Wide Angle . Victory is Your Duty . Intro | PBS The Issue In the past seven Olympic Games, Cuba, an island nation with a population of 11 million people, has dominated the sport of boxing: 32 medals, 26 gold. Boxing has held a special place of honor in Cuban society since the Revolution, not least because Castro has deployed the nation's athletes as an unconventional tool of foreign and domestic policy. Sport propels the nation onto the world stage - allowing it to break out of economic and political isolation into a very public and superficially apolitical arena. While the country has never had the military might to challenge the U.S., it has found a way to compete inside the ropes of the boxing ring. Now, as Castro's faltering health has thrown the future into question, Cuba's athletes, as well as the rest its citizens will face a crucial time of transition. While the shift of power from Fidel to his brother Raul seems to have gone smoothly, there are some indications that…
The Power of the Israel Lobby in the United States
This is a must watch video Tegenlicht, a documentary program by the Dutch public broadcast organization VPRO, allows several interesting opinion makers to speak on the future of the American and Israel relationship and the reception of John Mearsheimers and Steve Walts article 'The Israel Lobby and US foreign policy.' Includes interviews with John Mearsheimer, former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson, cofounder of the Christians United for Israel lobbying group John Hagee, neoconservative Richard Perle and historian Tony Judt express their views in Marije Meermans and William de Bruijns documentary. The Israel Lobby. Portrait of a Great Taboo
The Power of the Israel Lobby in the United States
This is a must watch video Tegenlicht, a documentary program by the Dutch public broadcast organi…
With the response to those Danish cartoons and the British Army beatings in Iraq, still running red-hot in the Islamic world, tonight, even uglier images from Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.
Back in 2004 when the first shocking pictures were originally leaked, the world recoiled in horror, but since then the Bush Administration has fought tooth and nail to prevent the American public from seeing any new images of the treatment of Iraqi detainees, but tonight Dateline reporter Olivia Rousset reveals new photos and videos. Despite the currently overheated international climate, we are showing them because they show the extent of the horror that occurred at Abu Ghraib. A serious warning though - some of the images you're about to see are pretty confronting and may offend some of you. "
Chechnya Weekly from the Jamestown Foundation: "The Continuing Exodus of Ethnic Russians from the Caucasus By Mayrbek Vachagaev Starting in the 16th century and continuing into the 19th century, Russian settlers followed Russia’s armies in the process of annexing the Caucasus. The first Russians in the region came as refugees, fleeing their own oppressors, and settled among the mountaineers, adopting local clothes (e.g. the “cherkesska”), local lifestyles, and living next to the indigenous population in a neighborly fashion . Those later migrants that came in the wake of the imperial army were unwelcome and received an entirely different treatment from the highlanders. The 19th century, the bloodiest and most tragic century in the history of the mountaineers, saw the indigenous peoples forced into the highlands and their lands given to the quasi-military communities of the Russian Cossacks. "
Some of the best minds in the country, coming from different sectors of the political spectrum combine in this film to ... all » expose an intricate web of deceitful wickness controlling America today.
Matrix of Evil contains footage from speeches and conversations with Alex Jones, Congressman Ron Paul, Colonel Craig Roberts, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Frank Morales which cover and include:
-How the private banks control the military-industrial complex
-Expert analyses of the USA Patriot Act and the latest police state developments
-Globalist financial policies pushing America and the world into depression
-How the neoconservative movement controlling the Bush administration is nothing more than a trojan horse for a big government agenda of ivory tower social engineers
-The latest revelations concerning cashless society control grid, satellite tracking, cellphone tracking, DARPA surveillance, the end of Posse Comitatus, the federalization of local police and gov…
By Noam Chomsky 07/30/07 -- -- - THE death of a nation is a rare and somber event. But the vision of a unified, independent Palestine threatens to be another casualty of a Hamas-Fatah civil war, stoked by Israel and its enabling ally the United States."
07/30/07 "The Independent" -- -- Two thousand Iraqis are fleeing their homes every day. It is the greatest mass exodus of people ever in the Middle East and dwarfs anything seen in Europe since the Second World War. Four million people, one in seven Iraqis, have run away, because if they do not they will be killed. Two million have left Iraq, mainly for Syria and Jordan, and the same number have fled within the country.
Arms for Arab Authoritarians, as US Turns Back Clock - by Jim Lobe: "Just 25 months after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denounced 60 years of U.S. support for authoritarian governments in Arab world, she and Pentagon chief Robert Gates are on their way to the Middle East bearing arms and an uncannily familiar strategic vision to the same regimes."
Misunderstanding Moqtada al-Sadr - by Matt Duss: "In a July 11 Wall Street Journal op-ed, writer Kimberly Kagan touted the success of the Iraq surge strategy. Kagan noted, among other supposed triumphs, that the Maliki government had 'confronted Moqtada al-Sadr for promoting illegal militia activity, and has apparently prompted this so-called Iraqi nationalist to leave for Iran for the second time since January.' While one can perhaps excuse Kagan's sunny defense of the surge, (the plan was partly devised, after all, by her husband, Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute, a fact that the Wall Street Journal did not reveal to readers) the repeated attempts by conservative defenders of Bush's Iraq policy to dispute Sadr's nationalist credentials and treat him as an Iranian puppet indicate a real and troubling lack of knowledge of the Iraqi political scene and Sadr's place within it. "
Iraq captain says he fears for his life, calls for US to leave country - International Herald Tribune: "The Sunni Muslim Iraqi captain — who like the rest of the team wore a black arm band to remember the dozens killed by carbombers following the side's semifinal victory over South Korea on Wednesday — said the American presence in his homeland was a 'problem.'" "I want America to go out," he said. "Today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, but out. I wish the American people didn't invade Iraq and hopefully it will be over soon."
A first Asian Cup title has provided rare joy for people in Iraq amid continuing ethnic, religious and sectarian violence.
