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Chicago Rally to Thank Obama for Supposedly Ending War in Iraq Turns Up 30 Speakers and 10 Audience Members

Obama promised to make ending the war in Iraq his first act in office. Then he did what he could to avoid ending it. Forced by Bush and Maliki and the Iraqis to remove troops, he's keeping troops nearby and filling bases with mercenaries, while expanding ground and drone wars around the region and claiming the power to make war anywhere he likes, including having already done so in Libya. Nonetheless a hearty band of Obama-Right-Or-Wrongers planned a rally in Chicago to praise the president for . . . well, for something or other.

The rally was sponsored by Marilyn Katz and Carl Davidson and "Chicagoans Against War in Iraq," and was promoted as a big national event. I heard about the planning here in Virginia. Among the 30 speakers were the president of the Cook County Board Toni Preckwinkle, Alderman Joe Moore, and Tom Hayden. But an email report I've just been forwarded says the audience was "5-10," and "Dozens and dozens of prepared placards that said 'yes we can' were in a box, untouched."

Meanwhile, "In opposition, holding placards, were some 15 or more from March 19th Anti-War Coalition, Occupy Chicago, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Albany Park, North Park, Mayfair Neighbors for Peace and Justice, and others. The placards included slogans "The U.S. War on Iraq is NOT Over" "Obama Does Mot Deserve Praise," "Obama is Continuing Illegal & Unjust Wars," "Obama Is Threatening Iran and Syria," "Free Bradley Manning," "No War on Iran," "Orambo," "There Is Nothing to Celebrate" and others. Hundreds of leaflets from the March 19th Anti-War Coalition entitled "The Government is NOT bringing all U.S. troops home or ending its wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, or its threats against Iran and Syria and elsewhere" were distributed to passersby as well as those at the rally."

UPDATE: Story and Photo Here.

UPDATE 2: Hayden, Davidson, and Katz tell me this was no rally at all, just a press conference.  None of them can explain the placards.  They gave NBC the impression it was a rally. They gave In These Times the impression it was a rally. I'm not aware of any other press, of any press that did not think it was a rally.

UPDATE 3:

 

NEWS ALERT: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact:

Marilyn Katz

MK Communications

Activists From Across the Nation to Gather in Chicago at

2002 Rally Site to Mark Iraq War End

Determination of a few can change the world

 

(CHICAGO—December 15, 2011) Nine years and two months after the first large protest against the then impending war in Iraq, organizers of the now-famous rally will return there with anti-war leaders from throughout the nation to mark the end of what they predicted to be and has turned out to be an ill-conceived and costly war.

“On October 2, 2002,” said Marilyn Katz, “to the surprise of themselves and a nation still reeling from the events of 9/11, thousands of people gathered in Federal Plaza to voice our opposition to an impending war that we felt was built on lies and would cost both the people of Iraq and America thousands of lives and billions of dollars. Among the speakers that day was a relatively unknown state senator – Barack Obama, who added a strong voice in opposition when it was not yet a popular position.

“What began as a few thousand people in Federal Plaza and places like it grew to a movement of millions who opposed a war and became a critical force in electing a president who promised to end the war he had long opposed.  That movement has continued.  The promise has been kept.  We return to Federal Plaza to mourn the losses all have endured and  to celebrate the difference that citizen action can make in creating and changing  history – and to honor those whose word is their promise.”

Among those joining Among those joining Bettylu Saltzman, Marilyn Katz and others who founded Chicagoans Against War and Injustice (CAWI), the group that called the demonstration, will be Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle; Alderman Joe Moore, president of Cities for Peace; labor leader Tom Balanoff, SEIU; anti-war stalwart Tom Hayden, Progressive Democrats of America; Chuy Garcia, commissioner, Cook County Board; Bill Zimmerman, media consultant to MoveOn.org and author of Troublemaker, a memoir of the Vietnam antiwar movement; Ryan Canney, Move On.org; Juan Andrade, United States Hispanic Leadership Institute; Julie Hamos, director, state of Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services; David Cortright, Win Without War; Bill MacInary, Lynda Deforge, William McNary, Citizen Action; Carl Davidson, Progressive Democrats for America; Adele Simmons, former president the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; representatives from VetVotes; and Ilya Sheyman, candidate for U.S. Congress.

