Home country: USA
Member since: Wed Jul 16, 2008, 08:35 PM
Number of posts: 18,930
Home country: USA
Member since: Wed Jul 16, 2008, 08:35 PM
Number of posts: 18,930
at the UN Security Council (this is a really screwed up system only 4 or 5 permanent nations -- at-least balance there) and 10 temporary members with one that can sponsor stuff. At-this time it was Jordan which US & Saudi Arabia strongly favored the Houthi Sanctions. Basically no one can give them weapons, they are required to give up and release "political prisoners" which amazed me because how do they have political prisoners already but the hypocrisy & double standard of it with the Hadi Government is a top 5 corrupt country "kleptocracy" and with a very brutal human rights record that lock up people for being Houthi or a suspicious of being a Houthi loyalist as well as Sunnis in the South (the old North & South Yemen divide -- Saudi backed the north & the South was "socialist/marxist" backed by the USSR until the funds dried up and they reunificated followed by a "socialist purge" but not long after there was the 1994 Yemen Civil War -- basically civil wars since the 1960s). Also the former President who also happens to be Houthi was also sanctioned.
Russia was actually calling for both sanctions for all sides & humanitarian pauses in the Saudi airstrikes because they has been a problem with refugees trying to escape the country with all the bombing going on. Including US citizens. That was denied & Russia ended up abstaining from the vote which is effectively a "no vote" but the Houthi sanctions were passed (I imagine rather easily based on the lineup like Nigeria which is owned by Shell).
So we end up doing a lot to help the Saudi-coalition bomb them with American made top flight helicopters and planes which includes Jordan Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain. All but Sudan (that I know of) receive US arms deals except Sudan (that i know of but somebody supplies them) as I imagine it would be incredibly controversial though the US media no longer covers them except to report George Clooney reporting a human rights violation (remember Rwanda?). Also everyone is sanctioned by the US (not referring to the UN-type), if you used your phone to order something from the US you can't deliver it to Sudan. They won't let you -- unless the company is willing to get hemmed up. So consider the financial incentive from the defense industry to push war because all those countries are going to need a refill of $1.5 million Lockheed Martin bombs dropped for one example.
On edit -- I don't know exactly what has been spent to "keep Houthis quiet" except maybe to send it to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to "silence them" but there has been a lot of rumbling in Yemen far outside the Houthis. What outrages Saudi Arabia is the religious minority they are specifically ramping up and targeting. They also don't like Socialism or anything that gives back money to the people. They are just like "Qatar's World Cup slaves" which is the status quo that the DoD and US oil companies are guilty of.
The Southern Movement, sometimes known as the Southern Mobility Movement, Southern Separatist Movement, or South Yemen Movement, and colloquially known as al-Hirak (Arabic: الحراك الجنوبي is a popular movement active in the former South Yemen since 2007, demanding secession from the Republic of Yemen.
After the union between South Yemen and North Yemen on May 22, 1990, a civil war broke out in 1994, resulting in the defeat of the weakened southern armed forces and the expulsion of most of its leaders, including the former Secretary-General of the Yemeni Socialist party and the Vice-President of the unified Yemen, Ali Salim al-Beidh.
After the 1994 civil war and the national unity which followed, many southerners expressed grievance at perceived injustices against them which remained unaddressed for years. Their main accusations against the Yemeni government included widespread corruption, electoral fraud, and a mishandling of the power-sharing arrangement agreed to by both parties in 1990. The bulk of these claims were levelled at the ruling party based in Sana'a, led by President Ali Abdullah Saleh. This was the same accusation given by the former southern leaders which eventually led to the 1994 civil war.
Many southerners also felt that their land, home to the much of the country’s oil reserves and wealth, had been illegally appropriated by the rulers of North Yemen. Privately owned land was seized and distributed amongst individuals affiliated with the Sana'a government. Several hundred thousand military and civil employees from the south were forced into early retirement, and compensated with pensions below the sustenance level. Although such living standards and poverty was ripe throughout all parts of Yemen, many residents of the south felt that they were being intentionally targeted and dismissed from important posts, and being replaced with northern officials affiliated with the new government.
In May 2007, southern strife took a new turn. Grieving pensioners who had not been paid for years began to organise small demonstrations calling for equal rights and an end to the economic and political marginalization of the south. As the popularity of such protests grew and more people began to attend, the demands of the protests also developed. Eventually, calls were being made for the full secession of the south and the re-establishment of South Yemen as an independent state. The government's response to these protests was dismissive, labelling them as ‘apostates of the state’.
The movement remains popular and is growing across the south of Yemen, especially in areas outside of the former capital Aden where government control is limited. In the mountainous region of Yafa - now termed the 'Free South' or الجنوب الحر - the rule of law is imposed by a network of tribes who have all pledged allegiance to the South Yemen Movement. Just minutes outside of Aden, flags of the former South Yemen can be seen raised in the open and graffitied upon many walls, a practice which has now been made illegal by the government. Many Northern Yemeni Houthi citizens involved with the 2011 Yemeni uprising against Saleh's government are trying to develop an alliance with the South Yemen Movement.
After the 2014–15 Yemeni coup d'état by the Houthis, Southern Movement demonstrators and militants seized control of government buildings in Aden, as well as Aden International Airport, where they hoisted the flag of South Yemen, and bloodlessly took over police checkpoints in Ataq. Officials in Aden Governorate and several others, including Hadhramaut Governorate, said they would no longer take orders from Sana'a as a result of the coup. The Southern Movement reportedly deployed armed fighters in and around Aden to counter a "possible attack".
The whole West area, especially Northwest is Houthi territory. The majority of the South are Sunni. You probably don't hear of them much though I imagine you hear a lot of AQAP which the area is a breeding ground for recruiting but outside of killing (Houthis) and plotting terrorist attacks in the West I'm not sure what their primary goals are in Yemen outside of finding recruits but the media has forgotten the Southern Movement which historically has supported populism (socialism & wahabbism don't mix hence Saudi Arabia) but it is the religious minority aspect of it that really outrages Saudi Arabia.
On edit -- the bold is what I added rather than what is on the Wikipedia page.
Posted by JonLP24 | Mon Jun 29, 2015, 05:10 AM (0 replies)
in return for cheap oil they asked for the US to military protect them so defend them was part of the original agreement. Also to go to them first for their opinion to do something in the region which the very next President abandoned with Truman & Israel -- indicating his concerns were with "Justice not Oil"
What changed in the oil embargo, particularly was guns for oil. That especially poured gasoline on the fire. Not so much protect them which the US will answer the call to but the billions arms deals which they do what they do.
