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World Crises | Reuters.co.uk

World Crises | Reuters.co.ukBAGHDAD, March 30 (Reuters) - A surge of violence in Iraq in the past week demonstrated the ability of al Qaeda to strike virtually anywhere at will with a seemingly limitless supply of explosives and suicide bombers to wreak chaos.

The bombings claimed 300 lives, with one attack triggering mass reprisal killings by Shi'ites, making it the bloodiest week since the launch of a major U.S.-backed security crackdown in Baghdad in mid-February aimed at curbing sectarian violence.

Washington's $8 Billion Shadow: Politics & Power: vanityfair.com

Washington's $8 Billion Shadow: Politics & Power: vanityfair.com: "Washington's $8 Billion Shadow Mega-contractors such as Halliburton and Bechtel supply the government with brawn. But the biggest, most powerful of the 'body shops'—SAIC, which employs 44,000 people and took in $8 billion last year—sells brainpower, including a lot of the 'expertise' behind the Iraq war."

US Ranked Low in Humanitarian Aid - TIME

US Ranked Low in Humanitarian Aid - TIME: "A new tool to evaluate governments' humanitarian spending can help countries get aid out more efficiently to those who need it, say former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Spain-based non-profit DARA. Their Humanitarian Response Index (HRI), launched Thursday in London, ranks Sweden as the world leader in humanitarian aid. Norway comes second, followed by Denmark, the Netherlands and the European Commission. The U.S. scores a lowly 16th out of 23."

"A crude war of revenge"

"A crude war of revenge": "The United States is on its way to losing the war in Afghanistan. The eventual defeat will be political not military. Public sentiment is shifting in Europe. The people have had enough. They want to get out. When European troops withdrawal from Afghanistan; NATO will gradually unravel and the Transatlantic Alliance will collapse. That will be a disaster for America. The US will again be isolated by two great oceans. But not by choice. America's days as an empire will be over. That's why the US perseveres in Afghanistan even though there is nothing to gain. Pipelines corridors will continue to be blocked by enemy fighters for the foreseeable future. The guerrilla war will intensify. American fatalities will mount. Political opposition at home will grow. The Taliban can't be beaten. They've already taken over more than half the country and they are steadily advancing on the Capital. By next spring, there'll be fighting in…

The Myths of Military Progress

The Myths of Military ProgressMaking occupation and calling it peace. Killing fewer and calling it progress. Rotating troops and calling it a withdrawal. Setting up new death squads and calling them allies. Lowering standards and calling it opening new opportunities.

All of the above phenomena seem to be part of the current campaign by Washington in Iraq. There are fewer GI deaths in the country now because they don't leave the bases. Why? Because their latest allies-tribesmen paid in cold cash to kill for DC-are doing the killing and taking the hits. Indeed, some of the most fatal of those hits come from US air strikes that "mistakenly" bomb the men involved in killing the US bogeyman Al Queda in Mesopotamia, which may or may not be a phantom reality. Meanwhile, these tribesmen learn US military methods and locations while stockpiling US-supplied weaponry for some future war on their Shi'a opposites or perhaps even the same US forces they currently align themselves …

Harold Washington Remembered -- In These Times

Harold Washington Remembered -- In These Times: "When Harold Washington, Chicago’s first black mayor, died on Nov. 25, 1987, many of us understood that his death marked the passing of a great man. But while we lamented the negative impact of his loss, few of us had any inkling of the vast political vacuum he would leave behind. As time passes, the vacuum expands."

Iranians say sanctions hurt them, not government - Yahoo! News

Iranians say sanctions hurt them, not government - Yahoo! News: "TEHRAN (Reuters) - Ali Ganjineh, an Iranian petroleum engineer working abroad, has saved enough money to buy a $300,000 house in his homeland."
But U.N. and other sanctions prevent him from sending the funds to Tehran, so his planned home purchase has fallen victim to the Islamic state's nuclear stand-off with the West.

"I have been working so hard to save the money. Now, because of the nuclear dispute, international banks refuse to wire it to Iran," said the 29-year-old, who works 36 weeks a year for an oil company in Kazakhstan.

Dennis Kucinich

Dennis Kucinich For the past two years I've been crisscrossing the United States speaking to crowds of people about our history and politics. At the same time, would-be Presidents of the greatest nation in the country, as silver-tongued Spiro Agnew used to say, have been crowding the trail, while TV journalists sadly shake their heads at how savage the politicos have become in their language. But then, it is the task of TV journalists to foment quarrels where often none properly exist.

As I pass through the stage door of one auditorium after another, I now hear the ominous name of Darth Vader, as edgy audiences shudder at the horrible direction our political discourse has taken. Ever eager as I am to shed light, I sometimes drop the name of the least publicized applicant to the creaky throne of the West: Dennis Kucinich. It takes a moment for the name to sink in. Then genuine applause begins. He is very much a favorite out there in the amber fields of grain, and I work him into th…

Civil Libertarians Warn of 'PATRIOT Act Lite' - by William Fisher

Civil Libertarians Warn of 'PATRIOT Act Lite' - by William Fisher: "Civil libertarians are worried that a little-known anti-terrorism bill now making its way through the U.S. Congress with virtually no debate could be planting the seeds of another USA PATRIOT Act, which was hurriedly enacted into law after the al Qaeda attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, co-authored by the former chair of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, Jane Harman, a California Democrat, passed the House by an overwhelming 400-6 vote last month, and will soon be considered by the Senate."

