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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.
Everything done by prince and company is Done In Our Names!!
2011-05-22 - Remember Blackwater USA, the private military group, which worked as contractors for the U.S. State Department? Since June 2004, it has been paid more than $320 million out of a $1 billion, five-year State Department budget for the Worldwide Personal Protective Service, which protects U.S. officials and some foreign officials in conflict zones.
By Linn Washington, Jr.
Three days after President Barack Obama visited Ground Zero in New York City on May 5th with his message of "justice being done" with the slaying of terrorist Osama bin Laden, disturbing news broke about this administration's blocking of a quest for justice in the infamous May 1970 killing of four Kent State students.
Those four students fell in a barrage of gunfire on May 4, 1970 by Ohio National Guardsmen who opened fire during a peaceful protest against the Vietnam War on Kent State’s campus. That lethal fusillade of 67 shots during a 13-second period also wounded nine others, some seriously.
That blocking action by Obama officials includes an apparent unwillingness to investigate new evidence providing damning insights about that shooting orgy forty years ago, which heightened criticism about U.S. foreign policy in Vietnam and about the abuse of domestic political dissidents.
May 18, 2011 - American forces are facing an increasingly dangerous environment in southern Iraq, where Shiite militias trying to claim they are driving out U.S. occupiers have stepped up attacks against bases and troops.
"We're very concerned about it," said Col. Reginald Allen, who commands the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment that operates in five predominantly Shiite provinces. "This environment is very fluid, but in general our planning assumptions and our precautions are based on the worst case, that levels of violence will continue to increase."
With prince having a U.S. flag stamped on his forehead, done in our names, al Qaeda move over, new kid, same as the old, on the block!!
18 May 2011 - You can buy a war for half a billion dollars. But get in quick. That's at current market prices.
Costs may rise following last Saturday's New York Times story revealing that the United Arab Emirates has paid $529m to a company set up by Blackwater boss Eric Prince to recruit and train a mercenary army to undertake 'special missions' against the oil state's enemies, defend oil pipelines, crush internal opposition and so forth.
Beware of Americans...Bearing Gifts
By Shaukat Qadir
I am sure everyone knows this but merely to ensure we are on the same grid, a policy has one or more aims to be achieved in a specified period and spells out how the said aims will be achieved. While I have no intention of fleshing out a policy in this article, I will merely seek to emphasise the need for one and suggest what it should be aiming at. Pakistan has been without any policy since Ayub Khan’s decline in 1964!
Let us start by looking at what every ordinary citizen of any country, including Pakistan, wants. First and foremost is security: Not just security of life and limb or security from neighbouring enemies, but also food security, water security, job security, economic security, energy security etc. The list is long, and he/she wants to live in peace, so as to have the right to ‘pursue happiness’.
I hit the pavement today, running a reel of the past few months through the windmills of my mind. I’ve spent so much time, lately, in rooms of joy and sorrow, and hotels, and towns where I catch my reflection in some store window and think: Who is she?
I traveled with one son to visit another. Was sitting outside when the younger said, “Mom, you have beautiful feet. You have the feet of a sixteen-year-old.” Before I could tell him I know this, he continued, “It’s a shame I can’t say the same about your face.”
He and I had been discussing the dollar and what he calls my freak-ass economic doomsday tune. The whole foot thingy probably was an attempt to shift the subject.
The abuse of was done in our names as we still continue to condemn others for exactly same!