NEW YORK For the past week, E&P has noted the Bush administration's rising use of blaming much of the insurgency in Iraq on al-Qaeda operatives. Some news outlets have gone all along with this, others not. We pointed out that McClatchy Newspapers seemed to be questioning this trend.
'We cannot attribute all the violence in Iraq to al Qaida,' retired Army Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who commanded the 1st Infantry Division in Iraq before becoming an opponent of Bush's strategy there, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. 'Al Qaida is certainly a component, but there's larger components.'
Today McClatchy's Jonathan Landay, in a report from Washington, threw more cold water on this. His article opened as follows. *
Facing eroding support for his Iraq policy, even amo…
Egypt officials ban female circumcision - Yahoo! News: CAIRO, Egypt - The death of a 12-year-old Egyptian girl at the hands of a doctor performing female circumcision has sparked a public outcry and prompted health and religious authorities to ban the practice. "The girl, Badour Shaker, died this month while undergoing the procedure in an illegal clinic in the southern town of Maghagh. Her mother, Zeniab Abdel Ghani, told the Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper that she paid about $9 to a female physician to perform the procedure"
Brookings-Bern Project Occasional Paper, June 11, 2007
Ashraf al-Khalidi, Consultant, Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement Sophia Hoffmann, Consultant, Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement Victor Tanner, Senior Advisor, Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement" the full report -PDF file
Ethiopian Premier Admits Errors on Somalia - washingtonpost.com: "NAIROBI, June 28 -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said Thursday that his government 'made a wrong political calculation' when it intervened in Somalia, where Ethiopian troops are bogged down in a fight against a growing insurgency. Addressing Ethiopia's Parliament, Meles said his government incorrectly assumed that breaking up the Islamic movement that took control of most of Somalia in June 2006 would subdue the country. He also said he wrongly believed that Somali clan leaders would live up to unspecified 'promises.' 'We made these wrong assumptions,' Meles said on a day when a roadside bomb killed two Ethiopian soldiers in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, and two aid workers were shot dead in northern Somalia."
Michael Schwartz: CIA Terror Bombings, Bob Gates, and The Rise of Hezbollah - Politics on The Huffington Post: "'In our shop, we knew what Casey would be looking for in revenge for the barracks bombing and what the Israelis and Saudis were pushing,' related one analyst who would later become a senior Agency official. 'We laid out all the unknowables and caveats and how we were being whipsawed [by allied spy agencies], and we sent it upstairs for Gates to give to Casey, and we recommended it be bootlegged to the NSC and White House and even to Defense if it came to that.'
When there was no sign that Gates had done anything with their warning, two of the analysts confronted the deputy director. 'This is terrible,' one of them told him. 'We are not here to pick a fight with the boss,' Gates answered dismissively. 'I'm not particularly concerned about some set-to in Lebanon.' The CIA did not just try to assassinate Muhammad Husain Fadlallah…
Tomgram: The Numbers Surge in Iraq: "Now, Americans are theoretically waiting for the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus, to 'report' to Congress in September on the 'progress' of the President's surge strategy. But there really is no reason to wait for September. An interim report -- 'Iraq by the numbers' -- can be prepared now (as it could have been prepared last month, or last year). The trajectory of horror in Iraq has long been clear; the fact that the U.S. military is a motor driving the Iraqi cataclysm has been no less clear for years now. So here is my own early version of the 'September Report.' A caveat about numbers: In the bloody chaos that is Iraq, as tens of thousands die or are wounded, as millions uproot themselves or are uprooted, and as the influence of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's national government remains largely confined to the four-square mile fortified Green Zone in the Iraqi capital, numbe…
BBC NEWS | Africa | Ethiopia 'ready for Eritrea war': "Ethiopia's prime minister says he is strengthening his army in preparation for an attack by long-time foe Eritrea. 'Our defence forces have the capacity to deter aggression and to repulse it if it occurred,' Meles Zenawi told MPs. Eritrea has yet to comment. The two neighbours fought a border war from 1998-2000, in which hundreds of thousands of Ethiopia's prime minister says he is strengthening his army in preparation for an attack by long-time foe Eritrea. 'Our defence forces have the capacity to deter aggression and to repulse it if it occurred,' Meles Zenawi told MPs. Eritrea has yet to comment. The two neighbours fought a border war from 1998-2000, in which hundreds of thousands of "
The Daily Star - Politics - Assassins gun down anti-Wahhabi Iranian cleric: "TEHRAN: An Iranian Shiite cleric known for his anti-Wahhabi activities has been assassinated in the restive city of Ahvas, in an area that is home to a substantial Arab community, a press report said on Tuesday. 'Hojjatoleslam Hisham Seimori ... was shot dead by two men who turned up at his house on motorbikes around 10 at night,' the hard-line Kayhan newspaper said. Kayhan said Seimori was a 'skillful speaker who brought awareness to the youth about deviating movements, especially Wahhabism,' a branch of conservative Sunni Islam practiced in the Arabian Peninsula. - AFP"
Democracy Now! | Ex-Marine Josh Rushing on his Journey from Military Mouthpiece to Al Jazeera CorrespondentFour years ago our first guest today helped sell the Iraq war to the American public. Armed with talking points from the Bush administration, Josh Rushing served as a Marine spokesperson at CENTCOM in Doha as the U.S. invaded Iraq. Josh Rushing has since retired from the Marines and has started working at an unlikely outlet – the Arabic news channel Al Jazeera International. Rushing became famous in the Arab world after he appeared – almost by chance – in the documentary Control Room about Al Jazeera. After the film was released, the Marines ordered Rushing to stop speaking to the press because he had begun publicly defending Al Jazeera.
