AMERICA’S ENDLESS WARS
A lesson from all the wars in the 20th century….”There are few American families that didn’t suffer because of the war. For decade after decade, we are told a mythology about our enemy. I am limited by law in a dozen nations thought to be liberal democracies to write what I know to be fact about what Germany did and did not do during the war.
I am allowed, however, to take this time and thank those, who exactly like me, out of ignorance or curiosity or simply a need for acceptance, have taken part in wars against our brothers and sisters, led our friends to slaughter, destroyed civilizations in the name of Wall Street, Moscow, Tel Aviv and international communism.
Whether “Progressive” or “Reactionary,” the answer was always the same, invade, kill, steal, control and lie.
In 1917 we went to war to “make the world safe for democracy.”
95 years later, that world lives in virtual slavery, Americans are beginning to starve, look around you, Africa is still colonized, brutality and deception are the norm.
Please, point to one success, Britain proven a slave of Murdoch and Blair, a cabal of crime, Germany ruled by the Stasi “queen,” France and the rest of Europe in utter collapse, Africa, raped and slaughtered for profit, Asia, the land of sweat shops, Mexico, drugs, murder and human trafficking, a land of fear, very much a part of a continent in collapse.
This is what we fought to give our children. What we forgot to do is teach them right from wrong, who to kill, when to kill and why. We never learned that ourselves.” …..Gen. George S. Patton
Next time we are asked to head across the world to steal oil, sell drugs and murder children, we might just head the other direction. Think I am kidding? Ask around.
One of the magical 'pretzel' Twin Towers beams
Next time an imaginary bin Laden melts a million tons of steel with a few gallons of kerosene, ain’t none of us buying a word of it anymore. Next car bomb, suicide bomber, crashing plane, we know where to look and who to look for.
Where the U.S. defeated the great Axis powers of Germany, Japan and Italy in fewer than four years in World War II, it’s been fighting little Afghanistan now for more than a decade and neither our generals nor the president dare speak of “victory.” Some cynics might even believe the U.S. is not interested in victory so much as keeping those exorbitant Pentagon budgets flowing into military-industrial coffers year after year.
- “There will be a state of perpetual war, leading to more terrorism against Americans…and a growing reliance on weapons of mass destruction among smaller nations as they try to ward off the imperial juggernaut.”
- “There will be a loss of democracy and constitutional rights as the presidency fully eclipses Congress and is itself transformed from an executive branch of government into something more like a Pentagonized presidency.
- “An already well-shredded principle of truthfulness will increasingly be replaced by a system of propaganda, disinformation, and glorification of war, power, and the military legions.
- There will be bankruptcy, as we pour our economic resources into ever more grandiose military projects and short-change the education, health, and safety of our fellow citizens.
President Obama’s power under the National Defense Authorization Act signed last New Year’s Eve grants him the power to arrest any American and lock the individual up indefinitely without attorney or trial. President Obama is now claiming the right to commit murder against any person who is “suspect” by the Pentagon or CIA. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people across the Middle East have now been killed by drones on Mr. Obama’s say-so. Result: The U.S. is now a totalitarian society. Johnson’s prediction was right again.
As for sorrow Number 3, the Obama regime has done more to stop whistle-blowers from telling the American people the truth than any previous administration. The imprisonment, torture, and trial of Army PFC Bradley Manning for exposing Pentagon killings of civilians and journalists in Baghdad is just one of a number of ongoing prosecutions aimed at lowering a new iron curtain of secrecy around U.S. aggression.
And the “bankruptcy” predicted in Sorrow 4 is surely here with a vengeance: with 50 million Americans living in poverty, with 46-million people on food stamps and/or lining up at soup kitchens, with 8.7 million having lost their homes or en route to homelessness since 2007, with 20-million unemployed or underemployed, with college graduates unable to find jobs, with families piling up massive credit card debt, with cities and states going broke, and with critically-needed, dedicated public servants —-teachers, firefighters, police, etc.—-being laid off everywhere.
in all this vast bleak picture, the main islands of prosperity are the Pentagon—which spends more for war than all 50 states spend for all peaceful purposes—the corporations of the military-industrial complex, and the oil companies, which are gaining access to new markets because of the Pentagon’s wars.
Native Americans, however, will recall how the establishment of forts across the continental U.S. gave the Army control of vast territories without necessarily occupying their reservations. A similar procedure today, by locating bases everywhere, is giving the U.S. control of entire countries without occupying them. However, Iraq and Afghanistan surely may be considered occupied.
The permanent deployment of U.S. forces in the Middle East, because of its inhabitants’ differing culture, lifestyles, wealth and physical appearance, guarantee conflicts in the region and “is irrational in terms of any cost-benefit analysis.”
“It may be that the ultimate causes of 21st Century mayhem in the Middle East are American militarism and imperialism—that is our empire of bases itself.”
An Afghan woman looks into the camera in Mazar-i Sharif, capital of Balkh province, on March 30, 2012. Mazar-i Sharif means "Respected Shrine" but the city is known by tourists as the city of the blue mosque which is located in the center of the city known as the Shrine of Hazrat Ali. (Qais Usyan/AFP/Getty Images) #
A controlled detonation takes place on Forward Operating Base Farah, Farah province, Afghanistan, on April 7, 2012. (USAF/Staff Sgt. Jonathan Lovelady) #
A firefighter sprays water on a burning fuel tanker in Kabul April 23, 2012. The cause of the blaze is unknown and police are investigating. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani) #
A U.S. Army Officer from 5-20 infantry Regiment attached to 82nd Airborne walks through a poppy field while on patrol in Zharay district in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, on April 26, 2012. (Reuters/Baz Ratner) #
A U.S. Chinook helicopter flies over Kabul, Afghanistan, during a visit of NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, on April 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq) #
An Afghan National Army soldier enters a house at Zhary district in southern Afghanistan, on April 17, 2012. (Reuters/Baz Ratner) #
View of the Kajaki dam as seen from Forward Operating Base (FOB) Zeebrugge in Kajaki, Afghanistan, on April 20, 2012. (USMC/Lance Cpl. Joseph M. Peterson) #
Smoke rises from a bomb explosion as Afghan policemen (right) look on during an opium poppy eradication operation in Alingar, east of Kabul, on April 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) #
A wounded member of the Afghan police reaction force waits for treatment in Alingar, Laghman province, on April 30, 2012. A bomb exploded next to opium poppy fields during a poppy eradication campaign in, wounding two Afghan policemen, police officials said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) #
A lightning storm over Forward Operating Base Salerno, April 9. (US Army/Spc. Eric-James Estrada) #
Parents and wife of Cpl. Michael J. Palacio, 23, from Lake Elsinore, California, hold on to flags presented to them during a memorial service and funeral in Orange County, California, on April 10, 2012. Palacio died while participating in combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on March 29, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (USMC/Cpl. Khoa Pelczar) #
A German soldier keeps watch during a patrol near Taloqan, the capital of Takhar province, on April 2, 2012. Germany is the third biggest supplier of troops to the 128,000-strong NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), after the US and Britain. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images) #
Georgian soldiers and a translator greet Afghans traveling on the major supply route while on patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan. (US Army/Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Duran) #
Gunfire and smoke come from the a building occupied by militants during a battle with Afghan-led forces, in Kabul, on April 16, 2012. The Afghan capital awoke to a second day of explosions and heavy gunfire as Afghan-led forces worked to defeat insurgents holed up in the building in the heart of the city and another near parliament. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq) #
The feet of dead Taliban insurgents, after they were killed inside a building in Kabul, on April 16, 2012. Heavy street fighting between militants and security forces in the center of the Afghan capital Kabul ended after 18 hours of intense gunfire, rocket attacks and explosions, police and government officials said. (Reuters/Mohammad Ismail) #
Afghan policemen are mirrored in glass from a broken window as they stand guard outside the building where Taliban fighters launched an attack in Kabul on April 16, 2012. A total of 36 Taliban militants were killed as they mounted a wave of attacks across Afghanistan, Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammadi said. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images) #
A Marine MRAP sits on a patrol base in Helmand province, run by 5th ANGLICO and Co. A, 31st Georgian Light Infantry Battalion. The Georgians' mission is to provide security for the local area and a main supply route. (US Army/Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Duran) #
An Afghan boy cycles on the outskirts of Kabul on April 26, 2012. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/GettyImages) #
German soldiers in a mountain village near Mazar-i-Sharif patrol the road on on April 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Axel Schmidt) #
A three-legged cat looks on in front of prosthetic limbs at one of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) hospitals for war victims and the disabled in Kabul, on April 14, 2012. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images) #
An Afghan man stands with a scarf in front of a tea shop during the early evening in the old city of Kabul, on April 8, 2012. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images) #
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Aaron Burnett, scout sniper with 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 6, runs his ghillie suit through the mud and water on Forward Operating Base Jackson, Helmand province, on April 20, 2012. The snipers were breaking in their ghillie suits to resemble the local dirt and vegetation. (USMC/Sgt. Logan W. Pierce) #
Insurgents stand blindfolded as they are presented to the media, after being captured by security forces, in Kandahar, on March 29, 2012. (Jangir/AFP/Getty Images) #
An Afghan man watches U.S. Marines and Afghan National Army soldiers conduct a satellite patrol along a poppy field in Marjah, on April 17, 2012. (USMC/Lance Cpl. David A. Perez) #
An Afghan girl drinks water at the Nasaji Bagrami refugee camp in Kabul, on April 18, 2012. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images) #
A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365, 3rd Marine Air Wing (Forward), lands at Forward Operating Base Jackson, Helmand province, on April 25, 2012. (USMC/Sgt. Logan Pierce) #
A boy welds a broken wheelbarrow in the old city of Kabul on April 11, 2012. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images) #
Yeager, an IED detection dog, lies in front of a battlefield cross as Staff Sgt. Derick Clark, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael Dale Reeves observe a moment of silence in honor of Lance Cpl. Abraham Tarwoe, a dog handler and mortarman who served with Weapons Company, 2nd Bn., 9th Marines, during a memorial service on April 22, 2012. Tarwoe, who became Yeager's handler in July 2011, was killed in action during a dismounted patrol in support of combat operations in Helmand province's Marjah district on April 12. (USMC/Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez) #
A boy exercises on Wazir Akbar Khan hill above Kabul, on April 8, 2012. (Reuters/Mohammad Ismail) #
Wounded U.S. soldiers lie on the ground at the scene of a suicide attack in Maimanah, the capital of Faryab province north of Kabul, on April 4, 2012. A suicide bomber blew himself up, killing at least 10 people, including three NATO service members, officials said. (AP Photo/Gul Buddin Elham) #
A U.S. soldier shouts at a cameraman at the scene of a suicide attack in Maimanah, Afghanistan ,on April 4, 2012. A suicide bomber blew himself up killing at least 10 people, including three NATO service members, officials said. A senior U.S. defense official has confirmed that two U.S. soldiers were among three NATO forces killed in the attack. (AP Photo/Gul Buddin Elham) #
U.S. Army National Guard Specialist Wilson Berlin, a Security Force (SECFOR) member of Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Farah, works on his weapon system while pulling security on Forward Operating Base (FOB) Farah, Farah Province, Afghanistan on April 3, 2012. (ISAF/Staff Sgt. Jonathan Lovelady) #
Roosters duel during a cockfighting match in Kabul, on April 20, 2012. Cockfighting, known as "Murgh Janghi" in the Afghan Dari language, is a popular game among Afghans during the winter season, which was once banned by the Taliban rulers. Each fight starts following an agreement of the owners of roosters and the amount of betting by spectators. The heels and bills of the birds are sharpened before fights, which run around 4-6 rounds with each round lasting between 10 to 20 minutes with a gap of 5 minutes between bouts. Some 100,000 to 200,000 Afghanis (2,000 to 4,000 USD) can exchange hands among spectators placing bets during these fights. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images) #
A German soldier with mud on his face smiles on April 15, 2012 in Kunduz, after spending the day on a tank. (AP Photo/Axel Schmidt) #
Coalition soldiers from the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command pause to remember the fallen during an ANZAC Day ceremony held on April 25, 2012. (ISAF) #
Injured U.S. Army dog handler Aaron Yoder and his dog Bart, attached to Alpha troop 4-73 Cavalry Regiment, 4th brigade 82nd Airborne division, are evacuated in a helicopter during a fire exchange with Taliban fighters while on a mission in the Maiwand district in Kandahar province, on April 9, 2012. (Reuters/Baz Ratner) #
Matt Kinsey, who served in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, readies himself to run to second base during the Wounded Warrior Amputee Celebrity Softball Classic at Nationals Park in Washington, DC, on April 3, 2012. With a team comprised of veterans and active duty service members from across the United States who lost limbs while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, members of the Washington Nationals Wounded Warrior softball team travel the country competing against able-bodied opponents. (Win McNamee/Getty Images) #
An Afghan boy pretends to box at a graveyard in the city of Kabul, on April 17, 2012. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images) #
An Afghan horseman rides at the sunset beside Qargha Lake in Kabul, on April 5, 2012. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images) #
An Afghan policeman carries a poppy flower in the barrel of his gun, in the Maiwand district of Kandahar province, on April 9, 2012. (Reuters/Baz Ratner)
Geopolitics of Afghan Opium
According even to an official UN report, opium production in Afghanistan has risen dramatically since the downfall of the Taliban in 2001. UNODC data shows more opium poppy cultivation in each of the past four growing seasons (2004-2007), than in any one year during Taliban rule. More land is now used for opium in Afghanistan, than for coca cultivation in Latin America. In 2007, 93% of the opiates on the world market originated in Afghanistan. This is no accident.
