Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator    

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The U.S. must either terminate lease of ‘Green Zone’ or change its name

It is not clear who gave the notorious Baghdad district know as ‘Green Zone’ its name. One thing every Iraqi knows is the fact that its presence is associated with arrival of the first occupation U.S. soldier in the country....


Residents shower ‘Mujahiddeen’ with flowers

Azzaman, November 15, 2006

Women ululate. Children clap. Men raise fists in the air and shout ‘Allah Akbar.’ And two young men approach and hand the masked ‘mujahideen’ a bouquet of flowers.

The festive mood was supposed to be reserved to the U.S. ‘liberation’ troops whose leaders believed before sending them to Iraqi hell that Iraqis would go out into the streets and welcome them with flowers and ululation.

Conditions are totally the opposite of what the current Whitehouse and its leaders had in mind before embarking on their Iraq mission for the sale of which they used every trick and lie in the book.

And look at their troops. U.S. occupation forces and their leaders and their lackeys are now the most despised in Iraq. U.S. ‘liberation’ of Iraq is now seen as a deliberate U.S. attempt to destroy Iraq.

No sane Iraq would today even mention the word ‘liberation.’ No sane Iraq would look at U.S. occupation troops as ‘liberators.’ They are in most Iraqi eyes, and it is really unfortunate to say, viewed as thieves, gangsters and thugs who have come to rape and molest women and girls, abuse prisoners, and destroy cities and residential districts one after the other.

And U.S. tormentors in Iraq are now the ‘heroes of liberation,’ the resistance fighters who are held with highest esteem and respect in Iraqi eyes.

Stories abound of how residents in many Iraqi cities currently bearing the brunt of fighting the occupation provide shelter to anti-U.S. rebels.

Following successful operations, residents get out of their homes celebrating the rebels and pouring scorn on Americans.

Why did this happen? The answer lies with the Whitehouse and its occupants.

Look at them and the way they are trying to get themselves out of the quagmire they have created.

Their only aim is how to ‘prevail,’ how to minimize their losses and loss of face. There is little talk of the country they have imploded and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis their disastrous polices have killed, maimed and uprooted.

More than a hundred innocent Iraqis are being killed everyday in Baghdad alone and they are not moved. The only thing that moves them is their strategic interests. To hell with Iraq and its 26 million people.

Any solution to the current crisis which is devouring lives like fire in a forest is rejected if it does not meet their strategic interests.

They refuse to conduct serious talks with the resistance because its demands contradict their interests. And let Iraqis die in droves.

They have antagonized and marginalized two of the regions states with frontiers running for nearly 2,000 kilometers with Iraq. They openly say their policies aim at destabilizing both Syria and Iran and at the same ask them not to disturb their presence in Iraq.

And they want Iraqis to believe them that they have come as ‘liberators’ and not invaders.


To those who felt sorry for the ouster of criminal Rumsfeld!

Undoubtedly there are some in Iraq who felt sorry for the sacking of the minister of blood, murder, crime and stupidity, Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon....


U.S. concept of victory in Iraq is laughable

Nearly four years after President Bush declared victory in his ill-fated invasion of Iraq, U.S. officials are still dealing with our country as a real battlefield....


An Eye for an Eye ...

Layla Anwar

Now that "Eye Raq" is a bloody mess , a stinkhole of anonymous cadavers, The Geniuses in the White House are calling on "Eye Ran " to help them fix it. So Mr. "Death Squad" also known as Al Hakim, dusted off his robe, re-arranged his turban and pumped himself up like a peacock to be received in private by none other than the President of the USA. Some of those on the "Left" acclaimed another victory for the "Anti Imperialist forces" so bravely at work in Iraq. In their limited understanding of political power plays, "EyeRan" aka Persia is viewed as the Savior from the grips of ugly Imperialism and its racist bed partner Zionism (...) Let the " Anti Imperialists" rejoice at the victory of the "Eyeranian" sectarian Mullahs now, whilst the "Eyeraqis" are being quietly eliminated at the rate of 400 a day with the blessings of the not so great U.S of A...

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Brookings Hosts an Ethnic Cleanser Mr. Lieberman Comes to Washington

What's new, its been the same since day one of the Bush Presidency, didn't you know
WILL YOUMANS, CounterPunch

When far-right leader Avigdor Lieberman and his Yisrael Beiteinu party joined the Israeli government, pro-peace Israelis expressed outrage. The Brookings Institution extended an invitation. Brookings' Saban Center for Middle East Policy is holding the third annual Saban Forum in Washington, D.C. from December 8 through the 10th. This year's forum is entitled "America and Israel: Confronting a Middle East in Turmoil" ­ "turmoil," meaning pissed off Arabs, of course. In his new book Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, Jimmy Carter charges that we lack a national discussion about our nation's support for Israel. This invitation proves his point, as does the entire forum ­ which doesn't think any Arabs, not even the empire butt-kissers, need be present. For some reason, they invited Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer, but not a single Arab...

