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Western Asia ("Middle East")
I’m happy to run with the six peaceniks that stood trial in DC Superior Court on July 12th. Three are with Peace of the Action (POTA) and include Cindy Sheehan, national director of the organization, as well as Jon Gold and Jim Veeder. They were acquitted. Elaine Brower of Military Families Speak Out and Matthis Chiroux of Iraq Veterans Against the War were convicted, as was Leflora Cunningham-Walsh. I applaud these citizens of the world and their devotion to peace and activism. Sheehan and Gold have articles about the trial on POTA’s web address: peaceoftheaction.org/.
On July 13th, some of us gathered at the White House. We took a bullhorn to the president’s presidio and told Barack Obama what we think of his George Bushiness foreign policy. This was gratifying, a celebratory wrap for POTA’s July action, especially since the defendants, prior to the trial, had been under a “stay away order” from this area of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Sgt. Serena Hayden, a public affairs specialist deployed to Iraq from 2006 to 2008, poses with the niece of Diyala province Gov. Ra'ad Hameed Al-Mula Jowad Al-Tamimi during a visit to his house. But Hayden's deployment was hardly idyllic, and she has sought treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, which has been denied so far.
July 14, 2010 The dazzling smile Serena Hayden flashes in photographs masks the horrors of war she witnessed in Iraq.
She was a public affairs specialist, a job that some dismiss as cushy. Done right, however, the job means sharing the risks borne by combat soldiers. After all, you can't document a war if you're not in it.
Doesn't bring National Security, now frankly destroyed with the extreme rise of hatreds towards us and other so called Western Powers after the previous decade!!
And not to leave out the huge amount of graft, corruption and political crony-ism embedded with the budgets of each contract!
Gee ya think! that's why we the Brits and others condemn other countries for their Human Rights and much more, then we joined that same gutter thrash and expect to be justified, because well we're the righteous!!
7 July 2010 William Hague is right to put human rights at the heart of the UK's foreign policy – for practical as well as ethical reasons
The foreign secretary William Hague said last week that human rights should be the "irreducible core" of the UK's foreign policy. But he did not spell out why, or what that would mean in practice.
Our blanket support of the Israeli Neo-Con ideology government has and is creating long term National Security problems, as to country and citizens, and adding to the killing and maiming of our military forces still occupying Iraq and Afghanistan as well as one more major negative in implementing a Counter Insurgency program!
An Israeli tank near the Israel-Gaza border during Operation Cast Lead, undertaken by Israel in late 2008
Thus much easier to control your own, and prosper from in power, stature and wealth!
Photo: Suhair Karam/IRIN Nuha Abed Rabbo, 9, on her way to an UNRWA elementary school in eastern Gaza
GAZA CITY, 5 July 2010 (IRIN) - Thousands of Palestinian refugee children in the Gaza Strip are unable to receive adequate education, according to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).
About 39,000 child refugees in Gaza will not attend UNRWA schools this year, since the agency is unable to build or re-build schools due to the Israeli blockade, damage sustained during the 23-day Israeli offensive (27 December 2008 - 18 January 2009) and population growth, UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness said in Jerusalem.
This is unprecedented news and much needed research study. Except for many veterans, mostly of the brothers and sisters of our conflict in Vietnam, and some of the civilian professionals and advocates through these past decades, it is rare, if at all, that not only this country but any other takes into consideration those invaded and occupied especially the mental stress of living within or being forced into a refugee status for years or forever!
July 4, 2010 The U.S. is funding a $2.6 million study of post-traumatic stress among Iraqi war refugees in the Detroit area.
4 Jul 2010 Many of Blair’s former intimates would rather it were not any sort of deal. Each of the men bidding to become Labour’s next leader has discovered – just in time – that the Iraq war was a bit of a mistake and yet, somehow, nothing to do with them. David Miliband, for one, has urged that we all “move on”.
This is the same Miliband who, as Foreign Secretary, rose in the Commons to state categorically (and indignantly) that MI5 had not, and would never, involve itself in the torture of prisoners. He had better hope that the forthcoming Government inquiry into the issue is also happy to “move on”.