It has been documented that Washington hand-picked the controversial Hamid Karzai, a Pashtun warlord from the Popalzai tribe, long in the CIA’s service, brought him back from exile in the USA, created a Hollywood mythology around his “courageous leadership of his people.” According to Afghan sources, Karzai is the Opium “Godfather” of Afghanistan today. There is apparently no accident that he was and is today still Washington’s preferred man in Kabul. Yet even with massive vote buying and fraud and intimidation, Karzai’s days could be ending as President.
The second reason the US military remains in Afghanistan long after the world has forgotten even who the mysterious Osama bin Laden and his alleged Al Qaeda terrorist organization is or even if they exist, is as a pretext to build a permanent US military strike force with a series of permanent US airbases across Afghanistan. The aim of those bases is not to eradicate any Al Qaeda cells that may have survived in the caves of Tora Bora, or to eradicate a mythical “Taliban” which at this point according to eyewitness reports is made up overwhelmingly of local ordinary Afghanis fighting to rid their land once more of occupier armies as they did in the 11980′s against the Russians.
The aim of the US bases in Afghanistan is to target and be able to strike at the two nations which today represent the only combined threat in the world today to an American global imperium, to America’s Full Spectrum Dominance as the Pentagon terms it.
The lost ‘Mandate of Heaven’
The problem for the US power elites around Wall Street and in Washington is the fact that they are now in the deepest financial crisis in their history. That crisis is clear to the entire world and the world is acting on a basis of self-survival. The US elites have lost what in Chinese imperial history is known as the Mandate of Heaven. That mandate is given a ruler or ruling elite provided they rule their people justly and fairly. When they rule tyrannically and as despots, oppressing and abusing their people, they lose that Mandate of Heaven.
If the powerful private wealthy elites that have controlled essential US financial and foreign policy for most of the past century or more ever had a “mandate of Heaven” they clearly have lost it. The domestic developments towards creation of an abusive police state with deprivation of Constitutional rights to its citizens, the arbitrary exercise of power by non elected officials such as Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson and now Tim Geithner, stealing trillion dollar sums from taxpayers without their consent in order to bailout the bankrupt biggest Wall Street banks, banks deemed “Too Big To Fail,” this all demonstrates to the world they have lost the mandate.
In this situation, the US power elites are increasingly desperate to maintain their control of a global parasitical empire, called deceptively by their media machine, “globalization.” To hold that dominance it is essential that they be able to break up any emerging cooperation in the economic, energy or military realm between the two major powers of Eurasia that conceivably could pose a challenge to future US sole Superpower control-China in combination with Russia.
Each Eurasian power brings to the table essential contributions. China has the world’s most robust economy, a huge young and dynamic workforce, an educated middle class. Russia, whose economy has not recovered from the destructive end pf the Soviet era and of the primitive looting during the Yeltsin era, still holds essential assets for the combination. Russia’s nuclear strike force and its military pose the only threat in the world today to US military dominance, even if it is largely a residue of the Cold War. The Russian military elites never gave up that potential.
As well Russia holds the world’s largest treasure of natural gas and vast reserves of oil urgently needed by China. The two powers are increasingly converging via a new organization they created in 2001 known as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). That includes as well as China and Russia, the largest Central Asia states Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
The purpose of the alleged US war against both Taliban and Al Qaeda is in reality to place its military strike force directly in the middle of the geographical space of this emerging SCO in Central Asia. Iran is a diversion. The main goal or target is Russia and China.
Officially, of course, Washington claims it has built its military presence inside Afghanistan since 2002 in order to protect a “fragile” Afghan democracy. It’s a curious argument given the reality of US military presence there.
In December 2004, during a visit to Kabul, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld finalized plans to build nine new bases in Afghanistan in the provinces of Helmand, Herat, Nimrouz, Balkh, Khost and Paktia. The nine are in addition to the three major US military bases already installed in the wake of its occupation of Afghanistan in winter of 2001-2002, ostensibly to isolate and eliminate the terror threat of Osama bin Laden.
The Pentagon built its first three bases at Bagram Air Field north of Kabul, the US’ main military logistics center; Kandahar Air Field, in southern Afghanistan; and Shindand Air Field in the western province of Herat. Shindand, the largest US base in Afghanistan, was constructed a mere 100 kilometers from the border of Iran, and within striking distance of Russia as well as China.
Afghanistan has historically been the heartland for the British-Russia Great Game, the struggle for control of Central Asia during the 19th and early 20th Centuries. British strategy then was to prevent Russia at all costs from controlling Afghanistan and thereby threatening Britain’s imperial crown jewel, India.
Afghanistan is similarly regarded by Pentagon planners as highly strategic. It is a platform from which US military power could directly threaten Russia and China, as well as Iran and other oil-rich Middle East lands. Little has changed geopolitically over more than a century of wars.
Afghanistan is in an extremely vital location, straddling South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Afghanistan also lies along a proposed oil pipeline route from the Caspian Sea oil fields to the Indian Ocean, where the US oil company, Unocal, along with Enron and Cheney’s Halliburton, had been in negotiations for exclusive pipeline rights to bring natural gas from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan and Pakistan to Enron’s huge natural gas power plant at Dabhol near Mumbai. Karzai, before becoming puppet US president, had been a Unocal lobbyist.
Al Qaeda doesn’t exist as a threat
The truth of all this deception around the real purpose in Afghanistan becomes clear on a closer look at the alleged “Al Qaeda” threat in Afghanistan. According to author Erik Margolis, prior to the September 11,2001 attacks, US intelligence was giving aid and support both to the Taliban and to Al Qaeda. Margolis claims that “The CIA was planning to use Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda to stir up Muslim Uighurs against Chinese rule, and Taliban against Russia’s Central Asian allies.”
The US clearly found other means of stirring up Muslim Uighurs against Beijing last July via its support for the World Uighur Congress. But the Al Qaeda “threat” remains the lynchpin of Obama US justification for his Afghan war buildup.
Now, however, the National Security Adviser to President Obama, former Marine Gen. James Jones has made a statement, conveniently buried by the friendly US media, about the estimated size of the present Al Qaeda danger in Afghanistan. Jones told Congress, “The al-Qaeda presence is very diminished. The maximum estimate is less than 100 operating in the country, no bases, no ability to launch attacks on either us or our allies.”
That means that Al-Qaeda, for all practical purposes, does not exist in Afghanistan. Oops
Even in neighboring Pakistan, the remnants of Al-Qaeda are scarcely to be found. The Wall Street Journal reports, “Hunted by US drones, beset by money problems and finding it tougher to lure young Arabs to the bleak mountains of Pakistan, al Qaeda is seeing its role shrink there and in Afghanistan, according to intelligence reports and Pakistan and U.S. officials. For Arab youths who are al Qaeda’s primary recruits, ‘it’s not romantic to be cold and hungry and hiding,’ said a senior U.S. official in South Asia.”
If we follow the statement to its logical consequence we must conclude then that the reason German soldiers are dying along with other NATO youth in the mountains of Afghanistan has nothing to do with “winning a war against terrorism.” Conveniently most media chooses to forget the fact that Al Qaeda to the extent it ever existed, was a creation in the 1980′s of the CIA, who recruited and trained radical muslims from across the Islamic world to wage war against Russian troops in Afghanistan as part of a strategy developed by Reagan’s CIA head Bill Casey and others to create a “new Vietnam” for the Soviet Union which would lead to a humiliating defeat for the Red Army and the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union.
Now US NSC head Jones admits there is essentially no Al Qaeda anymore in Afghanistan. Perhaps it is time for a more honest debate from our political leaders about the true purpose of sending more young to die protecting the opium harvests of Afghanistan.
The 10th anniversary of Washington's invasion, occupation and seemingly endless war in Afghanistan was observed Oct. 7, but despite President Barack Obama's pledge to terminate the U.S. "combat mission" by the end of 2014, American military involvement will continue many years longer.
The United States and its military allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have entered the third month of war in Afghanistan this year, which President Barack Obama in December of 2009 announced as the year in which American and other foreign occupation forces would be reduced preparatory to their full withdrawal.
Within months of the U.S. head of state’s claim, the commander-in-chief had over 90,000 troops in the conquered country and currently there are 60,000 more from some fifty other nations serving in NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The total number exceeds that of any foreign military force ever before stationed in Afghanistan. The presence of American and allied troops, beginning as it did on October 7, 2001, is the longest in the Asian nation’s history, with U.S. forces already in the country for several months longer than Soviet troops were stationed there from late 1979 until early 1989.
Since Obama’s pledge that U.S. and NATO troop strength would be reduced this year – not a firm deadline but an evasion, a self-serving lie designed to take the sting out of the announcement of increased troop deployments, one the international community, self-styled and genuine, chose to take at face value – the world’s only ongoing war of occupation has stretched into not only the longest armed conflict in Afghanistan’s history but also in that of the U.S.
In the same interim several new force contributors like Armenia, Bahrain, Colombia, Egypt, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Montenegro, Mongolia, South Korea (which had withdrawn an earlier contingent in 2007) and Tonga were recruited to provide troops to serve under NATO’s Afghan command, to which the overwhelming majority of American troops are now also assigned, and to be initiated into 21st century warfare under the control of the West.
Last year marked the largest amount of U.S. and ISAF deaths in the war that is now in its eleventh calendar year, as well as the most Afghan government troop and police fatalities, the highest number of reported insurgent deaths and the most civilians slain in the nearly decade-long war. 712 foreign soldiers and almost 10,000 Afghans were killed in 2010.
To the east of Afghanistan, unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) missile attacks conducted by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency killed in the neighborhood of 1,000 people in Pakistan last year, the most in any year since the cowardly targeted assassinations and concomitant civilian “collateral damage” were begun in 2004 and almost half of the total dead for the entire period.
As last year wound down, bombing, strafing and other air attacks launched by the U.S. and NATO increased in intensity, with October registering the highest monthly number of air combat missions, over 1,000, of the war to date.
The Pentagon has ordered a record quantity of Predator, Reaper and other death-dealing drones for this year, beyond to the new “drawdown” date – 2014 – and for as far afterward as it chooses to continue and further escalate the war on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border.