 

###

 

George Galloway Credits Exposure of Iraq Lies for Birth of Current Movement

Galloway:

I wrote at the time that the invasion of Iraq would be worse than a crime: it would be the Mother of All Blunders. I told Tony Blair – outside the men's lavatory in the library corridor of the House of Commons, to be precise – that the fall of Baghdad would be not the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning. And that the Iraqis would fight them, with their teeth if necessary, until they had driven them from their land. I told Blair that there was no al-Qaida in Iraq, but that if he and Bush were to invade there would be thousands of them.

But two things, as George Bush would put it, I "mis-underestimated". First, that when the tower of lies on which the case for the Iraq war had been constructed was exposed, the credibility of the political systems of the two main liars would collapse under the weight. And second, that the example of the Iraqi resistance would trigger seismic changes in the Arabian landscape from Marrakesh to Bahrain.

Almost nobody in Britain or America any longer believes a word their politicians say. This profound change is not wholly the result of the Iraq war, but it moved into top gear following the war and the militarised mendacity that paved the way to it. In America this malaise has fuelled both the Tea Party phenomenon and the Occupy movement alike, even if the word Iraq seldom crosses their lips. And from the Atlantic Ocean to the Persian Gulf the plates are moving still ...

Transcripts of Haditha Massacre in Junkyard in Baghdad

Junkyard Gives Up Secret Accounts of Massacre in Iraq

December 14, 2011 - One by one, the Marines sat down, swore to tell the truth and began to give secret interviews discussing one of the most horrific episodes of America’s time in Iraq: the 2005 massacre by Marines of Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha.

“I mean, whether it’s a result of our action or other action, you know, discovering 20 bodies, throats slit, 20 bodies, you know, beheaded, 20 bodies here, 20 bodies there,” Col. Thomas Cariker, a commander in Anbar Province at the time, told investigators as he described the chaos of Iraq.

New Photos Released of Iraq Atrocity, With Documents and Video

Every American should read this letter:

December 18, 2007
To:   Mr. Randy Waddle, Assistant Inspector General, Ft Carson, Colorado
CC:  LTC John Shawkins, Inspector General, Ft Carson, Colorado
        Major General Mark Graham, Commanding Officer, Ft Carson, Colorado
        Major Haytham Faraj, USMC, Camp Pendleton, California
        Lt General Stanley Greene, US Army Inspector General
Subject: Formal Notification of War Atrocities and Crimes Committed by Personnel, B Company, 2-12, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division in Iraq

Dear Mr. Waddle,

My name is John Needham.  I am a member of Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry division, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, (BCo,2-12INF,2BCT,2ID .  I deployed with my unit to Iraq from October 2006 until October 2007 when I was medically evacuated for physical and mental injuries that I suffered during my deployment.  The purpose of my letter is to report what I believe to be war crimes and violation of the laws of armed conflict that I personally witnesses while deployed in Iraq.

Upon arriving in Iraq in October of 2006 my unit was assigned to the ¼ Cavalry unit at Camp Prosperity.  In March of 2007 I was sent back to my unit, B Company 2-12 at Camp Falcon.  It was at Camp Falcon that I observed and was forced to participate in ugly and inhumane acts against the Iraqi citizens in our area of responsibilities.  Below I list some of the incidents that took place.

In March of 2007, I witnessed SSG Platt shoot and wound an Iraqi national without cause of provocation.  The Staff Sergeant said that he suspected the Iraqi be a “trigger” man.  We had not been attacked and we found no evidence on the man to support the suspicion.  As the Iraqi lay bleeding on the ground, PVT Smith requested to administer first aid to the Iraqi.  SSgt Platt said no and “let him bleed out.”  When SSG Platt walked away, Pvt Smith and PVT Mullins went to the Iraqi, dragged him to an alley, and applied first aid.  They then drove him to the cache for further treatment.

In June of 2007 1SG Spry caused an Iraqi male to be stopped, questioned, detained, and killed.  We had no evidence that the Iraqi was an insurgent or terrorist.  In any event when we stopped he did not pose a threat.  Although I did not personally witness the killing, I did observe 1sg Spry dismembering the body and parading of it while it was tied to the hood of a Humvee around the Muhalla neighborhood while the interpreter blared out warnings in Arabic over the loud speaker.  I have a photo that shows 1SG Spry removing the victim’s brains.