It's anything but news that Charles Kruathammer is a rank propagandist, but his column today is particularly egregious, though quite illustrative of how these issues are discussed. He lambastes the Obama administration for what he calls its "absurd and embarrassing refusal . . . to acknowledge who out there is trying to kill Americans and why." Krauthammer -- needless to say and for reasons too obvious to require explanation -- wants to claim that the True Cause of Terrorism is "radical Islam" by itself, and thus accuses the administration of dishonesty because it "has banned from its official vocabulary the terms jihadist, Islamist and Islamic terrorism." His primary evidence is this recent statement of Faisal Shazhad, when he pleaded guilty to attempting the Times Square bombing: "I consider myself a mujahid, a Muslim soldier." See, Krauthammer argues, even Shazhad admits it was Islam that caused his Terrorism, so why can't Obama admit it, too?
Except to make this accusation against Obama and Islam, Krauthammer hides from his readers what Shazhad actually said, because it completely negates his claim. When pleading guilty, Shazhad explained that his attempted bombing was in response to the violence and wars which the U.S. is perpetrating in the Muslim world, telling the court that violence aimed at Americans will continue unless and until the U.S. stops waging wars and spawning violence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other Muslim countries: Read more.
By Missy Comley Beattie
My mother has an opera-quality voice. No training. Two of my siblings can sing. I can’t. At all.
I positioned the karaoke machine near the television set and plugged the auxiliary cables into the back of the TV for a wider word screen. I rarely watch television, except when “researching” the inadequacies of “mainstream” mediocrity for an article. Every now and then, when I read something important on the Internet, I turn on the tube to see if anyone is addressing the issue. Usually, the answer is either an “Update” sentence beneath the blathering blahblah blahers or a no.
So, largely, the TV monitor will be an accessory for the karaoke machine that is my scream therapy. “Sing, sing a song. Sing out loud. Sing out strong.”
Jun. 14, 2010 The RCMP has conducted a four-year investigation called “Project Prism” that could lead to Canadian criminal charges of torture against American and Syrian officials, Maher Arar and his lawyer said Monday.
Arar revealed he is pinning some hope on the investigation after the top U.S. court on Monday refused his petition to sue the United States for his 2002 detention on false allegations of terrorism and forced removal to a prison in Syria where he was tortured.
[ Iran has not invaded another country in 200 years & the now the armada is on the way ]
More than twelve U.S. and Israeli warships, including an aircraft carrier, passed through the Suez Canal on Friday and are headed for the Red Sea.
“According to eyewitnesses, the U.S. battleships were the largest to have crossed the Canal in many years,” reported the London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi on Saturday.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Egyptian opposition members criticized the government for cooperating with the U.S. and Israeli forces and allowing the passage of the ships through Egyptian territorial waters.
The Red Sea is the most direct route to the Persian Gulf from the Mediterranean. Read more.
One of the many destructive legacies of the Reagan Era was the effective Washington consensus that wars and other military spending exist on their own fiscal planet. Reagan got a Dixiecrat Congress to double military spending at a time when the U.S. was not at war (unless you were a poor person in Central America.) Meanwhile, Reagan got the Dixiecrat Congress to cut domestic spending - we just couldn't afford those costly social programs. Reagan pretended the two things were totally unrelated, and the Dixiecrat Congress went along.
At a time prior to one of the so called great powers on this planet decided it wanted to control.
June 18, 2010 The Afghanistan of Mohammad Qayoumi's memory is far from that of a "broken 13th century country," as it was recently described by British Defense Secretary Liam Fox.
Qayoumi, now a university president in America, grew up in Kabul in the 1950s and '60s. It was a period of calm and prosperity — and even optimism — before the Soviet invasion.
What we brought to the Iraqi People, as we have others, for no reason, and what we'll once again walk away from, as we have others, not just the present mental issues but the present to long lasting physical results, happening to many at any time even those yet born, of occupations!!
by Kenneth J. Theisen
On June 7th Amnestey International (AI) released a report and of a U.S.-manufactured cruise missile that carried cluster munitions.
The remnants of the cruise missile pictured in the AI report are what was on the ground after a savage December 17, 2009 strike on an alleged ‘terrorist” training camp in Yemen. The attack killed 55 people, including 14 women and 21 children.
For more on this story go to:
By Linn Washington Jr.
An American art student loses an eye when struck in the face by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli Defense Force (IDF) personnel breaking up a demonstration in the occupied West Bank which itself is a protest against the deadly commando raid on the Free Gaza flotilla.
No, you didn’t miss U.S. news media coverage of this IDF attack on 21-year-old Emily Henchowicz, a student at Cooper Union in New York City who was standing with a group of foreigners during that demonstration near a checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem.
You didn’t miss it because the mainstream media in the U.S. ignored it.
