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Ron Paul Is Right About Pakistan - by David T. Beito and Scott Horton

Ron Paul Is Right About Pakistan - by David T. Beito and Scott HortonThe conventional wisdom among presidential candidates is that the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has proved the importance of continued American meddling in that land. Both Republicans and Democrats are rushing to mumble incoherent platitudes before the cameras, while several have even proclaimed their next big idea for how Pakistan ought to be run.

Democratic candidate Bill Richardson made his first headline in months by proclaiming that President Bush ought to give former general – now just "president" – Pervez Musharraf his pink slip. Most of the rest simply say we should "support democracy" there.

This "wisdom" of interference is so conventional that CNN's Wolf Blitzer expressed shock when Republican candidate Rep. Ron Paul of Texas said that the tragedy proved his case for nonintervention in the affairs of other nations. We should not, Paul said, e…

How Bhutto Won Washington - New York Times

How Bhutto Won Washington - New York Times: "BENAZIR BHUTTO always understood Washington more than Washington understood her.

Ms. Bhutto, the Pakistani opposition leader and two-time prime minister, who was assassinated in Rawalpindi on Thursday as she campaigned for the office a third time, had a more extensive network of powerful friends in the capital’s political and media elite than almost any other foreign leader. Over the years, she scrupulously cultivated those friends, many from her days at Harvard and Oxford. She was rewarded when her connections — at the White House, in Congress and within the foreign policy establishment — helped propel her into power in Pakistan."

Al Jazeera English - News - Fierce Fighting Rocks Mogadishu

Al Jazeera English - News - Fierce Fighting Rocks Mogadishu: "At least eight civilians have been killed in fierce fighting that erupted between government forces and anti-government fighters in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, witnesses say.

Six members of one family - mother and five children - were killed when a mortar shell struck a refugee camp on Sunday as fighting escalated in the area."

BBC NEWS | Africa | Ethiopia leaves key Somali town

BBC NEWS | Africa | Ethiopia leaves key Somali town: "Ethiopian troops have withdrawn from a key town in central Somalia.

Islamist insurgents say they now control Guriel, where Ethiopia had a big military base to secure the road linking the two countries.

A BBC correspondent in Somalia says it is not clear why the Ethiopian troops withdrew without any fighting."

Al Jazeera English - News - Palestinians Die In Israeli Raids

Al Jazeera English - News - Palestinians Die In Israeli Raids: "Six Palestinians have been killed and 11 others wounded in the Gaza Strip in three Israeli raids on the Hamas-run territory, medics and witnesses said.



Three men, two of them from the Islamic Jihad group, and a third from the armed wing of Hamas, were killed around the southern town of Khan Yunis on Thursday."

Al Jazeera English - Focus - Daughter Of Tragedy

Al Jazeera English - Focus - Daughter Of Tragedy: "What ever else the mind-numbing killing of Benazir Bhutto in Thursday’s suicide attack will mean for Pakistan’s future, there is little doubt that politics in this south Asian country will never be the same again.

Bhutto's death was like a chronicle foretold. She had escaped a bigger suicide attack upon her return from exile in Karachi two months ago - a manifestation of the threat to her life, which extremists had pledged to carry out before her arrival.

These threats emerged after much publicised talks of a power-sharing deal with General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's president, which would enable her to return home and participate in the elections in exchange for allowing the beleaguered general to get himself re-elected as president."

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Insurgent Splinter Group Frees Two Soldiers (Page 1 of 1)

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Insurgent Splinter Group Frees Two Soldiers (Page 1 of 1): "A group of Somali militants fighting against the country's Ethiopian-backed transitional government released two soldiers today, saying that they do not want to kill Somalis.

A spokesman for the group, Jabhada Islamiga Somaliyeed (JIS), refused to give his name to Mogadishu-based media but stated that the two soldiers were kidnapped at Bakara market two days earlier.

The unidentified spokesman said the soldiers were released after the group spoke with their relatives and agreed that the soldiers will not return to the Somali army."

Escalating Somali conflict 'second Iraq' for world: Eritrea - Yahoo! News

Escalating Somali conflict 'second Iraq' for world: Eritrea - Yahoo! News: "'Just as the Eritrean government had predicted before hand, the situation in Somalia has become a second Iraq to the TPLF (Ethiopian regime) and its masters,' said the statement posted Monday on the information ministry website.

'Now, after it has become clear to all that the war in Somalia has no end, the US administration, the UN and the international community, as a whole, are being forced to admit that their approach towards the Somali issue was indeed wrong,' it added."

BBC NEWS | Africa | Ethiopia activists found guilty

BBC NEWS | Africa | Ethiopia activists found guilty: "An Ethiopian court has convicted two anti-poverty activists of inciting violence after the elections in 2005.

Daniel Bekele, who works for ActionAid International, and local charity worker Netsanet Demissie could face up to 10 years in prison.

The men were acquitted of more serious charges of violating the constitution.

They were the last of more than 130 defendants charged in relation to the protests complaining of fraud in polls won by the prime minister's party."

What has the US “surge” in Iraq accomplished? :: from www.uruknet.info :: news from occupied Iraq - it

What has the US “surge” in Iraq accomplished? :: from www.uruknet.info :: news from occupied Iraq - it: "Far from 'national unity', 2007 witnessed the most extreme elements among Shiites and Sunnis intensify the sectarian carnage and largely complete their agenda of carving out homogeneous power bases in various parts of the country. Serious analysts have concluded that the main reason for the decline in intra-Iraqi violence is the completion of this sectarian cleansing, not the deployment of thousands more US troops.

Brookings Institution commentator Ivo Daalder wrote on December 17: 'The sectarian violence had to a large extent succeeded in forcing Sunnis from Shiite areas and Shiites from Sunni areas. One look at an ethnic map of Baghdad tells the story—what were previously mixed neighbourhoods are now mostly Shiite or Sunni. The violence caused a large-scale movement of people—one in six Iraqis has either left the country entirely or has been internally displaced. …

AlterNet: White Liberals Have White Privilege Too!

AlterNet: White Liberals Have White Privilege Too!: "It often seems that the only way liberals can talk about race is to encircle the 'racists' and point at them -- either for a laugh or a morality tale. The former is one of the many tricks that faux news personality Stephen Colbert employs in his caricature of a conservative. His racist schtick makes fun of racists, and there's a comfortable distance between the satire and the show's mostly liberal viewers. The critique goes down easy because it represents something the viewer isn't.

On the other hand, the website www.blackpeopleloveus.com, featuring a liberal white couple, Johnny and Sally, enters murkier territory. Well-intentioned Johnny and Sally hang out with their black friends, who, as the namesake indicates, love them. Part of the site's subversion -- and subsequent confusion -- comes from the fact that its humor is not so separate from liberal Americana. We could meet a Johnny and Sally at a cockt…

AlterNet: If Tobacco Regulation Works, Why Not Regulate Marijuana?

