• 6 AUGUST - *1907 - Gen. Macario Sakay, one of the Filipino military leaders who had continued fighting the imperialist United States invaders eight years into the Ph...
    5 years ago

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Playing up the playboy bachelor image EDITORIAL 01/30/2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Playing up the playboy bachelor image

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
01/30/2011
It’s all media to blame. The so-called straight path of Noynoy is taking extreme twists and turns pointing to an administration that is very similar to the corrupt regime of Gloria Arroyo. And like Gloria, Noynoy is blaming no one else for all the adverse issues cropping up against him but who else, if not the usual Palace foe, the critical media.

Recall that sometime back, there went Gloria, lecturing to media just how they should treat a story.

Recall too, that Noynoy very recently — after the bus bomb blast in Edsa-Makati — lectured media, saying that criminal incidents have gone down under his regime, but the media have been portraying the country as though it was wracked with criminality and terrorism.

And not to forget. He even told media that they should not highlight such breakdown of peace and order, as this would scare away the investors he wants to woo..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110130com1.html

Military probing itself? FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 01/30/2011

Military probing itself?

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
01/30/2011
With the big scandal of a P500-million slush fund and arrival and departure cash gifts in the tens of millions for a military chief of staff, there went the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) leadership, saying that a probe into this practice of payola will be investigated, claiming that under the new President and Commander in Chief, this is not happening today.
Not happening, my eye! This practice has been ongoing for decades, with everyone taking a bite out of the “slush fund” which is getting bigger and bigger yearly, just as the military budget gets bigger and bigger every year.

The AFP under the Noynoy Aquino regime is certainly not going to come clean with the public and admitting that the payola practice and “tradition” continues to this day.

But the military leadership claims the finance section of the AFP has been broken up and reorganized and that it will still conduct a probe, because as claimed, the military is now a “transparent” and “honest” AFP.
That’s a laugh and if anybody believes that line, he must still believe in fairly tales..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110130com2.html

EU’s Baltic states oppose Belarus embargo focus 01/30/2011

EU’s Baltic states oppose Belarus embargo

focus

01/30/2011
RIGA — Moves to ban senior Belarussian officials from the EU over a crackdown on the opposition have the backing of the bloc’s ex-Soviet Baltic states, but they oppose calls for economic sanctions.

The 27-nation European Union is set Monday to slap a visa ban on high-ranking Belarussian officials held responsible for mass arrests after the ex-Soviet republic’s Dec. 19 presidential election.

“We support imposing visa restrictions for those responsible for violating the democratic process,” Latvian Foreign Minister Girts Valdis Kristovskis told AFP.

“At the same time, we must think how to promote democracy in Belarus,” he said. “We don’t support economic sanctions because they affect many ordinary people, and haven’t worked before.”
Western observers faulted the poll, which gave victory to strongman Alexander Lukashenko who has ruled Belarus since 1994..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110130com3.html

Flawed SC ruling on Vizconde case BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 01/30/2011

Flawed SC ruling on Vizconde case

BLURBAL THRUSTS
Louie Logarta
01/30/2011
For practical considerations, Manila City Hall officials are elated that the multi-billion North Harbor modernization project to be undertaken jointly by San Miguel Corp. (SMC) and the Harbour Centre group is finally going to get off the ground.

Mayor Alfredo Lim said he cannot but feel glad for thousands upon thousands of residents who stand to benefit most from the estimated P20 billion which the proponents are going to be investing to make the port project a going concern in terms of employment benefits; not to mention the various downstream businesses that are expected to sprout about in the Tondo area, long considered one of the most depressed in the country, where the North Harbor is located.