On another occasion an Iraqi male was stopped by a team led by Sgt Rogers as he walked down an alleyway.  The Iraqi was detained and questioned then with his hands tied behind his back, SGT Rogers skinned his face.

1ST Spry shot a young Iraqi teenager who was about 16 years old.  The shooting was unprovoked and the Iraqi posed no threat to the unit.  He was merely riding his bicycle past an ambush site.  When I arrived on the scene I observed 1SGT Spry along with SSG Platt dismember the boy’s body.

In August of 2007, I responded to radio call from SGT Rogers reporting that he had just shot an Iraqi who was trying to enter through a hole that the platoon had blown in a wall to allow them observation of the area during a security patrol.  When I arrived, I saw a one armed man who was still alive lying on a barricade.  The man was about 30 years old.   He had an old Ruger pistol hanging from his thumb.  It was obvious to me that the pistol was placed there because of the way it hung from his thumb.  The Iraqi was still alive when I arrived.  I saw SGT Rogers shoot him twice in the back with hollow point bullets.  The Iraqi was still moving.  I was asking why they shot him again when I heard Sgt Hoskins say “he’s moving, he’s still alive.”  SPEC Hoskins then moved to the Iraqi and shot him in the back of the head.  SSG Platt and SGT Rogers were visibly excited about the kill.  I saw them pull the Iraqi’s
brains out as they placed him in the body bag.  CPT Kirsey must have learned something about this incident because he was very upset and admonished the NCOs involved.

I have seen and heard 1SGT Spry brag about killing dogs.  He kept a running count.  At last count I remember he was boasting of having killed 80 dogs.

On many occasions I observed SGT Temples, SSG Platt and SGT Rogers beat and abuse Iraqi teenagers, some as young as 14, without cause.  They would walk into a house near areas where they suspected we had received sniper fire, then detain and beat the kids.

I have photos that support my allegations.  I also have numerous other photos on a laptop PC that the unit illegally seized from me.  I have requested its return but they have refused.

My experiences have taken a terrible toll on me.  I suffer from PTSD and depression.  I had no way to stop the ugly actions of my unit.  When I refused to participate they began to abuse and harass me.  I am still in treatment at the Balboa Naval hospital.  I respectfully request that you investigate these matters, that you protect my safety by reassigning me to a different unit that is not located at Fort Carson, that you return my PC or, at least, seize it to protect the evidence on it, and that you issue a military protective order to prohibit the offending members of my unit from harassing, retaliating, or contacting me.

I have some photographs and some supporting documentation to these allegations.

Respectfully,
PFC John Needham
US Army
 

And every American should view these photographs (warning, extremely revolting).

And then watch this superb video to learn from John Needham's father what became of him:

On the Dark Side in Al Doura - A Soldier in the Shadows from Pulse TV & Maverick Media on Vimeo.

WARNING: Graphic and disturbing photos between 38:47 and 40:00.

VIDEO DESCRIPTION:

U.S. Army Ranger John Needham, who was awarded two purple hearts and three medals for heroism, wrote to military authorities in 2007 reporting war crimes that he witnessed being committed by his own command and fellow soldiers in Al Doura, Iraq. His charges were supported by atrocity photos which, in the public interest, are now released in this video. John paid a terrible price for his opposition to these acts. His story is tragic.

CBS reported obtaining an Army document from the Criminal Investigation Command suggestive of an investigation into these war crimes allegations. The Army's conclusion was that the "offense of War Crimes did not occur." However, CBS also stated that the report was “redacted and incomplete; 111 pages were withheld.”

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18559_162-57323277/war-damaged-vet-kills-girlfriend-ptsd-to-blame/?tag=currentVideoInfo;videoMetaInfo

 

Salon covered this story too:

 

 http://www.salon.com/2009/02/12/coming_home_three/

 

Thanks to Cindy Piester for the excellent video and all of this information.

 

Kucinich, Michaud Win $10 Million for Gulf War Illness Research Funding

Funding Represents an Increase of 25%

One Million + Dead & Displaced in Iraq for This?

I can’t tell you anymore than this: The Bush regime’s invasion and occupation of Iraq, based on lies, was illegitimate, unjust, and immoral from the start.  Barack Obama’s announcement yesterday that the “war is over” is wrong on so many levels.  For those on the ground, the millions in Iraq, and the one million US military sent there, it won’t end.