20,000 vets' brain injuries not listed in Pentagon tally - USATODAY.com

20,000 vets' brain injuries not listed in Pentagon tally - USATODAY.com: "At least 20,000 U.S. troops who were not classified as wounded during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan have been found with signs of brain injuries, according to military and veterans records compiled by USA TODAY. The data, provided by the Army, Navy and Department of Veterans Affairs, show that about five times as many troops sustained brain trauma as the 4,471 officially listed by the Pentagon through Sept. 30. These cases also are not reflected in the Pentagon's official tally of wounded, which stands at 30,327."

NPR : Mark Schapiro, Exposing a Toxic U.S. Policy

NPR : Mark Schapiro, Exposing a Toxic U.S. Policy: "Investigative reporter Mark Schapiro explains in a new book that toxic chemicals exist in many of the products we handle every day — agents that can cause cancer, genetic damage and birth defects, lacing everything from our gadgets to our toys to our beauty products. And unlike the European Union, the U.S. doesn't require businesses to minimize them — or even to list them, so consumers can evaluate the risks. Schapiro argues that that policy isn't just bad for public health: In an increasingly green economy, he says, American businesses stand to get shut out of a huge market. Schapiro, editorial director of the nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting, has written for Harper's, The Nation, Mother Jones and The Atlantic Monthly. His book is called Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products, and What's at Stake for American Power."

American Terrorism of the day.

Reuters AlertNet - FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Nov 27: "BAGHDAD - U.S. soldiers opened fire on a minibus which failed to stop at a roadblock in the Shaab district of northern Baghdad, killing two people and wounding four, the U.S. military said. A police source said the bus was carrying finance ministry employees. Another police source said four people were killed, including three women."

How to Control the Story, Pentagon-Style - by Dahr Jamail and Tom Engelhardt

How to Control the Story, Pentagon-Style - by Dahr Jamail and Tom Engelhardt: "Name them. Maim them. Kill them. From the beginning of the American occupation in Iraq, air strikes and attacks by the U.S. military have only killed 'militants,' 'criminals,' 'suspected insurgents,' 'IED [Improvised Explosive Device] emplacers,' 'anti-American fighters,' 'terrorists,' 'military-age males,' 'armed men,' 'extremists,' or 'al-Qaeda.'"

ei: The Gaza Strip: Disengagement two years on

ei: The Gaza Strip: Disengagement two years on: "Two years ago, Israel completed its unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. We all remember the intense media campaign shamelessly portraying the settlers as dispossessed victims of a bold move for peace. Among others, Harvard economist Sara Roy argued that Israel's version of disengagement would bring disaster to an already desperate Gaza. Today, we are witnessing emergence of an unparalleled economic catastrophe in the Gaza Strip and with it, the evaporation of the last remaining hopes for a Palestinian state."

ei: Palestinian police boost presence in Nablus

ei: Palestinian police boost presence in Nablus: "NABLUS, WEST BANK, 25 November 2007 (IRIN) - Palestinian militants in the Nablus area of the West Bank are in the middle of what seems to be a pincer movement -- chased not only by the Israeli military but also by the Palestinian Authority (PA), which, under Acting Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, has taken it upon itself to crack down on the fighters."

Free Press : Bringing Diversity to the Nation's Media

Free Press : Bringing Diversity to the Nation's MediaAmerica is a diverse society saddled with a bland, monolithic press. This woeful imbalance between who Americans are and who owns the press must be part of any discussion about media ownership.

Sadly, the agency charged with addressing such issues has shirked its duty. The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission recently suggested new rules for media ownership. The proposal would allow for cross-ownership of a newspaper and a broadcast station in the same media market. The problems with the proposed changes are many, and have been aired on this page in detail.

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Severe Combat in Capital Overnight (Page 1 of 1)

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Severe Combat in Capital Overnight (Page 1 of 1): "Armed groups attacked bases of the Somali government troops and their ally the Ethiopians in the Somali capital Mogadishu and this combat had effect on the inhabitant in the surrounding areas. The attacks carried to these troops occurred in two different places, along the industrial road. Both sides exchanged dissimilar kinds of weapons."

Jeering Shiites reject Iraq Baathist bill - Yahoo! News

Jeering Shiites reject Iraq Baathist bill - Yahoo! News: "BAGHDAD (AFP) - A long-awaited bill to allow members of Saddam Hussein's Sunni Baath party to return to public life in Iraq was tabled in parliament on Sunday but immediately rejected by jeering hardline Shiites. ADVERTISEMENT Washington regards the bill as vital to stuttering reconciliation efforts in Iraq and it has made its adoption one of 18 benchmarks by which the progress of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shiite-led government can be measured."

American-backed killer militias strut across Iraq - Times Online

American-backed killer militias strut across Iraq - Times Online: "IT WAS 9.30am when three men entered Haidar Musa’s sweet-shop and shot him repeatedly in the head as his eight-year-old daughter Zainab crouched in terror behind the counter. By midday his stricken wife Kahiriya had packed Zainab and four other children into a car with a few possessions and fled their home town of Abu Ghraib for a life of penury in Baghdad, 20 miles to the east. Eighteen months later, the six of them are living in a room that measures 12ft by 12ft, with a concrete floor. Its contents include a cooking pot, a sewing machine and thin sponge mattresses because this is their kitchen, sitting room and bedroom."