AlterNet: If Tobacco Regulation Works, Why Not Regulate Marijuana?: "President Bush recently touted new survey results showing a modest drop in teen use of marijuana and other drugs, but he failed to mention the drug for which prevention efforts have had the most spectacular success -- tobacco. If he had, he might have had to make some troubling comparisons.

Citing the results of the annual Monitoring the Future survey, Bush noted that drug use has declined from its recent peak in 1996, but sidestepped the longer-term picture that doesn't look nearly so rosy.

If you go back 15 years, to 1992, drug use is up almost across the board. For example, in 1992, 3.7 percent of eighth-graders were current marijuana users, compared with 5.7 percent in 2007. For 12th-graders, the figures were 11.9 percent and 18.8 percent, respectively."

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Governor Flees Region After Insurgent Death Threats (Page 1 of 1)

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Governor Flees Region After Insurgent Death Threats (Page 1 of 1): "The governor of Somalia's Galgadud region in the central part of the country fled the provincial capital Dhusamareb on Saturday following death threats he received from armed groups opposed to the country's transitional government.

Governor Abdulkadir 'Sufi' Elmi Salaad and the region's police commander, Col. Omar Hassan, arrived in the city of Galkayo later today where they were welcomed by Puntland regional government officials."

Dollar's fall is felt around the globe - Washington Post- msnbc.com

Dollar's fall is felt around the globe - Washington Post- msnbc.com: "Though still the primary choice for global reserves and commodities, some countries have begun to diversify their dollar holdings, while a nascent push is afoot to re-price some commodities in currencies other than the dollar. In May, Kuwait dropped its currency peg to the dollar and other oil-rich Gulf states have threatened to follow. Perhaps most telling: In recent months, the euro surpassed the dollar as the currency with the largest global circulation.

In very real terms, it has forced Americans to rethink their lust for foreign goods. Sales of luxury, British-made Jaguars and Land Rovers, for instance, are declining in the United States because of the weak dollar, while fewer North American tourists -- a 10 percent drop in the third quarter of 2007 compared with the same period last year -- treated themselves to trips to England."

Five civilians killed in Mogadishu fighting | At a Glance | Deutsche Welle | 24.12.2007

Five civilians killed in Mogadishu fighting | At a Glance | Deutsche Welle | 24.12.2007: "Witnesses in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, say at least five civilians have been killed and eight wounded during overnight fighting between Ethiopia-backed government troops and insurgents. Islamist militants have waged an insurgency in Mogadishu since they were defeated by Ethiopian and Somali forces earlier this year after briefly ruling the country's southern and central region. The United Nations has warned of a possible humanitarian disaster, with hundreds of thousands of people having fled their homes."

Iran Cited In Iraq's Decline in Violence - washingtonpost.com

Iran Cited In Iraq's Decline in Violence - washingtonpost.com: "The Iranian government has decided 'at the most senior levels' to rein in the violent Shiite militias it supports in Iraq, a move reflected in a sharp decrease in sophisticated roadside bomb attacks over the past several months, according to the State Department's top official on Iraq.

Tehran's decision does not necessarily mean the flow of those weapons from Iran has stopped, but the decline in their use and in overall attacks 'has to be attributed to an Iranian policy decision,' David M. Satterfield, Iraq coordinator and senior adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said in an interview."

Al Jazeera English - News - Israel Funds More Settlement Growth

Al Jazeera English - News - Israel Funds More Settlement Growth: "Despite calls for Israel to stop building settlements on occupied Palestinian land in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, it has been revealed that money will be put aside to construct 740 new buildings next year.

Palestinians say such construction will jeopardise the potential for final-status peace talks.

The construction ministry's proposed budget for 2008 includes 500 apartments for the Har Homa area in east Jerusalem, and 240 at Maale Adumim, just outside Jerusalem and one of Israel's biggest West Bank settlements."

Al Jazeera English - News - Iraq Vows To Disband Sunni Groups

Al Jazeera English - News - Iraq Vows To Disband Sunni Groups: "Iraq's government has declared that it will disband Sunni groups battling al-Qaeda in Iraq after violence-wracked areas are calmed because it does not want them to become a separate military force.

The statement on Saturday from Abdul-Qadir al-Obaidi, the Iraqi defence minister, was the government's most explicit declaration yet of its intent."

First Dec. 25 Xmas tied to pagan shrine - Yahoo! News

First Dec. 25 Xmas tied to pagan shrine - Yahoo! News: "In 325, he convened the Council of Nicaea, which fixed the dates of important Christian festivals. It opted to mark Christmas, then celebrated at varying dates, on Dec. 25 to coincide with the Roman festival celebrating the birth of the sun god, Andrea Carandini, a professor of archaeology at Rome's La Sapienza University, told reporters Friday.
The Basilica of St. Anastasia was built as soon as a year after the Nicaean Council. It probably was where Christmas was first marked on Dec. 25, part of broader efforts to link pagan practices to Christian celebrations in the early days of the new religion, Carandini said.
'The church was built to Christianize these pagan places of worship,' he said. 'It was normal to put a church near these places to try to 'save' them.'"

LewRockwell.com Blog: What Is Fascism?

LewRockwell.com Blog: What Is Fascism?: "Jim Pinkerton accuses Ron Paul of smearing Mike Huckabee. Oh please.

First, as a Christian in politics, Ron hardly opposes Christians in politics. But as a Baptist who harks back to an earlier tradition, Ron worships the Prince of Peace, not Ares, and he opposes the use of the state to advance his religion.

But what is fascism? It is a real ideology, not just an epithet. It is characterized by belligerent nationalism, militarism, aggressive war, suppression of civil liberties, use of religion in the service of the state, exaltation of the executive, opposition to free markets domestically and internationally, corporatism, welfarism, domestic spying, torture, and detestation of the Other, in this case Muslims and Arabs. So not only is Huckabee a fascist, so are most other candidates of both parties, and much of the leadership of the Christian right."

The Raw Story | Evangelical video shows cadets pressured to be missionaries

The Raw Story | Evangelical video shows cadets pressured to be missionaries: "A video made by Campus Crusade for Christ, a Christian ministry group, shows Air Force Academy cadets being pressured to participate in religious activities and become 'government paid missionaries when they leave.'

Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), which released the video this week, says the video is 'absolutely out of control.'

'You cannot engage the U.S. government to propel your religion,' said Weinstein.

The video, filmed in the summer of 2002, opens with tranquil shots of 'Colorado's most frequently visited man-made attraction.' The unnamed narrator describes the chapel in detail, which 'resembles a formation of fighter jets shooting into the sky.'"

Al Jazeera English - News - Iraq Set To Slash Food Rations

Al Jazeera English - News - Iraq Set To Slash Food Rations: "Iraq is set to halve essential items covered by rations and subsidies because of insufficient funds and spiralling inflation, in a further threat to an already deteriorating ration system.

