You are hereGeneral Discussion
Senator Calls for Maliki's Ouster - Levin Urges Iraqis To Replace Leaders
By Jonathan Weisman | Washington Post
Declaring the government of Iraq "non-functional," the influential chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said yesterday that Iraq's parliament should oust Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his cabinet if they are unable to forge a political compromise with rival factions in a matter of days.
The War as We Saw It
By BUDDHIKA JAYAMAHA, WESLEY D. SMITH, JEREMY ROEBUCK, OMAR MORA, EDWARD SANDMEIER, YANCE T. GRAY and JEREMY A. MURPHY
VIEWED from Iraq at the tail end of a 15-month deployment, the political debate in Washington is indeed surreal. Counterinsurgency is, by definition, a competition between insurgents and counterinsurgents for the control and support of a population. To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched. As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day. (Obviously, these are our personal views and should not be seen as official within our chain of command.)
Another U.S. Military Operation, More Unrest
By Ali al-Fadhily* | Inter Press Service
New U.S. military operations across Iraq appear to be worsening the situation.
On Aug. 13 about 16,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops began a massive new military operation north of Baghdad. According to the U.S. military, the goal of the operation, named Lightning Hammer, is to "target insurgents who have fled a crackdown in the restive city of Baquba."
The pro-war political machine has already started spinning General Petraeus’ much anticipated report a month before its supposed release.
And the network media and NPR have joined in, eagerly following developments like the ways that Obama and Clinton are squirming back to the muddy middle, reasserting their love for war in general, and even conceding that –hey, that darn surge might have worked after all, if it means that I can call it supporting the troops and get your vote in return.
Ella Baker, Presente!
By Ted Glick
“We who believe in freedom cannot rest
We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes (repeat chorus)
Until the killing of black men, black mothers’ sons
Is as important as the killing of white men, white mothers’ sons (chorus)
That which touches me most is that I had a chance to work with people
Passing on to others that which was passed on to me (chorus)
CRAWFORD, Texas (CNN) -- A powerhouse Republican lobbying firm with close ties to the White House has begun a public campaign to undermine the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, CNN has confirmed.
A report by the U.S. intelligence community quesitons Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's ability to govern.
By Penny Coleman, AlterNet
Posted on August 22, 2007
In 1971, Lt. William Calley was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the massacre of some 500 civilians in the Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai. In response to Calley's conviction, Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) convened the "Winter Soldier Investigation." Over a three-day period, more than a hundred veterans testified to atrocities they had witnessed committed by U.S. troops against Vietnamese civilians. Their expressed intention was to demonstrate that My Lai was not unique, that it was instead the inevitable result of U.S. policy. It was a travesty of justice, they claimed, to focus blame on the soldiers when it was the policy makers, McNamara, Bundy, Rostow, Johnson, LeMay, Nixon and the others who were truly responsible for the war crimes that had been committed.
There will be a live show at www.kpfa.org on from 7-8pm Pacific time this Friday, August 24. The theme of the show is "Solutions For Peace," and the main solution is impeachment. There will be a short version of the interview I did with David Swanson included in the show. The LONG version will be posted at www.kpfa.org/impeach at that time.
Let’s Face It: The Warfare State Is Part of Us
By Norman Solomon
The USA’s military spending is now close to $2 billion a day. This fall, the country will begin its seventh year of continuous war, with no end in sight. On the horizon is the very real threat of a massive air assault on Iran. And few in Congress seem willing or able to articulate a rejection of the warfare state.
Democrats Candidates on the Iraq Pull-out
By Steven Thomma | McClatchy Newspapersu
Listen to a Democratic presidential candidate talk about Iraq and you'll likely get the bumper-sticker promise to end the war: U.S. troops out, war over.
But most of them don't really believe it should be that neat and simple. What they seldom emphasize as they court anti-war primary voters is that they'd leave at least some U.S. troops "perhaps tens of thousands" in Iraq, or nearby, indefinitely, perhaps for years.