Asia Times Online :: Middle East News - Fallujah under a different siege

Asia Times Online :: Middle East News - Fallujah under a different siege: "'You, people of the media, say things in Fallujah are good,' Mohammad Sammy, an aid worker for the Iraqi Red Crescent in Fallujah, told Inter Press Service (IPS). 'Then why don't you come and live in this paradise with us? It is so easy to say things for you, isn't it?' His anger is due to the fact that the embattled city is still completely closed and surrounded by military checkpoints to make it look like an isolated island. Those who are not genuine residents of the city are not granted the biometric identification badge from the US Marines, and are thus not allowed to enter the city."

EurasiaNet Eurasia Insight - The Future of NATO Potentially at Stake in Afghanistan - Experts

EurasiaNet Eurasia Insight - The Future of NATO Potentially at Stake in Afghanistan - Experts: "The United States and its European allies have fundamentally different ideas about what is needed to build a functioning country in Afghanistan – a rift that could have possibly fatal consequences for NATO, according to an international panel of experts. A former White House official accused some European political leaders of not doing enough to prepare their voters for the possibility of violence and casualties in Afghanistan. That failure has led to greatly varying acceptance of risk among NATO member states with troop contingents in Afghanistan. That fact, in turn, threatens to scuttle the entire mission, said the former official, Kori Schake."

AlterNet: War on Iraq: Holocaust Denial, American Style

AlterNet: War on Iraq: Holocaust Denial, American Style: "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad's flirtation with those who deny the reality of the Nazi genocide has rightly been met with disgust. But another holocaust denial is taking place with little notice: the holocaust in Iraq. The average American believes that 10,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the US invasion in March 2003. The most commonly cited figure in the media is 70,000. But the actual number of people who have been killed is most likely more than one million. This is five times more than the estimates of killings in Darfur and even more than the genocide in Rwanda 13 years ago."

AlterNet: Blogs: PEEK: Is the GOP Ready to Nominate a Mob-Connected Man for the Presidency?

AlterNet: Blogs: PEEK: Is the GOP Ready to Nominate a Mob-Connected Man for the Presidency?: "The Tribune uncovered a direct and personal Giuliani connection to a big time Macao/Hong Kong gambling mobster/billionaire who is in cahoots with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. Giuliani was to have been paid an immense amount of money to provide security for the gambling resort in Singapore Kim Jong Il and his criminal partners wanted to put up to help launder drug money and other criminal enterprises they are engaged in. Giuliani went to Singapore for the presentation right after he announced his intention to run for president (of the United States) and hobnobbed with some of Asia's most notorious gangsters."

AlterNet: Why We Shouldn't Celebrate Thanksgiving

AlterNet: Why We Shouldn't Celebrate Thanksgiving: "The most common argument went something like this: OK, it's true that the Thanksgiving Day mythology is rooted in a fraudulent story -- about the European invaders coming in peace to the 'New World,' eager to cooperate with indigenous people -- which conveniently ignores the reality of European barbarism in the conquest of the continent. But we can reject the culture's self-congratulatory attempts to rewrite history, I have been told, and come together on Thanksgiving to celebrate the love and connections among family and friends."

Scotsman.com News - International - Taliban controlling much of Afghanistan, warn experts

Scotsman.com News - International - Taliban controlling much of Afghanistan, warn experts: "THE Taliban is back in control of 'vast swathes' of Afghanistan and its influence is growing fast, an influential think-tank warned today. Despite the massive international financial and military effort, insurgents have established a permanent presence in more than half of the troubled country. The situation is so bad that it is a question of 'when not if' the Taliban will reappear in Kabul, and there is a 'serious' danger they could regain control of the state."

Glenn Greenwald - Political Blogs and Opinions - Salon

Glenn Greenwald - Political Blogs and Opinions - Salon: "Bilal began to work for AP in his hometown of Fallujah, in the month leading up to the U.S. military assault on Fallujah in 2004. He took pictures under the direction of an experienced combat photographer and photo editor based in Baghdad, and his assignment was to take pictures showing what it's like to be in Fallujah, and how people were preparing. As there were insurgent attacks, he would take pictures of the aftermath, how people were affected, grieving families, charred cars, expressions of unhappiness about the attacks and daily life in Fallujah."

Al Jazeera English - Programmes - Walls Of Shame: West Bank

Al Jazeera English - Programmes - Walls Of Shame: West BankIt matters little what they are called – whether walls, barriers or fences - the intention is the same: to redefine human relations into 'us' and 'them'. This series is about division, and about the barriers that men erect, in calculation or desperation, to separate themselves from others, or others from them. When diplomacy and conciliation fail, this is the alternative, and not since medieval times have walls been so in demand around the world. Tens of new walls, barriers and fences are currently being built, while old ones are being renovated. And there are many types: barriers between countries, walls around cities and fences that zigzag through neighbourhoods.

Al Jazeera English - News - Fbi: Hate Crimes On The Rise In Us

Al Jazeera English - News - Fbi: Hate Crimes On The Rise In UsHate crimes are on the rise in the United States, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and racial prejudice continues to dominate on the list of reported incidents.

Police reported more than 7,700 hate crimes were committed in 2006, but many in America's black community say many go unreported and the real figure is much higher.

Senator: U.S. has become haven for war criminals

Senator: U.S. has become haven for war criminals: "One is that of Juan Romagoza Arce, the director of a clinic that provides free care for the poor in Washington. In 1980, Romagoza was a young doctor caring for the poor in El Salvador during the early period of his country's civil war when the military seized him and tortured him for 22 days. An estimated 75,000 people died in the 12-year war."

