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Keep Space for Peace Week - Oct. 1 - 8, 2006 - Stop the Militarization of Space

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

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.

Stephen Lendman: Iraq Progress Report: A Time to Assess and Reflect

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."

Edmond OK Sun's Conservative Editor Rick Barnes: Enough Is Enough - Let's Pull Out!

Enough is enough — let’s pull out
By Rick Barnes

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

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 Government Summit Won't Discuss Oil Law

Iraq gov't summit won't discuss oil law

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.

IMF report on Iraq stresses importance of reconstruction, security, oil investment

IMF report on Iraq stresses importance of reconstruction, security, oil investment
by Moussa Ahmad

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

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

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

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.

THE MYTH OF THE CENTRIST

BY MIKAL HUTTO
Pasadena TX

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.

See Who's Editing Wikipedia - Diebold, the CIA, a Campaign

By John Borland
08.14.07 | 2:00 AM
Original

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.

Guns For Hire: Secrecy, Torture, Religious Zeal Distinguish Mercenaries

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.

Terrorist Nation? It Takes One to Know One

By Dave Lindorff

The idea that the US could be considering classifying the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a “terrorist” organization, based upon some dubious evidence that the organization is supplying some weapons—in particular those shaped charges that have been so effective in roadside bombs against US military vehicles—is pretty preposterous when you consider the source.

Whatever the truth about the activities of the Iranians, certainly when it comes to terror, the US is unrivalled in the world today.

Tension Grows Between US Soldiers and Mercenaries

By Deborah Hastings
The Associated Press
Saturday 11 August 2007

There are now nearly as many private contractors in Iraq as there are U.S. soldiers - and a large percentage of them are private security guards equipped with automatic weapons, body armor, helicopters and bullet-proof trucks.

They operate with little or no supervision, accountable only to the firms employing them. And as the country has plummeted toward anarchy and civil war, this private army has been accused of indiscriminately firing at American and Iraqi troops, and of shooting to death an unknown number of Iraqi citizens who got too close to their heavily armed convoys.

Grow Up, America.

It is becoming increasingly clear that we are a nation of infantile adults; small minds, little hearts, in big – very big - people’s pants. We bicker and scream and backbite and fight, pushing the peas of politics around on our plates, throwing tantrums on TV, kicking and screaming on the floor of the House. It is time to grow up. The social and environmental problems of the 21st Century, most of which we have knowingly, purposefully, created, demand that we put away childish things.

Boo!

Vienna Metro  
Metro's 'Suspicious Activity'

Washingtonpost.com
Tuesday, August 7, 2007; A12

I am a daily Metro rider, and I was surprised to be greeted at the Vienna station on Monday morning by a sign that said: "Terrorist alert. Report suspicious activity. Call transit police."

Gen. Clark: Pat Tillman's Manner of Death is Still Wide Open; "Truth is Not Out There Yet"- Lawyers Jubiliant No Criminal Probe

Note: Transcript changes from "CLARK" to "WOLFFE" but these are all General Clark's responses.

MSNBC analyst General Wesley Clark served for 38 years in the Army, including time as supreme allied commander of NATO.

General Clark, thanks again for some of your time tonight.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK (RET.), MSNBC ANALYST: Thanks. Good to be with you, Keith.

Martial Law Threat is Real: Lucky that the Military is Breaking Down

By Dave Lindorff

The looming collapse of the US military in Iraq, of which a number of generals and former generals, including former Chief of Staff Colin Powell, have warned, is happening none too soon, as it may be the best hope for preventing military rule here at home.

From the looks of things, the Bush/Cheney regime has been working assiduously to pave the way for a declaration of military rule, such that at this point it really lacks only the pretext to trigger a suspension of Constitutional government. They have done this with the active support of Democrats in Congress, though most of the heavy lifting was done by the last, Republican-led Congress.

ABC's George Stephanopoulous Seeks Questions for GOP Presidential Candidate Debate on August 5th

On Sunday August 5, George Stephanopoulos will moderate the GOP 2008 Presidential Candidates Debate.

