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Venezuela plans a ‘guerrilla army’ against US invasion

Venezuela plans a ‘guerrilla army’ against US invasion

Venezuela is training a “guerrilla army” aiming to be a million strong by 2013 to fight off a possible US invasion, an opposition lawmaker said Sunday.

“Plan Sucre” — apparently crafted with input from close ally and fellow US foe Cuba — covers the legal, logistical and other angles necessary to “transform a professional army into a guerrilla army,” Representative Maria Corina Machado told El Universal newspaper.

The former presidential candidate said she had obtained a copy of the plan, printed by an institution affiliated with the national army.

“The strategic objective is to build a new Bolivarian military doctrine” that would prepare Venezuela to be successful in a prolonged popular war against “the empire,” or the United States, Machado said, citing the document.

“This is clearly a proposal with Cuban inspiration and advice.”

She said the military plan also provides for strengthening the guerrilla force at the expense of the regular army.

The plan calls for “strengthening the territorial militias, in order to ensure the necessary strength for the overall defense of the nation, targeting recruitment levels of one million by 2013 and two million by 2019,” Machado said, citing the document.

Venezuela’s militia corps, described by firebrand leftist President Hugo Chavez as “an army of the public,” was created in 2005 to protect the country against possible “imperialist” aggression. They are considered a part of the military but report directly to the president.

Chavez, 58, is a vocal critic of Washington. The United States and Venezuela have had troubled relations for years, and have not had ambassadors in each other’s country since 2010.

The Venezuelan president, who took power in 1999, is seeking re-election in October after declaring himself free of the cancer he has battled for a year.

He has often denounced “American imperialism” and accused the United States of seeking to destabilize his government.

Machado was one of several candidates aiming to challenge Chavez in the upcoming October vote, but she was defeated in February’s primary by former Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles.

Most polls give Chavez leads of up to 35 percent to win the election.
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Wade Michael Page Identified as Wisconsin Temple Shooter

Wade Michael Page Identified as Wisconsin Temple Shooter
Wade Michael Page Left the Army With a Less Than Honorable Discharge
By KEVIN DOLAK, LUIS MARTINEZ AND JASON RYAN

The gunman who opened fire in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., and killed six people has been identified as Wade Michael Page, an Army veteran who left the service with a less than honorable discharge.

Page, 40, served in the Army from April 1992 through October 1998. He was separated from the Army with a less than honorable discharge and had been demoted from sergeant to specialist during his service.

While in the Army Wade served as a sergeant, and later as a specialist based in Ft. Bliss in Texas and at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina. Wade’s job was as a Hawk missile system repairman, and he then became a psychological operations specialist, defense official confirmed to ABC news.

Page was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire with a police officer who sustained “eight or nine” gunshot wounds, authorities confirmed. Officials are treating it as a case of domestic terrorism.

The ex-soldier is believed to the gunman who opened fire on people at theSikh temple around 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning and killed six people.

Police have not given any details on the motive of the shooter, but Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms Special Agent Thomas Ahern said Page had tattoos that suggested he had ties to white supremacists.

“It is being investigated. And what his tattoos signified is being investigated. They are all pieces of a possible puzzle to learn what was his motive in carrying out such a horrific act,” Ahern said.

On Sunday the FBI and a bomb squad arrived at a home in Cudahy, Wis., near Oak Creek, and ABC News Milwaukee affiliate WISN reported the action appeared to be related to the temple shootings earlier in the day.

Authorities also were trying to trace a single, semiautomatic handgun recovered at the scene, sources told ABC News.

In addition to the seven confirmed dead, three people — two adult male civilians and a male police officer — were in critical condition and were being treated at a local hospital, said officials at Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin.

Page was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire with the wounded police officer outside the temple and was one of the seven dead.

“The officer stopped a tragic event that could’ve been a lot worse,” Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards told reporters.

Four people were found dead inside the temple and two others were found dead outside the building. Edwards said authorities were treating the event as a domestic terrorism incident and the FBI would be conducting a full investigation.

“The FBI is working closely with the Oak Creek Police Department and other local and federal agencies to investigate today’s shooting incident,” FBI Milwaukee Special Agent in Charge Teresa Carlson said in a written statement. “This remains an active investigation in its early stages. While the FBI is investigating whether this matter might be an act of domestic terrorism, no motive has been determined at this time. We know our community has been deeply impacted by this incident, and our thoughts are with those affected and particularly with the officer who was wounded in the line of duty to protect others.”