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Oil, War and Other Incongruities The Surreal Politics of Premeditated War


George W. Bush, who proudly claimed the mantle of "war president," was keenly rebuked in the recent mid-term election. The event was notable, but it merely continued the surreal politics of premeditated war"a politics that has dominated the last six bizarre, hideous years of our nation's history. Two elements of the repudiation seem unreal, indeed. Not the fact of it, but the amazing length of its gestation period--those six years--and how tepid it was. Given the documented record of the Bush Administration"lying us into war, torturing prisoners, rewarding cronies with no-bid contracts, spying secretly on the nation's citizens, selling public policy to Jack Abramoff's clients, stating even their intent to ignore laws with dozens of "signing statements"--one would expect the political about-face to have occurred far sooner, and the protest to have been a firestorm. Bush loyalists in Congress (and George Bush) should have been turned out angrily and en masse two years ago...

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Sectarian Violence Flares as Shiites Raid Sunni Area

Do You feel Liberated Iraq, is this the freedom that you so hate the West for?

Bands of armed Shiite militiamen stormed through a neighborhood in north-central Baghdad on Saturday, opening fire on Sunni Arab residents and driving hundreds from their homes, an Iraqi Army officer said, in one of the most flagrant episodes of sectarian violence yet unleashed in the capital. At nightfall, an Iraqi Army officer said that 150 families, many with small children, had boarded a convoy of trucks and cars outside a Sunni mosque in the Hurriya neighborhood, hoping to flee to Sunni areas of the capital where they would be safe. He estimated the number of people involved at between 500 and 1,000, and said that many of them were huddled in the open backs of trucks in the winter cold. The officer, Col. Abdullah, said the convoy had been waiting outside the mosque for several hours, fearing attacks by Shiite gunmen if they left. He declined to give an estimate of the number of people killed and wounded in the fighting, saying the situation was too chaotic after five hours of street-to-street fighting...

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Cornered Military Takes to Desperate Tactics

Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily

People living in areas where resistance to U.S.-led occupation is mounting are facing increased levels of collective punishment from the occupation forces, residents say. Siniyah town 200 km north of Baghdad with a population of 25,000 has been under siege by the U.S. military for two weeks. IPS had earlier reported unrest in Siniyah Jan. 20 when the U.S. military constructed a six-mile sand wall in a failed attempt to check resistance attacks. Located near Beji in the volatile but oil-rich Salahedin province, Siniyah has become a vivid example of harsh tactics used by occupation forces, who have lost control over most of the country...

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Authorities: Saddam Hussein’s nephew has escaped from Iraqi prison

Authorities: Saddam Hussein’s nephew has escaped from Iraqi prisonBreaking on

Updated: 1:07 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A nephew of Saddam Hussein serving a life sentence for making bombs for Iraq’s insurgency escaped from prison Saturday in northern Iraq, authorities said.

Ayman Sabawi, the son of Saddam’s half brother Sabawi Ibrahim Hassan al-Tikriti, fled the prison some 45 miles west of Mosul in the afternoon with the help of a police officer, according to local police Brig. Abdul Karim al-Jubouri.

Interior Ministry spokesman Brig. Abdul-Karim Khalaf confirmed the escape but declined to elaborate.


(Bush thinks he's Truman)

Bush is a PissAnt, always has been, always will be, totally slimy and corrupt, pity the American people did not realise it 6 years ago, when the election was stolen, and 2 years ago when it was stolen again. And this is what they call democracy. Puleeees stay in your own back yard and don't tell any other countries how to vote.

Democrats frustrated by Bush's reaction to Iraq report

By William Douglas and Margaret Talev
McClatchy Newspapers


"I just didn't feel there today, the president in his words or his demeanor, that he is going to do anything right away to change things drastically," Senate Majority Leader-elect Harry Reid, D-Nev., said following the Oval Office meeting. "He is tepid in what he talks about doing. Someone has to get the message to this man that there have to be significant changes."

Instead, Bush began his talk by comparing himself to President Harry S Truman, who launched the Truman Doctrine to fight communism, got bogged down in the Korean War and left office unpopular.

Bush said that "in years to come they realized he was right and then his doctrine became the standard for America," recalled Senate Majority Whip-elect Richard Durbin, D-Ill. "He's trying to position himself in history and to justify those who continue to stand by him, saying sometimes if you're right you're unpopular, and be prepared for criticism."

Durbin said he challenged Bush's analogy, reminding him that Truman had the NATO alliance behind him and negotiated with his enemies at the United Nations. Durbin said that's what the Iraq Study Group is recommending that Bush do now - work more with allies and negotiate with adversaries on Iraq.

Bush, Durbin said, "reacted very strongly. He got very animated in his response" and emphasized that he is "the commander in chief."


NYT: Iraqis Near Deal on Distribution of Oil Revenues

Iraqis Near Deal on Distribution of Oil Revenues
Published: December 9, 2006

BAGHDAD, Dec. 8 — Iraqi officials are near agreement on a national oil law that would give the central government the power to distribute current and future oil revenues to the provinces or regions, based on their population, Iraqi and American officials say.