BBC NEWS | Middle East | Village disputes story of deadly attackOn 22 June the US military announced that its attack helicopters, armed with missiles, engaged and killed 17 al-Qaeda gunmen who had been trying to infiltrate the village of al-Khalis, north of Baquba, where operation "Arrowhead Ripper" had been under way for the previous three days.
The item was duly carried by international news agencies and received widespread coverage, including on the BBC News website.
But villagers in largely-Shia al-Khalis say that those who died had nothing to do with al-Qaeda. They say they were local village guards trying to protect the township from exactly the kind of attack by insurgents the US military says it foiled.
BBC NEWS | Middle East | Village disputes story of deadly attack: "On 22 June the US military announced that its attack helicopters, armed with missiles, engaged and killed 17 al-Qaeda gunmen who had been trying to infiltrate the village of al-Khalis, north of Baquba, where operation 'Arrowhead Ripper' had been under way for the previous three days. The item was duly carried by international news agencies and received widespread coverage, including on the BBC News website. But villagers in largely-Shia al-Khalis say that those who died had nothing to do with al-Qaeda. They say they were local village guards trying to protect the township from exactly the kind of attack by insurgents the US military says it foiled. "
The Iraq: Post-Saddam Governance and Security report by the Congressional Report Service notes that The formal US-led WMD search ended December 2004 but the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) is still formally active.
A draft resolution was only circulated this month to end UNMOVIC's work, which costs US $10 billion per year drawn from Iraqi revenues.
Asia Times Online :: Middle East News - The tortured world of US intelligence: "With President George W Bush's choice of ex-Central Intelligence Agency director Robert Gates to take over the Pentagon, this most uninformed of presidents unwittingly gave us back vital pages of our recent history. If Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the neo-conservative claque in the second echelon of the administration are all complicit in today's misrule, Gates personifies older, equally serious, if less recognized, less remembered abuses. His laden resume offers needed evidence that Washington's tortuous, torturing foreign policies did not begin with the Bush administration - and will not end with it. "
Jennifer Loewenstein: The Triumph of US / Israeli Policy in Palestine: "Western nations are standing by in silence as the deadly siege of Gaza and the dismemberment of the West Bank continue unabated. What we are witnessing in full view each day are unprecedented steps taken by the world's only superpower and its favorite client state, Israel, to ensure the death of a nation. While friction between the two key political factions in the occupied Palestinian territories has long undermined the smooth functioning of internal affairs, it was the direct, cynical involvement of US and Israeli policy-makers in these affairs that guaranteed the breakdown of internal stability and paved the way for the Hamas 'coup' in Gaza."
allAfrica.com: East Africa: There's More Than a Border in Ethiopia, Eritrea Conflict (Page 1 of 2): "The two countries agreed to binding arbitration about the location of their border in Algiers in 2000. The small town of Badme was awarded to Eritrea. Until then, Ethiopia refused to allow the demarcation because Eritrea invaded Badme to spark the war in 1998. Why? Because for the preceding year, a series of incidents provoked the Eritrean government into thinking that Ethiopia soldiers were trying to take over Badme by stealth."
The government said it had the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) "on the run", but denied using planes during fighting in the poor and arid region on the border of Ethiopia and Somalia in the Horn of Africa.
An ONLF spokesman said as well as the victims of air raids, 57 more civilians had died in the past 10 days or so of battles.
"This is a big offensive, mostly targeting the population because they cannot beat us," Abdirahman Mahdi, an ONLF founder member and now its UK-based spokesman, told Reuters.
"We hear from our commanders that they carpet-bombed three villages -- Abaaqorow, Dar es Salaam, and Ayun -- with MiG jets last Thursday. About 40 civilians died.…
blogger: crusaderwatchr, on you June, 22, 2007 postings, you showed your approval of what taliban is about. But there is a different between supporting people who fight for their freedom and supporting oppresors like Taliban. What kind of Islamic Law were they advancing when in and of out of power? Is The laws described by Allah also include the application of precluding people of power? Does it permit to blast other places of worship? Does it permit a killing of civilians? Does it permit suicide bombs targeting enemy mixed with civilians? Does it permit women to wear burqa by force? Does it permit beheadings and leave the corpses on the street to rout? The smashing of TV sets? Giving sanctuary to extremists including Osama? Sharia is always abused from the time Ali and Muawiya fought for power justifying the killings of brothers, Jafar Numeri of Sudan used it so are the Saudi slave state holders. A Muslim male and female accountable for their own deeds; therefore, no one state or a …
Baquba: ' A kill sack'. :: from www.uruknet.info :: news from occupied Iraq - it: " We are enveloping the enemy into a kill sack,' said Command Sergeant Major Jeff Huggins from the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade, according to Reuters (23rd June.) A 'kill sack'? Good luck America, when these sickos return home. Shutter the windows, barr the doors - and above all, lock up your daughters. Remember little Abeer al-Janabi, multiply raped in nearby in Mahmoudiya, her family shot and she and all burned to cover the evidence? Remember Abu Ghraib? And where else? Think rape, rape, rape, sodomy, sodomy, sodomy - think the furthest other reaches of the most bestial inhumanity to man, women and yes, children. Think of America's finest selling the pictures of the dead, dying, defiled on the internet, in exchange for porn. Think also of chains of command. Where does the cover up start and how high does it go?"
: "The news of the mortar and missile attacks has been largely concealed from the American people. The public already believes the war was a “mistake” and the persistent bombing of America’s “last sanctuary” in Baghdad just adds to the nation’s sinking morale. The US is progressively losing its grip in Iraq and the fighting is degenerating into a vicious free-for-all. The “surge” has failed to achieve its political objectives, and this is forcing the occupation to rely more and more on aerial bombardment and counterinsurgency operations."
