Progressive Calendar 04.03.10
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Sat, 3 Apr 2010 09:36:20 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   04.03.10

1. Ecuador/Spanish 4.03 10am
2. CUAPB           4.03 1:30pm
3. Northtown vigil 4.03 2pm
4. Vento park      4.03 2pm
5. US imperialism  4.03 9pm

6. Dave Bicking  - CRA reappointment final vote
7. Ramzy Baroud  - Netanyahu's lies and the politicians who swallow them
8. Mark Morford  - Back off, I'm a corporate whore
9. Daniel Volman - Obama expands military involvement in Africa
10. ed           - Easter Bunny eats Congress! (haiku)

--------1 of 10--------

From: Jason Stone <jason.stone [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: Ecuador/Spanish 4.03 10am

Coffee Hour: Ecuador-Center of the World, Center of Human Trafficking
Saturday, April 3
10:00am-11:45am
At the Resource Center of the Americas
Speaker: Loida Carriel Espinoza, Journalist and Deputy Director of Paz
y Esperanza - Ecuador.

Presented in Spanish

Description: According to a 2007 USAID report, "Ecuador is a location,
source, transit and destination country for persons trafficked for sexual
exploitation, forced labor and begging." The majority of those trafficked
are children. The number of people vulnerable to being trafficked has
increased in Ecuador due to its economic crisis and the social dislocation
of people from rural to urban areas. Indeed, since the 1990's almost 12%
of the total population has emigrated to Europe and the United States;
and, Minnesota is home to one of the largest Ecuadorian populations in the
U.S., estimated at 10,000-15,000.

Ms. Carriel will discuss the social problem of human trafficking in
Ecuador and the work being done by Paz y Esperanza, an international
faith-based human rights organization, and others to combat human
trafficking in Ecuador.

About Paz y Esperanza Paz y Esperanza is known as a leader in the field of
human rights in Latin America, and was a leader in establishing the
Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It seeks access to justice
for the most excluded sectors of society through the promotion of their
rights, the defense of abused women and children, citizenship education,
sexual education in churches, legal reform and monitoring of the legal
system. In 2009, Paz y Esperanza opened its Guayaquil, Ecuador office to
provide services to victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.

The Minnesota-based non-profit, Peace and Hope Partnership International,
collaborates with Paz y Esperanza to provide legal, aftercare and other
services to people victimized by injustice in Peru and Ecuador. For more
information contact: Colleen Beebe, Peace and Hope Partnership
International, (612) 728-9118 colleenbeebe [at] comcast.net or visit
www.peaceandhopeinternational.org.


--------2 of 10--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com>
Subject: CUAPB 4.03 1:30pm

Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue
South http://www.CUAPB.org

Communities United Against Police Brutality
3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)

[And see below #6 Dave Bicking - CRA reappointment final vote]


--------3 of 10--------

From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com
Subject: Northtown vigil 4.03 2pm

Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday
2-3pm


--------4 of 10--------

from  Alayne Hopkins <alayne [at] thefriends.org>
Subhect: Vento park 4.03 2pm

The Mighty Mississippi - Lectures, Discussions & More
Saturdays & Sundays, March 7 - April 3
This event is free and open to the public.
For more information, call 651-222-3242 or
friends [at] thefriends.org

Take the discussion outside on Saturday, April 3, 2 p.m., and explore
Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary with a National Park Service ranger.  Learn
more about this Saint Paul park's connection to the Mississippi River and
its human and industrial history.

These programs are free and open to the public.  Contact The Friends at
651-222-3242 or go online at www.sppl.org for more information about this
or other upcoming programming.  The programs are made possible through
funds from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008 which
dedicated funding to preserve Minnesota&#8217;s arts and cultural
heritage.

