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September 16, 2011 - The 9/11 industry harvested its biggest riches on September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of the yet-to-be fully documented coordinated attacks on the United States of America which produced the era of awe and shock, bull-dozed all international norms, and initiated two great wars of the twenty-first century.
From Letters to the Editor in todays Wash Post: We should all thank former Bush administration adviser Meghan O’Sullivan for the honesty in her September 11 Outlook commentary, “We shouldn’t pull out of Iraq, for their sake and ours,” in which she argued that the “most compelling” reason for maintaining the U.S. occupation of Iraq is to secure that nation’s oil. (Read full article: http://tinyurl.com/3f9mypg) I am among millions of Americans who have argued for years that oil was at the heart of our war with Iraq, even though many of us were labeled conspiracy theorists for doing so — even within this very newspaper. While we Americans may love our oil, the public has never supported the idea that our soldiers should kill and die for it, that we should be invaders and occupiers to secure it and that we should spend hundreds of billions of tax dollars to go after it. Had this argument been so clearly made at the start of the war, few Americans would have supported the invasion of Iraq. We should now view Ms. O’Sullivan’s honest articulation that this is a war for oil as one of the best reasons yet offered to bring it to an immediate end. Antonia Juhasz, San Francisco The writer is a member of the National Advisory Committee of Iraq Veterans Against the War. www.washingtonpost.com/todays_paper?dt=2011-09-15&bk=A&pg=16
Bush White House Resistant to Rebuilding Afghanistan
Rumsfeld's War Aim: "Significantly Change the World's Political Map"
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 358
Posted - September 11, 2011
We are given figures in the multi multi billions spent on the wars of choice and the so called 'homeland security', but there are huge amounts, in the multi billions, not known or labeled top secret and blacked out in government reports on the rapid growth of intelligence within government and the added private contractors and the costs of that growth. As pointed out in the 'PBS Frontline' report, below, what has it accomplish over all these years, especially as to the main mission after 9/11 and finally getting bin Laden, found through intelligence of a small group and carried out by a small group of 'special forces'.
By Dave Lindorff
When you are the New York Times, or in this case, one of the only real liberal columnists working for the Times anymore, there are apparently some things you just cannot mention.
How else to explain how a seemingly intelligent economist like Paul Krugman can scorch the Republicans in Congress and President Obama for failing to deal with the crisis of joblessness and deepening economic collapse in the U.S., but never once mention the endless and pointless wars into which the country is pouring hundreds of billions of dollars a year?
By Matthew Schofield | McClatchy Newspapers
A U.S. diplomatic cable made public by WikiLeaks provides evidence that U.S. troops executed at least 10 Iraqi civilians, including a woman in her 70s and a 5-month-old infant, then called in an airstrike to destroy the evidence, during a controversial 2006 incident in the central Iraqi town of Ishaqi.
The unclassified cable, which was posted on WikiLeaks' website last week, contained questions from a United Nations investigator about the incident, which had angered local Iraqi officials, who demanded some kind of action from their government. U.S. officials denied at the time that anything inappropriate had occurred.
By the DailyMirror
US forces had committed a heinous war crime during a house raid in Iraq in 2006, wherein one man, four women, four children, and one infant were summarily executed, a State Department diplomatic cable released last week by WikiLeaks revealed.
The cable excerpts a letter written by Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, addressed to then Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.
American troops had approached the home of Faiz Harrat Al-Majma’ee, a farmer living in central Iraq, to conduct a house raid in search of insurgents in March 2006.
Except for "trainers" and except for mercenaries hired through the US State Department? Story here.
A day-long symposium in which historians, activists, current and former military personnel,
anthropologists, journalists, and filmmakers gather to examine the past, present, and future of the
doctrine that has officially guided the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2007.
John Allison Clinton Ancker Joaquin Chavez
Conrad Crane Lloyd Gardner Gian Gentile
Roberto Gonzalez Hannah Gurman Karl Hack
Ansley Hamid Bill Hartung M. Jamil Hanifi
Jeremy Kuzmarov Vina Lanzona Jean MacKenzie
Vince Rafael Rick Rowley Nick Turse
Dahlia Wasfi Marilyn Young
Organized by Gallatin Professor Hannah Gurman
The Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts
1 Washington Place
For more information go to www.nyu.edu/gallatin
Standard would reduce dangerous US oil dependence, save Americans billions at the pump
Depleted Uranium rounds are seen aboard the USS Missouri. (Image: Public Domain)
War and the Tragedy of the Commons, Part 5
By 2003, reports were surfacing of cancer clusters and birth disorders in conflict areas of the Balkans and Iraq, raising fears about human exposure to depleted uranium (DU) and its fate and transport in war environments. Gulf War Syndrome, a catchall for mysterious and disabling symptoms and conditions suffered by nearly 40 percent of 540,000 veterans of the three-week ground war (which killed fewer than 200 US soldiers), remained an unyielding conundrum. A colleague and I prepared a fact sheet on depleted uranium, given its first use in the 1991 Persian Gulf War and growing use by the United States and Britain in subsequent wars. We labored in a meager research environment and detected an unsettling complacency around the question of environmental health impacts of DU munitions.