Individuals attending Sunday services at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, just south of Milwaukee, fled in all directions this morning when a gunman entered and began firing. Many hid in bathrooms or other rooms within the temple while the shooter attacked, according to police.

The president of the temple, Satwant Singh Kaleka, was preparing to deliver remarks when he became one of the shooting victims. His son, Amardeep Kaleka, spoke by phone with ABC News’ David Muir shortly after getting a call from the priest using his father’s phone.

“I picked it up immediately thinking it was my dad, but it was the priest and he was standing right next to him,” Kaleka said. “He told me right away that right now my father can’t speak. There’s too much blood coming out of his back area and we have to get ambulances in there right away.”

Soon, he heard briefly from his mother, also in hiding in the temple and asking for information about his father.

For images of the police response and ripples of shock and grief at the scene, click here.

Edwards said 911 calls began pouring into the police department around 10:25 a.m.

The first police officer to respond to the scene, a 20-year veteran on the police force, exchanged gunfire with the suspect and sustained multiple gunshot wounds. He underwent surgery at Froedtert Hospital, the main trauma center in the Milwaukee region, along with two other injured victims.

According to information broadcast over police radio, a witness to the shooting told law enforcement the shooter was a white male, bald, with a heavy build.

Police tactical teams spent more than four hours securing the temple and, at one point, police asked media outlets to stop broadcasting aerial footage from helicopters on television because of tactical operations at the scene.

Sikh Temple Shooting: ‘Ignorance Is Not Going to Get Us Anywhere’

Members of the Sikh community in Milwaukee expressed outrage at the shooting.

“They went to church not knowing that they might die today,” said Simran Kaleka, whose family was in the temple, according to ABC News Radio. “I don’t know how sick you have to be to do that, and I don’t know if it was directed toward the Sikh culture and them having turbans and having beards, but ignorance is not going to get us anywhere.”

For images of the police response and ripples of shock and grief at the scene, click here.

The wounded president of the temple, Satwant Singh Kaleka, had recently hosted state Rep. Josh Zepnick and the county district attorney to discuss a recent rise in violence against area Sikhs at their stores and businesses, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“It’s gut wrenching,” Zepnick said today in response to the shooting. “It certainly makes you wonder about how just how far this epidemic of gun violence goes, where innocent people’s lives are put at risk in ordinary day-to-day situations. it makes me sick to my stomach.”

On Sundays, Sikh temples, called gurudwaras, serve a community meal at which anyone is welcome as part of their community service. The meal, known as a langar, follows the morning services.

The Sikh religion originated in the Punjab region of India.

“Every single member of my family was inside that church,” Simran Kaleka said. “No matter who is shot and killed in there, it’s going to affect all of us out here because a lot of people are related here. And it’s just, for me, my life flashed before my eyes because it’s my whole family.”

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Frying tonight

Frying tonight

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BULLETS and bombs are so 20th-century. The wars of the 21st will be dominated by ray guns. That, at least, is the vision of a band of military technologists who are building weapons that work by zapping the enemy’s electronics, rather than blowing him to bits. The result could be conflict that is less bloody, yet more effective, than what is now seen as conventional battle.

Electromagnetic weapons, to give these ray guns their proper name, are inspired by the cold-war idea of using the radio-frequency energy released by an atom bomb exploded high in the atmosphere to burn out an enemy’s electrical grid, telephone network and possibly even the wiring of his motor vehicles, by inducing a sudden surge of electricity in the cables that run these things.

That idea, fortunately, was never tried in earnest (though some tests were carried out). But, by thinking smaller, military planners have developed weapons that use a similar principle, without the need for a nuclear explosion. Instead, they create their electromagnetic pulses with magnetrons, the microwave generators at the hearts of radar sets (and also of microwave ovens). The result is kit that can take down enemy missiles and aircraft, stop tanks in their tracks and bring speedboats to a halt. It can also scare away soldiers without actually killing them.

Many electromagnetic weapons do, indeed, look like radars, at least to non-expert eyes. America’s air force is developing a range of them based on a type of radar called an active electronically scanned array (AESA). When acting as a normal radar, an AESA broadcasts its microwaves over a wide area. At the touch of a button, however, all of its energy can be focused onto a single point. If that point coincides with an incoming missile or aircraft, the target’s electronics will be zapped.

