theroguefeminist

theroguefeminist:

mmanalysis:

staylovelystaylucid:

daddys-little-mermaid-princess:

sameatschildren:

equestrianfangirlswag:

thetallesthobbit:

gentlemen-always-know:

A great example of why you don’t have any idea what is happening in the world around you. I don’t generally blog this stuff but, you Should know Time Magazine is not the only media to do this. .

I HAD NO CLUE THIS WAS HAPPENING AND I AM SO ANGRY

american schools teach about other countries’ propaganda, but look at this shit.

Did you guys know that the first Canadian deaths in the war in Afghanistan happened in 2002 when an American pilot dropped a bomb on some Canadian soldiers doing training exercises

killed 4 people and injured 8

Did you know this? Probably not because boy does your country like to brainwash about their fucking military being the greatest and most important and amazing fucking thing

Americans, we get more news about your country than you do, because gosh diddly darn does your country ever like to hide things from you and keep you stupid.

i really want to move to a different country :c

RIP my canadian soldiers.

Y’all realize that the story is in the magazine, right? That the only reason it’s not on the cover is because of sales most likely. Seriously, look on their website and you can see that for yourself: 

http://content.time.com/time/magazine/0,9263,7601130916,00.html

It’s funny, most of y’all talk about Americans being brainwashed but I bet most of y’all didn’t even properly research to see if this was legit or not. 

but it’s still telling that Americans are the only ones getting that other cover? and you can’t pretend like what’s in the headlines doesn’t get looked at first or most? few people read a magazine or newspaper cover to cover

also that doesn’t change the very true and real point that the US is very shielded from world news and the media here is largely manipulated and controlled - i never heard about the deaths of those canadian soldiers - there are lots of stories that are censored here and while i’m sure it happens in other countries the issue is huge in America and the kind of nationalism and mindless patriotism we perpetuate here is incredibly excessive and dangerous

disciplesofmalcolm

disciplesofmalcolm:

One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.

Over the last several weeks, I worked with NBC News to publish a series of articles about “dirty trick” tactics used by GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group). These were based on four classified GCHQ documents presented to the NSA and the other three partners in the English-speaking “Five Eyes” alliance. Today, we at the Intercept are publishing another new JTRIG document, in full, entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations”.

By publishing these stories one by one, our NBC reporting highlighted some of the key, discrete revelations: the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse “hacktivists” of using, the use of “honey traps” (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses. But, here, I want to focus and elaborate on the overarching point revealed by all of these documents: namely, that these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.

Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums. Here is one illustrative list of tactics from the latest GCHQ document we’re publishing today:

Other tactics aimed at individuals are listed here, under the revealing title “discredit a target”:

Then there are the tactics used to destroy companies the agency targets:

GCHQ describes the purpose of JTRIG in starkly clear terms: “using online techniques to make something happen in the real or cyber world”, including “information ops (influence or disruption)”.

Critically, the “targets” for this deceit and reputation-destruction extend far beyond the customary roster of normal spycraft: hostile nations and their leaders, military agencies, and intelligence services. In fact, the discussion of many of these techniques occurs in the context of using them in lieu of “traditional law enforcement” against people suspected (but not charged or convicted) of ordinary crimes or, more broadly still, “hacktivism”, meaning those who use online protest activity for political ends.

The title page of one of these documents reflects the agency’s own awareness that it is “pushing the boundaries” by using “cyber offensive” techniques against people who have nothing to do with terrorism or national security threats, and indeed, centrally involves law enforcement agents who investigate ordinary crimes:

No matter your views on Anonymous, “hacktivists” or garden-variety criminals, it is not difficult to see how dangerous it is to have secret government agencies being able to target any individuals they want – who have never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crimes – with these sorts of online, deception-based tactics of reputation destruction and disruption. There is a strong argument to make, as Jay Leiderman demonstrated in the Guardian in the context of the Paypal 14 hacktivist persecution, that the “denial of service” tactics used by hacktivists result in (at most) trivial damage (far less than the cyber-warfare tactics favored by the US and UK) and are far more akin to the type of political protest protected by the First Amendment.

