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Showing posts from October 17, 2007

Blackwater: Mercenaries by Definition

Blackwater: Mercenaries by Definition: "Erik Prince, founder of the Blackwater mercenaries, has been a huge financial supporter of George W. Bush and the Republican Party. That might explain why Mister Bush's State Department worked with Prince's people to try and cover up the latest Blackwater slaughter of civilians in Iraq, and could be a big part of the reason why so many Republicans came to the chief mercenary's defense during Congressional hearings. His fondness for and belief in all things Republican probably answers too, Erik Prince's problem with honesty.Erik Prince, founder of the Blackwater mercenaries, has been a huge financial supporter of George W. Bush and the Republican Party. That might explain why Mister Bush's State Department worked with Prince's people to try and cover up the latest Blackwater slaughter of civilians in Iraq, and could be a big part of the reason why so many Republicans came to the chief mercenary's defense during Co…

Think Progress » Abizaid: ‘We’ve Treated The Arab World As A Collection Of Big Gas Stations’

Think Progress » Abizaid: ‘We’ve Treated The Arab World As A Collection Of Big Gas Stations’UPDATE: The Stanford Daily, which originally reported on the round table, incorrectly attributed some of New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s comments to Gen. Abizaid. Though Abizaid did say “Of course it’s about oil, we can’t really deny that,”

The price of an Iraqi life-$500 to $5,000

The price of an Iraqi life-$500 to $5,000The price of an Iraqi life, for purposes of compensation for the families of civilians killed by Americans, can be as low as $500 and as high as $8 million. It depends on who does the assessment.

On the low end, $500 was paid to the brother of a man caught in a firefight outside the gate of his house.
The $8 million is what the Iraqi government is demanding for the families of each of the 17 people it said were killed when private security contractors guarding U.S. diplomats opened fire in a crowded Baghdad square on September 16.

In between those poles, payments are frequently in the $3,000 to $5,000 range. High-profile victims whose death might have an impact on U.S.-Iraqi relations command more.
Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi's bodyguard, Raheem Khalif, for example.

He was shot dead last Christmas Eve by a drunken contractor of the U.S. private security company Blackwater, whose men were also involved in the September shooting. The inci…

The Real Iraq We Knew

The Real Iraq We KnewAgainst this backdrop, the U.S. military has been trying in vain to hold the country together. Even with "the surge," we simply do not have enough soldiers and marines to meet the professed goals of clearing areas from insurgent control, holding them securely and building sustainable institutions. Though temporary reinforcing operations in places like Fallujah, An Najaf, Tal Afar, and now Baghdad may brief well on PowerPoint presentations, in practice they just push insurgents to another spot on the map and often strengthen the insurgents' cause by harassing locals to a point of swayed allegiances. Millions of Iraqis correctly recognize these actions for what they are and vote with their feet -- moving within Iraq or leaving the country entirely. Still, our colonels and generals keep holding on to flawed concepts.

Iraqi Writer Butheina Al-Nasiri on American Killings in Iraq | AfterDowningStreet.org

Iraqi Writer Butheina Al-Nasiri on American Killings in Iraq | AfterDowningStreet.orgButhaina Al-Nasiri is a well-known and prolific Iraqi writer and journalist living in Cairo. In response to my last article (on American killings in Iraq), she offers these thoughts on the wholesale slaughter of Iraqis by American forces, and on the routine and deceptive mis-identification of those killed (males) as "members of Al Qaeda":

You may remember that the Iraqi resistance has called by the US spinners by different names at different stages of invasion and occupation:

1. First they were "dead enders" and "Saddam's hunchmen," etc. That was before arresting Saddam Hussein.

2. Next they were called insurgents, after the puppet government was installed . Insurgency means revolting against a legal, recognized government.

3. At last they are being called Al Qaeda terrorists. Every anti-occupation group is now referred to as Al Qaeda. Every man killed by the troops is an…
“A defiant Blackwater Chairman Erik Prince said yesterday he will not allow Iraqi authorities to arrest his contractors and try them in Iraq's faulty justice system.”
The owner of the mercenary company spoke the truth here. However, he may not be able to defend and protect himself and his murderous group.from the prosecution. The fact he doesn’t belief in Iraqi system that setup by his government and his president (another war criminal like Erik is) means nothing. He hires people to kill civilians and terrorizing a nation(s) under occupation: If there is justice in the world or in the part of the world he could have been standing on trial today; the reality is, George W. Bush and his criminal gang will never see a day in trial.

Partners in Terror: Ethiopia and the United states of America.

Ethiopia's 'own Darfur' as villagers flee government-backed violence - Independent Online Edition > Africa: "But while Khartoum's counter-insurgency in Darfur has been described by the US as 'genocide' and by the UN as 'crimes against humanity', international condemnation of Ethiopia has, so far, been limited. Indeed, the US has given its backing to Ethiopia. America's top official on African affairs, assistant secretary of state, Jendayi Frazer, visited one town in the Ogaden last month. On her return to Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, she criticised the rebels and said the reports of military abuses were merely allegations. 'We urge any and every government to respect human rights and to try to avoid civilian casualties but that's difficult in dealing with an insurgency,' she said. America sees Ethiopia as its principal Horn of Africa ally in the 'war on terror'. The US gave tacit approval for Ethiopia's Christ…

Ethiopia's 'own Darfur' as villagers flee government-backed violence - Independent Online Edition > Africa

Ethiopia's 'own Darfur' as villagers flee government-backed violence - Independent Online Edition > AfricaEarly one June morning, in Kamuda, a village of 200 families in the remote Ogaden region in eastern Ethiopia, 180 soldiers announced their arrival by firing guns in the air.

The village, they said, had been providing food and shelter for the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), a separatist rebel group . As the villagers froze in horror, the soldiers plucked out seven young women, all aged between 15 and 18, and left.

The following morning the youngest girl was found. Her body, bloodied and beaten, was hanging from a tree. The next day a second girl was found hanging from the same tree. A third suffered the same fate. The others were never seen again.........