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    World News
5/1/06 - 5/21/2006


Saturday  5/20/2006

A Discourse of Third World Hope - Chavez Takes London  5/20/2006 Counterpunch 

Climate Scientist To CEI: Stop Misrepresenting My Research  5/20/2006 Think Progress: "On Wednesday, the Competitive Enterprise Institute – a front group funded by ExxonMobil and other big oil companies – launched two advertisements in response to Al Gore’s new movie about global warming, An Inconvenient Truth. One of the advertisements attempts to show that the scientific evidence for global warming is in dispute, claiming a study found the “Antarctic ice sheet is getting thicker, not thinner.” The primary author of that study, Curt Davis, has issued statement blasting CEI’s use of his study."


Tuesday  5/16/2006

topAtta's Big Gamble. Plus: Jack Abramoff's Link To A Mysterious Saudi -- And Perhaps To Al Qaeda  5/16/2006 Brad Blog: published 8/05 - "The FBI does not include any mention of Chams in their publicly-released material on Atta. Of course, we now know (from the Able Danger story and other sources) that Atta did far more in this country than the Authorized Version would have us believe. Casino ship owner Cham and his disturbing dealings with wealthy Saudis find an echo in the career of Jack Abramoff. Not only was he in the same business, he also has a Saudi connection many will consider unsettling. As Kate Camborat the TPM Cafe notes, Abramoff did PR work for a Saudi billionaire named Saleh Abdullah Kamel, chairman of the General Council for Islamic Banks. Kamel sure needed a good PR person. According to a number of published accounts report (which I cannot independently confirm), he has another good buddy -- a fellow named Osama Bin Laden."

5.5 Ton Cocaine Bust Reveals New Details of 9.11 Attack  5/16/2006 Mad Cow Morning News: "Makram Chams owned a Kwik-Check convenience store in Venice, where the biggest overseas money transfer to the terrorists, $70,000 from the UAE., was sent, according to the testimony of FBI agents during the 9.11 Commission hearings. Actually the FBI testimony never mentioned Chams, or his store. They did however show the receipt for the money order at the final hearing of the 9.11 Commission, which we attended. And we were already familiar with the address where the money order went: 201 Nokomis Avenue. Makram Cham's Kwik-Chek... Strangely, Chams left town soon after the 9.11 attack, abandoning a thriving convenience store which has stood vacant ever since… An understanding of what Makram Chams had been doing while in Venice--and for whom--had eluded us, and been one of our biggest unanswered questions, one which might shed light on whether the U.S. Government possessed guilty foreknowledge--or even culpability--in the 9.11 attack. Our search for Chams had been unsuccessful. No one knew where he was, or why he'd left. But now Chams has re-surfaced in Saudi Arabia, where he worked in an unlikely capacity: as a contractor for American defense firm Titan Corp. News of Makram Chams' current whereabouts came to us when a researcher recently sent this addendum to Titan Corp’s 2005 SEC filing: “On March 14, 2005, Makram Majid Chams, a former consultant of Titan filed a claim with the Preliminary Committee on Labor Disputes Settlement in Saudi Arabia. Mr. Chams alleges that Titan wrongfully terminated his consulting agreement and that he was defamed by Titan's publication in a local newspaper of a mandatory notice that he is no longer representing Titan. The plaintiff is seeking approximately $21.9 million in damages. We intend to defend our position vigorously.” "


Monday  5/15/2006

topWest's Failure over Climate Change 'Will Kill 182m Africans'  5/15/2006 Independent: "The poorest people in the world will be the chief victims of the West's failure to tackle global warning, with millions of Africans forecast to die by the end of the century, Christian Aid says in a report out today. The potential ravages of climate change are so severe that they could nullify the efforts to end the legacy of poverty and disease across developing countries, the charity says. The report highlights the fact that, despite hand-wringing in the West about the threat to its coastlines from rising temperatures, it is the poorest who are likely to suffer most. It estimates that a "staggering" 182 million people in sub-Saharan Africa could die of disease directly attributable to climate change by 2100. Many millions more face death and devastation from climate-induced floods, famine, drought and conflict."

