Sunday, 13 December 2009

News For December 14, 2009

Our Murderers in the Sky

By Scott Ritter

War is hell, as the saying goes. Murder, on the other hand, is a crime. In this age of the “long war” pitting the United States against the forces of global terror, it is critical that the American people be able to distinguish between the two. Continue

"U.S. Occupation and the Corrupt, Mafia-state of Hamid Karzai "

By Mike Whitney

It's too bad Barack Obama didn't consult with Malalai Joya before giving his Nobel acceptance speech on Thursday. The ex-Afghan Parliamentarian could have helped the president to see that the ongoing US occupation is damaging to both American and Afghan interests. Afghanistan is not the "just war" that Obama defends so passionately in his speech. It's part of a larger US geopolitical strategy. Continue

Mercenaries and Assassins:

The Real Face of Obama’s “Good War”

By Bill Van Auken

Blackwater’s role as an extra-legal extension of the Central Intelligence Agency tasked with dirty operations with which the CIA did not want its employees directly associated is more than evident. Continue

'Just War' Is Just Words

By Ralph Nader

President Obama, the Afghan war escalator, received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, and proceeded to deliver his acceptance speech outlining the three criteria for a "just war" which he himself is violating. Continue

For Palestinians, Every Day Is Kristallnacht

By Paul Craig Roberts

The US, “the world’s only superpower,” has no independent voice in Middle Eastern affairs. The real power rests in the hands of the settler thug, Avigdor Lieberman, Deputy Prime Minister of Israel and Minister of Foreign Affairs. This is the man who controls the Obama government’s Middle East policy. Continue

Wall on Gaza Violates International Law

By C├ęsar Chelala

Israel's restrictions of fuel and electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip, as well as the prolonged closures of border crossings for people and goods, including humanitarian aid, constitute collective punishment, which is prohibited under Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Unlawful and disproportionate reprisals violate international humanitarian law and can not be considered means of self-defense. Continue

What Americans Need to know about Mordechai Vanunu

By Eileen Fleming

I'm not a traitor. I'm a man with a conscience who did what he did out of a deep belief after much thought and many doubts. But I knew that I had to do it, that I had no choice…somebody had to do it…I contributed my share by making public what the public ought to know and they shut my mouth behind the prison walls. Continue

America's Race to the Bottom

By David Michael Green

The simple and sad fact is that greedy elites will always use their power to acquire unseemly quantities of wealth, unless one or both of two conditions obtain. The first is that they are socialized to be slightly less greedy, slightly more patriotic, and remotely compassionate about those who have nothing. They may also recognize, as Henry Ford did, that their long-term prospects are rather heavily tied to those of all the rest of us. Continue

The People Speak
Democracy Is Not a Spectator Sport

By Howard Zinn

"If democracy were to be given any meaning, if it were to go beyond the limits of capitalism and nationalism, this would not come, if history were any guide, from the top. It would come through citizen's movements, educating, organizing, agitating, striking, boycotting, demonstrating, threatening those in power with disruption of the stability they needed." Continue

Obama's Big Sellout

By Matt Taibbi

The president has packed his economic team with Wall Street insiders intent on turning the bailout into an all-out giveaway. Continue

Drug Money Saved Banks in Global Crisis, Claims UN Advisor

By Rajeev Syal

Drugs and crime chief says $352bn in criminal proceeds was effectively laundered by financial institutions. Continue

2010: "The Year of Severe Economic Contraction"

By Mike Whitney

Eight of 10 Americans rate joblessness a high risk to the economy in the next two years, outranking the federal budget deficit, which is cited by 7 of 10. An increase in taxes is named as a high risk by almost 6 of 10. Continue

More than 70 killed in fresh Saudi raid on Yemen: The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) warned on Sunday about the deteriorating civilian situation in Sa'ada province as well as Razeh district in northern Yemen.

Saudi Airstrikes Kill at Least 35 in Northwestern Yemen: One witness said the bombs had struck a market, killing at least 35 people who appeared to be civilians.

Pakistan kills about 22 militants: "About 15 militants were killed in bombing late on Saturday and we have reports of another seven killed on Sunday," said a senior government official who declined to be identified as he was not authorized to speak to media.

Drone attacks may be expanded in Pakistan:" U.S. officials seek to push CIA drone strikes into the major city of Quetta to try to pressure Pakistan into pursuing Taliban leaders based there.

International Law: The First Casualty of the Drone War: A comprehensive legal analysis of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan

Blackwater operating at CIA Pakistan base, ex-official says: The US contractor Blackwater is operating in Pakistan at a secret CIA airfield used for launching drone attacks, according to a former US official, despite repeated government denials that the company is in the country.

Two more US consulate vehicles intercepted in Lahore: The occupants of the vehicle reportedly offered resistance when the police sought their identification as well as registration book of the vehicle.

Air strike kills 10 Taliban militants in E. Afghanistan: Tahir Salfi, who claimed to talk for Taliban outfits, rejected the claim in talks with media via cell phone from undisclosed location, saying "only two Taliban fighters have been injured in the incident, but our men also inflected causalities on NATO forces."

Gunmen kill eight Afghan policemen: governor: Gunmen stormed an Afghan police post set up to protect NATO convoys in northern Baghlan province overnight, killing eight policemen, the provincial governor said Monday.

