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China Will Soon Have Power to Shut Lights Off Britain

China Will Soon Have Power to Shut Lights Off Britain

UK Telegraph
January 4, 2010

The year is 2050, and a diplomatic dispute between China and Britain risks escalating into all-out war. But rather than launching a barrage of ballistic missiles and jet fighters to destroy key British targets, Beijing has a far simpler plan for defeating its enemy. It simply turns off the lights.

At the flick of a switch elite teams of Chinese hackers attached to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) launch a hi-tech assault on Britain’s computer systems, with devastating consequences. Within minutes the country’s power stations, water companies, air traffic control, government and financial systems are totally shut down.

Britain’s attempt to respond by launching nuclear-armed Trident missiles at China has to be abandoned, as the computer systems that control the weapons system are no longer functioning.

At a time when relations between China and Britain are supposed to be improving, the prospect of Beijing launching a cyber attack against Britain and its allies might seem to be the stuff of fantasy.

After all, it is only two years since Gordon Brown made a highly successful visit to Beijing where the two countries agreed to increase trade by 50 per cent by this year, and to cooperate on a range of issues, such as global warming. As one of the world’s leading economic powers, China’s role on the world stage has transformed dramatically over the past decade, with the huge wealth that Beijing has accumulated from its impressive economic growth playing a key role in supporting the global economy.

As a consequence Western policymakers have intensified their efforts to persuade China to draw on its economic prosperity and play a constructive role in world affairs, such as persuading North Korea and Iran to give up their controversial nuclear weapons programmes.

But last week Mr Brown came up against an altogether different kind of China, one that appears to have no interest in behaving like a proper ally.

For weeks British ministers and officials tried desperately to persuade their Chinese counterparts to commute the death sentence passed on Akmal Shaikh, a mentally ill 53-year-old minicab driver from North London who was convicted of smuggling four kilos of heroin into China two years ago.

Mr Brown is said to have personally raised Shaikh’s case with the Chinese premier, Wen Jiaboa, when they met at last month’s climate change summit in Copenhagen, and David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, made similar entreaties to the Chinese embassy in London.

But for all the talk of improved bilateral ties between the two countries, the Chinese took absolutely no notice. At 10.30am on Tuesday, Shaikh was put to death by lethal injection in the remote province of Urumqi, and his body disposed of in an unmarked grave. And when Messrs Brown and Miliband sought to remonstrate with the Chinese authorities for pressing ahead with Shaikh’s execution, all they received from Beijing in response was a firm admonition not to interfere in China’s internal affairs.

At a stroke the cold reality of China’s attitude to the outside world was laid bare for all to see. Rather than being a partner that can be trusted to work with the West on issues of mutual concern, the Chinese have demonstrated that their default position is that Beijing’s only real priority it to look after its own interests, whether it is enforcing its zero tolerance policy on drug abuse or refusing to cooperate with global efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

China’s self-centred approach to international affairs should come as no surprise to the British government. American President Barack Obama was similarly rebuffed during his state visit to Beijing last November. Mr Obama arrived in China hoping to get Chinese cooperation on a range of issues, such as North Korea, financial stability and human rights. But despite being given a warm reception in public by Chinese officials, including a private guided tour of the Great Wall, the American president left Beijing without gaining any concessions from China on any major issue.

Much of China’s reluctance to engage constructively with the West on issues of mutual concern dates back to the psychological trauma the country suffered during the Opium Wars of the nineteenth century, when British gunboats routinely humiliated the Chinese government of the day. The deep feelings of resentment most Chinese feel for the humiliation they suffered continues to this day, and was even reflected in the official statement issued by the Chinese Embassy in London following Shaikh’s execution. It said the “strong resentment” felt by the Chinese public to drug traffickers was based “on the bitter memory of history”.

To ensure that there is no repeat of a time when foreign powers could push the Chinese people around with impunity, Beijing is today investing enormous effort into developing technology that would render the West’s superior military firepower useless.