Alayne Hopkins Programming Coordinator The Friends of the Saint Paul
Public Library 325 Cedar Street, Suite 555 Saint Paul, MN 55101
651-366-6488


--------5 of 10--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: US imperialism 4.03 9pm

Dear Minneapolis Television Network (MTN) viewers:
"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on MTN Channel 17 on Saturdays at 9pm and
Tuesdays at 8am, after DemocracyNow!  Households with basic cable may
watch.

Sat, 4/3, 9pm and Tues, 4/6, 8am
"US Imperialism and State Repression: Dhoruba Bin-Wahad (Pt. 2)"

Former Black Panther Party organizer and political prisoner Dhoruba
Bin-Wahad argues that real change comes from dissent outside of the
political system. Recognizing historic struggles against social injustice,
Dhoruba connects the US role as an empire abroad with state repression,
often in the form of laws, at home. (recorded in March @ Hamline
University)

PLUS:
"Reconsidering Copenhagen and International Development w/Walden Bello"

Dr. Walden Bello may be the foremost public intellectual on Asian
economics.  The Economist magazine has credited Bello with creating the
word "deglobalization", a concept that has put him in the front of a
global movement to reconsider our identity as citizen, not as consumer.
Bello opens by illuminating the backroom shenanigans at the COP 15
conference in Copenhagen.  Bello "credits" the US, Canada and China as the
main players in making last year's Copenhagen climate conference a
failure.  Bello particularly focuses on the narrative of China, which sees
itself as a developing country, yet is now the second largest economy in
the world. (recorded in March @ the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public
Affairs)


--------6 of 10--------

Date: Fri, 02 Apr 2010 13:21:25 -0500
From: Dave Bicking <dave [at] colorstudy.com>
Subject: CRA reappointment final vote

Well, it all ended quickly, with a whimper not a bang.  I am officially no
longer a member of the board of the CRA (Mpls Civilian Police Review
Authority).

As I said in my last update, the slate of recommended appointees was
revealed at yesterday's Committee of the Whole, and it did not include me.
That slate was brought forward at today's City Council meeting by Don
Samuels, chair of the Public Safety Committee.  Don waxed eloquent about
the virtues of the applicant that was chosen instead of me as the City
Council pick for the CRA (the mayor got to make the other three picks this
time).  He spoke of her being "fair and balanced" - over and over.
Clearly the point made was to contrast that to his claims about me.  My
name was never even mentioned, of course.

Then Cam Gordon (Green Party Ward 2 Council member) made his substitute
motion: to reappoint me in place of the "recommended" applicant.  He
mentioned that I had "served admirably" on the CRA, and that my
reappointment at least deserved debate and discussion.  The other Council
members clearly didn't agree - not a single one of them would even second
the motion, so it died with no chance for discussion or vote - or even for
Cam Gordon to speak in favor of the motion.  It is very rare for a motion
to not receive a second.

I have been pretty diplomatic through all of this, but I have to say:
What a bunch of cowards!!  Other than Cam Gordon, every Council member and
the mayor should be ashamed of themselves.  Whatever they think about the
merits of my service on the CRA - and I accept that there are legitimate
differences of opinion - they should have the guts to say in public why a
conscientious, active, and reliable member of the CRA (or any board)
should be thrown off the board before even serving a full term.

The one constant throughout all of this is that no Council member will
express any reason for not reappointing me.  I have asked repeatedly, in
emails and at the public hearing, for anyone who had any concern about my
reappointment, to let me know their concern so I could address it.  I have
had NO responses.

This is very shabby treatment for someone who has put in many hundreds of
hours of service to the city.  You know what they say about bullies really
being cowards inside?  Today's action was an example of bullies showing
their cowardice.  I would accept the results of a fair and open process.
This was neither.  And while this was particularly blatant, it is a
pattern of behavior in our city government.  That is the biggest reason
why I ran for City Council.  Since the election, I have seen an
accelerating trend toward arrogant, undemocratic, and unresponsive
government.