More importantly, he said the city expects to generate easily in the vicinity of P1 billion in the form of real estate as well as income taxes from a redeveloped North Harbor which the SMC-Harbour intends to transform into a world-class industrial hub in the mold of similar models in Kaohshiung, Taiwan and Laemchabang, Thailand complete with state-of-the-art pier facilities, cargo warehouses, gantry cranes and other capital equipment, passenger terminals all of which are designed to promote the country’s economy..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110130com4.html

‘General Appropriations Act’ TABLETS OF STONE Larry Faraon, OP 01/30/2011

‘General Appropriations Act’

TABLETS OF STONE
Larry Faraon, OP
01/30/2011
...Or the act of appro-priating public funds to the generals!

Of course, we can provide answers to explain why such corruption of the highly placed among the generals epitomized by the retired generals now scorching their assess at the Senate hot seats. Indeed, since the time of the late Ferdinand Marcos who bankrolled the military, especially the helm masters, for his martial law mechanics, dynamics and logistics, a culture of “awakening the sleeping giants” has crept into the sacred grounds of camps where the military has become fully aware of the maximum use of their position, precision and power in perpetuating civilian power but not without favors, either during their incumbency or after, from their handlers or manipulators.

Any sitting president for that matter has to woo and coo the defense establishment to secure his position at least for the duration of his term or at least ensure that no military adventurism such as a “coup d’etat” or a military putsch would push through in case of a general dissatisfaction among the people. The Cory government knew too well the role of the military in the political governance and leaned on Gen. Fidel Ramos to offset the lingering ambitions of Col. Gringo Honasan and company by appointing him as Chief of Staff and later endorsing him as the next president of the Republic. Being a military man himself, Ramos kept at bay any adventurism. However, failing to “Cha-cha” his way into a term extension, he connived imperatively in ousting illegally a duty elected sitting president in 2001..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110130com5.html

Clarification LETTER 01/30/2011

Clarification

LETTER

01/30/2011
Dear Editor:
This concerns the newspaper column Crossroads of Jonathan de la Cruz entitled “Questionable Appointments” published in the Daily Tribune on Monday, Jan. 24, 2011.

In his article, Mr. De la Cruz centered on the appointments made by H.E. President Benigno Aquino of key government personnel with supposed “questionable records.” He then proceeded to make,both false and malicious innuendos linking me to certain irregular and immoral activities. I do not wish to gratify the baseless accusations against me but nevertheless, to set the record straight and for the sake of transparency, please allow me this reply.

Firstly, I am not aware of being particularly “charged,” either civilly, criminally or administratively of any offense relating to being an “overstaying and autocratic” Chairman of the Board of Mechanical- Engineering, for “illegal collection of fees,” for “irregular and arbitrary implementation of laws,” for “favoritism,” for “whispers of sexual indiscretion,” and for “conflict of interest.” Please note that Mr. De La Cruz, to his credit, qualified the statement by pointing out that that I was merely “reportedly charged” of the above enumerated offenses..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110130com6.html

‘Boys and Toys’ VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 01/30/2011

‘Boys and Toys’

VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
01/30/2011
By way of a foreword, let it be expressly said from the very start that the matter herein thought of, the concern hereby taken up, is general in content and common in intent.

While it may readily arouse certain assumptions and easily lead to some conclusions, the subject matter of “Boys and Toys” has reference to but on the ground reality without the need of psychological profundities nor expert interventions. In substances, it merely says that toys are for boys in the same way that boys need and want toys. It is that plain. It is that simple.

Hence: it is great to be a boy. It is challenging to be a young man. It is defining to be an adult. What is disastrous is being an adult yet thinking like a boy. Thus it is that toys are meant for boys, not for adults. This is why it is not merely unbecoming but also demeaning when adults behave like boys and thereby get toys. This has special relevance the moment “boy-adults” hold tenure of influential officers, have authority and power — in a family, in a community, in a country. Their victims are always the same, viz., their subordinates, their followers, their dependents..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110130com7.html

Reyes, Cimatu, Villanueva up for grilling over ‘pabaon’ By Gina Peralta-Elorde 01/30/2011

GLORIA ALSO SOUGHT TO BE INCLUDED IN PROBE

Reyes, Cimatu, Villanueva up for grilling over ‘pabaon’

By Gina Peralta-Elorde 01/30/2011

At least three former chiefs of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) — Angelo Reyes, Roy Cimatu and Diomedio Villanueva — are being lined up for “grilling” at the Department of National Defense (DND) in its scheduled inquiries following the revelations of a former finance military officer on the alleged “pabaon” or send-off gift of as much as P50 million in lump sum to a retiring head of the AFP.