There have already been well-documented instances in recent years where Chinese hackers have successfully launched cyber attacks against key Western targets, including the Pentagon and Whitehall. In 2006 Chinese computer hackers were accused of shutting down the House of Commons computer network by flooding it with bogus emails, and the Foreign Office and other key government departments have accused rogue Chinese computer experts of trying to hack in their systems.

In America Chinese hackers are reported to have attempted up to 100,000 attacks on government computers each year, and have successfully penetrated the computer systems of some of the American military’s elite units, such as US Army’s 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions.

But now Western security experts believe Beijing has authorised PLA commanders to draw up a cyber wars blueprint that would give them the capability to neutralise the West’s military firepower by 2050.

The Pentagon recently reported that two highly accomplished Chinese computer hackers had been recruited by the PLA to draft a detailed plan that would enable China to disable the United States’ entire aircraft carrier battle fleet, simply by launching a pre-emptive cyber attack.

This blueprint is now seen as being part of an aggressive push by Beijing to achieve “electronic dominance” over each of its global rivals by 2050, with the US, Britain, South Korea and Russia the main targets. To ensure they recruit the best hackers available it was recently reported that senior PLA officers were holding computer hacking competitions throughout the country, and recruiting the winners to their burgeoning cyber army.

“The Chinese realise that, if it came to a conventional military conflict with the West, they would struggle to compete with the West’s superior military firepower,” said a Western security source. “But by concentrating their efforts on cyber wars they believe they can develop a cheap and highly effective method of achieving technical supremacy over the West.”

The government is now so concerned about the threat posed by China’s cyber warriors that it has established a Cyber Security Operations Centre at the GCHQ listening centre in Cheltenham. Lord West, Mr Brown’s security adviser, said that Britain was developing the capability to strike back against Chinese hackers by recruiting former British hackers to GCHQ.

“You need youngsters who are deep into this stuff,” Lord West explained last year. “If they have been slightly naughty boys, very often they enjoy stopping other naughty boys.”

And he warned that any future war between world powers was more likely to be fought over the Internet than on the battlefield. “As their ability to use the web and the net grows, there will be more opportunity for these attacks,” he said.

 



U.S. Gives Up Economic Independence to the IMF

U.S. Gives Up Economic Independence to the IMF

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbTCmSdHvrk

 



Google-Earth To Track People In Real-Time

Editor’s Note: This could be the start of the New World Order MATRIX, where every ‘thing’ in the world can be located and tracked on the internet
Augmented Google-Earth Tracks Real-Time People, Cars, Weather

Cryptogon
September 30, 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGe2DGe_FFQ

The surveillance side of this is the chickenfeed. There’s something far more sinister than the simple surveillance… an angle we haven’t heard about yet.

Tice never did tell his story to Congress about this different aspect of the program.

Well, my guess is that it has something to do with providing surveillance data for this SEAS World Sim thing, and that individual Americans are being watched and potentially targeted with it. Tice’s background seems to involve a lot of traditional electronic warfare, radar and ELINT stuff. Maybe Tice’s deal involved the collection of the mobile phone GPS and/or triangulation data which would provide realtime spacial/geographic data to the SEAS system. In other words, SEAS sees you. They could bring up a map of a city and plot your path based on the information that your phone is exchanging with the mobile network.

Synthetic Environments for Analysis and Simulation

Via: Popular Science:

Researchers from Georgia Tech have devised methods to take real-time, real-world information and layer it onto Google Earth, adding dynamic information to the previously sterile Googlescape.

They use live video feeds (sometimes from many angles) to find the position and motion of various objects, which they then combine with behavioral simulations to produce real-time animations for Google Earth or Microsoft Virtual Earth.

They use motion capture data to help their animated humans move realistically, and were able to extrapolate cars’ motion throughout an entire stretch of road from just a few spotty camera angles.