As I've said before, this is not really about me.  This is about the
protection of those involved in encounters with Mpls police.  The real
issue is whether there is any control over our police department; will
there be any real accountability?  Will people abused by the police have
anywhere to go where they can be not just "listened to", but where their
experience will lead to real consequences?  The CRA is an important reform
won through years of demands and hard work.  Will it be valuable, or will
it be window dressing?  The answer is still uncertain, but today's Council
action says much about their desired direction for the CRA.

Quite a burden rests on the new appointees to the CRA.  Rather than give
my opinion and judge them now, I would prefer to let them show their merit
through action.  The new members are:  Arlene Santiago, a public defender;
Dean Kallenbach, former DFL endorsed City Council candidate against Dean
Zimmermann in 2001; Pramma Elayaperumal, a young and enthusiastic
applicant who has been attending CRA meetings; and Mary Pargo, a social
service worker with Pillsbury United Communities and Executive Director of
Juneteeth.  Mary Pargo was the City Council pick, the other three were
appointed by the mayor.

The fight for the future of the CRA is not over.  Personally, I will
continue to attend CRA meetings, even if only as a member of the public.
I will continue the research I have been working on.  At this point, there
is far more attention being paid to the CRA than before.  That is a
positive development.  Often there is more value in the fight than in the
outcome of a particular battle.  We have much to build on, and we must do
that.

The next step is the upcoming CRA monthly board meeting on Wednesday,
April 7, 6:30pm, in Room 333 of City Hall (enter through after-hours door
facing 4th St.).  The meeting is open to the public, and public comment is
allowed.  A big turnout will help demonstrate the community's expectations
for the new board.

Also please consider coming to tomorrow's meeting of CUAPB (Communities
United Against Police Brutality), Saturday, April 3, 1:30pm in the
basement of Walker Church, 3104 16th Ave. S., Mpls. [See item #2 above -
ed] They will surely be strategizing next steps in their relationship with
the CRA, and planning for their input at the upcoming CRA board meeting.

Thanks to all who have been involved.  I am uncomfortable with political
action which puts me personally in such a public position, just as my City
Council campaign did.  The real important issue is the strength we have
working together.  Even in temporary defeat, we have shown that strength,
and the fight is not over.

Dave Bicking 612-276-1213

PS.  I would be happy to forward any documents, emails, etc. to anyone who
is interested.


--------7 of 10--------

Netanyahu's Lies and the Politicians Who Swallow Them
The Lobby v. America
By RAMZY BAROUD
CounterPunch
April 2 - 4, 2010

As I listened to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address an
animated crowed of supporters on March 22, I felt physically sick. The man
has already displayed time and again a complete lack of moral sense or
ethical framework in his words and actions. In his recent arguments, he
once again twisted history, manipulated facts and fabricated his own
selective, self-interested and highly questionable narrative. Netanyahu, a
colonialist from a faraway land, also had the audacity to convince himself
and a few others that he had legal, moral and historic rights over my
land. While I am the son of a Palestinian family rooted in Palestine since
time immemorial, Netanyahu is the son of an immigrant from Lithuania.
While he giddily robs more Palestinian land in Jerusalem, I live in exile.

Netanyahu was addressing the annual conference of the American Israel
Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The "powerful" lobby group encompasses a
large conglomerate of rightwing Zionist politicians and lobbyists and is
seen by many as the most instrumental platform that influences - and, to a
large degree, controls - US foreign policy regarding Palestine, Israel and
the entire Middle East.

AIPAC is dangerous for many reasons. For one, it's not a lobby group in
the conventional sense - meaning a group of well-paid lobbyists harassing
US Congressmen with telephone calls with the hope of advancing the agenda
of their benefactors (in this case, the state of Israel). The pro-Israel
lobby has actually grown and morphed into a political body that is
embedded within all branches of the US government, as well as the media,
academia and elsewhere. It is no secret that the neo-conservative cliques
of politicians who engineered, steered and to an extent continue to
influence US war policy are in fact a mere component of the same "lobby".