The Pakistan ISI stepped in for the Bahrain uprisings and assisted with the brutal crackdown of protestors -- hired thugs "mercenaries". US quietly sold them a weapons package during this crackdown, they reason quietly is because if it is under $1 million then the US doesn't need Congressional approval but no info (that I could find) how much was sold. Also the US lifted the freeze on Egypt while they were having mass trials handing out life sentences for attending a protest. I'm not sure the full details of the 70s but certainly the Pakistan ISI is very interesting. They organized, trained, and branded the Taliban and they are obviously involved in Al-Qaeda or they were but it is one country I really need to learn more about trying to figure out what is real and why? In any case I'm so glad there is a "trust deficit" I hear so much about.
(The title is wrong. The US was called a stepmother by the person asking the question -- a stepmother that is impossible please but don't know why or what or WTH we are doing over there though I'm willing to wager a get rich quick scheme is what it is we are doing because the war on terrorism stuff makes no sense logically particularly the source of the ideology but not to mention the human rights violations the Saudi-coalition is known for.
On edit -- I overlooked Kuwait but there was way more to that. Kuwait was the last of the Arabian Peninsula countries to refuse our "assistance", didn't want us there for the longest time until 1987 when they wanted the US flag on their flags to fly on their ships so it was on opportunity to become good friends, plus Saddam Hussein nationalized oil production in the 70s so it was an opportunity and this is where the primary staging territory is. CENTCOM is in Camp Arif Jan, Kuwait which is actually where I was stationed but nothing high up the food chain as I was in Zone 6 while the Olympic Sized Swimming Pool, mall, and top shelf gymnasium (where Obama "played ball with the troops" in his 2008 presidential campaign) and the 5 story building where CENTCOM is Zone 1.
Side story. I was in transportation, long haul semi convoys. We didn't transport weapons hardly ever because when we did there was a big show when we did which my Platoon Sergeant was tasked with the 1 weapons convoy. We changed every tire for a brand new tire, replaced every lock for a new lock all to drive the grand distance from Camp Arif Jan to Kuwaiti Naval Base which probably was exported to who the hell knows where or to some stockpile somewhere I have no idea.
Posted by JonLP24 | Mon Jun 29, 2015, 04:55 AM (0 replies)
Elizabeth Warren Wants HSBC Bankers Jailed for Money Laundering
In December, U.S. Justice Department officials announced that HSBC, Europe's largest bank, would pay a $1.92 billion fine after laundering $881 million for drug cartels in Mexico and Colombia. At the time, the Justice Department disputed accusations that it views some banks as too big to prosecute.
The two regulators, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen and Federal Reserve Governor Jerome H. Powell, deflected Warren's questions, saying that criminal prosecutions are for the Justice Department to decide.
"If you're caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good you're going to jail. If it happens repeatedly, you may go to jail for the rest of your life," an exasperated Warren said, as she wrapped up her questioning. "But evidently, if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night - every single individual associated with this - and I just think that's fundamentally wrong."
Trafficking Lawsuit Against KBR for Wrongful Deaths in Iraq Dismissed
Families of 12 Nepali workers killed in Iraq in August 2004 have been denied permission by a federal judge to sue Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR), the former subsidiary of Halliburton of Houston, in an abrupt reversal of a previous court decision.
The 12 men - Prakash Adhikari, Ramesh Khadka, Lalan Koiri, Mangal Limbu, Jeet Magar, Gyanendra Shrestha, Budham Sudi, Manoj Thakur, Sanjay Thakur, Bishnu Thapa, and Jhok Bahadur Thapa – were killed by militants of the Ansar al-Sunna Army.
The families say the workers were recruited by Daoud & Partners in Jordan to work in a luxury hotel in Amman and promised salaries of $500 a month. After arriving in Amman, the men were taken to Iraq in an unprotected caravan of vehicles on August 17, 2004 to work at the Al Asad base for KBR.
Before the Nepalese arrived at the base, they were ambushed and kidnapped by a group of armed men. On August 31, the captors sent out a video message showing the execution of the one of the 12 men with a message: "We have carried out the sentence of God against 12 Nepalese who came from their country to fight the Muslims and to serve the Jews and the Christians . . . believing in Buddha as their God." The bodies of the men were never found.
A U.S. Fortress Rises in Baghdad:
Asian Workers Trafficked to Build World's Largest Embassy
John Owens didn’t realize how different his job would be from his last 27 years in construction until he signed on with First Kuwaiti Trading & Contracting in November 2005. Working as general foreman, he would be overseeing an army of workers building the largest, most expensive and heavily fortified US embassy in the world. Scheduled to open in 2007, the sprawling complex near the Tigris River will equal Vatican City in size.
Not one of the five different US embassy sites he had worked on around the world compared to the mess he describes. Armenia, Bulgaria, Angola, Cameroon and Cambodia all had their share of dictators, violence and economic disruption, but the companies building the embassies were always fair and professional, he says. The Kuwait-based company building the $592-million Baghdad project is the exception. Brutal and inhumane, he says “I’ve never seen a project more fucked up. Every US labor law was broken.”
He also complained of poor sanitation, squalid living conditions and medical malpractice in the labor camps where several thousand low-paid migrant workers lived. Those workers, recruited on the global labor market from the Philippines, India, Pakistan and other poor south Asian countries, earned as little as $10 to $30 a day.
My March 2006, First Kuwaiti’s operation began looking even sketchier to Owens as he boarded a nondescript white jet on his way back to Baghdad following some R&R in Kuwait city. He remembers being surrounded by about 50 First Kuwaiti laborers freshly hired from the Philippines and India. Everyone was holding boarding passes to Dubai – not to Baghdad.
“I thought there was some sort of mix up and I was getting on the wrong plane,” says the 48-year-old Floridian who once worked as a fisherman with his father before moving into the construction business.
Posted by JonLP24 | Sat Apr 11, 2015, 06:35 AM (0 replies)
The US has way more business relationships with Saudi Arabia & other Gulf Countries. (Also helping Saudi in their war with Yemen)
Trust me, the vast majority of those business transactions are off the backs of imported labor. Exploited & Abused. That is how their economies are built (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, etc). The Department of Defense gets in on the action as well. US companies human traffic poor Asian & Africa workers.
Offshoring the Army: Migrant Workers and the U.S. Military
Qatar: the migrant workers forced to work for no pay in World Cup host country - video
This kind of capitalism has gone on since the US & the CEO Halliburton liked the idea from the first gulf war, they used in the wars since. Open it up to private companies, the US does business with looters all the time. The reason why they care so much about Venezuela is they won't open it up to Shell, Exxon Mobile, & Chevron, etc. Saudi Arabia is the "worst of the worst" of human rights violators but they let the oil & gas companies in and the US kisses their ass.
How Qatar is funding the rise of Islamist extremists
The fabulously wealthy Gulf state, which owns an array of London landmarks and claims to be one of our best friends in the Middle East, is a prime sponsor of violent Islamists
The case against Qatar
The tiny, gas-rich emirate has pumped tens of millions of dollars through obscure funding networks to hard-line Syrian rebels (with the help of the CIA) and extremist Salafists, building a foreign policy that punches above its weight. After years of acquiescing -- even taking advantage of its ally's meddling -- Washington may finally be punching back.