Cut Israel Off - by Charley Reese

Cut Israel Off - by Charley Reese: "Americans have been brainwashed into believing that it's the Arabs, and the Palestinians in particular, who don't want peace. That is a big lie. The Palestinians made an enormous concession when they agreed to settle for a state on 18 percent of Palestine. Saudi Arabia proposed several years ago a peace plan in which all of the Arab countries would recognize Israel in exchange for Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories. The Israelis rejected it out of hand, just as they reject Arab efforts to have the Middle East a nuclear-free zone"

The withdrawal of rapist invaders key to peace in Iraq....Next USA

Basra attacks down 90% since British troops left - Middle East, World News - Independent.ie: "The British army says violence in Basra has fallen by 90% since it withdrew from the southern Iraqi city earlier this year. Around 500 British soldiers left one of Saddam Hussein's palaces in the heart of the city in early September and stopped conducting regular foot patrols. A spokesman says the Iraqi security forces still come under attack from militants in Basra, but the overall level of violence is down 90% since the British troops left. Britain is scheduled to return control of Basra province to Iraqi officials next month, officially ending Britain's combat role in Iraq."

In Iraq, the silence of the lambs

In Iraq, the silence of the lambsThe Iraqi ministries for health and interior have said that they are finding on average five to 10 ”unidentified bodies” on the streets of Baghdad every day. ”Those Americans and their Iraqi collaborators in the Green Zone talk of five or 10 bodies being found every day as if they were talking of insects,” Thamir Aziz, a teacher in Adhamiya, told IPS. ”We know they are lying about the real number of martyrs, but even if it's true, is it not a disaster that so many innocent Iraqis are found dead every day?”
: "The last, best hope for averting a war with Iran lies with the United States military. The Democratic Congress, cowed by the Israel lobby and terrified of appearing weak on defense before the presidential elections, will do nothing to halt an attack. The media, especially the electronic press, is working overtime to whip up fear of a nuclear Iran and tar Tehran with abetting attacks against American troops in Iraq. The American public is complacent, unsure of what to believe, knocked off balance by fear and passive. We will be saved or doomed by our generals. The last, best hope for averting a war with Iran lies with the United States military. The Democratic Congress, cowed by the Israel lobby and terrified of appearing weak on defense before the presidential elections, will do nothing to halt an attack. The media, especially the electronic press, is working overtime to whip up fear of a nuclear Iran and tar Tehran with abetting attacks against American troops in Iraq. The Am…

Lest We Forget

Lest We ForgetOn Remembrance Day 2007 – Veterans Day in America – the great and the good bowed their heads at the Cenotaph. Generals, politicians, newsreaders, football managers and stock-market traders wore their poppies. Hypocrisy was a presence. No one mentioned Iraq. No one uttered the slightest remorse for the fallen of that country. No one read the forbidden list.

The forbidden list documents, without favor, the part the British state and its court have played in the destruction of Iraq. Here it is:

allAfrica.com: Ethiopia: Country Bottom At UN Trade And Dev't Index (Page 1 of 1)

allAfrica.com: Ethiopia: Country Bottom At UN Trade And Dev't Index (Page 1 of 1): "From all economic endeavors underway in the country, Ethiopia could be said on the right track for growth and development, but the country is not performing well in its trade and development, according to UNCTAD's new edition of Trade and Development Index (TDI). In fact, Ethiopia is rated as one of the poorest performing countries in trade and development, way behind many of the countries in the Sub-Sahara who have registered significant economic achievements. The index puts Ethiopia on the 114, three steps down from its 111th rank in 2005."

allAfrica.com: Ethiopia: Making Oneself, Country a Laughing Stock (Page 1 of 1)

allAfrica.com: Ethiopia: Making Oneself, Country a Laughing Stock (Page 1 of 1): "The drama that is being played out by the pardoned CUD leaders and their Ethiopian supporters in the diaspora has made the party itself and its leaders as well as their country a laughing stock. It is turning out to be a very sad and shameful spectacle on top of weakening and causing a rift within the party. Instead of placing their trust in Ethiopia and Ethiopians, the party's leadership chose to lead various delegations to Europe and the US to pay homage to the likes of Ana Gomez and certain US Congress members who had supported them. They praised them for securing their release from prison; they told them that had they been Ethiopians they would have been elected as the country's leaders; they remonstrated themselves at their feet and said to them had it not been for them, Ethiopia's future would have been bleak."

American terrorism: Americans kill dozens of their own supporters.

WAVY TV 10 - News, Weather, Traffic, Sports for Hampton Roads, Virginia - North Eastern North Carolina - Anti-al-Qaida Sunni sheik claims US forces killed his followers: "BAGHDAD (AP) - The leader of an anti-al-Qaida Sunni group is accusing U.S. troops of mistakenly killing dozens of his fighters during a battle north of Baghdad. The sheik told Al-Jazeera television that he had tried repeatedly to call American commanders and tell them they were fighting 'their friends.' U.S. military officials confirm troops killed 24 fighters in a battle in the same area. The military says the clash began as soldiers searched for al-Qaida extremists believed hiding there."

Watada: An Officer Who Refused to Murder Fellow Human.