While Jewish communities in the US may not be united in their support of
the largely rightwing and hawkish Zionist lobby groups, both major
political parties in the US and all branches of the government stand in
complete support of Israel. The AIPAC annual conference is almost
mandatory for them. Sadly, Netanyahu's speech before AIPAC is of equal, if
not of greater import to some of them than the State of the Union address.
Following Obama's address in 2010, many US politicians openly voiced
criticism of his take on many issues. But few dare challenge Netanyahu on
much of the malice he spewed on March 22.

Americans need to realize that this is no longer about Palestine and
Israel. It is now about their own country, their own sovereignty and the
future of their own democracy. They must ask hard questions and refuse to
settle for sentimental answers. How could America be so divided on so many
issues, yet so united on the "cause of Israel"? Where does a feeble
politician like Netanyahu find the courage to defy the president of the
very country that supplied his own with many billions of taxpayer dollars?
Of course, we know that much of the fund was used to occupy, torment and
wage war on Palestinians for many years. This is the atrocious fact that
Americans need to understand fully: Israeli war crimes were made possible
because of American funds, weapons and political cover. America is not an
outside party to the conflict. It has done more than its fair share in the
ongoing Palestinian tragedy.

Even if one is somehow convinced by the most recent and unusually strong
stance taken by the Obama administration regarding Israel's settlement
policy in East Jerusalem, there still remains the question of what comes
next. When the President of the United States articulates a seemingly
unmovable US position that rejects the building of more illegal
settlements that would preclude any possible peace talks, and yet he fails
to weaken Israel's resolve even by an iota, some questions must be asked.
Will the US use its leverage to twist Israel's arm to respect
international law? Will it at least hold on to some of the billions of
dollars of funds that it continues to pour into Israel - especially as the
US undergoes an unprecedented financial crisis, resulting in growing
poverty and homelessness?

The answer might be in the UPI report on March 26, citing Israeli daily
newspaper Haaretz:

"Despite the sharpest rift in decades between Israel and the United
States, the Pentagon is reported to have given the green light to the $250
million sale of C-130J transport aircraft to Israel. The deal.involves
three 'Super Hercules' aircraft manufactured especially to the Israeli air
force's requirements. (The report) indicates that despite the belief among
the United States' top military commanders that Israel's failure to reach
a peaceful settlement with the Palestinians is undermining U.S. influence
and standing in the Muslim world and thus endangering its forces, the
Pentagon is prepared to maintain Israel's military superiority in the
Middle East".

The timing and the nature of the "sale" signify the following: first, if
the US government was ready to actively back up its supposed disagreement
with Israel, it would have stopped this unwarranted sale. Second,
considering that the deal was made through the Pentagon, the very platform
used to express concern and call for at least a reconsideration of US
policy in the region, the sale is both a slap on the face of the US
military, and a veiled apology to Israel. Third, if the failure to
reexamine this absence relationship continues, then there is absolutely no
doubt left that US foreign policy in the Middle East is indeed held
hostage to Israeli, not American priorities, misguided at times as they
may be.

Those individuals in the US government, military and media that have the
courage and the platform to confront Israel must take the opportunity.
They should not succumb to intimidation or fear, nor should they be swayed
by Netanyahu's lies. The fact is, Netanyahu will continue to lie; it's
what he does best. The onus is on those US politicians who readily and
barefacedly continue to give the professional liar a standing ovation
following every statement he utters. And it is only really they who give
any power to the "powerful" lobby.

Ramzy Baroud is editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His work has been
published in many newspapers and journals worldwide. His latest book is
The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People's Struggle (Pluto
Press, London). His newbook is, "My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's
Untold Story" (Pluto Press, London).


--------8 of 10--------

Back Off, I'm a Corporate Whore
by Mark Morford
Friday, April 2, 2010
San Francisco Chronicle
Common Dreams

Here's what you should know right off: there is no secret handshake.