Small AESAs—those light enough to fit on a plane such as a joint strike fighter (F-35)—are probably restricted to zapping air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles (the air force is understandably reticent about supplying details of their capabilities). Ground- or ship-based kit can draw more power. This will be able to attack both ballistic missiles and aircraft, whose electronics tend to be better shielded.

In the case of the F-35, then, this sort of electromagnetic artillery is mainly defensive. But another plane, the Boeing Growler, uses electromagnetics as offensive weapons. The Growler, which first saw action in Iraq in 2010 and has been extensively (though discreetly) deployed during the NATO air war against Colonel Qaddafi’s forces in Libya, is a souped-up version of the Super Hornet. It is fitted with five pods: two under each wing and one under the fuselage. Some pods contain AESAs or similar electromagnetic weapons. Others have eavesdropping equipment inside them. In combination, the pods can be used either to spy on enemy communications or to destroy them; to suppress anti-aircraft fire; to disable the electronics of ground vehicles; and to make life so hazardous for enemy aircraft that they dare not fly (and probably to shoot them down electronically, too, though no one will confirm this). The Growler is able to keep its weapons charged up and humming by lowering special turbines into the airstream that rushes past the plane when it is flying. America has ordered 114 of the planes, and has taken delivery of 53.

By land, sea and air

Nor are aircraft the only vehicles from which destructive electromagnetic pulses can be launched. BAE Systems, a British defence firm, is building a ship-mounted electromagnetic gun. The High-Powered Microwave, as it is called, is reported by Aviation Week to be powerful enough to disable all of the motors in a swarm of up to 30 speedboats. Ships fitted with such devices would never be subject to the sort of attack that damaged USS Cole in 2000, when an al-Qaeda boat loaded with explosives rammed it. A gun like this would also be useful for stopping pirate attacks against commercial shipping.

Land vehicles, too, will soon be fitted with electromagnetic cannon. In 2013 America hopes to deploy the Radio-Frequency Vehicle Stopper. This device, developed at the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate in Quantico, Virginia, is a microwave transmitter the size and shape of a small satellite dish that pivots on top of an armoured car. When aimed at another vehicle, it causes that vehicle’s engine to stall.

This gentle way of handling the enemy—stopping his speedboats, stalling his tanks—has surprising advantages. For example, it expands the range of targets that can be attacked. Some favourite tricks of modern warfare, such as building communications centres in hospitals, or protecting sites with civilian “human shields”, cease to be effective if it is simply the electronics of the equipment being attacked that are destroyed. Though disabling an aircraft’s avionics will obviously cause it to crash, in many other cases, no direct harm is done to people at all.

The logical conclusion of all this is a so-called “human-safe” missile, which carries an electromagnetic gun instead of an explosive warhead. Such a missile is being developed at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, and will soon be tested at the White Sands Missile Range.

There is, however, at least one electromagnetic weapon that is designed to attack enemy soldiers directly—though with the intention of driving them off, rather than killing them. This weapon, which is called the Active Denial System, has been developed by the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate, in collaboration with Raytheon. It works by heating the moisture in a person’s skin to the point where it feels, according to Kelley Hughes, an official at the directorate who volunteered to act as a guinea pig, like opening a hot oven. People’s reaction, when hit by the beam, is usually to flee. The beam’s range is several hundred metres.

Such anti-personnel weapons are controversial. Tests on monkeys, including ones in which the animals’ eyes were held open to check that the beam does not blind, suggest it causes no permanent damage. But when a vehicle-mounted Active Denial System was sent to Afghanistan in May 2010, it was eventually shipped back home without being used. The defence department will not say exactly why. The suspicion, though, is that weapons like the Active Denial System really are reminiscent in many minds of the ray guns of science fiction, and that using them in combat would be a PR mistake. Disabling communications and destroying missiles is one thing. Using heat-rays on the enemy might look bad in the newspapers, and put civilians off their breakfast.

Cold showers are good for you

To every action there is, of course, an equal and opposite reaction, and researchers are just as busy designing ways of foiling electromagnetic weapons as they are developing them. Most such foils are types of Faraday cage—named after the 19th-century investigator who did much of the fundamental research on electromagnetism.

A Faraday cage is a shield of conductive material that stops electromagnetic radiation penetrating. Such shields need not be heavy. Nickel- and copper-coated polyester mesh is a good starting point. Metallised textiles—chemically treated for greater conductivity—are also used. But Faraday cages can be costly. EMP-tronic, a firm based in Morarp, Sweden, has developed such shielding, initially for the Gripen, a Swedish fighter jet. It will shield buildings too, though, for a suitable consideration. To cover one a mere 20 metres square with a copper-mesh Faraday cage the firm charges €300,000 ($400,000).