The cuts, to be introduced at the beginning of 2008, have prompted criticism from those who have already warned of social unrest if measures are not taken to address rising poverty and unemployment.

Mohammed Hanoun, the Iraqi trade minister's chief of staff, told Al Jazeera that a request for $7.2bn to cover 10 basic items currently rationed and subsidised by the government had been rejected.

'In 2007, we asked for $3.2 billion for rationing basic foodstuffs. But since the prices of imported food stuff doubled in the past year, we requested $7.2 billion for this year. That request was denied.'"

Al Jazeera English - News - Hezbollah's Scout Brigade

Al Jazeera English - News - Hezbollah's Scout Brigade: "Despite its rather unfashionable image, Scouting remains one of the most popular organised youth activities in the world.

Enjoyed by about 38 million children and young people in more than 200 countries, Scouting has a reputation for teaching life skills to its members in a fun and stimulating environment.

Yet in politically divided Lebanon, sectarian divisions are apparent even in the country's 27 youth groups, with each political party possessing its own organisation for young people.

And Hezbollah, the main Lebanese Shia party and armed movement, is among those with its own youth group, the Imam al-Mahdi Scouts, some of whose members go on to become fully-fledged Hezbollah fighters."

Al Jazeera English - Programmes - Divided Land

Al Jazeera English - Programmes - Divided Land: "On December 27, Mwai Kibaki, the Kenyan president, takes Kenya to the polls.

He was elected in 2002 on a wave of public euphoria that ended 40 years of one party rule. On that day, Kibaki promised that the country had changed forever and called on all Kenyans 'to end corruption as a way of life', thereby signaling a break with the scandal-ridden government of Daniel Arap Moi, the former president.

Five years later, these aspirations remain elusive. Kenya has experienced an economic boom since 2002 but little of this wealth has filtered down to the majority who still survive on less than two dollars a day. Kibaki's government is itself now accused of corruption and his former rival Moi now actively campaigns for Kibaki's re-election."

Al Jazeera English - Programmes - Kenya: A Land Divided

Al Jazeera English - Programmes - Kenya: A Land Divided: "Kenya is a nation of 37 million people that stretches from the Indian Ocean to the Great Rift Valley, where despite record economic growth, poverty remains endemic.

As Kenya's rapidly increasing population vies for scarce land resources, some have begun to see themselves not as Kenyans but as tribal members - divided from their compatriots by language, custom and blood - and it is along these tribal lines that many Kenyans are expected to vote in the December 27 presidential and parliamentary elections."

Al Jazeera English - News - Chavez Offers 'Oil For Food'

Al Jazeera English - News - Chavez Offers 'Oil For Food': "Venezuela's president has offered Caribbean and Central American nations the option to pay for oil supplies with local products, such as bananas and sugar.

Speaking in Cuba at a meeting of Petrocaribe, his regional energy alliance, on Friday, Hugo Chavez also lambasted the US and other rich nations for squandering world resources"

Reuters AlertNet - Bin Laden's driver is not POW, U.S. judge says

Reuters AlertNet - Bin Laden's driver is not POW, U.S. judge says: "MIAMI, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden's driver is not a prisoner of war as defined by the Geneva Conventions and can be tried by a Guantanamo war crimes tribunal, a U.S. military judge ruled in a decision made public on Thursday.

The judge said Yemeni prisoner Salim Ahmed Hamdan is an 'unlawful enemy combatant' under the law passed by Congress last year to provide a legal basis to try non-Americans on terrorism charges in a special war crimes court at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."

The Raw Story | Descendants of Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse break away from US

The Raw Story | Descendants of Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse break away from US: "The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States, leaders said Wednesday.

'We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us,' long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told a handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy, gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of Washington for a news conference.

A delegation of Lakota leaders delivered a message to the State Department on Monday, announcing they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties they signed with the federal government of the United States, some of them more than 150 years old."

TheStar.com | columnists | U.S. needs to engage Tehran, not order it around

TheStar.com | columnists | U.S. needs to engage Tehran, not order it around: "Russia delivers nuclear fuel to Iran. Russia and China sign multi-billion dollar contracts to develop Iran's oil and gas fields, the auto and telecommunications sectors.

Both do so within two weeks of the U.S. intelligence agencies announcing that Tehran does not have a nuclear weapons program.

After six years of sabre rattling, George W. Bush's Iran policy is in shambles. It is so for the same reason his Iraq policy has been. It's fundamentally dishonest."

Iraq, Afghanistan War Costs Top Vietnam - by Aaron Glantz

Iraq, Afghanistan War Costs Top Vietnam - by Aaron Glantz: "Congress' approval Wednesday of $70 billion more for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan mean the twin conflicts are now more costly to American taxpayers than the war in Vietnam.

According to a study by the Washington-based Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Congress has now approved nearly $700 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

'Using inflation-adjusted dollars, the total cost of those wars has now surpassed the total cost of the Vietnam war (which ran to $670 billion),' the group's Travis Sharp told OneWorld. 'It's also more than seven times larger than the Persian Gulf War ($94 billion) and more than twice the cost of the Korean war ($295 billion).'"

blackagendareport.com - Condoleezza Stokes Flames of US Wars in Africa

blackagendareport.com - Condoleezza Stokes Flames of US Wars in AfricaThe U.S. military offensive in the Horn of Africa is poised to escalate, as Condoleezza Rice assures her African proxies of deepening collaboration in the “war on terror.” With at least half a million Somalis facing death by starvation and disease – and thousands more killed in resistance to the U.S.-backed Ethiopian occupation – Washington has set its sights on neighboring Eritrea as a rogue state that is guilty of “interference in the affairs of its neighbors” and “dangerous adventurism in the Horn.” The cookie-cutter U.S. propaganda/attack formula previously applied in the Persian Gulf has been imposed on Africa, and will surely reap the same catastrophic results. Yet African American “leadership” remains mute and impotent while Washington sets the continent ablaze.

All Iraqi groups blame U.S. for discord - Washington Post- msnbc.com

All Iraqi groups blame U.S. for discord - Washington Post- msnbc.com: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqis of all sectarian and ethnic groups believe that the U.S. military invasion is the primary root of the violent differences among them, and see the departure of 'occupying forces' as the key to national reconciliation, according to focus groups conducted for the U.S. military last month."

IRAQ: "Bad" Women Raped and Killed :: from www.uruknet.info :: news from occupied Iraq - it

IRAQ: "Bad" Women Raped and Killed :: from www.uruknet.info :: news from occupied Iraq - it: "Women are being killed by militia groups in southern Iraq for not conforming to strict Islamic ways, the police say. And, increased threats from militia groups is driving many women away from their homes.

Basra police chief Gen. Jalil Hannoon has told reporters and Arab TV channels that at least 40 women have been killed during the past five months in the southern city.

'We are sure there are many more victims whose families did not report their killing for fear of scandal,' Gen. Hannoon said."

AlterNet: The American Dream, or a Nightmare for Black America?