Chris Cox,SEC,Makram Majid Chams, 9/11,Abhu Ghraib,etc.  5/15/2006 IndyMedia: compendium of material about Chams - "Makram Chams, although Lebanese, is more connected to the U.S. military - industrial complex as well as to elite Saudis than anything. In other words he is a George W Bush kind of guy first and a Lebanese last,he just happened to be born in Lebanon. While he owned a convenience store in Venice,Florida and was a friend to Mohamed Atta he disappeared immediately after 9/11 or so we thought.As it turned out he did NOT seek refuge in the enemy states of Afghanistan under the Taliban or in Saddam's Iraq.No.Although of Lebanese birth,he took refuge with W Bush's allies in Saudi Arabia where he was and presumeably is protected and was employed by the U.S. military-industrial corp Titan, presumably using his 'good works' in Venice,Florida with Mohamed Atta et.al.,as part of his resume.."


Friday  5/12/2006

topA bang not a whimper: Bush’s Endgame Strategy  5/12/2006 Global Research: "When the little that is now known about the background of Josh Bolten and Joel Kaplan is examined, it turns out that they are slightly more than mere proteges of Karl Rove, as they were initially described. Josh Bolten’s father is Seymour Bolten, who was a top ranking deputy to George Herbert Walker Bush during his brief, eleven-month tenure as Director (DCI) of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1976. The two men worked closely together. Documents released through the FOIA revealed Bolten Sr’s role in assisting Bush Sr. to probe a troubling problem for a previous DCI, Richard Helms. When embarrassing documents were published that proved Helms had deliberately misinformed the Warren Commission, Bolten Sr. advised Bush Sr. that Helms had lied to the Warren Commission when he told them that the CIA had never “contemplated” contacting Lee Harvey Oswald. Later documents proved that Helms was lying, and this scandal threatened to open one of the most malignant enigmas ever doomed to stalk the shadows of American history: the assassination of JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald and the CIA. This was a problem that Bush Sr. did not want to see return from the dead to haunt the CIA on his watch as DCI. Bush Sr. instructed Bolten Sr. to analyze Helms’s exposure to further legal problems and criminal charges that might arise from his false testimony to the Warren Commission. In doing so, Bolten Sr. concluded that the former DCI’s predicament might cause him some public discomfort but no additional legal problems, i.e. no criminal charges. Helms had other legal problems involving lying under oath to a Senate Committee investigating the CIA. For these crimes, Helms would eventually receive the censure of Congress."

US in secret gun deal - Small arms shipped from Bosnia to Iraq 'go missing' as Pentagon uses dealers  5/12/2006 Guardian: "A complex web of private firms, arms brokers and freight firms, was behind the transfer of the guns, as well as millions of rounds of ammunition, to Iraq at "bargain basement prices", according to Hugh Griffiths, Amnesty's investigator. The Moldovan air firm which flew the cargo out of a US air base at Tuzla, north-east Bosnia, was flying without a licence. The firm, Aerocom, named in a 2003 UN investigation of the diamonds-for-guns trade in Liberia and Sierra Leone, is now defunct, but its assets and aircraft are registered with another Moldovan firm, Jet Line International. Some of the firms used in the Pentagon sponsored deals were also engaged in illegal arms shipments from Serbia and Bosnia to Liberia and to Saddam Hussein four years ago."

National Archives' Investigation into Missing Papers of Chief Justice John Roberts  5/12/2006 Memory Hole: "A file folder containing papers from Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr.'s work on affirmative action more than 20 years ago disappeared from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library after its review by two lawyers from the White House and the Justice Department in July, according to officials at the library and the National Archives and Records Administration. The Inspector General of the National Archives launched a criminal investigation, which ended in late September 2005. The investigation was inconclusive to say the least, as the Inspector General still has no idea "whether the missing file was taken intentionally, unintentionally, or lost." However, the report does add some new information to the mystery. For example, in contradiction to the Washington Post's article, the administration lawyers did have unsupervised access to the documents at some points: While the researchers were reviewing the files an archivist was in the room with them except when the researchers made conference calls to the White House. During those occasions the researchers were left alone in the office with the records for periods of up to 30 minutes. [page 3]"


