Like all my blogs, this is a work in progress. I have many many thousands of pages of writings, articles and archived material from the past ten years which currently reside on hard drives and in boxes. My intention is to get all of this onto this blog in some form or other over the next few years.
Any entires that start looking rather good will be promoted to my main blog, Just Say Noam, and Twittered to death.
Until that day - please watch this space. Or not....


The US are now conducting drone assassinations and undeclared wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Iraq and many other places. 
2 million people incarcerated, with 5% of the world’s population we have 25% of the world’s prisoners, more than any other country including China.The stimulus cost nearly 4 million dollars per “job” created

Estonia joins the Eurozone.
Lithuania receives chairmanship of Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
January 9 – Southern Sudan referendum on independence.
January 14 – 2010–2011 Middle East and North Africa protests: The Tunisian government falls after a month of increasingly violent protests; President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali flees to Saudi Arabia after 23 years in power.

January 24 –36 killed and more than 100 others wounded in a bombing at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow, Russia.

February 11 – 2010–2011 Middle East and North Africa protests: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned after widespread protests calling for his resignation, leaving control of Egypt in the hands of the military until a general election can be held.
February 22 - March 14 – The uncertainty of continued Libyan oil output causes crude oil prices to rise 20% over a two week period following the 2010–2011 Middle East and North Africa protests.

March 11 – A 9.1-magnitude[8] earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit the east of Japan, killing over 14,000 and leaving another 11,000 missing. Tsunami warnings are issued in 50 countries and territories. Emergencies are declared at four nuclear power plants affected by the quake.
March 17 – The United Nations Security Council votes 10-0 to create a no-fly zone over Libya in response to allegations of government aggression against civilians.
March 19 – In light of continuing attacks on Libyan rebels by Gaddafi forces, military intervention authorized under UNSCR 1973 begins as French fighter jets make reconnaissance flights over Libya.

In Tunisia and Egypt, the recent popular uprisings have won impressive victories, but as the Carnegie Endowment reported, while names have changed, the regimes remain: "A change in ruling elites and system of governance is still a distant goal." The report discusses internal barriers to democracy, but ignores the external ones, which as always are significant.
The U.S. and its Western allies are sure to do whatever they can to prevent authentic democracy in the Arab world. To understand why, it is only necessary to look at the studies of Arab opinion conducted by U.S. polling agencies. Though barely reported, they are certainly known to planners. They reveal that by overwhelming majorities, Arabs regard the U.S. and Israel as the major threats they face: the U.S. is so regarded by 90% of Egyptians, in the region generally by over 75%. Some Arabs regard Iran as a threat: 10%. Opposition to U.S. policy is so strong that a majority believes that security would be improved if Iran had nuclear weapons -- in Egypt, 80%. Other figures are similar. If public opinion were to influence policy, the U.S. not only would not control the region, but would be expelled from it, along with its allies, undermining fundamental principles of global dominance.

Libya hits Europe much worse than most of the rest of the world because Libyan oil is one of the few crude oils low enough in sulphur to meet European consumer standards at a reasonable cost. Libya has the really good stuff, light sweet crude, once you get hooked on it like the Europeans have you cannot go back to the ordinary stuff easily, European engines will actually start to fail if fuel with too much sulphur is used in them. The US with a higher sulphur allowance isn’t confined to competing for the same pool of crude as Europe. China has even lower consumer standards than the US and has an even bigger pool of crude which it is competing for. This is complicated by the fact that most non-US refineries cannot even process non-sweet crude oil, although US (and some other countries, it’s not solely the US but mostly the US) refineries can process much more sour (non-sweet) crude.
While Libya represents about 2% of the world supply of crude oil, it represents about 40% of the potential European consumer supply and (at a guess, I haven’t checked in several years) about 8% of the potential US consumer supply, while the 2% number is fine for China’s potential consumer supplies. 2% is a good number for US refinery supply but not for European or Chinese or even Japanese refineries. In-elasticity is one factor but not the greatest factor in the price of gasoline in the current oil universe.  (Quote)
Libya sells to European refineries for the European market, and the increased Saudi production is heavier and sourer than European refineries can handle, and far more expensive to refine to usable standards for US use much less European use. The way displacement can happen is if instead of shipping Libyan crude a short distance to European refineries, Saudi crude is sent to the US or Canada (which have refineries capable of handling heavy sour crude) and light sweet crude from Oklahoma is sent to Europe (freeing up capacity in the US & Canadian refineries). But that imposes significant increases in shipping and refining cost, and oil wells don’t start overnight which is good because tankers don’t sail across oceans in hours and refineries can’t convert from light sweet to heavy sour instantly. Add in that the production the Saudi’s are bringing on line produces less fuel per barrel than the high grade Libyan stuff it is replacing, and it doesn’t look so good for prices going down.TRUE?