AlterNet: The American Dream, or a Nightmare for Black America?: "Thirty years after the civil rights era, middle-class African-American families face a grim reality: their kids are far more likely to experience downward mobility in today's economy than they are to move up.

For both black and white families, America's vaunted upward mobility is largely a myth, and research suggests that Americans actually enjoy less upward mobility than people in many other wealthy countries. (I discussed this phenomenon at some length in a recent article.) But the outlook is different for white and black families."

A Violent Cartography

A Violent Cartography: "Perhaps it is fitting that elin o'Hara slavick's extraordinary evocation of bombings by the United States government be preceded by some words from a bombardier who flew bombing missions for the U.S. Air Corps in the second World War. At least one of her drawings is based on a bombing I participated in near the very end of the war--the destruction of the French seaside resort of Royan, on the Atlantic coast.

As I look at her drawings, I become painfully aware of how ignorant I was, when I dropped those bombs on France and on cities in Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, of the effects of those bombings on human beings. Not because she shows us bloody corpses, amputated limbs, skin shredded by napalm. She does not do that. But her drawings, in ways that I cannot comprehend, compel me to envision such scenes."

A Violent Cartography

A Violent Cartography: "Perhaps it is fitting that elin o'Hara slavick's extraordinary evocation of bombings by the United States government be preceded by some words from a bombardier who flew bombing missions for the U.S. Air Corps in the second World War. At least one of her drawings is based on a bombing I participated in near the very end of the war--the destruction of the French seaside resort of Royan, on the Atlantic coast.

As I look at her drawings, I become painfully aware of how ignorant I was, when I dropped those bombs on France and on cities in Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, of the effects of those bombings on human beings. Not because she shows us bloody corpses, amputated limbs, skin shredded by napalm. She does not do that. But her drawings, in ways that I cannot comprehend, compel me to envision such scenes."

Iraq Does Exist

Iraq Does Exist: "The history of trying to obfuscate the truth and distort the image of Iraq has always been the aim of the U.S. aggression against the people of Iraq. There is the added factor now of new breed of ‘journalists’ and ‘bloggers’ ever on the lookout for a story that will tell Westerners all they need to know about Iraq, its problems, dangers, and prospects. Despite all of this, Iraq remains a nation of proud people struggling to liberate themselves from a murderous colonial Occupation."

Al Jazeera English - News - Jacob Zuma Wins Anc Leadership

Al Jazeera English - News - Jacob Zuma Wins Anc Leadership: "Jacob Zuma has been named the new president of South Africa's ruling African National Congress, putting him at the head of the race to become the country's leader in 2009.

Zuma won a total of 2,329 votes from party delegates in Tuesday's election, forcing out Thabo Mbeki, South Africa's president, who received 1,505 votes."

Al Jazeera English - News - Israeli Raids Target Islamic Jihad

Al Jazeera English - News - Israeli Raids Target Islamic Jihad: "A series of Israeli military raids in the Palestinian territories has killed a Hamas man and at least 10 members of Islamic Jihad, including the Gaza chief of its armed wing.

Three overnight air strikes in the Gaza Strip killed nine fighters from the group, while an Israeli military operation in the West Bank left another dead."

'The Shia militias in Basra are better armed than Iraqi forces' - Independent Online Edition > Middle East

'The Shia militias in Basra are better armed than Iraqi forces' - Independent Online Edition > Middle East: "In Basra, Sunnis and Christians have been subjected to sectarian cleansing by the Shia militias. Women said to have behaved in an 'irreligious' way were targeted in recent months, and, according to General Jalil Khalaf, more than 40 women have been murdered."

Britain bows out of a five-year war it could never have won - Independent Online Edition > Middle East

Britain bows out of a five-year war it could never have won - Independent Online Edition > Middle East: "Britain handed over security in Basra province yesterday, bringing a formal end to its ill-starred attempt over almost five years to control southern Iraq.

The transfer of power was marked by a parade of thousands of Iraqi soldiers and police beside the Shatt al-Arab waterway, which runs past Basra. As helicopters roared overhead it was the biggest show of strength by the Iraqi army forces since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

The great majority of people in Basra were glad to see the British go. ' You can see the happiness on the faces of everyone,' said Adel Jassam, a teacher. 'It feels like a heavy burden has been lifted off our chests. '"

Al Jazeera English - News - Back From Guantanamo

Al Jazeera English - News - Back From Guantanamo: "Adil Hassan Hamad can scarcely believe he is back with his family in Sudan, because only days ago he was still in the US's Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

'I am very, very happy and not believing this,' Adil tells Al Jazeera, 'That I am here with my family - even now I feel this could all be taken away at any moment.'"

AlterNet: Only One Thing Unites Iraqis: Hatred for the U.S.

AlterNet: Only One Thing Unites Iraqis: Hatred for the U.S.: "As British forces come to the end of their role in Iraq, what sort of country do they leave behind? Has the United States turned the tide in Baghdad? Does the fall in violence mean that the country is stabilizing after more than four years of war? Or are we seeing only a temporary pause in the fighting? American commentators are generally making the same mistake that they have made since the invasion of Iraq was first contemplated five years ago. They look at Iraq in over-simple terms and exaggerate the extent to which the US is making the political weather and is in control of events there."

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Insurgent Attacks Kill, Wound People in Baidoa And Beletwein (Page 1 of 1)

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Insurgent Attacks Kill, Wound People in Baidoa And Beletwein (Page 1 of 1): "A roadside bomb intended to blow up an Ethiopian army convoy in south-central Somalia missed its target, but subsequent gunfire opened by Ethiopian soldiers wounded nine people, including seven Somali soldiers nearby, witnesses said."

blackagendareport.com - Freedom Rider: Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Neocon in Black Face

blackagendareport.com - Freedom Rider: Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Neocon in Black Face: "The young, attractive Somali woman has become a darling of the American corporate media. Ayaan Hirsi Ali started out as a heroine to a portion of the Dutch public, who rewarded her with a parliamentary seat for denouncing all things Muslim. Apparently, flagellating one's own non-white, non-Christian people is a sure route to success in Europe, just like in the U.S. Ms. Ali lost her halo in The Netherlands when it was discovered she had lied on her immigration papers, but was soon recruited into the self-hating Black grouplet at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute, where she pretends to be a 'scholar.' America - what a country! Denounce your own people, and they'll make you a star."

blackagendareport.com - Oprah & Obama: Corporate Marketing for a Corporate Campaign

blackagendareport.com - Oprah & Obama: Corporate Marketing for a Corporate Campaign: "Two of the best marketers in the U.S. teamed up for a three-state weekend extravaganza of vapid, substance-devoid entertainment posing as presidential politics. Oprah Winfrey – a certified genius of self-salesmanship – and the faux progressive, fraudulent anti-war candidate Barack Obama wowed crowds in South Carolina, Iowa and New Hampshire in a mega-media celebration of celebrity, itself. Political theater has devolved to theater without politics. Corporate “journalists” behave like sports “color” commentators, minus real stats and facts. Next stop: Broadway – if the world doesn’t explode before curtain-time."