Apparently news of Henchowicz’s maiming was not news deemed worthy enough for print in the New York Times or Washington Post or meriting broadcast network/cable news attention.
It’s no surprise that the avowedly right-wing FOX ignored this incident, but the liberal-leaning MSNBC ignored this story also.
By Dave Lindorff
By Dave Lindorff
What does it say about the the American government, its president, and its military today, that the the largest military/intelligence organization in the history of mankind has launched a global manhunt for Julian Assange, head of the Wikileaks organization? And what does it say about corporate American journalists that they attack the only real journalist in the White House press corps, when she alone has shown the guts to speak truth?
The Hunt for Julian Assange
Saudi Arabia gives Israel clear skies to attack Iranian nuclear sites
By Hugh Tomlinson | Times Online
Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defences to enable Israeli jets to make a bombing raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities, The Times can reveal.
In the week that the UN Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions on Tehran, defence sources in the Gulf say that Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran.
To ensure the Israeli bombers pass unmolested, Riyadh has carried out tests to make certain its own jets are not scrambled and missile defence systems not activated. Once the Israelis are through, the kingdom’s air defences will return to full alert.
“The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way,” said a US defence source in the area. “They have already done tests to make sure their own jets aren’t scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [US] State Department.”
Sources in Saudi Arabia say it is common knowledge within defence circles in the kingdom that an arrangement is in place if Israel decides to launch the raid. Despite the tension between the two governments, they share a mutual loathing of the regime in Tehran and a common fear of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “We all know this. We will let them [the Israelis] through and see nothing,” said one.
The four main targets for any raid on Iran would be the uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz and Qom, the gas storage development at Isfahan and the heavy-water reactor at Arak. Secondary targets include the lightwater reactor at Bushehr, which could produce weapons-grade plutonium when complete. Read more.
Israeli Lies Exposed: Smuggled Clip Shows IDF Executing Injured Activist (Possibly the American Furkan Dogan)
By Dave Lindorff
The false narrative initially put out by the Israeli government of hapless IDF commandos severely threatened by hardened "terrorists" on the Mavi Marmara has fallen apart, amid revelations of doctored photos, dubbed voices and other deceptions and the patent absurdity of the claim that the commandos had boarded the ship armed only with "paint guns" and low-caliber pistols. Now the Big Lie stands fully exposed, thanks to a smuggled-out video showing IDF commandos kicking a prone, helpless victim and then executing him with semi-automatic rifle fire.
This smuggled video, showing IDF commandos brutally kicking their captive, who is clearly posing no threat to them, and then firing four shots down at him from almost point blank range, proves these commandos were on the ship with intent to kill and injure, and that is what they did.
Until quite recently, it seemed that Turkey had a clearly defined role in the Middle East, from the standpoint of U.S. policy. They were the "good Muslims," who were part of NATO, who contributed troops to U.S. wars, and who had good relations with Israel.
Israeli media say the Foreign Ministry has ordered the families of its diplomats in Turkey to leave that country because of the uproar over Israel's deadly naval raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.
State-run Israel radio and other stations and newspapers say the diplomatic mission itself will remain in Turkey....At least four Turkish activists were among the nine killed by Israeli naval commandos in the raid Sunday on an international flotilla bringing aid to Gaza. Read more.
By Dave Lindorff
Like the cop who batters someone senseless at a demonstration and then accuses the victim of “banging his head against my baton,” Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused the victims of Israel’s brutal military assault on a peace convoy to Gaza of attacking Israeli soldiers. An Israeli deputy ambassador to the UN went further, saying, “What kind of peace activists use knives, clubs and other weapons to attack soldiers who board a ship in accordance with international law?''
Let’s straighten this out. The question to be asked is: what kind of country
sends troops armed with automatic weapons to assault a boat filled with unarmed, peaceful civilians, and slaughters nine of them as if they were in a war zone?
By Linda Milazzo
For eight hellish years, Bush and Cheney ruled America by fear. Images of Osama Bin Laden were drawn on us like weapons. Terror. Terrorism. Terrorists. War. Fear. Warfare. This was the Bush/Cheney mantra that kept Americans in despair.
Today, because of their tactics, our nation is in tatters, with wars not jobs, bombs not books, and warfare not health care. America lacks the resources to confront immediate dangers that have nothing to do with bin Laden: hurricanes, oil spills, floods, tornadoes, unfunded education, decaying infrastructure, exorbitant health costs, corporate greed, and more. Because of partisan politics and hawks like California Congresswoman Harman, more dollars are spent on unending wars than are spent on education. Perhaps you've seen this expenditure chart based on our 2009 taxes:
Missy Comley Beattie
I’ve been thinking of marketing a concept in the genre that’s all the rage—Reality Television. My primary objective is to enlighten the public, however if financial success is a byproduct, I won’t complain.
