United States News Digest
Obama Signals Intent for the Next War ... Against Iran
Nov. 19 (EIRNS)In an op-ed which appeared under his signature in the International Herald Tribune today, and in his remarks after the first day of the Lisbon NATO summit, British puppet President Barack Obama made it clear that the two wars he's currently waging are not enough.
The one most immediately on the agenda is British puppet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planned attack against Iran.
After a brief reference to Afghan policy, in which he has extended the period of U.S. presence until at least the "end of 2014," Obama writes: "As we move forward in Afghanistan, NATO will also transform itself in Lisbon with a new Strategic Concept that recognizes the capabilities and partners we need to meet the new threats of the 21st century. This must begin by reaffirming the lifeblood of this allianceour Article 5 commitment that an attack on one is an attack on all."
NATO's Article 5, which began as a commitment to common defense among NATO nations ("an attack on one is an attack on all"), was expanded in 1999, to justify out-of-area deployments, such as the current NATO participation in the war in Afghanistan. It was invoked on Oct. 4, 2001, prior to the U.S. attack on Afghanistan.
Clearly, Obama anticipates invoking it again. Lyndon LaRouche commented, this shows "an intention for future wars; it starts specifically with the attack by Netanyahu on Iran. That's what's going on here."
House Vote Fails To Extend Unemployment Benefits
Nov. 18 (EIRNS)The U.S. House of Representatives today failed to pass a bill that would have provided unemployed Americans three more months to file for extended jobless benefits. Unless the current law is changed, about 4 million, out of the total of 13.3 million currently receiving some form of benefits, will not qualify to file applications after the end of this month. As described on CNN Money.com, "Federal jobless payments, which last up to 73 weeks, kick in after the state-funded 26 weeks of coverage expire. These Federal benefits are divided into tiers, and the jobless must apply each time they move into a new tier."
If the Nov. 30 deadline for the extension isn't met by some successful legislative action (e.g., a provision in a bill to extend some or all of the Bush tax cuts), including passage in the Senate, hundreds of thousands of people will start losing benefits after that date. There may be 2 million with no benefits by Christmas. Congress has, in the past, acted to make benefits retroactive, but now, who can say?
Republican Leaders Challenge Bernanke's $600 Billion Bailout
Nov. 18 (EIRNS)In a letter to Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, top Senate Republicans Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Jon Kyl (Ariz.), and top House Republicans John Boehner (Ohio) and Eric Cantor (Va.) challenged Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's latest $600 billion bank bailout, writing that the plan creates significant uncertainty about the strength of the dollar, impairs U.S. trade relations, and erodes confidence in the economic outlook.
"While intended to improve the short-term growth of the U.S. economy and help maintain a stable price level, such a measure introduces significant uncertainty regarding the future strength of the dollar and could result both in hard-to-control, long-term inflation and potentially generate artificial asset bubbles that could cause further economic disruptions," the GOP lawmakers wrote to Bernanke.
Former Alaska governor and current Fox News media diva Sarah Palin, who had earlier criticized Bernanke's policy, followed that up with a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal today, in which she said: "It's time for us to 'refudiate' the notion that this dangerous experiment in printing $600 billion out of thin air, with nothing to back it up, will magically fix economic problems...."
LaRouche: Delay of START Treaty Is Dangerous
Nov. 16 (EIRNS)Within 48 hours of President Obama telling Russian President Dmitri Medvedev that ratification of the START treaty they signed in April was a "top priority," and that he is committed to getting the treaty ratified by Congress during the lame-duck session, Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.) shot down the Administration's plan with a statement issued Nov. 16.
Kyl said, "When Majority Leader Harry Reid asked me if I thought the treaty could be considered in the lame-duck session, I replied I did not think so, given the combination of other work Congress must do and the complex and unresolved issues related to START and modernization." Kyl's statement came after extensive discussions last week with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It was hoped that Kyl would help garner the 67 votes needed for ratification.
After Kyl's rejection, Biden issued a counterstatement about the importance of START, but the situation remains unresolved on the eve of a NATO summit meeting that both Obama and Medvedev are planning to attend in Portugal.
Lyndon LaRouche expressed concern that this backing off from the START treaty, which is supported by Secretary of State Clinton and former President Bill Clinton, is a very serious development. In combination with growing antagonism between the U.S. and Russia over the extradition of accused Russian terrorist supplier Viktor Bout, LaRouche put the spotlight on finding out "what are the international implications of a chain-reaction effect of pushing these things through."
LaRouche said that we are in a "world crisis, blow-up conditions" where "you can not categorize events as such; you've got to look at what kind of process the events are representative of."
"The crisis is going to shift rapidly from any one side or the other," LaRouche said, with "this lunatic Obama and the circles around him, completely uptight, Europe as a whole going on an explosive issue, the Israeli intention to launch war, and conflict with Russia and United States, over this crazy trigger issue [Viktor Bout extradition] and START being the larger issue. It's obviously Londonthe British want it. British chaos."
Pot's Destruction of the Brain Is Worse for Those Who Smoke as Teens
Nov. 16 (EIRNS)A study released by McLean Hospital Neuroimaging Center at Harvard University reinforces other studies showing that marijuana smokers significantly lose mental capacities, but added that those who begin smoking before age 16, when parts of the brain are still in formation, are significantly worse. Dr. Staci A. Gruber, the director of the center, said that the study found that on tests of executive function, higher-order brain skills that include planning and carrying out mental tasks, those who started smoking before age 16 made twice as many mistakes as those who started later.
"We have to be clear about getting the message out that marijuana isn't really a benign substance," Dr. Gruber said. "It has a direct effect on executive function. The earlier you begin using it, and the more you use of it, the more significant that effect."
The findings also showed that habitual marijuana users made repeated errors in the trial tests, even when told that they were wrong. Users also had more trouble maintaining a set of rules, suggesting an inability to maintain focus. Early-onset users, and those who used the most marijuana, made more than twice as many errors and fewer correct responses than later onset smokers.
EIR's recently re-published Dope, Inc. has, in each of its several editions since the 1970s, exposed the medical damage, as well as the psychological destruction, wrought by the "recreational" use of marijuana.