Know Your Enemy Better: The Top 10 Federal Contractors, all working for the Military
1. Lockheed Martin Corp.: $35,828,421,340.83 in contracts
2. Boeing: $19,486,294,255.83 in contracts
3. Northrop Grumman Corp.: $16,797,921,451.22 in contracts
4. General Dynamics Corp.: $15,249,055,811.75 in contracts
5. Raytheon: $15,245,234,506.52 in contracts
6. United Technologies Corp.: $7,721,459,648.98 in contracts
7. L-3 Communications Holdings: $7,445,106,575.43 in contracts
8. Oshkosh Corp.: $7,243,489,906.25 in contracts
9. SAIC: $6,796,280,361.66 in contracts
10. BAE Systems: $6,561,185,112.84 in contracts
Together, these ten corporations received $138.4 Billion in taxpayer funds through federal contracts during fiscal year 2010, 26.2% of all federal contract dollars received during the year.
Every one of these top ten contractors made their money off of military contracts. Yes, even the Oshkosh Corporation, which is not the OshKosh B’Gosh company you’re thinking of, but rather a supplier of parts for military vehicles. United Technologies is the parent company of Sikorsky Aircraft, which makes Black Hawk and other combat helicopters. L-3 Communications manufactures military surveillance system. SAIC designs the military’s information backbone. Behind BAE System’s obscure description of itself as “creating long-term sustainable value for all our stakeholders through leadership in our market segments” is a series of military contracts for electronics, infrastructure, intelligence, weapons systems and fighter aircraft.
In the first three months of 2011 alone, these ten corporations paid for the services of no fewer than 109 different lobbying firms, deployed to Capitol Hill along with their own in-house corporate lobbyists. More striking than the sheer number of lobbying firms hired on by the top ten military contractors is the overlap in which firms these contractors have hired.
US shift prompts Beijing to grip new Asian realpolitik
At a time when US qualifications as the leader of the world's free-market economies look more and more dubious, China's uninterrupted economic growth will become a strong source of soft power in and by itself, as more and more countries begin to look at China as the world's growth engine.
As long as the Chinese economy continues to grow, the world, let alone its neighbors, cannot afford the risk of ignoring or bypassing China.
Beijing also needs to gradually change its discourse about a "peaceful rise" into the language of a "responsible rise," expressing its recognition of the fact that power brings responsibility.
And as its power grows, it will behave responsibly by upholding its non-interference principle.
It will neither seek confrontation nor will it ever initiate one. Nevertheless, it has a number of specifically defined core interests which it will seek to defend, as the US itself does.
Whether the US is really looking to split Asia economically through means such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership is as yet unclear. If so, it would amount to an economic Cold War in the region.
Yet, it will not be the return of realism, but widespread nationalistic sentiments and politicized fractions on both sides that could cause a misunderstanding or misperception to escalate into conflict.
The retaliatory revenge from the West ignited by Iranian protesters storming the British Embassy on Tuesday is likely to plunge Iran into a bottomless abyss of war.
Western countries demand China follow their lead and slap sanctions on Iran. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China should not comply with the request. Instead it should join hands with Russia to help calm the situation.
The US Senate approved tougher economic sanctions against Iran on Thursday, vowing to penalize any financial institutions that do business with Iran's central bank. Consequently, other countries such as China, Japan and India are prohibited to conduct oil trade with Iran.
Under such an arrogant bill, it is hard to imagine how the US would borrow money from the central banks of its creditors to make up its bleak budget in the future. China need not pay attention to it.
The incursion in Tehran deserves condemnation, but does not necessarily constitute the subversion of a nation. Here is another case. Though its forces bombed one of Pakistan's military outposts last week, killing 26 soldiers, NATO has received no punishment.
In Iran's case, it is understandable the EU imposes sanctions against Iran. But, China has no obligation to mess up the situation especially as the EU and the US try to take the opportunity to overthrow Iran for their own interests.
Iran is an Islamic country with a democratic model, but its ardent religious passion has received little understanding and respect from the West for some time. Conflicts have been mounting because of the nation's reluctance to take orders from the West, which wants Iran to obey their rules. A country of 70 million people in the Middle East, Iran enjoys the right of living a different way from the West if only because it conforms to the will of its people.
