Thursday, 3 December 2009

News For December 03, 2009

President Obama's Secret:

Only 100 al Qaeda Now in Afghanistan

One Thousand U.S. Soldiers and $300 Million for Every One al Qaeda Fighter


President Barack Obama's description Tuesday of the al Qaeda "cancer" in that country left out one key fact: U.S. intelligence officials have concluded there are only about 100 al Qaeda fighters in the entire country. Continue

“More occupation means less occupation.”

Obama's Af-Pak is as Whack as Bush's Iraq

By Glen Ford

Barack Obama’s oratorical skills have turned on him, revealing, as George Bush’s low-grade delivery never could, the perfect incoherence of the current American imperial project in South Asia. Continue

Suicides and Corporate Wars


General Peter Chiarelli, US Vice Chief of Staff, has revealed in his briefing to the Pentagon that "suicides in the army will escalate." Certainly, these incidents among the troops have increased because the soldiers see no point in laying down their lives in purposeless wars. Continue

Is President Obama’s Surge A Trap?

By Cynthia McKinney

U.S. policy is not only guided by pipeline politics. There is also the consideration of chessboard geo-positioning necessary to contain Russia, China, and ensure U.S. empire—for those inclined to traditional Cold Warrior “containment” thinking. Continue

Erik Prince: Tycoon, Contractor, Soldier, Spy

By Adam Ciralsky

Erik Prince, recently outed as a participant in a C.I.A. assassination program, has gained notoriety as head of the military-contracting juggernaut Blackwater, a company dogged by a grand-jury investigation, bribery accusations, and the voluntary-manslaughter trial of five ex-employees, set for next month. Continue

In Honduras and Haiti, the U.S. Rules by Proxy

“Wherever the U.S. has the power to thwart the democratic process, it does so.”

By Glen Ford

What has emerged under Obama is not a reversal of historic U.S. imperial policies in the Americas, but a cosmetic adjustment. President Obama uses far less warlike language than his predecessor, but he deploys every trick and deceit in the book to maintain U.S. dominance in the region. And like all bullies who have had their noses bloodied, he tries to create fear in the hemisphere by picking on the smaller countries. Continue

“The Invention of the Jewish People"

Riz Khan Interviews Shlomo Sand, a professor at Tel Aviv University

Despite the fragmented and incomplete historical record, experts pretty much agree that some popular beliefs about Jewish history simply don’t hold up: there was no sudden expulsion of all Jews from Jerusalem in A.D. 70, for instance. What’s more, modern Jews owe their ancestry as much to converts from the first millennium and early Middle Ages as to the Jews of antiquity. Continue

The Israel Lobby Celebrates Espionage in New York

By Grant Smith

Although the US has traditionally ignored, forgiven, or quashed investigations into Israeli espionage, the cost to America’s national security and economy may now have pushed law enforcement agencies toward a tipping point. Ironically, this very week, the Israel lobby is celebrating in New York the biggest clandestine operation ever conducted against US industries and workers. Continue

22 militants killed in NW Pakistan: Abu Faraj, a top militant commander, was among 11 militants killed in an exchange of fire with security forces in Segaram area of Swat. One security personnel was also wounded in the clash.

18 killed by suicide bomber in Somalia: A male suicide bomber dressed as a woman attacked a university graduation ceremony Thursday, killing at least 15 people, including three Cabinet ministers and three journalists.

30,000 U.S. Troops Not Fighting 100 Al Qaeda Terrorists, Officials Insist: Intelligence officials confirmed that only about 100 Al Qaeda operatives remain in Afghanistan and their "center of gravity" is in Pakistan, they said "their leadership works tightly with leaders of the Afghan Taliban." In other words, the Taliban are taking orders from the few Al Qaeda members in the region.

In case you missed it: Petraeus: al-Qaida not operating in Afghanistan (VIDEO): The chief of the U.S. Central Command says al-Qaida no longer is operating in Afghanistan. But Gen. David Petraeus (peh-TRAY'-uhs) says affiliated organizations still have "enclaves and sanctuaries" in the country.