Taliban bring order, say Afghans: TALIBAN insurgents in Kabul are nailing night letters to the front doors of police, soldiers and government officials, warning them to leave their jobs or face punishment.

Afghanistan: Germany says no to sending more soldiers to help US: Germany has cast doubt on the value of sending extra troops to Afghanistan despite pleas from the US for its Nato allies to bolster the fight against the Taliban.

US 'militarising' Afghanistan aid: A number of aid organisations have told Al Jazeera they have turned down funding from the US government as the money has strings attached to military operations.

Afghans violating detainee-transfer agreement: An unknown number of Taliban insurgents captured by Canadians and turned over to Afghanistan's secret police are unaccounted for..

Four killed in bombings in Iraq: Four people including a young girl and an army recruit were killed in bombings across Iraq on Sunday, police and medical officials said.

War Criminal: Untouchable: Blair to give Iraq War evidence in secret: Former PM was happy to discuss invasion with Fern Britton on TV show – but the Chilcot inquiry will hear his crucial testimony behind closed doors

Blair to give Iraq evidence 'very much in public': Video: Former Prime Minister Tony Blair will give evidence to the Iraq War inquiry in public.

Macdonald blasts 'sycophant' Blair: One of Tony Blair's most senior civil servants has launched a savage attack on the former Prime Minister over the Iraq war.

Iran "ready to swap uranium for fuel": "We have explicitly declared that Iran is ready to exchange some 400 kilograms of 3.5 percent enriched uranium in Iran's Kish Island and receive 20 percent enriched fuel," Manouchehr Mottaki said, according to state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB)..

Iran offers to swap 400 kilos of LEU on Kish for atomic fuel: "We are prepared to take 400 kilogrammes (880 pounds) of 3.5-percent enriched uranium to the island of Kish and exchange it" for the equivalent in 20-percent enriched uranium, he said.

Washington 'rejects Iran uranium swap offer': "Iran's proposal today does not appear to be consistent with the fair and balanced draft agreement proposed by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) in consultation with the United States, Russia and France," AFP quoted an unnamed US official as saying

Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Iran: Secret document exposes Iran’s nuclear trigger: Confidential intelligence documents obtained by The Times show that Iran is working on testing a key final component of a nuclear bomb.

Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Iran: Iranian scientist who vanished 'gave nuclear secrets' to UN inspectors: The scientist is the focus of an extraordinary international row stretching from the Gulf to Washington after Iran last week accused Saudi Arabia and the US of "terrorist behaviour" for allegedly colluding in his abduction.

N Korea has 'understanding' with US: North Korea has reached a common understanding with the US on the need to resume stalled talks on its nuclear programme, the country's state media has said.

Jewish town won't let Arab build home on his own land: "Don't waste your time," he reportedly told Suad. "We'll keep you waiting for 30 years."

Venezuela's Chavez sees U.S. 'threat' over Iran ties: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's warning to Latin American nations about their ties with Iran was "an overt threat," especially to his country and Bolivia.

The Celebration Went Unnoticed – Big Leftist Win in Uruguay: This wasn’t just any election. The winner, flower farmer Jose “Pepe” Mujica, was the victim of imprisonment and torture during Operation Condor in the 1970’s as a result of his efforts as a Tupamaro rebel. During that period of military dictatorship, the new president spent fourteen years in prison, including two years confined at the bottom of a well.

Castro condemns Honduras 'farce': Cuban leader accuses US of helping to legitimise an "electoral farce" in Honduras.

Chile set for runoff election: Sebastian Pinera, a conservative and billionaire, has taken a firm lead in Chile's presidential elections, but has failed to avoid a second-round runoff, preliminary results show.

George Galloway vs. Jason Kenney: “British MP George Galloway has recently won an important victory against Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney in the Federal Court of Canada,”

Stranger than fiction? Nursery children monitored for signs of radicalisation: Children as young as four should be monitored for signs of brainwashing by radical extremists, counter terrorism police have warned.

Ross Garnaut writes off Pacific states on climate change: Australian economist Ross Garnaut has written off the prospect of saving Pacific states that are threatened by rising sea levels. He says they will end up having their populations relocated to countries like Australia and New Zealand. Professor Garnaut wrote the Australian government's review on climate change and how to respond to it. He says what's more worrying than the Pacific, is the fate of the more densely populated, low-lying areas of Asia.

Blagojevich's lawyers seek FBI interview with Obama: Rod Blagojevich's lawyers want the FBI to give up details of interviews conducted last year of President Obama, his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, White House adviser Valerie Jarrett and others as part of the investigation into the former governor.

Despite US Laws, Thousands Still Virtual Slaves in America: They toil in factories and massage parlors, on fruit and vegetable farms, and inside homes, hotels and restaurants from California to Maine. Stripped of their humanity, they’re often threatened with their lives, or their families’ lives, if they don’t submit to the traffickers’ demands.

US jobless claims rise, job openings decline: Initial US jobless claims in the week ending December 5 rose 17,000 from the previous week, confounding economists who had predicted a decline. The increase in the number of workers filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits brought the total of such claims for the week to a seasonally adjusted 474,000.

US: Child hunger, called the 'silent epidemic: : With the economy faltering, the number of youngsters living in homes without enough food soared in 2008 from 13 million to nearly 17 million, the Agriculture Department reported last month.

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