Gaza as Israel’s Gimp | Informed Comment: "What is truly disgusting is not only that the Israelis pursue this beastly policy toward Palestinian children and other civilians. It is that the major world powers are complicit in it. If the United Nations Security Council amounted to anything, it would order (and I mean order) the Israelis to desist. And don’t get me started about the US government, which is playing Zed to Israel’s Maynard in abusing the captive Gimp.
The cable was sent by U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher after meeting Director of Policy and Political-Military Affairs at the Defense Ministry Amos Gilad.
ei: Letter from prison: I have a lot of energy to struggle: "The lighthouse, al-fanar in Arabic, is an inspiration. I have built a lighthouse here in jail. It has been built in my mind because I am not allowed to use the space, but my mind is totally mine. Al-fanar became part of my vision and dream for freedom and human dignity. The lighthouse is out of prison, while the role of the anchor is to be rooted and safe. In fact, I need both -- al-fanar to give direction to my vision, while the role of the anchor is to understand where I currently am. I need to be balanced and realistic to act within a totally unbalanced reality. I need to challenge and to change. I need, and we need to change. The anchor is needed in order to act. The lighthouse shows how and where and for what.
Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia: "No one has ever been brought to justice in Ethiopia for the massacre of 424 Anuak in Gambella, Ethiopia on December 13-16, 2003, and genocidal massacres that killed one thousand more Anuak in 2004. Investigations by Genocide Watch in early 2004 revealed the Ethiopian government’s planning, execution and cover-up of these massacres. Please see the following link for the Anuak Genocide Evidence . Since then, the Ethiopian government, under Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, has continued to commit more crimes against humanity throughout Ethiopia and in Somalia. The killings in the Ogaden are genocidal. A culture of impunity exists. Investigation by the High Commissioner for Human Rights is critical.
WikiLeaks Archive — Iran Armed by North Korea - NYTimes.com: "Secret American intelligence assessments have concluded that Iran has obtained a cache of advanced missiles, based on a Russian design, that are much more powerful than anything Washington has publicly conceded that Tehran has in its arsenal, diplomatic cables show.
Iran obtained 19 of the missiles from North Korea, according to a cable dated Feb. 24 of this year. The cable is a detailed, highly classified account of a meeting between top Russian officials and an American delegation led by Vann H. Van Diepen, an official with the State Department’s nonproliferation division who, as a national intelligence officer several years ago, played a crucial role in the 2007 assessment of Iran’s nuclear capacity.
The calls to attack are nominally presented as about Iran’s civilian nuclear program but seem to center around the king’s belief that Iran is uniquely “evil” and needs to be stopped to save the region. Given that the Saudi King and the Iranian Supreme Leader are extremely influential in two rival sects of Islam, the effort seems more aimed around getting the US involved in a Holy War of sorts than stopping Iran’s modest civilian enrichment program.
The Big Dump by Justin Raimondo -- Antiwar.com: "They won’t be the same because the release speaks volumes about the vulnerability and sheer incompetence of a government that cannot even keep its own internal communications secure. That such an enormous cache has been made public – basically the secret history of American diplomacy for the past decade or so – mocks our inflated view of ourselves as the last superpower, or, as the French put it, the “hyper-power.” The hapless hyper-power is more like it.
There are endless fascinating details to be savored, such as the behavior of a member of the British royal family deemed “inappropriate” by American diplomats, and US-Israeli discussions of dual citizenship and its relation to technology theft, but – so far – the smokiest gun to come out of all this material appears to be held by Hillary Clinton.
Assailants on motorcycles attached bombs to the cars of two nuclear scientists as they were driving to work in Tehran on Monday, killing one and wounding the other, Iranian officials say.
Ahmadinejad said that “undoubtedly the hand of the Zionist regime and Western governments is involved'' in the killing. But he said the assassination won't stop Iran from pursuing its nuclear programs.
Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's nuclear chief, said the man killed was involved in a major project at the country's chief nuclear agency, though he did not give specifics.
The bomb, which was in a van parked off Pioneer Courthouse Square, was a fake — planted by F.B.I. agents as part of the elaborate sting — but “the threat was very real,” Arthur Balizan, the F.B.I.’s special agent in charge in Oregon, said in a statement released by the Department of Justice. An estimated 10,000 people were at the ceremony on Friday night, the Portland police said.
The Health Insurance Industry’s Vendetta Against Michael Moore: "Michael Moore, the Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker, makes great movies but they are not generally considered “cliff-hangers.” All that might change since a whistle-blower on the “Democracy Now!” news hour revealed that health insurance executives thought they may have to implement a plan “to push Moore off a cliff.” The whistle-blower: Wendell Potter, the former chief spokesman for health insurance giant Cigna. He was quoting from an industry strategy session on how to respond to Moore’s 2007 documentary “Sicko,” a film critical of the U.S. health insurance industry. Potter told me that he is not sure how serious the threat was but he added, ominously, “These companies play to win.”
