Tuesday, 15 December 2009

News For December 16, 2009

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To all who have assisted in the past. Thank you. Your help is greatly appreciated. Tom Feeley

An Act Of War?
U.S. House Passes Iran Gasoline Sanctions Bill

By Tom Doggett

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved legislation to impose sanctions on foreign companies that help supply gasoline to Iran, a move lawmakers hope will deter Tehran from pursuing its nuclear program. Continue

Emperors of Silent Wars

Propaganda, Destruction, and Madness

By Ali Jawad

As soon as the greatest military force in history stepped foot on Arabia – adamant to grab the will of Providence by the collar – flashpoints began to spark up left, right and centre. The scars and pains of millions were not to distract the emblem of freedom from its historic mission. Continue

"Walk the Talk"

Holocaust Survivor Heads to Gaza

By Hedy Epstein

As President Obama accepts a Peace Prize he does not deserve, it's a good time to model what real peacemaking looks like. That's why-at the ripe age of 85-I'll be joining the Gaza Freedom March on December 31 Continue

Is Joe Lieberman Protecting Israel?

By Robert Parry

Is it possible that Lieberman’s obstructionist behavior doesn’t relate to Connecticut’s insurance industry or to his political ego – the two most cited explanations – but rather to a calculation that he can use his leverage on health care to limit the pressure that President Barack Obama can put on Israel to make concessions on a Mideast peace plan? Continue

Copenhagen: Only the Numbers Count – and They Add up to Hell on Earth

By Bill McKibben

Climate Interactive's software speaks numbers, not spin – which is where the true understanding of the Copenhagen summit lies. Continue

135,000 Uninsured Americans Will Die Before Health Reform Takes Effect

Over 6,600 Uninsured Veterans Will Die by 2013: Estimate

By Brad Jacobson

Even more shocking is that these are modest estimates. Continue

Miraculous Organ

Blair, Obama and the Narcissist's Defense

By Chris Floyd

Since leaving office, Tony Blair has dipped his blood-smeared snout into various corporate troughs, amassing millions, while simultaneously becoming one of the great whited sepulchres of our day, making a great show of his conversion to Catholicism, his "faith foundation," and so on. Continue

Dubya: The Surreal Afterlife of an Ex-President

By Alex Hannaford

What has the most unpopular US President of all time been doing during his first year of retirement? Continue

Gallup Poll: 44 Percent Of Americans Want Bush Back

By Dan Carter

A new Gallup poll found that President Obama’s approval rating continues to dip. But the poll also uncovered a much more disturbing fact: 44 percent of Americans would be happier with George W. Bush back in the White House. My, how quickly we forget. Continue

Unbearable Lightness of Obama

The Audacity of Retrenchment

By Robert S. Becker

How can the Obama who won the election, and the Peace Prize, by being not-Bush, match W.’s impulse to detach, delegate and default? And the final puzzle: how did a dense, inarticulate bully command his bully pulpit while the infinitely more articulate, tolerant newcomer fails to frame, let alone command key debates? Continue

Untold History - Things We Forgot to Remember

The Bengal Famine

The Partition of India was the last act of the British Raj. It led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands: but it was not the worst disaster to hit India in the 1940s. That was the Bengal Famine of 1942-4, which left around a million dead. Continue

Yemen rebels say air raid kills 120, accuse U.S.: Yemeni Shi'ite rebels accused the U.S. air force Tuesday of joining attacks against them, and killing at least 120 people in a raid in the north of the poor Arab state.

US jets continue raids in north Yemen: The US military continues its air raids on Yemen's northern beleaguered regions, which have already been the target of joint Saudi-Yemen offensive against the Houthi fighters.

UN urges humanitarian aid for Yemen: The United Nations called for a "humanitarian truce" in Yemen on Tuesday and appealed for 177 million dollars in aid to help vulnerable people in the troubled Middle Eastern state.

The Yemeni government's brutal response to Southern Movement protests: (HRW): :A grave human rights crisis is unfolding in southern Yemen, where government security forces have responded to calls for secession with the brutal repression of the so-called Southern Movement.

