Friday, 4 December 2009

December 04, 2009 Weekend Edition

How do you ask a Man to be the Last Man to Die for a President's Political Image?

By David Sirota

There are 68,000 U.S. troops and 42,000 from other countries in Afghanistan. The U.S. Army's recently revised counterinsurgency manual estimates that an all-out counterinsurgency campaign in a country with Afghanistan's population would require about 600,000 troops. Continue

The Audacity of Ethnic Cleansing

Obama's plan for Afghanistan

By Mike Whitney

The Bush administration never had any intention of liberating Afghanistan or establishing democracy. The real aim was to remove the politically-intractable Taliban and replace them with a puppet regime run by a former-CIA asset. The rest of Afghanistan would be parceled-off to the warlords who assisted in the invasion and who had agreed to do much of the United States dirty-work on the ground. Continue

New Poll Finds Americans Favor U.S. Isolationism, Acting Alone

Majority of Americans Think Torture 'Sometimes' Justified

By Heather Maher

Fully 44 percent of Americans -- the highest percentage in more than 45 years -- say that because the United States is "the most powerful nation in the world, we should go our own way in international matters, not worrying about whether other countries agree with us or not." Continue

America's Regression

By Glenn Greenwald

Torture is one of the most universal taboos in the civilized world. The treaty championed by Ronald Reagan declares that "no exceptional circumstances" can justify it, and requires that every state criminalize it and prosecute those who authorize or engage in it. Continue

Walled in by Myth and Deceit

William A. Cook

There is a wall around this President, a wall he did not know existed when he made his famous speech in Berlin when still a candidate; a wall he did not know he could not tear down even if he became President; a wall that has been built by powers that control America not by the people of America; a wall that uses fear as its mortar, bigotry and racism as its buttress, coercion as its cement, and money as its allurement to maintain control. Continue

Trickle-up Economics

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice shame on me

By Paul Craig Roberts

Little wonder the US can’t afford health care for the uninsured and unemployed. It is far more important to finance multi-million dollar bonuses for investment bankers. I mean, what would we do without capitalism? Continue

A Smart and Simple Tax

By William John Cox

It is time to discard our stupid and complex system of taxation and replace it with a smart and simple tax that balances the burden of taxation with the benefits of government. Continue

40 killed in attack on Pak mosque: Attackers lobbed grenades and opened fire at worshippers, mostly serving and retired military officials, at a mosque in the garrison city of Rawalpindi during Friday prayers. At least 40 people were reported to have been killed and more than 40 wounded, according to the interior minister Rehman Malik.

Pakistani army leaders killed in mosque attack: Five serving officers, including a major general, a brigadier, two lieutenant colonels and a major, died in the assault by suicide bombers and gunmen on a mosque near the army's headquarters in Rawalpindi.

Pakistan Taliban Takes Responsibility for Deadly Mosque Attack: A bomb blast brought down parts of the building as worshippers fled in panic yesterday, witnesses told Dawn News television. Two of the attackers were suicide bombers, while two died in gun battles with security forces, the army said in a statement.

Pakistan has not cut ties to militants, says Robert Gates: He told a Congressional hearing that Islamabad had retained its links with the militants because it doubts America's will to remain in the country for long enough to win the war.

US occupation forces launch huge Afghan offensive: US Marines and Afghan troops have launched the first offensive since President Barack Obama announced an American troop surge. Maj. William Pelletier, a US military spokesman, said about 1,000 Marines as well as Afghan troops launched Operation Cobra’s Anger early Friday in the northern part of Helmand province.

US welcomes Europe's offer of 7,000 extra occupation troops to join Afghan surge: No commitment from France or Germany

'No Afghanistan withdrawal in 2011': Gen James Jones told me that "in no manner, shape or form" would the US withdraw from Afghanistan in 2011. In his speech on Tuesday, President Obama for the first time put a date on the beginning of the end of the United States presence in Afghanistan.

Obama’s speech on Afghanistan: A compendium of lies: In his December 1 speech at West Point announcing the deployment of 30,000 more US troops to Afghanistan, President Barack Obama attempted to justify a major escalation of a deeply unpopular war on the basis of lies and distortions. That he had to resort to such falsifications reflects both the reactionary character of his policy and the fact that it is being imposed in violation of the popular will.

Travelling by road in Afghanistan 'now more dangerous than under Taliban': Britain's most senior commander in Helmand has admitted.

US may cede authority to locals, not Karzai's army: The U.S. military may hand security responsibility in parts of Afghanistan to local leaders and their security men and police rather than President Hamid Karzai's U.S.-trained national army, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday.

Iraq violence kills eight, including senior anti-terror cop: Attacks in Iraq on Thursday killed eight people, including a senior anti-terror officer who led a key fightback against Al-Qaeda in his province, police said.

Iraq: Gunman killed, another wounded in Ninewa blast: A gunman was killed and another wounded while planting an improvised explosive device (IED) on a main road south of Mosul city on Friday, a local police source said.

Iraq: Over 900 prisoners face execution by New Year: 17 women among those set to die with fears government is 'playing politics'

UK: Hoon 'banned armed forces from preparing for Iraq war': Ministers wanted public kept in dark over likelihood of invasion, Lord Boyce says

U.S. Soldier Who Killed Two Army Buddies Was Shattered by Iraq Tragedy: It's gotten remarkably little coverage so far -- perhaps because there's no "terrorist" angle -- but we're now catching up with the case of an Iraq war vet now captured and suspected of killing two of his fellow servicemen, age 20 and 23, near the army base at Fort Drum, N.Y., where they all served.

Al-Shabab denies Somalia blast link: Video Report Warning - This report contains images that may disturb or offend some viewers : A spokesman for al-Shabab, a Somali group opposed to the country's transitional government, has denied responsibility for a suicide bombing in the capital that killed at least 23 people.

Fighters repel Saudi incursion into Yemen: Houthis: Houthi fighters are staging strong resistance against unrelenting Saudi airstrikes in northern Yemen, saying they have quashed a Saudi ground incursion into the territory.

Iran can shut down vital oil route: US navy: As word spreads of an upcoming Israeli attack on Tehran, the US Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) confirms that Iran can easily seal off the Strait of Hormuz in the event of war.

Iran says it needs 20 uranium enrichment sites: Salehi added that Tehran will not pull out of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). "I think the West is trying to force us out of the NPT because they have noticed that we are insistent about…heeding the NPT and this is not to the liking of the West," Iran's AEO chief said.

Israel closes sole oil and gas terminal in occupied Gaza: The population of the Gaza Strip is facing an acute cooking gas shortage this winter, after a unilateral Israeli decision in October to permanently close the sole oil and gas terminal between the coastal Palestinian territory and the Jewish state.

Israel Army Unit Waging Internet Battle After Gaza Criticism: Israel’s army is recruiting soldiers for a new unit that is waging a virtual public relations battle on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to improve the military’s image.

Guantanamo military panels resume: Military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, which President Obama suspended amid much fanfare immediately after taking office, quietly resumed this week with new signs of the legal complexities of the cases and the challenges for prosecutors.

Chomsky speaks on U.S. imperialism: According to Noam Chomsky, all U.S. leaders are schizophrenic.

UN to investigate climate email row: The United Nations is to conduct an investigation into emails leaked from a leading British climate science centre which appeared to show some of the world's leading scientists discussing ways to shield data from public scrutiny and suppress others' work.

UAE investor concern over repayment: Dubia's debts so large that some investors losing faith they will ever be repaid.

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