US commander promises surge results in 6 months: The US and NATO chief in Afghanistan on Thursday told lawmakers that a new war strategy would show signs of success next year, with many of the 30,000 extra troops bound for southern Taliban heartlands.

Mullen: 2011 Afghan Withdrawal May Be "Very Few": Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen told CBS News on Thursday that, while President Obama's plan to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2011 is clear, there has been no indication of how long that pullout may take after it's begun.

Karzai willing to talk with Taliban chief : "Personally, I would definitely talk to Mullah Omar," he added. "Whatever it takes to bring peace to Afghanistan, I, as the Afghan president, will do it. But I am also aware that it cannot be done by me alone without the backing of the international community."

Costs: By the numbers: Before President Obama reached the decision, announced Tuesday, to send additional troops to Afghanistan, he had requested $65 billion to fund operations in the country in fiscal 2010. Here is a breakdown of the money by the main spending categories:

Manufacturing Consent For The Occupation Of Afghanistan And Attacks In Pakistan: Homeland Security chief warns of threat from al-Qaeda sympathizers in U.S.: Al-Qaeda followers are inside the United States and would like to attack targets here and in other countries, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday night.

Robert Fisk: This strategy has been tried before – without success: On this historic day – when Barack Obama plunges ever deeper into chaos – let us remember the British retreat from Kabul and its destruction in 1842.

US 'did not believe Britain would refuse to send forces to Iraq': Former defence chief tells Iraq inquiry that US generals believed Britain would commit troops even if there were no attempts to solve the crisis through the UN

Putin: Russia has no evidence Iran trying to build nukes: "We have no information that Iran is working on the creation of a nuclear weapon," Putin said when asked by a reporter if Iran was close to making an atomic bomb.

Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Iran: U.S.: Time running out for Iran to avoid sanctions: "Time is running out. That deadline is the end of the year," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters in a news briefing.

Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Iran: Arms smuggling heightens Iran fears: The nature of the cargo, seized in July and described for the first time in interviews with officials and analysts in the UAE and Washington, has raised fears that Iran is ramping up efforts to arm itself and anti-Israel militias in the Middle East. Israeli officials have warned that they may use force to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Iran to review ties with countries over IAEA vote: Iran's parliament will review the Islamic republic's relations with countries that voted against its nuclear activities at the International Atomic Energy Agency last week, the speaker said on Thursday.

Barak: Illegal "Settlements" are Part of Israel: In meeting with four West Bank council heads, Defense Minister Ehud Barak stresses that 'settlement blocs are inseparable part of Israel in all future negotiations with Palestinians'. Vows council heads can continue to authorize infrastructure construction

Gutsy progressive congressman Alan Grayson leads a double life: Why did Grayson feel compelled to advertise his religion in a statement in favor of a war that would ultimately kill 1400 people, including at least 400 women and children,

Bhopal survivors demand action: Survivors and local residents joined activists late on Wednesday to remember the thousands of victims of the leak from a pesticide plant owned by US chemical company Union Carbide on December 3, 1984.

North Koreans dare to protest as devaluation wipes out savings: Rush for dollars and Chinese yuan after Kim Jong-il's surprise move to reassert control over economy

Honduran Congress votes against Zelaya's return: - The Honduran Congress voted on Wednesday not to allow the reinstatement of ousted President Manuel Zelaya, a move that closes the door on his return to power after he was toppled in a June coup.

Honduran congress thwarts token return of Manuel Zelaya: The Honduran congress voted against reinstating the ousted president Manuel Zelaya, quashing the last hope of reconciliation after five months of crisis.

An election validated by blood and repression: Video report: Honduran coup government continues repressive tactics on election day (Report from San Pedro Sula) as the resistance vows to continue to fight for a new constitution and people's rights.

Yahoo, Verizon: Our Spy Capabilities Would ‘Shock’, ‘Confuse’ Consumers: Want to know how much phone companies and internet service providers charge to funnel your private communications or records to U.S. law enforcement and spy agencies?

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