Reason they were talking Saddam, before and Condi on the day of 9/11, in the weeks directly after and reason we left the mission in Afghanistan high and dry to fester and grow with recruitment from the devastation in Iraq an innocent country!!!
Troops lined up in formation, preparing to get on a plane bound for Iraq. (Photo: j. botter)
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: 'Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear -
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.'
- Percy Bysshe Shelley
A pair of vitally important news reports were lost recently amid a blizzard of stories about the gyrating stock market and a rogue East Coast earthquake. The first came from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who announced that a deal had been struck to keep US forces in Iraq beyond the oft-publicized December 31st withdrawal deadline and into 2012, contrary to Mr. Obama's promises. Not long after, a spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki came forward to say hold on, wait a minute, nothing along these lines has been agreed upon as yet, and negotiations are still ongoing.
Got that? Negotiations are still ongoing, which in all likelihood means that, sometime before December 31st, a deal will be struck between Al-Maliki and the US to keep American forces right where they've been for the last three thousand days. In fact, Panetta let it be known that the Pentagon is already laying plans to do exactly that. Panetta made sure to draw a line between "combat forces," which he claims will be withdrawn, and "training forces," which appear poised to remain into the foreseeable future. This will come as a great comfort to the troops who will not be coming home, as insurgent leaders have made it clear that any American on Iraqi soil after the withdrawal deadline will live life with a bullseye taped to their back...but who won't live long, if the insurgents have anything to say about it.
by Debra Sweet, National Director of World Can't Wait Help get "Incident in New Baghdad" in the running for an Oscar.
By Democracy Now!
It was one year ago today that the Obama administration officially announced it was pulling the last full U.S. combat brigade from Iraq. Today, roughly 46,000 U.S. troops remain in the country, along with more than 64,000 private contractors. This week, as Iraq suffers its deadliest violence of the year, there is increasing speculation that the Obama administration will extend its occupation of the war-ravaged nation. We speak with Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi-American blogger and political analyst based in Washington, D.C., who was in Iraq two weeks ago. Watch/Listen/Read
If his or her name is not here, then you've got work to do over summer recess:
September 2011 - One morning in June 2001, three months before the 9/11 attacks on the United States, I happened to be interviewing a senior official from the British Secret Intelligence Service, M.I.6. His current focus was the war on drugs, not international terrorism, but he shared a piece of information that united the two subjects.
A short time earlier, the official told me, the U.S. National Security Agency had intercepted a call between two satellite-telephone users in Afghanistan—the al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and the Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. They had been discussing the Taliban’s ban on growing opium poppies, imposed the previous summer—a remarkably effective edict that had shrunk production in areas they controlled almost to zero.
Chevron among 41 OKd to bid in Iraq
Iraq's oil ministry has qualified Chevron Corp. and 40 other companies to participate in the next round of bidding for oil exploration blocks in the country.
A notice posted Monday on the ministry's website named the companies that had met all the qualification criteria to hunt for oil or natural gas in 12 areas, many of them in western provinces that have seen little oil-field development. Occidental Petroleum, based in Los Angeles, also made the cut.
The ministry is expected to award exploration contracts in January.
A UN report released on Monday said the human rights situation in Iraq is still "fragile," citing issues including economic and political stagnation, continued violence and attacks on minorities.
"The human rights situation throughout Iraq remains fragile as the country slowly transitions from a conflict to post-conflict country that faces enormous development challenges," the 2010 Report on Human Rights in Iraq said.
"Widespread poverty, economic stagnation, lack of opportunities, environmental degradation and an absence of basic services constitute 'silent' human rights violations that affect large sectors of the population," it said.
The report, from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq's human rights office and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, also cited inconclusive March 2010 parliamentary elections and the ensuing nine-plus months of deadlock as a source of rights problems.
"It is believed that this fuelled instability, but it also contributed to a degree of inactivity in relation to implementing reforms and other measures aimed at ensuring the protection and provision of human rights to the Iraqi population," it said.
"Also affecting security was the withdrawal of all (US) combat troops during the year that was completed in August 2010."
With veterans' unemployment rising, President Barack Obama is scheduled on Friday in a visit Washington's Navy Yard to announce initiatives to prepare vets for civilian jobs.
