Saturday, July 31, 2010

Reports emerge the UK used depleted uranium weapons in Iraq, July 29, 2010

Source: Russia today

Reports have emerged that the UK used depleted uranium weapons during the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. A UK defense official has reportedly admitted using highly controversial ammunition.

“UK forces used about 1.9 metric tons of depleted uranium ammunition in the Iraq war in 2003,” UK Defense Secretary Liam Fox said in a written reply to the House of Commons Thursday, Iranian Press TV reported, citing the Kuwait News Agency.

It is alleged that a joint inquiry by Iraq’s environment, health and science ministries uncovered more than 40 sites across the war-torn country contaminated with high levels of radiation.

The use of uranium ammunition is widely controversial because of potential long-term health effects. The US and UK have allegedly used up to 2,000 tons of such ammunition during the war.

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The Suffering of Fallujah

by Robert Koehler,, July 30, 2010

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Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Fallujah . . .

And so it turns out that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, though not until we arrived and started using them.

Along with whatever else we did to Fallujah – exacted collective punishment on a defiant city (a war crime) in November 2004, killed thousands of civilians, shattered the infrastructure (nearly six years later, the sewage system hasn’t been repaired and waste flows in the streets) — we also, apparently, nuked the city, leaving a legacy of cancer, leukemia, infant mortality, and genetic abnormality.

Freedom isn’t free. Remember when that was the go-to phrase of the citizen war zealots among us, their all-purpose rebuttal when those of us appalled by this insane war cited civilian casualty stats? Discussion over. Thought stops here.

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Srebrenica 15 Years Later

By Kevin Beck, Foreign Policy Journal, July 30, 2010

The July 1995 massacre and murder of 8000 Bosnian men and boys in the eastern Bosnian city of Srebrenica, Bosnia-Hercegovina continues to be a stain on humanity as more than seventy major mass graves have been located in Bosnia-Hercegovina containing civilians killed during the worst war crimes in Europe since the days of World War Two.

While there has been partial accountability for these terrible crimes of mass slaughter and ethnic intolerance that took place during the final months of the civil war and genocide in Bosnia-Hercegovina, efforts to more fully hold those responsible accountable have progressed slowly in the fifteen years since the tragedy.

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Obama Administration In Danger Of Establishing ‘New Normal’ With Worst Bush-Era Policies, Says ACLU

eNews Park Forest, 29 July 2010 13:08 Press Release Analysis

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–July 29, 2010. The Obama administration has repudiated some of the Bush administration’s most egregious national security policies but is in danger of institutionalizing others permanently into law, thereby creating a troubling “new normal,” according to a new report released today by the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Establishing a New Normal: National Security, Civil Liberties, and Human Rights Under the Obama Administration,” an 18-month review of the Obama administration’s record on national security issues affecting civil liberties, concludes that the current administration’s record on issues of national security and civil liberties is decidedly mixed: President Obama has made great strides in some areas, such as his auspicious first steps to categorically prohibit torture, outlaw the CIA’s use of secret overseas detention sites and release the Bush administration’s torture memos, but he has failed to eliminate some of the worst policies put in place by President Bush, such as military commissions and indefinite detention. He has also expanded the Bush administration’s “targeted killing” program.

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“The Real Terrorist Was Me” Speech By A U.S. War Veteran

Information Clearing House, July 29, 2010


Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or policies we don’t understand; The real enemy is a system that wages war when it’s profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it’s profitable, the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it’s profitable, the Banks who take away our homes when it’s profitable. Our enemies are not several hundred thousands away. They are right here in front of us
- Mike Prysner

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The Real Aim of Israel’s Bomb Iran Campaign

by Gareth Porter,, July 30, 2010

Reuel Marc Gerecht’s screed justifying an Israeli bombing attack on Iran coincides with the opening of the new Israel lobby campaign marked by the introduction of House Resolution 1553 expressing full support for such an Israeli attack.

What is important to understand about this campaign is that the aim of Gerecht and of the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu is to support an attack by Israel so that the United States can be drawn into direct, full-scale war with Iran.

That has long been the Israeli strategy for Iran, because Israel cannot fight a war with Iran without full U.S. involvement. Israel needs to know that the United States will finish the war that Israel wants to start.

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Exclusive Intifada Interview with Archbishop Theodosios (Atallah) Hanna

Elias Harb, Intifada Palestine, July 23, 2010

Intifada Exclusive Interview with his Eminence

Archbishop Theodosios “Atallah Hanna”

Archbishop of Sebastia

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate Of Jerusalem

“For those who use the Bible to support Israel need to differentiate between God promise and Balfour promise, because the occupation is the result of a promise given to the Israelis by Lord Balfour and not by God.” Archbishop Theodosios

Elias Harb: Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel has claimed in various publications that Jews, Christians and Muslims are able to build their homes anywhere in Jerusalem and that only under Israeli sovereignty had freedom of worship for all religions been assured in the city. How do you respond to that?

Archbishop Theodosios: The facts on the ground say exactly the opposite, more and more Muslims and Christians are having great difficulties in entering the city. We see thousands are denied the entry to their holiest sites. The Israelis authorities are even preventing the Arab Jerusalemites from entering the Holy sepulcher and the Aqsa mosque on major religious feasts. It is very apparent that the Israelis want Jerusalem to themselves and they do not want to share it with others. It is a big pity that the city of peace, which must symbolizes brotherhood and love to be transformed into a symbol of hatred and division because of Israeli actions.

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Dan Ellsberg on WikiLeaks & the Essential Democratic Question: Who Will Tell the People?