Al Jazeera English - News - Us To Review Afghan Mission

Al Jazeera English - News - Us To Review Afghan Mission: "The White House has reportedly begun three detailed reviews of the US mission in Afghanistan amid a rise in attacks by the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

The reviews - by the US military, state department and the Nato alliance - will look at the security, economic and diplomatic aspects of the conflict, the New York Times said on Sunday."

Al Jazeera English - News - Turkey Says Us Backed Raids On Pkk

Al Jazeera English - News - Turkey Says Us Backed Raids On Pkk: "The US gave the go-ahead for cross-border attacks on Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq, according to Turkey's military chief.

General Yasar Buyukanit reportedly made the claims on Turkish television late on Sunday as the Iraqi government summoned Ankara's ambassador in Baghdad and demanded an end to the air raids."

Balkanized Homecoming - washingtonpost.com

Balkanized Homecoming - washingtonpost.com: "The thorny issues were evident when the first and so far only group of families was bused back from Syria by the Iraqi government on Nov. 28. According to the United Nations, only about a third of the 30 families returned to their original homes. Most of the rest, finding a new sectarian makeup in their neighborhood or their property pillaged, moved in with already overburdened relatives in other parts of the Baghdad area.

For many Iraqis, the homes they left no longer exist. Houses have been looted, destroyed or occupied. Most Baghdad neighborhoods, where Shiites and Sunnis once lived side by side, have been transformed into religiously homogeneous bastions where members of the other sect dare not tread."

Al Jazeera English - News - 'Us Is The Main Irritant In Iraq'

Al Jazeera English - News - 'Us Is The Main Irritant In Iraq': "In an interview with Al Jazeera, al-Dhari says the slight improvement in the security situation in Iraq 'is due to a decision by the Iraqi government to reign in its death squads'.



He concedes that the 'resistance has temporarily' retreated in the face of US-funded al-Sahwa (Awakening Council) militias 'but that the resistance is regrouping and will bounce back'.



Al-Dhari, who hails from a family reputed for its role in the nationalist resistance against British occupation in the 1920s, says the US presence has allowed other powers to meddle in the country's affairs. He belives an US withdrawal will solve many of his country's present woes."

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 12/13/2007 | Somalia descends into Africa's worst crisis

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 12/13/2007 | Somalia descends into Africa's worst crisis: "AFGOYE, Somalia — A year after the U.S.-backed Ethiopian army toppled a hard-line Islamist regime in Somalia, the country has become Africa's worst humanitarian catastrophe.

Some 200,000 refugees, mostly women and children, have fled from a pro-government offensive to makeshift camps along a 10-mile stretch of sun-baked asphalt that leads from the seaside capital of Mogadishu toward the inland town of Afgoye."

In Japan, denial over Nanjing still holds sway after 70 years | csmonitor.com

In Japan, denial over Nanjing still holds sway after 70 years | csmonitor.com: "Tokyo - On a crisp autumn evening, as some 1,500 people fill the hall near the Yasukuni war-memorial shrine to hear former Imperial Army soldiers tell 'the truth of the Nanjing Incident' in World War II, Hideaki Kase wastes no time going on the offensive."
"12/12/07 'ICH' --- - The US intelligence community's new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) -- 'Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities' -- makes a point of saying up front (in bold type): 'This NIE does not (italics in original) assume that Iran intends to acquire nuclear weapons.' The report goes on to state: 'We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program .'"

Hillary Clinton on Iraq - by Stephen Zunes

Hillary Clinton on Iraq - by Stephen Zunes: "Public opinion polls have consistently shown that the majority of Americans – and even a larger majority of Democrats – believe that Iraq is the most important issue of the day, that it was wrong for the United States to have invaded that country, and the United States should completely withdraw its forces in short order. Despite this, the clear front-runner for the Democratic Party nomination for president is Senator Hillary Clinton, a strident backer of the invasion who only recently and opportunistically began to criticize the war and call for a partial withdrawal of American forces."

Iraq: Sunnis, Sadrists Attack U.S. Security Pact - RADIO FREE EUROPE / RADIO LIBERTY

Iraq: Sunnis, Sadrists Attack U.S. Security Pact - RADIO FREE EUROPE / RADIO LIBERTY: "A declaration of principles that U.S. President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki signed on November 26 calling for the negotiation of a long-term agreement on future political, economic, and security cooperation could pave the way for U.S. forces to pull out of Iraq by the end of next year."

BBC NEWS | Africa | Ethiopia denies Somalia bombing

BBC NEWS | Africa | Ethiopia denies Somalia bombing: "Ethiopia has denied involvement in an mortar attack that killed at least 17 people in the main market in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, on Thursday.

More gunfire and explosions were heard near Bakara market on Friday morning, but there are no details of casualties.

Ethiopian troops backing the interim Somali government were earlier reported to be behind Thursday's shelling, in which more than 40 people were injured."

Somali Islamists Said to Be Regrouping » Ethiopian Review

Somali Islamists Said to Be Regrouping » Ethiopian Review: "By SALAD DUHUL – 21 hours ago

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Somalia's government is not in control of most of this war-ravaged country, and a radical Islamic group that was driven out last year is regrouping, a Somali official said Thursday.

'About 80 percent of Somalia is not safe and is not under control of the government,' Sheik Qasim Ibrahim Nur, director of security at the National Security Ministry, told The Associated Press. 'Islamists are planning to launch a massive attack against (the government) and its allied troops.'

'Islamists are now regrouping vast areas in southern and central Somalia,' he added."

Democrats Put Blank Checks Back on Table

Democrats Put Blank Checks Back on Table: "In the next two weeks, Democratic leadership in Congress will likely push for a huge, multi-department 'omnibus' spending bill which may include funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. None of the omnibus proposals raised so far have included deadlines for troop withdrawal, igniting strong opposition from progressives in the House."

The Boy Who Cried WMD -- In These Times

The Boy Who Cried WMD -- In These Times: "On Dec. 3, news broke that 16 U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded that Iran had halted its nuclear arms efforts in 2003. You would think the report—known as the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE)—would give Bush pause in his push for another war. You’d be wrong. At a Dec. 4 White House press conference, Bush said, “Iran is dangerous, and the NIE doesn’t do anything to change my opinion about the danger Iran poses to the world. Quite the contrary.”"