Hossam is a peripheral figure in a vast Qatari network of Islamist-leaning proxies that spans former Syrian generals, Taliban insurgents, Somali Islamists, and Sudanese rebels. He left home in 1996 after more than a decade under pressure from the Syrian regime for his sympathy with the Muslim Brotherhood. Many of his friends were killed in a massacre of the group in Hama province in 1982 by then President Hafez al-Assad. He finally found refuge here in Qatar and built his business and contacts slowly. Mostly, he laid low; Doha used to be quite welcoming to the young President Bashar al-Assad and his elegant wife, who were often spotted in the high-end fashion boutiques before the revolt broke out in 2011.
When the Syrian war came and Qatar dropped Assad, Hossam joined an expanding pool of middlemen whom Doha called upon to carry out its foreign policy of supporting the Syrian opposition. Because there were no established rebels when the uprising started, Qatar backed the upstart plans of expats and businessmen who promised they could rally fighters and guns. Hossam, like many initial rebel backers, had planned to devote his own savings to supporting the opposition. Qatar’s donations made it possible to think bigger.
In recent months, Qatar’s Rolodex of middlemen like Hossam has proved both a blessing and a curse for the United States. On one hand, Washington hasn’t shied away from calling on Doha’s connections when it needs them: Qatar orchestrated the prisoner swap that saw U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl freed in exchange for five Taliban prisoners in Guantánamo Bay. And it ran the negotiations with al-Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, that freed American writer Peter Theo Curtis in August. “Done,” Qatari intelligence chief Ghanim Khalifa al-Kubaisi reportedly texted a contact — adding a thumbs-up emoticon — after the release was completed.
How Does ISIS Fund Its Reign of Terror?
Grossing as much as $40 million or more over the past two years, ISIS has accepted funding from government or private sources in the oil-rich nations of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait—and a large network of private donors, including Persian Gulf royalty, businessmen and wealthy families.
This animosity has resulted in a new campaign in the west to demonize the Qataris as the key supporter of terrorism. The Israelis have chosen the direct approach of publicly accusing their new enemy in Doha of being terrorist supporters, while the UAE has opted for a more covert strategy: paying millions of dollars to a U.S. lobbying firm – composed of former high-ranking Treasury officials from both parties – to plant anti-Qatar stories with American journalists. That more subtle tactic has been remarkably successful, and shines important light on how easily political narratives in U.S. media discourse can be literally purchased.
This murky anti-Qatar campaign was first referenced by a New York Times article two weeks ago by David Kirkpatrick, which reported that “an unlikely alignment of interests, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Israel” is seeking to depict Doha as “a godfather to terrorists everywhere” (Qatar vehemently denies the accusation). One critical component of that campaign was mentioned in passing:
The Camstoll Group was formed on November 26, 2012. Its key figures are all former senior Treasury Department officials in both the Bush and Obama administrations whose responsibilities included managing the U.S. government’s relationships with Persian Gulf regimes and Israel, as well as managing policies relating to funding of designated terrorist groups. Most have backgrounds as neoconservative activists. Two of the Camstoll principals, prior to their Treasury jobs, worked with one of the country’s most extremist neocon anti-Muslim activists, Steve Emerson.
Camstoll’s founder, CEO and sole owner, Matthew Epstein, was a Treasury Department official from 2003 through 2010, a run that included a position as the department’s Financial Attaché to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. A 2007 diplomatic cable leaked by Chelsea Manning and published by WikiLeaks details Epstein’s meetings with high-level Abu Dhabi representatives as they plotted to cut off Iran’s financial and banking transactions. Those cables reveal multiple high-level meetings between Epstein in his capacity as a Treasury official and high-level officials of the Emirates, officials who are now paying his company millions of dollars to act as its agent inside the U.S.
Superme Courts lets victims' 9/11 suit vs. Saudi Arabia proceed
The U.S. Supreme Court gave the go-ahead Monday to a lawsuit by victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks against the government of Saudi Arabia, alleging it indirectly financed al-Qaeda in the years before the hijackings.
The justices declined to hear an appeal by the Saudi government of a lower-court ruling that the lawsuit could go forward. The high court also declined to hear a separate appeal by 9/11 victims of a lower-court decision preventing them from suing dozens of banks and individuals that allegedly provided financial assistance to the hijackers.
"From our perspective, we are looking forward to having the opportunity to finally conduct an inquiry into the financing of the Sept. 11 attacks," said Sean Carter, a partner at the Center City law firm Cozen O'Connor, one of the firms involved in the litigation against the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia has long denied responsibility for the attacks and pointed to a finding by the 9/11 Commission that it had found no evidence that the Saudi government "as an institution" had involvement.
The Missing Pages of the 9/11 Report
The lead author of the Senate’s report on 9/11 says it’s time to reveal what’s in the 28 pages that were redacted from it, which he says will embarrass the Saudis.
A story that might otherwise have slipped away in a morass of conspiracy theories gained new life Wednesday when former Sen. Bob Graham headlined a press conference on Capitol Hill to press for the release of 28 pages redacted from a Senate report on the 9/11 attacks. And according to Graham, the lead author of the report, the pages “point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as the principal financier” of the 9/11 hijackers.
“This may seem stale to some but it’s as current as the headlines we see today,” Graham said, referring to the terrorist attack on a satirical newspaper in Paris. The pages are being kept under wraps out of concern their disclosure would hurt U.S. national security. But as chairman of the Senate Select Committee that issued the report in 2002, Graham argues the opposite is true, and that the real “threat to national security is non-disclosure.”
Graham said the redacted pages characterize the support network that allowed the 9/11 attacks to occur, and if that network goes unchallenged, it will only flourish. He said that keeping the pages classified is part of “a general pattern of coverup” that for 12 years has kept the American people in the dark. It is “highly improbable” the 19 hijackers acted alone, he said, yet the U.S. government’s position is “to protect the government most responsible for that network of support.”
The Saudis know what they did, Graham continued, and the U.S. knows what they did, and when the U.S. government takes a position of passivity, or actively shuts down inquiry, that sends a message to the Saudis. “They have continued, maybe accelerated their support for the most extreme form of Islam,” he said, arguing that both al Qaeda and ISIS are “a creation of Saudi Arabia.”
Suspicions about the Gulf kingdom intensified in 2003 when the Bush administration blocked the release of a 28-page section of a congressional report on the attacks believed to focus on terror funding in Saudi Arabia.
Princess Haifa al-Faisal, wife of Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia's long-standing ambassador in Washington, was at one point implicated for making donations worth $130,000 to the wives of two friends of the hijackers in San Diego.
Are Gulf allies are not only brutal oppressors & labor traffickers, they are an enemy to not just us, many others including their own people. Venezuela isn't even close but instead of sanctioning any business individuals or even sanction the country but instead, we have their backs the wealthy Bin Laden family was flown out of here when no one else could travel freely within the country or out of the country.