John Nichols, The Nation, July 29, 2010

The Obama White House was quick to condemn the publication Sunday evening of more than 91,000 secret documents detailing the monumentally misguided and frequently failed attempt by the United States to occupy Afghanistan.

National Security Adviser James Jones took the lead in attacking WikiLeaks for making the details of the war available to the American people—who are, ultimately, supposed to define the direction of US foreign policy—by declaring: “The United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security.”

Despite the fact that the “Afghanistan War Logs,” which are being published by the New York Times, the Guardian and Der Speigel, detail the mess in Afghanistan, and point to the bigger mess that will be made if the occupation is expanded as the Obama administration proposes, Jones offered a classic don’t-confuse-us-with-the-facts response. “These irresponsible leaks will not impact our ongoing commitment to deepen our partnerships with Afghanistan and Pakistan; to defeat our common enemies; and to support the aspirations of the Afghan and Pakistani people.”

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The United States Must Grow Up On Pakistan

By Michael Scheuer, The Diplomat, July 26, 2010

—Major efforts to slow the growth of Islamist radicalism and violence in the country’s economic, agricultural and industrial heartland in the Sindh and Punjab. This will require a modus Vivendi with the tribes on the western border that encourages them—with subventions of (probably US) money, weaponry and other support—to stop attacking in Pakistan proper and begin aiding their Afghan brethren against Karzai.

—Pakistan’s intelligence service (ISI) will try to mend fences with Pashtuns on both sides of the border, and influence them to attack Karzai’s regime, NATO forces, and Indian targets, all in an effort to hurry NATO’s defeat and help the Islamists to retake power in Kabul. This is the only long-term result that meets Pakistan’s national security needs.

—The Army will reduce the lethality of its tribal-area operations as its contribution to ending the civil war Musharraf ignited. No doubt Kayani will keep the Army active in the tribal lands, but only with Potemkin operations meant to keep US aid flowing while not further alienating the Pashtuns. This tack also will start to ease the deep discontent in the Army over being tasked to kill Muslims for US infidels.

—Zidari and Kayani will seek promises from Riyadh to financially assist Pakistan if Washington cuts aid to Pakistan. Since Islamabad’s goal of replacing Karzai with a Taliban-like regime is compatible with Saudi and Gulf state foreign-policy goals—indeed, much of the Taliban’s funding is from the Gulf—such a pledge from Riyadh is likely. As a sweetener, the Pakistanis will help insert young Gulf jihadis returning from Iraq or graduating from so-called reeducation camps into Afghanistan to fight US-NATO forces.

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French Christian groups call for end to Israeli ‘impunity’

Middle East Online, July 29, 2010

Christians call on French government to ‘pressure’ Israel to respect basic rights of Palestinians.

PARIS – Five French Christian organisations on Wednesday called on the French government to end what they termed the “impunity accorded to the state of Israel” over its treatment of the Palestinians.

In an open letter the five groups, including Secours Catholique, called on Prime Minister Francois Fillon to “exert pressure… so that Israel respects the basic rights of the Palestinians.”

The groups urged the “French government to act, to put an end to the impunity accorded to the state of Israel as regards the violation of international law,” the letter said.

The other groups that signed up to the letter were Cimade, an ecumenical organisation; Acat-France, which campaigns against torture; Defap, a Protestant evangelical group; and les Amis de Sabeel-France.

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The Palestinian Authority is imprisoning Gazans

The same government that includes a call to end the blockade on Gaza, in practice aids in imprisoning the Gazans by preventing them from holding valid Palestinian passports.

Amira Hass, Haretz/Israel, July28, 2010

Lies and power go hand in hand. But what is considered outrageous in a sovereign state is catastrophic for a society fighting for its freedom. The Palestinians have two sets of leadership under occupation competing for the dubious title of “government” – and both are generating lies to perpetuate their status. The Hamas government, which won the majority of the vote in democratic Palestinian legislative elections, is not recognized by most countries. Yet these countries warmly accept the Palestinian Authority government, which was appointed by the president and leader of the party that lost the election, Fatah.

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It’s India’s poor who need British aid, not its military and business elites

In tickling the vanity of Delhi’s super-rich, David Cameron shuns the most principled area of the two countries’ relationship

Pankaj Mishra, The Guardian/UK, July 28, 2010

This week David Cameron flew to India in a chartered plane, accompanied by six ministers, innumerable corporate chiefs, and even a few Olympic medallists. Cameron has vowed to forge a “new special relationship” with the world’s second-fastest growing economy, which the Labour government, infatuated with the old special relationship, neglected to build. A foundation for this alliance was apparently laid today when BAE signed a £500m contract to supply 57 Hawk jet trainers to India’s air force and navy.

India seeks urgently and expensively to modernise its military. No one in the British delegation will be pressing Indian flesh more eagerly this week than representatives of BAE and Rolls-Royce, who in India are vying for some of the world’s biggest weapons contracts. The rest of the Indian scene is not so inviting (and Cameron is wise to refrain from invoking old colonial links, which would slight India’s new amour-propre as much as it might gladden British hearts).

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US Congress rejects pullout of troops from Pakistan

By Anwar Iqbal,, July 29, 2010

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The Congress overwhelmingly rejected a resolution demanding the withdrawal of US troops from Pakistan.—File photo by AP

The Congress overwhelmingly rejected a resolution demanding the withdrawal of US troops from Pakistan.—File photo by AP

WASHINGTON: The US Congress has overwhelmingly rejected a resolution demanding the withdrawal of US troops from Pakistan.