Iraq rejects permanent U.S. bases: adviser - Yahoo! News

Iraq rejects permanent U.S. bases: adviser - Yahoo! News: "BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq will never allow the United States to have permanent military bases on its soil, the government's national security adviser said, calling the issue a 'red line' that cannot be crossed."
"We need the United States in our war against terrorism, we need them to guard our border sometimes, we need them for economic support and we need them for diplomatic and political support," Mowaffaq al-Rubaie said.

allAfrica.com: Eritrea: A Caged People in Urgent Need of Global Action - and Prayers (Page 1 of 1)

allAfrica.com: Eritrea: A Caged People in Urgent Need of Global Action - and Prayers (Page 1 of 1): "The people of Africa's youngest nation, 14-year-old Eritrea in the northeast, live as if locked up in a vast prison manned by a rogue communist regime. CISA is today able to reveal the sufferings of the tyrannized and poverty-stricken Eritreans, groaning under the weight of Africa's last single-party dictatorship. Prone to prolonged droughts, its economy destroyed by more than 30 years of war, Eritrea is one of the world's poorest countries, with up to 60 percent of its 4.6 million people surviving on less than a dollar a day."

Oil-Rich Nations Use More Energy, Cutting Exports - New York Times

Oil-Rich Nations Use More Energy, Cutting Exports - New York Times: "The economies of many big oil-exporting countries are growing so fast that their need for energy within their borders is crimping how much they can sell abroad, adding new strains to the global oil market. Skip to next paragraph Multimedia In Oil States, Homegrown DemandGraphic In Oil States, Homegrown Demand Related Times Topics: Oil and Gasoline Series: The Energy Challenge Enlarge This Image Luis J. Jimenez for The New York Times Laura Jacobo and a new car. Experts say the sharp growth, if it continues, means several of the world’s most important suppliers may need to start importing oil within a decade to power all the new cars, houses and businesses they are buying and creating with their oil wealth."

Man Held by C.I.A. Says He Was Tortured - New York Times

Man Held by C.I.A. Says He Was Tortured - New York Times: "WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 — The first of the so-called high-value Guantánamo detainees to have seen a lawyer claims he was subjected to “state-sanctioned torture” while in secret C.I.A. prisons, and he has asked for a court order barring the government from destroying evidence of his treatment. The request, in a filing by his lawyers, was made on Nov. 29, before officials from the Central Intelligence Agency acknowledged that the agency had destroyed videotapes of interrogations of two operatives of Al Qaeda that current and former officials said included the use of harsh techniques. Lawyers for the detainee, Majid Khan, a former Baltimore resident, released documents in his case on Friday. They claim he “was subjected to an aggressive C.I.A. detention and interrogation program notable for its elaborate planning and ruthless application of torture” to numerous detainees."

Civil rights group: Israel has reached new heights of racism - Haaretz - Israel News

Civil rights group: Israel has reached new heights of racism - Haaretz - Israel News: "Racism against Israel's Arab citizens has dramatically increased in the past year, including a 26 percent rise in anti-Arab incidents, according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel's annual report. Author Sami Michael, the association's president, said upon the release of the report that racism was so rife it was damaging civil liberty in Israel."

Democrats and Republican law makers approved of torture.

Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002: "Yet long before 'waterboarding' entered the public discourse, the CIA gave key legislative overseers about 30 private briefings, some of which included descriptions of that technique and other harsh interrogation methods, according to interviews with multiple U.S. officials with firsthand knowledge. With one known exception, no formal objections were raised by the lawmakers briefed about the harsh methods during the two years in which waterboarding was employed, from 2002 to 2003, said Democrats and Republicans with direct knowledge of the matter. The lawmakers who held oversight roles during the period included Pelosi and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), as well as Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan)."

Navy vet says waterboarding scarred him for life

Navy vet says waterboarding scarred him for life: "Arthur McCants has drowned many times in his dreams, by his account. The lanky 60-year-old said he is haunted by 'waterboarding' -- an experience some decry as torture -- that he endured in Navy survival training more than 30 years ago. Now, he and his sister accuse the Veterans Administration of ducking its obligation to provide him with disability help. The VA has reported that it can find no proof that waterboarding occurred during such Navy training, although a former survival instructor said this year in congressional testimony that it did."

US intelligence agency uses Jordan for torture of prisoners :: from www.uruknet.info :: news from occupied Iraq - it

US intelligence agency uses Jordan for torture of prisoners :: from www.uruknet.info :: news from occupied Iraq - it: "December 8, 2007 The revelation that the CIA organized the destruction of videotapes documenting the interrogation of prisoners at secret CIA detention facilities abroad has focused attention on one aspect of the US torture program. Another important component is the policy of 'extraordinary rendition'—the transfer of prisoners to the control of other countries that specialize in torture. One of the countries that has been most frequently used by the CIA in this way is Jordan, a key US ally in the Middle East. An article in the Washington Post published on Saturday ('Jordan’s Spy Agency: Holding Cell for the CIA' by Craig Whitlock) documents the close relationship that has developed over the past seven years. According to the Post, 'The General Intelligence Department, or GID, is perhaps the CIA’s most trusted partner in the Arab world. The…

War on Islam and Muslims.

What Iowans Should Know About Mormons - WSJ.com: "A recent Pew poll shows that only 53% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Mormons. That's roughly the same percentage who feel that way toward Muslims. By contrast, more than three-quarters of Americans have a favorable opinion of Jews and Catholics. Whatever the validity of such judgments, one has to wonder: Why does a faith professed by the 9/11 hijackers rank alongside that of a peaceful, productive, highly educated religious group founded within our own borders?"

'Just World News' with Helena Cobban: Moqtada (and Petraeus) repositioning?

'Just World News' with Helena Cobban: Moqtada (and Petraeus) repositioning?: "This AP report meanwhile tells us that, back in Najaf today, Obeidi criticized the Sadrists' Shiite rival, IISC head Abdel-Aziz Hakim, for his current visit to the US, calling it an 'act of surrender.' It is hard to gauge and assess these developments from a distance-- except to note that the Sadrists seem to be treading a fine line between cooperating, de-facto and in some delimited spheres, with the Americans and not cooperating with them in others. It is also, certainly, significant that Obeidi-- whom we have no reason to doubt at this point is accurately representing Moqtada's views-- is trying to position the group as a firmly Arab Iraqi movement, in contrast to the Hakim/IISC (formerly known as SCIRI) crowd who have historically had much closer ties to Iran."

Voices - Israel, Cheney and Bush – What Did They Know and When Did They Know It?