Posted by JonLP24 | Sat Apr 11, 2015, 05:50 AM (1 replies)
The Saudi-backed Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Internal Security Pact signed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait is now in full swing. It has truly ushered a new era of Pax Saudiana across the Gulf. The agreement was proposed in 1982 but remained under discussion until all GCC countries accepted its terms. The last country to ratify the pact was Kuwait. Ironically, the first casualties of this controversial agreement that took almost three decades to be ratified are Kuwaiti activists. Since January, at least three Kuwaiti opposition figures, social media activists and heads of political movements have been detained at the request of the Saudi authorities. Meant to enhance security for economic development and stability of GCC countries, the pact has now tuned into creating cross-border controls, evacuating the Arab Gulf of dissent and eliminating safe havens for dissidents of one country in another one.
The first casualty was Hakim al-Mutairi, an Islamist graduate in religious studies at Birmingham University and founder of the Umma Party in 2008, a Salafist transnational movement seeking political change by elections. His party aspires to create a Muslim society, implement Sharia and free the Gulf from the presence of foreign troops. Although the party remained unlicensed in Kuwait, it was tolerated up to a certain extent. In several books, Mutairi — who belongs to a large tribe in both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait — critically scrutinized the texts of Saudi Salafists, reprimanding them for rejecting elections and pluralism. He warned in "Liberty or Deluge," one of his most popular books, of the perils of the subjugation of religion by kings and princes, restrictions on freedoms and criminalization of opposition. In another book, he offered a reinterpretation of Gulf history, depicting the kingdom and emirates as foreign creations serving the interests of an ongoing colonialism. He described Gulf citizens as “slaves without chains.”
Mutairi’s ideas and activism echoed across the Gulf. In 2011, and under the euphoria of the Arab uprisings, a group of professors, activists and lawyers announced the formation of a Saudi Umma party. Needless to say all founders were immediately imprisoned. The spokesman of the party, Muhammad al-Mufrih, was outside Saudi Arabia at the time and continued to issue statements from Istanbul where he took refuge and passed away in 2014. In December 2014, in an interview with TV station Al-Shorouk, Mutairi accused Saudi Arabia of poisoning Mufrih. When he returned to Kuwait, he found that the Saudi authorities had filed a case against him, and thanks to the GCC Internal Security Pact the Kuwaiti authorities detained him. He was released on bail after paying a large sum.
On March 15, Tariq al-Mutairi, a Kuwaiti opposition activist and head of the Civil Democratic Movement, was detained also at the request of the Saudi Foreign Ministry, according to the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior. According to his lawyer, the charges include “acts of aggression against a foreign country — i.e., Saudi Arabia — undermining the reputation of Kuwait, openly calling for overthrowing the regime and misusing his phone.” Tariq's and Hakim's recent activism in participating in a demonstration in support of famous Kuwaiti opposition figure Musallam al-Barrak, currently serving a two-year prison sentence, must have angered the Kuwaiti government. Tariq created a Twitter hashtag to free Barrak and more than 2,000 Kuwaitis joined the demonstration.
Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/03/saudi-gcc-security-dissident-activism-detention-opposition.html#ixzz3VtHAHiLh
Posted by JonLP24 | Mon Mar 30, 2015, 01:20 PM (0 replies)
Academi is an American private military company, founded in 1997 by Erik Prince. Formerly known as Blackwater, the company was renamed Xe Services in 2009, and "Academi" in 2011. The company was purchased in late 2010 by a group of private investors who changed the name to Academi and instituted a board of directors and new senior management. Prince retained the rights to the name Blackwater and has no affiliation with Academi. The company received widespread publicity in 2007, when a group of its employees killed 17 Iraqi civilians and injured 20 in Nisour Square, Baghdad.
Academi continues to provide security services to the United States federal government on a contractual basis. The Obama administration contracted the group to provide services for the CIA for $250 million. In 2013, Academi subsidiary International Development Solutions received an approximately $92 million contract for State Department security guards.
In 2014, the company became a division of Constellis Holdings along with Triple Canopy and other security companies that were part of the Constellis Group as the result of an acquisition.
Board of directors
Red McCombs (chairman)
Bobby Ray Inman
Halliburton & KBR are responsible for numerous human slavery & trafficking violations
Long-running debates over military privatization overlook one important fact: The U.S.
military’s post-2001 contractor workforce is composed largely of migrants imported
from impoverished countries. This Article argues that these Third Country National
(TCN) workers—so called because they are neither American nor local—are bereft of
the effective protections of American law, local regimes, or their home governments;
moreover, their vulnerability is a feature, not a flaw, in how the U.S. projects global
power today. TCN workers are an offshore captive labor force whose use allows the
government to keep politically sensitive troop numbers and casualty figures artificially
low while reducing dependence on local populations with suspect loyalties. Legislation
to combat human trafficking has done little to remedy exploitation and abuse of TCN
workers because of jurisdictional hurdles and the lack of robust labor rights protections.
Substantive reform efforts should address the deeper issue at stake, namely that the
government uses TCN workers to carry out a core state function—namely, the use of
force—without a clear relationship of responsibility to them. Unlike with soldiers, the
labor of TCN workers is not valorized as sacrifice and unlike mercenaries selling their
services to the highest bidder, they are frequently indebted to the point of indenture.
(After reading the A B C on part 1 of 3 I 100x recommend reading the entire study)
Most I have personally talked to came from India, Nepal, countries in Africa (I can't remember which specific ones), Phillipines.
Corp Watch & Al-Jazeera have the best reporting I've found regarding this
Blood, Sweat & Tears:
Asia’s Poor Build U.S. Bases in Iraq
But Soliman wouldn’t be making anything near the salaries starting at $80,000 a year and often topping more than $100,000 paid to truck drivers, construction workers, office workers and other laborers recruited in the United States by Halliburton’s subsidiary, KBR. Instead, the 35-year-old father of two looked forward to earning $615 a month – including overtime. For a 40-hour work week, that’s just over $3 an hour, but Soliman made even less. He says the standard work week was 12-hour days, seven days a week, so he was actually earning $1.56 an hour.
For a year’s work, Soliman would receive $7,380. He planned to send most of his paychecks home to his family, where the combined unemployment rate tops 28 percent and the average annual income in Manila is $4,384. Nearly half of the nation's 84 million people live on less than $2 a day, according to the World Bank.
Invisible and Indispensable Army of Low-Paid Workers
This mostly invisible, but indispensable army of low-paid workers has helped set new records for the largest civilian workforce ever hired in support of a U.S. war. They may be the most significant factor to the Pentagon’s argument that privatizing military support services is far more cost-efficient for the U.S. taxpayer than using its own troops to maintain camps and feed its ranks.
But American contractors returning home frequently share horrible tales of the working and living conditions that these TCNs endure on a daily basis.