Big Win for Watada: A Study in Courage and Honor: "On Thursday, November 8, Hon. Benjamin Settle, a federal court judge, issued a preliminary injunction halting any further court-martial proceedings of 1st Lt. Ehren Watada and effectively ruling against the Army on virtually every issue in the case. This injunction not only extends the stay until the conclusion of the habeas corpus proceedings, but also addresses the specific request for relief from further legal proceedings, stating, 'the remedy sought by Petitioner, while rare, is appropriate.' Although the Army issued a press release claiming to 'look forward to the opportunity to further explain to the District Court judge the full extent of the protections and safeguards that are afforded to a military accused,' (Seattle Times, 11/9/07), anyone who glances at the court ruling will agree that the Army's only lingering hope is to appeal this ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Sett…

Victims of America's War on Islam Freed from Guantanamo Torture Chambers.

Innocents and Foot Soldiers: The Stories of the 14 Saudis Just Released From Gitmo - by Andy Worthington: "Of the 14 men, seven – five humanitarian aid workers and two missionaries – had no connection whatsoever with any kind of militancy. I found the story of the first of the missionaries, 24-year-old Khalid al-Bawardi, utterly convincing while conducting my research. After pompously lecturing his tribunal about the finer details of Sunni Islamic practice, he explained that he had traveled around Pakistan and Afghanistan hectoring his fellow Muslims for their failings (mainly to do with raised graves and good luck charms) and also providing food and clothing. He was handed over to U.S. forces by opportunistic border guards after crossing into Pakistan after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan began. The second, 26-year-old Sultan al-Uwaydah, did not take part in any of the tribunals or review boards in which, though deprived of legal representation and subject to secret eviden…

NPQ

NPQ: "A “made in Washington” settlement in Afghanistan — the heart of the problem — is not going to work. It only generates increasing hostility as thousands more Lilliputians swarm the helpless Gulliver, drawing hostile Pakistani Islamists more deeply into the equation as well. In this sense bin Laden is winning. The region will only calm down following a withdrawal of U.S. forces from its confrontation with “Islam” and the development of a regional approach to the Afghan issue — one that acknowledges the deep interests of the main regional players who also seek stability in the region: Pakistan, Iran, Russia, China and India. Yet this reality is anathema to the hegemonic global strategy of the Bush administration."

Santa Barbara News-Press

Santa Barbara News-PressCAIRO, Egypt - The U.S. government is ''unforgivably slow'' in resettling Iraqi refugees and has failed to coordinate with its Arab allies to address the suffering of an estimated 4.5 million displaced Iraqis, according to a report released Tuesday by a leading Washington-based refugee advocacy group.

Nearly five years after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration has made little effort to speed up relief for a population that's growing more vulnerable by the day, Refugees International concluded after its most recent trip to Iraqi refugee communities in the Middle East. The group's advocates said the White House appeared oblivious to the magnitude of the war's humanitarian disaster.

''The first reason for this is the lack of political will,'' said Kristele Younes, a co-author of the Refugees International report. ''Until very recently, the Bush administration never even acknowledged the humanitar…

Ethiopian occupation terrorist forces in Mogadishu: Killing hundreds.

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Mounting Bloodshed Prompts Pleas for Help From Mogadishu (Page 1 of 1)
Sources in the capital told IRIN that hospitals have been unable to cope with the deluge of patients arriving since 8 November, when fighting intensified sharply.

"Some of the doctors have been on duty for over 24 hours," said a medical worker in one of the hospitals. "I don't know how long they can continue like this."

He said hospital beds were full and that the injured were mostly civilians - "almost all women and children" - suffering from shrapnel wounds caused by mortars, artillery and Katyusha rockets. "Amazingly, we have seen very few gunshot wounds," the source said.

Another medical source told IRIN that "over 200 people were killed and between 500 and 700 wounded across the city since Thursday [8 November]".

The Man Who Bombed Hiroshima: Newsroom: The Independent Institute

The Man Who Bombed Hiroshima: Newsroom: The Independent Institute: "The man who flew the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima passed away last week at the age of 92. Paul Warfield Tibbets, Jr. did not die from war wounds or violently at the hands of other people, years before his time. He died in hospice care, in a bed, from heart problems and strokes. In stark contrast, the more than 100,000 civilians who were killed at Hiroshima 62 years ago were burnt, melted, vaporized, in an apocalyptic act of warfare. Many died painful deaths over a period of days or weeks. Others saw family members consumed by flames. Most were far younger than Tibbets was when he finally died. Thousands were children. Is now the wrong time to discuss this? Tibbets called it a “damn big insult” when a Smithsonian exhibit commemorating Hiroshima’s fiftieth anniversary attempted to capture some of the suffering. If he didn’t think that was the right time for such reflection, then perhaps now is …

Iraq and Afghanistan violated just war theory, says Williams | Ekklesia

Iraq and Afghanistan violated just war theory, says Williams | Ekklesia: "On the eve of Remembrance Sunday, 11 November 2007, Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams described the Western-backed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as a tragic mess which failed to conform to the principles of 'just war' theory and brought great suffering. The remarks came over the weekend as the head of the Church of England continued his visit to Norfolk. Dr Williams was speaking during a visit to Norwich Cathedral as part of a three-day tour of the region, reports the Norfolk Eastern Daily News."

ei: Nothing less than our freedom

Israeli border policemen scuffle with Palestinians and peace activists during a demonstration against the apartheid wall in the West Bank village of Bil'in, November 2006. (Fadi Arouri/MaanImages)

ei: Nothing less than our freedomFor the people of our small village of Bil'in, which lies west of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, the planned negotiations between Palestinian and Israeli leaders in Annapolis, Maryland evoke mixed feelings. Like all Palestinians, we pray that our children will not spend their lives as we did, under Israeli military occupation.

