales than second place oil rival Exxon Mobil of the United States.

China, Asia's ever-soaring powerhouse economy, saw its fortunes rise across the board with a Chinese firm -- oil giant Sinopec -- appearing in the top 10 for the first time, the magazine reported Wednesday.