The measure, moved in the House of Representatives, was sponsored by two anti-war Republican congressmen — Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) and Ron Paul (Texas) — and was in reaction to reports that the US was running a secret war in Pakistan.

The lawmakers argued that any war effort not approved by Congress violated the War Powers Act. It was voted down 38-372. Thirty-two Democrats and six Republicans voted for the measure. Four congressmen voted “present”, three Democrats and one Republican.

The vote took place days after newspapers published leaked documents suggesting that Pakistani intelligence had cooperated with extremist groups while simultaneously accepting US aid to fight terror.

Congressmen Kucinich and Paul, however, used their floor time to criticise the war in Afghanistan.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

A history of folly, from the Trojan horse to Afghanistan

By recording failure in meticulous detail, the leaked war logs bear devastating witness to our incompetence

Simon Jenkins, The Guardian/UK, July 27, 2010

Is it the death of war? In Vietnam the horror of fighting was brought to TV screens in real time. Such was the reaction that American citizens withdrew their consent. In the 1980s computers were said to have restored the aloofness of battle by enabling armies to fight and defeat an enemy by remote control. They could locate the foe, direct fire and drop bombs with pinpoint accuracy.

That thesis is now threadbare. There is no such thing as a secure computer, let alone an accurate one. Every jot of information is leaky, permeable, corruptible, accessible, free-to-air. Computerisation and miniaturisation have stripped command of all secrecy and rendered every success or failure vulnerable to WikiLeak. As a result, like Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey, computers can change sides and become the enemy.

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Congress ratifies Obama escalation of Afghanistan war

By Patrick Martin,, July 28, 2010

Little more than 24 hours after the release of 91,000 documents detailing US military atrocities in Afghanistan, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives gave final approval to a funding bill to pay for the escalation of the war.

By a margin of 308-114, well over the two-thirds majority required under an expedited procedure known as “suspension of the rules,” the House backed a $60 billion supplemental funding bill passed by the Senate last week.

More than half the Democratic caucus joined forces with a near-unanimous Republican minority to pass the bill. The comfortable two-thirds majority was significant since 162 Democrats voted earlier this month for a resolution to require the Obama administration to begin significant troop withdrawals by July 2011. If that many Democrats had opposed the funding bill, it would have failed to win a two-thirds vote, but as always in such parliamentary maneuvering, just enough Democrats switched their votes to provide the margin required to sustain the war policies of American imperialism.

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State of Denial: After the Big Leak, Spinning for War

Norman Solomon's picture

by Norman Solomon, The Smirking Chimp, July 28, 2010

Washington’s spin machine is in overdrive to counter the massive leak of documents on Afghanistan. Much of the counterattack revolves around the theme that the documents aren’t particularly relevant to this year’s new-and-improved war effort.

The White House seized on the timeframe of the documents released by WikiLeaks. “The period of time covered in these documents (January 2004-December 2009) is before the President announced his new strategy,” a White House email told reporters on Sunday evening. “Some of the disconcerting things reported are exactly why the President ordered a three month policy review and a change in strategy.”

Unfortunately, the “change in strategy” has remained on the same basic track as the old strategy — except for escalation. On Tuesday morning, the lead story on the New York Times website noted: “As the debate over the war begins anew, administration officials have been striking tones similar to the Bush administration’s to argue for continuing the current Afghanistan strategy, which calls for a significant troop buildup.”

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Do drone attacks make life and death worth less?

Jonathan Cook, The National, July 27, 201|0

The thousands of US officer reports from Afghanistan appearing on Wikileaks yesterday show how technology can imperil a military’s secrecy and operations. But there is another side to that relationship. The technologies used by militaries to kill by remote control, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated and prevalent, are transforming warfare.

A senior United Nations official recently warned of the emergence of a “PlayStation mentality to killing”, conjuring up an image of armies on the battlefield being replaced by unseen, nerdy teenagers spraying bullets and missiles with joysticks as wantonly as they already do when playing video games. Israel is one of the pioneers of these technologies. The first remote-controlled machines were surveillance aircraft built to fly over Lebanon in the early 1980s, as Israel invaded and then occupied the country for 20 years. Today Israel is the world leader in developing and selling unmanned aerial vehicles – or drones, as they have come to be called.

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Palestinian prisoners protest inhumane Israeli punishment, July 28, 2010

Middle East Monitor

Palestinian prisoners protest inhumane Israeli punishmentThe Ministry of Prisoner Affairs for the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah has warned of an ‘explosion’ of the situation within Israeli prisons, given the systemic conduct of collective punishment of detainees exercised in most Israeli jails.

In a press release issued on Monday (26.07.2010), the ministry stated that the management of Israel’s Prison Service continues to enforce repressive policies against Palestinian detainees who have in turn responded by escalating their active objection.

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As WikiLeaks Shake Washington, Congressmen Propose Vote to Exit Pakistan

By John Nichols, The Nation, July 27, 2010

Wikileaks revelations regarding the extent of US operations and problems in Pakistan raise the question: Shouldn’t Congress check-and-balance the administration’s inclination to expand the Afghanistan imbroglio across the border and into Afghanistan?

Congressmen Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, and Ron Paul, R-Texas, think so.

They have proposed House Concurrent Resolution 301, “Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove the United States Armed Forces from Pakistan.”

The measure, which is expected to be voted on Tuesday, is a bold response to a burgeoning crisis. Kucinich says it “aims to cause the United States to withdraw from Pakistan. Now, it’s not generally known that we have at least 124 Special Forces troops on the ground inside Pakistan. It is absolutely urgent that we take a stand to stop spreading war in Pakistan. To nip in the bud the U.S. ground presence.”