Thursday  5/11/2006

topNot So Fast … Save Darfur?  5/11/2006 Counterpunch: "If President Bush had any foresight at all, he'd intervene in the Darfur mayhem just to slice a wedge in the antiwar movement. President Nixon attempted to do such a thing in the early 1970s when his administration helped establish the Environmental Protection Agency. Nixon thought the antiwar movement at the time was largely made of up radical environmentalists, so he figured why not divide the movement by appeasing a few of the enviros' wishes. Fortunately for those who wanted U.S. armed forces out of Vietnam, Nixon's ploy didn't work. Today, the Save Darfur campaign is the cause du jour for the liberal wing of the antiwar movement. And unlike Nixon and the EPA in the '70s, if Bush gets involved in Darfur he may well derail the mounting opposition to the war in Iraq. George Clooney and a handful of other Hollywood big shots, along with over 164 humanitarian and religious groups, are now calling on the United States to hustle troops over to stop the ethnic conflict. Bin Laden, in his latest radio hit (if it was really him), claimed the Darfur region of the Sudan, which is largely Muslim, would be the next stop for the U.S. imperial armies. Let's hope he's wrong, even if Clooney and Amnesty International desire it. The United States, if troops were deployed, would most likely only escalate the deaths, not end them. "

French Prime Minister under full scale neo-son attack.  5/11/2006 Wayne Madsen Report: scroll down to 3rd entry for May 11, 2006 - "French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, under fire for carrying out an order from President Jacques Chirac to investigate neo-con Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy's financial sources and discovered links to a Luxembourg-based clearinghouse called Clearstream. Sarkozy was suspected of illegally receiving kickbacks involving the sale of six French frigates to Taiwan in 1991. According to informed French and Italian sources, Sarkozy, who is being defended by the global neo-con media as the victim of a "smear campaign," appears to be up to his neck in suspicious foreign financial connections and that is what prompted DeVillepin, Chirac, and French intelligence to investigate the right-wing and vociferously anti-Arab and anti-Muslim Interior Minister. Sarkozy is suspected of links to the same Russian-Israeli mafia syndicates that have been connected to Jack Abramoff, Dick Cheney, and leading Israeli politicians."

Israeli Gestapo-like security personnel intimidate travelers from Europe coming to the United States  5/11/2006 Wayne Madsen Report: scroll down to May 11, 2006 - "Israeli Gestapo-like security personnel intimidate travelers from Europe coming to the United States. According to European journalists, Israeli citizens and European nationals who are employees of the airport passenger screening firm ICTS -- International Consultants for Targeted Security -- an Israeli firm based in the Netherlands, routinely intimidates journalists who are visiting the United States, demanding to know what stories they are working and with whom they will be talking. ICTS currently has contracts with Delta Airlines at Paris Charles deGaulle, Gatwick in London, Continental out of Milan and Barcelona, and 100 other airlines operating out of 50 European airports in 12 countries and the firm employs some 5000 personnel. Many of the firm's officers are ex-Mossad and Shin Bet officers. In one incident, an Israeli ICTS screener at deGaulle accused a boarding journalist of being like all other journalists in "causing disruption" by spreading untrue stories and being "arrogant." The passenger was repeatedly warned by the screener and the manager that an "instant deportation" from the U.S. Homeland Security Department would be in store for failing to answer questions about the nature of the story being investigated. When passengers shows "arrogance," ICTS screeners place red ICTS tags on their luggage and ticket envelope. U.S. airlines and "Kapo" Chertoff's Homeland Security Department should be forced to explain why American and foreign journalists are being subjected to such blatant Mossad intelligence collection operations and who authorized these operations. These tactics are baring wide open the cowardly global agenda of the neo-cons. This editor would like an explanation why Israelis are representing (or misrepresenting) the policies of the United States government abroad and who gave them the right to determine who can and cannot visit the United States."


Wednesday  5/10/2006

topDebate far from over for Mexico's drug bill  5/10/2006 Monitor: "Mexico's Secretary of Public Security Eduardo Medina Mora argues the bill has been sensationalized by the media. Selling drugs or using them in public would remain a crime punishable by jail, and police would still be able to take anyone found using drugs into custody for questioning, he told reporters last week. The bill also sets stiffer penalties for trafficking and empowers Mexico's 400,000 local and state police to pursue and arrest street dealers, something that is now the responsibility only of the 21,000-strong federal police force. Mexico would not have been the first country to decriminalize drugs. Half a dozen European countries, as well as Colombia, have passed some form of decriminalization law, says Bruce Bagley, a professor of international studies at the University of Miami. Many other countries have decriminalized marijuana. Most US states, by contrast, have much stricter laws. "Is decriminalization the way to go? Absolutely," says Mr. Bagley. "The US method of repression does not work. Not only have we failed to reduce drug use, we have filled our jails with prisoners in for drug-related crimes, many of them non- violent - which has a devastating impact on society, especially on the poor.""