Another Day in the Empire: "Not a day passes now we do not witness corporate media claims Ahmadinejad wants to wipe Israel off the map. In fact, Ahmadinejad said the “regime that is occupying Qods [Jerusalem] must be eliminated from the pages of history.” He did not say Israel must be wiped off the map. But this engineered lie is repeated constantly by the corporate media and to such a degree it is now accepted as fact. "
Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall June 22, 2007 04:00 PM: "It's a curious thing that, over the past 10 - 12 days, the news from Iraq refers to the combatants there as 'al-Qaida' fighters. When did that happen? Until a few days ago, the combatants in Iraq were 'insurgents' or they were referred to as 'Sunni' or 'Shia'a' fighters in the Iraq Civil War. Suddenly, without evidence, without proof, without any semblance of fact, the US military command is referring to these combatants as 'al-Qaida'. Welcome to the latest in Iraq propaganda."
McClatchy Washington Bureau | 06/22/2007 | Chilling stories from the Madhi ArmyMcClatchy Newspapers interviewed Abu Rusil after asking an intermediary to find a Mahdi Army commander from Hai al Salam to comment on residents' stories of brutality. Abu Rusil introduced himself as Abu al Hassan, then acknowledged his better known nom de guerre. He refused to be identified by his real name, though several residents said they knew it.
Abu Rusil said he'd never killed anyone until his brother's death. He struggled to make ends meet as a taxi driver. When Sunni insurgents shot his brother, Abu Rusil and his family had to pool their money to come up with the $2,000 it cost to retrieve the body.
Now he enjoys the spoils of war as a Mahdi Army commander. He has a house and three sport-utility vehicles, which he uses in his transportation business. He confiscates cars from Sunnis to get around town. The cars, of course, now belong to the Mahdi Army.
McClatchy Washington Bureau | 06/21/2007 | Former Hamas prisoners remember Fatah torture: "After being rounded up by Fatah forces, Hamas men were blindfolded and shackled to a line of uncomfortable, low chairs while their captors blasted 'dirty' music to soften their psychological defenses. Then, one by one, they were beaten, questioned and thrown in cells. 'Torture by the Israelis was less than what they did here,' said Hassan, a 46-year-old high school physics teacher who would give only his first name. He said he was held by Fatah for 59 days in 1996. For Hamas members, the gutted prison bloc in the back of the Gaza City headquarters of the Palestinian Authority's Preventive Security Service was their Abu Ghraib."
Abused orphans found in Baghdad: "BAGHDAD — One photograph shows a skin-and-bones boy lying on a bare floor, leashed like a dog to the pink bars of an unoccupied crib. Another shows boys curled naked on the ground, one of them smeared with human waste.
The scenes were ghastly. But almost as jarring was the response of an Iraqi government minister called upon Wednesday to explain how a state-run orphanage in the capital could have kept two dozen children in such conditions.
Proving that not even orphans are off-limits to the political sniping that permeates life here, the minister of labor and social welfare accused U.S. troops and the media of exaggerating the situation and distributing the photographs for political gain.
'Are they really concerned about how well the children are treated in that shelter, or is it just propaganda for their alleged kindness?' Mahmoud Mohammed Jawad Radi said to reporters after the U.S. military released the photographs."
Andy Worthington: Repatriated to Torture: "Fears that the governments of both the US and the UK are conspiring to break international safeguards preventing the return of prisoners held without charge or trial to their home countries--where they face a serious risk of torture and abuse--have gained prominence in the last few days. On Saturday, I wrote on these pages about the case of Abdul Rauf al-Qassim, a Libyan prisoner in Guantánamo who is struggling to prevent his enforced return to the country of his birth, and on Tuesday the Pentagon announced that two Tunisian prisoners in Guantánamo, cleared for release since last year, had been returned to Tunisia on Sunday. Zachary Katznelson, Senior Counsel at Reprieve, a London-based legal charity representing one of the Tunisians, Abdullah bin Omar, immediately denounced his client's enforced repatriation, stating that he was 'cleared by the United States--found not to be a threat and not to have information about terrorism. …
West chooses Fatah, but Palestinians don't: "IN THE WEST, there's a huge sense of relief. The Hamas-led government that has been causing everyone so much trouble has been isolated in Gaza, and a new government has been appointed in the West Bank by the 'moderate,' peace-loving Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas.
So why then do Palestinians not share in the relief? Well, for one thing, the old government had been democratically elected; now it has been dismissed out of hand by presidential fiat. There's also the fact that the new prime minister appointed by Abbas — Salam Fayyad — has the support of the West, but his election list won only 2% of the votes in the same election that swept Hamas to victory. Fayyad and Abbas have the support of Israel, but it is no secret that they lack the backing of their own people.
There is a reason the people threw out Abbas' Fatah party in last year's election. Palestinians see the leading Fatah politicians …
Truthdig - Reports - Fatherhood, Muhammad Ali and Moral Courage: "I went down to first class on the airliner to find the man who had floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee. Ali is still a big man, dwarfing those around him. I knelt so I could look him right in the eye and told him I considered him a hero not for his world championship title fights but for having the moral courage to refuse induction into the Army during Vietnam. Ali’s hand shook with tremors as he extended it to me; he nodded. He has a hard time speaking now but I could see he was moved by what I had told him. His battle of conscience has ended; for many of us those battles are still to come. "
10000 American troops started to rape Baquba to kill and capture Iraqi resistance forces in and around the city. The fight is not "against al-Qaeda in Iraq" like almost every major news media reported.