TCNs frequently sleep in crowded trailers, wait outside in line in 100 degree heat to eat “slop,” lack adequate medical care and work almost every waking hour seven days a week for little or no overtime pay. Frequently, the workers lack proper safety equipment for hard labor
And when insurgents fire incoming mortars and rockets at the sprawling military camps, American contractors slip on helmets and bulletproof vests, but TCNs are frequently shielded by only the shirts on their backs and the flimsy trailers they sleep in.
IRAQ: Indian Contract Workers in Iraq Complain of Exploitation
For an $1,800 fee, the recruiter promised to get the two young south Indian men jobs as butchers on a military base in Kuwait for two years, they said. With salaries of $385 a month, a small fortune by Indian standards, they would join more than three million Indians already working in the Persian Gulf and enriching their families back home.
They mortgaged a relative's house and land, paid the fee and flew to Kuwait in August with two of their friends. What they say they encountered when they got there landed on the front pages of Indian newspapers this week, with one headline declaring "Indians Abused in Iraq" in "U.S. Slave Camps."
Within days, the brothers said, they and their friends found themselves on an American military base in northern Iraq working for a Saudi subcontractor of Kellogg, Brown & Root, or KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton. They said their supervisor, who had taken their passports in Kuwait, told them they were obligated to work on the base for six months and could not leave.
Working alongside 200 other laborers, from India, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, they first cleaned American latrines and then washed American dishes, the brothers said. Their pay was roughly $150 a month, they said, less than half of what the recruiter had promised.
I post that article to post this was one, 12 years after the start of the Iraq war.
South Asian workers are at the bottom of the social hierarchy on U.S. bases. They earn far less than American or European contractors, work 12-hour days with little or no time off and, on some bases, aren’t allowed to use cellphones or speak to military personnel. On the base we visited, Camp Marmal, most were surprised and nervous when we approached them, concerned that talking to journalists could get them in trouble. One young man’s face contorted in terror when asked whether he had paid a recruiting fee. He shook his head no, fearful of any reprisals. “To come here, you have to use an agent,” another worker told us. “There is no other way. So we pay money to come.”
An agent is a person from a recruitment agency hired to find laborers for a company — in this case, the subcontractor. Sindhu Kavinamannil, a certified fraud examiner who has investigated labor networks between India and the Middle East, says there are tens of thousands of recruitment agencies in India and Nepal, the majority of them unregistered. They might be headquartered in large cities, she adds, but they each have hundreds of agents and subagents spread out across small towns and villages.
Why would a company outsource hiring when it receives direct applications? “Employees at the subcontractor are taking kickbacks from these agents,” the former manager told us. “They tell the workers to apply through the agent, and the agent gets money from (the workers). The agent splits some of that fee with the people in human resources.”
In other words, because taking fees from applicants is illegal, subcontractors outsource hiring to recruiters who are willing to pass a portion of their fees up the chain. As a result, applicants who pay recruiting fees are often indirectly paying their employer — the subcontractor — simply for the opportunity to work.
The reason why it is illegal because of this executive order but the "zero tolerance" claims in it are laughable.
(i) using misleading or fraudulent recruitment practices during the recruitment of employees, such as failing to disclose basic information or making material misrepresentations regarding the key terms and conditions of employment, including wages and fringe benefits, the location of work, living conditions and housing (if employer provided or arranged), any significant costs to be charged to the employee, and, if applicable, the hazardous nature of the work;
(ii) charging employees recruitment fees;
Al-Jazeera has reports on that, usually there is a "screening question" but if a TCN answers the did they pay recruitment fee honestly the contractor terminates them so many lie because they need that year's salary to make back what they paid to "bait & switch" recruiters.
On edit -- The "butcher" listing is obviously false given that dining facilities have a short order line & main course, that varies. For some reason Lobster is served once a week. CSC Scania had "Fajita Tuesdays", most of the food is stored/heated. TCNs I had the pleasure of "supervising" (Military was tasked keeping tabs on the cooking temperatures but we actually only used the gauge maybe once every 10 (Dinner - Midnight - Breakfast --worked the night shift here though I hear lunch is notoriously difficult) in the Zone 2 DFAC in Camp Arif Jan, Kuwait. TCNs prepared & ate curry during the down times. I tried it once, incredibly spicy. They did all the cleaning, refiling & mixing of beverage dispensers all without ever being directed or ordered too, got along with them great which is far more than I can say about Civilian contractors & enforcing DFAC rules which were very strict (couldn't allow people take ice cream outside with them during the summer time--likely an explanation in how it relates to germs is the logical explanation given that we had to watch people coming in & order those to return to the hand washing station to those who skipped it. I'll never forget the "GS-7" I told to wash his hands. No one took offense over my regulations enforcement nearly as much as he did and that includes a WO 3 who gave me props for having the courage to tell him he is taking far too many Gatorade packets.
Out of curiousity I decided to look up his "GS-7 is the equivalent of Colonel" claims
The GS-1 through GS-7 range generally marks entry-level positions
Given that Colonels in the US Army routinely outrank Battalion Commanders I wonder a little more about him who asked my NCOIC "what if a Colonel walked in here?" "He would tell the Colonel to go back & wash his hands" These DFAC rules applied to everyone though no one fucked with the 3 Star Marine General who left his soft cap on the table at breakfast every morning.
Posted by JonLP24 | Mon Feb 23, 2015, 07:51 AM (0 replies)
I swear I didn't enter Ukraine into the search box. I tried to search supply nuclear arms Iraq and come across a well sourced article asking is United States trying to start a nuclear war with Russia.
A link of that led to me a link of this.
The U.S. ‘News’ Media Show How to Do Propaganda About Ukraine’s Civil War
The New York Review of Books is a leading intellectual publication in the United States, and it (like all of the major U.S. “news” media) has “reported” on the Ukrainian civil war as having been incited by Russia’s Vladimir Putin — a simple-minded explanation, which also happens to be deeply false. The reality is that the residents of southern Ukraine, the part of Ukraine adjoining Russia, were overwhelmingly opposed to the overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, though they are portrayed in NYRB (and other “news” media) as being mere stooges of Russian propaganda for their opposing the coup that overthrew the President for whom they had voted overwhelmingly. (The only thing that America’s “news” media had previously reported about Yanukovych is that he was corrupt; but so were all of his predecessors, and U.S. media ignored this crucial fact. Selective reporting is basic to propaganda, and the U.S. major media are trained masters at it. Without a person’s knowing that Ukraine is by far the most corrupt country in the former Soviet Union, and the one with the worst economic performance of them all, Ukraine’s politics just can’t be understood at all: it has long been an extreme kleptocracy, ruled by psychopathic politicians, for the benefit of psychopathic oligarchs, who have robbed the country blind. That’s the deeper truth — and it’s key to understanding the current situation there.)
So: by digging into an example, the rot in U.S. “news” media will be dissected here, and the truth in Ukraine will be exposed here.