From their video of an augmented virtual Earth, you can see if the pickup soccer game in the park is short a player, how traffic is on the highway, and how fast the wind is blowing the clouds across the sky.

Up next, they say they want to add weather, birds, and motion in rivers.

 

Ubiquitous Computing: Big Brother’s All-Seeing Eye

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I3T_kLCBAw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKZm34jsNHY

DARPA building search engine for video surveillance footage

 



Blackwater Operatives Infiltrated Ron Paul Campaign

CIA allowed Blackwater to use fake journalist to gather intelligence on Middle East countries – Blackwater Operatives Infiltrated Ron Paul Campaign

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOIUWy_iY80

 



Australia To Enforce Mandatory Internet Censorship

Australia To Enforce Mandatory Chinese-Style Internet Censorship
Government to block “controversial” websites with universal national filter

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
October 29, 2008

The Australian government is set to impose Chinese-style Internet censorship by enforcing a universal national filter that will block websites deemed “controversial,” as part of a wider agenda to regulate the Internet according to free speech advocates.

A provision whereby Internet users could opt out of the filter by contacting their ISP has been stripped from the legislation, meaning the filter will be universal and mandatory.

The System Administrators Guild of Australia and Electronic Frontiers Australia have attacked the proposal, saying it will restrict web access, raise prices and slow internet traffic speeds.

The plan was first created as a way to combat child pornography and adult content, but could be extended to include controversial websites on euthanasia or anorexia,” reports the Australian Herald Sun.

Communications minister Stephen Conroy revealed the mandatory censorship to the Senate estimates committee as the Global Network Initiative, bringing together leading companies, human rights organisations, academics and investors, committed the technology firms to “protect the freedom of expression and privacy rights of their users”. (Complete black is white, up is down, double talk).

Human Rights Watch has condemned internet censorship, and argued to the US Senate “there is a real danger of a Virtual Curtain dividing the internet, much as the Iron Curtain did during the Cold War, because some governments fear the potential of the internet, (and) want to control it.”

Speaking from personal experience, not only are “controversial” websites blocked in China, meaning any website that is critical of the state, but every website the user attempts to visit first has to pass through the “great firewall,” causing the browser to hang and delay while it is checked against a government blacklist.

This causes excruciating delays, and the user experience is akin to being on a bad dial-up connection in the mid 1990’s. Even in the center of Shanghai with a fixed ethernet connection, the user experience is barely tolerable.

Not only are websites in China blocked, but e mails too are scanned for “controversial” words and blocked from being sent if they contain phrases related to politics or obscenities.

Googling for information on certain topics is also heavily restricted. While in China I tried to google “Bush Taiwan,” which resulted in Google.com ceasing to be accessible and my Internet connection was immediately terminated thereafter.

The Australian government will no doubt insist that their filter is in our best interests and is only designed to block child pornography, snuff films and other horrors, yet the system is completely pointless because it will not affect file sharing networks, which is the medium through which the vast majority of such material is distributed.

If we allow Australia to become the first “free” nation to impose Internet censorship, the snowball effect will only accelerate – the U.S. and the UK are next.

Indeed, Prime Minister Tony Blair called for Internet censorship last year.

In April 2007, Time magazine reported that researchers funded by the federal government want to shut down the internet and start over, citing the fact that at the moment there are loopholes in the system whereby users cannot be tracked and traced all the time. The projects echo moves we have previously reported on to clamp down on internet neutrality and even to designate a new form of the internet known as Internet 2.

Moves to regulate the web have increased over the last two years.

– In a display of bi-partisanship, there have been calls for all out mandatory ISP snooping on all US citizens by both Democrats and Republicans alike.

– In December 2006, Republican Senator John McCain tabled a proposal to introduce legislation that would fine blogs up to $300,000 for offensive statements, photos and videos posted by visitors on comment boards. It is well known that McCain has a distaste for his blogosphere critics, causing a definite conflict of interest where any proposal to restrict blogs on his part is concerned.