Gulf Arabs agree on joint military force: The US-allied six-nation bloc is located across the Gulf from Iran and includes the world’s top oil exporter Saudi Arabia. They share Washington’s concerns over Iran’s nuclear plans. reuters

Somalia: 24 killed in clashes: At least 24 people, mostly civilians, have been killed during heavy fighting between Somali forces and rebels group in Mogadishu, officials said on Tuesday. The battle, which started on Sunday and continued through part on Monday, also wounded more than 30 others.

Roadside bomb kills 3 troops in Somalia's Puntland: The bomb hit a vehicle carrying troops on a routine patrol on Monday night on the main street of Bossaso, a port in the northern region.

Blast kills 33 near lawmaker's home in Pakistan: The blast came shortly before the top-ranked U.S. military officer arrived in the Pakistani capital for previously scheduled talks with the country's powerful army chief about the ongoing military offensive against the militants in the northwestern region near the Afghan border

Pakistan concerns conveyed to US over any drone attacks extension:: Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit told a private channel Tuesday. The United States can better understand the implications of extension of drone attacks and it is hoped that the US will not only avoid it but also stop such attacks in FATA areas, he said while talking to Samaa TV.

Headley worked as US agency informant for a decade: Pakistani-American terror suspect David Coleman Headley, charged with scouting targets for Mumbai terror attacks, worked as a confidential informant with the Drug Enforcement Administration for more than a decade, according to a US media report.

14 killed in Kabul suicide blasts: At least 14 Afghans were killed and dozens wounded on Tuesday in separate bombings near a hotel frequented by foreigners in Kabul and a compound used by a US contractor in the southeast of the country.

U.S. occupation force soldier killed, Taliban commander nabbed in S. Afghanistan: Continued resistance to occupation in Afghanistan claimed the life of one American soldier in south Afghanistan on Tuesday, a press release of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

Britons killed as more join Afghan occupation: Alleged bomb attacks kill two British soldiers south of Afghanistan, as hundreds of new recruits land in the war-torn country on the so-called counterinsurgency mission.

Three British occupation force soldiers killed by U.S. 500lb bomb in Afghanistan: Three British soldiers were killed by a 500lb bomb dropped by a U.S. aircraft after a mix-up over map co-ordinates passed between an air controller and an American weapons officer, an inquest has heard.

Obama's Afghan Surge Will Rely Heavily On Private Contractors Mercenaries: As President Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan unfolds, the number of contractors will likely jump by between 16,000 and 56,000, adding up to a total of 120,000-160,000, according to an updated study from the Congressional Research Service.

Congressman Grayson and Afghanistan Veterans Urge Congress Not to Fund Troop Surge: Congressman Grayson said, "The goals of expelling al-Qaeda and overthrowing the Taliban were accomplished years ago. The notion that an increase of 30,000 troops is necessary to ensure America's security is absurd.

Rep. Alan Grayson Reads Petition from 100,000 People: 1 Minute Video: End the War Now

DoD to add $100B to 2011-15 spending: The Pentagon’s 2010 budget request called for $534 billion, plus $130 billion to cover the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It did not include the estimated $30 billion that will be needed to fund President Barack Obama’s recent decision to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

Baby among five killed in Iraq attacks: An eight-day-old baby was among five people killed in separate attacks Tuesday in Iraq, including car bombs in Baghdad and bombings that struck two churches in the main northern city of Mosul.

Iraqi soldier killed in eastern Mosul: “Unknown gunmen opened fire on an Iraqi soldier in al-Nabi Younes market in eastern Mosul, killing him on the spot,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

Chilcot inquiry censored for more than a minute: The openness of the Iraq inquiry has been thrown into doubt again after its chairman, Sir John Chilcot, censored its public proceedings for the first time yesterday.

In case you missed it: David King: Iraq was the first 'resource war' of the century: UK government's former chief scientific adviser says Iraq war was about oil, not weapons of mass destruction – and warns there will be more 'resource wars' to come

Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Iran: MI chief: Iran has enough nuclear material for bomb: Military Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin said Tuesday that Iran has over the last year accumulated enough materials to create a nuclear bomb and warned: "The technological clock has almost finished winding."

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.

Least we forget: Faith-Based Intelligence: : Talk by Ray McGovern, 27-year Veteran of the CIA and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Iran: US to drill Iranian attack scenario: A top Pentagon official said Monday that a US missile defense drill would simulate an Iranian attack - a departure from the usual scenario of a North Korean attack - according to Reuters.