On that score, the infinite plasticity of a final withdrawal date, U.S. Marine General James Mattis, the head of U.S. Central Command, stated last month that he was “militarily uncomfortable” with the 2014 deadline,  and Senator Joseph Lieberman said “it was unwise to set the beginning of any exit date.” 
In addition to unprecedented foreign troop numbers, air attacks and drone operations, head of U.S. Special Operations Command Admiral Eric Olson recently said of special forces operations, increasingly the ground combat emphasis for America’s counterinsurgency war in South Asia, that the demand for special operations forces in Afghanistan is “insatiable,” and:
U.S.-selected and -protected Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced last month that Washington intends to establish permanent military bases in his nation – a development that was evident to many almost a decade ago – and “The bases would enable US troops to remain in the area beyond the planned transfer of security responsibility from US and NATO troops to Afghan forces by end of 2014….” 
The military installations to be retained, added and expanded would include the Bagram, Kandahar and Shindand air bases in the north, south and west of the nation from which the Pentagon could conduct surveillance and combat operations not only in Afghanistan but throughout the region.
Afghans are not to be spared another decade – or generation or more – of Western military occupation and attacks of the sort that occurred on February 17 in the eastern province of Kunar.
A week after the event, an Afghan government investigation determined that NATO air strikes targeted civilians in a village in the province, killing over five dozen people including 50 women and children, among them 19 females from seven months to 18 years of age. 21 teenage boys and 15 elderly men were also slain. 
The head of the government delegation appointed to conduct the probe stated:
In the week between the slaughter and the release of the report documenting its details, a NATO attack in the province of Nangarhar “hit a house, killing a couple and their four children,” according to a spokesman for the province’s governor.
The same source added, “the identity of those killed could not be ascertained.”
Another local official described what has become the typical modus operandi of the murderous CIA missile strikes when he detailed that “two people were killed when a missile strike from another drone hit a vehicle proceeding towards the house that was targeted earlier.” 
The day before, February 20, the U.S. also attacked a village in South Waziristan, killing six people and wounding several others.
According to a Pakistani news source which placed the death toll for the other attack at eight, “The two attacks by the US drones in the Pakistani tribal areas were the first ones after the arrest of CIA spy Raymond Davis for killing two Pakistanis in Lahore.” 
Regarding the strike in South Waziristan, it was reported that the “identity of the slain people could not be ascertained, but local tribesmen claimed all of them were tribal people.”
And in reference to the attacks in North Waziristan:
According to a local tribesman, “The Americans don’t care for others and they will continue killing us.” 
American and NATO war deaths in Afghanistan are at 71 so far this year, before the spring fighting season has begun, but Afghan and Pakistani civilian deaths exceed those of Western belligerents.
Earlier last month NATO and Afghan government forces shelled a Pakistani military post in North Waziristan, killing a soldier and wounding seven more.
A local news source said some of the injured were in critical condition and that “Pakistani forces returned the fire with artillery and rocket launchers and targeted the Nato and Afghan forces’ positions across the border.”
Two days later, February 4, NATO renewed the bombardment and “Shelling from across the Durand Line continued unabated as 22 more mortar shells fired by Nato and Afghan forces from Afghanistan’s territory fell in North Waziristan,” with shells landing in populated areas of the agency. 
The deadly attack by NATO against Pakistani military targets was not the first such incident and will not be the last. On September 30 of 2010 NATO helicopter gunships attacked a security post in the Upper Kurram Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, killing three Pakistani soldiers and reducing the fort to rubble in the third violation of the nation’s airspace in a week.
Two fixed-wing NATO aircraft accompanied the helicopters, which launched two attacks over four hours apart. “According to local people, the dead and injured had suffered severe burn injuries.”
In a strike in the same agency three days before, “Nato claimed killing six insurgents and injuring eight others while local people contradicted the claim and said those killed were Muqbal tribesmen.” 
The following month NATO aircraft penetrated the province of Balochistan when “NATO warplanes and helicopter gunships entered up to 15 kilometers inside Pakistani airspace.” 
By November NATO attack helicopters had, in addition to conducting strikes in the tribal belt, “violated Pakistani airspace, defying the integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan, over half a dozen times in…northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and southwest Balochistan provinces….” 
Not only has the U.S. killed over 2,000 people with drone missile strikes in North and South Waziristan, but over the last five months NATO has slain several Pakistani military personnel, extending the war into a nation with a population of 170 million and nuclear weapons.
While most of the world’s attention is concentrated on events in North Africa, the West is steadily and inexorably intensifying the longest, largest and most lethal war on the planet.
The Afghan war is expanding even further, not only with increasing drone attacks in neighboring Pakistani territory but because of U.S. threats to take far greater unilateral military action within Pakistan unless the Islamabad government roots out "extremists" and cracks down harder on cross-border fighters.
Washington's tone was so threatening that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had to assure the Pakistani press Oct. 21 that the U.S. did not plan a ground offensive against Pakistan. The next day, Afghan President Hamid Karzai shocked Washington by declaring "God forbid, If ever there is a war between Pakistan and America, Afghanistan will side with Pakistan.... If Pakistan is attacked and if the people of Pakistan needs Afghanistan’s help, Afghanistan will be there with you.”
At the same time, Washington has just suffered a spectacular setback in Iraq, where the Obama Administration has been applying extraordinary pressure on the Baghdad government for over a year to permit many thousands of U.S. troops to remain indefinitely after all American forces are supposed to withdraw at the end of this year.
President Obama received the Iraqi government's rejection from Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki Oct. 21, and promptly issued a public statement intended to completely conceal the fact that a long-sought U.S. goal has just been obliterated, causing considerable disruption to U.S. plans. Obama made a virtue of necessity by stressing that "Today, I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year."
This article will first discuss the situation in Afghanistan after 10 years, then take up the Iraq question and what the U.S. may do to compensate for a humiliating and disruptive rebuff.
The United States is well aware it will never win a decisive victory in Afghanistan. At this point, the Obama Administration is anxious to convert the military stalemate into a form of permanent truce, if only the Taliban were willing to accept what amounts to a power sharing deal that would allow Washington to claim the semblance of success after a decade of war.
In addition President Obama seeks to retain a large post-"withdrawal" military presence throughout the country mainly for these reasons:
There has been an element of public deception about withdrawing U.S. "combat troops" from Iraq and Afghanistan dating from the first Obama election campaign in 2007-8. Combat troops belong to combat brigades. In a variant of bait-and-switch trickery, the White House reported that all combat brigades departed Iraq in August 2010. Technically this is true, because those that did not depart were simply renamed "advise and assist brigades." According to a 2009 Army field manual such brigades are entirely capable, "if necessary," of shifting from "security force assistance" back to combat duties.
In Afghanistan, after the theoretical pullout date, it is probable that many "advise and assist brigades" will remain along with a large complement of elite Joint Special Operations Forces strike teams (SEALs, Green Berets, etc.) and other officially "non-combat" units — from the CIA, drone operators, fighter pilots, government security employees plus "contractor security" personnel, including mercenaries. Thousands of other "non-combat" American soldiers will remain to train the Afghan army.
According to an Oct. 8 Associated Press dispatch, "Senior U.S. officials have spoken of keeping a mix of 10,000 such [special operations-type] forces in Afghanistan, and drawing down to between 20,000 and 30,000 conventional forces to provide logistics and support. But at this point, the figures are as fuzzy as the future strategy." Estimates of how long the Pentagon will remain in Afghanistan range from 2017 to 2024 to "indefinitely."
Obama marked the 10th anniversary with a public statement alleging that "Thanks to the extraordinary service of these [military] Americans, our citizens are safer and our nation is more secure"— the most recent of the continuous praise of war-fighters and the conduct of these wars of choice from the White House since the 2001 bombing, invasion and occupation.
Just two days earlier a surprising Pew Social Trend poll of post-9/11 veterans was made public casting doubt about such a characterization. Half the vets said the Afghanistan war wasn't worth fighting in terms of benefits and costs to the U.S. Only 44% thought the Iraq war was worth fighting. One-third opined that both wars were not worth waging. Opposition to the wars has been higher among the U.S. civilian population. But it's unusual in a non-conscript army for its veterans to emerge with such views about the wars they volunteered to fight.
The U.S. and its NATO allies issued an unusually optimistic assessment of the Afghan war on Oct. 15, but it immediately drew widespread skepticism. According to the New York Times the next day, "Despite a sharp increase in assassinations and a continuing flood of civilian casualties, NATO officials said that they had reversed the momentum of the Taliban insurgency as enemy attacks were falling for the first time in years.... [This verdict] runs counter to dimmer appraisals from some Afghan officials and other international agencies, including the United Nations. With the United States preparing to withdraw 10,000 troops by the end of this year and 23,000 more by next October, it raises questions about whether NATO’s claims of success can be sustained."
Less than two weeks earlier German Gen. Harald Kujat, who planned his country's military support mission in Afghanistan, declared that "the mission fulfilled the political aim of showing solidarity with the United States. But if you measure progress against the goal of stabilizing a country and a region, then the mission has failed."
According to Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, the U.S. presence in Afghanistan is a critically important "long term commitment" and "we’re going to be there longer than 2014." He made the disclosure to the Senate Armed Services Committee Sept. 22, a week before he retired. In a statement Oct. 3, the Pentagon's new NATO commander in Afghanistan, Marine Gen. John Allen, declared: "The plan is to win. The plan is to be successful. And so, while some folks might hear that we're departing in 2014... we're actually going to be here for a long time."
Lt. Gen. John Mulholland, departing head of U.S. Army Special Operations Command, told the AP Oct. 8: "We’re moving toward an increased special operations role...,whether it’s counterterrorism-centric, or counterterrorism blended with counterinsurgency." White House National Security Advisor Tom Donilon said in mid-September that by 2014 "the U.S. remaining force will be basically an enduring presence force focused on counterterrorism." Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta strongly supports President Obama's call for an "enduring presence" in Afghanistan beyond 2014.
Former U.S. Afghan commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was fired last year for his unflattering remarks about Obama Administration officials, said in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations Oct. 6 that after a decade of fighting in Afghanistan the U.S. was only "50% of the way" toward attaining its goals. "We didn’t know enough and we still don’t know enough," he said. "Most of us — me included — had a very superficial understanding of the situation and history, and we had a frighteningly simplistic view of recent history, the last 50 years."
Washington evidently had no idea that one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world — a society of 30 million people where the literacy rate is 28% and life expectancy is just 44 years — would fiercely fight to retain national sovereignty. The Bush Administration, which launched the Afghan war a few weeks after 9/11, evidently ignored the fact that the people of Afghanistan ousted every occupying army from that of Alexander the Great and Genghis Kahn to the British Empire and the USSR.
The U.S. spends on average in excess of $2 billion a week in Afghanistan, not to mention the combined spending of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, but the critical needs of the Afghan people in terms of health, education, welfare and social services after a full decade of military involvement by the world's richest countries remain essentially untended.
For example, 220,000 Afghan children under five — one in five — die every year due to pneumonia, poor nutrition, diarrhea and other preventable diseases, according to the State of the World’s Children report released by the UN Children’s Fund. UNICEF also reports the maternal mortality rate with about 1,600 deaths per every 100,000 live births. Save the Children says this amounts to over 18,000 women a year. It is also reported by the UN that 70% of school-age girls do not attend school for various reasons — conservative parents, lack of security, or fear for their lives. All told, about 92% of the Afghan population does not have access to proper sanitation.
Even after a decade of U.S. combat, the overwhelming majority of the Afghan people still have no clear idea why Washington launched the war. According to the UK's Daily Mail Sept. 9, a new survey by the International Council on Security and Development showed that 92% of 1,000 Afghan men polled had never even heard of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon — the U.S. pretext for the invasion — and did not know why foreign troops were in the country. (Only men were queried in the poll because many more of them are literate, 43.1% compared to 12.6% of women.)