The team's players do not live in Iraq and work for clubs across the Middle East — Mahmoud works for Qatar club Al Gharafa and was leading scorer in the domestic league last season.
07/28/07 -- -- - What does the chivalric tradition that originated in America’s Civil War mean to the US today? Of all the scandals to come out of the Iraq war – Abu Ghraib, Haditha, the gang-rape and murder of 14 year old Abeer Qassim Hamza – the most dishonorable to date is the Bush administration’s refusal to protect Iraqis who risked their lives by working as translators, interpreters, drivers for the US army. Targeted by insurgent groups, denied help from the US army, the Iraqis who cast their lot with America are being kidnapped and executed every day, and no news report or televised pleas of help have caused a stir in the American conscience.You do not abandon your own...
FDR, Pearl Harbor and the U.N.: "The author, Victor, includes a chapter from the viewpoint of the Japanese. They were being pressured strongly by Germany to enter the war by attacking the Soviet Union, thereby creating a two-front war for the Communist nation. This strategy came within the actual interests of Japan since they, like Germany, saw Communism as a great evil and a threat to their respective nations. Furthermore, Japan had substantial claims to parts of Manchuria as a result of defeating Russia in the war of 1905. Both Germany and Japan wanted to avoid a war with America at almost any cost. Roosevelt was well aware of this pressure on Japan by Germany but he felt that it was necessary to protect the Soviet Union as being the best weapon against the Germans, and therefore, he wanted to prevent Japan from attacking Russia. Roosevelt began extensive provocations to cause Japan to abandon its attack on Russia and instead attack America which also served the purpose of givi…
07/28/07 'ICH' --- - The Hamas government crackdown on Mohamed Dahlan's corrupt security forces and affiliated gangs in the Gaza Strip in June appears to mark a turning point in the Bush administration's foreign policy regarding Palestine and Israel. The supposed shift, however, is nothing but a continuation of Washington's efforts to stifle Palestinian democracy, to widen the chasm separating Hamas and Fatah, and to ensure the success of the Israeli project, which is focussed on colonising and annexing what remains of Palestinian land. Bush's Real Agenda in Palestine
By Ramzy Baroud
07/28/07 'ICH' --- - The Hamas government crackdown on Mohamed Dahlan's corrupt security forces and affiliated gangs in the Gaza Strip in June appears to mark a turning point in the Bush administration's foreign policy regarding Palestine and Israel. The supposed shift, ho…
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has agreed to become patron of the UK arm of the Jewish National Fund, whose funds have contributed to Israeli ethnic cleansing, the destruction of Palestinian villages and the expropriation of Palestinian land, and whose constitution requires it to promote and implement policies that discriminate against Israel’s Arab population.
Another Day in the Empire Back in October, 2005, the Mossad’s favorite propaganda source, DEBKAfile, fretted over the sale of advanced Russian Iskander SS-26 missiles to Syria. According to DEBKAfile, Putin reneged on a deal not to sell the hardware to Syria, a lamentable situation for the Israelis as NATO and the United States “have nothing in their missile arsenal to match its unique attributes,” in other words, Israel is helpless to stop the Iskander if Syria decided to use it. So impressive is the missile “that in 2004, the Americans sought to include it in various treaties signed with Russia for precluding the manufacture and sale of certain weapons. Moscow balked. A Western missile expert says: ‘Even a small quantity of these missiles is capable of radically changing the balance of strength in local conflicts.’ It is a strategic weapon for countries with a small area like Syria.”
Reason Magazine - Hillary Clinton and the Dangers of Hubris Democrats hope that when it comes to international affairs, Clinton would represent a big change from George W. Bush. Republicans harbor that fear. In truth, this is one realm where the two are more alike than different. It's no accident that she voted for the resolution authorizing the president to invade Iraq. And it's no mystery that she was slow to admit the war was failing.
She didn't support the war because she was hoodwinked by Bush. She didn't do it for strictly political reasons. She supported it because of her conception of America's proper role in the world—which combines a thirst for altruistic missions with a faith in the value of military force to get what you want. Those same impulses, of course, motivated the neoconservatives who urged Bush to go into Iraq.
'This war aimed to impose a new Middle East, broken up into confessional and ethnic mini-states, serving the interests of the United States and Israel,' said the leader of the Shiite militant group which held out against the Israeli army for 34 days in July and August 2006. "
Fresh from the Iraqi Oven. In the Karrada district two days ago, 25 Iraqis were killed by a mysterious explosion. Today the same happened with a roughly similar number of dead and around 8 injured. According to reliable sources, no one really knows who is behind these explosions. And again contrary to common belief, it is no longer car bombs but explosive devices placed in Buildings.
A similar kind of explosion took place in al-Mansur today.
This new tactic has one clear purpose, in my opinion: "Bring the whole thing down". If you see what I mean.
Musharraf and Bhutto in power-sharing talks - Times Online: "General Musharraf held secret talks with Benazir Bhutto in Abu Dhabi to discuss an agreement that could allow her to return to Pakistan after years in exile. Under the agreement the military leader would be granted another five-year term as president, while Ms Bhutto, twice prime minister of Pakistan, would be allowed to return in September to contest parliamentary elections, exonerated of corruption charges made against her. "
Dozens of Afghan civilians die in air raids: residents - Yahoo! News: "KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Dozens of civilians, including women and children, have been killed in two foreign air strikes in southern Afghanistan, residents and a local member of parliament said on Friday. One of the raids by NATO hit houses in the Girishk district of Helmand province on Thursday evening, killing up to 50 civilians, a group of some 20 residents reported to journalists in Kandahar, the main city in the south."
The military advance was planned fantastically, but there was no plan for securing the peace. The UIC was removed from power within days. But instead of routing the UIC and replacing it with stable government, the invasion merely transformed the UIC into an Islamist, nationalist, guerilla insurgency. UIC fighters attack. Ethiopia responds with overwhelming force that kills civilians.