The broader point is that, far beyond hacktivists, these surveillance agencies have vested themselves with the power to deliberately ruin people’s reputations and disrupt their online political activity even though they’ve been charged with no crimes, and even though their actions have no conceivable connection to terrorism or even national security threats. As Anonymous expert Gabriella Coleman of McGill University told me, “targeting Anonymous and hacktivists amounts to targeting citizens for expressing their political beliefs, resulting in the stifling of legitimate dissent.” Pointing to this study she published, Professor Coleman vehemently contested the assertion that “there is anything terrorist/violent in their actions.”

Government plans to monitor and influence internet communications, and covertly infiltrate online communities in order to sow dissension and disseminate false information, have long been the source of speculation. Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein, a close Obama adviser and the White House’s former head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, wrote a controversial paper in 2008 proposing that the US government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-”independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites, as well as other activist groups.

Sunstein also proposed sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups” which spread what he views as false and damaging “conspiracy theories” about the government. Ironically, the very same Sunstein was recently named by Obama to serve as a member of the NSA review panel created by the White House, one that – while disputing key NSA claims – proceeded to propose many cosmetic reforms to the agency’s powers (most of which were ignored by the President who appointed them).

But these GCHQ documents are the first to prove that a major western government is using some of the most controversial techniques to disseminate deception online and harm the reputations of targets. Under the tactics they use, the state is deliberately spreading lies on the internet about whichever individuals it targets, including the use of what GCHQ itself calls “false flag operations” and emails to people’s families and friends. Who would possibly trust a government to exercise these powers at all, let alone do so in secret, with virtually no oversight, and outside of any cognizable legal framework?

Then there is the use of psychology and other social sciences to not only understand, but shape and control, how online activism and discourse unfolds. Today’s newly published document touts the work of GCHQ’s “Human Science Operations Cell”, devoted to “online human intelligence” and “strategic influence and disruption”:

Under the title “Online Covert Action”, the document details a variety of means to engage in “influence and info ops” as well as “disruption and computer net attack”, while dissecting how human beings can be manipulated using “leaders”, “trust, “obedience” and “compliance”:


The documents lay out theories of how humans interact with one another, particularly online, and then attempt to identify ways to influence the outcomes – or “game” it:

We submitted numerous questions to GCHQ, including: (1) Does GCHQ in fact engage in “false flag operations” where material is posted to the Internet and falsely attributed to someone else?; (2) Does GCHQ engage in efforts to influence or manipulate political discourse online?; and (3) Does GCHQ’s mandate include targeting common criminals (such as boiler room operators), or only foreign threats?

As usual, they ignored those questions and opted instead to send their vague and nonresponsive boilerplate: “It is a longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters. Furthermore, all of GCHQ’s work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the Secretary of State, the Interception and Intelligence Services Commissioners and the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee. All our operational processes rigorously support this position.”

These agencies’ refusal to “comment on intelligence matters” – meaning: talk at all about anything and everything they do – is precisely why whistleblowing is so urgent, the journalism that supports it so clearly in the public interest, and the increasingly unhinged attacks by these agencies so easy to understand. Claims that government agencies are infiltrating online communities and engaging in “false flag operations” to discredit targets are often dismissed as conspiracy theories, but these documents leave no doubt they are doing precisely that.

Whatever else is true, no government should be able to engage in these tactics: what justification is there for having government agencies target people – who have been charged with no crime – for reputation-destruction, infiltrate online political communities, and develop techniques for manipulating online discourse? But to allow those actions with no public knowledge or accountability is particularly unjustifiable.

such-a-fuckinlady

imadinosaurraaww:

Please, I beg you, do not watch the video without reading this text. it’s very important.

I’m born in Serbia and I’ve lived here my whole life. Never once before today have I heard about such inhumane conditions in our mental institutions. And it really breaks my heart. I cried my heart out watching this video. But why haven’t I ever heard about this? Probably because everywhere I look I see poverty. There isn’t one single day that I do not hear some news about people living badly and in inhumane conditions. It’s not that we are turning a blind eye to situations like this one, but there are just too many for us to know about them all. Heck, on some days my parents do not have enough money to give me for to you from rich countries cheap basic stuff. And keep in mind that we are middle class and that they both have jobs and education. I can’t even imagine lives of dose who aren’t as lucky.

