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Showing posts from January 9, 2009

Obama may follow Bush's foreign policy - Stephen Kinzer -

Obama may follow Bush's foreign policy - Stephen Kinzer - "Many Americans, and many more people around the world, have been outraged by what they see as President George W. Bush’s radical reordering of American foreign policy. They bitterly accuse him of having ripped the country away from its global traditions — negotiation, flexibility, cooperation — and of having established a radical new set of rules under which the United States arrogates to itself the right to intervene unilaterally anywhere in the world.

This widely held view, however, is inaccurate. The U.S. has intervened more often in more countries farther from its own shores than has any power in modern history. Bush did so more brazenly and more recklessly than many of his predecessors, but he adhered to American tradition more than he broke with it."


Karzai: US-Led Raid Kills 17 Civilians | News From "According to Afghan President Hamid Karzai “during a coalition operation, 17 civilians including women and children were killed among militants in Laghman province.” The United States has denied the claim, insisting that only militants were killed in the attack on the Taliban’s roadside bomb network.

Karzai has repeatedly criticized the US-led international forces for killing large numbers of civilians in their military operations. He has said he believes the international forces’ unilateral actions harm the legitimacy of the Afghan government in the minds of the nation’s civilian populace.

The deaths would be the first significant incident of international forces killing Afghan civilians in 2009. Such incidents were rampant in 2008, and the US traditionally has denied reports of civilian deaths for long periods after such incidents."

Senate Approves Resolution Backing Israel in Hamas Conflict - Yahoo! News

Senate Approves Resolution Backing Israel in Hamas Conflict - Yahoo! News: "Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Senate unanimously approved a resolution expressing support for Israel in its conflict with Hamas, while the House of Representatives prepared to act on a similar measure tomorrow.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said the measure “expresses vigorous support” for Israel.

“The Israelis have every right to defend themselves against these acts of terrorism,” said Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Israel is in its 13th day of military operations against the Islamic militant Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip in an effort to stop rocket attacks against southern Israeli towns.

Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said they had personally spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to express their support.

“We support the state of Israel, very strongly as a national policy, because it is in our national interest to do so,” said Pelosi, a California Dem…

100 Survivors Rescued in Gaza From Ruins Blocked by Israelis

100 Survivors Rescued in Gaza From Ruins Blocked by Israelis: "JERUSALEM, Jan. 9 -- Emergency workers said they rescued 100 more trapped survivors Thursday and found between 40 and 50 corpses in a devastated residential block south of Gaza City that the Israeli military had kept off-limits to the International Committee of the Red Cross for four days.

Relief agencies said they feared more people remained in the rubble of several shattered houses in the Zaytoun neighborhood. Red Cross officials said that they began receiving distress calls from people in the houses late Saturday but that they were blocked by the Israeli military from reaching the area until Wednesday.

'There are still people under demolished houses -- we are sure of it,' said Khaled Abuzaid, an ambulance driver for the Red Cross who treated survivors at the site Wednesday and Thursday. 'But without water or electricity, we are sure they will die.'

In an interview at al-Quds Hospital, a Red Cross medic…

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Diary: 'Gaza has been zeroed'

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Diary: 'Gaza has been zeroed'
Sami Abdel Shafi, a partner of a management consultancy firm based in Gaza City and media commentator, says what little capacity Gaza had to run its own affairs has been destroyed.
We live close to the ministerial buildings, the police headquarters and the presidential compound, which have been hit over and over again.
When the munitions actually impact, not only do you have a huge explosion but a huge vacuum is generated that sends shockwaves through the surrounding structures.
We have to keep all of the windows open to prevent the glass from shattering and flying across the room. That’s the only precaution we can take.
Other than that, I try to stay alert and on standby 24-hours-a-day, which is very difficult without sleep.
People spend almost 24-hours a day indoors, listening to the news on the radio – if they have batteries.
Gaza’s streets are empty day and night. Just a handful of places are open, otherwise Gaza Ci…

ei: Criticism of Israel's war crimes mounts

ei: Criticism of Israel's war crimes mounts: "Criticism by international watchdog groups over the increasing death toll in Gaza mounted this week as the first legal actions inside Israel were launched accusing the army of intentionally harming the enclave's civilian population.

The petitions -- over attacks on medical personnel and the shelling of United Nations schools in Gaza -- follow statements by senior Israeli commanders that they have been using heavy firepower to protect soldiers during their advance on built-up areas. 'We are very violent,' one told Israeli media.

There is also growing evidence that Israeli forces have been firing phosphorus shells over densely populated areas in a move that risks violating international law by inflicting burns on civilians."