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July 12, 2011 - Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the US government to order a criminal investigation into allegations of torture of detainees during the administration of former President George W. Bush.
The New York-based rights watchdog said that overwhelming evidence of torture by the Bush administration obliges President Barack Obama to take action.
Speaking with The Irrawaddy on Tuesday, Deputy Director of HRW's Asia Division Phil Robertson said, “We try to encourage the Obama administration to do what they are required to do under the Convention against Torture.”
Multiple Wars are Symptoms of the Need to Escape the Quagmire of Empire
By Kevin Zeese
I can't remember a time when the U.S. military has been stuck in so many war quagmires at once. Libya seems destined to fail unless the U.S. gets a lucky shot and kills Gaddafi. U.S. militarists are openly maneuvering to stay in Iraq -- the war Obama told us was over. Relations with nuclear-armed Pakistan are at their lowest levels ever. And, Afghanistan is getting worse with Obama’s minimal, slow withdrawal looking more like staying than leaving.
Frankly that's very easy to answer, the country refuses to demand it's own sacrifice the greater majority cheer on but don't serve in or have direct connection to, especially the political party claiming their strength on "National Security" and it's the total opposite of what's being argued as to this debt ceiling and the growing deficit itself, remember these two present conflicts were kept off the books and fought on borrowed financing until put back on the books and our spending by the present administration. All those costs include the no bid contracts of the growing private armies as well as the numerous other private contractors serving a bottom line and not the country.
My senses are soaked still with last weekend’s red, white, and blue after having attended a party at the home of a lovely couple intro’d to me recently by a friend. Their fireworks display, colors bursting in the night sky, was as impressive as any I’ve seen produced and directed by local government via taxpayer dollars. I’m sure the hosts’ guest list covered the political spectrum. I’m also sure that my politics are the most radical of anyone who watched the bombs bursting in air. I sat there, thinking about bombs bursting in air, exploding the lives of people in the growing number of countries where we’ve exported U.S. imperialism.
More sensory overload is the story that’s captured the attention of Americans: Casey Anthony’s murder trial. I didn’t follow, but when I opened Google News, it usually was the lead. After Anthony’s acquittal, I scanned the article titles and saw: “See all 6,083 sources.”
Strasbourg judge: “Those who export war ought to see to the parallel export of guarantees against the atrocities of war”
7 July 2011 - The highest court in Europe – the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights – has this morning handed down one of its most important judgments ever, involving the alleged ill-treatment and unlawful killing of Iraqi citizens by UK Armed Forces. See the European Court’s official press release (attached to this email).
By Dave Lindorff
In ways little and huge, it is clear that we live in a nation, a culture and a society that is terminally ill.
The latest outrage -- the likely execution of a Mexican convicted in Texas of the brutal slaying of a 16-year-old girl in blatant violation of a universally adopted international treaty that requires that as a foreigner he be able to notify his home country’s consulate of his case -- is evidence of this sickness, which appears to have both physical and mental aspects.
As a journalist I have traveled widely in the world, often in police states like China or Laos, and I have always trusted in the fact that if I ran afoul of those police, at least I could count on the fact that the authorities would be legally bound to notify my embassy, so that I could get international attention and, hopefully, legal assistance.
Not going to add much to this except the first thoughts I've had since this was breaking across the pond.
What the hell has the FOX been doing here?
And now with this coming out:
What was that constant cheer leader and their minions, still, of these present long running invasions and occupations, as well as Huge supporters of the policies ordered and carried out by the previous administration, doing in relation to our soldiers families if they had no regard for the British families of the Fallen?!
Makes sense as we condemn them constantly for what is now very public the same practices against humanity we're ordering done as we joined them, and the others who do and some we used, in the toilet as to crimes against humanity while still condemning! We even use those issues as justified excuses to invade, destroy and occupy countries!
07 July 2011 - Iran will certainly put the 26 US officials on trial in absentia and will pursue their cases at international circles: MP
Iran to file lawsuits against 26 US nationals who committed crimes against humanity, FNA quoted Iranian parliament’s National and Foreign Policy Commission Seyyed Ali Aqazqdeh as saying.
By Al Jazeera
Pakistan has stopped the United States from using an air base in the southwest of the country which it is alleged to have used to launch controversial drone strikes, according to the country's defence minister.
