US to Pay Taliban to Switch Sides
Although $1.3bn (£691m) has been authorised for the fund as a whole, no specific sum has been allocated to the re-integration programmes, our correspondent says. The Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, Senator Carl Levin, has said he envisages the money being used to pay former Taliban fighters to protect their communities. Continue
‘US Drone Attacks May Break International Law’ UN Special Rapporteur
"You have the really problematic bottom line that the CIA is running a program that is killing significant numbers of people and there is absolutely no accountability in terms of the relevant international laws,’ Alston said. Continue
No One Else Will Stop The Killing
Veterans' Group To Members: Multiply Resistance By Any Peaceful Means Possible
By Mike Ferner
The American Empire is a mighty machine. We will need to make common cause with all those living in the heart of Empire who are also its victims. We know who they are. We see them every day – on the streets, where we work, where we shop, where we pray, where we play. Continue
US-Israeli Missile Defense War Game Signals Israeli Attack on Iran
By Paul Craig Roberts
If the US were opposed to an Israeli attack on Iran, the US would not provide Israel with protection against retaliation and would not engage in war games with Israel to test the system. The best way to prevent an Israeli attack on Iran is to leave Israel open to retaliation. Continue
Obama Turns to the Financial Elite for Campaign Cash
By Bill Van Auken
Under conditions of growing unemployment and deepening social misery for working people throughout the US, President Barack Obama flew into New York City Tuesday to raise millions of dollars in campaign donations from America’s financial elite. Continue
Is Capitalism on the Ropes?:
Interview with Michael D. Yates and Fred Magdoff
By Mike Whitney
Corporate America began to wage what turned out to be a one-sided war against working people in the mid-to late-1970s, when it became apparent that the post-World War Two "Golden Age" of U.S. capitalism was over. Continue
Lieberman Twists the Knife
By Robert Scheer
Is there a more hypocritical figure in American politics than Joe Lieberman? The Connecticut senator declared Tuesday that he would support a filibuster of any health care reform bill that has a public option—even the version with the “trigger” compromise accepted by Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe—because it might cost money. Continue
Pakistan: 93 killed in market explosion just after Clinton's arrival: A car bomb struck a busy market in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing 93 people — mostly women and children — as visiting Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pledged U.S. support for Islamabad's campaign against "Islamic militants".
25 "militants" killed in Pakistan's tribal area operation: The army said that about 30,000 soldiers are in place to take on an estimated 10,000 hard-core Taliban militants in the lawless area.
Pakistani army offensive devastates tribal communities: Villages and towns are literally being bombed into rubble and tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee for their lives.
USA buys Pakistan: Clinton Announces Aid for Pakistan's Power Sector: Mrs. Clinton, on the first of a three-day diplomatic mission to Pakistan, said that Washington will disburse $125 million to Islamabad for the upgrading of key power stations and transmission lines.
Drug-Linked Karzai Brother Helps U.S. Intelligence: A key member of the House Intelligence Committee says the controversial brother of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai regularly helps U.S. intelligence -- but should not be considered an American spy.
12 killed as militants storm UN guesthouse in Kabul : Twelve people, including one US national and five other UN workers, were killed Wednesday when an explosion rocked a guesthouse used by the United Nations in central Kabul and armed attackers burst in shooting, officials said.
McCain to Obama: Make Afghan decision now: Sen. John McCain is exhorting President Barack Obama to make a decision quickly on sending additional troops to Afghanistan, saying U.S allies are nervous and military commanders are frustrated.
Troops already outnumber Taliban 12-1: There are already more than 100,000 international troops in Afghanistan working with 200,000 Afghan security forces and police. It adds up to a 12-1 numerical advantage over Taliban rebels, but it hasn't led to anything close to victory.
Schumer: True cost of Afghan stability could be too high for America: "It cost us $6 trillion and 4,500 lives, approximately, to bring stability to Iraq," Schumer told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "Just in terms of the loss of life and treasure, do we want to do the same exercise in Afghanistan?"
Afghan president's brother on CIA payroll for 8 years: report: The CIA pays Karzai for a variety of services, including helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force that operates at the CIA's direction in and around Kandahar.
Afghan president's brother denies getting CIA pay: A congressional official told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the story is accurate and said that some members of Congress have known about the relationship between Karzai and the CIA "for some time.
House GOP turns to Oliver North on Afghanistan: “Col. North is someone who enjoys the very broad respect of the House Republican Conference,” Pence said.
Bomb kills 3 civilians, wounds 5 others in Mosul: A source in the Iraqi police in Mosul told KUNA that the bomb exploded today targeting an army patrol in Karaj north east of Mosul killing three civilians and wounding five others
Bomb kills 3 in Baghdad: A bomb attached to a minibus killed three women and wounded four men in eastern Baghdad, police said.
Atonement: A conscience-stricken member of the House Armed Services Committee is writing a book called "My Daddy's Not Dead Yet" in hopes it will atone for what he now considers his sinful vote to empower former President George W. Bush to invade Iraq in 2003.
5 Killed as mortars fired at Somali president: Witnesses said mortars were fired towards the capital's main airport on Wednesday around the time when Sharif Ahmed was landing after a trip to Yemen.
Iran to Declare View on IAEA Draft Thursday Iran will declare its response to a proposal by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the enrichment of uranium for a Tehran reactor tomorrow, a senior Iranian legislator announced on Wednesday.
Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Iran: Livni to Russians: Talks with Iran Can’t Go on Forever: "The dialogue with Iran can not continue forever, especially when today, more than ever, it has become clear that Iran's goal is to obtain nuclear weapons," said Livni.
Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Iran: US making plans for Iran nuke strategy: The Obama administration is quietly laying the groundwork for long-range strategy that could be used to contain a nuclear-equipped Iran and deter its leaders from using atomic weapons.
Russia says has not delivered S-300 systems to Iran: The S-300PMU1 multi-channel mobile air defense system is designed to intercept modern and projected aircraft, strategic cruise missiles, and other targets flying at up to 2,800 meters per second.
U.S. House panel OKs Iranian fuel sanctions bill: Aim is to put pressure Iran by raising pump prices: Covers firms that provide ships and shipping services
Ehud Olmert could face war crimes arrest if he visits UK: "One day one of these people will make a mistake and go to the wrong country and face a criminal process — and then it'll be a matter for the courts of that country to give them a fair trial: that's what the Palestinian victims want."
Israel levels Palestinian homes: Israeli authorities have torn down several Palestinian houses in occupied east Jerusalem, defying international calls to halt the demolitions in the disputed city.
UN calls on Israel to halt demolition of Palestinian homes: The United Nations today called on Israel to immediately halt forced evictions and demolitions of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, warning that as many as 60,000 people there may be at risk of forced evictions, demolitions and displacement.
Hamas 'bans' January polls in Gaza: "Any preparations, any committees, any collecting of names will be regarded as an illegal action that we will pursue," he said.
US removes import levy on Israeli milk products: Following diplomatic efforts, President Obama signs memo eliminating import subcharge on dairy products from Israel.
Dairy farmers tell lawmakers of crisis: Prices have fallen amid plunging consumer demand. At a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, talk of a solution centers on shipping milk and other dairy products to developing countries.
UK: Government to break up the banks: Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Northern Rock will be broken up and parts of their businesses sold off to create three new banks, it emerged last night.
Worsening job picture fuels slide in confidence: On Tuesday, the figures showed that shoppers have a grim outlook for the future, The Conference Board said, expecting a worsening business climate, fewer jobs and lower salaries.
Mortgage applications slide: Mortgage Bankers Association says demand for home loans waned last week, even as 30-year rate eased closer to 5%.