Submit video questions for the candidates now, or email us your text questions

On Base, a Plea to Give Each Death Its Due

July 25, 2007
By WILLIAM YARDLEY
New York Times

FORT LEWIS, Wash. — Twenty soldiers deployed to Iraq from this Army base were killed in May, a monthly high. That same month, the base announced a change in how it would honor its dead: instead of units holding services after each death, they would be held collectively once a month.

The anger and hurt were immediate. Soldiers’ families and veterans protested the change as cold and logistics-driven. Critics online said the military was trying to repress bad news about deaths. By mid-June, the base had delayed the plan.

News Channel 5 (Nashville, TN) Investigates: Dishonorable Deceptions

See the entire series here

Recruiters Break Silence About Pressures

7/9/07

Here's what U.S. Army recruiters say about the pressures that they face -- from confidential e-mail messages to "NewsChannel 5 Investigates" and from blog postings:

Cry Wolf!

As his Iraq adventure disintegrates before his eyes, and as more and more Americans are unwilling to give him any benefit of the doubt, George W. Bush is once again pulling out the let’s scare’em with terrorism card.
And while there is no doubt that this despicable ploy is just that, we should not fall into the trap of only accusing him of crying wolf. Because, putting aside the lies that our government dishes out everyday, there is no question that at this point, there are indeed terrorists who would love nothing more than to launch an attack in The United States.

SAVE TROY DAVIS, HIS JURORS, AND HIS ACCUSERS, TOO!

Published in JAMS Magazine:

For the United States of America, the only westernized nation (other than Belarus) where the execution of humans is sanctioned by law, the quality of their mercy is decided by their peers. In this death penalty nation, the burden on those citizens who determine life or death can be a heavy weight to bear.

Time and again, capital punishment has painful consequences for the juror, as well as the condemned. For the condemned, the consequences are obvious, although the degrees of the horrors may vary. There is the anguished anticipation of the death, and the flawed methods of the execution, which in far too many cases produce painful inhumane results. Just studying the details of botched executions since the death penalty was reinstated in 1977, leaves a history of error too grotesque to ignore. (http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=8&did=478)

For the decider, or juror, in cases where evidence is circumstantial and/or principally reliant on witness recall, there is always the possibility of murdering an innocent. Though the defendant's guilt must be proven beyond a doubt, ominous shadows of doubt have emerged after executions - when it was already too late.

Is It Real or Is It Propaganda or Does It Matter?

Funny eyebrows, clean bullet...

Retired Diplomat: "...this bunch will not leave the White House easily in 2009"

Vice President Hurts GOP's Chance to Retain White House

THE DECISION of President Bush to keep Dick Cheney on as his vice presidential running mate in 2004 may have been the worst thing he has done to America.

I say this not on the basis of whatever policy impact Mr. Cheney may have had on the Bush Administration - the Iraq war, torture, obsessive secrecy, plumping up the executive branch, or whatever. The problem is the phenomenon of having in the vice presidency a person who will not be running for president in the next election. (Mr. Cheney cannot and never could have run on the basis of his heart illness.)

Tom Tancredo Stood Alone Before the NAACP GOP Presidential Forum

Jeffrey Feldman of Frameshop writes:

The one photo the GOP does not want anyone to see was snapped at yesterday's NAACP GOP Presidential Candidate Forum. The NAACP invited all 9 Republican candidates to the forum, but only one showed up: Tom Tancredo. All the Democratic Presidential hopefuls showed up for their forum.

The excuses given by the Republican campaigns mostly had to do with scheduling conflicts--just too busy to make it.

The resulting photo of Tancredo--standing on a stage of empty podiums--sums up the Republican party's commitment to civil rights in America: the only Republican interested is the guy running to deny immigrant workers their rights.

One has to wonder why this photo was not the lead on every morning show and on the front pages of every morning newspaper in America.

The reason, most likely, is a coordinated effort by Republicans to pressure news agencies to downplay the obvious implications of having 8 out of 9 of their Presidential candidates as "no shows" for a debate at the NAACP.

What is keeping the obvious story about Republicans and racism out of today's headlines? David Beckham's arrival in Hollywood.

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