Libya had no debt and the highest standard of living and education and medicine in Africa according to the UN
 NATO killing reporters at Libyan Television

April 11 – Former Côte d'Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo is arrested in his home in Abidjan by supporters of elected President Alassane Ouattara forces with support from French forces thereby ending the 2010–2011 Ivorian crisis and civil war.

April 24th
Obama recently announced a breakthrough on a pending trade agreement with Colombia that has languished since 2006. Colombia promises better protection of the safety of its union leaders, addressing a human rights issue raised by Democrats.The administration says a stalled deal with Panama is ready to go to Congress too. Panama has agreed with an administration demand for greater transparency on tax policy.That leaves a long-delayed trade agreement with South Korea. U.S. officials say that is also near completion.These steps sound like a breakthrough. But these are still promises. Let's see if the Obama administration can draw the votes of skeptical Democrats to pass these agreements.

April 24th Syria
Since the lifting after almost 50 years of emergency rule Syria the country appears to be drifted into a far more serious situation compared to the unrest of the past several weeks.
The escalated social unrest and reports alleging Syrian security forces killing Syrian civilians coincided with reports that United States has started using predators in the NATO-led operation in Libya to stop “security forces” loyal to the Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s regime killing Libyan “civilian” people waging an armed uprising against Tripoli and who indeed established a “government” in Benghazi which is preparing to host soon a distinguished guest, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France.

April 25th UK police becoming increasingly politically motivated:

April 29 – An estimated 2 billion people[14] watch the wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London. Weapon of mass distraction.

Record breaking storms – but still no definitve link to climate change warming.
The string of tornadoes that ravaged the South this week broke records, killed more than 300 people, and left many searching for an explanation of nature’s wrath. Could climate change be to blame?
The bottom line: It’s plausible that the warming of our planet could affect the frequency and intensity of tornadoes, though there's little solid evidence to back up the claim.
Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, has studied the impact of climate change on severe weather extensively and found that it could be responsible for an increase of between 4 percent and 5 percent in water vapor in the lower atmosphere. He says that effect could have amounted to an extra inch of rain during Hurricane Katrina, for example, but what it means for tornado frequency and severity is less than clear. “I don’t think we can say anything concrete one way or the other for tornadoes with regard to climate change, although I think it would be wrong to completely dismiss it,” he says. If there is a lurking, as yet undiscovered link, though, it could take several more decades of research to discover it.

May 1st OBL killed
Typical of the sort of stories that cam out in the immediate aftermath:
Bin Laden went down firing: US official
Washington - A US official says Osama bin Laden went down firing at the Navy Seals who stormed his compound.
An official familiar with the operation says bin Laden was hit by a barrage of carefully aimed return fire.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because aspects of the operation remain classified.
The official says two dozen Seals in night-vision goggles dropped into the high-walled compound in Pakistan by sliding down ropes from Chinook helicopters in the overnight raid.
US officials say bin Laden was killed near the end of the 40-minute raid.
The Seals retrieved bin Laden's body and turned the remaining detainees over to Pakistani authorities.


One of Osama bin Laden's wives witnessed his death, and she and a 12-year-old bin Laden daughter are now in U.S. custody. According to the BBC, the girl told Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence that her father had been killed. If the two are eventually allowed to speak, their accounts of the raid could be more important than any visual evidence the U.S. releases. On Tuesday night, outgoing CIA director Leon Panetta told NBC's Brian Williams that photos of bin Laden's body will "ultimately" be released.