China firmly opposes Iran's development of nuclear weapons, but will only impose sanctions against the its nuclear-related industries and research on the condition explicit evidence has been found.
For China, the danger of Iran developing nuclear weapons is parallel to the West's efforts to topple Iran in the name of anti-nuclear weapons.
The West suffers from an economic recession, but its efforts to overthrow non-Western governments due to politics and military interests culminate. China, as well as its mammoth neighbor Russia, should keep on high alert and adopt countermeasures if necessary.
China should not shrink before a possible showdown with the West but seek a solution favoring itself. China will adopt concrete measures to show its determination to take its own path. Such a choice is important for China's interests.
"China will not hesitate to protect Iran even with a third world war"
Digging into China’s nuclear tunnels
The Chinese have called it their “Underground Great Wall” — a vast network of tunnels designed to hide their country’s increasingly sophisticated missile and nuclear arsenal.
For the past three years, a small band of obsessively dedicated students at Georgetown University has called it something else: homework.
Led by their hard-charging professor, a former top Pentagon official, they have translated hundreds of documents, combed through satellite imagery, obtained restricted Chinese military documents and waded through hundreds of gigabytes of online data.
The result of their effort? The largest body of public knowledge about thousands of miles of tunnels dug by the Second Artillery Corps, a secretive branch of the Chinese military in charge of protecting and deploying its ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads.
Russia to send observers to Kosovo to protect Serbs
The First Deputy Speaker of the Russian Federation Council (the parliament’s upper house) Alexander Torshin says that Russia must closely watch the situation in Kosovo and help ethnic Serbs who are being persecuted by the Kosovo authorities.
“Russia should expand its presence in the Balkans,” he says. “It should send its observers there. The presence of foreign observers will most probably make Kosovo’s authorities think twice before persecuting Serbs.”
“Openness and transparency are very serious matters,” the Russian MP continues. “If an international tribunal on Serbia already exists, an international tribunal on Kosovo will appear sooner or later.”
Mr. Torshin believes that “what is happening in Kosovo looks very much like genocide of the Serbian people”.
The Russian battle group will consist of three vessels led by the heavy aircraft-carrying missile cruiser, Admiral Kuznetsov.
Russian military officials insist that the move has no connection with the ongoing crisis in the region and was planned a year ago, the Izvestia newspaper reports. Apart from Syria, the aircraft carrier and its escort ships are set to visit the Lebanese capital, Beirut, Genoa in Italy and Cyprus, says the former Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Viktor Kravchenko.
Nevertheless, he added that the presence of a military force other than NATO’s is very useful for this region, because “it will prevent the outbreak of an armed conflict,” Izvestia quoted Kravchenko as saying.
“Of course, the Russian naval forces in the Mediterranean will be incommensurate with those of the US 6th Fleet, which includes one or two aircraft carriers and several escort ships,” Admiral Kravchenko explained. “But today, no one talks about possible military clashes, since an attack on any Russian ship would be regarded as a declaration of war with all the consequences.”
MOSCOW — Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Sunday warned the West against interfering in Russia’s upcoming elections after he formally agreed to run for a historic third term as president.
Speaking ahead of key December 4 parliamentary polls, which will be followed by a presidential ballot in March, the Russian strongman said any Western attempts to stir discontent and influence the election resuts would be futile.
Putin told a glitzy congress of his ruling United Russia party that foreign capitals were paying NGOs in Russia “in order to eventually influence the course of the election campaign in our country.”
“Useless work, wasted money,” he said in a giant hall filled to bursting. “Firstly, Judas is not the most respected biblical figure among our people,” he said, comparing any such behaviour to a betrayal.
In a clear message to debt-ridden Western powers he added: “And second, it would be better if they used this money to pay off their national debt and stop conducting an ineffective and costly foreign policy.”
Putin delivered his stinging warning after formally agreeing to stand as the ruling party candidate in next year’s presidential election which he is certain to win and that will fix Russia’s future for years to come.
Iran threatens 150,000 missile response to Israeli Jerichos
The threat to launch “150,000 or more” missiles was voiced by Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi on Sunday as he was delivering a speech before army volunteers. Earlier Iranian officials threatened retaliation against both Israel and NATO, should an attack on Iran be carried out.