As implausible as this might sound to people who trust the government, be aware that despite his rhetoric, Bush has no respect for democracy. His neoconservative advisors have all been taught that it is their duty to circumvent democracy, as democracy does not produce the right decisions. Neoconservatives believe in rule by elites, and they regard themselves as the elite. The Bush regime decided that Americans would not agree to an invasion of Iraq unless they were deceived and tricked into it, and so we were.
Indeed, democracy is out of favor throughout the Western world. In the UK and Europe, peoples are being forced, despite their expressed opposition, into an EU identity that they reject. British PM Tony Blair and his European counterparts have decided on their own that the people do not know best and that the people will be ignored. As former French PM Valery Giscard d’Estaing told the French newspaper, Le Monde, “Public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the propo…
The FBI defines terrorism as "the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
American terrorism and extremist Islamist terrorism feed of each others. I always believe that is true and I know it is true. The only difference is the extent of damage the opposite terrorist government or groups’ causes. We have clearly seen American led terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan; on the other side of the isle, the extremists also given an opportunity to cause damages would deploy any and all available weapons. American terrorism will destroy the world we live in many times over (the amount of nuclear weapons it stockpiled) but the extremists are capable of killing in the tenth at one time (hundreds of killings seen in Iraq using car bombs, and three thousands in New York and Washington DC but those are the exceptions). The problem with terro…
allAfrica.com: Ethiopia: Shame On Zenawi (Page 1 of 1): "I am very disturbed at the way the world has decided to ignore the suffering inflicted on the people of our neighbouring country, Ethiopia. It is unbelievable that Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has turned himself into one of Africa's nascent dictators, yet no international body has come out strongly condemn him."
What Every American Should Know About Iraq - CommonDreams.org* Right after 9/11, according to Clarke, “The president dragged me into a room with a couple of other people, shut the door, and said, ‘I want you to find whether Iraq did this.’ Now he never said, ‘Make it up.’ But the entire conversation left me in absolutely no doubt that George Bush wanted me to come back with a report that said Iraq did this. I said, ‘Mr. President. We’ve done this before. We have been looking at this. We looked at it with an open mind. There’s no connection.’ He came back at me and said, ‘Iraq! Saddam! Find out if there’s a connection’. And in a very intimidating way. I mean that we should come back with that answer. We wrote a report. It was a serious look. We got together all the FBI experts, all the CIA experts. We wrote the report. We sent the report out to CIA and found FBI and said, ‘Will you sign this report?’ They all cleared the report. And we sent it up to the president and it got bounced by …
Annals of National Security: The General’s Report: Reporting & Essays: The New YorkerTaguba came to believe that Lieutenant General Sanchez, the Army commander in Iraq, and some of the generals assigned to the military headquarters in Baghdad had extensive knowledge of the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib even before Joseph Darby came forward with the CD. Taguba was aware that in the fall of 2003—when much of the abuse took place—Sanchez routinely visited the prison, and witnessed at least one interrogation. According to Taguba, “Sanchez knew exactly what was going on.”
"I'm in pain now, all over my body," she said. "I'm worried that I'll become crazy because of what happened."
Many Ogaden villagers said that when they had tried to bring up abuses with clan chiefs or the local authorities, they were told it was better to keep quiet.
The rebels said this was precisely why they had attacked the Chinese oil field: to get publicity for their cause and the plight of their region (and to discourage foreign companies from exploiting local resources).
Rise and Fall of the Bizarro Empire- by Justin RaimondoWhen the history of the Iraq war is written, the question of who lost it and how it was lost will be paramount, yet the answer is clear enough even today. The seeds of defeat were sown long ago, and not just by the policymakers and authors of our present disastrous policy. The co-authors of defeat in Iraq are the politicians and the U.S. military, both of whom are constrained by the internal political dynamics of U.S. imperialism. The military deficiencies that some, like Sen. Harry Reid, have pointed to are not a matter of individual "incompetence" on the part of some generals: the inefficiencies are inherent in the system.
We Found WMD – and It Was Ours - by David DeBattoThe date on the bill was either 1987 or 1988, I don’t recall exactly. I do recall that the bomb was manufactured in Spain and shipped through France. So much for their claims of being holier-than-thou. I checked several more bills and they were all identical. These bombs had all been shipped together. Rahman told us that similar weapons had been used all throughout the Iran-Iraq war during the 1980s as well as against the Kurds. We were staring at what could have possibly been some of the same type of WMD used in one of the most heinous attacks in recorded history – the gassing of Halabja in March of 1988 which killed an estimated 5,000 Kurdish civilians.
Iraq Contractors Face Growing Parallel War - washingtonpost.com: "BAGHDAD -- Private security companies, funded by billions of dollars in U.S. military and State Department contracts, are fighting insurgents on a widening scale in Iraq, enduring daily attacks, returning fire and taking hundreds of casualties that have been underreported and sometimes concealed, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials and company representatives."
