NBC Spins Afghanistan Story about Rioting and Anger into a “Hearts and Minds” Saga to “Support the Troops”

by Scott Creighton

U.S. military contractors, reportedly assigned to the U.S. Embassy, sparked a major riot the other day when they crashed into some civilians killing 4 of them. The incident sparked riots in which the anger toward our immoral and illegal occupation bubbled to the surface. SUVs were burned, rocks were thrown, and cowardly contractors shot more unarmed civilians, as they are apt to do.

But that’s not really the story. Not as far as NBC is concerned at least. To me, the story is NBC’s coverage of this event.

In a 2:55 segment aired on July 30th, only 20 SECONDS of the time was dedicated to the story about the riots and the angry Afghani citizens… all the rest of the time was a feel-good, hearts-and-minds propaganda piece about how difficult things are for our soldiers.

Crash reportedly involving U.S. Embassy vehicle sparks protests

Arianna Huffington Praises Obama The Union Busting “Liberal”

by Scott Creighton

So while “The Greatest Man of Our Generation” is looking to break-up the teacher’s union, Arianna Huffington is showing “progressives” how they need to cheer him in his “bipartisan” effort.

She’s right; these days, union-busting and the privatization of every public sector dollar is a bipartisan effort. It’s called the Washington Consensus.

This week, President Obama pushed back against his natural allies in civil rights groups and teachers’ unions who have criticized his education policies — particularly his Race to the Top initiative — as anti-teacher and unfair to minorities. A. Huffington

President Obama’s “Race To The Top” initiative is a pretty cynical and destructive plan to force school systems that are already struggling for every single dollar in funding they can get, to “compete” for part of a 3.5 billion dollar fund for the systems that make the most efforts in privatization. The idea is to get school boards to use the Bush-era “No Child Left Behind” tricks to single out the most “under producing” schools in their system and then close them down in order to open a charter school in that area. “Charter School” meaning a for-profit privately owned school owned and operated by one a few corporations.

When a school is chronically under-performing despite additional supports and other strategies, you have to consider bolder action, whether it’s changing the leadership, hiring a new staff or turning schools over to charter operators.” WSWS

Hiring a new staff doesn’t get you “Race To The Top” money, nor does changing leadership. What DOES get you a piece of that money is handing over large chunks of your public school system to private corporations.

The teacher’s union and the NAACP are coming out strong against this entire neoliberal push, just as they were against “No Child Left Behind” under the previous administration. But unfortunately we have President Peace Prize in the White House and the support they got back then from the left is now being seriously undermined by the well-paid leaders of the “so-called left” like Arianna Huffington.

Teacher effectiveness is the single most important factor driving student performance. Yet, because of overly rigid union contacts, we cannot pay the best teachers more based on their performance — and it’s become next to impossible to fire even the worst teachers. A. Huffington

In this little passage Arianna Huffington disgustingly suggests that the biggest problem facing education today is teacher’s unions… not critical levels of underfunding combined with over emphasis of standardized testing circa George W. Bush. She goes on..

Until we stop this insanity, our national report card will continue to be littered with Fs. The president should be applauded and given major leadership props for taking on this schlerotic status quo. This is what real, beyond-left-and-right bipartisanship looks like. A. Huffington

The “insanity” Arianna Huffington is referring to is the presence of unions in our public school systems. This from someone on the “left”? Well, the Clintonista “New Dems” left, if that is what you want to call it.

The following are from Barack Obama is Not “the greatest man of our generation”

In the words of the U.S. ambassador to Chile,Not a nut or a bolt will reach Chile…. We will do all in our power to condemn Chileans to utmost poverty

Nixon on the topic of imposing crippling sanctions of the populist government in Chile: (we will) “make the Chilean economy scream” and blame it on Allende Bidstrup

The reason he (U.S. installed dictator Pinochet) was there was to reverse the gains of the Allende social democracy and return control of the country’s economic and political assets to the oligarchy. Bidstrup

Obama feigned sympathy for the workers he was throwing onto the street, declaring, “I know you’ve already seen more than your fair share of hard times. I will not pretend the hard times are over. Difficult days lie ahead. More jobs will be lost. More plants will close. More dealerships will shut their doors, and so will many parts suppliers.

He then cynically claimed that the workers losing their jobs were serving a greater, patriotic cause. “I want you to know that what you’re doing is making a sacrifice for the next generation—a sacrifice you may not have chosen to make, but a sacrifice you were nevertheless called to makeWhite

As the American oligarchy recovers from their hangovers after the Clintons threw a 5 million dollar wedding for their daughter and her Goldman Sachs investment banker husband, the rest of the country is being called upon to make sacrifices they never asked for, and in fact, they clearly voted against in 2006 AND 2008…

The only real change that is coming is the continued demonization of the real left by those phony liberal intelligentsia who are bought and paid for by the very class that has sold this nation to the highest bidder. The Clintons and the rest of the privileged elites had their “let them eat cake” moment this past Sunday as Bill Clinton somehow managed to come up with 3 million dollars for his ugly daughter’s wedding (care to guess how much of that money came from the Haiti Relief Fund?) and Arianna just had hers.