The wealthiest country and military in the world leaves behind billions of dollars worth of trashed equipment, and civil and physical society in shambles.

A young soldier, Bradley Manning, formerly stationed in Iraq, will begin a court martial Friday at Ft. Meade, because the U.S. military claims he released classified information about the war to Wikileaks.

No, the Iraq War Is NOT Over

Not only are there still troops and mercenaries and bases and a mammoth base called an "embassy," and not only have we got the place surrounded:

Yes, that's a map of how surrounded Iran is, but Iraq is that red one to the left of Iran.

But, in addition, as Marcy Wheeler points out:

The NYT, which played a key propaganda role in getting us into the Iraq war, has a 1000-word article telling us the Iraq war has officially been declared over.

And while it is true that the Administration had a campaign event dog and pony show yesterday declaring the war over, it is not.

After all, Rand Paul tried to formally, legally end the Iraq war last month. And 67 Senators refused to do so.

The fact that the Iraq AUMF remains on the books matters. It matters because no matter how many times we was eloquent about Iraqis controlling their own destiny, Nuri al-Maliki knows that little prevents Obama from bringing in troops again–or dropping drones in his country. Maybe that’s why Maliki is doing unfathomable things like laying a wreath at the military cemetery of the country that has occupied and ravaged his country for 8 years.

And, as I keep noting, the Iraq AUMF serves another purpose. That AUMF’s general language on “terrorism” has been used to authorize the use of “war powers” against people the Executive Branch claims are terrorists who have nothing to do with al Qaeda. The Iraq AUMF has been interpreted by the Executive Branch to authorize a war against all so-called terrorists, not just the terrorists who hit us on 9/11. And based on that argument, it was used to authorize the wiretapping of American citizens in the US.

Credulous journalists may want to accept the Administration’s propaganda about the Iraq war ending. But until we take the expanded powers given to the President pursuant to a vile propaganda campaign away from him, the Iraq war is not over. And Obama should not be able to use it as a campaign line until he actually gives up those powers.

Thoughts on Mark Twain's 'The War Prayer'

 

By David Lindorff Sr.

 

Iraq War Protest Legacy to Arab Spring to Occupy

Film-in-progress traces Iraq War protest legacy

"We Are Many" shows how mobilization in 2003 set stage for Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street

Dec 8, 2011 - On Feb. 15, 2003, the planet experienced the greatest single non-military mobilization of humanity in the history of the world. People in 800 cities (and Antarctica) marched to voice their opposition as George Bush’s countdown clock ticked away the days toward the threatened U.S. invasion of Iraq. Estimates of the total numbers of protesters vary widely but it seems plausible that 15 million took to the streets.

Ahmad Chalabi's War

Richard Bonin tells the story of Ahmad Chalabi, whose wealthy Shiite family was exiled from Iraq after a revolution that ultimately put Saddam Hussein in power. In Arrows of the Night: Ahmad Chalabi's Long Journey to Triumph in Iraq Bonin traces Chalabi’s efforts to stoke a desire for Iraqi regime change in the United States, and earn support for to installing him as overseer of U.S. interests in the Middle East. The outcome was perhaps the biggest foreign policy disaster in our history.

This is from WNYC.

Harry Targ : Vince Emanuele, Anti-War Vets, and the 99%

Anti-war vet Vince Emanuele. Photo by Jessica A. Woolf / nwtimes.

 


Veterans unplugged: Hoosier anti-war activist connects
returning veterans to the 99%


By Harry Targ / The Rag Blog

“I grew up in Chicago and Northwest Indiana. Working-class family, father was a Union Ironworker... mother was a stay at home Mom.” Vince Emanuele joined the Marines after graduating from high school. “I came out of boot camp a hard chargin’ Devil Dog.”

He served in the Marines from 2003 until 2005 stationed in California, Kuwait, and Iraq. His eight month deployment in Iraq involved him in street patrols, looking for snipers and land mines, “along with shooting at innocent civilians, destroying their property and beating up prisoners.”