The First Geneva Convention dealt with the rights of wounded soldiers on the battlefield. But, an earlier document, the Treaty between his Majesty the King of Prussia and the United States of America, which was signed on 6 June 1786, recognized the legal rights of Prisoners of War for the first time in history. The signers for the United States were Thos. Jefferson. Paris, July 18, 1785, B. Franklin. Passy, July 9, 1785, John Adams, London, August 5, 1785.
To think George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney know better than Jefferson, Franklin, and Adams!
By Dan Eggen, WashingtonPost.com
Vice President Cheney's office acknowledged for the first time yesterday that it has dozens of documents related to the administration's warrantless surveillance program, but it signaled that it will resist efforts by congressional Democrats to obtain them.
The disclosure by Cheney's counsel, Shannen W. Coffin, came on the day that the Senate Judiciary Committee had set as a deadline for the Bush administration to turn over documents related to the wiretapping program, which allowed the National Security Agency to monitor communications between the United States and overseas without warrants.
White House counsel Fred F. Fielding has also declined to turn over any documents about the program, telling lawmakers last week that more time was needed to locate records that might be responsive to the panel's subpoenas.
The committee's chairman, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), said yesterday that he will pursue contempt proceedings against administration officials if the documents are not produced.
Iraqi PM lashes out at U.S. critics
By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA
Iraq's prime minister lashed out Wednesday at U.S. criticism, saying no one has the right to impose timetables on his elected government and that his country "can find friends elsewhere."
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki blamed the U.S. presidential campaign for the recent tough words about his government — from President Bush and from other U.S. politicians.
U.S. foreign policy experts oppose Bush's surge
By David Morgan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than half of top U.S. foreign policy experts oppose President George W. Bush's troop increase as a strategy for stabilizing Baghdad, saying the plan has harmed U.S. national security, according to a new survey.
Keep Space for Peace Week - Oct. 1 - 8, 2006 –
International Days of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space
Space - A Global Commons to Benefit All -
NOT the U.S. Domain for Pre-Emptive Wars & Domination
U.S. war planners have been using “space assets” to fight wars. The use of space for waging war has grown from Kosovo and the first Gulf War to Afghanistan, and in Iraq it has been taken to a whole new level. In their own words: “Precision navigation, timely weather data, critical missile warning and infrared information, surveillance and reconnaissance, and tremendous weapons capabilities – all came from our on-orbit systems that provided warfighting capability in this war like no war ever before…space was not just an enabler but a key warfighting element of the total campaign.”[emphasis added] (Brig Gen Larry D. James. “Bringing Space to the Fight: The Senior Space Officer in Operation Iraqi Freedom” in High Frontier: The Journal for Space & Missile Professionals 1.4, 14-16 2005).
Caught Between the U.S. and Al-Qaeda
By Ahmed Ali
The major U.S. military operation in Baquba city north of Baghdad has ended, but it has left continuing suffering for residents in its wake.
The U.S. military launched Operation Arrowhead Ripper in Baquba, 50 km northeast of Baghdad, on Jun. 18. Baquba is the capital city of Iraq's Diyala province.
The stated goal of the operation was to eradicate al-Qaeda from the city and other areas in the province. The region has seen some of the highest number of attacks on U.S. troops.
Iraq Progress Report: A Time to Assess and Reflect
by Stephen Lendman
The Bush administration is required to submit three progress reports on Iraq to Congress in September after it returns from its August recess. The US Comptroller General will issue one around September 1 on how well so-called congressional benchmarks have been met. Near the end of the month, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) conservative think tank will report on "The readiness of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) to assume responsibility for maintaining the territorial integrity of Iraq, denying international terrorists a safe haven, bringing greater security to Iraq's 18 provinces in the next 12 to 18 months, and bringing an end to sectarian violence to achieve national reconciliation."
I do not put much stock in the reports of CNN, MSNBC or the network television channels since most of their reporting is slanted to the left. But when I see or hear almost the same information coming out about the ongoing events in Iraq from the FOX News Network and other somewhat conservative media outlets then I am convinced our venture in Iraq needs to come to an immediate halt. And I am not in the minority on this one. Enough is enough!