If enacted, the measure, drafted by a committee of politicians and ministers, could help resolve a highly divisive issue that has consistently blocked efforts to reconcile the country’s feuding ethnic and sectarian factions. Sunni Arabs, who lead the insurgency, have opposed the idea of regional autonomy for fear that they would be deprived of a fair share of the country’s oil wealth, which is concentrated in the Shiite south and Kurdish north.

The Iraq Study Group report stressed that an oil law guaranteeing an equitable distribution of revenues was crucial to the process of national reconciliation, and thus to ending the war.

Without such a law, it would also be impossible for Iraq to attract the foreign investment it desperately needs to bolster its oil industry.

Officials cautioned that this was only a draft agreement, and that it could still be undermined by the ethnic and sectarian squabbling that has jeopardized other political talks. The Iraqi Constitution, for example, was stalled for weeks over small wording conflicts, and its measures are often meaningless in the chaos and violence in Iraq today....


"A blatant admission of abject failure by the most useless Congress in modern times."

GOP pushes tax bill through Congress

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 40 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Rejected by voters and limping off stage, the Republican-led Congress muscled through a sweeping bill reviving expired tax breaks, extending trade benefits for developing countries and protecting doctors from a big cut in Medicare payments.

The Senate cleared the bill for President Bush's signature early Saturday by a 79-9 vote. Final adjournment loomed.

But Republicans dumped an unfinished budget on the Democrats about to take power, with the Senate barely meeting a midnight deadline to pass a stopgap spending bill putting the government on autopilot until Feb. 15.

The failure to pass budget bills for domestic agencies, said Rep. David Obey (news, bio, voting record), D-Wis., amounted to "a blatant admission of abject failure by the most useless Congress in modern times."


New Pentagon Plan at Odds with Iraq Study Group's (all troops stay and 'embed')

Top Military Advisers -- in Iraq and at the Pentagon -- Present Their Own Plan to President Bush


The recommendations are not complete yet, but sources familiar with the reviews conducted by Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace and National Security Adviser Steven Hadley, tell ABC News that military leaders will advise the president that he change the primary mission from fighting insurgents to training and supporting Iraqi troops.

The plan for U.S. forces seems to mirror the one suggested by the Iraq Study Group. But there's one big difference.

Under the Iraq Study Group plan, released earlier this week, combat troops — about half of all the forces in Iraq — would return home by the first quarter of 2008.

But under the Pentagon's plan, those combat troops would remain in Iraq — with a new mission. Entire companies of U.S. combat forces (units of about 150 troops) could be embedded in Iraqi army and police battalions.

Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the top operational commander in Iraq told Pentagon reporters this morning, "We believe now that what we need to do is to embed those trainers, to make that organic, as part of the Iraqi army and the Iraqi police."
Bush asks Rumsfeld to keep advising him
WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- U.S. President Bush has asked outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to advise him until successor Robert Gates is sworn in, aides say.
Bush specifically asked Rumsfeld to stay in power until Gates was in place, The New York Times reported Saturday.Rumsfeld said he has spoken with Gates twice since Gates was confirmed by the Senate 95-2 Wednesday.
Rumsfeld will preside over a meeting with Bush at the Pentagon Wednesday, which will include a briefing with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the department's recommendations for a new way forward in Iraq, the Times said.

Chavez wants South American confederation

COCHABAMBA, Bolivia, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Friday called for the creation of a "South American confederation" against the United States, Globovision TV reported.

The outspoken leftist leader said several regional countries including Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina -- all led by leftists -- should band together to form a political and economic bloc in opposition to Washington.

Chavez made his remarks during the second annual Summit of Leaders of the South American Community of Nations.

The Venezuelan president is an ardent critic of U.S. policies in the region and elsewhere, and in recent months has taken steps to forge closer ties with Iran. Chavez is also a close ally of Cuban leader Fidel Castro.


Three Iraqi soldiers killed by US friendly fire

dpa German Press AgencyPublished: Saturday December 9, 2006

Baghdad- US troops mistakenly shot dead three Iraqi soldiers during a raid in Dolouiya, 80 kilometres north of Baghdad, early Saturday. As the US soldiers were performing a dawn raid on a house north of the city, the Iraqi soldiers approached them. Mistaking them for insurgents, the US troops shot them dead. The three soldiers were deployed to guard the home of an Iraqi army general near the house the US soldiers were raiding.

© 2006 dpa German Press Agency

US Ambassador Bolton leaves UN with Congressional recess

Quiet exit for UN's Bolton as Congress goes into recess...
dpa German Press AgencyPublished: Saturday December 9, 2006
By JT Nguyen,
New York- John Bolton, the White House's pugnacious emissary to the United Nations, stepped out of UN headquarters Friday following a last meeting with the UN Security Council. Bolton's term as US ambassador to the world organization began when US Congress recessed a year ago and ended the same way - without fanfare or glory for the high-profile position as the voice of the US to the assembled nations of the world.
US President George W Bush appointed Bolton when Congress recessed in 2005 because of strong opposition from Democrats, and failed to renew the nomination a year later after Democrats took control of the Senate, killing all prospects that Bolton could received a formal appointment. >>>cont

NEIL BUSH hangs out with Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky.