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. said the practice stopped with the abolition of the office of the AFP deputy chief of staff for comptrollership (J6) in 2004. It was abolished following the controversy involving former military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia who was charged with plunder before the anti-graft court after he was accused of amassing more than P300 million in ill-gotten wealth from his post as military comptroller.

Last Thursday before a Senate hearing, retired Col. George Rabusa, a former military budget officer, pointed to Reyes as having received P50 million as a send-off gift when he retired as AFP chief of staff.
Mabanta appealed to the public to give former AFP leaderships the benefit of the doubt before making sweeping accusations against them.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin created last Friday a special DND committee to investigate allegations of corrupt practices within the AFP..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110130hed1.html

Aquino’s critics grow; protest rallies set 01/30/2011

Aquino’s critics grow; protest rallies set

01/30/2011
The rank of the disillusioned with President Aquino keeps growing and now includes supporters of his mother, former President Corazon Aquino, who indicated plans to start holding protest actions mainly as a result of the rising cases of criminality in the country.

The group, some associated with the Council for Philippine Affairs (Copa) led by Pastor “Boy” Saycon, openly expressed to the Palace its intention to organize an anti-Aquino administration movement and added their voice to those warning that Aquino won’t be able to finish his six-year term should he fail to address all the security issues facing his administration.

The Palace said the group is free to express its anti-Aquino views.

“We are always open to them. If they have any concerns, they could have easily approached us. But, again, this is a free country. They have the right to express whatever grievances they have. But we can very well assure them that we are doing everything that we could. In fact, if they are less myopic, they will see that there is development going on,” said presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda at a post-briefing interview when asked of Malacañang’s thoughts about this latest set of Aquino’s detractors..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110130hed2.html

Use gov’t car, avoid flak, solon tells Noy By Charlie V. Manalo 01/30/2011

Use gov’t car, avoid flak, solon tells Noy

By Charlie V. Manalo 01/30/2011
Consider using an official car, this was the advice given by a legislator to President Aquino after the string of controversies he had faced in being seen periodically riding a luxury vehicle.

To get rid of the intrigues involving his use of luxury cars, Deputy Speaker Cavite Rep. Juan Crispin Remulla said President Aquino should content himself with an official car for his use.

“The Office of the President has the funds to procure an official car for the President. It is a privilege and right enjoyed by the sitting President, to have an official vehicle for his own use that can also guarantee his safety,” Remulla told the Tribune in a telephone interview.

Remulla said by getting his own official car, Aquino can do away with the intrigues peddled by his critics he (Aquino) is insensitive to the plight of the people due to the country’s worsening economic, political and peace and order problems as he has indulged himself in luxury sports car..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110130hed3.html

Senate probe of POEA’s ‘role’ in human trafficking slated 01/30/2011

Senate probe of POEA’s ‘role’ in human trafficking slated

01/30/2011
The alleged anomalies and collusion of some officials and employees of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) with syndicates engaged in human trafficking, in the guise of recruitment of migrant Filipino workers, are set to be unveiled in the Senate anytime soon following a move to conduct an investigation by the blue ribbon committee.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV initiated the filing of Resolution 329 in the light of complaints lodged with the Department of Justice pointing to the alleged connivance between POEA officials and three recruitment agencies that led to the exploitation of around 100 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

It was found out that the licenses of these recruiters had expired and yet were not sanctioned by the POEA, the senator noted.