– During an appearance with his wife Barbara on Fox News in November 2006, George Bush senior slammed Internet bloggers for creating an “adversarial and ugly climate.”

– The White House’s own de-classified strategy for “winning the war on terror” targets Internet conspiracy theories as a recruiting ground for terrorists and threatens to “diminish” their influence.

– The Pentagon has also announced its effort to infiltrate the Internet and propagandize for the war on terror.

– In an October 2006 speech, Homeland Security director Michael Chertoff identified the web as a “terror training camp,” through which “disaffected people living in the United States” are developing “radical ideologies and potentially violent skills.” His solution is “intelligence fusion centers,” staffed by Homeland Security personnel which will are already in operation.

– The U.S. Government wants to force bloggers and online grassroots activists to register and regularly report their activities to Congress. Criminal charges including a possible jail term of up to one year could be the punishment for non-compliance.

– A landmark November 2006 legal case on behalf of the Recording Industry Association of America and other global trade organizations sought to criminalize all Internet file sharing of any kind as copyright infringement, effectively shutting down the world wide web – and their argument was supported by the U.S. government.

– A landmark legal ruling in Sydney goes further than ever before in setting the trap door for the destruction of the Internet as we know it and the end of alternative news websites and blogs by creating the precedent that simply linking to other websites is breach of copyright and piracy.

– The European Union, led by former Stalinist John Reid, has also vowed to shut down “terrorists” who use the Internet to spread propaganda.

– The EU data retention bill, passed after much controversy and implemented in 2007, obliges telephone operators and internet service providers to store information on who called who and who emailed who for at least six months. Under this law, investigators in any EU country, and most bizarrely even in the US, can access EU citizens’ data on phone calls, sms’, emails and instant messaging services.

– The EU also proposed legislation that would prevent users from uploading any form of video without a license.

– The US government is also funding research into social networking sites and how to gather and store personal data published on them, according to the New Scientist magazine. “At the same time, US lawmakers are attempting to force the social networking sites themselves to control the amount and kind of information that people, particularly children, can put on the sites.”

Governments are furious that their ceaseless lies are being exposed in real time on the World Wide Web and have resolved to stifle, regulate and control what truly is the last outpost of real free speech in the world. Internet censorship is perhaps the most pertinent issue that freedom advocates should rally to combat over the course of the next few years, lest we allow a cyber-gag to be placed over our mouths and say goodbye to our last medium of free and open communication.

 

DARPA building search engine for video surveillance footage

Ars Technica
October 21, 2008

The government agency that birthed the Internet is developing a sophisticated search engine for video, and when complete will allow intelligence analysts to sift through live footage from spy drones, as well as thousands of hours worth of archived recordings, in order to spot a variety of selected events or behaviors. In the past month, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced nearly $20 million in total contracts for private firms to begin developing the system, which is slated to take until at least 2011 to complete.

According to a prospectus written in March but released only this month, the Video and Image Retrieval and Analysis Tool (VIRAT) will enable intel analysts to “rapidly find video content of interest from archives and provide alerts to the analyst of events of interest during live operations,” taking both conventional video and footage from infrared scanners as input. The VIRAT project is an effort to cope with a growing data glut that has taxed intelligence resources because of the need to have trained human personnel perform time- and labor-intensive review of recorded video.

The DARPA overview emphasizes that VIRAT will not be designed with “face recognition, gait recognition, human identification, or any form of biometrics” in mind. Rather, the system will search for classes of activities or events. A suggested partial list in the prospectus includes digging, loitering, exploding, shooting, smoking, following, shaking hand, exchanging objects, crawling under a car, breaking a window, and evading a checkpoint. As new sample clips are fed into the system, it will need to recognize the signature features of new classes of search terms.