On 28 April 2014, NYRB’s reporter Tim Judah headlined from Donetsk in the south, “Ukraine: Hate in Progress.” He (falsely) analogized the opponents against that coup as being similar to the separatists in Yugoslavia whose ethnocentrism had produced the atrocities during the civil war that broke up Yugoslavia. Judah wrote:
“Talk to people manning the anti-government barricades and taking part in the demonstrations against Kiev here, … and one thing in particular is scary. After a day or two you realize that they all say more or less the same thing. ‘We want to be listened to,’ people say. The government in Kiev, which took power after the pro-European revolution there, is a ‘fascist junta’ backed by Europe and the US. It is as though the Russian media—which is widely watched and read here—has somehow embedded these messages into the heads of people and they have lost the ability to think for themselves. … All that seems to be registering right now is a nationalist and hysterical drumbeat from Russia about the new Nazis of Kiev and their NATO masters. This is ominously reminiscent of what the Serbian media and other bits of the former Yugoslav media did when Yugoslavia collapsed. Then, Serbs were subjected to endless documentaries about Croatia’s wartime fascists, whom they were told were coming back. Now the Russian media says the fascists have returned.”
The "most corrupt former" government links to http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GlobalCompetitivenessReport_2013-14.pdf
I also have reported on “Why Ukraine’s Civil War Is of Global Historical Importance.” The article argued that “This civil war is of massive historical importance, because it re-starts the global Cold War, this time no longer under the fig-leaf rationalization of an ideological battle between ‘capitalism’ versus ‘communism,’ but instead more raw, as a struggle between, on the one hand, the U.S. and West European aristocracies; and, on the other hand, the newly emerging aristocracies of Russia and of China.” The conflict’s origin, as recounted there, was told in its highest detail in an article in the scholarly journal Diplomatic History, about how U.S. President George H.W. Bush in 1990 fooled the Soviet Union’s leader Mikhail Gorbachev into Gorbachev’s allowing the Cold War to be ended without any assurance being given to the remaining rump country, his own Russia, that NATO and its missiles and bombers won’t expand right up to Russia’s doorstep and surround Russia with a first-strike ability to destroy Russia before Russia will even have a chance to get its own nuclear weapons into the air in order to destroy the U.S. right back in retaliation.
That old system — “Mutually Assured Destruction” or MAD, but actually very rational from the public’s perspective on both sides — is gone. The U.S. increasingly is getting nuclear primacy. Russia, surrounded by NATO nations and U.S. nuclear weapons, would be able to be wiped out before its rusty and comparatively puny military force could be mustered to respond. Whereas we are not surrounded by their weapons, they are surrounded by ours. Whereas they don’t have the ability to wipe us out before we can respond, we have the ability to wipe them out before they’ll be able to respond. This is the reason why America’s aristocracy argue that MAD is dead. An article, “Environmental Consequences of Nuclear War” was published in the December 2008 Physics Today, and it concluded that, “the indirect effects would likely eliminate the majority of the human population.” (It would be even worse, and far faster, than the expected harms from global warming.) However, aristocrats separate themselves from the public, and so their perspective is not necessarily the same as the public’s. The perspective that J.P. Morgan and Co. had in 1915 wasn’t the perspective that the U.S. public had back then, and it also wasn’t the perspective that our President, Woodrow Wilson, did back then, when we were a democracy. But it’s even less clear today that we are a democracy than it was in 1915. In that regard, things have only gotten worse in America.
So, President Obama is now trying to persuade EU leaders to join with him to complete this plan to replace MAD with a first-strike nuclear capability that will eliminate Russia altogether from the world stage.
As I also documented, the IMF is thoroughly supportive of this plan to remove Russia, and announced on May 1st, just a day prior to our massacre of independence-supporters in the south Ukrainian city of Odessa on May 2nd, that unless all of the independence supporters in south and eastern Ukraine can be defeated and/or killed, the IMF will pull the plug on Ukraine and force it into receivership.
Not One Inch Eastward? Bush, Baker, Kohl,Genscher, Gorbachev, and the Origin of RussianResentment toward NATO Enlargement
The Key Man Behind the May 2nd Odessa Ukraine Trade Unions Building Massacre: His Many Connections to the White House
The key person behind the May 2nd massacre inside Odessa’s Trade Unions Building appears to have been Ihor Kolomoyskyi
who was appointed to be the regional governor in that area by Yulia Tymoshenko, the Ukrainian Presidential candidate that the Obama Administration has apparently been hoping will win the May 25th election to take over the Ukrainian Government, from the junta that the Obama Administration imposed in Ukraine on February 22nd. Just weeks before this coup, on February 4th, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Asia, Victoria Nuland, chose Tymoshenko’s ally Arseni Yatsenyuk to head the post-coup interim government, which appointed Kolomoyskyi.
Only a few months before this coup, Nuland had asserted that U.S. taxpayers had already invested more than $5 billion, in order to bring “democracy” to Ukraine, by which she was referring to the U.S. effort to oust the Russian-oriented, democratically elected, leader of Ukraine, President Viktor Yanukovych, who had prosecuted and imprisoned Tymoshenko for embezzlement and abuse of governmental office. Tymoshenko was then on 11 October 2011 sentenced to seven years in prison, and was ordered to pay the government restitution of $188 million. She was released from prison less than three years later, two days after the coup, on 24 February 2014. The Ukrainian criminal code was immediately changed, in order to legalize the actions for which Tymoshenko had been imprisoned. This allowed Tymoshenko to run for the Ukrainian Presidency. She had been Prime Minister 2007-2010. Both she and her husband, Oleksandr Tymoshenko, and his father, all three of whom were on the board of United Energy Systems of Ukraine (and thus Ms. Tymoshenko was called “the gas princess”), have been legally prosecuted as embezzling state funds; but so have most of Ukraine’s oligarchs and political leaders (and there’s a lot of crossover between those two categories).
Kolomoyskyi, who lives in Geneva Switzerland, is generally regarded as the second-richest man in Ukraine, with a fortune estimated at about $6 billion. Tymoshenko used to be called “the Eleven Billion Dollar Woman,” but, like all of Ukraine’s oligarchs (including Kolomoyskyi), nobody really knows precisely how wealthy she is, nor even whether she is more, or perhaps less, wealthy than Kolomoyskyi. Almost all of the oligarchs’ money is hidden offshore; so, is invisible.
I don't know about Nuclear but you may be more right about World War III than you think, if that is possible.
Posted by JonLP24 | Mon Feb 2, 2015, 08:46 PM (0 replies)
but can't help but wonder if Roosevelt choose to not do business with the 'House of Saud' who used their petro dollars to invest in ISIS/global terrorism. Saudi Arabia was taken over in much the same way ISIS is seizing land.
Their strategy — like that of ISIS today — was to bring the peoples whom they conquered into submission. They aimed to instill fear. In 1801, the Allies attacked the Holy City of Karbala in Iraq. They massacred thousands of Shiites, including women and children. Many Shiite shrines were destroyed, including the shrine of Imam Hussein, the murdered grandson of Prophet Muhammad.