Shielding buildings may soon become less expensive than that. At least two groups of scientists—one at the National Research Council Canada and the other at Global Contour, a firm in Texas—are developing electrically conductive cement that will block electromagnetic pulses. Global Contour’s mixture, which includes fibres of steel and carbon, as well as a special ingredient that the firm will not disclose, would add only $20 to the $150 per cubic metre, or thereabouts, which ordinary concrete costs.

The arms race to protect small vehicles and buildings against electromagnetic warfare, then, has already begun. Protecting ships, however, requires lateral thinking. For obvious reasons, they cannot be encased in concrete. And building a conventional Faraday cage round a naval vessel would be horribly expensive.

Daniel Tam, of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in San Diego, thinks he has a way to get round that. He proposes to use the electrical conductivity of the sodium and chloride ions in seawater to create a novel type of Faraday cage. A shroud of seawater around a ship, thrown up by special pumps and hoses if the vessel came under electromagnetic attack, would do the trick, he reckons.

It is an ambitious idea. Whether it works or not, it shows how much the nature of modern belligerency is changing. Bombs and bullets will always have their place, of course. But the thought that a cold shower could protect a ship from attack is almost surreal.

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Infiltrated

The FBI Announces Gangs Have Infiltrated Every Branch Of The Military

Robert Johnson

The FBI has released a new gang assessment announcing that there are 1.4 million gang members in the US, a 40 percent increase since 2009, and that many of these members are getting inside the military (via Stars and Stripes).

The report says the military has seen members from 53 gangs and 100 regions in the U.S. enlist in every branch of the armed forces. Members of every major street gang, some prison gangs, and outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs) have been reported on both U.S. and international military installations.

From the report:

Through transfers and deployments, military-affiliated gang members expand their culture and operations to new regions nationwide and worldwide, undermining security and law enforcement efforts to combat crime. Gang members with military training pose a unique threat to law enforcement personnel because of their distinctive weapons and combat training skills and their ability to transfer these skills to fellow gang members.

The report notes that while gang members have been reported in every branch of service, they are concentrated in the U.S. Army, Army Reserves, and the Army National Guard.

Many street gang members join the military to escape the gang lifestyle or as an alternative to incarceration, but often revert back to their gang associations once they encounter other gang members in the military. Other gangs target the U.S. military and defense systems to expand their territory, facilitate criminal activity such as weapons and drug trafficking, or to receive weapons and combat training that they may transfer back to their gang. Incidents of weapons theft and trafficking may have a negative impact on public safety or pose a threat to law enforcement officials.

The FBI points out that many gangs, especially the bikers, actively recruit members with military training and advise young members with no criminal record to join the service for weapon access and combat experience.

The full assessment is worth checkingh out. If only for the pictures.

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Long Wars Carry A Psychological Cost

By Adeela Naureen

With the Long War entering the third decade, and the West’s blood thirst remaining unquenched, there appears to be no end to this vicious cycle of destruction. The Muslim states are being tossed and kicked like dead and lifeless dominos, which are virtually rudderless. Another prophecy of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) seems to be unfolding in front of our eyes. Holy Prophet (PBUH) said: “The nations shall gather and team up against you (i.e., Muslims) as the predators gather and team up against their preys.” A questioner asked: “Is it because of us being low in numbers at that day?” The Prophet (PBUH) replied: “No, you that day shall be in great numbers, but you will be as powerless as the foam of the water on the surface of the river, and Allah shall remove any fear from your enemies towards you, and He shall put in your hearts a corruption.” A questioner asked: “O Apostle of Allah, what is the corruption?” The Prophet replied: “The love of life’s amusements and the fear of death.” (Translation of Sunan Abu Dawud)

While the physical cost of the Long War (in terms of flesh and dollars) has been worked out by a number of think-tanks and governments (with drastic variations), there is also the cost of this war that has not been measured or calculated – the psychological cost. With the so-called free media of the West as well as Islamic countries, including Pakistan (who can count the hairs on your body and make mountains out of an ant hill, when ordered by its masters), busy in genuine research and honest reporting one is surprised to find no worthwhile analysis of the psychological cost of war within the shattered zone called the AfPak. I will make a humble effort to do that. Unfortunately, the cost of this war has affected everyone; the claimants of the conquest (US-led conquistadors) as well as the innocent people of the AfPak region.

