Thursday, 29 October 2009

News For October 29, 2009

Taliban Take Over Afghan Province

By Syed Saleem Shahzad

The United States has withdrawn its troops from its four key bases in Nuristan, on the border with Pakistan, leaving the northeastern province as a safe haven for the Taliban-led insurgency to orchestrate its regional battles. Continue

U.S. To Protect 10 Afghan Population Centers

By Thom Shanker, Peter Baker and Helene Cooper

Under the strategy officials described yesterday, the administration now is looking at protecting Kabul, Kandahar, Mazar-i-Sharif, Kunduz, Herat, Jalalabad and a few other village clusters. The first of any new troops sent to Afghanistan would be assigned to secure Kandahar, the spiritual capital of the Taliban, seen as a center of gravity in pushing back insurgent advances. Continue

U.S. Dependence On Afghan Warlords

By Gareth Porter

U.S. and NATO counterinsurgency forces depend on Afghan warlords for security, according to a recently published report and investigations by Australian and Canadian journalists. Continue

Obama's Real Death Panels

By Ted Rall

No one man--not even a young, handsome, likeable one--should be able to have anyone he wants whacked. Even in dictatorships, the right of life and death is reserved for judges and juries operating under a system purportedly designed to support impartiality and a search for the truth. Continue

The Holocaust In Cambodia And Its Aftermath Is Remembered

By John Pilger

John Pilger recalls the stricken society he found in Cambodia in 1979 which he described in his epic dispatches and documentary, Year Zero: the Silent Death of Cambodia He reminds us that the Pol Pot horror emerged from the bombing ordered by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, and that Cambodia was again "punished" when its liberators came from the wrong side of the cold war and the Thatcher government send special forces to train the Khmer Rouge in exile. Continue

In Case You Missed It
Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia

A Documentary Film By John Pilger

John Pilger vividly reveals the brutality and murderous political ambitions of the Pol Pot / Khmer Rouge totalitarian regime which bought genocide and despair to the people of Cambodia while neighboring countries, including Australia, shamefully ignored the immense human suffering and unspeakable crimes that bloodied this once beautiful country. Continue

Why Americans Gotta Read the "War Crimes Times!"

By Kim Carlyle

We must look back. And we must hold accountable the men and women who have broken our laws, tarnished our honor, and spit on our ideals. Continue

The Slippery Slope

IT IS, of course, all the fault of Judge Richard Goldstone.

By Uri Avnery

He is to blame for the trouble we are having at the UN, both in New York and in Geneva. For the conspiracy to bring our political and military leaders to trial in The Hague. For the ongoing crisis between us and Turkey. For the many initiatives throughout the world to organize a boycott of Israel. Now he is to blame also for the existential danger facing Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). Continue

US Lawmakers Want Venezuela Named a State Sponsor of Terrorism

By Michael O'Brien

The resolution, H.Res.872, cites the Venezuelan government's ties to Iran, Hezbollah, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) as examples of the South American nation's support for terrorism. Continue

Israel’s European Lobby

By Maidhc Ó Cathail

According to the definition given by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency, it seems that you’re an anti-semite if you agree with Mearsheimer and Walt that pressure from Israel and the Lobby played a “critical” role in the decision to invade Iraq, or if you suspect that the likes of Podhoretz and Ottolenghi may be more loyal to Israel than they are to their respective countries. Continue

NSA Supercenters to Store Americans' Private Data Permanently

By Thomas R. Eddlem

The National Security Agency is building huge new storage facilities to store the unconstitutionally gained data on the American people's telephone calls and Internet traffic permanently, including new buildings in suburban Salt Lake City, Utah, and San Antonio, Texas. Continue


Interviews include Ward Churchill, John Zerzan, Lierre Keith and Dr. Michael Becker.


"If your homeland was invaded by aliens who cut down the forests, poisoned the water and air, and contaminated the food supply, would you resist?" Continue

Afghan troops kill 25 "militants" : Quoting a military commander of the Afghan national army in the province Colonel Zainudin, the newspaper added that aerial bombardment had eliminated the insurgents and destroyed their hideouts.

Canadian occupation force soldier killed by IED in Afghanistan: A Canadian soldier has been killed in Afghanistan, and two others injured, after an improvised explosive device detonated in the turbulent Panjwaii district.

US has no plans to quit AFPAK operations: White House: "The president began the meetings on the assessment with saying we were not leaving Afghanistan.

What's the payoff for staying in Afghanistan?: It's a little frustrating to hear these various voices making their arguments for or against Afghanistan. Each one sounds persuasive, each makes a good case for his or her point of view. But here's the question I have: What is there in Afghanistan for the United States?

Security Council to hold closed meeting on Afghanistan: The United Nations Security Council is set to hold a crisis meeting on Afghanistan following a Taliban attack on a Kabul guesthouse that killed UN staffers.

U.N. cutting staff in Afghanistan: Non-essential U.N. staff across Afghanistan have been ordered to pack their bags and be ready for evacuation after a deadly attack on a U.N. guesthouse, a senior U.N. official said Thursday.

Obama breaks from Bush by saluting coffins of 18 Americans killed in Afghanistan: President Obama publicly rejected the cloak of secrecy surrounding the return of US military dead late last night when he met the coffins of 18 Americans killed in Afghanistan in a solemn, unannounced ceremony.