Voter Caging . NOW | PBS: "Was there a White House plot to illegally suppress votes in 2004? Is there a similar plan for the upcoming elections? This week NOW examines documents and evidence that points to a Republican Party plan designed to keep Democrats from voting, allegedly by targeting people based on their race and ethnicity with key battleground states like Ohio and Florida of particular interest. 'It was a partisan, discriminatory attempt to challenge voters of color,' Eddie Hailes, a senior attorney for The Advancement Project, a civil rights group, told NOW."
Camilo Mejia on Atrocities in Iraq | NOW on the News - PBS: "'There comes a point where, regardless of what other people may say or think about you, regardless of the consequences, regardless of jail, and being called a coward and a traitor, we have to follow what our conscience tells us to do.'
'We killed civilians and we were put in situations where we knew that our actions would lead to a high number of civilian casualties, and I did pretty much nothing.'
Moyers on America . Capitol Crimes | PBS Just after the mid-term elections the newly empowered Democrats came out with promises of reform. Incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi put forward a proposal to greatly restrict privately paid travel from lobbyists and groups that hire lobbyists. A variety of interest groups have come out in opposition to a total ban - tracing the impetus behind the move to the abuses rampant in the Abramoff scandal.
Asia Times Online :: South Asia news, business and economy from India and Pakistan: "But one can understand Washington's determination to force the pace when one of the more notorious architects of the Taliban's military offensive, Libyan Abu Laith al-Libby, is sitting in North Waziristan. The hardened al-Qaeda operator is believed to have come up with the idea of stepping up the number of abductions of foreigners in Afghanistan. The seizure of more than 20 South Korean aid workers is the latest example of this.
The reasoning is that it will force coalition troops deeper into the civilian population to protect them, thereby exposing them to improvised explosive devices, rocket attacks and suicide bombers.
From the perspective of the al-Qaeda hardliners taking control in the tribal areas, they relish a confrontation with foreign troops in Pakistan as they see it as a chance to boost their broader aims in the region. "
Asia Times Online :: Middle East News - A new crisis in Russia-Iran relations "The fact that Bushehr is now more than seven years behind schedule translates into serious worries about the future of Iran's power industry. Iran is in dire need of nuclear-generated electricity and the crisis over Bushehr directly translates into a crisis of economic planning in Iran.  The Russian leadership must realize the extent of damage to Iran, both short-term and long-term, caused by their toying with Bushehr for the sake of their US policy."
"Exit" Amendment Would Leave Troops in Iraq Indefinitely: "What Harry Reid Doesn't Know About His Own Bill 'Exit' Amendment Would Leave Troops in Iraq Indefinitely By Tina Richards 07/26/07 'Counterpunch' -- - I attended the MoveOn.org rally on Tuesday night where Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid discussed how they were going to 'end the war' and 'bring our troops home' with the Levin-Reed Amendment. When I asked if they meant all the troops, I was quickly told to, 'shut up' and muscled aside by security. A fellow Marine Mom was treated in much the same manner and we couldn't get over how much like the Republicans the 'Anti-Escalation' folks were acting. (Video link below.)"
U.S. drops Baghdad electricity reports - Los Angeles Times By Noam N. Levey and Alexandra Zavis, Times Staff Writers July 27, 2007 WASHINGTON — washington — As the Bush administration struggles to convince lawmakers that its Iraq war strategy is working, it has stopped reporting to Congress a key quality-of-life indicator in Baghdad: how long the power stays on.
Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week that Baghdad residents could count on only "an hour or two a day" of electricity. That's down from an average of five to six hours a day earlier this year.
But that piece of data has not been sent to lawmakers for months because the State Department, which prepares a weekly "status report" for Congress on conditions in Iraq, stopped estimating in May how many hours of electricity Baghdad residents typically receive each day.
AlterNet: Health & Wellness: Bush Trying to Kill Child Health Care: "Deamonte Driver had a toothache. He was 12 years old. He had no insurance, and his mother couldn't afford the $80 to have the decayed tooth removed. He might have gotten it taken care of through Medicaid, but his mother couldn't find a dentist who accepted the low reimbursements."
Out of the shadows | Guardian Weekly | Guardian Unlimited: "Both men are leaders of the Iraqi resistance - or insurgency, as it is usually known in Britain and the US. Zubeidy is the political spokesman of Ansar al-Sunna, an Islamist armed group with a ferocious reputation. Omary is head of the political department of the 1920 Revolution Brigades, a more nationalist organisation whose name commemorates an uprising against British rule after the first world war. For four years the resistance has stayed in the shadows, without a public face and apparently leaderless, while delivering an ever more violent and devastating campaign that has brought the world's most powerful army to the brink of defeat and changed the balance of global power. As al-Qaida-style suicide atrocities against civilians and Sunni-Shia sectarian death-squad killings have escalated in the past couple of years, they have shifted attention away from the guerrilla war against the US and British occupation force…
Martin has an argument with Gina after she listens to Martin's radio show, and hears his womanizing remarks. When Martin gets home she calls him into the room, and tells him about what she heard, and Martin gives him an attitude, so she threatens to leave him. Martin gives in. Martin and Gina make an agreement to make a front in front of Martin's friends (Cole, Tommy), to make it look like Martin won the argument. But there's a catch, Martin has to agree to go to a dinner with her that night.
The United States Finds Few Non-Iraqis Among Insurgents - Yahoo! News "I can count them [foreign fighters] as a total I have engaged, dead or alive, in the 10 months I've been here on one hand," says Col. David Sutherland, the U.S. commander of coalition forces in the hotly contested area of Diyala province, an insurgent stronghold region some 35 miles northeast of Baghdad. There, Sutherland says, those involved in al Qaeda are largely dispossessed locals, not jihadists who have come from elsewhere. "The recruiting program is [that] al Qaeda may send five or eight individuals into a village. They recruit from those who have no power base, no place in society," including, he adds, former male prostitutes and the mentally ill.