Berezovsky and Bush's brother in the crowd at the Emirates
Paul KelsoTuesday September 5, 2006The Guardian

The exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky has made his first public appearance since being linked with the takeover of West Ham. Berezovsky was at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday in the company of Neil Bush the brother of the US president, George Bush.

Berezovsky has invested in an online educational company founded by the president's younger brother and invited Bush to join him in his box at Arsenal to watch the Brazil-Argentina friendly. Also present were Alberto Dualib and Nesi Curi, president and vice-president of Corinthians, the Brazilian club that sold the Argentinian internationals Carlos Tévez and Javier Mascherano to West Ham United in the surprise deal of transfer deadline day.

A spokesman for Berezovsky yesterday denied he is an investor in a takeover for West Ham fronted by the Iranian businessman Kia Joorabchian. Joorabchian spent yesterday in talks with his lawyers about the takeover and discussing the possibility of legal action over media coverage of the deal. He insists his backers are from the Middle East and the United Kingdom, with a British multimillionaire thought to be involved. West Ham insiders, meanwhile, believe that after the takeover speculation of the last five days a deal to sell the club is no more than 50-50 likely to happen.

It's the Oil Stupid

FOCUS It's Still About Oil in Iraq

Page 1, Chapter 1 of the Iraq Study Group report lays out Iraq's importance to its region, the US and the world with this reminder: "It has the world's second-largest known oil reserves."


FOCUS | Afghanistan War Nears "Tipping Point"

The conflict in Afghanistan has entered a dangerous phase, and the next three to six months could prove crucial in determining whether the United States and its NATO partners can suppress a revitalized enemy - or will be dragged into another drawn-out and costly fight with an Islamic insurgency, according to senior military and security officials and diplomats.


They Told You So

Paul Krugman writes: "Now, only a few neocon dead-enders still believe that this war was anything but a vast exercise in folly. And those who braved political pressure and ridicule to oppose what Al Gore has rightly called 'the worst strategic mistake in the history of the United States' deserve some credit."


Laurent Joffrin | Bush Wins the War of Lies

Although Liberation entitled its news review of the Baker report "Bush Wins the War of Lies," its new editor in chief, Laurent Joffrin, argues that the report demonstrates that "the strategy of lying is collapsing," while Le Monde sees the report as a "spectacular slap across Mr. Bush's face."


VIDEO | Democrats Caucus on Iraq A Report by Geoffrey Millard and Scott Galindez

During a Democratic Party caucus on Iraq, House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader-elect Steny Hoyer, and Caucus Chair Rahm Emanuel briefly addressed reporters, announcing that the days of rubber-stamp budget authorization for Iraq are over. Pelosi said that "Truman-like" investigations of fraud and mismanagement of funds would take place. Following the press conference, we caught up to Representatives Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) and Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), who gave us their take on what needs to be done.


Cracks Between Bush and Blair Over Talks With Iran and Syria

Differences have emerged between Tony Blair and George Bush on strategy in the Middle East, even as the two leaders agreed that a major change of course was necessary in Iraq in the wake of the devastating critique delivered this week by a high-level bipartisan panel in Washington.


The Bush Administration Enters the Confessional

Karen Greenberg writes: "Confession, the time-honored, soul-soothing last resort for those caught in error, may not survive the Bush administration. It has, after all, long made a mockery of such revelations by manufacturing an entire lexicon of coercive techniques to elicit often non-existent "truths" that would justify its detention policies. And yet, without being coerced in any way, administration officials have been confessing continually these past years - in documents that may someday play a part in their own confrontation with justice."


Analysts: US at Root of Effort to Topple Lebanese Government

American political leaders watched with alarm during the past week as the Hezbollah militia laid siege to the US-backed Lebanese government, but few would acknowledge publicly what most analysts and politicians here say is obvious: American policy may bear much of the blame.


ACLU Lawsuit Begins, Claims Rumsfeld Ordered Torture

Lawyers representing Mr. Rumsfeld and three US Army commanders are set to appear in federal court here Friday in response to a lawsuit charging that the defense secretary authorized torture and other illegal abuse of military detainees in Afghanistan and Iraq - including at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison.


Leave Iraq Now; Don't Wait Until 2008 Election Day

Some are on their 2nd 3rd and 4th tours.

Joseph Galloway writes: "There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there's only one way to leave Iraq: Load our people up on their trucks and tank transporters and Bradleys and Humvees and head for the border. Now."


Time for Bush to Go!

The American political system is hurtling toward a constitutional crisis because of George W. Bush's obstinance about changing course in the Iraq War or in his broader ideological approach toward the Middle East. Bush has made clear that not even Bush Family fixer James Baker will influence the actions of "The Decider."

