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Showing posts from September 22, 2008

      Why does the US think it can win in Afghanistan?       : Information Clearing House - ICH

      Why does the US think it can win in Afghanistan?       : Information Clearing House - ICH: "Poor old Algerians. They are being served the same old pap from their cruel government. In 1997, the Pouvoir announced a 'final victory' over their vicious Islamist enemies. On at least three occasions, I reported – not, of course, without appropriate cynicism – that the Algerian authorities believed their enemies were finally beaten because the 'terrorists' were so desperate that they were beheading every man, woman and child in the villages they captured in the mountains around Algiers and Oran.

And now they're at it again. After a ferocious resurgence of car bombing by their newly merged 'al-Qa'ida in the Maghreb' antagonists, the decrepit old FLN government in Algiers has announced the 'terminal phase' in its battle against armed Islamists. As the Algerian journalist Hocine Belaffoufi said with consummate wit the other day, 'According to…

US soldier accused of abusing and killing Iraqi

US soldier accused of abusing and killing Iraqi: "Military prosecutors accused a U.S. soldier Sunday of taking an Iraqi detainee to a remote desert location, stripping him naked, shooting him in the head and chest and then watching as another soldier set fire to the body with an incendiary grenade.

The allegations were made at the opening hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence against 1st Lt. Michael C. Behenna for a court-martial. He has already been charged with premeditated murder of his prisoner, Ali Mansour Mohammed. Prosecutors also accuse Behenna of trying to cover up the killing.

The key testimony at the hearing came from the only witness, an Iraqi translator identified only as 'Harry.' He said he saw Behenna shoot Mohammed on May 16 in a tunnel near their forward operating base, Summerall. The base is near Beiji, 155 miles north of Baghdad.

Harry's real name was not revealed to protect his identify. He said Iraqi translators for U.S. forces are at…

Was it an attack on US Marines?

Was it an attack on US Marines?: "ISLAMABAD: Was there a top secret and mysterious operation of the US Marines going on inside the Marriott when it was attacked on Saturday evening? No one will confirm it but circumstantial evidence is in abundance.

Witnessed by many, including a PPP MNA and his friends, a US embassy truckload of steel boxes was unloaded and shifted inside the Marriott Hotel on the same night when Admiral Mike Mullen met Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and others in Islamabad.

Both the main gates (the entrance and the exit) of the hotel were closed while no one except the US Marines were either allowed to go near the truck or get the steel boxes unloaded or shift them inside the hotel. These steel boxes were not passed through the scanners installed at the entrance of the hotel lobby and were reportedly shifted to the fourth and fifth floors of the Marriott.

Besides several others, PPP MNA Mumtaz Alam Gilani and his two friends, Sajjad Chaudhry, a PPP leader, and …

‘Hotel to be rebuilt in three months’

‘Hotel to be rebuilt in three months’
ISLAMABAD: Sadruddin Hashwani, the owner of the Marriott Hotel, has assured employees that not one of them will be rendered jobless, as he plans to reconstruct the hotel within the next three months at an estimated cost of over half a billion rupees.

His assurance must have come as a great relief to some 1000 employees of the hotel who were suddenly faced with the prospect of becoming jobless after the hotel was destroyed in Saturday's suicide attack.

"Let me make it very clear to you that not a single employee would be rendered jobless as they will all be getting their salaries during the period of reconstruction of the hotel", said Mr. Hashwani while talking to The News.

He said one of the employees who died in the blast had five small daughters. From now onwards, he said, they are his daughters and he would take care of them. Hashwani said that all these employees would be actively taking part in the rehabilitation of the hotel. But, …

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Pakistan troops 'repel US raid'

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Pakistan troops 'repel US raid': "Pakistani troops have fired warning shots at two US helicopters forcing them back into Afghanistan, local Pakistani intelligence officials say.

The helicopters flew into the tribal North Waziristan region from Afghanistan's Khost province at around midnight, the reports say.

Tensions have risen after an increase in US attacks targeting militants.

The incident comes amid mounting security fears after a militant bomb attack on the Islamabad Marriott hotel."

Al Jazeera English - CENTRAL/S. ASIA - Taliban denies role in hotel attack

Al Jazeera English - CENTRAL/S. ASIA - Taliban denies role in hotel attack: "A senior commander of the Taliban in Pakistan has denied that his group was responsible for a bomb attack at Islamabad's Marriott hotel, in which at least 53 people died and 270 were injured.

Baitullah Mehsud said on Monday that the Taliban had no role in Saturday's attack, Kamal Hyder, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Islamabad, reported.

'Mehsud said that their group does not believe in killing so many locals in the attack,' Hyder said."

Informed Comment: A Nation of Masochists

Informed Comment: A Nation of Masochists
After the 2002 mid-terms, even George W. Bush wanted to do a tax cut for the middle classes. But Cheney over-ruled him, insisting on another deep tax cut for the very wealthy. We won the mid-terms, Cheney said. This is our due. Deficits don't matter. "Our" due? Cheney is saying that the Republican Party is the party of the super-rich, of the 3 million at the top of American society who own 45% of the privately held wealth (as though we were Brazil), and they are the ones that will be exclusively benefited by Republican rule.

Of course, there were many other conspiracies by the pirouetting pirates of plunder.

There was the Iraq War, one of the great criminal conspiracies of modern times. Barton Gellman has how related the story of how Dick Cheney lied to Dick Armey before the vote on the war, telling him that Saddam's family was all al-Qaeda and that Saddam's evil scientists had made a suitcase nuclear bomb that he would certa…