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A mess of wires and worn switches is seen at an electrical generator business in the Karrada neighborhood of Baghdad. Many Iraqis rely on such ad hoc generator stations to power their daily lives.
01/07/2011 - Iraq finally has a new government after months of deadlock, but the cynical horsetrading has damaged the image of politics. Residents of Baghdad no longer trust their fellow citizens and have withdrawn into private life. They pray that a civil war will not break out.
And does Anyone hear these patriotic constitution readers, or any of their supporters, even mention their wars of choice or the veterans and families of?!?!
6 January 2010 - The Army's largest post saw a record-high number of soldiers kill themselves in 2010 despite a mental health effort aimed at reversing the trend.
The Army says 22 soldiers have either killed themselves or are suspected of doing so last year at its post at Fort Hood in Texas, twice the number from 2009.
That is a rate of 47 deaths per 100,000, compared with a 20-per-100,000 rate among civilians in the same age group and a 22-per-100,000 rate Army-wide.
Photo: Contributor/IRIN: A displaced family in a camp erected in an orchard in Diyala province, about 90 km east of Baghdad (file photo)
5 January 2011 - Iraq’s new government plans to tackle internal displacement and closely monitor and assist Iraqi refugees abroad, the country’s newly appointed migration and displacement minister said on 3 January.
While we've known about this now for years, rarely reported on by the media, the cable, like the growing list of proof of Gulf War One to Operation Iraqi Freedom, is now out of the dark and into the light of day.
A message from Veterans for Common Sense about the cable:
Indefinite detention of post-Sept. 11 detainees without charge or trial is not the American way.
January 4, 2011 - The idea that every person deserves his or her "day in court" is a fundamental principle in the United States and many countries worldwide. Yet more than nine years after 9/11, the United States remains paralyzed not just about how to give the thousands of detainees in U.S. custody around the world their day in court but about whether to give them that day in court.
January 4, 2011 - A mural that commemorates civilian casualties that happened during the Afghanistan war is currently on display at Queens College’s Godwin-Ternbach Museum.
“Windows and Mirrors: Reflections on the War in Afghanistan” opened at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum on December 9 and will remain on display through January 30. Before making it to New York, it had made its debut at Philadelphia’s Arch Street Meeting House.
Tread carefully In Xieng Khouang, a mother steadies her son as he walks along a rusted bomb casing. Arantxa Cedillo for TIME
Dec. 31, 2010 - At the Vienthong primary school in Laos' Xieng Khouang province, six students take out hand puppets made from clothing scraps and colored felt. Their audience — a class of around 15 children ages 3 to 5 — sits in a semicircle in a darkened classroom as the young puppeteers begin the show.
Notice the No Mention of the Wars of Choice especially by the incoming pols and real noticeable as to those so called outraged teabaggers their supporters and their corporate financed talking heads and cable TV outlet!!
Prescriptions increase as families struggle with repeated deployments
Mitch Green: From left, Zach Radenz, Army Lt. Col. Blaine Radenz, Tricia Radenz and James Radenz stand in the room where Daniel Radenz, then 12, took his life in June 2009. The room has since been converted into a den.
Surprised? Not!! Revisionist history as to War is a constant, can't ruin the upward movement of ranking officers, their military futures and possible comfortable, and highly profitable, retirements after in the defense industry, politics and other! After all they're not in the fire-base's, running the wars from miles away and in these modern times thousands of miles away!
Dec 27th, 2010 - Not since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 has the fear and loathing of Muslims been as virulent, as widespread among Americans, and as close to morphing from hateful rhetoric into life-threatening violence.
It’s been so cold I’ve powered on the elliptical trainer. I prefer running through my neighborhood, in sunshine, observing people, reading bumper-sticker messages, and breathing fresh air.
I was on the exerciser, though, and consumed enough by the monotony (groan) to glance OFTEN at the mounting minutes. I was thinking about cutting the workout short but, instead, decided to reverse and go backwards. Backwards, backwards, my legs worked, and, suddenly, I was struck by a thought--the possibility that I could continue this redirection and undo time. I could accelerate the pace until the mile display indicated a negative as I ellipti-seized the past. Faster and faster, I would retreat to a place in my life that carried the promise of fullness, satisfaction, those days when the children were young and more was right in my world.
Dec 23, 2010 - Ekhlas Gorgees kept her composure as she recounted the horrific traumas she and her family endured in Iraq.