So, as U.S. policy in the oil-rich region spins out of control, the stark choice confronting the American people will be whether the country can stand two more years of this or whether it's time for Bush to go.


Supreme Court Update 2: Race in Public Schools

The Supreme Court heard opening arguments today in a case that will determine the fate of diversity programs in public schools. The policies of two school districts, in Seattle and Louisville, are under attack by parent groups who want to end the use of race as a factor in making public school assignments.

Not surprisingly, Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Roberts were the most skeptical of the districts' position in today’s hearing, with Kennedy and Scalia favoring food metaphors to get their points across. Scalia said the district was saying, "you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs," while Kennedy opined that the district was telling its students that "everybody can get a meal," but that only certain people can get "dessert."

But as the Seattle district’s attorney Michael Madden argued, "This is not like being denied admission to a state's flagship university." Seattle students are "not being denied admission, they are being redistributed." In fact, the district’s use of race in maintaining racial balance has been upheld by several Federal appeals courts, including one decision in the Seattle case written by Regan appointee Alex Kozinski who said the district’s assignment plan "carries none of the baggage the Supreme Court has found objectionable."

The court’s decision will affect perhaps thousands of school districts around the country who consider race when making school assignments. Given the fact that most neighborhoods remain highly segregated, a decision in favor of the parents (which seems highly likely given the current make up of the court) would mean a gradual re-segregation of public schools (which may already be happening).

For more background on this story read my interview with David Engle, principal of Ballard High in Seattle where this case originated.

-- Amaya Rivera

Posted by Mother Jones

A Child Born of Vice

Mary Cheney, the vice president's 37-year-old lesbian daughter, is pregnant. In Virginia. Last month, Virginia passed an absurdly stringent amendment [PDF] barring domestic partnership benefits—ostensibly for same-sex couples, but the amendment was worded so vigorously that many expect it will affect straight couples as well.

Virginia Republicans strongly supported the measure. Although the younger Cheney called it "a gross affront to gays and lesbians everywhere," in the past she has campaigned for her father, Darth Vader of the Republican Storm Trooper army.

So where does the amendment leave Heather Poe, Mary's partner of 15 years? Nowhere, it seems. Virginia's notoriously conservative courts are leading the charge to deny same-sex partners any rights to the children they help raise. Jennifer Chrisler of Family Pride, the largest gay-lesbian family advocacy group in the country, said that unless the couple moves to a "less restrictive" state, "Heather will never be able to have a legal relationship with her child."

If the couple were to split up, Heather would be especially screwed because her credentials can't compete with Mary's. Cheney has a high-powered corporate job at AOL. Heather is a "former park ranger," who is now renovating the couple's Great Falls, Virginia, home. If history is any guide, the V.P. wouldn't hesitate to use his friendships with judges to get what he wants. Cheney appears to be supportive of Mary and Heather's relationship, but he has, according to Chrisler, "been complicit in the largest full-scale attack on the LGBT community in modern history." It seems safe to say he'd want Mary to have full custody.

For now, the Washington Post reports that the vice president is "looking forward with eager anticipation" to Mary's baby's birth. But can you imagine Dick "Dick" Cheney smiling?

Posted by Cameron Scott

Iraq's Refugee Crisis More Dire than Darfur?

By Leigh Ferrara

The Guardian reports today that Iraq could be become the biggest refugee crisis the world has witnessed, overtaking even that of Darfur. The warnings about this impending situation come from a report released on Tuesday by Refugees International documenting that as of November 2006, 1.8 million Iraqis have fled the country and an additional 500,000 have been displaced throughout Iraq. A spokesperson for the group said, "We're not saying it's the largest [refugee crisis], but it's quickly becoming the largest."

The report highlights the fact that Jordan, one of two countries in the Middle East that opened its doors after the U.S. invasion in 2003, have since closed them (Jordan closed its border after the hotel bombings in Amman in November of last year), leaving Syria the sole destination for Iraqi refugees. The UN estimates that 2,000 enter Syria each day. A report released last month by the Human Rights Watch provides a detailed look at the situation in Jordan: "The Silent Treatment: Fleeing Iraq, Surviving in Jordan" looks indepth at the issues facing Iraqi refugees in the country as well as the difficult decisions that lie ahead for the government.

Jordan, historically sympathetic to refugees (Palestinians mostly), has had their patience tested with the current situation in Iraq. Now, Iraqis and Palestinians (entering through Iraq) are being turned away at its border and Iraqis who do sneak in lose their legal status immediately and begin accruing fines of up to $2 USD per day. If the Jordanian police apprehend them, they are sent back to Iraq. Human Rights Watch is claiming that the Jordanian government is violating a principle of international customary law, called refoulement, "the forced return of refugees."

Human Rights Watch has been careful to express that the purpose of their report is not to chastise Jordan but on the contrary to bring to light a humanitarian crisis that can't be ignored and requires international coordination. The group calls on Jordan to admit the refugee crisis exists and to call for assistance from the international community. Refugees International is also calling for international support, but they call on the west to lead the initiative. "The United States and its allies sparked the current chaos in Iraq, but they are doing little to ease the humanitarian crisis caused by the current exodus," said the organization's president.

