Friday, 29 January 2010

ICH Weekend Edition January 29, 2010

Tony Blair Faces Iraq Inquiry

By Nick Robinson

Even before the attacks on New York, he told the inquiry, "force was always an option... if necessary, we were going to remove him." Continue
Blair at Chilcot: a Well-rehearsed Performance

By Michael Billington

What did we expect? That Tony Blair would break down in front of the Chilcot inquiry admitting he had taken Britain to war on the basis of flimsy intelligence? That he would beg God's forgiveness for the deaths of more than 100,000 Iraqis? That he would guiltily confess that at the famous meeting at Crawford, Texas, he had given George Bush unequivocal support for military action? Continue
Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Iran
Senate OKs Sanctions on Iran's Fuel Suppliers

By Tom Doggett and Susan Cornwell

The measure also prohibits the U.S. government from purchasing goods from foreign companies that do business in Iran's energy sector. Continue
Secret Banking Cabal Emerges From AIG Shadows: David Reilly

By David Reilly

The idea of secret banking cabals that control the country and global economy are a given among conspiracy theorists who stockpile ammo, bottled water and peanut butter. After this week’s congressional hearing into the bailout of American International Group Inc., you have to wonder if those folks are crazy after all. Continue
This Corruption in Washington is Smothering America's Future

By Johann Hari

This week, a disaster hit the United States, and the after-tremors will be shaking and breaking global politics for years. Continue
Corporations are people too!Supreme Court Ruling Spurs Corporation Run for Congress


"It's our democracy. We bought it, we paid for it, and we're going to keep it." Murray Hill Inc. Continue
Your Disappointment In Obama Is Your Teaching Moment

By Carolyn Baker

Last week's Supreme Court ruling lifting limits on campaign financing by corporations was truly the last nail in the coffin of democracy and sealed the fundamental definition of fascism attributed to Mussolini which was simply, "the corporate state." Abramoff rules, and politicians no longer have any reason to function other than corporate whores. Continue
Our Addiction to Disaster Porn

By David Sirota

Like any X-rated content, this smut is all flesh and no substantive plot. The lens flits between body parts and journalists pulling perverse Cronkite-in-Vietnam impressions (at one point, CNN showed Cooper and his t-shirt saving a child). But there is little discussion of how western Hispaniola was a man-made disaster before an earthquake made it a natural one. Continue

Hezbollah's New Political Platform

By Fawwaz Traboulsi

Hezbollah reiterates its demand to Arab officialdom to desist from pursuing a negotiated settlement with Israel and offers its own experience of armed resistance as an example to follow and learn from. Continue


What is anti-Semitism today?


'Hashmatsa' ('Defamation') by Israeli director Yoav Shamir dares to attack one of the sacred cows of Israel and of the Jewish people thinking - how it reacts to antisemitism around the world, how it looks at the evil of the Holocaust, and how young generations are being educated in Israel with respect to these painful and fundamental issues. Continue

44 suspected militants killed in Pakistan: He said 21 militants were killed Friday, following 23 killed in the two preceding days.

14 killed in Mohmand, Bajaur: Security forces have killed 12 "terrorists" during operations in Mohmand and Bajaur Agencies on Friday. Meanwhile, 2 soldiers embraced Shahadat during the ongoing offensive.

20 insurgents killed in Afghan clash: NATO: The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and Afghan troops were attacked by a large number of militants in northern Afghanistan, and had to call in air support, which resulted in the death of 20 insurgents

5 Killed as Taliban fighters attack Afghan city: The battle lasted eight hours after Taliban fighters launched the assault in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of the southern region, early on Friday.

3 Americans killed in eastern Afghanistan: Two U.S. occupation force service members and one U.S. employee were killed Friday in eastern Afghanistan, pushing the American death toll this month to 29.

One U.S.occupation force trooper killed by IED in southern Afghanistan: A United States serviceman with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was killed Thursday in an IED (improvised explosive device) attack in southern Afghanistan.

UN holds secret talks with Taliban commanders: A UN official says the UN representative in Afghanistan and members of a Taliban's leadership council have secretly met as the West has been trying to bring the militant group into Afghan government.

Afghan summit didn't achieve very much: Miliband is being very naive if he thinks the Taliban can simply be paid off

America's Secret Afghan Prisons : In its attempt to stamp out the growing Taliban insurgency and Al Qaeda, the US military has been arresting suspects and sending them to one of a number of secret detention areas on military bases, often on the slightest suspicion and without the knowledge of their families. These night raids have become even more feared and hated in Afghanistan than coalition airstrikes.

CIA black sites may amount to crime against humanity: UN human rights experts warned on Wednesday that "widespread and systematic" secret detention of terror suspects could pave the way for charges of crimes against humanity.

At least 9 civilians killed in Somalia attacks: Anti-government fighters clashed with African Union peacekeepers and government troops in southeastern Mogadishu in the early hours of Friday, resulting in the deaths.

Iraq: Civilian shot down by gunmen fire near Kirkuk: A civilian man was shot dead by gunmen fire northwest of Kirkuk on Friday, according to the Kirkuk Districts’ Police Department (KDPD) chief.

Iraq inquiry is being ‘gagged’ after secret documents withheld: Crucial evidence about the reasons Britain went to war against Saddam Hussein is being kept secret it has emerged – leading to accusations that the Iraq inquiry has been “gagged”.

'You're a liar and murderer': Blair booed after telling Iraq inquiry he has no regrets

Israel’s voice on Britain's Iraq Inquiry accuses critics of “anti-Semitism”: Britain inquiry into the Iraq war has been dealt a severe blow by a pro-Israel activist on the inquiry committee who has given an interview to a Jewish settlers’ radio accusing his critics of “anti-Semitism”.

Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Iran: Blair: Iran in 2010 more dangerous than Iraq in 2003: Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that Iran in 2010 was more dangerous in terms of its nuclear program than Iraq was in 2003. He made the remarks to a public inquiry into the Iraq war in London.

US Senate votes to slap new sanctions on Iran: The US Senate voted Thursday to slap tough new sanctions on Iran, targeting its thirst for gasoline imports in a bid to force Tehran to bow to global pressure to freeze its suspect nuclear program.

Iran says petroleum sanction will be futile: “We have repeatedly said that the US sanctions imposed against our nation during the past 31 years … have resulted in nothing but our nations' stronger determination to assert independence and achieve self-reliance,” he said.

Clinton: China risks diplomatic isolation over Iran: Speaking in Paris, Clinton said she and others who support additional sanctions on Iran for refusing to prove it has peaceful nuclear intentions are lobbying China to back new UN penalties on the Iranian government.

UN nuclear chief says Iran fuel swap talks ongoing: The UN nuclear watchdog chief said Friday dialogue between Iran and the sides seeking to sell nuclear fuel to the country are still underway, as Iran advised the six major powers to use the opportunity to build trust.

Iran, IAEA say nuclear proposal still on table: Western diplomats have said Iran has effectively turned down the proposal and the United States and major European allies are pursuing broader U.N. sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Obama makes clear that Missile Shield is about Russia, not Iran: While the Bush administration claimed that the missile shield was about dealing with a threat from Iran, Obama has made it clear that it is about a threat from Russia, or at least a perceived threat.

Hamas blames Israel for Dubai death: Hamas has claimed that one of its commanders was assassinated by Israeli agents in Dubai.

Many Gazans remain homeless one year after attack: "A mud hut is still better than a tent. It's not a solution to the reconstruction of Gaza but it shows you how desperate the situation is, that a year later, people living in tents have the hopeful prospect of getting a temporary mud brick shelter," he added. "Sixty years ago we were living in tents because of Israel and now ... in 2010 we are living in mud houses and tents also because of Israel,"

Israel rejects war crimes claim in response to UN: It called the Goldstone report -- the UN investigation which accused both Israel and Palestinian armed groups of war crimes during the three weeks of fighting -- "distorted, biased and unbalanced."

Swedish mayor calls both Anti-Semitism and Zionism forms of 'unacceptable extremism': Swedish Jews are upset about comments made this week by the mayor of Malmo, who said anti-Semitism and Zionism were both forms of "unacceptable extremism," and urged local Jews to disassociate themselves from Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip.

Author David Grossman: Settlers abuse Palestinians: Renowned Israeli author and peace activist David Grossman accused settlers and the political right of abusing Palestinians and destroying the chance for a peace agreement while participating in a protest in East Jerusalem on Friday.

Humanitarian crisis deepens in Yemen as more flee: Fighting in northern Yemen is spreading and the five-year conflict has now driven 250,000 people from their homes, deepening the humanitarian crisis, the United Nations refugee agency said on Friday.

Yemen opposition slams outcome of London conference: Five major Yemeni opposition parties said in a joint statement that the conference 'tended to save the political regime in Yemen rather than the state

Haitian president says 170,000 bodies recovered: Estimates of the total number of dead range as high as 300,000.

Push to send FEMA trailers to Haiti stirs backlash: The trailer industry and lawmakers are pressing the government to send Haiti thousands of potentially formaldehyde-laced trailers left over from Hurricane Katrina — an idea denounced by some as a crass and self-serving attempt to dump inferior American products on the poor.

Haiti revival after quake could take generations says UN chief: Bleak outlook for decades to come and fears of health calamity when rainy season starts in May

Chavez condemns coup plot in Venezuela: Chavez challenged the opposition to call a referendum, saying his government has the support of most Venezuelans.

Jim Hightower: The Supreme Coup: Despite 234 years of progress toward the American ideal of equality for all, we still have to battle unfairness. How happy, then, to learn that a handful of our leaders in Washington took bold and forceful action last week to lift another group of downtrodden Americans from the pits of injustice, helping them gain more political and governmental power. I refer, of course, to corporations.

Daniel Ellsberg: A Memory of Howard: I just learned that my friend Howard Zinn died today. - The interviewer asked me who my own heroes were, and I had no hesitation in answering, first, “Howard Zinn.”

Plunging value of pound leaves £1.3bn black hole in Britain's defence budget: The warning is the latest, and most severe, indication of the damage that falling exchange rates have had on the Government’s ability to act abroad.

UK banks downgraded by credit rating agency: Standard & Poor's blames move on Britain's weak economic environment and banks' dependence on state support

Foreclosures new hot spots: The new foreclosure plague is tied more to the economy than bad mortgages. Here are 10 cities where defaults grew the fastest in 2009.

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