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Showing posts from November 29, 2007

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.