Office Arrests: The Shame of John Conyers: "Yearwood, who is a chaplain in the Air Force, said that Conyers had been a mentor to him, but he declared that he now felt betrayed and that Americans needed to take back their government. As he was led down the hall to his arraignment, the handcuffed Yearwood pointedly sang “We Shall Overcome!”"
Bush Executive Order: Criminalizing the Antiwar Movement: "'I have issued an Executive Order blocking property of persons determined to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.' In substance, under this executive order, opposing the war becomes an illegal act. "
Al Jazeera English - Programmes - Rebuilding Bamiyan: "The savage destruction of Afghanistan's giant Bamiyan Buddha's shocked the world, but can this unique site be restored to its former glory? Al Jazeera's Nadene Ghouri travelled to Bamiyan to explore the restoration work being done on this World Heritage Site, and found astonishing plans are afoot to rebuild the statues."
allAfrica.com: Somalia: Ethiopian Troops Torture And Detain Two Teenagers (Page 1 of 1): "Ethiopian troops based in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, seized two young Somalis, beating them and burning their home in Heliwa district, north of the capital on Tuesday. Witnesses told Shabelle that the Ethiopians armed with automatic machineguns and supported by armored vehicles raided the home of the two Somali boys aged between 16 and 18, apprehending them and then going into their bed room and setting it on a blaze."
Agency of Rogues - by Chalmers Johnson and Tom Engelhardt: "Typically, in the early 1950s, the Agency dropped millions of dollars worth of gold bars, arms, two-way radios, and agents into Poland to support what its top officials believed was a powerful Polish underground movement against the Soviets. In fact, Soviet agents had wiped out the movement years before, turned key people in it into double agents, and played the CIA for suckers. As Weiner comments, not only had five years of planning, various agents, and millions of dollars 'gone down the drain,' but the 'unkindest cut might have been [the Agency's] discovery that the Poles had sent a chunk of the CIA's money to the Communist Party of Italy.' [pp. 67-68] " On the clandestine side, the human costs were much higher. The CIA's incessant, almost always misguided, attempts to determine how other people should govern themselves; its secret support for fascists (e.g., Greece under George Papadopo…
NPR : Reporter's Religion Beat Leads to Faith Crisis: "Day to Day, July 25, 2007 · Los Angeles Times religion reporter William Lobdell was an evangelical Christian when he took the job, and during his time on the beat he almost converted to Catholicism. But he says after covering religion for eight years, he has lost faith in Christianity and left the religion beat. Lobdell talks with Alex Cohen."
NPR : A Korean American Reflects on Life as an Adoptee: "July 25, 2007 · In 1956, Susan Cox became one of the first children from overseas to be adopted in the United States. When Cox was adopted from South Korea after the Korean War, she was quickly Americanized by the Oregon couple who became her parents. "
Surveillance Society - by Charles Peña: "Beyond the question of whether security cameras would make us safer by preventing terrorist attacks (the evidence to date is that they won't) is the issue of government surveillance of its citizenry and the risks posed to civil liberties and privacy. According to the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative 'is a major step toward blanket police monitoring of law-abiding New Yorkers.' Of course, the standard retort is: 'If you're not doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about.' The problem is defining what 'wrong' is. One example cited by NYPD spokesperson Paul Browne is a car repeatedly circling the same block. If you've ever been to the Big Apple (or any other large, densely populated city with heavy car traffic), driving around the block looking for parking is pretty normal – hardly behavior that should be considered suspicious. There is also the que…
How to Get Out of Iraq- by Justin Raimondo If the U.S. left Iraq tomorrow, the Kurds would have nothing to worry about, since they have one of the biggest and most well-trained-and-armed military forces in the region. Nor would the southern, Shi'ite part of the country be in any danger from enemies at home or abroad: the Shi'ite militias are pretty firmly in control of the south, and this is not likely to change in the absence of U.S. forces. The Sunni triangle is another matter altogether, but, then again, this area has never been controllable, and the conflict there isn't likely to end unless there is some kind of political solution or an Iraqi strongman arises – someone like Sadr – who will take the sort of measures Americans would prefer not to engage in so openly.
I have been in this country for the last 17 years. It doesn’t shock me that Obama’s overture to talking to countries America targeted unfairly in the past (because they rejected total submission to USA) interpreted as cowardly. What is that tells me about America’s people looking forward to live in peaceful world in respect to reach out and talk to the “enemy?” nil! It is not only George Bush (who is a war criminal) or his regime which is driving the foreign policy agenda, but it is also the m…
NPR : Gas Flaring Disrupts Life in Oil-Producing Niger Delta Morning Edition, July 24, 2007 · Every year, millions of dollars are literally going up in smoke in Nigeria, Africa's top crude oil-exporting nation, as companies burn off unwanted natural gas released during oil production. This flaring and venting produces more greenhouse-gas emissions than any other single source in Africa south of the Sahara, and many who live in Nigeria's oil-producing communities complain of chronic health and environmental problems associated with the gas flares.
'The Final Word Is Hooray!': "Weeks after the invasion of Iraq began, Fox News Channel host Brit Hume delivered a scathing speech critiquing the media's supposedly pessimistic assessment of the Iraq War.
'The majority of the American media who were in a position to comment upon the progress of the war in the early going, and even after that, got it wrong,' Hume complained in the April 2003 speech (Richmond Times Dispatch, 4/25/04). 'They didn't get it just a little wrong. They got it completely wrong.'
Hume was perhaps correct--but almost entirely in the opposite sense. Days or weeks into the war, commentators and reporters made premature declarations of victory, offered predictions about lasting political effects and called on the critics of the war to apologize. Three years later, the Iraq War grinds on at the cost of at least tens of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars.