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Daniel Ellsberg describes Afghan war logs as on a par with ‘Pentagon Papers’

Former US military analyst leaked documents in 1971 revealing how the American public was misled about the Vietnam war

Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian/UK, July 27, 2010

Former Pentagon employee Daniel Ellsberg Daniel Ellsberg, the former US military analyst who compared the Afghanistan war logs with his leaking of the 1971 ‘Pentagon Papers’. Photograph: Stephen Hird/ReutersDaniel Ellsberg, a former US military analyst, has described the disclosure of the Afghan war logs as on the scale of his leaking of the “Pentagon Papers” in 1971 revealing how the US public was misled about the Vietnam war.”An outrageous escalation of the war is taking place,” he said. “Look at these cables and see if they give anybody the occasion to say the answer is ‘resources”. He added: “After $300bn and 10 years, the Taliban is stronger than they have ever been … We are recruiting for them.”

However, the equivalent of the Pentagon Papers on Afghanistan – top secret papers relating to policy – had yet to be leaked, he said.

People could read the logs to discover what they now need to ask, such as what their money was being spent on, he said. They would have an effect on public opinion, but the question, Ellsberg said, was how they would influence the US and UK governments.

He compared them to the document leaked in 2003 by the GCHQ officer, Katharine Gun, which revealed how the US asked Britain to spy on neutral countries at the UN before the invasion of Iraq. The disclosure influenced the attitude of the neutral countries who refused to vote for the invasion.

US rattles sabre in the East Sea/ Sea of Japan

Morning Star Online, July 25, 2010

A South Korean plane takes off from the USS George Washington

A South Korean plane takes off from the USS George Washington

The United States and South Korea have launched a major military drill in the Sea of Japan [East Sea], despite China’s concern that the sabre-rattling is exacerbating already acute tensions in the region.

The nuclear-powered USS George Washington aircraft carrier led an armada of warships in the “Invincible Spirit” exercises off the Korean peninsula.

The military drills are to run until Wednesday with 8,000 US and South Korean troops, 20 ships and submarines and 200 aircraft on station.

More than 200 warplanes are being deployed, including F-22 Raptors and F-18 fighter jets.

USS George Washington commanding officer David Lausman said: “We are showing our resolve.”

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Leaked documents expose imperialist war in Afghanistan

By Alex Lantier,, July 27, 2010

On Sunday, the WikiLeaks web site posted 91,731 American military documents on the US-NATO occupation of Afghanistan, covering the period from January 2004 to December 2009. The release was timed to coincide with articles on these revelations in the New York Times, the British Guardian and the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel, all of which had received the documents several weeks ago.

The documents make clear that the occupation of Afghanistan is a filthy imperialist war. Popular resistance and protest demonstrations are drowned in blood, US death squads operate at will under a media blackout, and Washington and NATO collaborate with a narrow elite of corrupt warlords and Afghan officers.

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Afghanistan war logs: Secret CIA paramilitaries’ role in civilian deaths

Innocent Afghan men, women and children have paid the price of the Americans’ rules of engagement

David Leigh, The Guardian/UK, July 25, 2010

An Afghan girl in Helmand after being injured in an air strike by coalition forces in June 2007

An Afghan girl lies on a hospital bed in Helmand after being injured in an airstrike by coalition forces in June 2007. Photograph: Abdul Qodus/Reuters

Shum Khan, a man both deaf and unable to speak, lived in the remote border hamlet of Malekshay, 7,000ft up in the mountains. When a heavily armed squad from the CIA barrelled into his village in March 2007, the war logs record that he “ran at the sight of the approaching coalition forces … out of fear and confusion”.

The secret CIA paramilitaries, (the euphemism here is OGA, for “other government agency”) shouted at him to stop. Khan could not hear them. He carried on running. So they shot him, saying they were entitled to do so under the carefully graded “escalation of force” provisions of the US rules of engagement.

Khan was wounded but survived. The Americans’ error was explained to them by village elders, so they fetched out what they term “solatia”, or compensation. The classified intelligence report ends briskly: “Solatia was made in the form of supplies and the Element mission progressed”.

Behind the military jargon, the war logs are littered with accounts of civilian tragedies. The 144 entries in the logs recording some of these so-called “blue on white” events, cover a wide spectrum of day-by-day assaults on Afghans, with hundreds of casualties.

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Egypt Punishes Gaza More

By Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa Al-Omrani, Inter-Press Service News,

CAIRO, Jul 26, 2010 (IPS) – Almost two months since Egypt announced it would reopen its Rafah border terminal with the Gaza Strip, operation of the crossing remains sorely limited.

“Rafah has only been opened to passengers and some medical supplies,” Hatem el-Buluk, journalist and resident of Al-Arish, located some 40 kilometres west of Rafah, told IPS. “Everything else, including food and construction materials, must enter the strip via Israeli-controlled border crossings.”

On Jun. 1, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced that Rafah — the strip’s only border crossing not shared with Israel — would be opened to humanitarian aid “indefinitely”. The surprise announcement came one day after Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish activists aboard a ship bringing humanitarian aid to the besieged coastal enclave.

Hitherto, Egypt had refused to open the crossing until Palestinian resistance group Hamas, which has governed the strip since 2007, signed on to a “reconciliation” agreement with the U.S.-backed Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas.

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Karzai Confirms: NATO Killed 52 Civilians in Friday Attack

Rockets Hit House Full of Hiding Civilians

by Jason Ditz,, July 26, 2010

Following up on reports emerging over the weekend, Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s office is confirming that a NATO attack in Sangin District of the Helmand Province struck a houseload of civilians hiding from a nearby battle, and that at least 52 civilians were killed.