A British official, Lieutenant Francis Warden, observing the situation at the time, wrote: “They pillaged the whole of it , and plundered the Tomb of Hussein… slaying in the course of the day, with circumstances of peculiar cruelty, above five thousand of the inhabitants …”
Osman Ibn Bishr Najdi, the historian of the first Saudi state, wrote that Ibn Saud committed a massacre in Karbala in 1801. He proudly documented that massacre saying, “we took Karbala and slaughtered and took its people (as slaves), then praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and we do not apologize for that and say: ‘And to the unbelievers: the same treatment.’”
In 1803, Abdul Aziz then entered the Holy City of Mecca, which surrendered under the impact of terror and panic (the same fate was to befall Medina, too). Abd al-Wahhab’s followers demolished historical monuments and all the tombs and shrines in their midst. By the end, they had destroyed centuries of Islamic architecture near the Grand Mosque.
With the advent of the oil bonanza — as the French scholar, Giles Kepel writes, Saudi goals were to “reach out and spread Wahhabism across the Muslim world … to “Wahhabise” Islam, thereby reducing the “multitude of voices within the religion” to a “single creed” — a movement which would transcend national divisions. Billions of dollars were — and continue to be — invested in this manifestation of soft power.
Wikileaks: Saudis 'chief funders of al-Qaeda'
Private individuals in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states friendly to the United States are the chief source of funding for al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other terrorist groups, according to leaked US diplomatic cables.
Despite extensive efforts to limit the distribution of funds to extremists from the Middle East, the documents show deep frustration in Washington with the level of co-operation from governments in the region.
"It has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority," read a cable from Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, dated Dec 30, 2009.
"Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide," added the document.
The Saudis have recognised that they have trouble policing the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, when it is estimated that millions of dollars are raised for militants who send agents into the oil-rich kingdom under the cover of Muslim pilgrims.
For some reason the Telegraph is incredibly friendly to Saudi Arabia but I refuse to believe the government is that dumb.
Wahhabism is named after an eighteenth century preacher and scholar, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–1792). He started a revivalist movement in the remote, sparsely populated region of Najd, advocating a purging of practices such as the popular cult of saints, and shrine and tomb visitation, widespread among Muslims, but which he considered idolatry, impurities and innovations in Islam. Eventually he formed a pact with a local leader Muhammad bin Saud offering political obedience and promising that protection and propagation of the Wahhabi movement(Jihad), would mean "power and glory" and rule of "lands and men." The movement is centered on the principle of Tawhid, or the "uniqueness" and "unity" of God.
Do I have to mention their human rights violations & just like ISIS have a Hisbah as well.
difficulty policing the pilgrimage my ass. They regulate the shit out of it.
Posted by JonLP24 | Mon Feb 2, 2015, 07:50 AM (0 replies)
President Karzai, Bashar al-Assad... this list goes on and on when it comes to human rights violators.
I'd stop with the (speaking from US foreign policy POV) hypocrisy, stop giving money to financiers of the Wahabbi global terrorist organization. All these bombs, CIA installing Al-Maliki as Prime Minister (and that's just Iraq), and Al-Assad himself for Syria is why they're there.
I disagree why Obama continues to use "tensions" to block torture photos & other crimes committed by the US government but he is right they certainly will use it for propaganda for recruiting (my position is NOT to do these things in the first place)
After the 9/11 attacks, the United States quickly declared a "war on terror." In the conduct of that war, the United States invaded Afghanistan and then Iraq, imprisoned hundreds of captured "enemy combatants" without trial, tortured suspected terrorists, drastically ratcheted up homeland security, conducted drone strikes and/or targeted assassinations in several countries, and conducted a vast campaign of electronic surveillance at home and abroad.
Virtually all these actions were designed to detect or eliminate actual terrorists or prevent them from carrying out deliberate attacks. In other words, whether offensive or defensive in nature, they were actions designed to win the war by thwarting or eliminating existing terrorist organizations.
But what about the parallel problem of terrorist recruitment? The other way to defeat terrorism is to make it harder for movements employing terrorist methods to recruit new followers, and to gradually marginalize the radicals within the societies in which they were trying to grow. There was a lot of talk about trying to do this immediately after 9/11: The State Department commissioned a task force report on public diplomacy toward the Arab/Islamic world, George W. Bush’s administration hired a series of public diplomacy czarinas, and various experts offered advice on how the United States could undercut Osama bin Laden’s message and rebuild the country’s dubious image in that part of the world. This goal also underlay Barack Obama’s initial outreach to the region and especially his infamous Cairo speech in June 2009.
Austin, Texas — The Islamic State terrorists who have emerged in Iraq and Syria are neither new nor unfamiliar. Many of them spent years in detention centers run by the United States and its coalition partners in Iraq after 2003. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, spent nearly five years imprisoned at Camp Bucca in southern Iraq. A majority of the other top Islamic State leaders were also former prisoners, including: Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, Abu Louay, Abu Kassem, Abu Jurnas, Abu Shema and Abu Suja.
Before their detention, Mr. al-Baghdadi and others were violent radicals, intent on attacking America. Their time in prison deepened their extremism and gave them opportunities to broaden their following. At Camp Bucca, for example, the most radical figures were held alongside less threatening individuals, some of whom were not guilty of any violent crime. Coalition prisons became recruitment centers and training grounds for the terrorists the United States is now fighting.
This process began when coalition forces arrived in Iraq in 2003 and detained alleged terrorists with little preparation or oversight. Although soldiers tried to document the circumstances behind the detentions of Iraqis and foreign fighters, the process broke down under the pressure of fighting, the shortage of trained Arabic speakers, and the fog of war.
Simply being a “suspicious looking” military-aged male in the vicinity of an attack was enough to land one behind bars. There were 26,000 detainees at the height of the war, and over 100,000 individuals passed through the gates of Camps Bucca, Cropper and Taji. Quite a few were dangerous insurgents; many others were innocent.
Posted by JonLP24 | Mon Feb 2, 2015, 06:34 AM (0 replies)
Arizona's 9th district has a liberal stronghold Arizona State campus, to the north rich conservative area Camelback and Paradise Valley where McCain dominated in '08 and to the east a heavy Republican middle class population with a high Mormon turnout with the same background & policies as most conservatives you'll rarely see Democratic candidates at the city level. Probably about equal to the south, Hispanic population is larger than the areas I mention. The district is the fastest growing population-wise in a metropolitan area that is the largest municipality Republican Presidential candidates. 34% of registered voters are Republican. 31% Democratic. About 30% Independent (there are actually more registered Independents statewide than any other party but they don't turn out as high). They have a partisan index of R+1 and Obama won 51% to 47% in a newly created district. It was also the only district Obama won in Maricopa county.