Around the same time as Hume's speech, syndicated colum…
Chechnya Weekly from the Jamestown Foundation: "It has become commonplace for Ramzan Kadyrov’s public statements to be less an expression of his own views and more of a way for one of the Kremlin cliques to shed light on yet another possibility of what will happen to the Russian Presidency in 2008 . Two birds are killed by this one stone – the reaction to a particular approach becomes known, while at the same time there is no need to make any sort of explanation in the media, since no one criticizes a man like Kadyrov.
Vladimir Putin’s upcoming exit from power is spoken of so frequently by high-ranking individuals that one starts to question its reality. If President Putin does leave power, he will do so only to remain close to it and keep alive the possibility of coming back in the name of “saving” his legacy. And though Ramzan Kadyrov might not be the best candidate for putting out feelers regarding Putin’s continued presidency, he is a man that is definitely part of Putin’s …
Voices - My Day in Ramallah: "Every time I come to Palestine I am amazed at the patience, endurance and family values of the occupied people. Last Saturday I traveled to Ramallah from Jerusalem; a trip that once took less than fifteen minutes and less than 15 kilometers. It took my driver an hour and a half to get me there... Saturday the traffic was light, but it took an hour and a half and over 25 km's to reach Ramallah. Numerous roadblocks of sand and large stone boulders were scattered along the dusty unpaved Palestinian streets and two checkpoints were closed. Traffic was thus forced to turn around and search for the one way that was opened. "
DALLAS — Nearly six years after it shut down the nation's largest Islamic charity for alleged ties to terrorism, the U.S. government begins the high-stakes prosecution this week of five top officials of the Holy Land Foundation, accused of funneling money to Palestinian militants.
In a 2001 Rose Garden appearance shortly after Sept. 11, President Bush said the charity was among those that 'do business with terror.'
Holy Land officials denied claims that the charity sent funds to Hamas, and tried unsuccessfully to force the U.S. to prove it in court. Ironically, the criminal case gives the charity officials — all but one of whom are U.S. citizens — their first chance to dispute specific allegations that they supported the terrorist group."
McClatchy Washington Bureau | 07/21/2007 | U.S. hopes humanitarian aide will ease tensions in Afghanistan: "GERESHK, Afghanistan — Two transport trucks loaded with humanitarian aid, escorted by South Carolina National Guard troops, rolled into the Afghan army base here earlier this month. The aid - clothes, food and hygiene kits - was delivered after a NATO bombing killed dozens of men, women and children near this town of about 46,000 in the heart of Helmland province. 'The bombings caused a mess,' said Army Maj. Marc Daniels, who commanded the aid convoy. 'You get a hailstorm of people who are upset because you've just blown up their families.'"
Hamas, Fatah in Stalemate in West Bank: "Ramallah is one of five major West Bank towns where Fatah lost control in 2005 local elections, either to Hamas or to a coalition of the Islamists and other opponents. Fatah only retained Jericho, the smallest of the regional centers, and canceled voting in two other cities for fear of losing. Fatah's biggest loss was Nablus, the West Bank's second-largest city, where Hamas took 13 of 15 City Council seats in 2005, with only two going to Fatah. By all accounts, the parties worked together well for the first year-and-a-half after the elections. The council's work became more difficult in May, when Israel retaliated against Hamas rocket fire from Gaza by arresting Hamas leaders in the West Bank. Among those locked up were Nablus Mayor Adli Yaish and two other council members. In June, the Gaza fighting spilled over into recriminations against Hamas members in the West Bank. Armed men forced Deputy Mayor Khoulud al-Masri of Hamas from…
Kamikaze survivors express regret and anger in new film - Independent Online Edition > Asia Long before 11 September 2001 and today's suicide bomber came the kamikaze, or tokkotai (special attack) pilots as they were known in Japan. Like the jihad martyrs of the Middle East, the Second World War kamikazes were depicted as desperate, fanatical men who burnt with hatred for the US and were ready to die for their god, the emperor. But a new documentary shows a different story.
In Wings of Defeat, directed by Risa Morimoto, a Japanese-American, the dwindling group of ageing pilots who survived express sadness, regret and even anger at their leaders, who told them they were fighting madmen who would kill them all. "They thought they were fighting to end all wars, and they were lied to - as we are being lied to now in Iraq," Morimoto recently told The Japan Times
LobeLog.com » Blog Archive » Re-Targeting Syria, the “Ho Chi Minh Trail of Terrorists?”: "Just when it appears that Israel and Syria may be slowly inching their way towards peace talks with the help of Turkey and Qatar (although Israel’s new president, Shimon Peres, called for direct talks Friday), two hawks at the otherwise realist Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) are calling for the Bush administration to carry out punitive attacks against Damascus."
'Why Do They Hate Us?' - washingtonpost.com: "LONDON Recently, I found myself in Dallas, a place I'd never been before. As a Muslim writer, I felt about going there pretty much the way an American writer might have felt about heading to the tribal areas of Pakistan: nervous, with the distinct suspicion that the locals carried guns and weren't too fond of folks who look like me. So I was surprised by the extraordinary hospitality I encountered on my trip. And I still remember the politeness with which one elderly gentleman addressed me in a bookshop. He held a copy of my latest novel, 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist,' and examined the face on its cover, comparing it to mine. Then he said, nodding once as if to dip the brim of an imaginary hat: 'So tell me, sir. Why do they hate us?'"