I was, to say the least, slightly disappointed. There is no secret code,
no password, no futuristic RFID chip implanted straight into my retina
allowing me instant, bar-coded access to gleaming glass corridors in the
NSA, Goldman Sachs and the U.S. Treasury. There's not even a
diamond-encrusted golden key in the shape of a dollar sign that opens
recessed steel doors to underground lairs or private cocaine stashes
stored in the perfect vaginas of flawless Brazilian supermodels. Alas.

Also, no blood. No swapping of any bodily fluids whatsoever, no ceremony
where you go to a sweaty, fur-lined conference room, the lawyer stabs his
palm, you stab your palm, and you chant some sort of dark incantation to
the gods of filthy lucre, offshore bank accounts and D.C. lobbyists. As
you shake bloody hands, you swear to oppress the workers, exploit the tax
code and patron multiple Vegas whorehouses and/or LA fetish nightclubs for
your Republican Party/NRA donor slut-fests.

But none of that really matters. Despite the lack of expected ritual and
violence, I now officially own your pathetic and meager soul. It's true. I
have joined my corporate brothers in holding draconian dominion over all
you see and hear and say and do and read and believe, forever and ever.
Amen. Just the way it is.

Let me explain.

See, I have become a corporation. A real one. I have launched a full-blown
company, with shareholders (me) and a president (me) and a full board of
directors (me, me and me). And we are, all of us, in total and complete
control.

This is how I discovered all the above insights and secrets -- and a great
deal more that I cannot really share with you meager commoners -- as I
transitioned from lowly, average tax-paying citizen just like you, into
giant, megalomaniacal corporate fat-cat tyrant just like, um, Saudi
Arabia. It was kind of fun.

It happened, as such transformations are wont to do, somewhat
unexpectedly, surprisingly, the pieces falling into place like Satan's
dominoes, the Dark Fates of capitalism slapping me on the back and
welcoming me into the gilded halls of power and influence, even as they
calmly removed a huge chunk of my soul. Didn't feel a thing, really.
Except for all the screaming.

After the act was done, they handed me the deed to what's known as an "S"
corporation, so termed for the portion of the American tax code it happily
exploits so that I -- or rather, my fine corporation -- may now purchase
many rarified American goods, such as congresspersons, Supreme Court
justices and Malaysian sweatshop workers, without remorse, guilt or
concern for pesky trifles known as "ethics."

You perhaps think I am joking? I am not joking. The name of my corporation
is Rapture Machine, Inc. It is a publishing company, so formed to help me
issue my first amazing, tell-all book, the dazzling mega-compendium known
as "The Daring Spectacle," which is available for purchase right here,
right now. Have you ordered one yet? Have you ordered, say, five? Do you
know any angry Republicans? They'll love it. Give them two.

Why go corporate, you may ask from way down there, in your lowly status as
pitiable worker cog lemming creature I no longer have to concern myself
with in the slightest? Simple: because it was the best way to organize my
life and finances as a freelance writer, author and now, overlord of all
that is and ever will be. It just made sense.

See, as I was preparing to self-publish my epic book, I was informed that
some of the larger printing houses preferred to work with "real"
companies, not individual authors. So I started Rapture Machine as a tiny
sole proprietorship in San Francisco. But one thing led to another, and on
the advice of sage tax accountant counsel, I decided to go all in, and
become the Man.

A small pile of lawyer's fees, an initial shareholder's meeting, and an
$800 annual filing with the California Attorney General later, and I have
my "S" corporation. Just like that. Just like Exxon. Just like Wal-Mart.
Nike. I can feel what's left of my soul shriveling away already. Just like
Dick Cheney.

As you might guess, it was quite the unexpected transmutation, from humble
writer and yoga teacher to heartless totalitarian kingpin, all in a matter
of days. But I have to say, it's been completely wonderful so far. Except
for the nightmares. And the spiders. And the zombie clowns. Otherwise,
awesome.

No longer do I walk among you as an equal. No longer must I concern myself
with petty nuisances such as fairness, justice, human decency. The Supreme
Court said so; I no longer have to care. Like any American corporation
worth its inbred cronyism, my company is only really beholden to one
entity: its shareholders. Of course, as I am the sole shareholder in my
corporation, that means, well, me.