But our experience has been that Israel, the stronger party, exploits peace talks as a smokescreen to obscure facts that it is establishing on the ground. During the Oslo "peace" process Israel built settlements in the occupied territories at an unprecedented rate. Israel's system of settler-only roads, which is now strangling our cities and villages, was created during the Oslo process. This makes us wary of th…

Palestinian Folklore Dancing Banned in a US School :: from www.uruknet.info :: news from occupied Iraq - it

Palestinian Folklore Dancing Banned in a US School :: from www.uruknet.info :: news from occupied Iraq - it: "Officials in Old Saybrook have canceled performances by a Palestinian dance troupe after getting a complaint that it is offensive to Jews and Israel. The decision involves planned performances at the town’s elementary and middle schools by Al-Ghad Folklore Dancing Troupe. Town resident Ginger Horton says she felt compelled to complain to school officials after her two grandchildren told her they were offended by the troupe’s performance at the high school Monday. Here is the yucky part: Horton says the grandchildren told her the high school performance depicted Israeli soldiers beating and torturing Palestinians. School Superintendent Joseph Onofrio says he canceled further performances after learning several parents questioned whether it was appropriate for their children."

Meet Abu Abed: the US's new ally against al-Qaida With summary beatings and imprisonments, he has the methods of a mafia don. But he and others like h

Meet Abu Abed: the US's new ally against al-Qaida With summary beatings and imprisonments, he has the methods of a mafia don. But he and others like him are crucial to American strategy : "On a recent Friday morning in west Baghdad, 20 of Hajji Abu Abed's men were shifting their feet nervously in the dusty yard outside his house as they waited for their leader to emerge. The men, young and well armed with Kalashnikovs, pistols and hand grenades, were wearing the favoured dress for militiamen in Iraq these days: green camouflage commando uniforms decorated with bits of US army kit - a pouch on one man, webbing on another, a cap here, sunglasses there, a few flak jackets between them. Some bore the insignia of Iraqi army officers. Around noon, a fighter came running from the large house across the street and shouted: 'The Hajji is coming!' A pick-up truck came speeding into the yard, followed by several saloon cars packed with fighters. In the back of the pick-up…

The Raw Story | Suitcase nukes said unlikely to exist

The Raw Story | Suitcase nukes said unlikely to exist: "Members of Congress have warned about the dangers of suitcase nuclear weapons. Hollywood has made television shows and movies about them. Even the Federal Emergency Management Agency has alerted Americans to a threat — information the White House includes on its Web site. But government experts and intelligence officials say such a threat gets vastly more attention than it deserves. These officials said a true suitcase nuke would be highly complex to produce, require significant upkeep and cost a small fortune."

Al Jazeera English - News - Death Toll Rises In Somali Fighting

Al Jazeera English - News - Death Toll Rises In Somali Fighting: "At least 60 people are now believed to have been killed in violence that has rocked the Somali capital, Mogadishu, for the past three days. Ethiopian forces began shelling parts of the capital after the body of at least one of their soldiers was dragged through the streets after battles with anti-government fighters on Thursday."

Woyanne-Shabia conflict: The defeat of Woyanne means victory for Ethiopia » Ethiopian Review

Woyanne-Shabia conflict: The defeat of Woyanne means victory for Ethiopia » Ethiopian Review: "Woyanne is currently engaged in a shooting war on multiple fronts. The worst fighting is going on in Ogaden with ONLF and in neighboring Somalia with the Islamic Courts Union (ICU). The news coming from these fronts are encouraging — the Woyanne military is getting its nose bloodied by the ICU and the ONLF freedom fighters. Woyanne is now about to open another front in the north — Badme. Woyanne and Shabia are amassing hundreds of thousands of troops in the area. According to various sources, a major war could start any time. The question for Ethiopians, particularly those of us who wish to see a united Ethiopia free from the Woyanne tribal junta, is what should be our stand?"

The Media’s Plan to Ambush Ron Paul :: from www.uruknet.info :: news from occupied Iraq - it

The Media’s Plan to Ambush Ron Paul :: from www.uruknet.info :: news from occupied Iraq - itFirst we stop the killing, and then we restore the Constitution. These are our two main priorities. And that’s why I’m voting for Ron Paul. He is the only candidate (with a chance to win) who’s promising to do either. And he’ll keep his word. That makes him the only truly American candidate running for president.

Paul is serious about withdrawing US troops from Iraq. He knows that the war was a mistake and believes that the American occupation must end. He has promised to stop the ongoing slaughter of Iraqi civilians. That should be the primary moral consideration for anyone casting a ballot on November 3.

Will you vote to stop the killing or not? It’s as simple as that.
: " It’s no secret that the dollar is on a downward spiral. Its value is dropping, and the Fed isn’t doing a whole lot to change that. As a result, a number of countries are considering a shift away from the dollar to preserve their assets. These are seven of the countries currently considering a move from the dollar, and how they’ll have an effect on its value and the US economy. It’s no secret that the dollar is on a downward spiral. Its value is dropping, and the Fed isn’t doing a whole lot to change that. As a result, a number of countries are considering a shift away from the dollar to preserve their assets. These are seven of the countries currently considering a move from the dollar, and how they’ll have an effect on its value and the US economy."