This I know: engaging the masses requires much more than the presentation of truth. Truth must be veiled in entertainment, the latter a lure to hold attention until the truth, finally, is grasped through (gasp) an epiphany. And, yes, I do believe I’ve come up with something that delivers both.
Here’s the idea: I’m imagining a show whose contestants are troops who’ve returned from AfPak-Iraq. My production crew could go to any military hospital’s traumatic brain injury (TBI) ward to seek competitors for the series. I’m talking Dancing with the Scarred. We’d have Hollywood types work with the young men and women to teach them some dance moves and create fabuloso costumes.
"Gooaal!" for Lula Against Western Push for Iran Sanctions
By Robert Naiman | Truthout | Submitted by Michael Munk | www.MichaelMunk.com
Sao Paulo, Brazil - If I were in Washington, I would run down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House to Congress with a big Brazilian flag, as the young Brazilians run down the Avenida Paulista in Sao Paulo during the futebol match, shouting, "Gooaal!"
Because with the news that Iran has agreed to ship most of its enriched uranium to Turkey in a nuclear fuel swap deal reached in talks with Brazil and Turkey that could "deflate a US-led push" for new sanctions against Iran, the president of Brazil has scored a goal against the neocons in the West who want to gin up confrontation with Iran toward a future military conflict.
AP reported: Iran agreed Monday to ship most of its enriched uranium to Turkey in a nuclear fuel swap deal that could ease the international standoff over the country's disputed nuclear program and deflate a US-led push for tougher sanctions.
The deal was reached in talks with Brazil and Turkey, elevating a new group of mediators for the first time in the dispute over Iran's nuclear activities. The agreement was nearly identical to a U.N.-drafted plan that Washington and its allies have been pressing Tehran for the past six months to accept in order to deprive Iran - at least temporarily - of enough stocks of enriched uranium to produce a nuclear weapon.
If the deal is "nearly identical" to the plan that the US has been pressing, then we should all be celebrating, right? Read more.
The Chinese military is seeking to project naval power well beyond the Chinese coast, from the oil ports of the Middle East to the shipping lanes of the Pacific, where the United States Navy has long reigned as the dominant force, military officials and analysts say.
China calls the new strategy “far sea defense,” and the speed with which it is building long-range capabilities has surprised foreign military officials.
The strategy is a sharp break from the traditional, narrower doctrine of preparing for war over the self-governing island of Taiwan or defending the Chinese coast. Now, Chinese admirals say they want warships to escort commercial vessels that are crucial to the country’s economy, from as far as the Persian Gulf to the Strait of Malacca, in Southeast Asia, and to help secure Chinese interests in the resource-rich South and East China Seas.
In late March, two Chinese warships docked in Abu Dhabi, the first time the modern Chinese Navy made a port visit in the Middle East. Read more.
GAZA DEATH ZONE: Israelis and Egyptians are Killing Palestinian Youth Who Challenge the Siege of Gaza
By Ann Wright
The Palestinians in the Death Zone called Gaza are being slaughtered again as Israel and now Egypt kill and wound more innocent civilians who challenge their illegal siege, blockade and quarantine.
In the past four days, one young Palestinian man has been killed and two young women and a young man have been wounded by Israeli snipers as they protested the Israeli bulldozing of 300 meters of Palestinian land into an Israeli “buffer zone.” Four young Palestinian tunnel workers have been killed by suffocation and 6 injured as Egypt sprayed a crowd disbursal gas into a tunnel.
Death in the Tunnels from Egyptian Gas and from Israeli Bombs
By Dave Lindorff
Just yesterday, the Wall Street Journal had a lead story about Israeli planning to possibly “go it alone” in an attack on Iran if the US were not to “succeed” in its diplomatic efforts to get Iran to “stop” it’s alleged attempts to develop a nuclear weapon capability.
Aside from the fact that there is no hard evidence that Iran is trying to make a nuclear bomb or even to refine uranium to obtain nuclear-grade material, the paper ignored one crucial point: Israel cannot “go it alone” in any strike on Iran, since its key weapons--American fighter-bombers--are supplied to it, and kept flying, thanks to the equipment and spare parts provided by the United States. Indeed the entire Israeli military machine is largely financed and armed by the US.