And I am sad seeing that this report was purely made to make us look like monsters. If you would live in Serbia, even for a bit, you would encounter many humanitarian actions every day. Even if we do not have much money, we still give a bit to those who need it more.
And how did we get into this state? War. War we never wanted. It left us devastated, with poverty and diseases. Oh, and who bombed us and left us like that? America. The same America that made this video which depitcts us like monsters. Please Americans, do not feel offended by what I wrote, I am not blaming you at all. I’m blaming your media and your government. Instead of raising awareness about such problems and making a charity, western media propaganda uses such powerful images like those from our mental institutions for political  purposes. This report could have been such a humane thing! They could have raised a charity! I’ve searched the internet and I couldn’t find any site for donations, just accusations towards Serbian people. If you know any site where you can donate or volunteer, please post it.


If you’re asking yourselves why they are tied, it’s simple. There is not enough staff to take care of them. Why? Because there’s not enough money in the budget to finance their pays. But why don’t you volunteer? Because people are working hard 24/7 trying to feed their families and themselves. Ask yourselves how is it possible to take care of other people if you’re struggling everyday to survive.
And our government is to blame, a lot. They’re doing a very shitty job. But people here were so tormented over history that they do not have enough strength to rise up. I dream of one day being a part of a great revolution. Also, corruption is everywhere, which is a result of a broke nation.

You see? This is just a small portion of what war can do. And what I’m trying to do is open your eyes American people on this wonderful site. Do not believe what you see on the TV about other countries. When your government tells you that they are helping other countries by going to war, they’re shitting you. No help will come from war, only more destruction. I know, I’ve experienced it all.

Just a disclaimer: I’m not saying that Serbia is the poorest country in the world, there are many other countries that are far worse off than ours. I could never compare it to some African countries. But still, we aren’t financially stable to take care of all our less fortunate citizens.

This turned awful, sorry I’m bad at writing stuff like this, I’m only good at yaoi ff~
To resume: what i was trying to say is that do not believe what you see on the TV because they only show you one side of the picture, and also, if you find any site where you can donate for this cause, please post it down below. Or even better, do not only post about this problem, post any charity that you believe enough money isn’t donated for.

So once again, the purpose of this post is to let the world know that we aren’t heartless bastards and that we can’t make sights like this go away without help. My goal is to raise awareness of this problem (and many more like this one) with Serbs and also with the whole world.

Please, do not remove this text when reblogging. Thank you.

queerdreamerpoetry
Big clitorises aren’t allowed in America. By big, I mean over three-eighths of an inch for newborns, about the size of a pencil eraser. Tiny penises, under one inch, aren’t allowed either. A big clitoris is considered too capable of becoming alarmingly erect, and a tiny penis is not quite capable enough. Such genitals are confounding to the strictly maintained and comforting social order in America today, which has everyone believing that bodies come in only two ways: perfectly female and perfectly male.
Martha Coventry, “The Tyranny of the Esthetic: Surgery’s Most Intimate Violation,” On the Issues (Summer 1998).
queerdreamerpoetry
Big clitorises aren’t allowed in America. By big, I mean over three-eighths of an inch for newborns, about the size of a pencil eraser. Tiny penises, under one inch, aren’t allowed either. A big clitoris is considered too capable of becoming alarmingly erect, and a tiny penis is not quite capable enough. Such genitals are confounding to the strictly maintained and comforting social order in America today, which has everyone believing that bodies come in only two ways: perfectly female and perfectly male.
Martha Coventry, “The Tyranny of the Esthetic: Surgery’s Most Intimate Violation,” On the Issues (Summer 1998).
golden-zephyr-deactivated201401

Gypsy = Romani and other Myths

golden-zephyr:

When I tell people I’m Romani, I usually have to clarify by adding Gypsy. Even then, I usually receive blank stares. However, if people do say anything, they generally say something along the lines of, “Oh! You mean like Esmeralda!” Sometimes, I even get comments about living in a caravan, marrying my brother, or questions about how many fights I get in or how many children I have.

This is largely because most people, if they have any awareness of “Gypsies” at all, usually only have information provided by media - such as cartoons, news reports, or documentary TV shows.

The word Gypsy, as anyone knows who follows this blog, is considered a slur by many of the people mislabeled underneath it (but certainly not by all). In the US alone, there are over two million “Gypsies”… but what does that actually mean?