She calmly recalled how her husband was severely wounded after a bomb exploded outside of his Baghdad plumbing shop, how she was threatened at gunpoint while walking home from church and how her family tried to escape north to the city of Mosul just before a bloody attack on civilians sent them fleeing back to the capital. It wasn't until later when she talked about the difficulty of leaving her homeland that the tears came.
"We are the native people of Iraq - it's hard for us to leave our native country," she said through an interpreter. "The hope - even now - is to go back to my country."
Every action has a reaction, every destructive action has destructive reactions!
This report is just a part of the legacy we've left to an entire small Country of innocent people, as well as their neighboring countries, whose doctoral leader was under our thumb, right up till his hanging, as to the policies of that whole region we push in the names of Freedoms and Democracy!
The damage done over the previous decade, the pandora's box destroyed, the tens of thousands killed and maimed, the millions turned into refugee's within and running to escape, the children who've grown up in the destruction and death around them, the now selective cleansing of once neighbors and friends.
It isn't only the war of choice that has reaped the damage but the hate, and fear, rhetoric coming from within our country as well as from others who also use it to control their own, now a decade of it as it continues.
By CHRIS BRUMMITT, The Associated Press
ISLAMABAD -- Sadaullah Wazir says he was relaxing in his front yard when the missile struck, hurling him against the wall and mangling his legs so badly that they had to be amputated. Three of his relatives died. Now the 17-year-old and his family want justice from America, which they say was behind the attack.
Detailed accounts by casualties such as Wazir rarely make it outside the tribal regions. He and other tribesmen recently traveled to Islamabad, the capital, to meet with lawyers who are planning to sue the CIA for damages, possibly adding a new layer of scrutiny to the agency's covert war inside Pakistan.
By Gareth Porter, IPS
WASHINGTON, Dec 22, 2010 (IPS) - This week's leak to the New York Times of a proposal for U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) raids against Afghan insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan may be intended to put more pressure on the Pakistani military to take action against those sanctuaries.
But the proposal for such cross-border raids also reflects a real demand from the U.S.-NATO command in Afghanistan to target insurgent leaders inside Pakistan if the Pakistani military does not respond to the threat, according to a U.S. source familiar with discussions at the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) headquarters in Kabul.
And the position of the Barack Obama administration on the necessity of attacking insurgent safe havens in Pakistan appears to be in line with the proposal for cross-border raids.
By John Grant
Washington--Defense Secretary Robert Gates may be the consummate insider bureaucrat and a nice man, but his calling our war in the Pashtun homeland “the meat in the sandwich” begins to get at the real problem of the Afghanistan/Pakistan War.
Besides being a preposterously flippant and insensitive metaphor presumably uttered for clueless middle American consumption, his sandwich image is as misleading as all the war-selling PR coming out of the Pentagon and the Obama White House.
Here’s how he described his sandwich: “The Pakistanis come in behind the insurgents from the Pakistani side and, coordinating with us and the Afghans, we’re on the other side.” Of course, he's referring to what is informally dubbed Pashtunistan, down the middle of which Sir Mortimer Durand drew the Afghanistan/Pakistan border in 1893 to divide and conquer the Pashtun people. The border is a Western illusion. And, of course, the Taliban are largely Pashtun.
Dec. 17, 2010 - Taxpayers are currently paying the legal bills for Jim Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, two CIA contractors who reportedly helped plan and execute the Bush administration's "enhanced interrogation" program, the Associated Press' Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo reported Thursday night. The CIA agreed to pay up to $5 million to cover legal fees for the two men—far more than the standard amount that would be covered for employees of the agency (during the Bush administration, it was standard practice for CIA officers to pay half of the cost of insuring themselves against possible legal action).
By Ron Ridenour
Julian Assange, key initiator of Wikileaks, has been granted bail despite the British government’s appeal made in behalf of the Swedish government. A British district court judge had waited two days before approving bail in the amount of $ 316,000, on the condition that Assange wear an electronic tag, report to a police station daily, and comply with a 16-hour curfew allowing just eight hours of freedom from the “mansion arrest” in the house of a wealthy journalist/club owner.
At play here could well be documents Wikileaks released that show that US diplomats communicated with their State Department and White House bosses in Washington saying British troops in Afghanistan are not very good at the job. Brits are angry about this slur, especially given their long record of standing “shoulder to shoulder” with Bush’s in his terror wars.
Please, if you know of a veteran of these two conflicts that was Stop Lossed, or a beneficiary of a soldier killed while Stop Lossed, that have not heard about or for whatever reason Not Applied for this pay out Pass This Information On!