Since the so-called free media is controlled by the Western governments and autocratic regimes of the Islamic world, you may be horrified to see the effects of this war on the general public (including the NATO-led soldiers and officers). If you do an intelligent surfing of the internet, you will listen to the moaning, groaning and shrieking voices of the affected families and may be able to see stream of tears and blood oozing out of tearful eyes; you may be able to feel the pain and anguish of broken families destroyed by daisycutters and drones, who haunt the entire population of FATA with buzzing sounds and have created the psychological disease of insomnia in many households (specially children and women). I challenge the residents of marbled mansions of Islamabad to go through a test. Let me fly the ugly drones at the frequency of two flights of a pair for two hours per night, while making sure that these drones are not be armed. Let the people be told that they are armed and strike Al-Qaeda supposed to be hidden somewhere in Islamabad. To add to reality I may be allowed to create simulated noise of drone attack at the frequency of two per night. I am sure at the end of first week more than 70 percent population of Islamabad will either migrate to other cities or apply for green cards or come out in the streets of Islamabad and block the Constitution Avenue from all sides demanding the overthrow of the current regime.

Who are these people of FATA and why drone attacks against them cannot be stopped as a matter of principle and as a necessary step to ensure basic human rights? I leave it to the political leadership to decide. The cost of the Long War in AfPak region cannot be measured in terms of dollars and rupees, but one can attempt to do it by raising few pertinent questions. What has been the effect of drone attacks on the cohesiveness of the family system in FATA, especially for those families whose bread earners have been martyred (for instance, how are the children and the wives of the diseased managing their affairs, and what has happened to the education of the children)? What was the psychological fallout of the drone attack in a particular village, how many children and women have suffered from insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder and phobic anxiety? Has there been any attempt by the provincial and federal governments to ensure psychological counselling of the affected population, especially children? A similar survey can be conducted for the families of general public, the defence forces of Pakistan as well as other LEAs whose bread earners or relatives have lost their lives in this war.

Incidentally, the question of the psychological cost of this war suffered by conquistador soldiers and their loved ones is being raised in the West, not in the Western media. A glimpse of the psychological cost of this Godforsaken Long War can be seen in the report by KOMO News, the US army found Staff Sergeant Jared Hagemann’s body at a training area of Joint Base Lewis McChord a few weeks ago. A spokesman for the base tells KOMO News that the nature of the death is still undetermined. But Sergeant Hagemann’s widow says her husband took his own life – and it didn’t need to happen. “It was just horrible. And he would just cry,” says Ashley Hagemann. Ashley says Jared tried to come to grips with what he’d seen and done on his eight deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. “And there’s no way that any God would forgive him – that he was going to hell,” says Ashley. “He couldn’t live with that anymore.” More US soldiers and veterans have died from suicide than from combat wounds over the past two years.

The psychological degradation of the conquistadors is clearly visible from veterans and serving soldier’s blogs. I would recommend that somebody should carry out psychoanalysis of the discussion forums and blogs used by veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan wars. I will leave few of these here, be mindful that these reflect the current state of mind of the soldiers and officers of the American forces.

“American culture is the worst possible place for a future soldier to be raised in. Just imagine being raised in a Hollywood-influenced good guys vs. bad guys black and white society, then being sent to a place where everything is a million shades of gray. You can see it in the veterans that were forced to, for example, kill a teenager that was shooting at their checkpoint. The ‘good guys’ aren’t supposed to kill a child, so what does that make them? I feel sorry for them.” (Posted by Korben on Reddit.com)

“Might I ask what the hell you are doing in his country? Looking for those WMDs still? Last time I checked people of a country had the right to defend themselves against an occupying power, unless you subscribe to the American exceptionalism.” (Posted by Ikkek on Reddit.com)

“The warmongers sit safely behind desks, while their children attend Ivy League colleges far from any enemy combatant. The soldiers are pawns, and pawns are easily sacrificed, ask anyone.”
(Posted by Ingrammarless on Reddit.com)

“Whatever the body count may be this week, the real tragedy is that nobody that deploys to a war comes back the same. Everyone is a casualty.”
(Comment by Yo Yossarian at Reddit.com)

The psychological cost of the Long War cannot be calculated by mathematical models and requires a human heart to do a passionate analysis. I will leave it to President Barack Obama, who proudly displays the Nobel Peace Prize in the Oval office, to have the courage to do such an analysis.

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