While in Iraq the fascination with war that he had acquired as a kid playing video games dissipated. His father sent him reading material -- Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, Hunter Thompson, The Nation -- and he and friends began to reflect on what they were doing in Iraq. He came to the view that the war was “illegal, immoral, unjustified, and unneeded.” He was not spreading “democracy” or “peace” and the U.S. war effort was not winning the “hearts and minds” of the Iraqi people.

After returning to the U.S., Emanuele joined Iraq Veterans Against the War, has been organizing vets in Indiana and Illinois, created a weekly radio show called “Veterans Unplugged” which is available online, and has become a prominent activist for social, economic, and political justice in the heartland of America while finishing an undergraduate political science degree.

Powerful Play Present Iraq in a Family's Story

Yearning to Breathe Free
by Ken Molloy

FADE IN:

SUPER- Mosul, Iraq, May 2004

EXT. SAINT THOMAS CHURCH – DAY

A small ancient Byzantine style church with a cross high atop its dome broils in the blaring sun.

INT. SAINT THOMAS CHURCH – DAY

FATHER KASSAB (60s) stands at the altar dressed in the traditional robes of a Chaldean Christian priest. The Mass ends. He turns to the congregation, raises his hands and gives the benediction.

FATHER KASSAB
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that ye may abound in hope through…

MASKED GUNMEN storm into the church and gun down Father Kassab. PEOPLE jump out of their pews and are mowed down. Others cower.

The gunmen systematically walk over to the statues of saints and blow off their faces. Without saying a word, they leave.

CBS Undercounts Iraqi Deaths

Rewriting Iraq War history


A December 1 CBS Evening News report about the Iraq War managed to mislead viewers about the start of the war and severely diminish the loss of civilian lives.

Reporting on the handover of the U.S. military headquarters to Iraqi forces, anchor Scott Pelley announced:

What began in 2003 as an effort to overthrow Saddam Hussein became a vicious religious war, pitting Iraqi against Iraqi--with the U.S. caught in the middle.

Of course, the United States invaded Iraq with the stated aim of disarming Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, which did not exist. ("The opening stages of the disarmament of the Iraqi regime have begun" was how White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer announced the beginning of the invasion--ABCNews.com, 3/19/03.) Any serious conversation of the war should include this fact.

And the United States, as the instigators of that war, cannot credibly be considered to be "caught in the middle."

Then, at the very end of the piece, Pelley made this claim:

In addition to the American losses, it is estimated that more than 50,000 Iraqi civilians were killed in the war.
 

The Victory of Popular Resistance In Occupied Iraq




Under the influence of U.S. military propaganda, Western accounts of occupation and resistance in Iraq have tended to characterize the occupation forces and their Kurdish and formerly exiled Iraqi allies as representing legitimate authority, stability, and security in Iraq and popular resistance forces as “insurgents” or “terrorists.” An ever-changing official narrative in which U.S. forces must be held blameless for the violence of the invasion and occupation has required the demonization of the Iraqi Resistance and fueled an endless quest for the roots of violence in caricatures of Iraqi history that have gained wide acceptance in Western popular culture.
 
One of the main thrusts of this propaganda is to define people involved in popular resistance as a class of people who cannot be understood or reasoned with, let alone identified with. This not only preserves political support for occupation, but it also serves to justify policies of extreme violence, or even genocide, against resistance fighters and the civilian populations who support them.
 
For several years, the Iraqi Resistance stood virtually alone in the world against U.S. and British aggression, but it ultimately succeeded in making continued occupation futile and counter-productive for the occupying forces, forcing them to withdraw. This, in turn, forced U.S. policy-makers to make significant revisions to their global war policy, sparing other countries the fate suffered by the people of Iraq.
 

A First-Hand Account of War Crimes With Photographs

My name is John Needham. I am a member of Bravo Company, 2nd

Battalion, 2nd Infantry division, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, (BCo,2-12INF,2BCT,2ID . I deployed with my unit to Iraq from October 2006 until October 2007 when I was medically evacuated for physical and mental injuries that I suffered during my deployment. The purpose of my letter is to report what I believe to be war crimes and violation of the laws of armed conflict that I personally witnesses while deployed in Iraq.

Upon arriving in Iraq in October of 2006 my unit was assigned to the ¼ Cavalry unit at Camp Prosperity. In March of 2007 I was sent back to my unit, B Company 2-12 at Camp Falcon. It was at Camp Falcon that I observed and was forced to participate in ugly and inhumane acts against the Iraqi citizens in our area of responsibilities. Below I list some of the incidents that took place.

