Cowardly, Hypocritical, Subservient Congressional Black Caucus Endorses Israeli Apartheid and Current War Crimes in Gaza

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Israeli president Shmon Peres meets with Marcia Fudge, chair of the US Congressional Black Caucus, and a delegation of the Congressional Caucus at the president's residence in Jerusalem. (photo credit: Mark Neyman/GPO/FLASH90)

                                         Israeli President Shimon Peres hosts Marcia Fudge, chair of the US Congressional Black Caucus, and a delegation of the caucus at the president’s residence in Jerusalem.  (February, 2014)

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon, July 30, 2014

Back in the 1970s, when the Congressional Black Caucus began calling itself “the conscience of the Congress,” that was almost literally true. CBC members could be relied upon not just to reliably vote for raising wages and expenditures on housing, health care and education, but to keep the issues of full employment and opposition to unjust war near thefront of their public agendas.

By the late 1980s, a gaggle of former CBC staffers had moved through the revolving doors of elite affirmative action to become corporate lobbyists, with the same ethics and table manners as their white colleagues, but with black faces. Thanks in large part to their efforts, by 2000 a tsunami of corporate cash began filling up the coffers of incumbent CBC members, their black replacements, or in the cases of Alabama’s Earl Hilliard and Georgia’s Cynthia McKinney, their black opponents.

Only a single member of the CBC, Rep. Barabra Lee opposed President Bush’s blank check for invading anywhere he pleased in Septermber of 2001, and by the 2003 invasion of Iraq, four CBC members, some of them swimming in donations from military contractors, raced down to the White House to have their pictures taken with Bush as the bombs were about to explode over Baghdad.

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Including US-funded “private” contractors, the US imperialist military has over 200,000 troops in Afghanistan

An Afghan child severely wounded by US jets. Death from the air and US Special Forces night raids and assassinations are supported by the economic and political work of US military contractors.

 

[Written in 2009, this article is just as relevant today. Scahill calculated that there were 189,000 US troops and military contractors on the ground in Afghanistan at that time. He estimated that this number will rise to 220,000 in 2010.–Frontlines ed]

by Jeremy Scahill

A 2009 hearing in Sen. Claire McCaskill’s Contract Oversight subcommittee on contracting in Afghanistan has highlighted some important statistics that provide a window into the extent to which the Obama administration has picked up the Bush-era war privatization baton and sprinted with it.

Overall, contractors now comprise a whopping 69% of the Department of Defense’s total workforce, “the highest ratio of contractors to military personnel in US history.” That’s not in one war zone–that’s the Pentagon in its entirety.

In Afghanistan, the Obama administration blows the Bush administration out of the privatized water. According to a memo released by McCaskill’s staff, “From June 2009 to September 2009, there was a 40% increase in Defense Department contractors in Afghanistan.  During the same period, the number of armed private security contractors working for the Defense Department in Afghanistan doubled, increasing from approximately 5,000 to more than 10,000.”

At present, there are 104,000 Department of Defense contractors in Afghanistan. According to a report this week from the Congressional Research Service, as a result of the coming surge of 30,000 troops in Afghanistan, there may be up to 56,000 additional contractors deployed.

But here is another group of contractors that often goes unmentioned: 3,600 State Department contractors and 14,000 USAID [US Agency for International Development-ed] contractors. That means that the current total US force in Afghanistan is approximately 189,000 personnel (68,000 US troops and 121,000 contractors). And remember, that’s right now. And that, according to McCaskill, is a conservative estimate. A year from now, we will likely see more than 220,000 US-funded personnel on the ground in Afghanistan. Continue reading

Blackmail on Nepal by US Agency for International Development

Nepal Could Lose Out on Foreign Aid Due to Political Impasse

Kathmandu – The international donor community has warned  Nepal it will withdraw aid if the political situation does not improve.

A statement issued late Tuesday by the US government’s main aid organization US Agency for International Development on behalf of the international donor community said that there was concern over the “negative development impact stemming from the slow progress in forming a new government, implementing the peace process, and writing the new constitution.” Parliament has failed 16 times attempts to elect a prime minister. “The slow pace in implementing the peace process, combined with the continued caretaker status of the government, lack of development leadership, significantly reduces most donors’ ability to secure future resources for Nepal,” the statement said.

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and largely depends on foreign aid for its development. The country has been under a caretaker government since June when the prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned under Maoist pressure. A Maoist insurgency from 1996 to 2006 killed over 16,600 people. The absence of a government delayed the announcement of a full budget, affecting the administration as well as development. Donors said the announcement of a budget last week, using a special ordinance, had provided some relief but urged the completion of the peace process.

It also called on the country to “effectively deal with the other ongoing issues constraining Nepal’s development” in order to create an environment in which foreign assistance can most effectively be implemented. The statement was issued by USAID on behalf of organizations including the Asian Development Bank, a group of donor communities representing Western nations and the World Bank.

U.S. to Grant Israel 2.775 Billion in Security Aid

[“Almost a quarter of Israel’s actual military (aka “defense”) expenditures comes from the United States.”  See the next story to see these US dollars at work.-ed.]

Saturday July 17, 2010

by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC and Agencies

U.S.. Assistant Secretary of State, Andrew Shapiro, stated Friday that the US government intends to grant Israel the amount of 2.775 Billion U.S. Dollars in what was described as the largest single military-security aid grant to Israel.

He said that the money is considered a special military-security aid grant to Israel in order for Israel to ensure “its security needs are met under the current circumstances”. The Obama administration already asked the Congress to grant this amount to Israel. His statements came as he addressed the US-Israeli relationships on Friday during a speech at the Brookings Saban Center for Middle East Policy.

He said that he has no doubt that the relation between Israel and the United States is unbreakable and that this relation is too important to be anything less than a top priority. Shapiro also stated that this aid would also boost the chances of Middle East Peace, and would help Israel in making the correct decision for a comprehensive peace. Continue reading