The Fattah tugs and their leader Mahmoud Abbas with the world powerful terrorist nations “choose” unelected Prime Minister to rule occupied Palestine. Now I believe the stage is set for Palestinian Prime Minister Ismael Haniya to be assassinated by Zionist racists wherever he may be found. America has well established rules how to do away with the leaders of other nations who refused to surrender completely to its designs; first, launch smear campaign to portray them as undesired, and then threaten them with what would going to happen to them if no change in their attitude takes place, finally go for the kill if they stick with their people and interests. Ismael Haniya is on his final stage. Israel moves to 'isolate' Hamas Abbas swears in emergency cabinet
The threat to al-JazeeraSince its launch just over a decade ago, the al-Jazeera satellite TV station has transformed the politics of the Middle East. For the first time, people in the region had access to a genuinely free and independent source of news and comment that was neither under the control of dictatorial regimes nor western states or corporations. Under its slogan of "The opinion ... and the other opinion", al-Jazeera gave an Arab world hungry for information and debate the means to talk to itself and shape its future. It spawned imitators across the region and has launched an English language station that is beginning to challenge the western monopoly of international news as a "voice of the global south". And the station also put Qatar, which sponsors it, on the political map and gave it unprecedented prestige throughout the Arab world and beyond.
But now that achievement is being put at risk. The evidence is clear that the US government is using its infl…
My hapless African rebel | Salon News My low-boil panic began in January, two weeks before I planned to travel to Ethiopia and write some stories that I fancied would expose the human rights' abuses and true, nasty nature of America's stalwart ally in Africa. I had just quit my job at the Associated Press and moved to Nairobi, Kenya. After eight years of reporting in Russia, Denver and at the United Nations, I wanted to focus on the continent to which most of the world turned a nonchalant eye. I had won a grant with my wife, Zoe, also a journalist, to begin in Ethiopia.
Terrified that we would land in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, without anyone to meet, I pumped everyone I knew for contacts. A fellow journalist passed me the e-mail address of an Ethiopian she once interviewed. She described the man, incongruously named Reagan, an ethnic Somali, as a critic of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's regime.
The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضبThis is new. Al-Quds Al-`Arabi is reporting that Muhammad Dahlan is facing rising anger among Fath for the performance of his forces in Gaza. Apparently, he is attributing the problem to his knee surgery. The news is not here yet. He said that his knee problem is from the time he spent in Israeli jail. Was that from frequent prostration before Israeli occupiers? Because that can really hurt the knees.
Few days ago Hamas routed the corrupt and Zionist instrument from Gaza strip swiftly. This comes, as everyone knows, after two years of patient and endurance by Hamas leaders not to start a civil war provoked by the Fattah tugs. January of 2005 Palestinians elected Hamas to form a government only to be sabotaged by two leading terrorist nations namely the USA and Zionist Israel. The US is well established itself as a top of rouge nations list ever since it raped Iraq violently, not to mention what it did in the name of democracy around the world to protect its corporations and subjugate what it called uncivilized people (non whites) for more than 200 years. Once again America’s hypocrisy exposed when it says something and does totally opposite of that! Hamas won thru the ballot box and attacked by Fattah tugs; unashamedly America imposed embargo on Palestinians for voting their conscious and supported Fattah with money and weapons more importantly by giving them political covers. Thi…
Somalis yearn for Islamic rulers to return and tame the warlords - Independent Online Edition > AfricaThe ruins of the old sugar factory in Marere, in the southern interior of Somalia, tower over the wooden shacks and brick huts which shelter the 2,000 or so people still living here. This used to be the second-largest sugar factory in the world, employing more than 20,000 people. Now, its rusting steel frame, chimneys and pipes sunk deep into the tall grass provide a painful echo of the wreck which Somalia has become.
Everything worth anything has gone, the scrap metal systematically torn off and shipped to India or old equipment taken by scavengers to be sold off at the market in nearby Jilib.
"Maybe one day someone will rebuild it," said Abdirizak Hassan Moalim, squinting into the sun. The 21-year-old has been living in a village near the sugar factory for two months after fleeing the violence in Somalia's capital Mogadishu. "It needs to be safe here first thoug…
Scooter's Fate: I Say Torture Him- by Justin Raimondo: "As he informed Scooter Libby's lawyers that their client would not squirm out of his jail term of two and a half years, Judge Reggie B. Walton revealed that he had been threatened, via letters and phone calls, by some of Libby's more rabid supporters – not really a very surprising development. After all, it makes perfect sense that Libby's fans would be just as indifferent to the rule of law as their 'hero' – who outed a covert CIA agent [.pdf] and placed the national security of this country – and the life of CIA agent Valerie Plame – in dire jeopardy. These people are thugs, and their methods reflect their mentality."
EurasiaNet Civil Society - Abkhazia: Bracing for More Trouble: "Abkhazia won a de facto independence thanks to its victory in that war, and my first stop after arriving in Sukhumi is the de facto Foreign Ministry. I ask for directions from people on the street, expecting the ministry to have its own building. It turns out to be just a part of a smallish government building, sharing a floor with the de facto Finance Ministry. Inside, I find several ministry officials, all of whom are guys in their 20s, chatting about music. One is says he’s a rap music producer in his spare time; another is making plans to go to Moscow this summer to catch his favorite band, Metallica, in concert. 'Do you want to talk to the deputy foreign minister? He’s not very busy,' one of them says. "
ei: A setback for the Bush doctrine in GazaFrom the moment of its election victory, Hamas acted pragmatically and with the intent to integrate itself into the existing political structure. It had observed for over a year a unilateral ceasefire with Israel and had halted the suicide attacks on Israeli civilians that had made it notorious. In a leaked confidential memo written in May and published by The Guardian this week senior UN envoy Alvaro de Soto confirmed that it was under pressure from the United States that Abbas refused Hamas' initial invitation to form a "national unity government." De Soto details that Abbas advisers actively aided and abetted the Israeli-US-European Union aid cutoff and siege of the Palestinians under occupation, which led to massively increased poverty for millions of people. These advisors engaged with the United States in a "plot" to "bring about the untimely demise of the [Palestinian Authority] government led by Hamas,&quo…
Last year in February terrorists (American and their allies or extremist Muslims) blew up al Askari shrine, the killings of innocent Iraqis in the hands of terrorists intensified ever since. For some people it is unimaginable America would blow up stuff to cause mayhem in order to stay in the country or divert attention from the real deal. Iraq lost most of its historical artifacts systematically after the rape of Iraq in 2003 by Americans, the pillaging took place where the whole world was witnessing it happened. If America approved of pillaging of Iraqis historical treasure, why would they be concern about rebuilding al Askari shrine after the 2006 destroying of it? Especially if they are the ones who did it or hire someone to do it? I can’t imagine any one other than them who could hit a shrine twice with impunity! Knowing the after effect of the first round carnage could Americans had best protect the shrine with a platoon? You betcha!