“For starters, there are bin Laden’s years of service to the CIA, which employed him and his followers in the 1980s during the U.S. war to bring down the pro-socialist, secular government in Afghanistan. Since 2001, U.S. forces have been back in Afghanistan fighting against “enemies” Washington created. The U.S. establishment wants that part of bin Laden’s résumé forgotten.
Then there is the question of his relations with the Saudi monarchy, which is very tight with the oil-soaked U.S. ruling class, especially the Bush family and its two U.S. presidents, George H.W. Bush and his son. What might bin Laden have revealed about the secret deals they made over Iraq and its oil, for example?
And there is the question of 9/11 itself. One would think that would have been a prosecutor’s dream — to try bin Laden for the deaths at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. But no. They quickly finished him off — and with him any attempts to clarify the many lingering questions.
The capitalist media — just about all of them — are dutifully whipping up a triumphal, celebratory mood around this strange denouement. It can’t last. Once the march-in-lockstep hoopla is over, the questions must come creeping out of their temporary hiding places.”

But the mass revolutions in the Arab world over the past four months mean that al-Qa'ida was already politically dead. Bin Laden told the world – indeed, he told me personally – that he wanted to destroy the pro-Western regimes in the Arab world, the dictatorships of the Mubaraks and the Ben Alis. He wanted to create a new Islamic Caliphate. But these past few months, millions of Arab Muslims rose up and were prepared for their own martyrdom – not for Islam but for freedom and liberty and democracy. Bin Laden didn't get rid of the tyrants. The people did. And they didn't want a caliph
But talking of caves, Bin Laden's demise does bring Pakistan into grim focus. For months, President Ali Zardari has been telling us that Bin Laden was living in a cave in Afghanistan. Now it turns out he was living in a mansion in Pakistan. Betrayed? Of course he was. By the Pakistan military or the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence? Quite possibly both. Pakistan knew where he was.
Not only was Abbottabad the home of the country's military college – but it is headquarters of Pakistan's Northern Army Corps' 2nd Division. Scarcely a year ago, I sought an interview with another "most wanted man" – the leader of the group believed responsible for the Mumbai massacres. I found him in the Pakistani city of Lahore – guarded by uniformed Pakistani policemen holding machine guns.
Of course, there is one more obvious question unanswered: couldn't they have captured Bin Laden? Didn't the CIA or the Navy Seals or the US Special Forces or whatever American outfit killed him have the means to throw a net over the tiger? "Justice," Barack Obama called his death. In the old days, of course, "justice" meant due process, a court, a hearing, a defence, a trial. Like the sons of Saddam, Bin Laden was gunned down. Sure, he never wanted to be taken alive – and there were buckets of blood in the room in which he died.
But a court would have worried more people than Bin Laden. After all, he might have talked about his contacts with the CIA during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, or about his cosy meetings in Islamabad with Prince Turki, Saudi Arabia's head of intelligence. Just as Saddam – who was tried for the murder of a mere 153 people rather than thousands of gassed Kurds – was hanged before he had the chance to tell us about the gas components that came from America, his friendship with Donald Rumsfeld, the US military assistance he received when he invaded Iran in 1980.

