An american japanese looks at the US.

July 18, 2007 § Leave a comment


I do believe that there is a need in this country, both psychically and politically, to create enemies for the domestic population to focus on, and it’s better if these enemies are of – how might I put this? – a darker hue. For a while, with incidents like the case of Wen Ho Lee [the Chinese-American scientist accused of espionage, whose case was dismissed except for one minor charge], it seemed that the target was going to be China. But then came September 11 [2001], and the focus switched to the Muslim world and the Middle East.

Asia Times Online :: Japan News – A Japanese, born in the US of A

From Juan Cole

Meanwhile, the Voice of America reports that the Bush administration will freeze the assets of persons or organizations that attempt to destabilize Iraq. VOA says:

“President Bush has signed an order that allows the U.S. government to block the assets of any person or group that threatens the stability of Iraq.
The order exempts the United States.”

Quoting from Asian Times Headlines

The way to go in Iraq

Iraq’s government has not met one of its US-assigned benchmarks and, with the exception of the revenue-sharing law, they are unlikely to be met. But even if they were, it would not help. Provincial elections will make Iraq less governable, while the process of constitutional revision could break the country apart. The Iraq war’s intellectual boosters, meanwhile, insist the “surge” is working, and are moving to assign blame for defeat. They have already picked their target: the American people. – Peter Galbraith (Jul 18, ’07)

Al-Qaeda regrouping points to US attack
Al-Qaeda has focused on promoting worldwide unity among jihadi groups – Sunni and Shi’ites – more in recent months than at any other time since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US. There has been demonstrable progress in achieving this Islamist unity, which al-Qaeda wants in place before its next attack. – Michael Scheuer (Jul 18, ’07)

The terrorist threat to the US homeland
The US faces a persistent terrorist threat over the next three years, especially from al-Qaeda, says the National Intelligence Estimate released on Tuesday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Al-Qaeda is pushing other extremist groups to adopt its efforts to supplement al-Qaeda’s capabilities, according to the Estimate.

quoted from Agonist

BBCA huge underground lake has been found in Sudan’s Darfur region, scientists say, which they believe could help end the conflict in the arid region.

Some 1,000 wells will be drilled in the region, with the agreement of Sudan’s government, the Boston University researchers say.

Analysts say competition for resources between Darfur’s Arab nomads and black African farmers is behind the conflict.

“Much of the unrest in Darfur and the misery is due to water shortages,” said geologist Farouk El-Baz, director of the Boston University Center for Remote Sensing, according to the AP news agency.

“Access to fresh water is essential for refugee survival, will help the peace process, and provides the necessary resources for the much needed economic development in Darfur,” he said.

The team used radar data to find the ancient lake, which was 30,750 km2 – the size of Lake Erie in the US – the 10th largest lake in the world.

Scott Horton this morning

America’s armies have always relied in some way on contractors. However, the dramatic expansion of the role and number of contractors in Iraq is changing the culture of American warfare. According to the Los Angeles Times’s T. Christian Miller, newly released figures show that the number of U.S.-paid private contractors exceeds that of American combat troops—even after the surge. More than 180,000 civilians—including Americans, foreigners and Iraqis—are working in Iraq under U.S. contracts, according to State and Defense department figures obtained by the Los Angeles Times. This number is significantly higher than the 160,000 soldiers and few thousand civilian government employees currently stationed in Iraq.

The implications for a new force in US politics is all too obvious.


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