In another survey, conducted by Germany's Konrad Adenauer Foundation and released Oct. 18, 56% of Afghans view U.S./NATO troops as an occupying force, not allies as Washington prefers. The survey results show that "there appears to be an increasing amount of anxiety and fear rather than hope."
Perhaps the most positive news about Afghanistan — and it is a thunderously mixed "blessing" — is that the agricultural economy boomed last year. But, reports the Oct. 11 Business Insider, it's because "rising opium prices have upped the ante in Afghanistan, and farmers have responded by posting a 61% increase in opium production." Afghani farmers produce 90% of the world's opium, the main ingredient in heroin. Half-hearted U.S.-NATO eradication efforts failed because insufficient attention was devoted to providing economic and agricultural substitutes for the cultivation of opium.
Another outcome of foreign intervention and U.S. training is the boundless brutality and corruption of the Afghan police toward civilians and especially Taliban "suspects." Writing in Antiwar.com John Glaser reported:
In mid-September Human Rights Watch documented that U.S.-supported anti-Taliban militias are responsible for many human rights abuses that are overlooked by their American overseers. At around the same time the American Open Society Foundations revealed that the Obama Administration has tripled the number of nighttime military raids on civilian homes, which terrorize many families. The report noted that "An estimated 12 to 20 raids now occur per night, resulting in thousands of detentions per year, many of whom are non-combatants." The U.S. military admits that half the arrests are "mistakes."
Meanwhile, it was reported in October that in the first nine months this year U.S.-NATO drones conducted nearly 23,000 surveillance missions in the Afghanistan sky. With nearly 85 flights a day, the Obama Administration has almost doubled the daily amount in the last two years. Hundreds of civilians, including nearly 170 children, have been killed in the Afghan-Pakistan border areas from drone attacks. Miniature killer/surveillance drones — small enough to be carried in backpacks— are soon expected to be distributed to U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
So far the Afghanistan war has taken the lives of some 1,730 American troops and about a thousand from NATO. There are no reliable figures on the number Afghan civilians killed since the beginning of the war. The UN's Assistance Mission to Afghanistan did not start to count such casualties until 2007. According to the Voice of America Oct. 7, "Each year, the civilian death toll has risen, from more than 1,500 dead in 2007 to more than 2,700 in 2010. And in the first half of this year, the UN office reported there were 2,400 civilians killed in war-related incidents."
At minimum the war has cost American taxpayers about a half-trillion dollars since 2001. The U.S. will continue to spend billions in the country for many years to come and the final cost — including interest on war debts that will be carried for scores more years — will mount to multi-trillions that future generations will have to pay. At present there are 94,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan plus about 37,000 NATO troops. Another 45,000 well paid "contractors" perform military duties, and many are outright mercenaries.
Washington is presently organizing, arming, training and financing hundreds of thousands of Afghan troops and police forces, and is expected to continue paying some $5 billion a year for this purpose at least until 2025.
The U.S. government has articulated various different objectives for its engagement in Afghanistan over the years. Crushing al-Qaeda and defeating the Taliban have been most often mentioned, but as an Oct. 7 article from the Council on Foreign Relations points out: "The main U.S. goals in Afghanistan remain uncertain. They have meandered from marginalizing the Taliban to state-building, to counterinsurgency, to counterterrorism, to — most recently — reconciliation and negotiation with the Taliban. But the peace talks remain nascent and riddled with setbacks. Karzai suspended the talks after the assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani, the government's chief negotiator, which the Afghan officials blamed on the Pakistan-based Haqqani network. The group denies it."
There is another incentive for the U.S. to continue fighting in Afghanistan — to eventually convey the impression of victory, an absolute domestic political necessity.
The most compelling reason for the Afghan war is geopolitical, as noted above — finally obtaining a secure military foothold for the U.S. and its NATO accessory in the Central Asian backyards of China and Russia . In addition, a presence in Afghanistan places the U.S. in close military proximity to two volatile nuclear powers backed by the U.S. but not completely under its control by any means (Pakistan, India). Also, this fortuitous geography is flanking the extraordinary oil and natural gas wealth of the Caspian Basin and energy-endowed former Soviet Muslim republics such as Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
In Iraq, the Obama Administration's justification for retaining troops after the end of this year was ostensibly to train the Iraqi military and police forces, but there were other reasons:
Under other conditions, the U.S. may simply have insisted on retaining its troops regardless of Iraqi misgivings, but the Status of Forces compact governing this matter can only be changed legally by mutual agreement between Washington and Baghdad. The concord was arranged in December 2008 between Prime Minister Maliki and President George W. Bush — not Obama, who now takes credit for ending the Iraq war despite attempting to extend the mission of a large number of U.S. troops.
At first Washington wanted to retain more than 30,000 troops plus a huge diplomatic and contractor presence in Iraq after "complete" withdrawal. Maliki — pushed by many of the country's political factions, including some influenced by Iran's opposition to long-term U.S. occupation — held out for a much smaller number.
Early in October Baghdad decided that 3,000 to 5,000 U.S. troops in a training-only capacity was the most that could be accommodated. In addition, the Iraqis in effect declared a degree of independence from Washington by insisting that remaining American soldiers must be kept on military bases and not be granted legal immunity when in the larger society. Washington, which has troops stationed in countries throughout the world, routinely insists upon legal exemption for its foreign legions as a matter of imperial hubris, and would not compromise.
The White House has indicated that an arrangement may yet be worked out to permit some American trainers and experts to remain, perhaps as civilians or contractors. Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, a staunch opponent of the U.S. occupation, has suggested Iraq should employ trainers for its armed forces from other countries, but this is impractical for a country using American arms and planes.
Regardless, the White House is increasing the number of State Department employees in Iraq from 8,000 to an almost unbelievable 16,000, mostly stationed at the elephantine new embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone quasi-military enclave, in new American consulates in other cities, and in top "advisory" positions in many of the of the regime's ministries, particularly the oil ministry. Half the State Department personnel, 8,000 people, will handle "security" duties, joined by some 5,000 new private "security contractors."
Thus, at minimum the U.S. will possess 13,000 of its own armed "security" forces, and there's still a possibility Baghdad and Washington will work out an arrangement for adding a limited number of "non-combat" military trainers, openly or by other means.
In his Oct. 21 remarks, Obama sought to transform the total withdrawal he sought to avoid into a simulacrum of triumph for the troops and himself: "The last American soldier will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops.... That is how America's military efforts in Iraq will end."
Heads held high, proud of success — for an unjust, illegal war based on lies that is said to have cost over a million Iraqi lives and created four million refugees! It has been estimated that the final U.S.. costs of the Iraq war will be over $5 trillion when the debt and interest are finally paid off decades from now.
If President Obama is reelected— even should the Iraq war actually end — he will be coordinating U.S. involvement in wars and occupations in Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and now Uganda (where American 100 combat troops have just been inserted). Add to this various expanding drone campaigns, and such adventures as Washington's support for Israel against the Palestinians and for the Egyptian military regime against popular aspirations for full democracy, followed by the backing of dictatorial regimes in a half-dozen countries, and continual threats against Iran.
Washington's $1.4 trillion annual military and national security expenditures are a major factor behind America's monumental national debt and the cutbacks in social services for the people, but aside from White House rhetoric about reducing redundant Pentagon expenditures, overall war/security budgets are expected to increase over the next several years.
The Bush and Obama Administrations have manipulated realty to convince American public opinion that the Iraq and Afghan wars are ending in U.S. successes. Washington fears the resurrection of the "Vietnam Syndrome" that resulted after the April 1975 U.S. defeat in Indochina. The "syndrome" led to a 15-year disinclination by the American people to support aggressive, large-scale U.S. wars against small, poor countries in the developing third world until the January 1991 Gulf War, part one of the two-part Iraq war that continued in March 2003.
According to an article in the Oct. 9 New York Times titled "The Other War Haunting Obama," author, journalist and Harvard emeritus professor Marvin Kalb wrote: " Ten years after the start of the war in Afghanistan, an odd specter haunts the Obama White House — the specter of Vietnam, a war lost decades before. Like Banquo’s ghost, it hovers over the White House still, an unwelcome memory of where America went wrong, a warning of what may yet go wrong."
This fear of losing another war to a much smaller adversary — and perhaps suffering the one-term fate of President Lyndon Johnson who presided over the Vietnam debacle — evidently was a factor behind President Obama's decision to vastly expand the size of the U.S. military commitment to Afghanistan and why the White House is now planning a long-term troop presence beyond the original pullout date.
Today's combat directly touches the lives of only a small minority Americans — militarily members and families — and much of the majority remains uninformed or misinformed about many of the causes and effects of the Iraq/Afghan adventures. Obama may thus eventually be able to convey the illusion of military success, which will help pave the way for future imperial violence unless the people of the United States wise up and act en masse to prevent future aggressive wars.
Mass Depopulation, Genocide, WW3? Part 1 The link to the New World Order
This heading may appear alarming to some people but is there a hidden master plan? Is it possible that some aspects of this has already started and if so how and who is involved. We hear so many times of the so called “New World Order and the “Illuminati” but does it actually exist? What ever you want to call this elite organisation one can say with some certainty that it does certainly exist. I also find it incredible that this relatively small group can change the course of history and we the millions may have no power to stop it.
So where does this start and who is involved? In my opinion mass depopulation is already well underway with the use of weapons containing uranium components. It all started back in the Balkans and has progressively worked its way via Kuwait – Iraq – Afghanistan – Lebanon – Gaza – Pakistan and soon Yemen and Somalia.
But let’s turn back the clock and see when the aggressive use of “Dirty Weapons” really started. As I said previously the war in Balkans was the initial testing grounds for these weapons but something significant had to happen to allow the New World Order to move forward. Obviously 9/11 kick started a series of events that has now become part of the “New World Orders Master Plan. In my opinion 9/11 was a total conspiracy and a very carefully planned Mossad operation, with of course the full support of certain figures within the US and elsewhere. I will cover this conspiracy in more details later on in the series.
Doesn’t it appear strange that some of the most powerful people in the world are members of the Freemasons and yet I feel that there are others much further up the ladder that pull the strings of these puppets. The ones at the top of the pyramid are the supper rich elite who control the finances of the world and thus have control of the world. You may be surprised to learn who some of these key players are and what this means to the majority of us who live on this planet. I will cover this aspect in another part.
So this “False Flag Conspiracy” called 9/11 gave these evil satanic minded people the justification to go to war whilst at the same time allowed them to spread fear into the hearts and minds of their respective populations. Perhaps, you the public are not totally convinced that 9/11 was a conspiracy, hopefully before the end of this series you will be!
Whilst talking about 9/11 as to who did what or how such a huge structure managed to collapse like a pack of card, let’s just ask the question why have so many emergency teams became acutely sick and may succumb to cancer? Besides the controlled explosions that took place what could cause this ever increasing list of casualties and why is the US Government moving so fast to keep this out of court? Could it be that depleted uranium also became part of this scenario?
A fund has been raised by the Federal Reserve for between 10,000 – 70,000 workers who will be offered a share in the $657 million payout. The deal however does come with an ultimatum that no one takes out a lawsuit. One should also ask the question, how many more people in the New York area have become victims of 9/11?
So to move on, you may ask the question who would want to depopulate in mass and how is it possible to do this without we the people knowing it is taking place? How could this be achieved over a period of time? Has this process already started and when did it start?
To find the answers we have to go back to the original nuclear tests that were carried out at Los Alamos. It must be clearly understand that back in 1943 nuclear experts were discussing the advantages of using fine dust as a weapon. One such document was issued on the 30th of October 1943 which quoted “ It is recommended that a decision be obtained from competent authority authorizing additional work pertaining to the use of radioactive materials in order that this country may be ready to use such materials or be ready to defend itself against the use of such materials”. This same document contained information as follows:
2 As a gas warfare instrument the material would be ground into particles of microscopic size to form dust and smoke and distributed by a ground-fired projectile, land vehicles, or aerial bombs. In this form it would be inhaled by personnel. The amount necessary to cause death to a person inhaling the material is extremely small. It has been estimated that one millionth of a gram accumulating in a person’s body would be fatal. There are no known methods of treatment for such a casualty.