Hence, I am only beholden to me, to making me as rich and mercilessly
profitable as my shareholders demand that I be, for me, as far as I know.
God bless America.

Perhaps you think I cannot really get away with this. Perhaps you think
there are regulations and laws governing such wanton behavior, that I
cannot, say, hire employees for pennies per day and make then mix me fine
whiskey drinks and crawl around on all fours wearing only boy shorts and a
smile, as they recite poetry and fulfill book requests and update my
Facebook fan page.

What are you, high? Have you not been paying attention? Did you see how
many of my vile brethren over on Wall Street are mocking Congress and
Obama alike, still giving multi-million dollar bonuses as they engage in
the same behavior that nearly caused the fall of the empire? Are you not
watching the oil titans continue to rape the land worldwide? Nothing has
changed, plebe. And it never will.

In fact, we corporate gods laugh in the face of your puny pleas for, um,
whatever the hell it is people like you plead for. Decent wages? Health
care? A tolerable ending to "Lost"? Whatever. I can barely even hear you
from way up hear on my gilded throne of sticky, glorious evil. It's the
American dream. Hey, want to be my intern?

 2010 Hearst Communications Inc.
Thoughts for the author? E-mail him. Mark Morford's Notes & Errata column
appears every Wednesday and Friday on SFGate and in the Datebook section
of the San Francisco Chronicle.


--------9 of 10--------

Obama Expands Military Involvement in Africa
by Daniel Volman
Friday, April 2, 2010
Inter Press Service
Common Dreams

WASHINGTON - When Pres. Barack Obama took office in January 2009, it was
widely expected that he would dramatically change, or even reverse, the
militarised and unilateral security policy that had been pursued by the
George W. Bush administration toward Africa, as well as toward other parts
of the world.

After one year in office, however, it is clear that the Obama
administration is following essentially the same policy that has guided
U.S. military policy toward Africa for more than a decade. Indeed, the
Obama administration is seeking to expand U.S. military activities on the
continent even further.

In its FY 2011 budget request for security assistance programmes for
Africa, the Obama administration is asking for 38 million dollars for the
Foreign Military Financing programme to pay for U.S. arms sales to African
countries.

The administration is also asking for 21 million dollars for the
International Military Education and Training Programme to bring African
military officers to the United States, and 24.4 million dollars for
Anti-Terrorism Assistance programmes in Africa.

The Obama administration has also taken a number of other steps to expand
U.S. military involvement in Africa.

In June 2009, administration officials revealed that Pres. Obama had
approved a programme to supply at least 40 tonnes of weaponry and provide
training to the forces of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of
Somalia through several intermediaries, including Uganda, Burundi,
Djibouti, Kenya, and France.

In September 2009, Obama authorised a U.S. Special Forces operation in
Somalia that killed Saleh Ali Nabhan, an alleged al Qaeda operative who
was accused of being involved in the bombing of the U.S. embassies in
Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998, as well as other al Qaeda operations in
east Africa.

In October 2009, the Obama administration announced a major new security
assistance package for Mali - valued at 4.5 to 5.0 million dollars - that
included 37 Land Cruiser pickup trucks, communication equipment,
replacement parts, clothing and other individual equipment and was
intended to enhance Mali's ability to transport and communicate with
internal security forces throughout the country and control its borders.

Although ostensibly intended to help Mali deal with potential threats from
AQIM (al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), it is more likely to be used
against Tuareg insurgent forces.

In December 2009, U.S. military officials confirmed that the Pentagon was
considering the creation of a 1,000-strong Marine rapid deployment force
for the new U.S. Africa Command (Africom) based in Europe, which could be
used to intervene in African hot spots.

In February 2010, in his testimony before a hearing by the Africa
Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Assistant Secretary
of State for Africa Johnnie Carson declared, "We seek to enhance Nigeria's
role as a U.S. partner on regional security, but we also seek to bolster
its ability to combat violent extremism within its borders."