Iraqi Embassy protest over union busting
By Ben Lando, UPI Energy Editor
U.S. labor leaders rallying outside the Iraqi Embassy in Washington pressed the prime minister to uphold workers' rights as oil workers are targeted in Basra.
Iraq's Oil Ministry has called the oil unions illegal and barred its departments and companies from any dealings with them.
Iraq's prime minister's spokesman said the meeting between political leaders to salvage their fledgling governing coalition will not discuss the oil law.
"The fundamentals are: political agreement among parliamentary blocs, possible reforms to the government and reviewing the government's program," said Ali al-Dabbagh, the Voices of Iraq news agency reports.
IRAQ. For the first time in 25 years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued an economic assessment on Iraq, advising the government to increase the pace of reconstruction and investment, mainly in the oil sector.
"Directors commended the Iraqi authorities for keeping their economic programme on track by strengthening economic policies and making progress in structural reforms, despite an unsettled political situation and a very difficult security environment," said the IMF in a statement on Thursday summarising its Executive Board assessment on Iraq's economic performance.
Extending Iraq Buildup Would Be Tough
by Lolita C. Baldor
Sapped by nearly six years of war, the Army has nearly exhausted its fighting force and its options if the Bush administration decides to extend the Iraq buildup beyond next spring.
The Army's 38 available combat units are deployed, just returning home or already tapped to go to Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere, leaving no fresh troops to replace five extra brigades that President Bush sent to Baghdad this year, according to interviews and military documents reviewed by The Associated Press.
Why Teamsters President Hoffa worries Iran's mullahs
by Mahtaub Hojjati
Iran's despotic mullahs are worried more about Teamsters union President James Hoffa than Iran's Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi. Why? They are frightened by the prospect that Hoffa's escalating voice may give birth to an Iranian version of Solidarity's Lech Walesa, whose courageous and charismatic leadership transformed Poland's workers into an invincible political force.
Why Iraqis oppose U.S.-backed oil law
Workers think foreign firms will take over
By David Bacon
Across the political spectrum in Washington, members of Congress are now demanding that the Iraqi government meet certain benchmarks, which presumably would show that it's really in charge. But there's a big problem with the most important benchmark: the oil law. It is extremely unpopular in Iraq.
BY MIKAL HUTTO
All politicians mean when they claim to be "Centrists" or claim that most Americans are, is that they want all the votes, therefore will be paralyzed and never commit to any real issue for fear of offending the other side. It is pure nonsense. We all make concessions on certain issues when we vote for a particular candidate, according to what we think is the most important issue or issues. No candidate can be all things to all people, but someone forgot to tell them that. Of course, the real problem is they are all owned before they ever get on a ballot, and it is not by us.
By John Borland
08.14.07 | 2:00 AM
CalTech graduate student Virgil Griffith built a search tool that traces IP addresses of those who make Wikipedia changes.
On November 17th, 2005, an anonymous Wikipedia user deleted 15 paragraphs from an article on e-voting machine vendor Diebold, excising an entire section critical of the company's machines. While anonymous, such changes typically leave behind digital fingerprints offering hints about the contributor, such as the location of the computer used to make the edits.
In this case, the changes came from an IP address reserved for the corporate offices of Diebold itself. And it is far from an isolated case. A new data-mining service launched Monday traces millions of Wikipedia entries to their corporate sources, and for the first time puts comprehensive data behind longstanding suspicions of manipulation, which until now have surfaced only piecemeal in investigations of specific allegations.
By Paul J. Nyden
The West Virginia Gazette
Sunday 12 August 2007
Iraq and Afghanistan dominated our news headlines. But our media continue to overlook the growing privatization of military operations - a major historical development.
George W. Bush vigorously backs privatization and frequently awards huge contracts to companies owned by political contributors, such as Halliburton and Blackwater.
During his years in the Oval Office, Bill Clinton also embraced the emerging military privatization.
Today, our government pays mercenaries billions of dollars to fight and kill "enemies," protect government officials and deliver food.
American taxpayers pay the bill. But few know much about the growth of private military companies, or PMCs.