I think it's safe to say something needs to be done (and fast) if experts are calling this the next Darfur.

Posted by Leigh Ferrara

Help Deliver Phone Cards to Veterans - DONATE NOW!

Dear Friends,

Later this month, thousands upon thousands of our nation’s veterans will be spending the holidays away from their families while recuperating in Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals. Drastically under-funded VA budgets mean that long-distance calls for the patients aren’t covered – and on a veteran’s pension, phone charges can really mount up.

So while others talk the talk about supporting the troops, we’re going to walk the walk – and support our veterans by giving them phone cards so they can call their loved ones over the holidays.

There are two ways you can help get phone cards to veterans this holiday season:

1) Donate to Help Buy the Cards. $5, $10 or $20 will make a big difference; a $20 contribution will mean that six veterans each get two hours of long-distance calls to their families. Click here for more information and to contribute:

2) Help Us Deliver the Cards In Person. We’re setting up visits to VA Hospitals all over the country on December 18th to deliver the donated phone cards in person. Click here to find the VA facility nearest you and sign up to help with delivery: http://www.workingassets.com/phonecarddeliveryvisits

This is a joint project of Working Assets, CODEPINK, Veterans for Peace, Gold Star Families for Peace, and Iraq Veterans Against the War.

We hope you can participate; just click on one of the links above!


- Veterans For PeaceDavid Cline,
VFP Board of Directors President
Michael T. McPhearson, Executive Director

BREAKING | McKinney Introduces Bill to Impeach Bush

In what was likely her final legislative act in Congress, outgoing Georgia representative Cynthia McKinney announced a bill Friday to impeach President Bush. LinkHere

Posted by Causal to ReBelle Nation

Holiday Impeachment Cards...

Impeach for Peace has created holiday impeachment cards that allow your friends and family to initiate the impeachment process. Deck the halls of congress with colorful impeachment petitions! Now that Representative McKinney has introduced Articles of Impeachment to Congress, it's time for us to show the other Members of Congress our support. So, Impeach for Peace created the Holiday Impeachment image, and researched a company that will allow you to send jumbo sized postcards along with a personalized message using your web browser. To learn more about this method of inititiating impeachment, go to:


Soon, Santa will be delivering sacks and sacks of mail to Nancy Pelosi initiating impeachment via the House of Representative's own rules. This legal document is as binding as if a State or if the House itself passed the impeachment resolution (H.R. 635). What better gift to give this holiday season than the restoration of our democracy? Truly the gift that keeps on giving. Over this past year, Bush has become an even greater threat to our Constitution. Lucky for us, the rules of the US House of Representatives allow for individual citizens like you and I to initiate the impeachment process directly! This process was successfully used to impeach in the past.

Be a part of history and have a merry impeachment this season!

Santorum's Goodbye: Won't Let Photo Be Taken With Casey...

The New York Times ANNE E. KORNBLUT and JEFF ZELENY December 9, 2006 08:42 AM

"I finally got a Rayburn office, but it's in the basement," said Representative Chris Chocola, Republican of Indiana. On the other side of the Capitol, Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania met with his successor, Bob Casey, for nearly an hour on Thursday, their longest encounter apart from their televised debates.

But Mr. Santorum, a Republican whose once-steady rise in politics ended with a resounding defeat, refused to be photographed with Mr. Casey, and brushed past reporters in his closing days in the Capitol.

Read the entire article here.

U.S. and Iraqi Accounts Vary Concerning Airstrike That Kills at Least 20

2nd Highest-Ranking US Military Commander In Iraq: "We Have Done Everything Militarily We Possibly Can"...
Published: December 9, 2006

BAGHDAD, Dec. 8 — The only thing that was clear from the accounts of Friday’s airstrike by American forces north of Baghdad was that at least 20 Iraqis had been killed.

But typical of the fog of war here, American and Iraqi officials disagreed on just about every other point.

The United States military said that 20 people had been killed, including 2 women, and that they were all insurgents tied to Al Qaeda. Iraqi officials gave death tolls that ranged from 22 to 32, and said that the deceased were two extended families that included as many as 10 children.
As the situation in Iraq deteriorates, counting deaths and the numbers of attacks here has become a difficult — and politically charged — business. The Iraqi government temporarily banned the release of casualty figures this fall, and the Iraq Study Group, which issued a report on the war this week in Washington, criticized the American military for what it said was a chronic undercounting of attacks.

But an average day of violence shows just how difficult counting can be here, particularly in rural areas that are hard to reach like the site of Friday’s strike, which occurred in Salahuddin, a predominantly Sunni province north of Baghdad. >>>>cont


Israeli Weapons of Massdestruction(WMD)


The Israelis nuclear weapons program grew out of the conviction that the "Holocaust" justified any measures the Israelis took to ensure its survival. Consequently, the Israelis has been actively investigating the nuclear option from its earliest days. In 1949, HEMED GIMMEL a special unit of the IDF's Science Corps, began a two-year geological survey of the Negev desert with an eye toward the discovery of uranium reserves. Although no significant sources of uranium were found, recoverable amounts were located in phosphate deposits. The program took another step forward with the creation of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) in 1952..