Well, in the US there are four main groups which are considered ethnically to be “Gypsy” -

Irish Travellers
Black Dutch/Chikkener
Romanichal/Romany
and Roma (Romani)

In many cases, the Irish Traveller, Romanichal, and Romany populations have been in the US since the US began - brought over from the UK as slaves or indentured servants. However, often times families were required to sneak in, since if a ship was known to be carrying large numbers of “Gypsies” it was refused port and turned around… which often meant certain death to those on board. There are tales of “Gypsy” families being pitched overboard before docking so that the ship was allowed to make port. Irish Traveller groups have often been conflated with Scottish Travellers, even though Scottish Travellers are often of Romani heritage, but I don’t know of any groups in the US who specifically identify as “Scottish Traveller”.

The Black Dutch/Chikkener are German Sinte and Roma who came over between the 1700s and early 1900s. They settled mostly in the NE of the US, though there are some populations throughout the Eastern coastal states. Many of these families intermarried with Native American and African American families and so are often of mixed heritage.

There are many older Roma populations here - the majority are of Vlax heritage it seems (Kalderash, Lovari, and Gurbet), with smaller pockets of Balkan (Ursari, Kalajdži), Northwestern (Sinte), and others. There are also larger groups of recent Romani immigrants, particularly from Hungary, Slovakia/Czech Republic, and Romania.

Generally, those families who’ve been here longer tend to call themselves “American Roma” or “American Travellers”. Though, this isn’t always the case.

So, even here in the US, where people think that “Gypsies” are mythical, magical, and ‘not a real people’ (I’ve actually had people tell me “I thought you were extinct!”) or are the mafia-esque tropes from NatGeo and TLC shows like My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Gypsy Sisters, and American Gypsies …. there are millions of us living from many different groups.

We don’t all speak the same language, and even if we do, we don’t all speak the same dialect. We don’t all uphold the same cultural traditions. We’re not all of the same religion.

I think, most importantly, we’re not homogeneous. There are many ways to be and look and live as a “Gypsy”. We might have white skin, brown skin, black skin. We might be Orthodox, Catholic, Baptist, Buddhist, Muslim, Pagan.

We might speak Romanes, we might not.
We might live with our families, we might not.
We might maintain our traditions, we might not.

So please don’t mistake that the word Gypsy ONLY equates to Romani. This simply isn’t the case.

soredtherose

Tell Congress: Amend “Anti-Protest Bill” to Ensure First Amendment Protections

soredtherose:

Imagine an America in which the government can deny protest in any public space it deems fit. Where wearing a dissenting shirt around an elected official could be construed as a felony. Where First-Amendment protections become privileges subjectively doled out by the state. Sadly, that America is pretty much here.

In March, Congress passed HR 347, a bill that limits Americans’ ability to protest in public and on government grounds. Mainstream media didn’t raise peep, but now there’s finally some anger building. The bill, passed almost unanimously, makes it a federal offense punishable by up to ten years in prison to “knowingly“ protest in the vicinity of the Secret Service—that is anywhere the Secret Service “is or will be temporarily visiting.”

It also makes many public events impervious to lawful protest. Any “National Security Special Event” (NSSE) requires Secret Service protection. NSSE-designated events have proliferated since 9/11 to include Super Bowls, concerts, campaign events, and now any public event that Very Important People want protest-free. 

Most dangerously, it criminalizes protest
. Under the bill, “disorderly or disruptive conduct” or activities that “impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions” could warrant felony charges. What constitutes such “disruptive conduct” rests in the eye of the beholder—or the eye of Eric Holder. To put it plainly: the government can decide where and when free speech is allowed and severely prosecute any “disruptive” activity, while we’re confined to “free speech zones.” We can help fix it, however! Join our petition below to protect our speech rights!

PETITION TO CONGRESS
: We treasure our first amendment rights of free speech and public assembly! HR 347 limits valid arenas of peaceful public protest, and broadens the government’s ability to curtail civil liberties. We demand that Congress amend the bill to provide clearer language as to what constitutes “disruptions”; to allow for reasonable, peaceful protest at NSSEs and around Secret Service; and to ensure that no peaceful protest can ever be deemed a felony.