No Drop in Iraq Violence Seen Since Troop Buildup - washingtonpost.com: "Three months into the new U.S. military strategy that has sent tens of thousands of additional troops into Iraq, overall levels of violence in the country have not decreased, as attacks have shifted away from Baghdad and Anbar, where American forces are concentrated, only to rise in most other provinces, according to a Pentagon report released yesterday."
Far From War, a Town With a Well-Used Welcome Mat - New York Times: "Mr. Lago is the mayor of this scenic Swedish town of 60,000 people, which last year took in twice as many Iraqi refugees as the entire United States, almost all of them Christians fleeing the religious cleansing taking place next to Iraq’s anti-American insurgency and sectarian strife. So the mourners are now part of Mr. Lago’s constituency, and their war is rapidly becoming Sodertalje’s war — to the mayor’s growing chagrin. Sodertalje, he says, is reaching a breaking point, and can no longer provide the newcomers with even the basic services they have the right to expect. About 9,000 Iraqis made it to Sweden in 2006 — almost half of the 22,000 who sought asylum in the entire industrialized world. This year, when the United States has promised to take in 7,000 Iraqis, around 20,000 are expected to seek asylum in Sweden."
Religious extremists in 3 faiths share views: report | Top News | Reuters.com: " Violent Muslim, Christian and Jewish extremists invoke the same rhetoric of 'good' and 'evil' and the best way to fight them is to tackle the problems that drive people to extremism, according to a report obtained by Reuters. It said extremists from each of the three faiths often have tangible grievances -- social, economic or political -- but they invoke religion to recruit followers and to justify breaking the law, including killing civilians and members of their own faith."
Has Baghdad Captured Petraeus? - CommonDreams.org: "With Petraeus’s troops scattered in company-sized units planted in vulnerable outposts throughout the city’s ever-dangerous neighborhoods, the American army is being made captive. Captive to the teeming, violent city of Baghdad. Captive to the anti-occupation insurgents, who now have the initiative to strike when and where they choose. Captive, also, to the whims of American domestic politics, wherever they might lead. Captive to the arrogance of political and military leaders who said the seizure of Iraq would be a “cakewalk” and are now desperate for any victory, anything that might be described as victory, at whatever cost, in the coming few months."
The cry of the invisible: "In the 1960s, when I first went to Latin America, I travelled up the cone of the continent from Chile across the Altiplano to Peru, mostly in rickety buses and single-carriage trains. It was an experience my memory stored for life, especially the spectacle of the movement of people. They moved through the dust of a snow-capped wilderness, along roads that were ribbons of red mud, and they lived in shanties that defied gravity. 'We are invisible,' said one man; another used the term abandonados; an indigenous woman in Bolivia unforgettably described her poverty as a commodity for the rich."
Responsibility: "A few months ago I wrote an article talking about human sacrifice and slavery and how human kind had moved away from those institutions when we had educated ourselves enough to realize that these were not honorable or sane things to do to one another.
The reason I write this today is to further explore the concept that war is slavery and human sacrifice all rolled up into one vile package. "
The Siege of BaghdadThe American surge is the latest in an attempt to stave off defeat; the moral battle was lost long ago. The political battle a stalemate, between the forces of timid stupidity verses the forces of entrenched insanity. The greatest megalomaniac’s of the 20th century had drawn up battle plans for the conquest of England and one of the cornerstones of operation sea lion was in avoiding London. Even a madman knew a large metropolis would swallow an army, and as the tide turned at Stalingrad the mad man began to cashier his own generals.
For in his madness it could only be the generals who were not following his orders not the fatal flaw in his own tactics. The mad man brooded over his scale model of the new Berlin much like the current mad man broods over his scale model of what the Iraqi’s call Bush’s palace, the Vatican city sized embassy in Baghdad which will probably never be occupied or at best be used a last redoubt.
AlterNet: WorkPlace: The Rich Are Making the Poor PoorerBut it no longer takes a Marxist, real or alleged, to see that America is being polarized between the super-rich and the sub-rich everyone else. In Sunday's New York Times magazine we learn that Larry Summers, the centrist Democratic economist and former Harvard president, is now obsessed with the statistic that, since 1979, the share of pretax income going to the top 1 percent of American households has risen by 7 percentage points, to 16 percent. At the same time, the share of income going to the bottom 80 percent has fallen by 7 percentage points.
As the Times puts it: "It's as if every household in that bottom 80 percent is writing a check for $7,000 every year and sending it to the top 1 percent." Summers now admits that his former cheerleading for the corporate-dominated global economy feels like "pretty thin gruel."
HERAT, Afghanistan - With the focus of the Taliban's spring offensive turning increasingly toward the northwestern provinces adjoining Iran, rather than on the southwest, the next few months could prove pivotal in the ongoing insurgency against North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led forces.
"The Taliban's new focus is the northwestern region, and there will be many surprises in the coming days," Taliban spokesman Qari
Yousuf Ahmedi told Asia Times Online by telephone.