Ahmed Mukhtar told journalists on Wednesday that US officials had been told to leave the Shamsi base in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, Pakistani state media reported.
A 'Patriotic' U.S. company ripping off the Army and the American Tax Payers, and military procurement officers allowing it to happen, knowing many will go to work for these defense contractors after their service, especially with two long occupations still ongoing, say it ain't so!
By John Grant
Two veteran friends of mine will be on one of the ships planning to leave Athens next week to challenge the Israeli sea blockade of Gaza. The Israeli government, after attacking a previous flotilla in May 2010 and killing nine people, has said it will use violence if necessary to prevent the ships from entering what any reasonable person by now should agree are Palestinian waters.
This confrontation should not be necessary. The Israeli military occupation over Palestinian life should have been eased and sovereign rights established for Palestinians long ago. The crisis of Palestinian status has reached the level of a disaster, and like the creation of Israel itself it is more than a Jewish problem: It is a world problem.
By Aamir Latif, Global Post
PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Some of the U.S. weapons bound for U.S. and Afghan troops in Afghanistan are being stolen, landing instead in the hands of those they are meant to be used against, and fueling militant groups in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, Pakistani officials say.
These weapons — which are typically snatched from Afghan troops during raids or sold by them to the Pakistani Taliban after they defect, are easily available in black markets in Pakistan's tribal regions.
And least we not forget the millions of refugee's created in our names, the U.S., over the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as area's of Pakistan!
And yes I do realize there are 'Gold Star Children' who have lost Mothers, especially in these two long conflicts, not minimizing the fact that many of the women soldiers killed were possibly Mothers as they all were Daughters, Sisters or Nieces and Aunts, the greater numbers killed still in war are male.
CBS sought out a message with meaning for Fathers Day, that aired June 17 2011, and I totally agree with the one they found which among many messages it should send ties our long war of choice, Vietnam where this Country said it would remember the lessons of, to both current wars of choice, Afghanistan and Iraq, lessons forgotten five minutes after Vietnam and so many DeJa-Vu's of then repeated with many enhanced and coming on faster.
By Yasmeen Ali
“Pakistan must do more.”
That statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has become a laugh line in Pakistani drawing rooms.
The 9/11 attacks resulted in 2,996 deaths -- 246 on the planes,2606 in towers and on ground, 126 at the Pentagon. The attacks justified an invasion of Afghanistan, the Iraq War and also attacks on the America’s “ally in war on terror,” Pakistan.
The US has come a long way since. The policy of extrajudicial killings survived the Bush/Cheney era and has intensified from an estimated 45 attacks under Bush to 200 under Obama.
Few of those killed in these attacks have been militants. Most have been civilians. Indeed, according to the New American Foundation, only 2% of deaths have been of militants. But hey, that’s ok. That’s why the term “collateral damage” was coined, right?
And now we're over a decade of oh so many lessons not learned and in not one but two theaters of with a third front being bombed and invaded right next door to one of the two and joined with NATO in bombing another that the previous administration had brought the leader of back into the fold after years of calling him a terrorists supporter and supporting terrorists criminal acts!
As we were coming out of Vietnam, especially in the end of, the Country with almost one voice said they'd "never forget the lessons of!" that lasted oh probably five minutes or, even without cable then, a couple of news cycles as we've seen during this whole past decade. The War Hawk Neo-Cons thought they had the lessons, not the real lessons of wars of choice, needed to occupy and control an invaded country, well a decade plus later DeJa-Vu all over again.
Four realities to consider as we think about the drones
By Brian Terrell
In an article published on June 7, 2011, in Foreign Policy, “Don’t Fear the Reaper, four misconceptions about how we think about drones,” http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/06/07/dont_fear_the_reaper?pa..., Charli Carpenter and Lina Shaikhouni warn that “the debate over drones is misleading the public about the nature of the weaponry and the law.” To remedy this confusion they “offer some sensible ways for the anti-drone lobby to reframe the debate.”
June 10th, 2011 - First, we talk to an author about his new book concerning Muslim public opinion toward the United States. Then, we hear about Afghan tourism and its potential for bridge-building, literally and figuratively. Finally, we discuss the dangers of conflict reporting, and how journalists prepare for the battlefield. But first, a roundup of this week’s news.