Bush's torture ban is full of loopholes | Salon Once upon a time, a U.S. official's condemnation of torture was a statement of moral principle. Today, it is an opportunity for obfuscation. We have learned that when President Bush says, "We don't torture," it's important to read the fine print. So it was once again on July 20, when Bush issued a long-awaited executive order purporting to regulate interrogation tactics used by the CIA in the "war on terror." According to a White House press release, the order provides "clear rules" to implement the Geneva Conventions governing treatment of detainees in wartime -- rules the administration insisted did not even apply to the "war on terror" until the Supreme Court ruled otherwise last summer. But while the new rules reflect a significant retreat by the administration from its initial torture policies, they are anything but "clear," come far too late in the day, and in any eve…
Baquba: Living in a Dead City - by Ahmed Ali: "BAQUBA - Life in the violence-plagued capital city of Iraq's Diyala province has become a struggle for day-to-day survival. Heavy U.S military operations, sectarian death squads, and al-Qaeda militants have combined to make normal life in Baquba, 30 mi. northeast of Baghdad, all but impossible. "
McClatchy Washington Bureau | 07/23/2007 | After carnage, U.S. and Iraqi authorities compete for control: "After the blast near a busy shrine in the mostly Shiite Muslim area of Karrada, Iraqi firefighters, medical workers, Iraqi police, traffic police, Iraqi soldiers, American troops, members of two powerful Shiite militias and ordinary residents jostled for control. With so many forces picking through the charred, bloody wreckage, no single group emerged as the one in charge, and the already frenzied scene spiraled into pandemonium."
Hundreds of delegates, including members of the banned Iraqi Baath Party, officers in Saddam Hussein's now defunct security forces and anti-U.S. tribal leaders, had gathered in Damascus to work out a joint programme for groups opposed to the continued presence of U.S. forces in Iraq.
'The Syrians gently made it clear that this is not the time for this,' a senior Baath Party member told Reuters."
They're at it again. The British anti-war MP George Galloway is once again being targeted by the establishment on both sides of the pond. Both the British Parliament's watchdog and the US Justice Department are behaving like dogs salivating over the same juicy bone labelled 'Get Galloway'.
You've got to feel sorry for the man. How many times is he going to be investigated for the same 'crime' when until now there's not a shred of proof against him?"
: "So here were two separate roads taken by German citizens. Most Germans took the road that Traudl Junge took — supporting their government in time of deep crisis. A few Germans took the road that Hans and Sophie Scholl took — opposing their government despite the deep crisis facing their nation.
Why the difference? Why did some Germans support the Hitler regime while others opposed it?
Each American should first ask himself what he would have done if he had been a German citizen during the Hitler regime. Would you have supported your government or would you have opposed it, not only during the 1930s but also after the outbreak of World War II?"
McClatchy Washington Bureau | 07/22/2007 | With Iraq on fire, rest of world on hold: "Administration's Iraq focus trumps other foreign concerns By Warren P. Strobel and Nancy A. Youssef McClatchy Newspapers WASHINGTON — Two months ago, President Bush enthusiastically accepted an invitation to visit Singapore in September. But he abruptly changed plans, and his summit with Southeast Asian leaders is off. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is skipping an Asian meeting, too, and tossed out plans to visit Africa this week. Defense Secretary Robert Gates' mission to Latin America? Postponed. The reason is Iraq."
NPR : Congress Mulls Options in Iraq: "Weekend Edition Sunday, July 22, 2007 · Continue with the surge? Withdraw completely? Or find some politically palatable middle ground? These are the questions faced by Congress over the Bush administration's surge policy. Stephen Biddle, senior fellow for defense policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, talks to Liane Hansen."
NPR : Saddam's Past with U.S. Has Implications for Iraq All Things Considered, July 22, 2007 · Joost Hiltermann's new book A Poisonous Affair: America, Iraq, and the Gassing of Halabja, re-examines Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers and Iraqi Kurds during the Iran-Iraq war. The book also examines how Western powers, including the Reagan administration, aided and abetted Saddam.
SudanTribune article : Ethiopia: How to move toward a win-win outcome July 20, 2007 — Both the farcical kangaroo court and the use of blackmail to extort guilt and demand for forgiveness reflect one goal and one goal only, namely, the resolution to humiliate CUD leaders. We must ask the question of knowing why a ruling party and the representative of a national state feel the need to humiliate their political adversaries. What does the commitment to humiliate tell us about the inner thought of the jailers of the CUD leaders and, by extension, of the Ethiopian people?
On the occasion of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's second inauguration, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad made his second trip to Damascus on Thursday in hopes he could shore up relations in a time of rising uncertainties regarding their strategic alliance. "
Voices - Crossing Paths With Vanunu for the Fifth Time: "It happened last Monday, July 16th also known as the 9th day of Av, the day the Jewish Temple was destroyed. I was on my way down Nablus Road in East Jerusalem just after attending Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions media kick off day for the first of 300 homes to be rebuilt out of the 18,000 Israel has destroyed. I had been a witness to the pouring of the foundation of the new home of the Hamdan clan of nine who still have the deeds to their property that were filled-out during the Ottoman Empire. I was on my way back to the American Colony for a swim when Vanunu and I crossed paths in front of St. Stephen's Dominican Church on Nablus Road. "
Another Day in the Empire: "In Bushzarro world, up is down, black is white, and abducting people and subjecting them to waterboarding is compliance with the Geneva Conventions. “Five years after he exempted al Qaeda and Taliban members from the Geneva provisions, Bush signed an executive order requiring the CIA to comply with prohibitions against ‘cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment’ as set down in the conventions’ Common Article 3,” reports the Boston Globe. “”The executive order resolves any ambiguity by setting specific requirements that, when met, represent full compliance with Article 3. Any CIA terrorist detention and interrogation effort will, of course, meet those requirements,” vowed CIA Director Michael Hayden. Of course, all of this is simply for public consumption, as the CIA has a long and sordid history of “information extraction,” that is to say torture, more recently of the “no touch,” variety. Clinton may have ratified the United Nations’ Convention Against Tor…
Z Magazine Online, Working for the Clampdown: "How many pipe bombs might it take to end U.S. democracy? Far fewer than it would have taken a year ago. The Defense Authorization Act of 2006, passed on September 30, empowers President George W. Bush to impose martial law in the event of a terrorist “incident” or if he or other federal officials perceive a shortfall of “public order” or even in response to antiwar protests that get unruly as a result of government provocations. "
Force-Feeding at Guantanamo: "07/21/07 ---- GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) 07/20/07 - Twice a day at the U.S. military prison here, Abdul Rahman Shalabi and Zaid Salim Zuhair Ahmed are strapped down in padded restraint chairs and flexible yellow tubes are inserted through their noses and throats. Milky nutritional supplements, mixed with water and olive oil to add calories and ease constipation, pour into their stomachs. 07/21/07 ---- GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) 07/20/07 - Twice a day at the U.S. military prison here, Abdul Rahman Shalabi and Zaid Salim Zuhair Ahmed are strapped down in padded restraint chairs and flexible yellow tubes are inserted through their noses and throats. Milky nutritional supplements, mixed with water and olive oil to add calories and ease constipation, pour into their stomachs. "
07/21/07 'ICH' -- - -It’s about time Americans faced the truth. By Monica Benderman A Marine not only convicted of conspiring to commit kidnapping, larceny, and making false statements; but the murder – MURDER – of an innocent Iraqi man, was given his sentence. He is to receive a reduction in rank and a bad conduct discharge.