In the 2012 primary I voted for her because she appeared to be the most liberal or supported the same issues I did. I always will no matter where I live. However, when she did end up winning the primary Republicans were confident she would be easiest one to defeat. She is openly bisexual, first Representitive with "none" officially declared religious affiliation, she was a former Mormon, she worked on Ralph Nader's 2000 Presidential campaign, ran for state house as a Green. She is also one of the 10 "poorest" reps, and joked that she was "a Prada socialist" which campaign ads constantly reminded us of her use of the S word. Parker ran campaign ads that accused Sinema of being an "anti-American hippie" who practiced "Pagan rituals". The Republican-aligned outside group American Future Fund spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on attack ads against Sinema. When Sinema's religious views were raised as an issue, her campaign stated that she simply believes in a secular approach to government. - wiki
Election results were at a dead heat on election day with her opponent Vernon Parker who is a Paradise Valley area politician but she had a 2-1 advantage on the early mail ballot count and ended up winning by 4%. Early mailing ballots should probably be a consideration to future midterm strategy.
During her term she joined the Blue Dog coalition and sits near the center when it comes to voting record -- https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/kyrsten_sinema/412509. Veterans issues made up almost all of bills she introduced and sponsored. She also was the 88th highest Democrat in most bills cosponsored by someone other than a Democrat. Her most controversial votes deal with an no vote against voted against an amendment to a defense appropriations bill to prohibit "from monitoring and recording details of US citizens' telecommunications without a warrant". Also was an original sponsor which limits electronic data serveilance to only suspects of an investigation.
The other was in favor of a 1-year delay of the mandate which was my least favorite part of the bill but all aspects of ACA she voted in favor of and clearly implied she wants universal health care where I will elaborate on earlier.
She did go towards the middle but also established a record of bipartisanship that stands to scrutiny. While there is a possibility that the taking up veterans issues were politically motivating considering Veterans Issues was the primary focus of her 2014 campaign which earlier record benefits in light of recent Phoenix VA issues. On the wedge issues state Republicans target Democrats with she supports the Dream ACT, defends and supports ACA, and supports gay marriage. Guns are a hardly a political issue but he support of closing the gun show loophole, increasing background checks, and concealed carry made it one of the main points of contention in the campaign which were immigration, ACA, and her votes in allowing defendants at Guantanamo to use habeas corpus to challenge their detention (portrayed as "voted to give rights to terrorists" in attack ads).
Her campaign website is very limited when it comes to where she stands on the issues. Pretty much just Veterans, jobs including raising the minimum wage, equal pay, and extending child-care tax credit. Seniors is also mentioned which is an area she actually scores pretty high based on voting record. -- http://kyrstensinema.com/issues/
However, a full list of where she stands on the issues can easily be found and to and I can't find much I disagree with on the important issues --http://www.ontheissues.org/house/Kyrsten_Sinema.htm
-------------------------------------------Here is the key stuff I wanted to mention
The 9th district was forecasted to be very tough but it is very important to to point out her opponent made several screw ups. The first in the soft on terror approach used football of the Foley beheading which backfired politically where she removed it. She hid from the press, rarely engaging in debate. The nail in the coffin was when she skipped out on the only televised debate leaving Sinema & the Libertarian candidate 30 minutes explaining their positions in which the Libertarian killed his own chances on the topic of Veterans with ""I would basically toss 'em on their own," he said. "I don't believe in stealing people's money (through taxes) and spending it on veterans. I don't believe we owe this to them."
There was a highly unusual move here part of elect Sinema team.
Democrats are mailing campaign fliers featuring a Libertarian candidate to conservative voters in a competitive Phoenix congressional race.
The effort could help U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., stay in office. Libertarian Powell Gammill assisted Sinema to victory last election by siphoning votes from her Republican challenger.
The mailers are part of the Democrats' political strategy, said DJ Quinlan, executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party. But he says the mailers don't ask voters to support Gammill, they simply point out his positions.
"It might be unconventional, sure, but deceptive it's surely not," Quinlan said. "It says right there: 'Paid for by the Arizona Democratic Party.'"
(I'm curious on thoughts if you feel Democrats should do this kind of thing as it approaches the level of "dirty tricks" but not quite as unethical and dishonest as McConnell's mailers about election violations and doubt there was a "paid for by the McConnell campaign disclosure")
I want to wrap this up as I nearly had a crash issue. I choose to focus here aside from the familiarity of it being my district is it features similar political realities and is an even district. While you have a larger than average young voter population, it is countered by the similar nationally politically Republican strong hold with also 1% rich conservatives to the north and working class higher Hispanic to the southwest which the area leans Democratic. The candidate in question also has a very liberal background as Ralph Nader campaign worker.
I'm still waiting to find more detailed information on turnout and who but the pitfalls helped what turned out to be an easy victory where forecasts declared an uphill battle based on trends of lower voter turnout while the white conservatives have a strong presence as well.
Obviously even then, there are major differences and unique situations here where her background would kill her chances which is kinda the point and Senate races have different realities than congressional ones do. Candidates do have to deal with the reality of likely turnout so they have to deal with the balance of targeting their campaign to those voters while also not wanting to take positions that would decrease the turnout they need.
While Sinema did go towards the middle, her way of doing it was unique to others. She didn't make distancing a focus of her campaign but on her strengths and vague considering the lack of info available where she stood on the DREAM Act, ACA, and counters to "making Arizona vulnerable" which she actually was very high levels of support from police based on her voting record and a local police political group or union endorsement in her first congressional district shocked the local press. However, in public statements and answers to questions she expressed support of those issues. And the limit issues she did focus on in campaign websites & ads, gave specific policies that she supports however limited. It is interesting that if she choose to pander which she very well could have, it is interesting what she choose not to pander on and that includes religious affiliation.
I want to emphasize on aspects that could be used in any tight race rather than the entire thing and one is she has high marks in her interview and public speaking, conversations with people, and use of humor in support of policies.
She also has a good understanding of how messages come across based on this
I've become a huge fan of research. It's helped me as a candidate learn to talk in ways that voters can understand. For example, I used to say that I wanted universal health-care coverage in Arizona, which went over like a ton of bricks. Turns out, Arizonans hear the word "universal" and think "socialism"--or "pinko commie." But when I say that I want all Arizonans to have access to affordable, quality health care, Arizonans agree wholeheartedly. Same basic idea, different language. Research is what teaches us these differences so that we can relate to voters in ways that are authentic and meaningful for them.
That is why I said it is heavily implied she supports universal health care but avoids using language that says the she does. I said awhile ago that if you're going to play middle you better be good at because if you come across as someone with no convictions as badly as Mitt Romney(perfect example of where playing the middle goes wrong) was and actually is. You also don't want come across as evasive and dishonest either.
I think you get my general drift so I'll close by saying I don't endorse everything here especially NSA vote, but when it comes policy positions she is my favorite relevant Arizona politician next to Raul Grijalva and consider myself a pretty left wing guy.
Posted by JonLP24 | Wed Nov 5, 2014, 07:18 PM (13 replies)