The Karzai government has promised an investigation into the killings of the civilians, which were said to have included a large number of women and children, a number of wounded civilians were also reported in the tiny village.

NATO had previously denied that any such incident had occurred, claiming their own preliminary investigation turned up no indication of any civilian casualties in Sangin. This is largely in keeping with other cases of large scale civilian deaths, however, as NATO generally has denied them when the details first come to light, and only claims then later, if at all.

The civilian deaths will likely draw renewed attention to new commander Gen. David Petraeus’ plans to significantly tone down restrictions on the rules of engagement designed to prevent large scale killings of civilians. It will be difficult, havng just killed 52 civilians, for NATO to argue that the rules are too strict for them.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Roberts: US Treasury Running on Fumes

down to the last trillion in red ink

By Paul Craig Roberts,, July 26, 2010

The White House is screaming like a stuck pig. WikiLeaks’ release of the Afghan War Documents “puts the lives of our soldiers and our coalition partners at risk.”

What nonsense. Obama’s war puts the lives of American soldiers at risk, and the craven puppet state behavior of “our partners” in serving as US mercenaries is what puts their troops at risk.

Keep in mind that it was someone in the US military that leaked the documents to WikiLeaks. This means that there is a spark of rebellion within the Empire itself.

And rightly so. The leaked documents show that the US has committed numerous war crimes and that the US government and military have lied through their teeth in order to cover up the failure of their policies. These are the revelations that Washington wants to keep secret.

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Afghanistan war logs: How US marines sanitised record of bloodbath

War logs show how marines gave cleaned up accounts of incident in which they killed 19 civilians

Declan Walsh, The Guardian/UK, July 26, 2010

The site of a suicide bomb which was followed by civilian deaths as US marines escaped The site of a suicide bomb which was followed by civilian deaths as US marines escaped. Photograph: Noorullah/EPA

Brevity is the hallmark of military reporting, but even by those standards the description of one disastrous event is remarkably short: “The patrol returned to base.”

It started with a suicide bomb. On 4 March 2007 a convoy of US marines, who arrived in Afghanistan three weeks earlier, were hit by an explosives-rigged minivan outside the city of Jalalabad.

The marines made a frenzied escape, opening fire with automatic weapons as they tore down a six-mile stretch of highway, hitting almost anyone in their way – teenage girls in fields, motorists in their cars, old men as they walked along the road. Nineteen unarmed civilians were killed and 50 wounded.

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A record of war crimes

Bill Van Auken,, July 27, 2010

The tens of thousands of documents posted online by WikiLeaks Sunday have provided a detailed and searing indictment of a criminal colonial war that the Obama administration has made its own.

In its sheer volume—92,000 documents, 200,000 pages—the so-called Afghan War Diary makes an incontrovertible case that for nearly nine years the US military has conducted a campaign of terror and deadly violence against the Afghan people.

Consisting of battlefield reports written by US soldiers and officers, the documents record the deaths of civilians resulting from air strikes on their homes and the killing of Afghans on motorcycles and in cars and buses by trigger-happy troops manning roadblocks.

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Leaked Afghan reports “contain war crimes evidence on U.S.”

Leaked U.S. army papers from Afghanistan contain evidence of possible war crimes that must be urgently probed, the founder of the website said.

World Bulletin, July 26, 2010

Thousands of leaked U.S. military papers from Afghanistan contain evidence of possible war crimes that must be urgently investigated, the founder of the whistle-blowing website that published the papers said.

Julian Assange, who set up Wikileaks to expose perceived unethical behaviour by government and business, accused U.S. forces of covering up civilian deaths and said sections of the vast collection of secret papers supported such accusations.

His website has published 76,000 military reports covering the Afghan conflict between 2004 and 2010, and has promised to release thousands more in the coming weeks.

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Resolution Green-Lighting Israeli Strikes on Iran Introduced by House Republicans

By Jamal Abdi, The Huffington Post, July 23, 2010

Republicans in the House of Representatives have introduced a measure that would green-light an Israeli bombing campaign against Iran. The resolution, H.Res. 1553 (in full below), provides explicit support for military strikes against Iran, stating that Congress supports Israel’s use of “all means necessary” against Iran “including the use of military force”. US military leaders have warned that strikes could be catastrophic to US national security interests and could engulf the Middle East in a “calamitous” regional war.

Nearly a third of House Republicans have signed onto the resolution, which has been publicly discussed and circulated by its lead sponsor, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), for months. The National Iranian American Council is leading calls to oppose the measure, urging those concerned to demand that House Republican Leader John Boehner denounce the resolution.

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Toxic legacy of US assault on Fallujah ‘worse than Hiroshima’

The shocking rates of infant mortality and cancer in Iraqi city raise new questions about battle

By Patrick Cockburn, The Independent/UK, July 24, 2010

Children in Fallujah who suffer from birth defects which are thought to be linked to weapons used in attacks on the city by US Marines
Getty Images

Children in Fallujah who suffer from birth defects which are thought to be linked to weapons used in attacks on the city by US Marines

    Monday, July 26, 2010

    Afghanistan war logs: Massive leak of secret files exposes truth of occupation

    Hundreds of civilians killed by coalition troops
    • Covert unit hunts leaders for ‘kill or capture’
    • Steep rise in Taliban bomb attacks on Nato

    • Read the Guardian’s full war logs investigation

    US soldier in Afghanistan
    The war logs reveal civilian killings by coalition forces, secret efforts to eliminate Taliban and al-Qaida leaders, and discuss the involvement of Iran and Pakistan in supporting insurgents. Photograph: Max Whittaker/CorbisA huge cache of secret US military files today provides a devastating portrait of the failing war in Afghanistan, revealing how coalition forces have killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents, Taliban attacks have soared and Nato commanders fear neighbouring Pakistan and Iran are fuelling the insurgency.