Two factors appear to increase the effectiveness of radioactive dust or smoke as a weapon. These are: (1) It cannot be detected by the senses; (2) It can be distributed in a dust or smoke form so finely powdered that it will permeate a standard gas mask filter in quantities large enough to be extremely damaging. This document gave the background to today’s weapons that are not only highly effective in there ability to penetration deep into the target but also the pyrophoric qualities of this product allows it to ignite spontaneously and create a huge cloud of fine DU dust that becomes a lethal airborne aerosol.
The documents relating to the above are held by the Palestine Telegraph and the header of the original memorandum is shown here to prove its authenticity:
Although in more modern times we give reference to its usage in the Balkans the experimental side of using Depleted Uranium (DU) Weapons actually stemmed back to the war between Israel and Egypt (Yom Kippur War) in October 1973. The US gave Israel new weapons that contained DU and also sent over their own specialist to train the IDF in the usage of such weapons. Unknown to the IDF at the time this was the start of what would become a progressive contamination of the many areas of conflict and the world.
Coming back to the late 1900’s we can now see the dramatic changes that have taken place in the Balkans with extremely high level of cancer and other symptoms that directly relate to the weapons used containing uranium components. Small villages and towns are running out of burial space as the toll continues to climb.
Iraq is another classic case of a country that has had it genetics possibly altered forever and in some locations the women are now being asked not to have children. But the problem does not remain there. It is on going with dramatic increases in many forms of cancers, diabetes, mental disorders, infertility etc. One could see a dramatic decline in the population of Iraq within a reasonable time frame.
Afghanistan is another major problem area where contamination is manifesting itself on a much larger scale owing to the excessive usage of uranium based weapons. They are currently encountering the same birth defects we have seen in Iraq and it will only be a matter of time before they also are asked not to have children in certain areas. The main problem is that the half life of Depleted Uranium for example is 4.5 billion years and so it is passed down the line from sibling to sibling.
Now we can turn to Gaza, the latest victim of US and IDF dirty weaponry. The IDF used a vast array of weapons with heavy usage of weapons that contained both DU/EU components. This was both before, during and after “Cast Lead.” Birth defects are increasing in Gaza to almost double that of the previous year. Gaza’s Health Minister, Dr Bassem Naim, said the study of the biological samples proved that the Israelis used internationally prohibited weapons against the Palestinians. He warned that the large percentage of toxic uranium in the territory would pose a real threat to future generations.
So what do these evil planners have in mind for the residents of planet Earth? How could this be carried out and who would be the chosen few? It is obvious that the first victims in the current stand off would be Israel and Iran who would form part of the initial stages of their plan. The US encourages conflict between the two and really would prefer Israel to carry out the first strike. Israel would then basically become the sacrificial lamb by launching an attack on Iran (with the assistance of the US). This action would then cause Iran to carry out a reprisal attack, not only on Israel but also possibly on other US Military/Civilian targets in the Middle East, such as Bahrain.
Within a very short period of time the US would then counter attack on a massive scale and very carefully bring NATO onboard (an attack on one is an attack on all) setting the Middle East on fire. One would expect the use of Nuclear Weapons or certainly weapons that have uranium components on a scale not seen before in the Middle East. This would be a contained Nuclear War confined to the Middle East only. However, the radiation fall out from such an event would be catastrophic to the populations of the entire Middle East, including Israel itself and the world beyond. One would assume that China would eventually intervene and back Iran and even possibly Russia which could turn this regional war into a full scale WW3.
Whatever the final outcome it is clear that the genetics of the entire Middle East would fall victim to depleted uranium and we could expect to see a dramatic rise in many forms of cancer, diabetes, infertility, birth deformities and deaths.
There would remain one big problem for the US and the West and that is the question of China and Russia and what new alliances would be formed. China is becoming a formidable super power with a sound economic infrastructure. In actual fact the investment rate by China is extremely impressive with major shares in the US and Western Economies. The potential rise of China into becoming the next super power must send shock waves throughout the US.
As we have already seen during the Chemical and Biological Warfare trials in Rhodesia and then down in South Africa it is possible for these evil satanic people (The New World Order) to design a weapon or introduce some form of Chemical or Biological means of eliminating an entire race. In South Africa they designed the “Black on Bomb” which was intended to stop blacks from having children. With all the current and past technology one could see the US/West promoting something that would target the DNA of only those of Chinese descent. Alternatively they may introduce a virus that would have devastating consequences on such a densely populated country as China.
There is still a distinct lack of trust between the US – Russian and China and one can understand why when the US continues to establish its missile defence systems to what it says is to protect itself from any Iranian attack when it is clearly a defence system against Russia. It is evident that the cold war has never finished. Add to this the struggle by both parties to secure and dominate vital energy markets and one can see that no change is on the horizon.
Whatever the plan you can be rest assured (for those that remain) it will be a world of total subservience to our respective governments. One can clearly see a trend that would allow each country to become a police state with almost every government, local government and there respective partnerships having the ability to monitor and control you. Parking inspectors, rangers and more of those cardboard policemen, Police Community Support Officers (PCSO’s) for instance, would be given greater power with added extensive CCTV coverage to keep you in check.
The New World Order would only allow selected people to receive advanced education leaving the rest to remain uneducated and therefore unable to fight the system. Many would remain unemployable and everyone would be totally dependent on the state for health care and survival. The New World Order would encourage the splitting up of the family unit, thus breaking down a sound social system. It would encourage the use of drugs and alcohol and in allowing this to happen would make us all a population of zombies who would not dare challenge the system and who would do everything that is asked of them.
What makes this whole situation frightening is the fact that the US lost at least three nuclear weapons and the UK lost another three. One would ask the question how is this possible. The answer is very easy….when you obtain such weapons under the table you are not in a position to totally secure them or advertise the fact that you have lost them……they basically do not exist.
I guess you would now ask the question…..”I have heard this story before…how can it possibly be true”? The answer is simple: For every deal there has to be witnesses and middlemen, there has to be those who put in a tender for the movement of such weapons, how to move them, people who become signatory to the deal and someone has to be ultimately responsible for making sure they are safe to transfer, inspected pre departure and inspected prior to releasing the final payment upon delivery etc.
As one can imagine no government is going to openly declare that due to their neglect nuclear weapons went missing. One could also clearly see that to this day the US, UK and Israeli Government are still frantically trying to locate them. Israel alone would be in the forefront of this search knowing that many countries are now against them. I guess one would also assume that if the people in the US knew the truth behind 9/11 they also could become an enemy to Israel. In the same way if they knew that the attack on the USS Liberty was an intentional act of aggression by Israel on a US Military vessel it would certainly cause a rift in US – Israel relations.
The problem here is that so many turmoil’s and false flags are planned by so many different agencies and authorities simultaneously. You have the New World Order who are basically capitalist at the highest level with what some people say are connected to a much higher group called the Illuminati (Jesuits). The elite are then connected down the line with Freemasons, Christian Zionist and Jewish Zionist. Many of these groups have the same initial goal but with a totally different view point on the final outcome. Another issue that has come to light is the fact that many of the Jewish communities living in such places as the US, UK and Australia, who appear to be good citizens of their host country (by swearing allegiance), are in actual fact very much attached to Israel in a powerful nationalistic way i.e. they would rather go and serve their time in the IDF than join the military of the country where they live.
What appears to be the major cause of many conflicts is the insecurity that Israel feels with those that live around them. If at any stage Israel feels threatened by any country in the region they and their lobby groups immediately embark on a campaign to take some sort of action or wage war. The sheer size of their military alone is beyond normal comprehension. One could certainly see why Israel would want to create a false flag in order to justify an action. They currently have operatives in Somalia and Yemen and one would hate to imagine what they have up their sleeve. Lets not forget the Israeli airstrikes that were carried out in Sudan last year in direct breach of sovereignty……but I guess they are a rule unto themselves anyway.
One can also see amongst this complicated array of manipulators an extremely powerful Pro Israeli Lobby Groups who offer vast sums of money to potential political candidates or parties in return for the indirect manipulation of a countries policy that favours Israel. The top of the list must surely be The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in the US. These powerful groups almost have the ability to write bills for Congress. They also have the power to squash anything that the Israelis could consider as being against their best interests or that could do damage to their country. On example of this being the Goldstone Report which is now in the balance as a direct result of AIPAC interference and their influence in Congress. The power they wield via the members that they have funded or continue to fund makes them an extremely powerful and dangerous group. They are also supported by the US Friends of Israel, EU Friends of Israel, Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats Friends of Israel in the UK. How can one say with sincerity that any political party is truly representative of its people?
One final point before closing Part 1 is the fact that we have a United Nations that basically has no strength whatsoever, despite the number of nations that created it…..it is a tool by which it’s Security Council decides the fate of any nation. For some time now this Security Council appears to have another member who does not qualify to sit at the table of the elite and yet is consulted on all matters…. That country is Germany.
We started to see this involvement when Obama, Brown and Sarkosy last met in the US and handed out some pretty strong words to Iran…..I refer to this group as the G3.5. Today we see Brown and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s agreeing on sanctions against Iran……can one believe the audacity and arrogance of these people forming alliances and making decisions outside of the United Nations. It becomes clear that the New World Order is showing its fangs and when the time comes it will tell the UN what they had already pre decided……interesting hey?