Read Full Article Here

 

EU Set to Move ‘Internet of Things’ Closer to Reality

Daniel Taylor
Old-Thinker News
November 2, 2008

If the world-wide trend continues, ‘Web 3.0′ will be tightly monitored, and will become an unprecedented tool for surveillance. The “Internet of Things”, a digital representation of real world objects and people tagged with RFID chips, and increased censorship are two main themes for the future of the web.

The future of the internet, according to author and “web critic” Andrew Keen, will be monitored by “gatekeepers” to verify the accuracy of information posted on the web. The “Outlook 2009″ report from the November-December issue of The Futurist reports that,

“Internet entrepreneur Andrew Keen believes that the anonymity of today’s internet 2.0 will give way to a more open internet 3.0 in which third party gatekeepers monitor the information posted on Web sites to verify its accuracy.”

Keen stated during his early 2008 interview withThe Futurist that the internet, in its current form, has undermined mainline media and empowered untrustworthy “amateurs”, two trends that he wants reversed. “Rather than the empowerment of the amateur, Web 3.0 will show the resurgence of the professional,” states Keen.

Australia has now joined China in implementing mandatory internet censorship, furthering the trend towards a locked down and monitored web.

The Internet of Things

Now, the European Union has announced that it will pursue the main component of Web 3.0, the Internet of Things (IoT).

According to Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media for the EU, “The Internet of the future will radically change our society.” Ultimately, the EU is aiming to “lead the way” in the transformation to Web 3.0.

Reporting on the European Union’s pursuit of the IoT, iBLS reports,

“New technology applications will need ubiquitous Internet coverage. The Internet of Things means that wireless interaction between machines, vehicles, appliances, sensors and many other devices will take place using the Internet. It already makes electronic travel cards possible, and will allow mobile devices to exchange information to pay for things or get information from billboards (or streetlights).”

The Internet of Things consists of objects that are ‘tagged’ with Radio Frequency Identification Chips (RFID) that communicate their position, history, and other information to an RFID reader or wireless network. Most, if not all major computer companies and technology developers (HP, Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, etc.) are putting large amounts of time and money into the Internet of Things.

Cisco and Sun Microsystems have founded an alliance to promote the Internet of Things and further its implementation.

South Korea is at the forefront in implementing ubiquitous technology and the Internet of Things. An entire city, New Songdo, is being built in South Korea that fully utilizes the technology. Ubiquitous computing proponents in the United States admit that while a large portion of the technology is being developed in the U.S., it is being tested in South Korea where there are less traditional, ethical and social blockades to prevent its acceptance and use. As the New York Times reports

“Much of this technology was developed in U.S. research labs, but there are fewer social and regulatory obstacles to implementing them in Korea,” said Mr. Townsend [a research director at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California], who consulted on Seoul’s own U-city plan, known as Digital Media City. ‘There is an historical expectation of less privacy. Korea is willing to put off the hard questions to take the early lead and set standards.’

An April 2008 report from the National Intelligence Council discussed the Internet of Things and its possible implications.

A timeline shown in the April 2008 NIC report

The report outlines uses for the technology:

“Sensor networks need not be connected to the Internet and indeed often reside in remote sites, vehicles, and buildings having no Internet connection. Smart dust is a term that some have used to express a vision of tiny, wireless-connected sensors; more recently, others use the term to describe any of several technologies that range from the size of a pack of gum to a pack of cigarettes, and that are widely available to system developers.

Ubiquitous positioning describes technologies for locating objects that may reside anywhere, including indoors and underground locations where satellite signals may be unavailable or otherwise inadequate.

Biometrics enables technology to recognize people and other living things, rather than inanimate objects. Connected everyday objects could recognize authorized users by means of fingerprint, voiceprint, iris scan, or other biometric technology.”