A Vote for Mukasey Is a Vote for Torture

A Vote for Mukasey Is a Vote for Torture Judge Michael Mukasey admits waterboarding is repugnant, but refuses to say whether it amounts to torture. Yet Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein voted for his confirmation as U.S. attorney general anyway. Mukasey, Schumer and Feinstein should talk to French journalist Henri Alleg. An editor of a paper in Algeria, he was waterboarded by the French military in 1957, when the French were trying to crush the Algerian independence movement. The 86-year-old journalist spoke to me from his home in Paris:

“I was put on a plank, on a board, fastened to it and taken to a tap [water faucet]. And my face was covered with a rag. Very quickly, the rag was completely full of water. You have the impression of being drowned. And the water ran all over my face. I couldn’t breathe. It’s a terrible, terrible impression of torture and of death, being near death.”
: "It's weird how old quotes like the one penned above still hold true even today. Indeed, yes it is, and that's why this article is written with you in mind. I guess we’re not all born into this world to be the brightest 'candle' at the alter of democracy, now are we? Nope, because not even hardly a 'flicker'of tenacity for truth seems to remain these days. In fact, most of the 'free' world rightfully sees America as an old melted heap-of-wax whose bright light burned out long ago when we morphed into a military state dictatorship."

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Ethiopian Troops Closed Some Streets in Mogadishu City (Page 1 of 1)

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Ethiopian Troops Closed Some Streets in Mogadishu City (Page 1 of 1): "The Ethiopian troops sealed off some parts of the Industrial Street and entered Gubta and Isse Abdi sections of Dainele district in Mogadishu city. Dawn this morning an infantry of Ethiopian troops closed some parts of the industrial area including: Arafat, Towfiiq, Ifka-Halane, and some parts of Dainile were the Ethiopian troops started operations."

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Fierce Battle in Mogadishu City Overnight (Page 1 of 1)

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Fierce Battle in Mogadishu City Overnight (Page 1 of 1): "Fierce clashes have been reported in Ceel Tuba Wayne area in Yaqshid district in northern part of Mogadishu, between government forces and unknown armed group but thought to be insurgents. The fierce clashes started around 10:00 PM a local time and both the combat groups exchanged heavy weaponries."

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Ethiopian Troops Launch Slow Massacre Against Civilians (Page 1 of 1)

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Ethiopian Troops Launch Slow Massacre Against Civilians (Page 1 of 1): "Heavily armed Ethiopian soldiers with armored vehicles have raided in Gubta settlement in Somali capital Mogadishu early on Tuesday morning, conducting security operations there. According to residents in Gubta, Ethiopian forces were mercilessly beating civilians with batons and thick clubs in Gubta."

John Edwards Takes on the War Party- by Justin Raimondo

John Edwards Takes on the War Party- by Justin Raimondo: "After all, it's no secret who was plumbing for war for a solid decade and beating the drums ever louder after 9/11. This war didn't come about spontaneously; it wasn't an act of God or nature, like Hurricane Katrina. It was planned, hoped for, wished for, and carried out by a very definite – and relatively small – group of men and women who had (and have) the ear not only of the president but of the major Washington power players, with the nexus of their network centered in the vice president's office."

AlterNet: WorkPlace: Shocking: 18 Years on and Exxon Still Won't Pay $2.5 Billion for Valdez Oil Spill

AlterNet: WorkPlace: Shocking: 18 Years on and Exxon Still Won't Pay $2.5 Billion for Valdez Oil Spill: "The Supreme Court's recent decision to hear ExxonMobil's reasons to void the $2.5 billion punitive award in the Exxon Valdez case hit the town of Cordova, Alaska, hard. This small coastal fishing community -- my hometown -- along with the Alaska Native villages in Prince William Sound have borne the brunt of the largest crude oil spill in America's waters; a spill that took place more than 18 years ago, but one that continues to hold the region hostage."

AlterNet: The Dangerous Rudy Giuliani: George Bush with Brains

AlterNet: The Dangerous Rudy Giuliani: George Bush with Brains: "People of Britain: congratulations are in order. You have now joined ferret owners, sidewalk artists, hot dog vendors, publicly funded attorneys for poor people, low-income community college students, museum curators, a couple of innocent black men shot dead by the police, the sections of the New York City charter governing rules of succession to the mayoralty and, of course, Hillary Clinton, as objects of Rudy Giuliani's demagoguery and wrath."

AlterNet: MediaCulture: The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America

Don't You Ever Forget: The Rape of Fallujah

Iraq: Millions Trapped in Their Own Country - by Ahmed Ali

Iraq: Millions Trapped in Their Own Country - by Ahmed Ali: "BAQUBA - At least 5 million Iraqis have fled their homes due to the violence under the U.S.-led occupation, but half of them are unable to leave the country, according to well-informed estimates. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are more than 4.4 million displaced Iraqis, an estimate that many workers among refugees find conservative."

VOA News - Taliban Seize Control of Third District in Western Afghanistan

VOA News - Taliban Seize Control of Third District in Western Afghanistan: "Taliban militants have taken control of a third district in western Afghanistan. Local officials say the militants captured the Khaki Safed district in the western Farah province late Sunday, with police and government officials fleeing without a fight."