“Concerns have been raised by various stakeholders regarding allegations that certain officials and employees of the POEA are themselves involved in human trafficking and violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” Trillanes said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110130hed4.html

DND backs mandatory SIM registration 01/30/2011

DND backs mandatory SIM registration

01/30/2011
The Department of National Defense (DND) is supporting calls for mandatory registration of pre-paid SIM (subscriber identification module) cards as part of the government’s long-term anti-criminality efforts following a series of high-profile crime incidents in Metro Manila within this month.

DND spokesman Eduardo Batac voiced the department’s support to the proposal made by Sen. Vicente Sotto III following increase in prank calls about bomb threats, particularly in Makati City.

“All SIM cards should be registered so that at least when there are these prank calls we would know (where they are comingfrom), or even when undertaking criminal acts like for example kidnapping,” Batac said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110130hed5.html

The economics of Comval ‘plantas’ where gold is sold 01/30/2011

The economics of Comval ‘plantas’ where gold is sold

01/30/2011
NABUNTURAN, Compostela Valley — Located near Purok Reserba, Barangay Mainit, Nabunturan and delineated by the Manat River, the mineral processing zone seems to have its covert and lively presence having some 30 plantas of varying production tonnages.

Plantas are actually the carbon-in-pulp cynidation plants, locally fabricated plants that were endogenously cocooned out and made effective during the over two decades of small scale mining development in Compostela Valley Province.

Found mostly in Barangay Mainit mineral processing zone are 15-ton and 20-ton plantas. There are only few 25-ton, 30-ton and 40-ton plantas.

Each planta has its set of crushers or ballmills which would mill and pulverize into sands the half bags of raw gold ores, the locals called as “puyong”, from tunnels somewhere, before the sands are poured down to the plantas for carbon-in-pulp cyanidation processing..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110130nat5.html

Cities of Cebu, Mandaue placed under state of calamity By Gina Peralta- Elorde 01/30/2011

DUE TO RAINS

Cities of Cebu, Mandaue placed under state of calamity

By Gina Peralta- Elorde 01/30/2011

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) yesterday confirmed that cities of Cebu and Mandaue were placed under a state of calamity following heavy rains triggering flash floods for some days now.

The cities councils reportedly approved separate resolutions to declare a state of calamity by allowing the two cities to get calamity funds.

Last Tuesday, Cebu and Mandaue experienced flash floods due to heavy rains.

Meanwhile, the NDRRMC also said yesterday that a resident of Surigao del Norte was reported missing while at least 225 families were evacuated to safer grounds due to floods in that area.

The missing person was Amado Basadre, 40, of Honrado village in San Francisco town. He was about to cross a river but was swept away due to the strong current..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20110130nat1.html

Soldiers Offer Inconsistent Testimonies During CHR Hearing on Botanist’s Killing

Soldiers Offer Inconsistent Testimonies During CHR Hearing on Botanist’s Killing

 During the first public hearings into the deaths of Leonard Co and company conducted by the Commission on Human Rights, soldiers admitted that fired their weapons at the direction of the three victims but at the same time denied having killed them.
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — The Philippine military was hard pressed this week to explain the inconsistencies in the testimony and statements of soldiers regarding the supposed encounter with communist guerrillas on Nov. 15 in Kananga, Leyte, where noted botanist Leonard Co and two other companies were killed.


Agham’s Dr. Giovanni Tapang, together with Renato Reyes Jr. of Bayan, witnessed the inconsistencies in the testimony of soldiers regarding the supposed encounter with the NPA and the circumstances behind the killing of the Kananga 3. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society, Inc. / bulatlat.com)
During the first public hearings into the deaths of Co and company conducted by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Tacloban on Jan. 26 and 27, soldiers admitted that they fired their weapons at the direction of the three victims but at the same time denied having killed them.

Co, a renowned botanist and his companions, Julius Borromeo and Sofronio Cortez, were shot dead while conducting research inside the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) complex in Kananga, Leyte, on Nov. 15, 2010.

