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Showing posts from February 22, 2008

10,000 Turkish troops enter Iraq - World - smh.com.au

10,000 Turkish troops enter Iraq - World - smh.com.au: "TURKEY has sent up to 10,000 troops into northern Iraq to hunt down Kurdish guerillas, despite earlier warnings from the United States against such a ground offensive.

'A land operation is a whole new level,' a US deputy assistant Secretary of State, Matthew Bryza, said in Brussels yesterday.

In October, shortly before Turkey's parliament approved such a cross-border offensive, the US President, George Bush, said: 'We are making it very clear to Turkey that we don't think it is in their interest to send troops into Iraq.'"

Waterboarding Historically Controversial - washingtonpost.com

Waterboarding Historically Controversial - washingtonpost.com: "On Jan. 21, 1968, The Washington Post published a front-page photograph of a U.S. soldier supervising the questioning of a captured North Vietnamese soldier who is being held down as water was poured on his face while his nose and mouth were covered by a cloth. The picture, taken four days earlier near Da Nang, had a caption that said the technique induced 'a flooding sense of suffocation and drowning, meant to make him talk.'"
The article said the practice was "fairly common" in part because "those who practice it say it combines the advantages of being unpleasant enough to make people talk while still not causing permanent injury."

The picture reportedly led to an Army investigation.

Twenty-one years earlier, in 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on …

Annals of American History: The Water Cure: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker

Annals of American History: The Water Cure: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker: "Many Americans were puzzled by the news, in 1902, that United States soldiers were torturing Filipinos with water. The United States, throughout its emergence as a world power, had spoken the language of liberation, rescue, and freedom. This was the language that, when coupled with expanding military and commercial ambitions, had helped launch two very different wars. The first had been in 1898, against Spain, whose remaining empire was crumbling in the face of popular revolts in two of its colonies, Cuba and the Philippines. The brief campaign was pitched to the American public in terms of freedom and national honor (the U.S.S. Maine had blown up mysteriously in Havana Harbor), rather than of sugar and naval bases, and resulted in a formally independent Cuba."

$1 billion a year U.S. pays Pakistan under new scrutiny

$1 billion a year U.S. pays Pakistan under new scrutiny: "Once a month, Pakistan's Defense Ministry delivers 15 to 20 pages of spreadsheets to the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad. They list costs for feeding, clothing, billeting and maintaining 80,000 to 100,000 Pakistani troops in the volatile tribal area along the Afghan border, in support of U.S. counterterrorism efforts.

No receipts are attached.

In response, the Defense Department has disbursed about $80 million monthly, or roughly $1 billion a year for the past six years, in one of the most generous U.S. military support programs worldwide. The U.S. aim has been to ensure that Pakistan remains the leading ally in combatting extremism in South Asia.

But vague accounting, disputed expenses and suspicions about overbilling have recently made these payments to Pakistan highly controversial - even within the U.S. government."

No End in Sight: Iraq's Descent into Chaos - by Doug Bandow

No End in Sight: Iraq's Descent into Chaos - by Doug BandowWith the administration busy rewriting history, it is worth remembering what the neocon ivory tower warriors promised and delivered in Iraq. Charles Ferguson, an internet entrepreneur with an interest in foreign policy produced a documentary on Iraq – essentially how the administration mismanaged virtually every decision, big and small. No End In Sight draws from the research for the television show and is filled with interviews with people ranging from policymakers to front line soldiers. Ferguson, who originally leaned in favor of the war, has painted a portrait of arrogance and incompetence more devastating than anything coming from the Democratic National Committee.