Tuesday, 17 August 2010

News For August 18, 2010

Fear Not

By Israel Shamir

The enemies of Israel will be taken out one after another, each with help of the next still unsuspecting victim. Continue 

Afghan Women Have Already Been Abandoned

By Ann Jones

I know Bibi Aisha, the young Afghan woman pictured on the August 9 cover of Time, and I rejoice that her mutilated nose and ears are going to be surgically repaired. But the logic of those who use Aisha's story to convince us that the US military must stay in Afghanistan escapes me. Continue

The Guns of August
Lowering the Flag on the American Century

By Chalmers Johnson

What harm would befall the United States if we actually decided, against all odds, to close those hundreds and hundreds of bases, large and small, that we garrison around the world?  What if we actually dismantled our empire, and came home? Would Genghis Khan-like hordes descend on us?  Not likely. Continue

How Much Is Enough?
America's Runaway Military Spending

By Lawrence S. Wittner

Where does this vast outlay of U.S. tax dollars—the greatest military appropriations in U.S. history—go? Continue

Racketeers for Capitalism

By Cindy Sheehan

The Empire preys on our kids using all the tools at its disposal: Economic panic, high college tuition, high unemployment and a mythology that the U.S. has some existential right to steal the resources of other nations. Continue

A Mutant Form of Capitalism

2 Minute Video

An animated interview of John Perkins, author of 'HoodWinked' and 'Confessions Of An Economic Hitman' Continue

America’s Biggest Jobs Program — the U.S. Military

By Robert Reich

America’s biggest — and only major — jobs program is the U.S. military. Over 1,400,000 Americans are now on active duty; another 833,000 are in the reserves, many full time. Another 1,600,000 Americans work in companies that supply the military with everything from weapons to utensils. (I’m not even including all the foreign contractors employing non-US citizens.) Continue

None Dare Call It Tyranny

By Sheldon Richman

The national government — specifically the executive branch — can do pretty much what it wants. It could bomb Iran tomorrow without a declaration of war from Congress. It can — and does — conduct secret wars and covert operations against countries that have done nothing to us. Continue

Dismantling America

By Thomas Sowell

The Constitution was not only a challenge to the despotic governments of its time, but has been a continuing challenge — to this day — to all those who think that ordinary people should be ruled by their betters, whether an elite of blood, or of books, or of whatever else gives people a puffed-up sense of importance. Continue

Understanding America's Class System
Honk If You Love Caviar

By Joe Bageant

America has always had a ruling class, and it has always bullshitted the world that it doesn't. But at least the ruling class of the past was interesting and varied, because diverse sorts of Americans were getting rich. Continue

Deceptive Economic Statistics
While the economists lied the US economy died

By Paul Craig Roberts

Right now, if measured according to the methodology of 1980, the US unemployment rate is about 22%. Thus, the reported rate of unemployment hides more than half of the unemployed. Continue

