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Showing posts from December 24, 2007

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

What has the US “surge” in Iraq accomplished? :: from :: 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, 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." Somalia: Governor Flees Region After Insurgent Death Threats (Page 1 of 1) 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-

Dollar's fall is felt around the globe - Washington Post- "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 -

Iran Cited In Iraq's Decline in Violence - "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."