From a VVAW, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, mailing we get the announcement of a new radio show by and for veterans, and everyone else, that everyone out of the listening area can stream online live or listen to in the archives. This is the send out received:
Three former Marines--Vince Emanuele, Jason Lewis and Mark Strudas, each Iraq war veterans--have now established a weekly two-hour radio show called "Veterans Unplugged" on radio station WIMS, AM-1420 in Michigan City, Indiana, on the south shore of Lake Michigan. The show can be heard live on Tuesday nights between 6-8 pm, Central time. The web site is WIMS Radio.
This is a show that can be heard live-streamed over the internet, plus they archive each show in the station's "audio vault," which can be listened to at your leisure--and is organized by date.
Americans are feeling the chill of economic malaise, and the policy response should be to divert part of the defense budget and to tax U.S. corporations' offshore profits to develop an alternative energy infrastructure, columnist Cate Long writes.
Jun 8, 2011 - Our nation is in a serious economic crisis. Both political parties dance around each other with varying demands for cuts in entitlement programs, tax increases and a rise in the debt ceiling. It’s a doomsday prospect and the American people are feeling the chill of economic malaise.
By Gareth Porter, IPS
WASHINGTON, Jun 7, 2011 (IPS) - Al-Qaeda strategists have been assisting the Taliban fight against U.S.-NATO forces in Afghanistan because they believe that foreign occupation has been the biggest factor in generating Muslim support for uprisings against their governments, according to the just-published book by Syed Saleem Shahzad, the Pakistani journalist whose body was found in a canal outside Islamabad last week with evidence of having been tortured.
That Al-Qaeda view of the U.S.-NATO war in Afghanistan, which Shahzad reports in the book based on conversations with several senior Al- Qaeda commanders, represents the most authoritative picture of the organisation's thinking available to the public.
Shahzad's book "Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban" was published on May 24 – only three days before he went missing from Islamabad on his way to a television interview. His body was found May 31.
Notice how the congressional tepublicans, and especially their cult like followers, never mention the Wars after rubber stamping everything but Veterans Care and even Military Care related to while talking about the growing budget problems they created when they controlled it all. Even now gaining back the House and a few more in the Senate, to continue obstruction, they have sought to cut area's of the Veterans Admin budget!
June 3, 2011 - Even as the wars wind down in Iraq and Afghanistan the financial cost of taking care of veterans continues to mount and could reach a trillion dollars in coming decades
by Gareth Porter*
WASHINGTON, May 31, 2011 (IPS) - The leaked reports over the past two weeks of a series of meetings between U.S. officials and a Taliban figure close to leader Mullah Omar seemed to point to real progress toward a negotiated settlement of the war in Afghanistan.
But in fact the talks are part of a Barack Obama administration strategy aimed at putting pressure on the Taliban leadership in part by dividing it from Pakistan as well as bolstering Obama's domestic support for the war.
Senior administration officials hope to use the talks to sow suspicion between the Taliban and their main ally, thus weakening the Taliban resolve to negotiate on a peace settlement only if the United States offers a timetable for troop withdrawal.
Posted on May 30, 2011 by kathleenkirwin
On this Memorial Day, 2011, Joni Mitchell’s Fiddle and the Drum is sadly all too relevant. As a Canadian, Joni composed the song in 1969 to tell the United States how “we have all come to fear the beating of your drum.” I have been singing this song ever since. It is a piece of my soul. I share it today in memory of the untold numbers who Amercia has killed while beating the drums of war.
And so once again
My dear Johnny my dear friend
And so once again you are fightin’ us all
And when I ask you why
You raise your sticks and cry, and I fall
Oh, my friend
How did you come
To trade the fiddle for the drum
You say I have turned
Like the enemies you’ve earned
But I can remember
All the good things you are
And so I ask you please
Can I help you find the peace and the star
Oh, my friend
What time is this
To trade the handshake for the fist
The annual display will remain on Eighth Ave. until dusk on Monday
Philip Morris, a veteran of the Army National Guard, looks at the tombstones of his friend, DeForest Talbert along the Memorial Mile along 8th Avenue on Saturday, May 28, 2011 in Gainesville, Fla. Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
May 28, 2011 - More than 6,000 tombstones with names of those who have died in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq now line the sides of Northwest Eighth Avenue — and they'll remain in place until dusk on Monday.