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Another US crime in Ashaqi

Roads to Iraq

Eyewitnesses say that the US occupation forces committed a crime against innocent people in Ishaqi. The occupation forces besieged the homes of brothers Mohammed Hussein Jalmood and Mahmoud Hussein Jalmood, opened fire on members of the two families in the early hours today, to cover up the crime they air bombed the houses. People of the area who rushed to the crime scene and removed the bodies from the rubble found that all victims had been shot at close range, which confirms that they were mass executed. About 32 martyrs were targeted by the American forces intentionally among them 6 children and 8 women...

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'Children killed' in US Iraq raid

China loans create ‘new wave of Africa debt’

By Alan Beattie in London and Eoin Callan in Washington
Published: December 7 2006 22:00 Last updated: December 7 2006 22:00

The International Monetary Fund warned on Thursday that China’s emergence as an alternative lender was creating a new wave of hidden debt in Africa as it backed its companies’ expansion overseas with increasingly aggressive lending.

Adnan Mazarei, a director at the fund, said action was needed “to avoid another round of debt accumulation” as emerging lenders such as China became an important source of funds. An IMF official said that while it was working to strengthen surveillance, the fund did not have precise numbers or details about the amounts borrowed by poor countries.

“This is a new situation,” said Martine Guerguil, an IMF official. “We have new creditors.”
A report prepared by the IMF and World Bank shows China is the largest of six new creditor nations. The others are Kuwait, Brazil, India, South Korea and Saudi Arabia. It said lending by China had risen to $5bn in 2004, double the figure 10 years earlier.


Judge weighs torture claim vs. Rumsfeld

Says of ACLU torture suit,
'What you're asking for has never been done before.'
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal judge on Friday appeared reluctant to give Donald H. Rumsfeld immunity from torture allegations, yet said it would be unprecedented to let the departing defense secretary face a civil trial.

"What you're asking for has never been done before," U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan told lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union.

The group is suing on behalf of nine former prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. The lawsuit contends the men were beaten, suspended upside down from the ceiling by chains, urinated on, shocked, sexually humiliated, burned, locked inside boxes and subjected to mock executions.

If the suit were to go forward, it could force Rumsfeld and the Pentagon to disclose what officials knew about abuses at prisons such as Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and what was done to stop it.

Russian tycoon Berezovsky under investigation in Switzerland

Accused money launderer; Friend of dead spy;
Seen in public with Neil Bush.

Bush Reaction to Report Worries Father's Aides

Their worrying now, fools you should have been worrying 6 yrs ago when you stole the election and put the moron into the office of the Presidency.

By Kenneth T. Walsh
Fri Dec 8, 9:42 AM ET

Former White House advisers to George H.W. Bush are keenly disappointed and concerned about the current President Bush's initial reaction to the report by the Iraq Study Group.

They consider him rather dismissive of the group's conclusions, issued yesterday, which include the view that current Iraq policy is failing. The group recommends a variety of important changes, such as assigning U.S. troops to play more of an advisory and training role and less of a combat role. The ISG also recommends that the United States withdraw most of its combat brigades by early 2008 and that the administration increase diplomatic efforts, including starting talks with Iran and Syria and energetically working toward an Israeli-Palestinian solution.

Adding to the unease were President Bush's comments at his Thursday news conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in which he avoided commenting on specifics in the ISG report.

"We have a classic case of circling the wagons," says a former adviser to Bush the elder. "If President Bush changes his policy in Iraq in a fundamental way, it undermines the whole premise of his presidency. I just don't believe he will ever do that."

White House advisers say Bush won't react in detail to the ISG report for several weeks, while he assesses it and awaits various internal government reports on the situation from his own advisers. Bush tells aides he doesn't want to "outsource" his role as commander in chief. Some Bush allies say this is a way to buy some time as the president tries to decide how to deal with rising pressure to alter his strategy in Iraq and hopes the critical media focus on the Iraq war will soften.


Spy's assassins may have poisoned themselves - FBI

· Killers 'were not trained' in handling polonium-219
·Method possibly meant to send message to emigres
The Guardian December 8, 2006 09:39 PM

The assassins who poisoned Alexander Litvinenko in a London hotel bar may have exposed themselves to a potentially fatal dose of radioactivity, according to an FBI assessment of the killing.
Tests which have revealed a trail of polonium-210 across more than a dozen locations around the capital suggest the killers could have ingested substantial amounts of the isotope.



America's corporate chiefs are unloading their own stocks at one of the boldest paces in 20 years.

