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Showing posts from January 9, 2008

Resister in Exile -- In These Times

Resister in Exile -- In These TimesThey are carrying on, like my husband’s family who lives in a part of Baghdad that the Americans built a wall around.

This is the justification for it: “We are protecting people from the IEDs [improvised explosive devices] and we don’t want them to be randomly killed.” But at the same time there are air strikes that kill people randomly, so the justification doesn’t make sense except to separate and segregate people into smaller and smaller communities, which will make it easier for the occupiers to control them.

We are talking about Baghdad. There are also cities like Fallujah, Anbar and Samarra in the north, where walls are built to stop the coming and going of the people.

And it is not just the walls. The U.S. military was digging trenches around Al Hilla, the ancient city of Babylon, destroying an archaeological site to fill sandbags.

American archaeologists did fantastic work highlighting this issue. The problem was that once they left, the damage h…

AlterNet: War on Iraq: The Myth of Sectarian Violence in Iraq

AlterNet: War on Iraq: The Myth of Sectarian Violence in Iraq: "If the U.S. leaves Iraq, the violent sectarianism between the Sunni and Shia will worsen. This is what Republicans and Democrats alike will have us believe. This key piece of rhetoric is used to justify the continuance of the occupation of Iraq.

This propaganda, like others of its ilk, gains ground, substance, and reality due largely to the ignorance of those ingesting it. The snow job by the corporate media on the issue of sectarianism in Iraq has ensured that the public buys into the line that the Sunni and Shia will dice one another up into little pieces if the occupation ends.

It may be worthwhile to consider that prior to the Anglo-American invasion and occupation of Iraq there had never been open warfare between the two groups and certainly not a civil war. In terms of organization and convention, Iraqis are a tribal society and some of the largest tribes in the country comprise Sunni and Shia. Intermarriages bet… - Fort Carson Soldier Says They Randomly Fired Shots At Iraqis - Fort Carson Soldier Says They Randomly Fired Shots At Iraqis: "The Army is investigating possible war crimes after a Fort Carson soldier facing first-degree murder charges in the slayings of two Iraq war veterans told investigators he and another soldier randomly fired at Iraqi civilians.

Pfc. Bruce Bastien Jr. and two former soldiers face charges in the December shooting death of Spc. Kevin Shields, while Bastien and one of those former soldiers face charges in the Aug. 4 shooting death of Pfc. Robert James.

Fort Carson spokeswoman Dee McNutt confirmed the Army investigation detailed in a motion filed by prosecutors Tuesday seeking to combine the two slayings into one case.

Bastien said he and another soldier used stolen AK-47 military rifles to shoot at civilians while their unit patrolled Baghdad neighborhoods while they were in Iraq.

'The sound of an AK-47 is very distinctive,' the motion quotes Bastien as telling Fort Carson Special Agent Kelly Jameson o…

Pakistanis See US As Greatest Threat

Pakistanis See US As Greatest Threat: "WASHINGTON - Amid reports that the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush is considering aggressive covert actions against armed Islamist forces in western Pakistan, a new survey released here Monday suggested that such an effort would be opposed by an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis themselves.

The survey, which was funded by the quasi-governmental U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) and designed by the University of Maryland’s Programme on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA), also found that a strong majority of Pakistanis consider the U.S. military presence in Asia and neighbouring Afghanistan a much more critical threat to their country than al Qaeda or Pakistan’s own Taliban movement in the tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan.

Only five percent of respondents said the Pakistani government should permit U.S. or other foreign troops to enter Pakistan to pursue or capture al Qaeda fighters, compared to a whopping 80 pe…

Afghan Civilians Were Killed Needlessly, Ex-Marine Testifies - New York Times

Afghan Civilians Were Killed Needlessly, Ex-Marine Testifies - New York Times: "CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — A former member of an elite Marine combat unit that operated last year in eastern Afghanistan testified Tuesday that his comrades appeared to have needlessly killed civilians after their convoy was attacked by a suicide car bomb. Nathaniel Travers, a former Marine intelligence sergeant assigned to the 30-man Special Operations convoy that was patrolling on March 4 last year, testified in a military court here that a few marines fired at civilians and other unarmed noncombatants after the suicide bomber struck.

No marines have been charged with a crime in the episode. The hearing was held to determine whether troops had violated the laws of war."

Iran: U.S. faked video of Gulf incident -

Iran: U.S. faked video of Gulf incident - "TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran accused the United States on Wednesday of fabricating video and audio released by the Pentagon showing Iranian boats confronting U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf.

The video from Sunday's incident shows small Iranian boats swarming around U.S. warships in the Strait of Hormuz. In the recording, a man speaking in heavily accented English threatened, 'I am coming to you. ... You will explode after ... minutes.'

'The footage released by the U.S. Navy was compiled using file pictures and the audio has been fabricated,' an official in Iran's Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying by the state-run English-language channel Press TV."