These trends towards internet censorship and the internet of things are undoubtedly going to continue, but restricting your free speech and violating your privacy will be harder with your outspoken resistance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I3T_kLCBAw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKZm34jsNHY

DARPA spies on analyst brains; hopes to offload image analysis to computers
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20..-image-analysis-to-computers.html

Security services want personal data from sites like Facebook

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/oct/15/terrorism-security

UK.gov says: Regulate the internet

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/20/government_internet_regulation/

 



FDA Approves Melamine In U.S. Food, Claims It’s Not Harmful

FDA Approves Melamine In U.S. Food, Claims It’s Not Harmful

AP
October 4, 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuZRtlj7Mhs

Eating a tiny bit of a melamine, the chemical responsible for a global food safety scare, is not harmful except when it’s in baby formula, U.S. food safety officials said Friday.

Melamine-tainted formula has sickened more than 54,000 children in China and is being blamed for the deaths of at least four tots. The chemical has also turned up in products sold across Asia, ranging from candies, to chocolates, to coffee drinks, that used dairy ingredients from China. Authorities in California and Connecticut have found melamine in White Rabbit candies imported from China.

Read Full Article Here

 

FDA Conspired with Chemical Industry to Declare Bisphenol-A Harmless

Mike Adams
Natural News
October 24, 2008

The FDA has been caught red-handed conspiring with the chemical industry to conclude that Bisphenol-A, the plastics chemical, is harmless to human health. As revealed by the Environmental Working Group (see below), the FDA based its evaluation of BPA on a report authored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), a trade group that represents chemical companies and plastics manufacturers.

The FDA’s evaluation concluded that BPA was perfectly safe for consumers of any age, including infants. This conclusion stands in direct opposition to the Canadian government, which declared BPA to be a toxic chemical on Oct. 18 and moved towards banning the chemical in baby bottles.

Even the U.S. National Institutes of Health says BPA may be dangerous, admitting it is concerned about BPA’s “effects on development of the prostate gland and brain and for behavioral effects in fetuses, infants and children.”

How the FDA conspires with industry

The FDA, however, has never met a corporate-sponsored chemical it didn’t like. Thanks to industry pressure, the FDA has once again stepped to the tune of private industry while betraying the safety of the American consumer. This decision on BPA is the latest example of why the FDA has become an enormous threat to the health and safety of the American people.

Two days ago, NaturalNews reported the FDA’s masterminding of an extortion racket that targets small health supplement companies and threatens their owners with imprisonment if they don’t pay huge sums of money to FDA contractors (http://www.naturalnews.com/024567.html).

It is now clear to most independent observers that the FDA is operating a criminal protect racket that seeks to multiply the profits of drug companies and chemical companies while betraying the health and safety of the American people. FDA decision boards are routinely stacked with “experts” who are on the take from the corporations impacted by their decisions, and even while the FDA is giving the big thumbs up to deadly pharmaceuticals and cancer-causing chemicals, it is targeting health supplement companies with threats so severe they would be considered criminal if uttered by anyone else.

Thanks to the FDA, it remains illegal in the United States to even link to a scientific study on the health benefits of cherries if you happen to sell cherries. Telling the truth about anti-cancer herbs can land you in prison, and placing a customer testimonial on your health product website can earn you a visit from FDA agents accompanied by armed SWAT-style assault teams (http://www.naturalnews.com/021791.html).

The FDA, it seems, has turned reality upside down and is now telling us that all the poisons are safe while all the natural substances are dangerous. Consider this:

According to the FDA:

• Aspartame is perfectly safe, but stevia is too dangerous to use in foods

• Vioxx is perfectly safe, but cherries are too dangerous to treat arthritis pain

• Chemotherapy is safe enough for everyone, but anti-cancer herbs might poison you

• Vaccines are so safe that we should inject all our teenage girls with them, but Vitamin D has no biological benefit whatsoever and has no effect on preventing infections

• Bisphenol-A is safe enough for babies to drink, but human breast milk is dangerous and outlawed from being sold

The FDA: Harming babies for profit

The number of babies that have been harmed or killed by the FDA is beyond accounting. This agency, through its outright abandonment of its duty to protect the People, has established itself as the single most dangerous organization operating on U.S. soil, far exceeding the harm posed by criminal gangs, white-collar criminals or even terrorist cells.