    The disclosures come from more than 90,000 records of incidents and intelligence reports about the conflict obtained by the whistleblowers’ website Wikileaks in one of the biggest leaks in US military history. The files, which were made available to the Guardian, the New York Times and the German weekly Der Spiegel, give a blow-by-blow account of the fighting over the last six years, which has so far cost the lives of more than 320 British and more than 1,000 US troops.

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    Afghanistan ‘shocked’ by leaked U.S. documents

    July 26, 2010 — Updated 0853 GMT (1653 HKT) | Filed under: Web

    Click to play
    Afghan war documents on WikiLeaks

    • Afghan government said it’s “shocked” by reports
    • Former head of Pakistani intelligence says reports are lies
    • Some documents allege Pakistan is aiding the insurgency, New York Times reports
    • Senator says the documents “raise serious questions” about foreign policy

    (CNN) — The Afghan government said Monday it was “shocked” as it sifted through tens of thousands of leaked U.S. military and diplomatic reports on the war in Afghanistan that a whistle-blower website posted a day earlier.

    “The Afghan government is shocked with the report that has opened the reality of the Afghan war,” said Siamak Herawi, a government spokesman. — a whistle-blower website — published on Sunday what it says are more than 90,000 United States military and diplomatic reports about Afghanistan filed between 2004 and January of this year.

    The first-hand accounts are the military’s own raw data on the war, including numbers killed, casualties, threat reports and the like, according to Julian Assange, the founder of the website.

    Continues >>

    Iraq war inquiry: former UN expert accuses Whitehall of cover-up

    Chilcot inquiry witness claims government is trying to suppress embarrassing testimony about case for Iraq invasion

    Jamie Doward, The Observer/UK, July 25, 2010

    Carne Ross, Chilcot inquiry witness Carne Ross, former diplomat and Chilcot inquiry witness. Photograph: Sarah LeeA key witness to the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war has accused Whitehall of trying to silence embarrassing testimony undermining the case for the invasion.

    In today’s Observer, Carne Ross, the UK’s Iraq expert at the UN between 1997 and 2002, writes that the inquiry is being prevented by “deep state” forces from establishing the government’s true motivation for invading Iraq.

    Ross, who appeared before the inquiry this month, says he was not provided with key documents relevant to his testimony and was warned by officials not to refer to an internal Foreign Office memo that contradicted the government’s public case for war.

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    Nobel Peace Prizes ‘are being awarded illegally’

    Norwegian author claims the committee behind the coveted award routinely violates the terms of Alfred Nobel’s will

    By Hugh O’Shaughnessy, The Independent/UK, July 25, 2010

    Top: Al Gore, Mother Teresa; centre: Shirin Ebadi, Lech Walesa; bottom: Yasser Arafat, Wangari Maathai. Right: Alfred Nobel

    Top: Al Gore, Mother Teresa; centre: Shirin Ebadi, Lech Walesa; bottom: Yasser Arafat, Wangari Maathai. Right: Alfred Nobel

    Can we have our Nobel Peace Prize back, please? We got most of our decisions wrong. We should have laid much more emphasis on abolishing the military and outlawing wars, but we didn’t. Such is the message about to go out to the more undeserving winners of one of the world’s most coveted awards.

    More than half the Nobel Peace Prizes awarded since 1946 have been awarded illegally, says Fredrik Heffermehl, a Norwegian lawyer and peace activist, because they do not follow the expressed will of the millionaire inventor of dynamite. He says all but one of 10 prizes awarded since 1999 are illegitimate under Norwegian and Swedish law.

    Mr Heffermehl’s verdict, which caused controversy when it was set out in his book Nobels Vilje (Nobel’s Will) published in Norwegian in 2008, is likely to stir up passionate discussion next month when Greenwood Press publishes Picking Up the Peaces: Why the Nobel Peace Prize Violates Alfred Nobel’s Will and How to Fix It.

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    Doubts surface on North Korea’s role in ship sinking

    Some in South Korea dispute the official version of events: that a North Korean torpedo ripped apart the Cheonan.

    By Barbara Demick and John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times, July 23, 2010

    Reporting from Seoul —

    The way U.S. officials see it, there’s little mystery behind the most notorious shipwreck in recent Korean history.

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton calls the evidence “overwhelming” that the Cheonan, a South Korean warship that sank in March, was hit by a North Korean torpedo. Vice President Joe Biden has cited the South Korean-led panel investigating the sinking as a model of transparency.

    But challenges to the official version of events are coming from an unlikely place: within South Korea.

    Armed with dossiers of their own scientific studies and bolstered by conspiracy theories, critics dispute the findings announced May 20 by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, which pointed a finger at Pyongyang.

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    Criticism of Chomsky: Asset or Liability?

    by Jeremy R. Hammond, Foreign Policy Journal, July 24, 2010

    Tirades against Noam Chomsky never cease to amaze me. And I’m not talking about the kind of criticisms of the man that come from Alan Dershowitz and other apologists for Israeli crimes; I mean from critics of Israel who support Palestinian rights.