Dec 15, 2010 - Spreading violence in Afghanistan is preventing aid organizations from providing help, with access to those in need at its worst level in three decades, the Red Cross said on Wednesday.
"The proliferation of armed groups threatens the ability of humanitarian organizations to access those in need. Access for the ICRC has over the last 30 years never been as poor," said Reto Stocker, Afghanistan head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which rarely makes public comments.
December 15, 2010 - Fall River's fourth military death this year, that of Pfc. Ethan L. Goncalo, places the burden of war on the doorstep of his home city, but in many American homes, the burden is far too invisible.
Iraq, Afghanistan and related operations have taken the lives of five patriotic Fall River residents in total, all of them volunteers in this pair of wars without a draft. That's a greater loss per capita than any other Massachusetts community, according to a Boston Globe report.
Yet many Americans have never really seen the cost of the war against terrorism — no draft, no war tax, none of the war bonds or victory gardens of the past. The absence of widespread sacrifice has allowed the war in Afghanistan to stretch on year after year with relatively little public outcry.
What the F**K is wrong with this country? Wait, never mind I've been watching it collapse for the last thirty of my comin on 62 years of my life, Questions Answered!
I just got finished watching Meet The Press and the way over the top extremely highly paid 'experts?' mumbling about the tax cuts and who hates who and why.
I didn't hear One mention of these Wars our soldiers are still in nor the countries need to Finally not only 'Sacrifice, after ten years, but Pay Back What Is Owed For Waging Them, not a mention as to the Veterans Of nor their Families, the Only Ones That Have Done Any Sacrificing as these tax cuts came with the start of these Wars of Choice.
It came on just as I was putting together a post for my site on a just released report on Family Care Givers of Veterans, and boy there is so much more then just this!
12/8/2010 - The independent commission probing the reasons for Britain joining the Iraq war announced Wednesday that it has asked former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to appear before the panel for a second time to give additional evidence.
Blair, who was the Prime Minister when Britain joined the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, is one among several witnesses summoned to reappear before the Chilcot committee. Those recalled include former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and former chief of defense staff Admiral Michael Boyce.
Join Peace Vet-Led Protest at White House on December 16th
By Kevin Zeese
The White House is in the midst of a strategic review of Afghanistan. This review is coming at a time when the reality is hard to ignore: Afghanistan cannot be won, the cost is escalating at a time when the U.S. economy is in collapse and the war is undermining U.S. national security and the rule of law. It is time to end the war-based foreign policy of the United States.
It's too bad all this didn't start during the previous administration, there are so many questions and just think of the added proof as to the War Crimes and much more we would have!! Though in this country we don't do Accountability and allow our extremely wealthy walk around free with the blood wealth they gained, and we don't even tax them nor their corporations!!
And how is the now not secret use of by the U.S. and other countries, especially those during the past decade and the CIA rendition program, any different then the charges pointed at Iran or any country we and others condemn! And how are the so called leaders of Nations who ordered the policies and than walk around freely bragging about the use of any less guilty then those other so called leaders widely condemned for doing same though not bragging about!
By John Grant
“The problem here is to define ... a form of life that would not depend on an unsustainable relation of domination over the rest of the world.”
We live in a time of incredible change, and to have any say at all in the direction that change will take requires a respect for reality. Right now, the United States is losing this battle as it tries mightily – and wastefully -- to sustain its post-WWII legacy as the world’s undisputed Top Dog.
The key to this disaster here in the US is a greater and greater restriction of information in conjunction with what can only be called a top down enforced blindness among the population.
If you think this is only the view of a disgruntled leftist, read Thomas Friedman’s latest column in The New York Times, where he imagines WikiLeaks revealing a gleeful cable from the Chinese ambassador in Washington to his bosses in Beijing:
By Charles M. Young
Howard Zinn, probably the most influential American historian ever, had an amazing sense of humor when he lectured or met people in person. He could make fun of himself and the audience in a way that exploded the guilt and ambivalence that so often paralyzes liberals, progressives, greens, socialists, anarchists, communists and everyone else on the more-or-less left. Only occasionally, however, did Zinn use his sense of humor in print. His masterpiece, A People’s History of the United States, had no humor at all, as he himself pointed out, because he didn’t find anything funny about the Trail of Tears and all the other ghastly episodes he wove into a narrative that convinced millions of citizens the United States was something less than what they had believed.