April 3, 2012 – NORTH KOREA - The Pentagon recently activated its global missile shield in anticipation of North Korea’s launch of a long-range missile, according to defense officials. The measures include stepped-up electronic monitoring, deployment of missile interceptor ships, and activation of radar networks to areas near the Korean peninsula and western Pacific. Three interceptor ships near Japan and the Philippines, as well as U.S.-based interceptors, are ready to shoot down the North Korean missile if space-, land-, and sea-based sensors determine its flight path is targeted at the United States or U.S. allies, said officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. The Obama administration will regard any launch by North Korea as a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions regardless of whether the North Koreans claim the rocket test is for space launch purposes, the officials said. The technology and rocketry used for a space launch is nearly identical to that used with ballistic missiles that carry a warhead, they said. Also, because the payload or warhead of the test launch cannot be determined prior to launch, the Obama administration decided to activate the missile defense system. According to U.S. officials, current intelligence assessments indicate the North Korean missile will be launched from a base called Tongchang-ri, located on a west coast peninsula north of Pyongyang between April 12 and April 15. The missile’s first stage could impact in the Yellow Sea near South Korea and the second stage could land east of the Philippines in the Pacific. Satellite images published Monday show preparations for the launch are continuing. Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. April Cunningham would not say if missile defenses were activated for the upcoming test. However, Cunningham said, “North Korea’s announcement that it plans to conduct a long-range missile launch at any time would be in direct violation of its international obligations.” -WFB
April 3, 2012 – TOKYO - After a winter of record snow and avalanches — not to mention last year’s record strong quake, mega-tsunami, and series of powerful typhoons — Japan is once again being battered by the elements. This time, it’s wind. A low-pressure system that landed on Japan’s main island of Honshu Tuesday has brought typhoon-force winds and rain, even snow. In anticipation of the worst of the storm, the Japan Meteorological Agency called an unusual emergency press conference Monday and issued a strong wind warning for Tokyo and neighboring Kanagawa and Chiba prefectures. As of mid-day Tuesday, 203 flights were already grounded nationwide and the final game in the nationwide high school spring baseball tournament in Osaka had also been postponed. An 82-year-old woman supposedly died in Ishikawa prefecture after the wind toppled her on the street, according to local media reports. The JMA expected the worst to hit just in time for the evening rush home and winds that could reach almost 63 miles per hour across the country. The agency has already recorded wind speeds of 73.6 mph in the city of Uzen, near Nagasaki, as of this morning. While this storm is described as packing a “typhoon-like” punch, it’s not a typhoon. Typhoons are fueled by warm water from the tropics, known as “tropical cyclones.” The high wind hitting Japan this week is caused by differences in air temperatures, not water. The JMA was warning of waves as high as 32 feet along the northern Pacific coast, snow, and avalanches. The extreme conditions will continue as the weather system passes over Japan over the next four days. This is the second windstorm to hit Tokyo in less than a week. Winds in Japan’s capital were as strong as 64 mph over the weekend as a low pressure system hit Japan’s main island of Honshu causing delays on major train lines. –WSJ
April 3, 2012 – CANARY ISLANDS - IRIN volcano 24 hour monitoring network of the National Geographic Institute (IGN) recorded two earthquakes of 1.7 and 2.7 magnitudes on the Richter scale this Sunday on the island of El Hierro. The largest of the earthquakes, recorded at 22.03 hours, occurred southwest of the town of El Pinar. This event was located at sea 15 kilometers deep. The second quake also occurred southwest of El Pinar at 20.36 hours, to 13 km depth and epicenter in the sea. Since last March 24, the island of El Hierro has been nine earthquakes, including this Sunday, between 1.5 and 2.7 °. Of these, were substantial enough to be felt by the population. Sunday’s tremors were located west of Frontier and southwest of El Pinar, and were 10 and 29 kilometers deep. –La Opinion.es (translated)
April 3, 2012 – PITTSBURG, Okla. – A magnitude 4.0 earthquake shook southeast Oklahoma at 2:33 a.m. Tuesday. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake was centered in the town of Pittsburg, about 16 miles south-southwest of McAlester and 109 miles east-southeast of Oklahoma City. McAlester police says so far no damage or injuries have been reported. 2NEWS viewers in Tulsa reported feeling the temblor. The USGS says residents in Muskogee, Norman, Broken Arrow, Atoka and Shawnee also reported feeling tremors. On Nov. 5, 2011, a record 5.6 magnitude tremor shook the Sooner state, the strongest quake on record in Oklahoma. The USGS reported that tremors from the quake, centered in Lincoln County, were felt in most of Oklahoma as well as eastern and central Kansas, most of Missouri and Arkansas, north Texas and southeast Nebraska. Aftershocks were felt for weeks. -KJRH
April 2, 2012 – FRANCE - A “thud” and even “three booms” were heard in the sky near Bigouden Wednesday night, March 23rd. The phenomenon remains unexplained and apparently was repeated on the night of the 24th from north to south of Finistere. There were reports also in Côtes d’Armor and Morbihan. But where do these sounds come from? “It sounded like a thud of a child stamping his feet on the wall of the neighbor,” one witness said. Testimonials are legions Bigouden. But not only. Combrit Chateauneuf-du-Faou through Briec, Quimper, Plogastel-Saint-Germain, Pont l’Abbé, Tréméoc, Cockles, Plobannalec-Lesconil or Clohars-Fouesnant, many people on Wednesday to 21h, were intrigued by the phenomenon. Some alluded that “their houses were shaken three times.’ We’re talking about “three strong rumblings” that “have rattled houses” and even awakened some. Some people, meanwhile, heard what they described as “muffled explosions” while others are convinced that this was from “an earthquake.” But neither a reported earthquake, nor aerial maneuver by aircraft can explain the mystery. Contacted, the central office Seismological French (BCSF) states that nothing abnormal registered in this area. And for its size, Chateauneuf-du-Faou Clohars-Fouesnant, the blasts and aftershocks felt “like the equivalent of a magnitude 3 earthquake in force.” In 2005, Bigoudens remember, an earthquake on the fault of south Armorican which had a magnitude 3 on the Richter scale caused the same feelings. What then of these explosions heard and felt? An air-borne cause? Regional Centre of Western navigation, it is shown have no record this kind of phenomenon. Moreover, some also said they heard a helicopter. Proceeded by “three booms” recalling it sounded like “thunder.” One thinks of an aircraft. When questioned, the communications department of the Brest Maritime Prefecture said that there was no Navy operation in the region and even less involving helicopters. An official from the Joint Staff of the area of defense and security northwest (OGZDS), said there were no operations or “supersonic flights.” Bizarre; especially considering in March of 2003, three earthquakes also hit the Bigouden and that phenomenon also remains unexplained. –Le Télégramme (translated)
April 2, 2012 – NEW ZEALAND – Canterbury police are lauding a drop in most types of offending in the past year, but sexual violence is on the rise. The number of sexual assault and related offences reported to Canterbury police increased by 16.4 per cent last year, from 318 offences in 2010 to 370 in 2011. Sexual-violence offending also rose nationally, with 3466 offences reported across the country, an increase of 14.9 per cent on the previous year. Canterbury district commander Superintendent Gary Knowles said the increase was “disturbing” and did not match other types of offending, which had all decreased in 2011. Much of the increase could be because more people were reporting this type of crime. “The more people come forward the better,’ he said. Knowles had put staff on the job of analyzing the figures, particularly the “why, where and how” of sexual violence. More police were also being put on frontline duties, which he hoped would help reduce offending. Te Puna Oranga manager Tania Mataki, who works with victims of sexual abuse and their families, said sexual violence appeared to have increased after the Canterbury earthquakes. “We’ve seen a lot of changes in people’s behaviors – a lot more drinking, a lot more drug abuse, access to [pornography on] the internet. Wherever alcohol is involved there are behaviors that will escalate,’ she said. Usually sexual offending was committed by someone known to the victim and many people since the quakes had been forced to share accommodation or resources. Some of the cases were historical, but some related to offences committed after the February 22, 2011, earthquake, when many families left their damaged homes and moved in with others, or had others move in with them, Mataki said. –Stuff.nz
April 2, 2012 – NEW ZEALAND – A spectacular, bright meteor that left a long trail in the sky has stunned witnesses in Wellington and Christchurch tonight. The WeatherWatch website has been inundated with reports of the fireball, which witnesses say rushed across the sky at about 6.30 pm. A Nelson resident described it as an “unbelievable”’ green, orange and white ball flying past at “super speed,” leaving behind a massive trail that lasted for nearly 10 minutes before dissipating. A Hanmer Springs resident said they heard “a loud boom”’ about two minutes after it streaked past. “Not sure if hit the ground or sonic boom, perhaps the latter, very exciting! Much more exciting than putting the washing out.” A Wellingtonian said the meteor was “full on magnesium bright and flaming”, while another said it was “almost fluorescent and very intense.” A Cantabrian said the whole family were excited by the meteor, which came low to the horizon with two bright flashes and trails of smoke. “Like an arc welder torch, it seemed very close and low to us, was waiting for the bang it seemed so close and bright, but obviously moving at tremendous speed. I have never seen anything like this!” Police central communications shift inspector Ken Climo said some of his staff had seen the event and described it as “quite spectacular.” The Rescue Coordination Centre described it as a contrail, he said. –NZ Herald
contribution by Carla B.
April 2, 2012 – MEXICO – A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.3 (6.0 downgraedd USGS) struck southern Mexico on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake’s epicenter was about 17 miles (27 kilometers) from Ometepec, Guerrero. It was about 7.6 miles (12 kilometers) deep, the USGS said. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. Officials described the quake as an aftershock of the 7.4-magnitude temblor which struck in the same area on March 20, damaging hundreds of homes. There have been 280 aftershocks since that quake, Mexico’s National Seismological Survey reported. Residents felt Monday’s quake in Mexico City, hundreds of miles from the epicenter. There were no initial reports of major damage in the capital, Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter. The USGS describes Mexico as one of the most seismically active areas of the world. The country sees an average of seven earthquakes daily with a magnitude greater than 3.0, according to Mexico’s National Seismological Service. -CNN
Posted in Civilizations unraveling, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, High-risk potential hazard zone, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Volcano Watch | 1 Comment
April 2, 2012 – EUROPE – Unemployment in the euro zone reached its highest level in almost 15 years in February, with more than 17 million people out of work, and economists said they expected job office queues to grow even longer later this year. Joblessness in the 17-nation currency zone rose to 10.8 percent – in line with a Reuters poll of economists – and 0.1 points worse than in January, Eurostat said on Monday. Economists are divided over the wisdom of European governments’ drive to bring down fiscal deficits so aggressively as economic troubles hit tax revenues, consumers’ spending power and business confidence which collapsed late last year. February’s unemployment level – last hit in June 1997 – marked the 10th straight monthly rise and contrasts sharply with the United States where the economy has been adding jobs since late last year. “We expect it to go higher, to reach 11 percent by the end of the year,” said Raphael Brun-Aguerre, an economist at JP Morgan in London. “You have public sector job cuts, income going down, weak consumption. The economic growth outlook is negative and is going to worsen unemployment.” Separate data released on Monday showed manufacturing activity in the euro zone shrank for an eighth successive month in March, providing further evidence for Brussels’ forecast that euro zone output will shrink 0.3 percent this year. The European Commission, which along with Berlin is a driving force behind the EU’s debt reduction strategy, said joblessness showed countries must enact difficult reforms. Public resistance is rising in Italy to Prime Minister Mario Monti’s labor market reforms, while Spain’s premier, Mariano Rajoy, faced his first general strike last week. “This is why, more than ever, it is important to carry out structural reforms in countries where the growth potential remains low and where we don’t see the creation of new and better jobs,” Amadeu Altafaj, the spokesman for the EU’s top economic official Olli Rehn, told reporters. Despite the economic vista, the European Central Bank is expected to hold interest rates at 1 percent at its monthly meeting on Wednesday, as rising oil prices keep inflation above its 2 percent target. “With inflation remaining stubbornly high throughout the euro zone, there is very little hope of a consumer recovery,” said Jennifer McKeown, an economist at Capital Markets. –Reuters
April 2, 2012 – COLOMBIA – Central Colombia authorities closed the national “Los Nevados” park Sunday after an increase in seismic activity of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano. Meteorological authorities raised the alert level to orange in 17 municipalities in Tolima and Caldas departments while visitors are prohibited to enter the park in an area in four departments. The measures came at the beginning of the holy week in which usually some 20,000 tourists visit the nature reserve. An orange alert does not mean that an eruption is imminent. –Colombia Reports
April 2, 2012 – FIJI – People in flood-ravaged Fiji have begun returning home after spending several days in evacuation centers. At least four people have died in some of the worst flooding the country has seen in decades. Officials in Fiji say locals are likely to be spared a further heavy downpour, with Cyclone Daphne, which formed on Monday afternoon, expected to pass the island. Tafazul Gani, a correspondent for a Fijian magazine, says many of the island’s residents are struggling to cope. “A lot of people are thinking ‘what do we do next? How do we cope?’ And having two floods in a matter of a couple of days, a lot of people they don’t have basically anything,” he said. Mr Gani is in one of the worst affected areas of Nadi. He says flood damage there is extensive. “Basically, if you look at the town, the town is totally decimated. It actually looks like a warzone,” he said. “There is not a single shop in the town which has not been affected. Some shops actually have nothing left, everything that was in the shop, the counter, the merchandise, everything got washed away.” But floodwaters have now begun to drop and the clean-up has started. Tourist flights into Nadi have resumed but power is still cut off in many areas. Fiji government spokeswoman Sharon Johns says the extent of damage is still being assessed. “It’s quite extensive. In Nadi town, shops in Nadi town, the floodwaters went right through that,’ she said. Over the past few days about 8,000 people sought refuge in evacuation centers. “They’re being well looked after that, rations are getting to them. We’re …organizing water sterilizers for the children especially. So evacuation centres we would expect that to decrease slowly over the coming days.” Tourist flights into Fiji were stopped last night but most airlines have resumed all services. Australia has offered $1 million in aid to Fiji for water sanitation, blankets and other supplies. -7 News
April 2, 2012 – UTAH - New pioneers have quietly begun moving into the area, secretive outsiders who keep to themselves. They too are focused on deciphering cryptic messages that only they have the power to understand. Just off Beef Hollow Road, less than 2km from brethren headquarters, thousands of hard-hatted builders are laying the groundwork for the newcomers’ own temple and archive, a complex so large that it necessitated expanding the town’s boundaries. Once built, it will be more than five times the size of the U.S. Capitol building. Rather than Bibles and worshippers, this temple will be filled with servers, computer intelligence experts and armed guards. These newcomers will be capturing, storing and analyzing vast quantities of words and images hurtling through the world’s telecommunications networks. In the town of Bluffdale, Big Love and Big Brother have become uneasy neighbors. The blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze and store vast amounts of the world’s communications from satellites and underground and undersea cables of international, foreign and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion (£1.25 billion) centre should be operational in September 2013. Stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including private emails, mobile phone calls and Google searches, as well as personal data trails — travel itineraries, purchases and other digital “pocket litter.” It is the realization of the “total information awareness’ program created by the Bush administration — which was killed by Congress in 2003 after an outcry over its potential for invading privacy. But “this is more than just a data centre,” says one senior intelligence official who until recently was involved with the program. The mammoth Bluffdale centre will have another important and far more secret role. It is also critical, he says, for breaking codes, which is crucial because much of the data that the centre will handle — financial information, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications — will be heavily encrypted. According to another top official also involved, the NSA made a breakthrough several years ago in cryptanalysis, or breaking complex encryption systems used not only by governments around the world but also average computer users. The upshot, says this official, is that “everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.” –Wired
April 2, 2012 – MICHIGAN – Ferndale Police are investigating what might have caused three loud booms and light flashes that shook homes and concerned many local residents Saturday night. The booms were heard around 9:30-10 p.m. and may have originated near the area of Hilton and Marshall. More than 40 people posted on Ferndale Patch’s Facebook page about the incidents — describing flashes of light seen in the sky, their homes vibrating with the noise, and helicopters heard overheard following the sounds. A Ferndale Police dispatcher said last night at 12:30 a.m. that they investigated the noise but could not find its cause. He said fireworks were a possibility. Ferndale Police Lt. Casey O’Loughlin said Sunday morning that he was not aware of any reports made but said loud booms can be caused by fireworks. “That’s usually what loud booms turn out to be are fireworks,” he said. In Ferndale, any type of fireworks that explode or leave the ground are illegal, he said. O’Loughlin said he was not aware of any helicopters being sent out. Here’s what some Patch readers had to say about the noise:
After a tough February, the NATO presence in Afghanistan proved even more difficult in this past month. On March 11, United States Army Sergeant Robert Bales went on a violent house-to-house rampage in a village near his base, killing 17 civilians, including 9 children. Bales is in U.S. custody now and could face the death penalty. Coming on the heels of last month's Koran burning incident, the shootings have further intensified Afghan anger toward the United States. According to recent polls, domestic support for the war has been sharply dropping, but the Obama administration appears to be sticking to its timetable, aiming for a complete troop withdrawal in 2014. Gathered here are images of the people and places involved in this conflict over the past month, as part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan.