THIS is what America has become.
It is now considered “bad conduct” to murder an unarmed man, knowingly return to the scene to fabricate the appearance of self-defense and hide the facts after the fact. Facing the Truth
Go to Iraq and fight, Mr. President: "It is one of the great, dark, evil lessons, of history. A country — a government — a military machine — can screw up a war seven ways to Sunday. It can get thousands of its people killed. It can risk the safety of its citizens. It can destroy the fabric of its nation. But as long as it can identify a scapegoat, it can regain or even gain power. It is one of the great, dark, evil lessons, of history. A country — a government — a military machine — can screw up a war seven ways to Sunday. It can get thousands of its people killed. It can risk the safety of its citizens. It can destroy the fabric of its nation. But as long as it can identify a scapegoat, it can regain or even gain power. "
Ethiopia Is Said to Block Food to Rebel Region - New York Times NAIROBI, Kenya, July 21 — "The Ethiopian government is blockading emergency food aid and choking off trade to large swaths of a remote region in the eastern part of the country that is home to a rebel force, putting hundreds of thousands of people at risk of starvation, Western diplomats and humanitarian officials say."
What is terrorism? Among many interpretations, one has to be counted among the cruelest is: withholding humanitarian aid from people whom suspected of aiding the rebel movements thereby starving them to death. Mengistu used it in the 1980’s against the people of Eritrea and Tigreans. (The Ethiopia leaders now are Tigreans). Fate had it, when Mengistu fled Ethiopia, the new tyrants came who were then complaining Mengistu’s starvation of their Tigrean people. Now they are starving the Ogaden people in the same fashion. Ethiopia is as though it is cursed. This article I have found in .pdf format talks…
Suicide Bombings Demoralize Security Forces - by Ashfaq Yusufzai: "'We are scared to be seen in our uniforms. The militants are better-equipped than we are. And there is no way to stop suicide bombers,' a police constable in Swat told IPS. He said the threat was real enough for senior officials to approve the idea of policemen performing their duties in plainclothes."
"And so that's the model that you hear them talking about. And they do think that it is possible, over that time frame, to move toward that sort of model, which is not the democratic model anybody imagined. But they think it's possible. Whether it's true or not, who knows?" "DAVID BROOKS: But the political patience is not like rainfall. It's not a natural phenomenon. It's something we can change. And let me say, I'm more uncertain about what to do than I've ever been in this war. I really have no clue. So I almost have no judgment on what we should do, stay or go. I really am so confused.
Nonetheless, if we do decide that it's plausible to think that in a year we could avoid genocidal civil war, it seems to me changing the political timetable here is worth trying to do, if we can come to that original conclusion."
If you wanted to hear the analysis of David Brooks and Mark Shield as interviewed by Jim Lehrer, i have the links for you. i…
YouTube - TPMtv: The New Al Qaeda Bamboozle American rapists are not ARE NOT fighting alqaida in Iraq. how many times i have put that out there? where did i get that information? easy, i have said from the beginning like millions of others, American rape of Iraq will not be met in non responsive way. despite the fact American media made it as though the fight in Iraq is about crushing alqaida and spreading freedom, these lies of the media and the government are getting exposed day by day. watch the embedded video below.
World Crises | Reuters.co.uk The statistics showed the 177.8 attacks per day in June were above the 157.5 in March, the lowest daily average for any month in 2007. Total monthly attack figures have also climbed to well over 5,000 from a low in February of 4,561.
Attacks last month were up 46 percent from a year earlier, with the statistics showing 3,642 attacks or 121.4 per day on average in June 2006.
The June 2007 statistics confirmed a significant decline in the targeting of Iraqi civilians, with such attacks falling 18 percent to 763 from a 2007 high of 932 in May.
We have sad news to report this week. Poet, musician and historian Sekou Sundiata, featured in our series "The Language of Life" passed away on Wednesday, July 18, 2007 at 5:47am. We remember him and the music of his words here:
"We have to deal with this paradox that there are 40 million Latinos in this country and, yet, we're invisible."
Whether as an award-winning poet or as a tenant lawyer for Boston's Latino community, Martín Espada's aim has remained the same: "to speak on behalf of those without an opportunity to be heard."
"Not that they couldn't speak for themselves given the chance," he explains in his interview with Bill Moyers. "They just don't get the chance." Watch the Video
Selected Poems by Martín Espada July 20, 2007
The following poems by Martin Espada have been reprinted with the poet's permission.
THE REPUBLIC OF POETRY For Chile
In the republic of poetry, a train full of poets rolls south in the rain as plum trees rock and horses kick the air, and village bands parade down the aisle with trumpets, with bowler hats, followed by the president of the republic, shaking every hand.