Iraq suicide bomber kills 61: Bodies of bloodied young men, some still clutching job applications in their hands, were scattered on the ground outside the military headquarters in central Baghdad.
Iraq government is responsible for carnage: The ridiculous squabbling over who will lead a new government is not only allowing the terror networks to regroup and arm themselves — following a successful campaign by the government in recent years to dismantle some of these groups — but also threatens the territorial integrity of Iraq.
It was never suicide, says Dr Kelly's cousin as family finally breaks silence: A close relative of Dr David Kelly broke the family's silence yesterday to voice fears that he was murdered.
17 Taliban militants killed in W Afghanistan: "A joint cleanup operation by Afghan army and international coalition troops was launched Monday and goes on today in Balamurghab district, as a result 17 militants have been killed," spokesman Afghan Corps 207 in the region Najebullah Khan told Xinhua.
7 Killed, 10 Wounded in Bomb Blasts in Afghanistan: In bomb blasts in southern and western Afghanistan, 7 civilians were killed and 10 others were wounded, including women and children
6 Policemen Poisoned, Killed in Kandahar: Six policemen were poisoned and then killed on Monday afternoon in turbulent Kandahar province by the Taliban, provincial officials said
3 U.S. Occupation Force Soldiers, 2 Afghans Killed in Bombings: 15 U.S. Troops Killed in August So Far as Attacks Offer Sober Reminders of War's Escalating Violence
Afghan private security ban: Join police, or stay inside compounds: Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai issued a decree Tuesday formalizing a four-month deadline for private security companies to disband — a move likely to dismay NATO and the U.S. military that rely on such firms to protect convoys and bases.
Karzai's "impossible" decree: A push to oust private security firms from Afghanistan puts "fear of god" into foreign forces.
The gangs of Kandahar - the city's real power?: Declared by President Obama as this year's top priority in the ongoing war in Afghanistan, Kandahar is the country's second city and the heartland of the Taliban rebel movement.
Somalia: At Least 9 Killed in Mogadishu camp attack : The clashes erupted late on Monday when al-Shabab fighters attacked government positions to the south of the capital, sparking a heavy exchange of artillery fire between the fighters and government troops backed by African Union forces.
Israeli troops invade southern Gaza; Palestinian fighters fire 5 shells: Following a cross-border skirmish between Palestinian fighters and Israeli forces in which one Palestinian was killed on Monday, Israeli forces invaded southern Gaza twice in a 24-hour period.
Gwynne Dyer: The Mavi Marmara Inquiry: Denying the Obvious: Just as Kent State destroyed US popular support for the Vietnam War and Bloody Sunday killed the myth of a benevolent British army protecting Catholics from Protestants in Northern Ireland, the events on the Mavi Marmara will ultimately end the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip
U.S. Jewish voters revolt against Obama: A recent study of American Jewish voters shows that U.S. Jews are angry at Obama's Mideast policies and will most likely vote for someone next elections.
Lebanon grants Palestinian refugees right to work: Lebanon’s parliament adopted on Tuesday a law granting full employment rights to the roughly 400,000 Palestinian refugees living in the country, a high-ranking official said.
Ex-US envoy to UN Bolton: Attack before Bushehr facility ready: Former US envoy to the UN John Bolton said Monday that if Israel wants to prevent Iran from acquiring a working nuclear plant, then a military strike must be launched against the Bushehr nuclear power facility within the next eight days
Iran to unveil new air defense system: Iran is set to inaugurate the production line of a long-range air-defense missile system on August 22 to counter any likely air attack on the country.
Iran to build 10 uranium enrichments plants in mountain strongholds : Yesterday, the government also ordered the Iranian navy to retaliate against any other countries attempting to search its ships or aeroplanes
Venezuela ready to sell petrol to Iran: The Venezuelan ambassador to Tehran says his country is ready to sell gasoline to Iran despite US and EU unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Demonizing Hugo Chavez: U.S. Needs To Deal With Chavez: An avowed friend to Iran and other rogue states, Hugo Chavez is a reality that President Obama needs to deal with now.
Catholic activists arrested at Kansas City nuclear weapons facility: Singing choruses of “we shall not be moved” while scattering sunflower seeds, 14 activists were arrested here Aug. 16 after blocking an earth moving vehicle on the site of a proposed nuclear weapons manufacturing facility.
U.S. said to plan easing rules for travel to Cuba: The Obama administration is planning to expand opportunities for Americans to travel to Cuba, the latest step aimed at encouraging more contact between people in both countries, while leaving intact the decades-old embargo against the island’s Communist government, according to Congressional and administration officials.