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Ethiopian Military Truck Comes Under Explosion At Gedo Region (Page 1 of 1)

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Ethiopian Military Truck Comes Under Explosion At Gedo Region (Page 1 of 1)In the much confirmed two civilians died and five others wounded after an Ethiopian convoy traveling between Luuq district and Bohal Baashir location near Yurkud town. The two civilians were just passersby in the area near the explosion as eyewitnesses told Radio Shabelle.

The American Interest: Policy. Politics. Culture. Digital.

Mogadishu battles stoke humanitarian crisis | International News | Reuters.com

Mogadishu battles stoke humanitarian crisis | International News | Reuters.com: "MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Battles in the Somali capital killed at least seven people on Friday and stoked a humanitarian crisis after nearly 90,000 people fled fighting earlier this week. Ethiopian forces supporting Somalia's interim government are trying to crush Islamist-led rebels in Mogadishu. Clashes resumed before dawn and, although they later subsided, intermittent blasts of gunfire could be heard across the city."

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Five Ethiopian Soldiers And Two Civilian Die in Fierce Combat in Mogadishu (Page 1 of 1)

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Five Ethiopian Soldiers And Two Civilian Die in Fierce Combat in Mogadishu (Page 1 of 1): "Seven of which five are Ethiopian soldiers died in a very dreadful battle which was active for hours between the Ethiopian troops and the strongly opposing group in the Somali city of Mogadishu. The fights mainly erupted at the 30th street and around the industrial area. The skirmish came after Ethiopian troops stormed at some sections of Hodan Holwadag, Wardegley and Yaqsshi districts and in this places the Ethiopian troops faced a very harsh resistant from the other group."

Iraqi weapons 'expert' unmasked as a fraud - Independent Online Edition > Americas

Iraqi weapons 'expert' unmasked as a fraud - Independent Online Edition > Americas: "The Iraqi defector whose claims regarding Saddam Hussein's biological warfare capabilities were central to the US government's case for the 2003 invasion, despite repeated warnings that they were dubious, has been unmasked by a television documentary. The informer, codenamed Curveball was Rafid Ahmed Alwan who, in 1999, turned up at a refugee centre in Germany seeking political asylum. He went on to convince the Pentagon he was a brilliant chemist who had helped develop mobile biological warfare laboratories."

CBC News: Reports from abroad: Neil Macdonald

CBC News: Reports from abroad: Neil Macdonald: "The torture called waterboarding is a pretty violent business. The torturer straps down the victim, feet elevated above the head, then covers the subject's face — often with cloth or cellophane — and pours water onto it. This triggers the gag reflex, persuading the mind that the body is drowning, provoking an atavistic terror. The straining and flailing against the restraint straps can sometimes break bones. If the torture is protracted, lung and brain damage can occur."

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 11/02/2007 | Former envoy: U.S. driving Turkey, Iran together

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 11/02/2007 | Former envoy: U.S. driving Turkey, Iran together: "WASHINGTON — The retired general who served as President Bush's special envoy to deal with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) said the United States has failed to keep its promises to Turkey to confront the Kurdish terrorist group, and Turkey may feel that it has no choice but to attack the PKK's sanctuary in northern Iraq. Retired Air Force Gen. Joseph Ralston, in a brief interview, declined to say why he stepped down several weeks ago. But published reports have said that he was frustrated by the Bush administration's failure to act against the PKK."

Criminal business as usual in Iraq

Criminal business as usual in IraqWhile you resist the US occupiers and their collaborators, inflict the US occupation and its forces horrendous losses, and you teach them the lessons of bitterest defeat, you confront mass murder on identity, compulsory displacement and suffer from the deprivation of any requirements for a dignified livelihood and services such as running water, electricity, fuel and you name it.. while the US, British, Australian etc.. so called security companies, shed with impunity your innocent and pure blood.. This is what ugly Blackwater gangsters have undertaken when murdering thirteen Iraqi martyrs and wounding 25 others in the al Nessur square in Baghdad's al Mansur neighborhood, for no reason and restarted their criminal business as usual in Iraq, four days only after the US puppet Maliki government fake announcement "to withdraw their permit to work in Iraq!" Everyone knows that this government has no authority whatsoever to withdraw anything,…

Guardian Unlimited | Comment is free | With friends like these

Guardian Unlimited | Comment is free | With friends like these: "In the spring of 2003, local imams in northern Iraq were worried. Not just about the impending war, but about the inroads that ultra-conservative, intolerant and aggressive strands of Islam were making among their traditionally moderate congregations. The enemy in this particular struggle was not Saddam, they said, but Saudi Arabia."

Hezbollah, PKK and American Hypocrisy

Hezbollah, PKK and American HypocrisyFifteen months ago, the armed wing of Lebanon’s Hezbollah party, listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and most other Western countries, attacked Israel’s northern border, capturing two Israeli soldiers and killing eight more. Israel replied with a month of massive air attacks all across Lebanon that destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure, leveled a good deal of south Beirut, and killed around a thousand Lebanese civilians.

Washington, London, Ottawa and some other Western capitals insisted that this was a reasonable and proportionate response, and shielded Israel from intense diplomatic pressure to stop the attacks even when Israel launched a land invasion of southern Lebanon in early August, 2006. The operation only ended when Israeli casualties on the ground mounted rapidly and the Israeli government pulled its troops back.

So what would be a reasonable and proportionate Turkish response to the recent attacks by the Kurdi…