Pakistan: 12 killed in Waziristan: Eleven militants and one soldier were killed in the operation in South Waziristan tribal agency, said military in a statement, adding that two soldiers were also wounded.

US quietly expedites aid for Pak military operations: : Prior to the Swat operation in the spring, Pakistan’s army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani asked that the US quickly deliver 10 Russian-built Mi-17s. According to the US newspaper, both US President Barack Obama and US army chief Admiral Mike Mullen personally intervened to fulfil his request; four copters were leased in June and the remaining provided to Pakistan under various authorities.

Pakistan Lashes Back at Clinton: Pakistani officials reacted angrily Thursday night to U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s remarks earlier in the day in which she said, she found it "hard to believe" that no one in Pakistan’s government, including the country’s "military security establishment," knew where al Qaeda leaders were hiding.

Taliban denies Peshawar blast role: The Taliban and al-Qaeda have distanced themselves from Wednesday's deadly market blast in Peshawar that claimed 105 lives, saying "their main targets are the security forces, and not innocent civilians".

Taliban Chief Blames Blackwater for Peshawar Blast: Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud has claimed that the controversial American security firm Blackwater was behind the deadly bomb attack on a market in Peshawar that killed over 100 people.

Iraq arrests 60 security forces over blasts: Iraq has arrested some 60 security forces over the weekend twin bombings which targeted government buildings in Baghdad, killing up to 153 people.

Iraqi parliament delays vote on election law again : - Rancorous debate over voting in the disputed Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Thursday once again postponed a parliamentary vote on a new election law.

Iran seeks changes to international uranium deal - : Iran reportedly wants some changes, such as: not shipping out the whole 1.2 tons of uranium but exporting it either in several phases; or purchasing part of the high-enriched uranium without exchanging it for Iranian material.

Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Iran: Iran Makes Counter Offer On Nuclear Deal: An Iranian state-run television report said the latest Iranian proposal calls for sending the nuclear material to Russia in stages, rather than in one large consignment. That is unlikely to fly with the IAEA, since Iran would still presumably have enough material on hand at any one time to make a bomb.

Obama to tell Rabin memorial: U.S.-Israel alliance is unbreakable: Obama will make the comments in a videotaped message in which he also will pledge that U.S. support for Israel's defense will never be undermined.

UN to debate Goldstone Gaza war crimes report next week: Even if the report eventually gets to the Security Council, there is little chance it will take any action, primarily because of objections by the United States, Israel's closest ally which has veto power and has said the report is biased and should not be taken up by the UN's most powerful body.

Israel levels Palestinian homes: Israel ignores UN calls to halt destruction of Palestinian properties in east Jerusalem.

Argentina insists on re-negotiating military agreements with U.S.: - The Argentine government reiterated its need on Wednesday to re-negotiate with the U.S. government military accords signed between 1953 and 1964, which the South American country deemed outdated.

Venezuela arrests 'Colombia spies': Venezuela says it has captured two Colombian security agents suspected of planning to destabilise the government, further heightening tensions in a diplomatic spat between the two sides.

The Continuity of Immunity for Tío Sam in Colombia : To prolong influence over Colombia, every US administrations from Nixon [1969-1974] to Obama [2009-] has embraced a ‘war on drugs,’[1] or more recently a ‘war on terror,’ as a means to deploy counterinsurgency campaigns to silence antagonistic sectors of said population.

UN: General Assembly again calls for lifting of United States embargo against Cuba: The General Assembly has voted for the 18th consecutive year to condemn the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States against Cuba for the past half century and called for it to be lifted.

Muslim leader killed in US raid: The leader of a Sunni Muslim group advocating Islamic rule in the US has been shot dead by federal agents during a raid in the city of Detroit, authorities have said.

Loosening of F.B.I. Rules Stirs Privacy Concerns: One section lays out a low threshold to start investigating a person or group as a potential security threat. Another allows agents to use ethnicity or religion as a factor — as long as it is not the only one — when selecting subjects for scrutiny.

The New Operations Manual from the F.B.I.: The new rules have given F.B.I. agents the most power in national security matters that they have had since the post-Watergate era.

Pentagon officials won’t confirm Bush propaganda program ended: The covert Bush administration program that used retired military analysts to generate favorable wartime news coverage may not have been terminated, Raw Story has found.

Lack of health care led to 17,000 US child deaths: Lack of adequate health care may have contributed to the deaths of some 17,000 US children over the past two decades, according to a study released by the Johns Hopkins Children's Center

The Auto Bailout Isn't Over; GMAC May Get More Aid: If you hoped the auto bailout had ended when Chrysler and General Motors emerged from bankruptcy, you might want to stop reading.

Dollar, bonds rise as consumer confidence falls: Consumer confidence in the United States soured as the worst labor market in a quarter century increased concerns over the likely extent of an improvement

New jobless claims climb more than expected : The unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in September from 9.7 percent, the department said earlier this month, as employers cut 263,000 jobs. The recession has eliminated a net total of 7.2 million jobs.

New home sales take surprise tumble: Sales of new homes dropped unexpectedly last month as the effects of a temporary tax credit for first-time owners started to wane.

Consumer confidence slips unexpectedly: Americans' confidence about the U.S. economy fell unexpectedly in October as job prospects remained bleak, a private research group said Tuesday, fueling speculation that an already gloomy holiday shopping forecast could worsen.

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