Human rights groups and Mogadishu residents have repeatedly accused the African Union of indiscriminately targeting populated areas of the city with artillery fire after insurgents fire mortars toward AU troops. Bakara is the most popular market.
The executive director of CIVIC, the U.S.-based Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict, said civilians bear the brunt of war in Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. But she said Somalia may be the most dangerous because neither side abides by obligations under international law to avoid civilian casualties, as U.S. and international forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are required to.
'Al-Shabab hides out in civilian markets, blasts the government or AMISOM (African Union) bases and then runs, so by t…
Egypt, Ethiopia and seven other countries through which the Nile river passes have been locked in more than a decade of contentious talks driven by anger over the perceived injustice of a previous Nile water treaty signed in 1929.
Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya signed a new deal to share the waters in May, provoking Egypt to call it a 'national security' issue.
Meles said he was not happy with the rhetoric coming from the Egyptians but dismissed the claims of some analysts that war could eventually erupt.
'I am not worried that the Egyptians will suddenly invade Ethiopia.
'Nobody who has tried that has lived to tell the story. I don't think the Egyptians will be any different and I think they know that,' Meles said.
But no. According to his recent memoir, the nadir came when Kanye West, a black singer, accused him of racial neglect in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. West said: 'America is set up to help the poor, the black people, the less well off as slow as possible … George Bush doesn't care about black people.'
November 20, 2010 'Truthdig' -- Fewer than one in 10 Afghans are aware of the 9/11 attacks and their precipitation of the war in Afghanistan, says a study from an international think tank.
A report (PDF) from the International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) shows that 92 percent of those surveyed had never heard of the coordinated multiple attacks on US soil on September 11, 2001. It also shows that four in 10 Afghans believe the US is on their soil in order to 'destroy Islam or occupy Afghanistan.'
So what are 110,000 US troops and 40,000 NATO troops doing in Afghanistan? Certainly not nation-building. Most reports show Afghanistan is in worse poverty and distress than before the US invasion.
While the platitudes and synthetic optimism flowed thick at Lisbon, giant US Army bulldozers, demolition teams and artillery were busy leveling wide swathes of Afghan homes around the Pashtun stronghold, Kandahar. In 2006, US Marines conducted a similar ruthless campaign to crush the rebellious Iraqi city of Falluja.
Matt Taibbi on Deluded Tea Partiers, Ayn Rand and How the U.S. Is Like the Soviet Union | Tea Party and the Right | AlterNet: "Matt Taibbi: Sure and I was part of that. The campaign press are trained to cover politics like a sports story because it’s a successful way to bring eyeballs to television. You present it as an ongoing conflict between these two great parties, red and blue, conservative and liberal, and the rhetoric is more and more heated with each successive electoral cycle. And we present it like a World Wrestling Entertainment smack-down showdown. Even if you watch the actual political shows, they’re even structured exactly like ESPN’s football analysis programs, where you have the anchor guy on one side and there are four commentators, two from each team. That’s the way we do the news; that’s the way we do politics, and we’re not really trained to look at a deeper, more nuanced story. That’s the reason we missed this finance thing because it doesn’t fit into that fo…
The massacre of Iraqi Christians at Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad also makes one wonder about claims that the group has “a great sense of timing.” The slaughter of Catholic Mass-goers occurred just one week after church leaders from across the Middle East had forcefully condemned Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.
More than 200 members of 14 different churches had gathered in Rome for a papal synod to address concerns about Christian emigration from the region. However, as one commentator observed, “Tim…
Young adults aged 18 to 25 had the highest level of mental illness at 30 percent, while those aged 50 and older had the lowest, with 13.7 percent, said the report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA.
The rate, slightly higher than last year's 19.5 percent figure, reflected increasing depression, especially among the unemployed, SAMHSA, part of the National Institutes of Health, said.
'Too many Americans are not getting the help they need and opportunities to prevent and intervene early are being missed,' Pamela Hyde, SAMHSA's administrator, said in a statement.
“Often, new military roads go right through farms and compounds, cutting a route that will keep soldiers safe from roadside bombs. In Zhare District alone, the 101st Airborne’s Second Brigade has lost 30 soldiers since last June, mostly to such bombs.”
A Christian church in Phoenix has had to make a presidential-type denial: It is not Muslim.
The building under construction will feature a domed ceiling, and protesters have taken that as a sign the church is not what it says it is. The leaders have hung up a sign saying, 'We are building a Christian house of worship,' the Atlantic reports. The front of the building also says Luz Del Mundo Iglesia, which is Spanish for Light of the World Church.
'I have nothing against Islamic people,' Carlos Montemayor, the pastor of the church, said in a phone interview. But local commentary had been growing, saying that the building was a mosque and an investigation should be launched into the church. He put the sign up to stop the comments. 'They should be happy that we are putting something beautiful by the freeway, but they're not,' he said.
The DVDs, 28 million in all, were a boost to Republican candidates who were trying to paint Democrats as weak on terrorism -- and they arguably helped fuel the anti-Muslim sentiment that boiled over in the 'ground zero mosque' fight last summer. The film, 'Obsession: Radical Islam's War With the West,' was widely criticized for its cartoonish portrayal of Muslims as modern-day Nazis.