US-Colombia pact 'unconstitutional': Colombia's constitutional court has declared a US-Colombian accord that gave the US military access to at least seven Colombian bases to be unconstitutional.
Barclays, Another Bank That Violated Economic Sanctions: Barclays Pays $298 Million for Violating International Economic Sanctions
UK retiree 'sold arms to Iran': A retired businessman in Britain is fighting extradition to the United States over claims he sold missile parts to Iran.
8.5 Years In US Gulag: US Judge says Guantanamo detainee should be released: A federal judge has ordered the release of a Guantanamo Bay detainee imprisoned at the island facility for more than 8 1/2 years.
Secret tapes of alledged 9/11 plotter Ramzi Binalshibh found under CIA desk: Recordings of a 9/11 plotter being interrogated in a secret overseas prison were discovered under a desk by the CIA— even though the government told the Justice Department twice that such tapes did not exist.
Manufacturing Consent For Increased Military Budget: China targets U.S. troops with arms buildup: The report to Congress on China's military power, released Monday, also warned that China's military is extending its global military reach beyond a weapons buildup to wage regional war with Taiwan and the United States.
One-fifth of Pakistan under water as flooding disaster continues: United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon said Sunday from Pakistan that the flood disaster is the worst he's ever seen, characterizing the destruction as more dire than that caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2005 Pakistani earthquake.
UN : The Magnitude of the Pakistan Floods Is Unprecedented: The World Health Organization says around six million people—over half of them children—face the threat of cholera and dysentery, as well as typhoid and hepatitis.
Why Western donors are snubbing Pakistan after giving to Haiti : Naseer Warraich, of the Association of Pakistani Canadians, said his organization has so far been able to raise only $30,000 toward it’s $1-million fundraising goal, and that he is still trying to figure out why.
Sen. Harry Reid Breaks With Obama Over 'Ground Zero Mosque': President Obama's staunchest ally in the Senate broke with the president today over the controversial Islamic center planned for a site near Ground Zero, and said he is opposed to its construction.
Mosque Debate: Keith Ellison 'Gets It,' While Harry Reid Gets In the Way: Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison did a terrific job of explaining Monday why Democrats ought not fear the sad little debate about whether to allow a moderate Muslim group to build an Islamic Center near the site of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
Mexico court upholds gay adoption law. Is Mexico more tolerant than US?: Mexico's Supreme Court upheld a law Monday that allows gay couples in the capital to adopt children. The gay adoption decision comes a week after the court upheld the constitutionality of gay marriage.
Gulf Oil Spill: University Study Contradicts Government Estimates, Up To 79% Of Oil Could Remain: A group of scientists say that most of that BP oil the government claimed was gone from the Gulf of Mexico is actually still there.
China Slashes U.S. Government Bond Holdings By The Largest Amount Ever: The nation’s holdings of long-term Treasuries fell in June for the first time in 15 months, dropping by $21.2 billion to $839.7 billion, a U.S. government report showed yesterday. Two- year yields headed for a fifth monthly decline in August, falling today to a record 0.48 percent
Southern California Home Sales Drop 21 Percent: A tracking firm says home sales in Southern California plummeted more than 21 percent last month from July 2009, their biggest drop in more than two years.
US homebuilder confidence sinks: Despite low mortgage rates, fewer people are buying new homes. Official data shows that in June alone purchases of existing homes declined by 5.1 percent.
Loan Closing Costs Jump 36.6% Year-Over-Year: Bankrate suggests one reason for this jump in cost is the government requirement for lenders to provide accurate good faith estimates (GFEs) of closing costs.
Another Threat to Economy: Boomers Cutting Back: Policy makers have long worried that Americans aren't saving enough for old age. And lately, current and prospective retirees have been hit on many fronts at once: They have less money, they earn less on what they have, their houses aren't rising in value and the prospect of working longer to make up the shortfall has dimmed significantly in a lousy job market.
US proves call centre match for India on costs: High unemployment levels have driven down wages for some low-skilled outsourcing services in some parts of the US, particularly among the Hispanic population.
Wal-Mart Quietly Raises Prices: A JPMorgan Chase (JPM) study of a Walmart Supercenter in Virginia found that the world's largest retailer has raised prices by nearly 6% on average over the past six weeks, according to the New York Post. Reuters says it was the biggest sequential increase since JPMorgan started the study in January 2009.

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