    There are a number of common gripes about Professor Chomsky. The leading one is that he is actually a Zionist and “left gatekeeper” who, despite appearances, really seeks to limit debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Another, part and parcel of the first, is that he denies the power of the Israeli Lobby and wrongly believes that Israel is a strategic asset of the U.S. A third and more recent criticism is that he opposes to a boycott against Israel and considers activists who support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BSD) campaign “hypocritical”.

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    Who’s Aiding Judaization of Occupied Palestine?

    Nicola Nasser, ZNet, July 23, 2010

    Nicola Nasser’s ZSpace Page

    Since 1860, when the American Jewish tycoon Judah Touro donated $60,000 — a fortune for that time — towards the construction of the first Jewish settlement outside the old walls of Jerusalem, public and private American funds have aided the creation and territorial expansion of Israel. Israel today is the foremost recipient of US aid. According to a USAID green paper, between 1946 and 2008 Israel has received more aid than Russia, India, Egypt and Iraq. In fact, the US has poured more money into Israel than it did into the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. However, a recent New York Times article adds a new dimension to the story. On 5 July, the Times reported that, over the last decade more than 40 American groups have collected more than $200 million in tax-deductible gifts for Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, indicating that the US Treasury is effectively aiding and abetting illegal settlement expansion and the Judaization of Jerusalem.

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    The American way of war; how Bush’s wars became Obama’s

    by Paul Woodward, War in Context, July 23, 2010

    On September 11, 2001, America froze in shock and the shock was followed by a mix of fear, anger and bewilderment.

    Yet for some, the first response was also the enduring response: a knowing dread that what followed would be far worse than what just happened; that America’s reaction would be wildly disproportionate and vastly more destructive than the events of that day.

    Some of us had the luxury of holding that dispassionate wide-angle perspective from the comfort of distance — I lived on the West Coast at that time. But there were others who saw what was coming even while still breathing the dust from the collapsed Twin Towers. Tom Engelhardt was such an observer and has been chronicling the 9/11 fallout ever since.

    Dan Froomkin reviews a distillation of those observations captured in Tom’s new book, The American Way of War; How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s.

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    Uncovered: Britain’s secret rendition programme

    Until now, this country has been guilty only by association in the illegal transfer of prisoners. But the covert rendition of a Moroccan man by MI5 agents suggests that the practice was central to Britain’s ‘war on terror’

    By Robert Verkaik, Home Affairs Editor, The Independent/UK, July 23, 2010

    Israel hiding behind the “Iranian threat”

    Steven Zhou, The Canadian Charger, July 22, 2010

    With the recent formation of The Emergency Committee for Israel, the neoconservative and Likudnik characters on the American right have stepped up their anti-Iranian lobbying efforts. Among other things, they have again brought up how a nuclear Iran would pose an “imminent threat” that would tear the region apart.

    This renewed exaggeration of an Iranian threat to Israel comes at a time when Israel is clearly being shown to be a strategic liability to the U.S., a fact the Israel Lobby has so far concealed with great success.

    Israel’s obsession with Iran, though, is two-sided. While some perceive a nuclear Iran to be a major existential threat, others on Israel’s far right cite pragmatic, if not cynical, reasons for this rancid rhetoric.

    The government of Benjamin Netanyahu is undoubtedly using the threat of Iran to create a climate of fear that will distract world attention from The Gaza Massacre and the Flotilla incident, both of which have seriously undermined Israel’s standing in the world.

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    Israel’s never-ending assault

    Writer Mike Marqusee, author of If I Am Not for Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew, explains why Israel’s concessions on its Gaza blockade fall short of righting the wrongs.

    Socialist Worker, July 22, 2010

    Gazans left homelesss without materials to rebuild following Israel's 2008-09 assault

    Gazans left homelesss without materials to rebuild following Israel’s 2008-09 assault

    IN AN effort to mitigate the global outrage that followed its attack on the Gaza aid flotilla, Israel has (ever so slightly) eased its blockade on Gaza. However minimal, this step has only been taken because of the pressure applied to Israel by the international grassroots protest movement.

    The primary aim of the Gaza aid missions has been to alert the world to the criminality of the blockade, and in this, it has succeeded–though the price has been heavy: Nine killed (mostly with shots directly to the head and neck) and 700 others violently abducted, detained and abused.

    Unfortunately, President Barack Obama and others have seized on the Israelis’ gesture as an excuse to issue them a renewed license to proceed with their assault on Palestinian lives and rights.

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    America’s forgotten war victims in Vietnam

    By Chris Arsenault, AlJazeera, July 23, 2010

    The Vietnam war ended 35 years ago, but children are still being born with birth defects from chemical poisoning allegedly caused by defoliants sprayed by the US military [GALLO/GETTY]

    When Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, visited Vietnam on Thursday she extolled the country’s “unlimited potential” and strong trade relations with the US. But the words must have rung hollow for Ngyuen Ngoc Phuong, who has seen his potential destroyed by American chemical poisoning.

    Phuong, 19, was born long after the US cut and run from the Vietnam war, evacuating its last remaining personnel by helicopter from the roof of its Saigon embassy in 1975.

    But the results of that war, which officially ended 35 years ago, affect every aspect of Phuong’s life.

    The young man has severe physical deformities, and like an estimated three million Vietnamese, he suffers from exposure to Agent Orange, a toxic chemical US forces sprayed during the war to defoliate the dense jungles Viet Cong rebels used for cover.

    In its manufacture, the chemical was contaminated with TCDD, or dioxin, “the most toxic substance known to humans”, according to an investigation in the journal Science.