Indeed, within the space of a few hours the surprises included the surrender of 40 Taliban and a mass Taliban attack on district police outposts.
The War on Consciousness: "-- We are truly in a war. It is not the war we imagine we are in, which is the way our true adversaries want it. It is not a foreign war against a foreign enemy. It is a war on consciousness, a war on our own minds. The global war on terror that is being fought around the world is an embodied reflection in the material world of a deeper, more fundamental war that is going on in the realm of consciousness itself.
We have the most criminal regime in all of our history wreaking unspeakable horror on the entire planet, while simultaneously waging war on the consciousness of its own citizens - US. If we aren’t aware of this, we are unwittingly playing into, supporting and complicit in the evil that is being perpetrated in our name."
The United States' new strategy in Lebanon: "On the other hand, the Lebanese army is being tried out in a role it has not been involved in since the Taif peace agreement, until now : internal repression. What is being seen is the possibility of a future confrontation between the Lebanese army and Hizbollah, which explains why the political military movement has from the outset supported the army. In a somewhat complex statement, Hizbollah has condemned the attacks of Fatah al Islam against the Lebanese army at the same time as it has criticised the government ('we feel there is someone who wants to drag the army into confrontation and bloody fighting to serve well-known projects and objectives') and asked for a political solution to the crisis to avoid more suffering for the already hard-hit Palestinian population of the camps. (8) Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbollah's Secretary General has been more explicit, saying ' the problem in the north can be solved politicall…
In a recent interview with Dimtsi Woyanne Radio, Sebehat Nega, Woyanne moneyman and senior member of the politburo, said that if all Eritrean organizations combine, their effort would not add up to what the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (Woyanne/TPLF) did for the independence of Eritrea. According to Sebehat, the position taken by the Eritrean People Liberation Front (EPLF/Shabia) had been weak in regards to the question of independence. What he was saying in effect is that EPLF has a soft heart for Ethiopia, as it demanded only limited autonomy from the central government–not full secession as demanded by Woyanne. What an astonishing statement coming from some one who is a top leader of the party that is ruling Ethiopia, albeit illegitimately.
This is not a hyperbole on the part of Sebehat. His statement is, in fact, not new to those who have been…
Woyanne puppet regime in Somalia loses key towns - Ethiopian Review News: "Militia loyal to former defence leader of the defeated Islamic Courts Union Yusuf Mohamed Inda-Adde have taken control of Bulo-Mareer and Qoryoley towns in lower Shabelle region, southern Somalia on Saturday after heavy fighting with soldiers loyal to the newly appointed governor for the region."
I blame myself for our downfall in Iraq | International News | News | Telegraph: "A former American army torturer has laid bare the traumatic effects of American interrogation techniques in Iraq - on their victims and on the perpetrators themselves. Tony Lagouranis conducted mock executions, forced men and boys into agonising stress positions, kept suspects awake for weeks on end, used dogs to terrify detainees and subjected others to hypothermia. But he confesses that he was deeply scarred by the realisation that what he did has contributed to the downfall of American forces in Iraq. Mr Lagouranis, 37, suffered nightmares and anxiety attacks on his return to Chicago, where he works as a bouncer."
Bush in "Fantasyland": "'President Bush is rushing to deploy a technology that does not work against a threat that does not exist,' Cirincione says. 'Iran is at least 5 to 10 years away from the capability to build a nuclear weapon and at least that far from having a missile that could hit Europe let alone the US. And anti-missile systems are still nowhere near working despite $150 billion spent since the 1983 Star Wars program started and years of phony tests staged to demonstrate ‘progress' and ‘success.'' "
Hirsh: After '08, Is There a Plan B for Iraq? - Newsweek Michael Hirsh - MSNBC.comJust how long is the issue of the day in Iraq-obsessed Washington. And frighteningly, no one seems more confused about the plan than Bush himself. In two separate appearances in the last week, he alternately invoked last fall’s Baker-Hamilton report—which envisioned a substantial pullout by early 2008—and America’s South Korea occupation, which has been a robust front-line presence for more than 50 years. Which is it?
The Checkpoint Women of Israel -- In These Times: "“Most of the soldiers are very angry at us,” says Banai. “They don’t like having ‘those bitches,’ as they call us, looking over their shoulders. It’s much easier to do what you want [if we weren’t there], like being able to slip up and give an old Palestinian a slap.” Machsom, founded in 2001 by three female human rights activists, does not allow men as checkpoint-watchers. They can be translators, or drivers, or checkpoint-visitors, but checkpoint-watching is the work of women."
Tribal Coalition in Anbar Said to Be Crumbling - washingtonpost.com"We hate al-Qaeda, but at the same time we don't like the Americans," said Emad Jasem, 23, from the Soufiya district, north of Ramadi. Although they were cooperating with U.S. troops because of "overlapping interests," he said, "no one should jump to the conclusion that we are on the side of the Americans and support them. Our loyalty is to our community and our city."
Preacher seized by CIA tells of torture in Egypt-News-World-TimesOnline: "AN EGYPTIAN preacher who was seized by the CIA in daylight on a Milan street has revealed the details of 14 months of torture to which he says he was subjected after his “extraordinary rendition” to Egypt. Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, known as Abu Omar, described how Egyptian interrogators stripped him, shackled his arms and legs in a crucifixion position and then beat him and gave him electric shocks. He claimed they had twice attempted to rape him. Now living in Alexandria, Nasr, 44, walks with a limp, is deaf in one ear and bears scars. Last Friday the trial opened of 26 American defendants accused of kidnapping him on February 17, 2003, in an operation prosecutors say was coordinated by the CIA and Italian intelligence. None of the US defendants, a number of whom were identified by aliases, attended."