You think that is how she paid for her ticket to the social event of the century? By throwing the teachers union under the neoliberal bus? Who knows.

Targeted Killing Is New U.S. Focus in Afghanistan

(What is the  new Afghanistan plan for President Peace Prize? Death squads and torture… that’s right… guess he learned that from his childhood days in Indonesia under Suharto’s rule, huh?)

By HELENE COOPER and MARK LANDLER, New York Times

When President Obama announced his new war plan for Afghanistan last year, the centerpiece of the strategy — and a big part of the rationale for sending 30,000 additional troops — was to safeguard the Afghan people, provide them with a competent government and win their allegiance.

Eight months later, that counterinsurgency strategy has shown little success, as demonstrated by the flagging military and civilian operations in Marja and Kandahar and the spread of Taliban influence in other areas of the country.

Instead, what has turned out to work well is an approach American officials have talked much less about: counterterrorism, military-speak for the targeted killings of insurgents from Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Faced with that reality, and the pressure of a self-imposed deadline to begin withdrawing troops by July 2011, the Obama administration is starting to count more heavily on the strategy of hunting down insurgents (Death squads). The shift could change the nature of the war and potentially, in the view of some officials, hasten a political settlement with the Taliban.

Based on the American military experience in Iraq as well as Afghanistan, it is not clear that killing enemy fighters is sufficient by itself to cripple an insurgency. Still, commando raids over the last five months have taken more than 130 significant insurgents out of action, while interrogations of captured fighters (torture) have led to a fuller picture of the enemy, according to administration officials and diplomats.

[read the rest of the article, here]

“Let Them Eat Cake”: A handful of oligarchs are becoming billionaires while the rest of the country goes down the drain

by Paul Craig Roberts, Global Research

It is not unusual for members of the diminishing upper middle class to drop $20,000 or $30,000 on a big wedding.  But for celebrities this large sum wouldn’t cover the wedding dress or the flowers. 

When country music star Keith Urban married actress Nicole Kidman in 2006, their wedding cost $250,000.  This large sum hardly counts as a celebrity wedding. When mega-millionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump married model Melania Knauss, the wedding bill was $1,000,000.

The marriages of Madonna and film director Guy Ritchie, Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren, and Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones pushed up the cost of celebrity marriages to $1.5 million.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes upped the ante to $2,000,000.

Now comes the politicians’s daughter as celebrity.  According to news reports, Chelsea Clinton’s wedding to investment banker Mark Mezvinsky on July 31 is costing papa Bill $3,000,000.  According to the London Daily Mail, the total price tag will be about $5,000,000. The additional $2,000,000 apparently is being laid off on US Taxpayers as Secret Service costs for protecting former president Clinton and foreign heads of state, such as the presidents of France and Italy and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who are among the 500 invited guests along with Barbara Streisand, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Ted Turner, and Clinton friend and donor Denise Rich, wife of the Clinton-pardoned felon.

Before we attend to the poor political judgment of such an extravagant affair during times of economic distress, let us wonder aloud where a poor boy who became governor of Arkansas and president of the United States got such a fortune that he can blow $3,000,000 on a wedding.

The American people did not take up a collection to reward him for his service to them.

Where did the money come from? Who was he really serving during his eight years in office?

How did Tony Blair and his wife, Cherrie, end up with an annual income of ten million pounds (approximately $15 million dollars) as soon as he left office?

Who was Blair really serving?

These are not polite questions, and they are infrequently asked.

While Chelsea’s wedding guests eat a $11,000 wedding cake and admire $250,000 floral displays, Lisa Roberts in Ohio is struggling to raise contributions for her food pantry in order to feed 3,000 local people, whose financial independence was destroyed by investment bankers, job offshoring, and unaffordable wars. The Americans dependent on Lisa Roberts’ food pantry are living out of vans and cars. Those with a house roof still over their heads are packed in as many as 14 per household according to the Chillicothe Gazette in Ohio.

The Chilicothe Gazette reports that Lisa Roberts’ food pantry has “had to cut back to half rations per person in order to have something for everyone who needed it.” 

Theresa DePugh stepped up to the challenge and had the starving Ohioans write messages on their food pantry paper plates to President Obama, who has just obtained another $33 billion to squander on a pointless war in Afghanistan that serves no purpose whatsoever except the enrichment of the military/security complex and its shareholders.

The Guardian (UK) reports that according to US government reports, one million American children go to bed hungry, while the Obama regime squanders hundreds of billions of dollars killing women and children in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The Guardian’s reporting relies on a US government report from the US Department of Agriculture, which concludes that 50 million people in the US–one in six of the population–were unable to afford to buy sufficient food to stay healthy in 2008.

US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that he expected the number of hungry Americans to worsen when the survey for 2010 is released.

Today in the American Superpower, one of every six Americans is living on food stamps.

The Great American Superpower, which is wasting trillions of dollars in pursuit of world hegemony, has 22% of its population unemployed and almost 17% of its population dependent on welfare in order to stay alive.

The world has not witnessed such total failure of government since the final days of the Roman Empire. A handful of American oligarchs are becoming mega-billionaires while the rest of the country goes down the drain.

And the American sheeple remain acquiescent.

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