Major cocaine shipment, using a CIA proprietary aircraft, landed in Mexico en route from Caracas, Venezuela with 5.5 tons of cocaine on board  5/10/2006 Wayne Madsen Report: scroll down to May 10, 2006 - "WMR reported on April 21 on a major cocaine shipment, using a CIA proprietary aircraft, that landed in Mexico en route from Caracas, Venezuela with 5.5 tons of cocaine on board. The pilot was reported to have "escaped" from Mexican police. U.S. and foreign neo-con propaganda organs immediately tried to link the aircraft, a DC-9 that was sold to unknown persons in Venezuela by a Clearwater, Florida-based firm called Royal Sons, LLC, to Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and Colombia's FARC guerrillas. The plane was painted in the colors and bore an insignia similar to those used by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The insignia identified the aircraft as "Sky Way Aircraft." It has now been revealed by knowledgeable sources that Sky Way is affiliated with an off-shore company called DuPont Fund 57289, Inc., headed by a "Richard DuPont, Jr.," who likely does not exist. DuPont Fund is not affiliated with the DuPont business group or any subsidiaries of the multinational chemical firm. DuPont Fund is headquartered at Apartado 10455-1000 in San Jose, Costa Rica. This is the same address used by Red Sea Management, Ltd., an off-shore company and trust facilitator that is linked to another address -- 76 Dean Street in Belize City, Belize, which is apparently a post office box drop. Red Sea has a Cyprus-based subsidiary called Dark Sea Consultants that specializes in on-line gambling operations in the Middle East and East Asia. WMR sources report that this operation, involving cocaine smuggling and on-line gambling, is linked to the illegal operations of convicted GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff, members of Russian-Israeli-Ukrainian crime syndicates, and top Republican elected officials, including Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Texas Rep. Tom DeLay, and others who benefited from the infusion of drug and gambling proceeds into their political war chests, as well as the financing of pay-offs and bribes to election officials in Florida, Ohio, and other states to buy the 2004 election for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney." [see WMR for links to earlier stories on this topic].


Tuesday  5/9/2006

topAhmadinejad’s letter to Bush  5/9/2006 CNN: text of 8 pages of the letter, where are the 18?

JUDGE ORDERS WORLD CAN'T WAIT ACTIVIST TO JAIL PSYCH UNIT  5/9/2006 World Can't Wait: "In a hastily called hearing yesterday, Judge McGinty made a highly unusual and outrageous decision to force Carol to undergo a state psychological exam as part of her pre-sentencing investigation. From the very start of Carol's case, the judge has openly said that she must have mental problems for resisting an unlawful and brutal encounter with Cleveland Heights police. He went even further in yesterday's hearing, saying that her opposition to the Bush regime makes her "delusional." The small courtroom on the 21st floor of the Justice Center was ringed with 5 armed court bailiffs. McGinty started off the hearing by making Carol stand up and had one of her attorneys read her t-shirt, which said: "Wanted for Illegally Crossing Borders: The Bush Regime "If you are going to insist that crossing borders illegally is a crime which cannot be tolerated, how about George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice (and yes, Colin Powell) and the rest of that gang, with their highly illegal, and violent, 'crossing of the border'-into Iraq, among other places?!"


Monday  5/8/2006

topIs There Something Other Than Altruism Afoot? The Dangers of Misunderstanding Sudan  5/8/2006 Counterpunch 


Sunday  5/7/2006

topDid Bush Force British Minister Out? London Papers: Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's Iran Stance Prompted Angry Bush Call To Blair  5/7/2006 CBS 

America`s Geopolitical Nightmare and Eurasian Strategic Energy Arrangements  5/7/2006 Geoplitics - Geoeconomics: "By drawing attention to Iraq and the obvious role oil plays in US policy today, the Bush-Cheney administration has done just that: They have drawn the world’s energy-deficit powers’ attention firmly to the strategic battle over energy and especially oil. This is already having consequences for the global economy in terms of $75 a barrel crude oil price levels. Now it is taking on the dimension of what one former US Defense Secretary rightly calls a ‘geopolitical nightmare’ for the United States. The creation by Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld and company of a geopolitical nightmare, is also the backdrop to comprehend the dramatic political shift within the US establishment in the past six months, away from the Bush Presidency. Simply put: Bush/Cheney and their band of neo-conservative warhawks, with their special relationship to the capacities of Israel in Iraq and across the Mideast, were given a chance… The most fascinating indication of a sea-change within the American political establishment towards the Bush Doctrine and those who are behind it is the developing debate around the 83 -page paper, first published on the official website of Harvard University, criticizing the dominant role of Israel in shaping US foreign policy… The paper, ‘The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,’ was written by two highly respected US foreign policy realists and consultants to the State Department. The authors are neither neo-Nazi skinheads nor anti-Semites. John J. Mearsheimer is political science professor and co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago. Stephen M. Walt is academic dean and a chaired professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Both are members of the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy. They are so-called ‘realists’ along with Kissinger, Scowcroft, Brzezinski."