Voices - Israel, Cheney and Bush – What Did They Know and When Did They Know It?: "The latest U.S. National Intelligence Estimate assessing Iran’s nuclear military capability was just released on Monday, December 3rd. The NIE clearly debunks the Cheney-Bush neocon regime’s neocon-job desperately trying to convince the American people and the world that a neo-Nazi invasion of Iran must immediately be put on the table. Ray McGovern’s interpretation of this turnaround in events is amply expressed when he asserts: “For those who have doubts about miracles, a double one [has] occurred. An honest National Intelligence Estimate [NIE] on Iran’s nuclear program has been issued, and its ‘Key Judgments’ were made public.” Published on Antiwar.com on December 4th, and entitled “A Miracle: Honest Intel on Iran Nukes,” the staggering magnitude of this turn of events, although clearly celebrated by McGovern, is nevertheless underplayed by even him. But his lead-in does indeed somewhat emphasi…

Sadr militia moves to clean house - Los Angeles Times

Sadr militia moves to clean house - Los Angeles Times: "BAGHDAD — Militia commander Abu Maha had studied his quarry carefully, watching as the man acquired fancy suits, gold watches and the street name 'Master.' Now, heavily armed and dressed in an Adidas track suit, Abu Maha told his followers it was time to act against one of their comrades. A dozen of them gripped their assault rifles and headed out. The Master, accused of sliding into immoral behavior after stoutly defending Shiite Muslims in Iraq's sectarian violence, was about to learn that justice in the Mahdi Army could be very rough."

ei: The next "generous offer"?

ei: The next "generous offer"?: "Referring to the Palestinians, the Israeli prime minister stated in his Annapolis speech: 'Your people, too, have suffered for many years; and there are some who still suffer. Many Palestinians have been living for decades in camps, disconnected from the environment in which they grew up, wallowing in poverty, in neglect, alienation, bitterness, and a deep, unrelenting sense of humiliation.' Olmert's characterization of the refugees is only partially correct. Poverty, neglect, alienation, bitterness and feelings of humiliation, are only one component of the refugee experience. There are also other components, such as community, pride, generosity, and perseverance. This one-dimensional characterization obviously suits Olmert's conception of a solution. It also casts refugees as objects that will be acted upon (once again), rather than subjects who can genuinely participate in finding a solution. A recent article in the Isr…

Reuters AlertNet - JORDAN: Iraqi asylum-seekers fall victim to resettlement scams

Reuters AlertNet - JORDAN: Iraqi asylum-seekers fall victim to resettlement scams: "AMMAN, 6 December 2007 (IRIN) - Many Iraqi asylum-seekers in Jordan have fallen victim to resettlement scams in which they are approached by individuals claiming to guarantee their resettlement in a third country with the help of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), according to UN officials and Iraqi residents. There are no exact figures about the number of those who have been defrauded but testimonies of individuals and police records show they are in the thousands."

Al Jazeera English - News - Cia Destroyed 'Waterboarding' Tapes

Al Jazeera English - News - Cia Destroyed 'Waterboarding' Tapes: "The CIA has admitted destroying video tapes showing what is described as the 'harsh interrogation' of al-Qaeda suspects. The interrogations of two suspects were taped in 2002 and the tapes were destroyed in 2005, after the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq surfaced. Michael Hayden, the CIA director, told his staff on Thursday that the tapes were destroyed so identities of interrogators would not be compromised."

Israeli school segregated Ethiopian students » Ethiopian Review

Israeli school segregated Ethiopian students » Ethiopian Review: "The placement of four Ethiopian girls in a separate class from their peers at a Petah Tikva grade school has sparked accusations of segregation on Tuesday morning following a report in Yediot Aharonot. According to ‘Hamerhav’ principal, Rabbi Yeshiyahu Granvich, complete integration of the girls was impossible. The reason being, said municipal workers, was that the students were not observant enough, nor did their families belong to the national-religious movement that the school was founded upon. Among the differences in the daily school life of the girls, a single teacher was responsible to teach them all of their subjects. Worse yet, the four were allotted separate recess hours and were driven to and from school separately. Such action has been labeled by observers as “apartheid.”"

Somali rebels are now controlling some 30 percent of Somalia » Ethiopian Review

Somali rebels are now controlling some 30 percent of Somalia » Ethiopian Review: "The Islamic Courts fighters have grown more powerful in recent months, regaining control of at least one-third of Somalia thanks to sophisticated attacks and unified ranks in the face of a weak government, Somali experts said on Monday, December 3. “The Islamic Courts fighters are controlling some 30 percent of Somalia” Mohammad Al-Amin Al-Sheikh, a Somali expert in strategic affairs, told IslamOnline.net Monday, December 3. “They have now tightened their grip on the southern provinces,” he added, referring to the strategic provinces of Shabele Dhexe, Juba Dhexe, Juba Hoose, Hiraan and Galguduud."

The Failure of Annapolis - by Stephen Zunes

The Failure of Annapolis - by Stephen Zunes: "Despite the best efforts by the Bush administration of putting a positive spin on the recently completed summit in Annapolis to restart the 'Performance-Based Road Map to Peace,' there is little reason to expect that it will actually move the Israeli-Palestinian peace process forward as long as the United States insists on simultaneously playing the role of chief mediator and chief supporter of the more powerful of the two parties."

Public Libraries For Profit -- In These Times

Public Libraries For Profit -- In These Times: "In late October, Jackson County, Ore., re-opened the doors to 15 of its public libraries after a lack of funds had forced them shut on April 6—the largest library closure in U.S. history. However, as patrons returned to the bookshelves in the southern Oregon county, they learned that their libraries are now under private, for-profit management."

U.S. Lobbyists Assault E.U. Regs -- In These Times

U.S. Lobbyists Assault E.U. Regs -- In These Times: "Iraq is not the only place that is handing the United States its ass. The European Union surpassed America in 2005 to become the world’s largest, richest economy. America’s former dominance had made it the global arbiter of health and safety standards, but its decline may be the best news in a long time. The E.U. is wielding its market clout to compel producers, including U.S. corporate giants, to eliminate toxic ingredients. REACH, the E.U. regulations that govern chemical use and production, recently forced Procter & Gamble to exclude suspected endocrine disputers and carcinogens from its products. As detailed in Mark Schapiro’s new book, Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power, Procter & Gamble, while insisting its original line was safe, is now marketing many of the E.U. formulas in America."

Hounding the Bush Dogs -- In These Times

Hounding the Bush Dogs -- In These TimesMark Pera is not one to back down from a challenge. The son of a steelworker, Pera toiled in Northwest Indiana’s mills to put himself through college and law school. As a Cook County assistant state’s attorney, he worked on environmental criminal prosecution and public utility regulation, diligently fighting special interests. Now the broad-shouldered, 52-year-old father of four is setting his sights on the 2008 Democratic primary in Illinois’ 3rd congressional district, which encompasses southwest Chicago and nearby suburbs. By the looks of it, he’s not messing around. Five full-timers staff his campaign headquarters, a two-story brick house outfitted with stickers and schedules. In August, Pera took a leave of absence from his job to run full time. He also took out a home equity loan to finance portions of the campaign. His favorite phrase? “We’re committed to winning this race.”

AlterNet: ForeignPolicy: How to Really Love Your Country: Five Objectives for True Patriots

AlterNet: ForeignPolicy: How to Really Love Your Country: Five Objectives for True Patriots: "Throughout history, some of the most respected defenders of liberty felt that patriotism implies thoughtfulness over blind acceptance of the norm. Socrates, Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr. all encouraged active efforts to improve one's country by adhering to the highest standards of behavior, by government and by the citizens themselves. There is certainly room for improvement in America. Here is a Top 5 list of candidates for thoughtfulness over blind acceptance."