Also in February 2010, U.S. Special Forces troops began a
30-million-dollar, eight-month-long training programme for a 1,000-man
infantry battalion of the army of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
at the U.S.-refurbished base in Kisangani.

Speaking before a Senate Armed Service Committee hearing in March 2010
about this training programme, General William Ward, the commander of
Africom, stated "should it prove successful, there's potential that it
could be expanded to other battalions as well."

During the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Ward also discussed
Africom's continuing participation in Ugandan military operations in the
DRC against the Lord's Resistance Army. Despite the failure of "Operation
Lightning Thunder", launched by Ugandan troops in December 2008 with help
of Africom (included planning assistance, equipment, and financial
backing), Ward declared, "I think our support to those ongoing efforts is
important support."

And in March 2010, U.S. officials revealed that the Obama administration
was considering using surveillance drones to provide intelligence to TFG
troops in Somalia for their planned offensive against al-Shabaab.
According to these officials, the Pentagon may also launch air strikes
into Somalia and send U.S. Special Forces troops into the country, as it
has done in the past.

This growing U.S. military involvement in Africa reflects the fact that
counterinsurgency has once again become one of the main elements of U.S.
security strategy.

This is clearly evident in the new Quadrennial Defence Review (QDR)
released by the Pentagon in February.

According to the QDR, "U.S. forces will work with the military forces of
partner nations to strengthen their capacity for internal security, and
will coordinate those activities with those of other U.S. government
agencies as they work to strengthen civilian capacities, thus denying
terrorists and insurgents safe havens. For reasons of political legitimacy
as well as sheer economic necessity, there is no substitute for
professional, motivated local security forces protecting populations
threatened by insurgents and terrorists in their midst."

As the QDR makes clear, this is intended to avoid the need for direct U.S.
military intervention: "Efforts that use smaller numbers of U.S. forces
and emphasise host-nation leadership are generally preferable to
large-scale counterinsurgency campaigns. By emphasising host-nation
leadership and employing modest numbers of U.S. forces, the United States
can sometimes obviate the need for larger-scale counterinsurgency
campaigns."

Or, as a senior U.S. military officer assigned to Africom was quoted as
saying in a recent article in the U.S. Air University's Strategic Studies
Quarterly, "We don't want to see our guys going in and getting wacked...We
want Africans to go in."

Thus, the QDR goes on to say, "U.S. forces are working in the Horn of
Africa, the Sahel, Colombia, and elsewhere to provide training, equipment,
and advice to their host-country counterparts on how to better seek out
and dismantle terrorist and insurgent networks while providing security to
populations that have been intimidated by violent elements in their
midst."

Furthermore, the United States will also continue to expand and improve
the network of local military bases that are available to U.S. troops
under base access agreements.

The resurgence of Vietnam War-era counterinsurgency doctrine as a
principal tenet of U.S. security policy, therefore, has led to a major
escalation of U.S. military involvement in Africa by the Obama
administration that seems likely to continue in the years ahead.

Daniel Volman is the Director of the African Security Research Project in
Washington, DC. He is the author of numerous articles and reports and has
been studying U.S. security policy toward Africa and African security
issues for more than 30 years.

 2010 IPS North America

[Obama - as bad as Bush and getting worse by the day.  Intervention R US -
if not at some place now, wait a few months. An evil empire run by a
president from the Dem Party, and let go on and on and on by "faithful"
Dems who wouldn't want to say anything bad about "our guy".  -ed]


--------10 of 10--------

 Easter Bunny eats
 Congress! "Urrp! Yuck! I'm gonna
 throw up!" Urrp! Slosh! Splat!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------

   - David Shove             shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
                     over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02
              please send all messages in plain text no attachments

                          vote third party
                           for president
                           for congress
                          now and forever


                           Socialism YES
                           Capitalism NO


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