In March of 2007, I witnessed SSG Platt shoot and wound an Iraqi national without cause of provocation. The Staff Sergeant said that he suspected the Iraqi be a “trigger” man. We had not been attacked and we found no evidence on the man to support the suspicion. As the Iraqi lay bleeding on the ground, PVT Smith requested to administer first aid to the Iraqi. SSgt Platt said no and “let him bleed out.” When SSG Platt walked away, Pvt Smith and PVT Mullins went to the Iraqi, dragged him to an alley, and applied first aid. They then drove him to the cache for further treatment.

READ THE REST AND SEE THE HIDEOUS PHOTOGRAPHS

Painted Torture

You walk into a large, bright gallery full of large colorful portraits, portraits of men.  They are fairly ordinary looking men.  They could be from Western Asia or the "Middle East." 

You approach one and look at him for an instant.  He looks normal, relaxed, almost expressionless, certainly expressing no very strong emotion. 

Before you can look long, your eyes are drawn to the curving lines of words swirling around the canvas like leaves in water.  You read words like these, twisting your head almost upside down to follow them:

"FROM THE TIME OF MORNING PRAYERS THEY WOULD DRAW A CIRCLE ON THE WALL, AND I HAD TO STAND ON MY TOES TWO HOURS WITH MY NOSE TOUCHING THE CIRCLE."

You read on as more words flow around this one canvas.  You read about dogs and cattle prods and death threats and harm to loved ones, sleep deprivation and confinement in a box and living human beings piled up like suitcases in a truck.

ExxonMobil and Shell Stamp Huge Oil and Gas Deals in Iraq

By Steve Horn

Just a few weeks after President Barack Obama announced U.S. troops are "leaving" the war-torn country, ExxonMobil and Shell each announced major new oil and gas production agreements in Iraq.

On November 12, ExxonMobil signed an oil production deal with the Kurdish Regional Government to drill in Iraqi Kurdistan, located in northern Iraq. This comes on top of an existing oil deal it landed in 2009, to drill for oil in the West Qurna Field, located in southern Iraq.

READ THE REST.

One Veteran's Rough Path from Killing and Torturing to Peace

Not yet 30, Evan Knappenberger has already lived several lives.  His story destroys the U.S. government's case against whistleblower Bradley Manning, exposes the toxic mix of fraud and incompetence that creates U.S. war policies, and highlights the damage so often done to soldiers who come home without visible injuries.

Knappenberger, seen in this video, was trained as an "intelligence analyst" at the U.S. Army's Intelligence Training Center at Fort Huachuca, Arizona in 2003 and 2004, the same school attended by Bradley Manning.  In April of this year, the PBS show Frontline, responding to an article Knappenberger had published, flew him to Los Angeles on a private jet, and interviewed him for four hours.

War Is a Force That Pays the 1 Percent: Occupying American Foreign Policy

by: J.A. Myerson, Truthout | News Analysis


The man on the left served with the Marines in Southern Afghanistan from 2001-2006. The man on the right is now a public school teacher who served with the Army from 1986-1989. (Photo: pfarnac1)

If the last decade was the era of occupations that everyone called liberations, then the 99 percent movement is seeking to make this the era of liberations everyone calls occupations.

"It's clear that the interests of the majority of people in this country do not align with the military-industrial complex who put corporate profiteering based on destruction ahead of the needs of people," said Alex Kane, a journalist and activist. "The nexus of power that Occupy is looking to challenge in this country does not stop at Wall Street. Military profiteering is an integral part of the system and it should be challenged."

The "liberation" of Afghanistan has yielded a corrupt government in Kabul, where Hamid Karzai, the former CIA-paid fundraiser for the Mujahideen, is positioning himself as chief lapdog for the Taliban and the ISI (the Pakistan intelligence agency), this alliance acting alongside American bombs to create, in the words of one member of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, "no positive change." Well, no positive change for some. For others, like Karzai's wealthy friends, embezzling great chunks of the $70 billion worth of security assistance and development projects American taxpayers have spent in Afghanistan since the invasion has yielded quite a large chunk of positive change.