Iran's parliament orders ties with Britain reduced
TEHRAN, Iran – Iran's parliament on Sunday approved a bill requiring both Iran and Britain to withdraw their respective ambassadors from each other's countries, following London's support of recently upgraded U.S. sanctions on Tehran.
TEHRAN, Iran – Iranian state TV says the country has added three more domestically-built submarines to its naval fleet.
The Sunday report said the vessels were delivered to the Iranian navy in southern port of Bandar Abbas. It said the submarines were from the Ghadir class, of which Iran already has four.
This class of submarine can fire missiles and torpedoes and operate in the Gulf's shallow waters.
The move is seen as part of Iran's effort to upgrade its defense capabilities amid escalating tension over its nuclear program. The West suspects Iran is aiming at developing nuclear weapons, a charge Iran denies.
British Government Loses Legal Case Over Hooding Terror Suspects
Alaa’ Nassif Jassim al-Bazzouni, an Iraqi citizen who says he was mistreated and hooded by British troops, has won a High Court victory today which means the British Government can no longer advise the military to continue the “barbaric” practice as part of their official “guidance”
Bazzouni’s Lawyers challenged the guidance on the grounds that it explicitly and unlawfully condones the “barbaric practice” of hooding prisoners for “transit and security purposes”. The father of three who lives in Basra, says he was a victim of hooding in 2006 when he was caught up in the illegal invasion by Western troops.
Ben Emmerson QC, representing The Equality and Human Rights Commission argued that part of the Government’s guidance was “an instruction to service personnel to act in a manner that would expose them to criminal liability”. The organization feels it would give rise to charges against British troops, intelligence service agents and other personnel for aiding and abetting torture, which is illegal under international human rights laws.
Food aid policy for the first time mandates the use of genetic modification technologies .
In March 2009, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed its Global Food Security Act. The legislation, known as the Lugar-Casey Act, aims to focus on longer-term agricultural development, and restructure aid agencies to better respond to crises. Funding for agricultural development—some US$7.7 billion worth—would be directed in large part to genetically modified crop research.
In other words, food aid policy for the first time mandates the use of genetic modification technologies. Engineered crops will need engineered seeds—seeds that are no longer a result of natural cross-pollination.
Army sets pre-trial hearing date for Bradley. Vigils and rallies planned at Fort Meade MD, worldwide.
Protest his Pretrial Hearing Saturday, Dec 17th (Bradley’s Birthday Day) at 12pm noon at Fort Meade, MD outside Washington D.C.! (Solidarity actions taking place around the world.)
After 560 days of pretrial confinement, including 250 days spent in solitary conditions, the Military has finally announced that PFC Bradley Manning’s Pretrial Hearing will begin on December 16th in the Washington D.C. area.
PFC Bradley Manning is accused of uncovering the facts behind a system of foreign policy that routinely hides abuse from public scrutiny. “If convicted of all charges, Manning would face a maximum punishment… of confinement for life” the U.S. Army reports.
If he is the source of the WikiLeaks revelations, he is the most significant whistle-blower in a generation. According to journalists, his alleged actions helped motivate the democratic Arab Spring movements, shed light on secret corporate influence on our foreign policies of the sort #OccupyWallStreet opposes, and most recently contributed to the Obama Administration agreeing to withdraw all U.S.troops from the failed occupation in Iraq.
Bradley Manning, who turns 24 on the date of our protest, is a young soldier from a working-class background who believed that people should know the truth, “no matter who they are… because without information you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”
84-year-old grandmother says she was strip searched at JFK
WHAT IF IT WAS YOUR GRANDMA; OR MOTHER????
NEW YORK (AP) – An 84-year-old New York grandmother said Saturday that she was injured and humiliated when she was strip searched at an airport after she asked to be patted down instead of going through a body scanner.
Lenore Zimmerman said she was taken to a private room and made to take off her pants and other clothes after she asked to forgo the screening because she worried it would interfere with her defibrillator. She missed her flight and had to take one two-and-a-half hours later, she said.
"I'm hunched over. I'm in a wheelchair. I weigh under 110 pounds (50 kilograms) and I'm going to be 85 in February. Do I look like a terrorist?" she said from her winter home at a seniors community in Coconut Creek, Fla. "This was the worst experience."