On whether torture was used to find OBL:
When I was a defense attorney in the Office of Military Commissions in Guantanamo, President Obama issued an executive order on interrogation policy that ended the CIA’s secret detention program and required that all US interrogators comply with the Army Field Manual. He also ordered the closure of Guantanamo within one year.
After the order was issued, I taped it to my office door and highlighted the portion that said, “the detention facilities at Guantanamo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order.” I truly believed the U.S. had closed the door on abusive detention and interrogation forever.
“National security is diminished by the false leads torture can produce, and devastating consequences may ensue. When Ibn Sheikh al Libi was tortured while in CIA custody, he claimed a link to Iraq and weapons of mass destruction that then-Secretary of State Colin Powell used in his speech to the United Nations to justify the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Of course, as we now know, that information was utterly false.
Each time the U.S. has strayed from core values there have been national security consequences.
By contrast, when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was arrested for the attempted Christmas bombing of a U.S. airliner bound for Detroit, he provided intelligence to the FBI immediately upon his apprehension, despite being interrogated in a purportedly lawful manner. He continued to do so after he was charged. The Department of Justice has touted the significant intelligence obtained from L’Houssaine Kherchtou, an early member of al Qaeda. He has not only provided valuable information, but has testified in the trials of numerous terrorism suspects, including that of Ahmed Ghailani, a Tanzanian convicted of conspiracy in U.S. federal court in November 2010 and now serving life in prison for his role in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa. Many others have provided and continue to provide information to U.S. authorities used in preventing terrorist attacks and prosecuting terrorism suspects, without the use of coercive interrogation techniques.” How Illegal Interrogations Hurt the U.S. by Andrea J. Prasow

It stretches credulity to think that a mansion of that scale could have been built and occupied by bin Laden for six years without its coming to the attention of anyone in the Pakistani Army.
This – an attempt to pin responsibility on Pakistan.

The US knew where Bin Laden was in February, says Dutch expert, Friday 06 May 2011
A Dutch defence specialist was indirectly told by US special forces that Osama bin Laden was being kept under surveillance north of Islamabad in Pakistan during a visit to the region in mid-February, Trouw reports on Friday.
Rob van Wijk says in a column in the paper Bin Laden’s house ‘came up’ in conversation during the visit, but declined to say any more because he had been sworn to secrecy.
'At the end of the regular morning briefing by Special Operations Force, by chance Osama bin Laden's house came up,' he writes. 'It was apparently north of Islamabad. The briefing also showed confusion over the identity of a courier.'
'So Bin Laden was alive. It was clear where he lived. An eye was being kept on him. So why was no action taken?'
In the column, Van Wijk goes on to speculate that the US waited so long before raiding the compound in order to maximise their intelligence advantage.

Internet censorship - Turkey
"Ridiculous practices without any legal basis are being introduced in Turkey. Officials are trying to take Internet users from all ages under control through practices disguised as 'protection of minors'. By the means of filters and bans, a fundamental [block] of Internet censorship has been established," said Yaman Akdeniz, a professor of Internet law at Bilgi University, in an interview with EurActiv Turkey.
Professor Akdeniz added: "Turkey's Internet policies are becoming more and more in compliance with those of China, rather than the EU."
"With this regulation government will develop a censorship infrastructure. Even the standard profile is a filter system. There are no other countries within the EU or Council of Europe that has a similar system. And the decision also states that if anyone who tries to circumvent the system, further action may be taken," the professor said.
"Thousands of websites have been blocked in Turkey. Although the government claims that it only blocks access to pornographic websites, hundreds of alternative media websites, especially websites dealing with the Kurdish debate are also blocked for political reasons," he continued.

Recession changed nothing – rich continued to get richer:

May 8th Sunday
The issue of OBL’s support mechanism seems to be becoming more significant – conflict between US and Pakistan?
The U.S. was supposed to permit more access for Mexican trucks years ago. The U.S. stalled, and in 2009 Mexico retaliated by restoring tariffs on dozens of American products.

In Libya the west "knowingly armed and trained the very people our “War on Terror” is designed to imprison and assassinate against a secular government".

US congressman and former presidential candidate made astonishing claims

"In an interview inside his Northwest D.C. home last week, the noted civil rights leader, told the Afro that he watched French and Danish troops storm small villages late at night beheading, maiming and killing rebels and loyalists to show them who was in control.
"'What the hell' I'm thinking to myself. I'm getting out of here. So I went in hiding," Fauntroy said.
The rebels told Fauntroy they had been told by the European forces to stay inside. According to Fauntroy, the European forces would tell the rebels, "'Look at what you did.' In other words, the French and Danish were ordering the bombings and killings, and giving credit to the rebels."

Ethnic cleansing in Libya

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