Those boomers born during WWII and in the few years directly after may or may not remember their childhood years, I do. What your parents, coming out of the military, no higher education needed to fight our wars, or moms coming out of the factories, quickly taught the jobs needed to work in by those who for many reasons couldn't serve in the military. You grew up into that working world that had quickly grown a prosperous middle class, and with usually small but regular raises and improved benefits and safety you were prospering better then your parents.
3 August 2011 - The Mail on Sunday suggested at the weekend that Tony Blair will face 'scathing criticism' of his role in the launch of the Iraq war when the report of the inquiry under Sir John Chilcot is published in the autumn.
On the same day, the Observer reported that the terms of an oil deal struck between BP and the Baghdad government will provide the company and its Chinese partner with a 'stranglehold' over the Iraqi economy. Even in the midst of his current multifarious travails, Rupert Murdoch may have managed a smile at that one.
That's the deal. And if you don't like it, well, like it.
(Reuters) - Any agreement for U.S. troops to stay in Iraq beyond a year-end deadline for their withdrawal would require the Iraqi parliament to agree to grant American soldiers legal immunity, the top U.S. military officer said on Tuesday.
Immunity for American troops staying on in Iraq could complicate the already difficult wrangling for Iraq's fragile, multi-sectarian government, whose leaders are under pressure to decide whether some U.S. soldiers should stay in the country.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki says Iraq may need only trainers rather than U.S. troops, allowing him to bypass fractious negotiations with parliament. But U.S. officials say any training deal would likely involve American troops and require a lawmaker agreement on immunity.
By John Grant
When the human waste of politics gets to piling up so deep you want to run screaming into the night, a good remedy is to fall back to the powerful historical minds and immerse yourself in some great writing. I ran into this dilemma last Sunday, after a morning of reading The New York Times about the continuing blackmail antics of Rep. John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell and their merry band of Teabag Republican cutthroats.
The damning of Tony Blair: Former PM to be held to account on Iraq in Chilcot report on war
- Iraq war deal 'signed in blood' by former Prime Minister
- Cabinet members kept in the dark in build-up to the war
- 'Obvious failings' in post-war planning
Tony Blair is to face scathing criticism from the official inquiry into the Iraq War for the role he played in leading Britain into one of its biggest foreign policy fiascos in modern history.
The Mail on Sunday has been told that the former Prime Minister will be held to account on four main failings:
- Bogus claims that were made about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.
- Not telling the British public about his secret pledge with George Bush to go to war.
- Keeping the Cabinet in the dark by his ‘sofa government’ style.
- Failing to plan to avoid the post-war chaos in Iraq.
The damning verdict of the Chilcot Inquiry comes eight years after Tony Blair went to war against Saddam Hussein with George Bush
Well-placed sources say the reputations of Mr Blair and key allies will suffer major damage when the report by Sir John Chilcot’s Iraq War inquiry is published this autumn.
Mr Blair, former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and ex-Downing Street spin doctor Alastair Campbell are all expected to be criticised.
All those taken to task by Chilcot’s five-strong panel of experts will receive notice in the next few weeks of the inquiry’s conclusions.
The United States seeks to exploit the loopholes of a bilateral security pact it struck with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in 2008 in order to extend its military presence in the war-torn country.
“There is a giant loophole in the treaty that Bush and Maliki put together for any troop that is not employed through the Department of Defense”, David Swanson, co-founder of War is a Crime.org, told Press TV's U.S. Desk on Sunday.
“So for example a gang of thousands of mercenaries employed through the U.S. State Department under the guise of protecting their so-called embassy in Baghdad would be in perfect compliance with the treaty”, he added.
By Dave Lindorff
My wife Joyce and I were renting a car for the week this morning at a Hertz office just outside Philadelphia. There was a line of people either waiting to pick up a vehicle, or to return one.
The harried clerk behind the counter -- the only guy in the office -- was fielding calls while trying to serve the first guy in line, who was trying to rent a car for a vacation trip with his wife to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. No sooner would the poor clerk sit down at the computer to start typing in the information from the man’s driver’s license than the phone would ring -- a phone that was located on a desk in a cubicle behind him, requiring him to get up and run around to the back cubicle.
The man at the counter, and others in the line, sighed audibly.
Now over a decade with two wars of choice and added to the previous decades of ignored issues and not fully funding the Veterans Administration, thus saving monies instead of increased costs to catchup with the needs, as to the results of our wars. Easier to lay blame on the agency rather then the country, the 99% who don't serve it, who collectively don't look in the mirror at their total lack of Sacrifice as they wave those flags!
Last night, 30 July 2011, the Congressional House (T)'s did exactly what many thought they would and now the Congressional Senate (T)'s, going into their oft used filibuster, follow the Houses lead, and their Supporters Cheer, a day after this: