Tuesday, 22 June 2010

News For June 22, 2010

5 Million Iraqis Killed, Maimed, Tortured, Displaced

By Fred Branfman

Is the suffering our leaders inflict on innocent civilians relevant to deciding whether to support our present war-making in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Would it matter if the N.Y. Times had run daily profiles and photos of Iraqi civilian victims since 2003, as it did of U.S. victims after 9/11? Continue

"I consider myself ... a Muslim soldier."
Cause and Effect in the War on Terror

By Glenn Greenwald

Yesterday, Faisal Shahzad pleaded guilty in a New York federal court to attempting to detonate a car bomb in Times Square, and this Pakistani-American Muslim explained why he transformed from a financial analyst living a law-abiding, middle-class American life into a Terrorist: Continue

U.S. Tax Dollars Fueling Afghan Insurgency

By Lara Logan

Billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are fuelling corruption in Afghanistan and funding the insurgency, according to a six-month investigation by the House subcommittee on National Security and Foreign affairs. Continue

The Runaway General

By Michael Hastings

Stanley McChrystal, Obama's top commander in Afghanistan, has seized control of the war by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House. Continue

US Fear Factory Kills Free Speech

By Yvonne Ridley

Millions upon millions of Americans wake up frightened, go to sleep frightened while others feed on the hatred and bile spewed out by politicians, preachers, academics and the media who tell them Israel is good and Palestine is bad. Continue

Commit Yourself To The Truth
Cutting Through the Confusion About Israel/Palestine

By Richard Forer

They claim to care about Israelis but their continued support of a brutal occupation only demeans an entire people and perpetuates conflict for both sides of the issue. It also paints Judaism, once known for its commitment to ethics and justice, as a religion and culture of hypocrisy and bigotry. Continue

Why this Obsession with Israel and the Palestinians?

By Robert Fowke

I'm not alone in my disproportionate interest in Israel – but why do so many of us pick away at this conflict like it's a giant scab? Continue

BP’s Other Gifts to America—and to the World

By Lawrence S. Wittner

Given the sordid record of BP and other giant oil companies, we might wonder why we tolerate them at all. Continue

The Real Shakedown to Apologize For

By Marty Kaplan

If Barack Obama’s extraction of $20 billion from BP was—as Texas Republican Joe Barton called it – a “shakedown,” then what would Barton call the $14.4 million he has extracted during his career from oil and gas interests, electric utilities, the health sector, chemical manufacturers, finance and all the other industries forking over cash to him?  Continue

What Have We Become?
Lethal Force on the Border

By Laura Carlsen

Sergio Hernandez Guereca's short life revolved around the U.S.-Mexico border that ultimately led to his death. On June 7, at approximately 6:30 p.m., a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot the 15-year-old Hernandez in the face in Mexican territory between Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and El Paso, Texas. Continue

47 Killed in Pakistan's Tribal Region: At least 43 militants and four soldiers were killed in a clash in the Pakistani tribal region of Orakzai near the Afghan border, a military spokesperson said Tuesday.
US-led strike kills 25 in Afghanistan: NATO said it targeted a militant stronghold in Paktika Province near the border with Pakistan on Monday night. The western military alliance also issued a statement on Tuesday, claiming that the 25 killed were Taliban militants and some foreign fighters.
Australians among 12 soldiers killed in Afghanistan: The Afghan Defence Ministry also said Monday that six of its soldiers were killed in separate roadside bomb attacks in the eastern provinces of Kunar and Nangarhar and the southern province of Zabul.
Insurgent was ’98 per cent dead,’ Canadian Capt. Robert Semrau faces second-degree murder charges: Capt. Shafigullah said the fighter had been shot by a helicopter gunship and that he had lost both legs and his intestines were exposed.
U.N. to remove Taliban from sanctions list - Afghan gov't: The United Nations has agreed to remove Taliban members who renounce ties to al Qaeda from a U.N. blacklist on a "gradual" basis, Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office said on Tuesday.
14 Insurgents Freed From Afghan Prison: According to President Karzai’s decree and the Peace Jirga’s verdict, 14 militants, including a Pakistani citizen, were freed from prison
U.S. Tax Dollars Fueling Afghan Insurgency: Billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are fuelling corruption in Afghanistan and funding the insurgency, according to a six-month investigation by the House subcommittee on National Security and Foreign affairs.
Full Report: Warlord, Inc.: Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan: After a six-month investigation, the report exposes the circumstances surrounding the Department of Defense’s outsourcing of security on the supply chain in Afghanistan to questionable providers, including warlords
Top Afghan war general appears to deride Biden: McChrystal himself is described by an aide as “disappointed” in his first Oval Office meeting with an unprepared President Barack Obama. The article says that although McChrystal voted for Obama, the two failed to connect from the start.
US general McChrystal summoned to White House: The US commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, has been ordered to the White House to personally explain his criticism of the president and his senior advisers.
McChrystal Apologizes For Comments On Administration Officials: United States (AHN) - NATO and U.S. commander Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal apologized early Tuesday for comments he and his aides made about Obama administration officials in a magazine article that reveals the depth of tensions between the top military leader in charge of the Afghan war and the White House.
UK special envoy to Afghanistan who called for talks with Taliban quits: Britain's special envoy to Afghanistan, known for his scepticism about the western war effort and his support for peace talks with the Taliban, has stepped down just a month before a critical international conference in Kabul.
Suspected Kurdish rebels kill 5 in bombing: Kurdish rebels detonated a remote-controlled bomb in Istanbul Tuesday, killing five people and wounding 12 on a bus carrying military personnel and their families, officials said. Authorities stepped up security across Turkey, fearing more attacks.
4 Killed in Attacks Across Iraq: Officials say Awakening Council Commander Raad al-Mujamai was killed Tuesday by a bomb attached to his vehicle in the Diyala province city of Buhriz. A separate vehicle bombing there killed another leader of the Awakening Council, a government-backed Sunni militia that helped U.S. and Iraqi forces fight al-Qaida in 2006 and 2007.
Four killed in Kyrgyzstan clashes: Rights groups said four people were killed and more than 20 wounded when Kyrgyz forces raided an Uzbek village near Osh, which was the centre of the ethnic clashes that broke out on June 10th.
Iran Reaches Highest Defence Capability, Ready To Meet Military Threats: - Deputy Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Hossein Salami said that the Iranian naval forces has reached the highest level of its readiness, in facing any military threats.
US Lawmakers Unveil New Iran Sanctions Bill: The legislation targets firms that provide Iran with refined petroleum products -- like gasoline or jet fuel. The oil-rich country relies heavily on imports because of a lack of domestic refining capability.
Canada imposes Iran sanctions: The sanctions would ban Iran from buying several categories of heavy weapons, including attack helicopters and missiles.
Pakistan not bound to US sanctions on Iran: Gilani: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani says Pakistan will go ahead with a plan to import natural gas from Iran even if the US levies additional sanctions on the Mideast country.
Presstitute alert: ...: Iran to send blockade-busting ship to Gaza: Iran said Tuesday it would send a blockade-busting ship carrying aid and pro-Palestinian activists to Gaza, fueling concern in Israel, where commandos were training for another possible confrontation at sea.
Beirut warns Israel against ship attack: As a Lebanese aid convoy is preparing to set sail for the Gaza Strip, Beirut says Tel Aviv would be held accountable for any attack against the vessel.
US warns citizens against participating in Gaza flotillas: The State Department advised US citizens against traveling to the Gaza Strip, including as part of flotillas. The new advisory replaces a travel warning issued in August 2009 and applies to all US citizens, including journalists and aid workers.
Mayor defends plan to raze Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem: The office of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Tuesday defended plans to demolish Palestinian houses in the city's eastern sector to make way for a tourist center, after Defense Minister Ehud Barak lashed out at authorities over the project.
The silent expulsion: Citizens of Israel can leave the country for any length of time, and their citizenship and all their rights are theirs in perpetuity. But when it comes to Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, Israel applies draconian regulations whose covert intent is to bring about the expulsion of as many Palestinians as possible from their home city.
War criminal Blair says, No need for aid flotillas: Anyone thinking of organizing an aid flotilla for Gaza should instead utilize the legitimate existing land crossings, where Israel is now lifting restrictions on civilian goods, Quartet envoy Tony Blair said on Monday.
And what of all the other deaths?: The decision to indict Staff Sgt. S. for killing two women during Cast Lead has caused a stir. But his lawyer will rightly ask, 'Why him, and not all the others who killed civilians?'
Report: Hezbollah prepares retaliation for potential Nasrallah assassination: Kuwaiti newspaper quotes Russian sources as saying Israel is monitoring Nasrallah, and even located the Hezbollah chief a year ago.
Times Square Bomber Vows More Attacks on Way: "I want to plead guilty, and I'm going to plead guilty 100 times over," he said. Until U.S. forces leave Muslim territory, he added, "we will be attacking U.S."
Lawmakers Want Pakistan Taliban Labeled a Terrorist Group: A day after Faisal Shahzad said he received funding and training from the Pakistan Taliban in the lead-up to his failed car bombing in Times Square, lawmakers in New York and New Jersey are announcing new legislation officially labeling the group a terrorist organization.
Las Vegas Law Enforcement Launch Anti-Terrorism Campaign: The program is called "See Something, Say Something". The program is designed to make average citizens the eyes and ears of law enforcement when officers aren't around.
Guantanamo plea deal could send bin Laden's cook home: Negotiations are under way for the first Guantanamo war court conviction of the Obama administration, according to sources, a deal that would eventually send Osama bin Laden's one-time cook home to Sudan.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange breaks cover but will avoid America: Assange appeared in public in Brussels for the first time in almost a month to speak at a seminar on freedom of information at the European parliament.
The Fate of the Internet. Decided in a Back Room.: The Wall Street Journal just reported that the Federal Communications Commission is holding "closed-door meetings"with industry to broker a deal on Net Neutrality – the rule that lets users determine their own Internet experience. Given that the corporations at the table all profit from gaining control over information, the outcome won't be pretty.
Midwest Town Mandates Immigration Check for Renters: The ordinance aims to zero in on illegal aliens in the workplace and at their temporary homes. Under the ordinance, renters would have to apply for a license, which includes a police check of the applicant's legal status. Undocumented aliens would be turned over to the federal government.
Iraq Veteran Beating Tape: Video Of NYPD Assaulting Walter Harvin Released (VIDEO) : The Manhattan DA's office has released the highly controversial footage at the heart of a police brutality case involving an Iraq war veteran
Industry slams U.S. drilling ban: Oil executives sent a strong challenge to Barack Obama on Tuesday, warning at a major oil conference that the U.S. President’s ban on risky deepwater drilling would cripple world energy supplies.
US judge rules against White House on drilling ban: A U.S. judge ruled on Tuesday against the six-month moratorium that the Obama administration imposed on deepwater drilling over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Belarus cuts off Russian gas to Europe: President Lukashenko said on Tuesday that the flow of Russian gas to Europe via Belarus will be stopped as Gazprom owed transit fees of USD 260 million to Minsk.
Why China’s Currency Announcement is Hokum: The stock market is euphoric over China’s apparent decision to allow its currency to rise against the dollar. Watch your wallets.
Osborne Increases U.K. Value-Added Tax Rate to 20%:: British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne increased the value-added tax rate to 20 percent from 17.5 percent in the first permanent change to the levy on sales of goods and services in almost two decades.
New Jersey battles over tax on millionaires: New Jersey politicians are due to battle on Monday over whether to slap a tax on millionaires or cut services for low-income senior citizens and the disabled.
Thousands of New York City workers demonstrate against threatened layoffs: Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed more than a billion dollars in cuts that would close a number of firehouses, libraries, senior centers, child care centers, swimming pools and after-school programs, and reduce the number of school nurses.

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