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Showing posts from February 3, 2009

BELLACIAO - U.S. Sold Phosphorus Shells Used in Gaza to Israel - LITTLE ROCK

BELLACIAO - U.S. Sold Phosphorus Shells Used in Gaza to Israel - LITTLE ROCK: "LITTLE ROCK The United States sold phosphorus artillery shells made at the Pine Bluff Arsenal to Israel — the same kind of rounds allegedly used against civilians during the recent fighting in Gaza.

A State Department official told The Associated Press that the rounds — typically used to light up darkened battlefields or provide smoke cover for combat troops — were most recently shipped to Israel in 2007. International human rights groups accuse the Israeli military of firing the chemical rounds into civilian homes, causing severe burns to those inside and killing at least one woman.

International law allows for the use of the phosphorus shells, but not in areas where civilians could be harmed by the burning rounds.

The Pine Bluff Arsenal, a 13,000-acre base near Little Rock that once housed some of the Army’s deadliest chemical and biological weapons, advertises itself as the only plant in North America …

   The US Is No Longer a Global Hegemon    : Information Clearing House - ICH

The US Is No Longer a Global Hegemon : Information Clearing House - ICH: "February 03, 2009 'Daily Star' --- Changes in the status and power of nations, just like changes in economic conditions, are not always immediately apparent. There is, in the jargon of economics, a recognition lag between the time when an economic shock, such as a sudden boom or bust, occurs and the time when it is recognized by economists, central bankers and the government.

Recognition lag explains why, for example, economists have only recently acknowledged the current economic recession - several months after it began. And recognition lag might well be why officials and pundits are now failing to recognize the detrimental impact of the combination of the Iraq war and the financial crisis on America's standing in the international system.

Some attribute Washington's current difficulties in dictating global developments to the Bush administration's mismanagement of US diplomacy and…

RIGHTS: Call to Try Bush

RIGHTS: Call to Try Bush: "BERLIN, Feb 2 (IPS) - Now that former U.S. president George W. Bush is an ordinary citizen again, many legal and human rights activists in Europe are demanding that he and high-ranking members of his government be brought before justice for crimes against humanity committed in the so-called war on terror.

'Judicial clarification of the crimes against international law the former U.S. government committed is one of the most delicate issues that the new U.S. president Barack Obama will have to deal with,' Wolfgang Kaleck, general secretary of the European Centre for Human and Constitutional Rights told IPS.

U.S. justice will have to 'deal with the turpitudes committed by the Bush government,' says Kaleck, who has already tried unsuccessfully to sue the former U.S. authorities in European courts. 'And, furthermore, the U.S. government will have to pay compensation to the innocent people who were victims of these crimes.'"

Gaza desperately short of food after Israel destroys farmland | World news | The Observer

Gaza desperately short of food after Israel destroys farmland | World news | The Observer: "Gaza's 1.5 million people are facing a food crisis as a result of the destruction of great areas of farmland during the Israeli invasion.

According to the World Food Programme, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation and Palestinian officials, between 35% and 60% of the agriculture industry has been wrecked by the three-week Israeli attack, which followed two years of economic siege.

Christine van Nieuwenhuyse, the World Food Programme's country director, said: 'We are hearing that 60% of the land in the north - where the farming was most intensive - may not be exploitable again. It looks to me like a disaster. It is not just farmland, but poultry as well."

Gaza and the Crimes of Mubarak     : Information Clearing House - ICH

Gaza and the Crimes of Mubarak : Information Clearing House - ICH: "The reasons for Mubarak’s animus toward Hamas, and by extension, for his reprehensible decision to keep the vital Rafah border crossing with Gaza closed to humanitarian supplies was explained earlier.

Apologists for the dictator will say the 2005 agreement between Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the European Union (EU) that regulates movement across the border prohibits it from being opened in the absence of PA and EU observers.

It makes no mention, however, of barring critical humanitarian goods from reaching the territory, where conditions were becoming ever more desperate. Additionally, Egypt was a non-signatory to the treaty, which had already expired after one year and was never renewed.

If keeping the Rafah crossing—the only gateway to non-Israeli territory from Gaza—closed before and during the war was not a criminal act, doing so in its aftermath must surely be."

  Iraq's Shocking Human Toll:      : Information Clearing House - ICH

Iraq's Shocking Human Toll: : Information Clearing House - ICH
The mortality caused by the war is also high. Several household surveys were conducted between 2004 and 2007. While there are differences among them, the range suggests a congruence of estimates. But none have been conducted for eighteen months, and the two most reliable surveys were completed in mid-2006. The higher of those found 650,000 "excess deaths" (mortality attributable to war); the other yielded 400,000. The war remained ferocious for twelve to fifteen months after those surveys were finished and then began to subside. Iraq Body Count, a London NGO that uses English-language press reports from Iraq to count civilian deaths, provides a means to update the 2006 estimates. While it is known to be an undercount, because press reports are incomplete and Baghdad-centric, IBC nonetheless provides useful trends, which are striking. Its estimates are nearing 100,000, more than double its June 2006 figu…