Saturday  5/6/2006

topCuban, Venezuelan Aid Streams Into Bolivia  5/6/2006 AP 

Klan anti-immigration rally draws supporters, protesters  5/6/2006 Birmingham News: scroll down to May 6, 2006 - "The event began with about a 10-minute march by 50 people, including about a dozen robed klansmen, to the front of the Franklin County Courthouse for the rally. Franklin County, with a population of about 31,000, has seen a growth in its Hispanic population in recent years. Hispanics now make up more than 7 percent of the population, nearly double the percentage of blacks living in the county, according to 2004 census figures. At the rally, marchers yelled anti-immigration slogans such as "Send them back." One robed woman held a sign saying "Remember the Alamo, Stop Invasion Now, Save America."" [Let's remember the Alamo and how Santa Anna went aftwerwards to free Texas slave and hand their masters' land to them.]

CIA boss Goss is cooked  5/6/2006 NY Post: "CIA Director Porter Goss abruptly resigned yesterday amid allegations that he and a top aide may have attended Watergate poker parties where bribes and prostitutes were provided to a corrupt congressman. Kyle (Dusty) Foggo, the No. 3 official at the CIA, could soon be indicted in a widening FBI investigation of the parties thrown by defense contractor Brent Wilkes, named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the bribery conviction of former Rep. Randall (Duke) Cunningham, law enforcement sources said… Johnson vouched for the integrity of Foggo and Goss but said, "Dusty was a big poker player, and it's my understanding that Porter Goss was also there \[at Wilkes' parties\] for poker. It's going to be guilt by association." "It's all about the Duke Cunningham scandal," a senior law enforcement official told the Daily News in reference to Goss' resignation. Duke, a California Republican, was sentenced to more than eight years in prison after pleading guilty in November to taking $2.4 million in homes, yachts and other bribes in exchange for steering government contracts. Goss' inability to handle the allegations swirling around Foggo prompted John Negroponte, the director of National Intelligence, who oversees all of the nation's spy agencies, to press for the CIA chief's ouster, the senior official said. The official said Goss is not an FBI target but "there is an impending indictment" of Foggo for steering defense contracts to his poker buddies."


Friday  5/5/2006

topSex, Lies, and Government Contracts  5/5/2006 Alternert 

Is It Possible to Have a Civilized Discussion About the Role of Israel in American Foreign Policy? The Storm over "the Israel Lobby" By JOHN MEARSHEIMER and STEPHEN WALT  5/5/2006 Counterpunch: the authors of The Israel Lobby fire back!


Thursday  5/4/2006

topMexico's Legacy: a Refuge for Fugitive Slaves and Black Job Seekers  5/4/2006 Black Commentator: "There are of course, many angles from which to view the escalating immigration debate. Mexican immigrants, who constitute the largest share of the undocumented, have a unique history with the African population inside the United States. As the Black community weighs-in on this very contentious issue, it becomes necessary for us (both black and brown) to review the history that we share. However, before reviewing our history together, I need to say unequivocally that the U.S. seizure of more than half of Mexico’s territory in 1848 netted Washington more than 80% of Mexico’s mineral wealth and was a criminal act. And that if Mexico today still included California and Texas, she would possess more oil than Saudi Arabia and have sufficient economic infrastructure to employ all of her people."

Nativists declare open season on undocumented immigrants - Neo-Nazi groups and rabid radio talk show hosts are ramping up the violent rhetoric  5/4/2006 Working for Change 


Wednesday  5/3/2006

topGlobal Warming Cited in Wind Shift  5/3/2006 AP: "It's not clear what climate changes might arise in the area or possibly beyond, but the long-term effect might resemble some aspects of an El Nino event, a study author said. El Ninos boost rainfall in the southern United States and western South America and bring dry weather or even drought to Indonesia, Malaysia and elsewhere in the western Pacific. As for the Pacific food chain near the equator, the slowdown might reduce populations of tiny plants and animals up through the fish that eat them, because of reduced nutrition welling up from the deep, said the author, Gabriel Vecchi… The slowdown was detected in shipboard and land-based data going back to the mid-1800s. It matches an effect predicted by computer climate simulations that trace global warming to a build-up of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, the researchers report. But simulations that consider only natural influences fail to produce the observed slowdown, Vecchi said. So, it appears the slowdown is largely due to the man-made buildup of greenhouse gases, the researchers concluded. And the result lends more credibility to computer models that trace global warming to greenhouse gases, at least for their ability to forecast what will happen in the tropics, Vecchi said."