SIGN HERE: http://act.watchdog.net/petitions/963?l=PUIIHd0RcuE

TL;DR: Guys, this is REALLY fucking important. Under this bill Occupy Wall Street, the March on Washington & virtually ANY other protests could not have happened. Peaceful protests are an important part of our political process (not to mention our Constitutional Rights!) Please take a moment to sign & reblog this. Thanks!

theoriginalfoxmccloud-deactivat

theoriginalfoxmccloud:

PROPORTION OF ‘NONES’ HAS TRIPLED SINCE 1990

America is slowly losing its religion, according to the latest Pew Center survey. Reported membership of major religious denominations (from Baptists to Catholics to Lutherans) is flat or inching downward, while the proportion of those who list their religious affiliations as “None” has reached 19%, up from just 6% in 1990, reports USA Today. The “Nones” include atheists, agnostics, and those who simply say they believe “nothing in particular.”

“None” is becoming the “default category,” says sociologist Barry Kosmin. “Young people are resistant to the authority of institutional religion, older people are turned off by the politicization of religion, and people are simply less into theology than ever before,” he says. But demographics might hold the number of Nones down, notes a Duke University expert. They tend to be young, single, and highly educated, all groups with low birth rates, and a big proportion of immigrants to the US come from highly religious countries like Mexico.

jayaprada

arielnietzsche:

On November 26, 1941, a White House aide named Henry Field was summoned to the office of Franklin Roosevelt’s secretary, Grace Tully, for what seemed like a bizarre assignment. Tully instructed Field, one of the president’s bright young staffers, to produce, as quickly as possible, the names and addresses of all Japanese Americans, whether born in Japan or America. The assignment was “of the utmost urgency,” said Tully, adding, “Use your own judgment to achieve results causing the least possible chance of a breach in security.”

This was eleven days before Pearl Harbor. That same day Secretary of State Cordell Hull issued what amounted to an ultimatum to two top Japanese diplomats, ambassador to the U.S. Kichisaburo Nomura and special envoy Saburo Kurusu. “Nomuru,” writes John Toland in his book Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath, “was too stunned to talk,” while Kurusu instantly saw that this would be regarded in Tokyo as “an insult.” Having placed Japan under strain of severe economic sanctions, the United States now was showing no willingness to negotiate a way out of the impasse short of a Japanese humiliation. This was the day Roosevelt both ensured war with Japan and began preparing for the incarceration of Japanese-Americans when the war came.

America today is once again on a path to war—this time with Iran—and the road is dotted with many of the same signposts seen in Roosevelt’s path to war seventy years ago. Like Roosevelt in his dealings with Japan, President Barack Obama has helped place Iran under severe strain of economic sanctions. Like Roosevelt, he has received from the adversary signals of flexibility in the search for a mutually satisfactory solution. Like Roosevelt, Obama has rebuffed those overtures. Roosevelt was under pressure from Britain’s prime minister Winston Churchill to hang tough, and Obama is under similar pressure from Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu.

There may be one big difference, but we can’t know for sure. While the historical record shows clearly that Roosevelt actually wanted war with Japan, it isn’t clear this is Obama’s desired outcome. If it is, his actions make sense. If not, his approach seems reckless.

For there should be no mistaking the reality that the United States and Iran are on a collision course, as reflected in the ongoing negotiations between the so-called P5+1 (the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany) and Iran. The next session is set for June 18–19 in Moscow, and this session isn’t likely to lead to a blowup, not least because Obama has a large political incentive to keep the talks going at least through the November election. But the last session in Baghdad seemed to indicate that, if there is indeed any prospect for a negotiated settlement, Obama and the other P5+1 powers aren’t demonstrating any interest in exploring it. To understand this dynamic, it is helpful to review events leading up to the next negotiating session.

Any such review should take into account the recent writings of Seyed Hossein Mousavian. The former spokesman for Iran’s nuclear negotiations team and also Iranian ambassador to Germany for seven years, Mousavian now is a research fellow at Princeton. He was arrested by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on charges of espionage in 2007 but was acquitted by the country’s judiciary. He is the author of a recently published book called The Iranian Nuclear Crisis: A Memoir.

In his writings and public speaking, Mousavian disputes those in the West who declare Iran is bent on developing nuclear weapons. As he said in an interview with the Middle East Institute, “I am confident that Iran is not seeking to have nuclear weapons.”