Consortiumnews.comAt the June 5 Republican debate, co-sponsored by CNN, Romney defended George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in March 2003 on the grounds that Saddam Hussein refused to let United Nations weapons inspectors in to search for WMD.
If Saddam “had opened up his country to I.A.E.A. inspectors, and they’d come in and they’d found that there were no weapons of mass destruction,” the war might have been averted, the former Massachusetts governor said.
But the reality is that Hussein did open up his country through the fall and winter of 2002-03, giving Hans Blix and his U.N. inspection team free rein to check out suspected WMD sites. It was President Bush who forced the U.N. inspectors out in March 2003 so his invasion could proceed.
The answer to the media question of why the U.S. press corps didn’t object to Romney’s bogus account is that Washington journalists have accepted this revisionist history since Bush began lying about the facts in July 2003
Speaking on condition of strict anonymity inside the heavily-fortified Green Zone of central Baghdad where the Iraqi government meets, the MP told IPS that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki "sold Kirkuk in exchange for Kurdish support for his collapsing government, and other matters such as not being in the way of Shiite militias in Baghdad."
He clarified that he believes al-Maliki made a pact with Kurdish MPs to relinquish plans for trying to have the central government in Baghdad control economic and oil issues in the Kurdish controlled city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq, but did not express confidence that the deal would be honored.
Jeffrey St. Clair: When Israel Attacked the USS Liberty: "In early June of 1967, at the onset of the Six Day War, the Pentagon sent the USS Liberty from Spain into international waters off the coast of Gaza to monitor the progress of Israel's attack on the Arab states. The Liberty was a lightly armed surveillance ship. Only hours after the Liberty arrived it was spotted by the Israeli military. The IDF sent out reconnaissance planes to identify the ship. They made eight trips over a period of three hours. The Liberty was flying a large US flag and was easily recognizable as an American vessel"
TomDispatchHere's what Washington Post reporter Tom Ricks wrote in Fiasco, his bestselling book about the occupation, on the administration's expectations that February: "[Paul] Wolfowitz told senior Army officers… he thought that within a few months of the invasion the U.S. troop level in Iraq would be thirty-four thousand, recalled [Johnny] Riggs, the Army general then at Army headquarters. Likewise, another three-star general, still on active duty, remembers being told to plan to have the U.S. occupation force reduced to thirty thousand troops by August 2003. An Army briefing a year later also noted that that number was the goal ‘by the end of the summer of 2003.'"
At present, approximately 37,000 American troops are garrisoned in South Korea. In other words, the original plan, in manpower terms, was for a Korea-style occupation of Iraq. But where were those troops to stay? The Pentagon had been pondering that, too -- and here's where the New York Times ha…
'If they are working for a true democracy, working rights have to be front and center,' Woolsey said during the briefing with Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, president of the Electrical Utility Workers Union. Woolsey was responding to questions about the ongoing strike in Basra, in southern Iraq, where workers began striking Monday over frustrations that demands for better working conditions and inclusion in the negotiations over the draft oil law have not been met."
Rights Groups Call for End to Secret Detentions - New York Times: "WASHINGTON, June 6 — Six human rights groups on Wednesday released a list of 39 people they believe have been secretly imprisoned by the United States and whose whereabouts are unknown, calling on the Bush administration to abandon such detentions. The list, compiled from news media reports, interviews and government documents, includes terrorism suspects and those thought to have ties to militant groups. In some suspects’ cases, officials acknowledge that they were at one time in United States custody. In others, the rights groups say, there is other evidence, sometimes sketchy, that they had at least once been in American hands."
Baghdad's Green Zone Is a Haven Under Siege - washingtonpost.comDespite the rising casualty toll from the attacks -- eight people have been killed, including two U.S. soldiers, and about 25 have been injured since late March -- the bigger problem is the psychological impact of insurgents striking the symbolic heart of the United States here, Iraqis and Americans say. That view is strengthened by the sense -- correct or not -- that the Green Zone was a relatively secure oasis where the war didn't seep in.
"It's amazing to people in the red zone, who think that if it can happen in the Green Zone, it can happen anywhere, and what's going to happen next?" said a 27-year-old Iraqi computer technician, who spoke on condition his name not be used, fearing that he and his family could be targeted. Like many Iraqis, he works in the Green Zone but lives outside it, an area some now call the red zone.
If You Think Bush Is Evil Now, Wait Until He Nukes Iran - by Paul Craig RobertsThe war in Iraq is lost. This fact is widely recognized by American military officers and has been recently expressed forcefully by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq during the first year of the attempted occupation. Winning is no longer an option. Our best hope, Sanchez says, is "to stave off defeat," and that requires more intelligence and leadership than Sanchez sees in the entirety of our national political leadership: "I am absolutely convinced that America has a crisis in leadership at this time."
More evidence that the war is lost arrived June 4 with headlines reporting that "U.S.-led soldiers control only about a third of Baghdad, the military said on Monday." After five years of war the U.S. controls one-third of one city and nothing else.
Commanders say push in Baghdad is short of goal - International Herald Tribune: "BAGHDAD: Three months after the start of the Baghdad security plan that has added thousands of American and Iraqi troops to the capital, they control fewer than one-third of the city's neighborhoods, far short of the initial goal for the operation, according to some commanders and an internal military assessment. The American assessment, completed in late May, found that American and Iraqi forces were able to 'protect the population' and 'maintain physical influence over' only 146 of the 457 Baghdad neighborhoods."