But who put up the money to send out all those millions of DVDs?
November 18, 2010 'Information Clearing House' - - Zionists of all stripes incessantly complain about antisemitism. They tell us that it is on the rise and that is why Israel is so important. They warn that when antisemitism inevitably reaches lethal levels Israel will be the only safe haven left for world’s Jews, including those oh so comfortable ones in the United States. The flip side of this alarmism is that the same Zionists are forever striving to turn the warning into a self-fulfilling prophecy. For instance, Israeli governments have behaved in such a brutal and illegal fashion toward the Palestinians that no self-respecting ethical human being can help but be indignant and angry. And, because of Zionist insistence that Israeli nationalism and Judaism are one in the same, half the world n…
Most were killed in Bakara, Mogadishu's biggest market, when African Union troops started shelling the area after an explosive device hit one of their convoys, witnesses said.
'The medical teams got an emergency alert and they rushed to Bakara market where they have collected around 16 dead bodies of civilians who were killed in the shelling,' said Ali Muse, head of Mogadishu ambulance service.
Another five civilians were killed in crossfire after a roadside bomb and an ambush hit an African Union convoy, witnesses said.
Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., former Chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee and the current top Republican on the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, blasts TSA's invasive 'pat downs' during a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives on November 17, 2010. Duncan also questions the role of lucrative government contracts in TSA's new naked body scanning machines.
Tomgram: Juan Cole, The Asian Century? | TomDispatch For Barack Obama, midterm 2010 has already been written off as a crushing Republican triumph, but that’s hardly the full story. After all, approximately 29 million Americans who voted for him in 2008 didn’t bother to stir for him or the Democrats in 2010. Think of it this way: he’s less a man who lost to the opposition than a man who lost his own dispirited base, much of which is by now thoroughly disappointed, if not mad as hell, and evidently not particularly interested in supporting him anymore. Like many presidents in defeat, he promptly left town (or "the bubble," as he’s taken to calling it) for places as far east as possible, in this case all in Asia. In the wake of an electoral blowout, this previously planned diplomatic journey of goodwill was quickly recast as a search for American jobs. A little late to launch that search, of course, and India may not be the perfect fit either. After all, any A…
The rights group's call comes after Bush confirmed in his recently released memoirs, Decision Points, that he authorized the use of 'enhanced interrogation techniques' against detainees held in secret US custody.
Exactly six days after the September 11 attacks, Bush authorized the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to set up secret detention facilities outside the US.
Amnesty claims multiple human rights violations were committed against detainees in the name of the so-called 'war on terror.'
Additionally, in an 8 November 2010 interview with Matt Lauer on NBC, Bush stated that he had authorized the use of 'water boarding' and other 'enhanced interrogation techniques' against alleged 'high-value detainees.' During the interview, Bush focused on …
A journalist donating money to a political candidate raises obvious conflict of interest questions; at a minimum, such contributions should be disclosed on air. But if supporting politicians with money is a threat to journalistic independence, what are the standards for Olbermann's bosses at NBC, and at NBC's parent company General Electric?
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, GE made over $2 million in political contributions in the 2010 election cycle (most coming from the company's political action committee). The top recipient was…
Biden met for about an hour with Netanyahu to discuss the Mideast peace negotiations, a move seen as a possible sign of movement for the troubled diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinians. The peace talks broke down in late September over renewed Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank.
The Obama Postmortem : Information Clearing House: ICH November 04, 2010 "Information Clearing House" --It’s the day after the Republican sweep we all knew was coming. If Obama had any dignity, if he was honest with himself and with us, he would resign. It’s abundantly clear that he isn’t up to the job.But you don’t become president by being honest or dignified. So now it’s wound-licking time. The President and his cronies are comforting each other. “It’s not your fault the economy sucks,” a Yes Man reassures Obama, sinking his heels into the new Oval Office carpet. “It was like that when we got here.”Do they scratch him behind his ears? They should. It feels nice.“It was the poor economy—not the wisdom of the Republicans’ ideas or the brilliance of their tactics—that assured they would retake control of the House,” coos MarketWatch’s Rex Nutting. Which is true. And doesn’t matter.Democrats are taking solace in history. It’s the midterms! The party that…
ei: Boycott victory: Africa Israel suspends settlement construction Africa Israel, the flagship company of Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, announced this week that it is no longer involved in Israeli settlement projects and that it has no plans for future settlement activities. Africa Israel subsequently denied that this was a political decision. However, in the last few years numerous organizations, firms, governments and celebrities have exerted pressure and severed their relationships with Leviev and his companies over their involvement in settlement construction and other human rights abuses, in response to a boycott campaign initiated by Adalah-NY.
Iraqi Christians have an ancient history but have come under growing attack since the 2003 US invasion. As many as half of the nation’s Christians are believed to have died or fled into exile. The region in question includes a large number of Iraqi Christians, but has also been singled out as a target of annexation for the Kurds.