Depleted Uranium - Far Worse Than 9/11 - Depleted Uranium Dust - Public Health Disaster For The People Of Iraq and Afghanistan  5/3/2006 Global Research: "Two strange phenomena have come about in Basra which I have never seen before. The first is double and triple cancers in one patient. For example, leukemia and cancer of the stomach. We had one patient with 2 cancers - one in his stomach and kidney. Months later, primary cancer was developing in his other kidney--he had three different cancer types. The second is the clustering of cancer in families. We have 58 families here with more than one person affected by cancer. Dr Yasin, a general Surgeon here has two uncles, a sister and cousin affected with cancer. Dr Mazen, another specialist, has six family members suffering from cancer. My wife has nine members of her family with cancer".

Team Abramoff Visited the White House over 200 Times in Bush’s First 10 Months in Office  5/3/2006 Pensito Review: "The Secret Service released logs showing the comings and goings of convicted Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff and members of his staff at the White House that present a jaw-dropping level of access to the Bush Administration after the 2000 election:"


Monday  5/1/2006

topRecords of Abramoff's White House visits  5/1/2006 AP: "The president has said he does not know Abramoff personally. When a photo of Bush with Abramoff surfaced earlier this year, the president said he has his picture taken with "a lot of people." In the 2001 photo, Bush is shaking hands with a leader of an Indian tribe. Abramoff is in the background. A few days after Bush made the remarks about the photo, Abramoff expressed surprise in e-mails to a magazine editor about the president's faulty memory. Abramoff told the Washingtonian magazine that he had met with Bush nearly a dozen times and that Bush knew him well enough to joke with him."

Bush Leverage With Russia, Iran, China Falls as Oil Prices Rise  5/1/2006 Bloomberg: "It's a geopolitical nightmare,'' says William Cohen, a former Republican senator from Maine and defense secretary under President Bill Clinton who is now chairman of the Cohen Group, a Washington-based consulting firm. Such nations as Iran, Russia and China ``don't see us as the colossus that can cause them any harm, either by our economy or by our prestige.'' Record-high energy prices are weakening Bush's prospects of assembling an international coalition to counter Iran's nuclear ambitions. They are diminishing his chances of influencing energy-rich nations such as Russia and isolating troublesome ones including Venezuela and Sudan. And they are straining U.S. economic and diplomatic ties with China, whose oil needs are skyrocketing."

Memoirs of General US Grant  5/1/2006 gutenberg.org: in Chapt 3 - "Ostensibly we were intended to prevent filibustering into Texas, but really as a menace to Mexico in case she appeared to contemplate war. Generally the officers of the army were indifferent whether the annexation was consummated or not; but not so all of them. For myself, I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory. Texas was originally a state belonging to the republic of Mexico. It extended from the Sabine River on the east to the Rio Grande on the west, and from the Gulf of Mexico on the south and east to the territory of the United States and New Mexico—another Mexican state at that time—on the north and west. An empire in territory, it had but a very sparse population, until settled by Americans who had received authority from Mexico to colonize. These colonists paid very little attention to the supreme government, and introduced slavery into the state almost from the start, though the constitution of Mexico did not, nor does it now, sanction that institution. Soon they set up an independent government of their own, and war existed, between Texas and Mexico, in name from that time until 1836, when active hostilities very nearly ceased upon the capture of Santa Anna, the Mexican President. Before long, however, the same people—who with permission of Mexico had colonized Texas, and afterwards set up slavery there, and then seceded as soon as they felt strong enough to do so—offered themselves and the State to the United States, and in 1845 their offer was accepted. The occupation, separation and annexation were, from the inception of the movement to its final consummation, a conspiracy to acquire territory out of which slave states might be formed for the American Union."

"There is one safeguard known generally to the wise, which is an advantage and security to all, but especially to Democracies as against despots: suspicion." -- Demosthenes

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