Read Full Article Here

FDA Running Extortion Racket: Natural Supplement Companies Threatened with Arrest if They Don’t Pay Up
http://www.naturalnews.com/024567.html

FDA Covers-up Big Pharma’s Pills Contaminated With Machine Particles
http://www.naturalnews.com/024625.html

 



761 U.S. Military Bases Across the Planet

761 U.S. Military Bases Across the Planet

Alternet
September 8, 2008

Here it is, as simply as I can put it: In the course of any year, there must be relatively few countries on this planet on which U.S. soldiers do not set foot, whether with guns blazing, humanitarian aid in hand, or just for a friendly visit. In startling numbers of countries, our soldiers not only arrive, but stay interminably, if not indefinitely. Sometimes they live on military bases built to the tune of billions of dollars that amount to sizeable American towns (with accompanying amenities), sometimes on stripped down forward operating bases that may not even have showers. When those troops don’t stay, often American equipment does — carefully stored for further use at tiny “cooperative security locations,” known informally as “lily pads” (from which U.S. troops, like so many frogs, could assumedly leap quickly into a region in crisis).

At the height of the Roman Empire, the Romans had an estimated 37 major military bases scattered around their dominions. At the height of the British Empire, the British had 36 of them planetwide. Depending on just who you listen to and how you count, we have hundreds of bases. According to Pentagon records, in fact, there are 761 active military “sites” abroad.

The fact is: We garrison the planet north to south, east to west, and even on the seven seas, thanks to our various fleets and our massive aircraft carriers which, with 5,000-6,000 personnel aboard — that is, the population of an American town — are functionally floating bases.

And here’s the other half of that simple truth: We don’t care to know about it. We, the American people, aided and abetted by our politicians, the Pentagon, and the mainstream media, are knee-deep in base denial.

Now, that’s the gist of it. If, like most Americans, that’s more than you care to know, stop here.

Where the Sun Never Sets

Let’s face it, we’re on an imperial bender and it’s been a long, long night. Even now, in the wee hours, the Pentagon continues its massive expansion of recent years; we spend militarily as if there were no tomorrow; we’re still building bases as if the world were our oyster; and we’re still in denial. Someone should phone the imperial equivalent of Alcoholics Anonymous.

But let’s start in a sunnier time, less than two decades ago, when it seemed that there would be many tomorrows, all painted red, white, and blue. Remember the 1990s when the U.S. was hailed — or perhaps more accurately, Washington hailed itself — not just as the planet’s “sole superpower” or even its unique “hyperpower,” but as its “global policeman,” the only cop on the block? As it happened, our leaders took that label seriously and our central police headquarters, that famed five-sided building in Washington D.C, promptly began dropping police stations — aka military bases — in or near the oil heartlands of the planet (Kosovo, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait) after successful wars in the former Yugoslavia and the Persian Gulf.

As those bases multiplied, it seemed that we were embarking on a new, post-Soviet version of “containment.” With the USSR gone, however, what we were containing grew a lot vaguer and, before 9/11, no one spoke its name. Nonetheless, it was, in essence, Muslims who happened to live on so many of the key oil lands of the planet.

Yes, for a while we also kept intact our old bases from our triumphant mega-war against Japan and Germany, and then the stalemated “police action” in South Korea (1950-1953) — vast structures which added up to something like an all-military American version of the old British Raj. According to the Pentagon, we still have a total of 124 bases in Japan, up to 38 on the small island of Okinawa, and 87 in South Korea. (Of course, there were setbacks. The giant bases we built in South Vietnam were lost in 1975, and we were peaceably ejected from our major bases in the Philippines in 1992.)

Read Full Article Here