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    Saturday, July 24, 2010

    British deputy prime minister admits Iraq war was illegal

    Julie Hyland,, July 24, 2010

    The statement by British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg that the Iraq war was “illegal” leads to only one conclusion—that former Prime Minister Tony Blair and many others must immediately be arraigned on war crimes charges.

    Clegg was standing in for Prime Minister David Cameron in parliament on Tuesday when he made his statement—one of the few truthful remarks to have been heard from the government dispatch box.

    Responding to questions from Labour’s Jack Straw, foreign secretary at the time of the invasion of Iraq, Clegg said of Straw, “We may have to wait for his memoirs, but perhaps one day he will account for his role in the most disastrous decision of all: the illegal invasion of Iraq.”

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    Obama’s Afghan War in Perspective

    By Gary Leupp, Counterpunch, July 22, 2010

    Practically everyone now understands that the war in Afghanistan is going very badly. This is not because the Taliban and other “insurgent” forces are strong and their foreign foes weak. It is because of the Afghans’ indomitable spirit of independence that is only intensified by each civilian death due to house raids or bombs.

    Republican Party chair Michael Steele says “This [war] isn’t something the U.S. wanted to engage in.” But it should be clear how we arrived at this point. And since sometimes we forget how many outrages have led to it, and how the disastrous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are part of a continuum, let me try to sum it up.

    Continues >>

    Countering the Iraq War Spinners

    The Truth of the Iraq War is That We Destroyed Iraq

    by Jodie Evans,, July 23, 2010

    Almost eight years ago, I made my way to DC to meet up with Medea Benjamin and a few other friends to talk about what we could do to stop the Bush administration’s insane push toward invading an innocent country: Iraq. The next morning, eight of us were in front of the White House, on the steps of Congress and in the hearing for the resolution on Iraq; the day ended with two of us in jail. Our message was US Inspectors, Not US War. We had read articles about how the White House had been dreaming the invasion up over the summer and was waiting until September to push it because “you don’t launch a new product in August.” People’s lives were at stake, and they were treating war like the release of a new sports car.

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    KASHMIR – The Dispute That Continues to Rock South Asia

    By Shahid R. Siddiqi, Axis of Logic, July 18, 2010

    The Conflict

    July 18, 2010 (Axis of Logic) - A cartoon published in an American newspaper in 2002 showed former president George Bush sitting behind his desk in the Oval Office, utterly confused by a news report he was reading about India and Pakistan going to war over Kashmir. “But why are the two countries fighting over a sweater,” he asked Dick Cheney who stood by with his usual sly smile on his face.

    Besides reflecting the intellectual capacity of the American president of the time, the cartoon was a realistic portrayal of the understanding that American leaders have generally shown of this longstanding dispute between Pakistan and India.

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    The Palestinian Authority: Redundant but Dangerous Language

    by Ramzy Baroud, Dissident Voice, July 22, 2010

    Each time Israel fails to keep its ‘side of the bargain’, the Palestinian Authority responds with the same redundant language. The cycle has become so utterly predictable that one wonders why the Palestinian Authority officials even bothers protesting Israeli action. They must be well aware that their cries, genuine or otherwise, will only fall on deaf ears. They know that their complaints could not possible contribute to a paradigm shift in Israel’s behavior, or the US position on it.

    Continues >>

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    Dictator Mubarak keeps Egypt guessing on future

    Middle East Online, July 23, 2010

    The burst of activity leaves open the question of a successor

    Lack of transparency, information on Egyptian leader’s health condition fuel rumours despite his public show-ups.

    By Mona Salem – CAIRO

    Egypt’s veteran President Hosni Mubarak has stepped up his public appearances and meetings to counter rumours of declining health but the burst of activity leaves open the question of a successor.

    Mubarak, 82, triggered another round of speculation on his health when he twice postponed a meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week.

    Arab and Israeli press reported his health was in steep decline and that he planned another visit to the German hospital where he underwent surgery in March to remove a benign growth and his gallbladder.

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    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Fleming: Vanunu’s Ongoing Persecution in Israel

    By Eileen Fleming,, July 21, 2010

    Editor’s Note: Mordechai Vanunu stands as one of the premier whistleblowers in the nuclear age, having exposed what has remained a topic never officially acknowledged by U.S. presidents and rarely discussed in the U.S. news media: Israel’s possession of a large and sophisticated nuclear arsenal.

    In 1986, after turning over photographic evidence of Israel’s nuclear program to a London newspaper, Vanunu was lured to Rome, where he was kidnapped by Israeli agents who smuggled him back to Israel, where he was tried for treason and imprisoned for 18 years.

    After his release in 2004, he was barred from speaking with foreign journalists and – when he resisted those restrictions – he was prosecuted again and returned to prison, as author Eileen Fleming describes in this guest article:

    On May 23, 2010, Mordechai Vanunu began a three-month sentence in solitary confinement on charges of speaking to foreign media in 2004. On Sunday, July 11, 2010, his brother Meir was allowed to visit him for 30 minutes.

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    Vanunu’s friend, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire, reported: “There was a glass window between them and they spoke via the phone. He wore a prison uniform. He is held in the hardest prison section there is in the prison. It has the most notorious criminals in the country, well known hard murder cases. All about a dozen are in severe isolation conditions.

    “He is in a cell by himself for 24 hours a day, no window but a small wire covered crack at the top part of one wall. He has about an hour’s walk a day in a very tiny yard. He was simply thrown in a cell by the security agents, the door locked, and left to suffer there all alone. He has not spoken to anyone in all the seven weeks and this visit was (apart from a short visit of his lawyer 6 weeks ago) the first conversation he had in seven weeks.

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