In the republic of poetry, monks print verses about t…
Does abortion cause long-term emotional and psychological problems for women? This week NOW introduces viewers to a new front in the effort to end abortions in the United States: claims of extreme negative effects on a woman's mental health.
Once focusing primarily on the unborn child, anti-abortion advocates see new hope in an argument that focuses on the women who've made or are about to make a fateful decision. All sides of the debate have been listening and weighing in, including the Supreme Court. WATCH THE VIDEO
Three Pakistan suicide bombs kill 52 in one day - Yahoo! News ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Three suicide bomb attacks killed at least 52 people in Pakistan on Thursday, as a militant backlash intensified following the army's storming of a radical mosque in Islamabad. A wave of bomb attacks has swept across Pakistan, killing more than 160, since the assault nine days ago on the Lal Masjid or Red Mosque complex, a militant stronghold.
At least 30 people were killed on Thursday when a car bomber, apparently targeting a vehicle carrying Chinese workers involved in mining activities, rammed into a police van escorting them in the southern town of Hub.
The Chinese were unhurt but all seven policemen in the van and 23 bystanders were killed. Twenty-eight people were wounded.
Another seven people, including policemen, were killed by a car bomb in the far northwestern city of Hangu on Thursday.
The third attack killed at least 15, including two children, at a mosque in an army training centre at a mil…
FT.com / Home UK / UK - Training local forces is no way to secure Iraq: "All sides to the debate about Iraq agree that we should continue training and equipping Iraqi security forces. Both the bipartisan Iraq StudyGroup and President George W. Bush, through his surge strategy, support this policy because they believethat these forces will prevent theoutbreak of a genocidal conflict aswell as a regional conflict when we withdraw. But continued training and equipping of the security forces will have the opposite effect. In effect we are arming different sides in a civil war. It is no accident that as the number of trained Iraqi security forces has grown, so have attacks on coalition forces, Iraqi civilians and the Iraqi security forces themselves."
I BELIEVE, AMERICA HAS TO COMPLY WITH GENEVA CONVENTION WITHOUT EXCEPTIONS! EITHER BUSH CONTINUE TO FOLLOW HIS CRIMINAL INSTINCT OR HE WILL DROP TORTURE ALL TOGETHER WITHOUT REFERENCE TO ALQAIDA! I DON'T BELIEVE HE CAME CLEAN YET.
Pakistan objects to US strikes | Herald Sun: "PAKISTAN said it could not accept 'indiscriminate action' on its territory by US forces without first being informed that there was an al-Qaeda or terrorist target there. “We remain determined not to allow al-Qaeda or any other terrorist entity to establish a safe haven on our territory,” Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said. “Whatever counter-terrorism action is to be taken inside Pakistan, it will be taken by our own security forces.” White House spokesman Tony Snow said on Thursday that the US never ruled out any options when it came to striking against al-Qaeda or the Taliban."
Ethiopian leaders and journalists are out of jail - Ethiopian Review Today around 3 PM local time, 38 of the 71 Kinijit leaders and journalists who have been in jail since Nov 2005 wakled out of the disease-infested Qaliti prison. As three minibuses carrying them exited the prison ground, they were greeted with cheers from hundreds of supporters who were waiting them outside. The Kinijit leaders responded by flashing "V" signed as the minibuses followed by several cars sped toward Addis Ababa.
Earlier today, Meles Zenawi, the butcher of Addis Ababa and Mogadishu, told reporters at a press conference: "The pardon is total. They are being freed with their constitutional rights restored. They have committed themselves to adhere to and respect the rule of law as well as the constitution of the country."
A few moments after his release, Kinijit chairman Hailu Shawel told reporters that he had no apology to make for protesting 2005 election results because, "for us it …
Ethiopia Releases 38 Opposition Leaders - washingtonpost.com By Stephanie McCrummen Washington Post Foreign Service Friday, July 20, 2007; 9:10 AM NAIROBI, July 20 -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi announced Friday that 38 of his country's top opposition leaders were being released from prison after being convicted on sedition charges in a trial that critics labeled a sham and that sparked an international outcry. At a news conference, Meles said the prisoners would be pardoned. He said their letter to the government requesting a pardon was equivalent to them taking some responsibility for violent protests that followed the country's 2005 elections. "I hope this conveys the message that people are given a second chance as long as they seek it," the prime minister said. Moments later, three minibuses left Kaliti Prison with the newly freed on board, the Associated Press reported. Dozens of family members and supporters outside the facility shouted in joy and whistled.…
No jail for US soldier found guilty of Iraq murder - Middle East: "Los Angeles - A US Marine found guilty in the murder of a handicapped Iraqi was discharged for bad contact by a military jury on Friday, but the court said he need serve no more jail time than the 520 days he had already spent behind bars, a military spokesman confirmed."
C.I.A. Allowed to Resume Interrogations - New York Times: "WASHINGTON, July 20 — After months of behind the scenes wrangling, the White House said Friday that it had given the Central Intelligence Agency approval to resume its use of some harsh interrogation methods in questioning terrorism suspects in secret prisons overseas. "
Feature Stories: Iraq, Iraqi refugee voices: Stories of desperation and need, Press Releases: Iraq, Iraqi refugee voices: Stories of desperation and need: " Alia is 77 years old and lives by herself in Amman. Originally from Baghdad, in 2005 she was threatened and robbed in her home; fearful of increasing violence, she fled from Baghdad to Jordan with her niece. Her daughters had already escaped Iraq with their husbands – one daughter went to Australia, but Alia doesn't know where her other daughter is. Shortly after arriving, her niece abandoned her, unable to support both of them. Now Alia spends her days in her apartment, emotionally despondent, and wishing to be reunited with her daughter in Australia. 'I don't know many other Iraqis here in Jordan, and I have no one to support me or keep me company. My daughter has tried three times to bring me to live with her, but we've been denied every time,' Alia lamented. Her daughter is trying to support Alia, and s…