A local Afghan elder watches soldiers from the Afghan Uniformed Police conduct a traffic checkpoint with U.S. Army soldiers from 1st Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, Task Force Blackhawk, in a desolate valley near Combat Outpost Yosef Khel, on March 9, 2012. (US Army/Spc. Ken Scar)
A U.S. Air Force E-3 Sentry receives fuel from a KC-10 Extender with the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron over Afghanistan, on March 3, 2012. In 2011, the 908th EARS offloaded more than 390 million pounds of fuel to more than 28,000 airplanes, flew more than 36,700 hours in almost 4,600 missions. (USAF/Staff Sgt. Greg Biondo) #
A villager works alone on agricultural plots that have been newly planted with vegetable seeds near a U.S. military base in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan, on March 22, 2012. (Reuters/Erik De Castro) #
Afghan National Army commandos wait for a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter to drop a hoist-hook during medical evacuation training with Coalition Special Operations Forces in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, on March 3, 2012. (Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force/Petty Officer 2nd Class Clayton Weis) #
Afghan National Army officers and generals exchange ideas in front of a diorama complete with toy soldiers at Camp Shaheen in Dehdady district near Mazar-i Sharif on March 26, 2012. (Qais Usyan/AFP/Getty Images) #
An Afghan refugee girl reacts after another child stole her food voucher while she was lining up in front a truck organized by the World Food Program in Kabul, on March 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
Viewed through night-vision goggles, an Afghan National Army soldier from 2nd Commando Kandak runs down a hill during a clearing operation in Chamkain district, Wardak province, Afghanistan, on March 6, 2012. (US Army/Spc. Savoy Anderson) #
A U.S. army soldier of Chosen Troop 1st Squadron 13th Cavalry Regiment rests on a chair next to a doorknob made out of remains of a rocket at Combat Outpost Bad Pach in Laghman province, on March 24, 2012. (Reuters/Erik De Castro) #
U.S. Army soldiers from 1st Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 172nd Infantry Brigade, patrol through the small village of Yahya Khel, on March 10, 2012. (US Army/Spc. Ken Scar) #
French soldiers with the NATO-led ISAF stand during a departure ceremony at the French base in Surobi district in Kabul province, on March 18, 2012. Around 200 French soldiers left Afghanistan by the end of March. Some 600 soldiers are actually based in this camp, located east of capital Kabul. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images) #
French soldiers stand during a departure ceremony at the French base in Kabul province, on March 18, 2012. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images) #
On March 17, 2012, people of Mohamad-Khan Valley gather while ISAF forces were delivering humanitarian aid. (ISAF Media) #
Nunzia, the wife of Italian soldier Michele Silvestri, reacts as she arrives at Ciampino's military airport in the outskirts of Rome, Italy, for the arrival of her husband's body, on March 26, 2012. Silvestri was killed in a mortar attack at the Ice Forward Operative Base in the district of Gulistan, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito) #
U.S. Army soldiers from 1st Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 172nd Infantry Brigade, Task Force Blackhawk, cordon off the town square of a small village near Combat Outpost Yosef Khel, on March 10, 2012. Members of Company A were assisting the Afghan Uniformed Police and Afghan National Army, conducting traffic checkpoints, when one of their vehicles got stuck in the mud and had to be pulled out. (US Army/Spc. Ken Scar) #
A U.S. UH-60 Black Hawk from Task Force Wings lifts off after inserting eight soldiers of the 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Arctic Wolves into an area of southern Daman district, Kandahar province. The soldiers served as mentors during an air assault that was planned and executed by the Afghan 1st Brigade, 205th Atal Corps and Kandahar Air Wing, on March 1, 2012. (1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team) #
Members of the Afghan Women's Olympic basketball team (in red) compete with ISAF and US embassy representatives during a game to mark International Women's Day at ISAF headquarters in Kabul, on March 7, 2012. In Kabul and major cities in Afghanistan, enormous progress has been made in women's rights since the 2001 US-led invasion brought down the Taliban regime that banned girls from going to school and women from working. But in remote areas where the traditional patriarchal system is very much the norm, life for most women has barely improved at all. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images) #
A former Taliban fighter, after joining Afghan government forces during a ceremony in Herat province, on March 26, 2012. Twelve fighters had left the Taliban to join government forces in western Afghanistan. (Aref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images) #
A German Soldiers (right) is reflected in a mirror as he calibrates the weapons of a Boxer tank in the OP North base, near Baghlan, on March 28, 2012. Around 500 German Soldiers are stationed in the outpost in the Balkh province. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images) #
In an August 23, 2011 photo, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, left, participates in an exercise at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California. The 38-year-old is accused of carrying out a mass-shooting rampage, killing 16 Afghans, including nine children in March 2012. The man at the right is unidentified. (AP Photo/DVIDS, Spc. Ryan Hallock) #
Anar Gul, right, is interviewed as she sits next to the partially-burned body of her grandson, allegedly killed by a U.S. service member in Panjwai, Kandahar province south of Kabul, Afghanistan, on March 11, 2012. A U.S. service member walked out of a base in southern Afghanistan before dawn Sunday and started shooting Afghan civilians, according to villagers and Afghan and NATO officials. Villagers showed an Associated Press photographer 15 bodies, including women and children, and alleged they were killed by the American. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan) #
In this March 11, 2012 image made from video, bullet casings litter the floor as an investigator works inside a home that was the scene of an apparent shooting rampage by a U.S. soldier in Panjwai, Kandahar province. The United States has paid $50,000 in compensation for each Afghan killed and $11,000 for each person wounded in the shooting spree allegedly committed by a U.S. soldier in southern Afghanistan. The sums, much larger than typical payments made by the U.S. to families of civilians killed in military operations in Afghanistan, come as the U.S. tries to mend relations following the killing rampage that has threatened to undermine the international effort here. (AP Photo) #
Afghan villagers pray over the grave of one of the 16 victims killed in a shooting rampage in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province, on March 24, 2012. Mohammad Wazir has trouble even drinking water now, because it reminds him of the last time he saw his 7-year-old daughter. He had asked his wife for a drink but his daughter insisted on fetching it. Now his daughter Masooma is dead, killed along with 10 other members of his family in a shooting rampage attributed to a U.S. soldier. The soldier faces the death penalty but Wazir and his neighbors say they feel irreparably broken. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan) #
A girl carries a pile of dried shrubs she gathered to use for cooking and heating in Bagram, north Afghanistan, on March 27, 2012. Her family is among among the Afghan Nomads herding sheep and living in tents on a field in Bagram. (Reuters/Erik De Castro) #
An Afghan police helicopter flies over Hazrat Ali (Kart-i-Sakhi) shrine where Afghans celebrate the Afghan New Year (Nawroz) in Kabul, on March 20, 2012. Afghanistan uses the Persian calendar which runs from the vernal equinox. The calendar takes as its start date the time when the Prophet Mohammad moved from Mecca to Medina in 621 AD. The current Persian year is 1391. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani) #
Afghanistan's security forces block a road leading to the Sakhi Shrine in Kabul on March 20, 2012, during celebrations marking the start of Noruz, the Afghan new year. (Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty Images) #
An Afghan National Army soldier looks on as he joins other comrades for a training session at the Kabul Military Training Center, KMTC, on the outskirts of Kabul, on March 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
The transfer case containing the remains of Army Spc. Daquane D. Rivers of Marianna, Florida, sits at the end of the loader ramp during a foggy night, upon arrival at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, on March 17, 2012. The Department of Defense announced the death of Rivers who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) #
Thirty-five U.S. Marines from the Marine Corps 4th Civil Affairs Group, 2nd Marine Division, returned to Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, District of Columbia, on March 9, from a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan. (USMC/Staff Sgt. Brittany E. Jones) #
A member of the Afghan Local Police carries his weapon as he walks with German Soldiers towards a bridge to meet a visiting military commander near Baghlan, on March 27, 2012. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images) #
Afghan girls work at the first Internet cafe for women in Kabul, on March 8, 2012. Afghanistan recently opened its first female-only internet cafe, hoping to give women a chance to connect to the world without verbal and sexual harassment and free from the unwanted gazes of their countrymen. (Reuters/Mohammad Ismail) #
An M777 howitzer is transported to Combat Outpost Chamkani from Forward Operating Base Salerno, slung underneath a CH-46 civilian helicopter, on March 28, 2012. (US Army/Spc. Eric-James Estrada) #
Afghan security forces escort Taliban militants clad in Afghan women dresses to be presented to the media at the Afghan intelligence department in Mehterlam, Laghman province, on March 28, 2012. Afghan Intelligence forces arrested seven Taliban militants today in the Qarghayi district of Laghman province, Afghan intelligence officials said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) #
Afghan policemen cover body parts with a blanket after one civilian was killed and 11 people wounded when a man blew himself up at a police checkpoint in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, on March 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) #
A member of the Afghan National Army cooks rice in the kitchen of the DFAC (dining facility) at Camp Shaheen near Mazar-i Sharif, on March 24, 2012. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images) #
A local boy smiles at U.S. Army soldiers from 2nd Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, Task Force Blackhawk, as they moved through is village near Combat Outpost Yosef Khel, on March 8, 2012. (US Army/Spc. Ken Scar) #
A member of coalition Special Operations Forces gathers firewood as snow falls in Sayagaz village, Arghandab district, on March 11, 2012. (US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob L. Dillon) #
Afghan policemen look at the wreckage of a Turkish helicopter that crashed on the outskirts of Kabul, on March 16, 2012. The Turkish military helicopter crashed into a house Friday, killing several Turkish soldiers on board and young girls on the ground, Turkish and Afghan officials said. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq) #
A relative mourns as Turkish honor guards stand next to the flag-draped coffins of soldiers, who were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, during a ceremony at a military base in Ankara March 20, 2012. (Reuters/Umit Bektas) #
An Afghan child sits next to his father's shop, in the old city of Kabul, Afghanistan, on March 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
Locals gather for a veterinary seminar sponsored by the Zabul Department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock in Shah Joy district, Zabul province, in March of 2012. The DAIL is mentored by the Zabul Agribusiness Development Team comprised of soldiers of the Minnesota and Mississippi National Guards. (US Army National Guard/1st Lt. Davin Fischer) #
Graffiti on a wall in Kabul, on March 5, 2012. Encased in a head-to-toe burqa, the image depicts a distraught woman slumped on a cement stairwell, the work of Afghanistan's first street artists who use graffiti to chronicle violence and oppression. The somber depictions of Afghan women on Kabul's rutted streets offer rare public insight into their lives, still marred by violence and injustice despite progress in women's rights since the Taliban was toppled over a decade ago. (Reuters/Mohammad Ismail) #
The number of coalition soldiers killed in Afghanistan last month stands at 39, bringing the number for the entire war to 3,071 -- roughly one death every 30 hours since the initial invasion in October 2001. The soldiers who died in June 2012, all men, ranged in age from 21 to 47, with 29 hailing from the United States, four from the UK, four from France, and one from Italy. Civilian casualties also remain high, as locals are often caught in NATO bombings and are increasingly targeted by Taliban attacks. Overall levels of violence are slowly declining. But the lengthy process of demobilization and withdrawal remains in its initial phase, and civilians, soldiers and insurgents continue to die in Afghanistan in alarming numbers. Gathered here are images of those involved in this conflict over the past month, as part of the ongoing series here on Afghanistan.