READ THE REST

 

Army Sends More Mercenaries to Iraq to Comply With Treaty by Violating It

Or as the Pentagon Post puts it:

As American troops head out of Iraq, U.S. officials are being forced to bring in more private security contractors.

The withdrawal of the remaining troops from Iraq — 33,000 at last count — has caused U.S. officials to move quickly to fill a series of security gaps to ensure the continued protection of American diplomatic personnel as well as U.S. goods.

Homefront 911 and the Emergency in Military Kids

The risk of suicide in military children nearly doubles during a parent's deployment.  Daniel killed himself during his father's last tour.  He was 12 years old. 


He hung himself from the bunkbed he shared with his brother.  


His mom, Tricia, is wondering how Daniel's brother will cope with his father's upcoming deployment. 


So is another military spouse whose boy tried to kill himself during his dad's last tour - who also learned that her soldier will be deployed again in 2012. 


Isolated incidents?  Not if you're a military family member. 


These two moms will join other military family members on November 17 in this nation's Capitol to present Homefront 911: Military Family Monologues. True stories about how 10 years of war is really coming home.


12:00 noon at the US Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium free & open to the public.

Remember Fallujah Week 2011

$1 Trillion on Weapons Since 9/11

Report: Military Blew $1 Trillion on Weapons Since 9/11

Nov. 2, 2011 - A new study suggests that defense hawks are crying crocodile tears over planned cuts to Pentagon spending.

Capitol Hill conservatives and Pentagon brass fighting cuts to defense spending have argued that the military is limping off the battlefield with decrepit hardware. It's quite the sob story: At a hearing last week, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the chair of the House armed services committee, cut his remarks short to literally sob for "these young men that are going outside the wire over in Afghanistan, every day on patrol."

The World is Still Waiting For A US Withdrawal from Iraq

Despite the Obama administration’s announcement Friday that U.S. combat troops are finally leaving Iraq — giving rise to the popular perception that “Iraq war is over”–  I ask those who are celebrating to consider: where is the joy coming from?


It’s been ten years now since Donald Rumsfeld’s brain went “9/11 = attack Iraq,” apparently minutes after the WTC was hit by airliners.  From that moment, when the world’s largest military machine began planning it, through today, after over a million Iraqi deaths, this war and occupation has never been legitimate, just or moral!

Abu Zubaydah v Lithuania: CIA Prison Program

Lithuania in the dock for role in CIA rendition program

28 October, 2011 - A human rights group has filed a lawsuit against Lithuania for its role in a CIA rendition program which allegedly involved the illegal detention and torture of “high-value detainee” Abu Zubaydah.

Zubaydah, who was initially captured by American and Pakistani special services in a raid in Pakistan in 2002, spent some of his time in custody in a secret detention center in Lithuania, according to the Interights group. The European country allegedly collaborated with the CIA on its program of secret prisons, which allowed suspects to be incarcerated and tortured outside American territory.

On War: AMEN, Rachel, AF'inMEN!!!

Quite enough from Mr. Wolfowitz and the Cabal
Oct. 28: Rachel Maddow expresses exasperation that Paul Wolfowitz is still treated by the media as if he has credibility on foreign policy matters despite his infamous history of disastrously poor judgment.

 

Never More Proud to Be in a Courtroom

Never More Proud to Be in a Courtroom

by Kathleen Kirwin

October 28, 2011

“AS THE FATHER OF A YOUNG SON, I WENT TO THE WHITE HOUSE ON MARCH 19TH TO BE A VOICE FOR SHAHIDULLAH.” From the closing argument of Defendant Art Laffin in DC Superior Court.

 

Iraq: Just Another War Without an End

 


 


by WALTER BRASCH


  


We know the names of every one of the 4,479 Americans who were killed and the 32,200 who were wounded, both civilian and military, between March 20, 2003 and Oct. 21, 2011, the day President Barack Obama, fulfilling a campaign promise, declared the last American soldier would leave Iraq before the end of the year.


We know Second Lieutenant Therrel Shane Childers was the first American soldier killed by hostile fire in Operation Iraqi Freedom.


On March 21, 2003, less than a day after the U.S.-led invasion, Childers was shot in the stomach by hostile forces while leading a Marine platoon to secure an oil field in southern Iraq.  His father, Joseph, told NPR that it was his dream to lead Marines into combat.

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