Based on information made public by Renato Reyes, secretary-general of Bayan, and Giovanni Tapang of Agham, who were at the public hearings held at the Leyte Park Hotel in Tacloban City, 11 soldiers belonging to the 19th Infantry Battalion came to testify. Lt. Col. Federico Tutaan said they only knew of the presence of the civilians at the EDC complex at around 10:30 a.m., 30 minutes before the three victims were killed.

All the soldiers were consistent in saying that they saw “three men in black who seemed to be observing something.” 1st Lt. Ronald Odchimar, the platoon leader, said he saw three to 10 armed men in the area..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/01/28/soldiers-offer-inconsistent-testimonies-during-chr-hearing-on-botanist%E2%80%99s-killing/

Deadly Eton Accident Opens Can of Worms About Abuse of Construction Workers

Deadly Eton Accident Opens Can of Worms About Abuse of Construction Workers

 The 10 who fell to their death at Lucio Tan’s construction site were contractual workers. Subcontracting and labor-only contracting are a common practice in the construction industry, where workers are thoroughly exploited.

By MAUREEN A. HERMITANIO

Bulatlat.com
Related Story: Work Safety Group Urges Probe of Lucio Tan Firm for Death of 10 Workers
MANILA – The death yesterday of the 10 construction workers at the construction site of Eton Residences in Makati City could be regarded by some as a “freak accident” but is actually the result of the gross neglect of labor standards and workers’ rights, both by the employers and the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole).


An artist rendering of the Eton Residences in Makati, where the fatal accident took place.
The victims — Joel Abezilla, Celso Mabuting, Michael Tatlonghari, Kevin Mabunga, Borz Cristobal, Tisoy Perez, Vicente Piñion, William Bañez, Jaykie Legarda and Diocado Jeffrey — were all project-based employees of Arlo Aluminum and Glass Inc., the subcontractor of Eton Properties, the real estate arm of the Lucio Tan Group of Companies. The only surviving victim, Rowel Perez, is still fighting for his life at the Ospital ng Makati.

 The workers were installing glass windows on the 32nd floor when the gondola or construction elevator they were on gave way and sent them crashing to the seventh floor. Each of them was paid P260 a day to work at the dangerous construction site.
 
Underpaid, No Benefits

The work-related accident opened a can of worms about the operations of Eton Properties, one of the biggest real-estate developers in the country. It also reminded the public as well as authorities about the institutionalized violation of workers’ rights, labor standards and occupational health and safety regulations in the construction industry, considered by the International Labor Organization (ILO) as one of the most hazardous workplaces.

The P260 daily wage received by the construction workers at Eton is way below the government mandated P402 daily minimum wage in the National Capital Region. This doesn’t come as a surprise since construction workers at Eton are hired through a subcontractor, CE Construction Corp..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/01/28/deadly-eton-accident-highlights-neglect-of-labor-standards-and-workers-rights-in-philippines/

Philippine Agencies, State Schools That Promote GMOs Are Violating the Law — Casiño

Philippine Agencies, State Schools That Promote GMOs Are Violating the Law — Casiño


Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño said agriculture agencies and government-ran agricultural schools are mandated by the law to promote organic farming. So why are they promoting genetically modified crops like Bt eggplant?
By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – Government agencies and institutions that are supposed to promote organic agriculture in the Philippines are violating the law because these, too, are proponents of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño said this week.

Casiño said Congress should investigate the involvement of these agencies and institutions in promoting GMOs, which critics deem harmful to humans and the environment.

“Congress, through its Committee on Agriculture and Food, has to look into the cases of testing and releasing genetically modified organism (GMO) crops into the Philippine environment,” Casiño said.

He expressed incredulity that the proponents of Bt eggplant in the Philippines, particularly the Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Plant Industry and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and other state colleges and universities, are the same entities tasked to spearhead organic agriculture in the Philippines.