A displaced Afghan boy from Helmand province peeks from a window at a camp for the displaced in Kabul, Afghanistan, on June 20, 2012. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates the number of internally displaced Afghans at nearly 500,000. (AP Photo/Ahmad Jamshid)
A displaced Afghan boy from Helmand province peeks from a window at a camp for the displaced in Kabul, Afghanistan, on June 20, 2012. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates the number of internally displaced Afghans at nearly 500,000. (AP Photo/Ahmad Jamshid)
A soldier from the U.S. Army's Alpha Company, 1-12 Infantry, 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, mans a weapon during a lightning storm at Combat Outpost Pirtle-King in Afghanistan's Kunar Province, on June 8, 2012. (Reuters/Tim Wimborne) #
The crystal blue waters of lakes created by a natural dam, in Band-e-Amir National Park, stand in stark contrast to the red cliff walls and desert surroundings, on June 27, 2012. Band-e-Amir is one of only two national parks in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Ken Scar) #
A bullet-riddled map of Afghanistan, painted on a wall of an abandoned Canadian-built school in Zharay district of Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, on June 9, 2012. (Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov) #
A U.S. Army Apache helicopter flies over Blocking Position one above Kamdesh in Afghanistan's Nuristan Province, on June 11, 2012. (Reuters/Tim Wimborne) #
A woman pulls weeds by an old Russian tank in a potato field in the Bamiyan valley, on June 16, 2012. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Ken Scar) #
NATO Black Hawk helicopters fly above the Spozhmai Hotel on Qargha Lake on the outskirts of Kabul, on June 22, 2012. Taliban militants armed with guns and rockets attacked the lakeside hotel overnight, seizing dozens of hostages including women and children. (Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty Images) #
Afghans hang over a barrier, hiding from militants outside the Spozhmai Hotel on Qargha Lake where security officials say Taliban insurgents killed nearly two dozen people, most of them civilians, in an attack just north of Kabul, on June, 22, 2012. Up to 300 people were inside the hotel when the attack began. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq) #
An Afghan special forces soldier reacts to wounds received during a firefight with Taliban militants at the Spozhmai Hotel on Qargha Lake, on June 22, 2012. (Qais Usyan/AFP/Getty Images) #
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An Afghan policeman, right, takes photos of a dead militant's body with his cell phone at the Spozhmai Hotel on Qargha Lake, where security officials say Taliban insurgents killed nearly two dozen people, most of them civilians, in an attack on Friday, June, 22, 2012. It was the latest in a string of attacks this week that suggest the insurgent group is pushing hard with its summer offensive rather than waiting for international forces to draw down. The Taliban complained wealthy Afghans and foreigners used the hotel for "prostitution" and "wild parties" ahead of the Friday religious day holiday. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq) #
Afghans pray for victims of the militant attack at the Spozhmai hotel on Qargha Lake, where Taliban insurgents killed nearly two dozen people, most of them civilians, during a memorial ceremony north of Kabul, on June, 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq) #
An Afghan girl jumps on her skateboard in Kabul, on June 21, 2012. Hundreds of Afghan boys and girls celebrated World Skateboarding Day in Kabul. (AP Photo/Ahmad Jamshid) #
Two 500 pound bombs explode at dusk on a Taliban fighting position near Blocking Position one above Kamdesh in Afghanistan's Nuristan Province, on June 11, 2012. (Reuters/Tim Wimborne) #
A bird's nest attached to a chain hanging from a kitchen ceiling in the Afghan security forces compound in the Zharay district of Kandahar province, on June 9, 2012. (Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov) #
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kyle Niro, a scout sniper with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment (3rd Marines) Scout Sniper Platoon, places the dog tag of a fallen Marine on a battlefield cross after a memorial run at Marine Corps Base Hawaii on June 1, 2012. Marines erected the cross to honor the 116 men from the 3rd Marines who died during combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Reuters/Reece Lodder, U.S. Marine Corps) #
An Afghan girl sits with her mother at The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) registration center on the outskirts of Peshawar on June 19, 2012, as they prepare to return to their home country after fleeing civil war and Taliban rule. About 20 percent of the population in Afghanistan are refugees. Of those abroad, there are 1.7 million Afghans in Pakistan and a million in Iran. (A. Majeed/AFP/Getty Images) #
A crew chief with the 451st Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron checks the engine of an F-16 with the 157th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. (USAF/Tech. Sgt. Stephen Hudson) #
A U.S. Army paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team shows Afghan boys how to kick a soccer ball with the heel of the foot, on June 27, 2012, in Ghazni province. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Mike MacLeod) #
Members of "District Unknown", a heavy metal rock band, carry their musical instruments outside a classroom in Kabul, on June 11, 2012. Kabul's rock music school, which opened in May inside the small "Venue" restaurant in the Afghan capital, also reflects the return, although sometimes tentative, of social and individual freedoms since the end of the Taliban rule in 2001. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani) #
An Osama bin Laden sticker with words that read, "An important figure," on a guitar belonging to an Afghan rock musician playing in a concert at the French Culture House in Kabul, on June 24, 2012. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani) #
Afghan rock musicians perform during a concert at the French Culture House in Kabul, on June 24, 2012. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani) #
An Afghan child prepares to undergo an x-ray as a technician looks on at The French Medical Institute for Children in Kabul. According to a 2012 report by Save the Children, improved healthcare and the rise of females attending school have made Afghanistan climb up from its position as the worst place on earth to be a mother. Despite the better healthcare, some 275 children die every day in the country of 30 million. (Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty Images) #
Widow Nicola Castle (right) and daughter Emma Pratt hold hands at the burial service of Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 John C. Pratt, of Springfield, Virginia, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, on June 21, 2012. Pratt died in a helicopter crash while serving in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) #
An Albino Afghan man poses for a portrait while waiting to procure a National Identity Card at an Afghan National Police station near the city of Mara Wara in Kunar Province, on June 25, 2012. (Reuters/Lucas Jackson) #
A paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team fires an M240B medium machine gun at insurgent forces June 15, 2012, in southern Ghazni province, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Mike MacLeod) #
U.S. Army soldiers board a Chinook helicopter at night from Forward Operating Base Bostick in Kunar Province, on June 6, 2012. (Reuters/Tim Wimborne) #
U.S. Army Sgt. Rachael Schrecengost, a member of the 67th Forward Surgical Team, performs chest compressions on an IED victim at Forward Operating Base Farah, Farah province, on June 20, 2012. (USAF/Staff Sgt. Jonathan Lovelady) #
A blood-covered M4 rifle belonging to a U.S. Army soldier wounded by an IED lies on a ground in southern Afghanistan, on June 12, 2012. (Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov) #
Staff Sgt. Vincent Benton, supply sergeant assigned to Charlie Company, 237th Brigade Support Battalion, 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, watches his daughter, Fallon, as she graduates from Northwestern High School, Albion, Pennsylvania, June 6, 2012. Benton attended the graduation via Skype and was able to share a few encouraging words with his daughter before and during the ceremony. (U.S. Army National Guard/Maj. Anthony Chenault) #
France's new president Francois Hollande pays his respects during a solemn funeral ceremony for four French soldiers killed in Afghanistan at Invalides, in Paris, on June 14, 2012. Hollande decorated each of the coffins with a starred medal on a red ribbon, honoring the four posthumously as Knights of the Legion of Honor, France's highest award. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) #
U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Dylan Ferguson, a brigade aviation element officer with the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team, launches a Puma unmanned aerial vehicle June 25, 2012, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. Ferguson uses the Puma for reconnaissance for troops on the ground. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Mike MacLeod) #
Rehana, 11 months, sleeps beneath a mosquito net on the outskirts of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, on June 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) #
A soldier from the U.S. Army's Alpha Company, 1-12 Infantry, 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, guards a landing zone at night at Combat Outpost Pirtle-King in Kunar Province, on June 9, 2012. (Reuters/Tim Wimborne) #
A boy lies beside a stream in Kabul, on June 12, 2012. (Reuters/Mohammad Ismail) #
An Afghan Mi-17 helicopter on a flood relief mission crashed shortly after takeoff, on June 29, 2012 in the Ish Kumish province of Afghanistan. The helicopter was moving villagers out of the zone before crashing and landing on its side. (USAF/Staff Sgt. Quinton Russ) #
Elder Razul Jan helps his son, Shera Guden, tighten a rope to hold up his pants while speaking with Lieutenant Kenneth Rowe from 4th Platoon, Dagger Company of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment during a patrol in the town of Manugay in the Pech River Valley of Afghanistan's Kunar Province June 26, 2012. Shera's eye is swollen due to a wasp sting. (Reuters/Lucas Jackson) #
A Marine carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Cpl. Taylor J. Baune at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, on Saturday, June 16, 2012. According to the Department of Defense, Baune of Andover, Minnesota, died while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) #
A sandstorm blows past a blimp inside FOB Joyce in Kunar Province, on June 24, 2012. (Reuters/Lucas Jackson) #
U.S. soldiers assigned to 4th Platoon, Dog Company, 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment (Airborne), Task Force 4-25, conduct a patrol outside Combat Outpost Zormat, Paktya province, on June 14, 2012. The 4th Platoon was patrolling to disrupt enemy activity. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Kimberly Trumbull) #
Afghan children pose for a photograph beneath graffiti, with writing that reads, "freedom" in Kabul, on June 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Ahmad Nazar) #
A US Marine removes a bandolier of ammunition from his neck during a group shooting lesson for Afghanistan Uniformed Police (AUP) at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand province on June 2, 2012. (Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images)