Al Jazeera English - News - Iran Welcomes Us Atomic Report

Al Jazeera English - News - Iran Welcomes Us Atomic Report: "Iran has welcomed a US intelligence report and said it was becoming clear the Islamic republic's plans were peaceful. The report, called the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), released on Monday, said Iran is believed to have put its bid to build a nuclear bomb on hold in 2003."

950 youths, 2,000 Qaeda members held in Iraq: US general - Yahoo! News

950 youths, 2,000 Qaeda members held in Iraq: US general - Yahoo! News: "BAGHDAD (AFP) - More and more youths, some only 10, are being influenced by Al-Qaeda to join the insurgency in Iraq, US generals said Monday, adding that 2,000 members of the jihadi group are being held in Iraqi prisons. The number of juveniles in detention had jumped from 100 in January to about 950 now, many of them roped into the anti-American insurgency by the Iraqi affiliate of Al-Qaeda, the officers said."

ei: The Palestine that we struggle for

ei: The Palestine that we struggle for: "Last Tuesday's demonstrations, which brought thousands onto the streets of Ramallah, Hebron, Tulkarem, Nablus and Gaza in defiance of the Palestinian Authority's (PA) attempt to silence the peoples' voice, represented a crucial moment for Palestine. Our demonstration, which was supported by the Popular Committees of the Refugee Camps and over 150 civil society organizations and representatives, called for the upholding of the fundamental principles of our struggle: the right of the refugees to return, the right to Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, and the right to our land. We were refusing the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, as this would legitimize the Zionist ideology of colonialism, racism and ethnic cleansing, and effectively exonerate Israel from the crimes of the Nakba, waiving the right of return. Such recognition would justify and reinforce the Israeli system of apartheid against Palestinian citizens of I…

National Debt Grows $1 Million a Minute - New York Times

National Debt Grows $1 Million a Minute - New York Times: "WASHINGTON (AP) -- Like a ticking time bomb, the national debt is an explosion waiting to happen. It's expanding by about $1.4 billion a day -- or nearly $1 million a minute. What's that mean to you? It means almost $30,000 in debt for each man, woman, child and infant in the United States. Even if you've escaped the recent housing and credit crunches and are coping with rising fuel prices, you may still be headed for economic misery, along with the rest of the country. That's because the government is fast straining resources needed to meet interest payments on the national debt, which stands at a mind-numbing $9.13 trillion."

Iraqi insurgents regrouping, says Sunni resistance leader | The Guardian | Guardian Unlimited

Iraqi insurgents regrouping, says Sunni resistance leader | The Guardian | Guardian Unlimited: "Iraq's main Sunni-led resistance groups have scaled back their attacks on US forces in Baghdad and parts of Anbar province in a deliberate strategy aimed at regrouping, retraining, and waiting out George Bush's 'surge', a key insurgent leader has told the Guardian. US officials recently reported a 55% drop in attacks across Iraq. One explanation they give is the presence of 30,000 extra US troops deployed this summer. The other is the decision by dozens of Sunni tribal leaders to accept money and weapons from the Americans in return for confronting al-Qaida militants who attack civilians. They call their movement al-Sahwa (the Awakening). Article continues The resistance groups are another factor in the complex equation in Iraq's Sunni areas. 'We oppose al-Qaida as well as al-Sahwa,' the director of the political department of the 1920 Revolution Brigades …

Wage Peace

Wage Peace: "For example, how could Hillary Clinton claim to be for fair treatment of the American Indian when she has done nothing to promote that view in her role as a United States Senator? How could Rudolph Giuliani claim he is for integrity in government after he supervised the destruction of evidence at the 9/11 disaster site? Once integrity in government is the main topic of discussion, the election of the President will shift from those like Hillary Clinton and Rudolph Giuliani who are expected to perpetuate the wars in the Middle East to candidates like Kucinich and Paul. As preparation for this shift, those interested in peace must learn the history of the treatment of the indigenous people of the United States. The primer for this subject is Chapter 1 of Howard Zinn’s book “A People’s History of the United States”. The American government came into existence, in part, by use of violence and breach of treaties with the American Indian. The facts regarding America’s tre…

Operation Iraqi Freedom Exposed

Operation Iraqi Freedom Exposed: "The revelation that Bush will sign an agreement for a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq before his term is up confirms the real reason he invaded Iraq and changed its regime. It was never about weapons of mass destruction. It was never about ties between Saddam and al Qaeda. And it was never about bringing democracy to the Iraqi people. These claims were lies to cover up the real motive for Operation Iraqi Freedom: to create a permanent American presence in Iraq. With Bush's November 26, 2007 announcement that the United States and Iraq were negotiating a permanent 'security relationship,' his lies have been exposed."

Independent Catholic News

Independent Catholic News: "An Anglican clergyman in Baghdad, who has seen his flock murdered and forced into exile by Muslim extremists, says Christians there are worse off now than under Saddam's rule and are probably suffering more than any time in history. The Rev Canon Andrew White, an Anglican priest known as the 'Vicar of Baghdad' made the claim in an interview with Scott Pelley yesterday, on CBS Television Network's 60 MINUTES programme."

Al Jazeera English - News - Eritrea-Ethiopia Tensions Simmer

Al Jazeera English - News - Eritrea-Ethiopia Tensions Simmer: "A commission tasked with setting a demarcated border between Ethiopia and Eritrea has dissolved amid continuing tensions between the two countries. The Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC), which was charged with setting a border both on maps and on the ground, ended its mandate on Saturday."

Bill Clinton Rewrites His Support For Iraq War

Bill Clinton Rewrites His Support For Iraq War: "has been remarkably effective at remaking a longtime war supporter into an outspoken antiwar candidate. But at least she has't spun the yarn her husband did yesterday, claiming that he 'opposed Iraq- from the beginning.' Quote after quote from Bill Clinton before and after the war attests to the fact that he supported the invasion of Iraq. On May 19, 2003, Clinton declared, 'I supported the president when he asked for authority to stand up against weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.'"

US War Vets to Speak Publicly About War Crimes - by Aaron Glantz

US War Vets to Speak Publicly About War Crimes - by Aaron Glantz: "US war veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have announced they're planning to descend on Washington, DC this March to testify about war crimes they committed or personally witnessed in Iraq. 'The war in Iraq is not covered to its potential because of how dangerous it is for reporters to cover it,' said Liam Madden, a former Marine and member of the group Iraq Veterans Against the War. 'That's left a lot of misconceptions in the minds of the American public about what the true nature of military occupation looks like.'"

Al Jazeera English - News - Us Withdraws Annapolis Resolution

Al Jazeera English - News - Us Withdraws Annapolis Resolution: "The United States has withdrawn a resolution it presented to the UN Security Council endorsing the relaunch of Middle East peace talks agreed in Annapolis, Maryland. US officials did not give a reason for Friday's move but diplomats indicated that Israel, which is a close ally of Washington, did not want the UN involved in the process."