Bt eggplants. (Photo from whybiotech.com)
“Field tests on Bt eggplant runs counter to organic agriculture law and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, a protocol to which we are a signatory,” Casiño said. “By allowing the field tests and even by merely planning to sell Bt eggplant in the market, these agencies are breaking the law and, much worse, they are putting public health at risk.”

Among the schools that participated in recent field tests of Bt eggplant is the University of the Philippines- Mindanao, which was forced to uproot and destroy the crops after the local government issued a cease and desist order in December..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/01/27/philippine-agencies-agri-schools-that-promote-gmos-are-violating-the-law-casino/

Mendiola Massacre Survivors Recall the Horror (Video)

Mendiola Massacre Survivors Recall the Horror (Video)


24 Years Since Mendiola Massacre, Victims Still Clamor for Justice from Bulatlat on Vimeo.

 


Survivors of the Mendiola Massacre talk about that day, when bullets fell from the sky like rain, as one of them put it. Along with farmers and peasants, they remain indignant at the injustice that continues 24 years later. (Interview by Ina Alleco R. Silvero, video by Jo A. Santos, edited by Ayi S. Muallam).... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/01/26/mendiola-massacre-survivors-recall-the-horror-video/

Join the AFP, be a multi-millionaire EDITORIAL Click to enlarge 01/29/2011

Join the AFP, be a multi-millionaire

EDITORIAL
Click to enlarge
01/29/2011
Now it really is out: Military chiefs not only get millions as “welcome” gifts then millions more in send-off gifts, but also close to P500 million, or half a billion yearly — at their disposal and all taken from taxpayers’ money which has never been intended to be pocketed by the military brass.

It was divulged during the Senate hearing yesterday that Angie Reyes, while he was chief of staff, got a welcome gift of P10 million, along with a P50 million pabaon, plus of course the P500 million yearly, plus definitely a lot more. And it is not just the military honcho who makes millions. Down the line of military officers, millions more are pocketed.

Recall that Reyes’ wife and the wife of his then comptroller, Jacinto Ligot, always took trips abroad together, no doubt to stash the cash — which has already been converted to dollars.

Think of all those bloated military contracts in the billions. There is always more money to be made..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110129com1.html

Same treatment please FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 01/29/2011

Same treatment please

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
01/29/2011
There should be enough prima facie evidence of plunder against Angie Reyes and all the other chiefs of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), before and after him. But will the Ombudsman, once the Senate, or some such other government office, say even Malacañang, through its Department of Justice (DoJ), file the right complaint against them?

It should be easy enough for Noynoy and his allies in the Senate, along with his DoJ to file plunder charges against Angie and all the others who came before and after him — who served under the Gloria Arroyo regime, as individuals who are identified with Gloria are automatically seen as the Aquino regime’s political foes.

Yet even the Noynoy appointees in the top military hierarchy and his new allied appointees installed in his executive department should also be investigated for the same reason, because that which is alleged to have been done during their time, whether in the military or the police, or even in other executive departments, are said to still being done today. After all, such plunderous practices are, as retired military officer George Rabusa said, part of “tradition.”

It is also easy for a new administration, along with its political allies, to quickly charge those who are seen as their political foes, but they hardly ever — if at all — move to probe one of their own, despite their awareness of that which is happening inside government offices..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110129com2.html

Egypt protests pose US dilemma focus 01/29/2011

Egypt protests pose US dilemma

focus

01/29/2011
WASHINGTON — Egypt’s political unrest leaves Washington torn between freedom-seeking protesters and a government that has been a vital ally — a dilemma with deep implications for its troubled Middle East policy.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been a fulcrum of US regional strategy for decades, a guarantor of his nation’s peace with US ally Israel and a central player in successive and frustrated American peace initiatives.

But with his 30-year rule seemingly under threat, amid talk of a possible “Arab spring” of revolt against authoritarian rulers, US policymakers must pick their way through a political minefield.

“They are in a difficult position because there is all sorts of momentum in Egypt — and in Washington people think that the dominoes just are going to fall,” said Gregory Gause of the University of Vermont..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110129com3.html

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