Indeed, in the spring of 2005, Iran, in negotiations with European powers, offered to convert its enriched uranium to fuel rods, which would have precluded the country from using it for nuclear weapons. That was rejected by Britain at America’s insistence, says Mousavian. Later, in 2010 and 2011, Iran offered to limit its enrichment to 5 percent if the West would provide fuel rods for peaceful nuclear uses. Shortly thereafter, Russia put forth a “step-by-step” plan designed to break the impasse. Both times the United States balked, leading Russia’s then prime minister Vladimir Putin to suggest publicly that the West’s real design was regime change in Iran (a prospect guaranteed to generate powerful nuclear incentives in Tehran).

Against this backdrop, Mousavian sees a possible avenue of peace. Iran is willing to curtail its nuclear program and accept transparency measures, he says, so long as the West recognizes Iran’s right to enrich uranium up to 5 percent, which is allowed under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which Iran is a signatory. This should satisfy Americans who want to see from Iran some form of confidence-building gesture. But he adds that Iran wants confidence-building gestures as well, and these should be in the form of some gradual lifting of sanctions.

Under this concept, Iran and its negotiating adversaries could craft a step-by-step process designed to build confidence on both sides and reach an accommodation based on Iran giving up nuclear-weapon ambitions but retaining an ability to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. “We take a step, you take a step,” says Mousavian.

read more —>

jayaprada
All this violence cannot be attributed to sectarianism alone. After all, Lebanese from all sects, genders, regions, and classes cheered on the destruction of a refugee camp and the killing and displacement of its inhabitants. In 2008 Lebanese citizens from all sects supported Hezbollah’s actions and Lebanese citizens from all sects were against them. By 2011, Lebanese of all sects had grown tired of Saad Hariri’s multifaceted deficiencies and Lebanese of all sects supported him. The word “sectarianism” fails to capture the nature of these disputes over Lebanon’s future and its geopolitical alliances. In addition to a political system that produces sectarian identities as political identities, Lebanon is defined by underdevelopment and a class structure that sags with extremes. Furthermore, political leaders, many of whom used to be militia leaders during the 1975-1990 civil war, practice corruption and incite violence with impunity. This impunity rests on the painful truth that a majority of Lebanese citizens depend on these leaders and their patronage to make their families’ lives more livable. More painful still is the hard fact that beginning with the post civil war tenure of Rafik Hariri, all mainstream political parties have, without exception, followed neoliberal economic that ravage the middle and working classes. Only elites with disposable capital have been able to capitalize on these policies, further exacerbating the class divide.

Blaming Others: A History of Violence in Lebanon

What is happening in Lebanon should also be seen through the geopolitical lens of the Arab-Israeli conflict and US-Saudi foreign policy, part of which is war against Hizbollah and the very idea of armed resistance against Israel. As violence continues, Hizbollah loses their standing as a “national party” and is increasingly seen as a Shiite political party and militia. Their ability to maintain a ceasefire comes through brute force and the knowledge that they can easily defeat any configuration of Lebanese factions, militarily at least. This is a sad and dangerous chapter to a story that includes within it the national euphoria and pride that enveloped Hizbollah following the Israeli withdrawals of 2000 and 2006.

(via fyeahnoamchomsky)

jayaprada

theamericanbear:

From Juan Cole:

The Obama administration has long emphasized the importance of domestic cybersecurity, but recent statements show an increasing openness about offensive capabilities. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged last month that government hackers had attacked Al Qaeda propaganda sites in Yemen, changing information in ads that talked about killing Americans to show how many Yemenis had died in Al Qaeda attacks.

For years, the Iranians had no idea they were being attacked, blaming their own workers or faults in their facilities, The Times said. But because Stuxnet was inadvertently released, any government— not to mention any hacker with spare time and a malicious streak — can create their own mutation of the weapon.

As the Times points out, “No country’s infrastructure is more dependent on computer systems, and thus more vulnerable to attack, than that of the United States.” Siemens makes specialized industrial controllers that were targeted by the Olympic Games attacks. As Siemens confirmed to ProPublica, the same hardware and software holes Stuxnet took advantage of in Iran exist in thousands of locations in the U.S. and worldwide. The vulnerable equipment controls everything from natural gas pipelines to refineries and power transmission lines.

American cybersecurity experts have long warned that it’s only a matter of time before someone turns an equally destructive cyberweapon on our own systems. Now that Stuxnet’s origins are clear, the odds of that happening might be even higher.

Read whole