Syria will defend Iran if Israel attacks: If Israel does attack Iran's nuclear facilities, it will undoubtedly result in a regional war after Iran and Syria signed a mutual defense agreement on Sunday.

Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Iran: "Christian" leaders urge tough sanctions by US: "Christian" leaders -- including Bill Donohue, Richard Land and Pat Robertson -- representing millions of evangelicals, Roman Catholics, and other Christians have sent a letter to leaders in the US House of Representatives today urging immediate passage of tough sanctions on Iran intended to prevent that rogue regime from obtaining nuclear weapons

Credit Suisse faces $536m US fine over Iran: Credit Suisse expects to pay $536 million for violating US economic sanctions, the Swiss bank revealed.

Leader warns Israel of heavy blow in any war on Gaza: "If Iran had backtracked about the Palestinian issue, much of such hostilities would have ceased to exist; however, regarding this matter we stand fast," Ayatollah Khamenei added.

Israeli occupation troops attack refugee camp in W. Bank: The troops boarding armored vehicles rumbled into the camp from several axes, opening fire at inhabitants of the shanty town and wounding two of them, the radio said, adding that the injured were whisked to hospital.

Absent elections, PLO expected to extend Palestinian president's term: Delegates to the roughly 120-member body, representing a collection of political parties, labor unions and other organizations, said that with little hope of elections soon, they would authorize Abbas to stay in office indefinitely.

Israel summons British ambassador to protest Livni's arrest warrant: Gilon also called on the ambassador to urge his government to change the law that allows for arrest warrants to be issued against senior Israeli officials over alleged war crimes perpetrated in the Gaza Strip during last winter's conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Israel demands Britain change law on war crimes: Israel demanded Britain change its law on Tuesday after reports that ex-foreign minister Tzipi Livni would have risked arrest on war crimes charges over last year's Gaza offensive, had she not cancelled a visit to London.

UK ponders law change after Tzipi Livni arrest warrant: Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Israel was a "close friend" of the UK's and stressed he was keen to "avoid this sort of situation arising again".

We're all Tzipi Livni: Brown twice promised to propose legislation that would hamper lawfare by requiring Her Majesty's Attorney General for England and Wales to approve the issuance of any war crimes warrant.

Spymaster sees Israel as world cyberwar leader: Using computer networks for espionage -- by hacking into databases -- or to carry out sabotage through so-called "malicious software" planted in sensitive control systems has been quietly

UN-Backed Congo Troops Killed More Civilians Than Rebels, Says Human Rights Watch: A U.N.-backed Congolese military operation to oust rebels from eastern Congo has caused more civilian casualties than damage to rebels, with more than 1,400 people deliberately killed over a nine-month period, human rights groups said Monday.

Australia: Internet censorship plan gets the green light: The Federal Government has announced it will proceed with controversial plans to censor the internet after Government-commissioned trials found filtering a blacklist of banned sites was accurate and would not slow down the internet.

Castro says US on offensive in LatAm despite Obama: Fidel Castro says President Barack Obama's "friendly smile and African-American face" are hiding Washington's sinister intentions for Latin America — more evidence of a new cooling in U.S.-Cuba relations after a thaw had seemed possible just months ago.

CIA Agent Captured In Cuba: An employee of a CIA front organization working in Venezuela was detained in Cuba this week

US jail to hold Guantanamo inmates: A number of inmates from the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba are set to be transferred to a jail in the US state of Illinois.

ALBA alliance forgoes US dollar: The member nations of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, ALBA, have decided to give up the US dollar in trading between them. They will instead use the sucre conventional monetary unit.

Gulf nations sign monetary pact: Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia signed and ratified the pact on Tuesday, which will see them work towards setting up a joint central bank and implementing a single currency.

US joblessness cripples Americans: poll: With unemployment driving foreclosures nationwide, a quarter of those polled said they had either lost their home or been threatened with foreclosure or eviction for not paying their mortgage or rent.

The Decline: The Geography of a Recession: . Watch the deteriorating transformation of the U.S. economy from January 2007 -- approximately one year before the start of the recession -- to the most recent unemployment data available today.

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