October construction activity plunges:

Construction activity in October plunged by the largest amount since the recession in 2001 as home building fell for a record seventh consecutive month

Productivity growth slows sharply while factory orders plunge:

Growth in worker productivity slowed sharply in the summer while wages and benefits rose at a rate that was far below a previous estimate, a development likely to ease inflation worries at the Federal Reserve.

Belt-tightening at the bases is only the beginning.

During a recent visit to a military family centre at Fort Hood in Texas, Joyce Raezer was dismayed to find a sign in a stall in the ladies' room. It asked women to clean up because janitorial service had been cut back.

U.S. Criminal Probe Rattles $2 Trillion Municipal Bond Market:

U.S. Justice Department prosecutors subpoenaed more than a dozen banks and insurers three weeks ago, seizing documents from three brokers in a search for evidence of bid rigging. Lawyers say it's the biggest criminal investigation of the almost 200- year-old market, where municipalities have more than $2 trillion of debt outstanding.


'Bring David Home'

Well at least someone is doing something now, more than Howie and the Australian Government have done in 5 years.

More than a thousand protesters marched on the US Consulate today to mark the fifth anniversary of Australian terror suspect David Hicks' detention / AAP


Why We're At War? : George Bush Is Not The Problem

This Is A Must watch Video

John Perkins, author of "An Economic Hitman" blows the lid of U.S. imperiliasm and provides the reasons as to why we are at war in the Middle East and describes the efforts of the corporatocracy in Central and South America.

Click to view

Hey, We Got Beat Fair and Square

By Mike Whitney

There’s plenty of gloom and doom in the report, but its all window-dressing. We’re not pulling-out. Heck no! Baker just wants to reduce troop levels to patch up the army and bolster public support for the next big bloodbath.


The administration has had the political equivalent of a car crash.

Vietnam traumatised the US but left its power intact; Iraq, however, will be far more serious for the superpower

Never Mind The Taliban

Video -
Unreported World - Channel 4
Five years after the fall of the Taliban, western intervention has produced a mafia-style state. Reporter Kate Clark and director Tom Porter discover a fractured country and an economy dominated by the drugs trade.

Real Video

Constitution Takes New Hit from Senators at Gates Hearing

By Ray McGovern

Tuesday’s charade at the Senate Armed Forces Committee included repeated allusion to the biblical injunction to “speak truth to power.” This has never been Robert Gates’ forte. Rather, his modus operandi has always been to ingratiate himself with the one with the power, and then recite—or write memos setting forth—what he believes that person would like to hear.


Friday, December 08, 2006

The Spirit of Democracy in Venezuela

By Stephen Lendman

They gathered in the late evening pouring rain dressed in their signature red T-shirts and caps, waving Venezuela flags and shouting "Uh, ah, Chavez no se va" - "Uh, ah, Chavez will not go." It continued all night in the celebratory streets of Caracas echoing Chavez's words repeating "Libertad (liberty) and telling the crowd this was a victory for them, for socialism and for the Bolivarian Revolution he now wants to advance to the next stage.


Honesty in Iraq

By David Swanson

How often do we hear the voices of Iraqis in American journalism? How many of us know their stories? We've killed 650,000 of them, measured as excess deaths above the level of deaths our sanctions were causing each year before the war. Since the Spring of 2004 most Iraqis have viewed America as their primary enemy. But what do we know about their lives?


A Young Marine Speaks Out

By Philip Martin

I'm sick and tired of this patriotic, nationalistic and fascist crap. I stood through a memorial service today for a young Marine that was killed in Iraq back in April. During this memorial a number of people spoke about the guy and about his sacrifice for the country. How do you justify 'sacrificing' your life for a war which is not only illegal, but is being prosecuted to the extent where the only thing keeping us there is one man's power, and his ego.


The Baker Boys: Stay Half the Course

Iraq Study Group or Saudi Protection League?
by Greg Palast

They're kidding, right?
James Baker III and the seven dwarfs of the "Iraq Study Group" have come up with some simply brilliant recommendations. Not.

Baker's Two Big Ideas are:

1. Stay half the course. Keeping 140,000 troops in Iraq is a disaster getting more disastrous. The Baker Boys' idea: cut the disaster in half -- leave 70,000 troops there.

But here's where dumb gets dumber: the Bakerites want to "embed" US forces in Iraqi Army units. Question one, Mr. Baker: What Iraqi Army? This so-called "army" is a rough confederation of Shia death squads. We can tell our troops to get "embedded" with them, but the Americans won't get much sleep.

2. "Engage" Iran. This is a good one. How can we get engaged when George Bush hasn't even asked them out for a date? What will induce the shy mullahs of Iran to accept our engagement proposal? Answer: The Bomb.

Let me explain. To get the Iranians to end their subsidizing the Mahdi Army and other Shia cut-throats, the Baker bunch suggest we let the permanent members of the UN Security Council -- plus, Germany -- decide the issue of Iran's nukes. Attaching Germany is the signal. These signers of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) agree that Iran should be allowed a "peaceful" nuclear power program.

More... Now, I am absolutely wary of neo-con nuts who want to blow Iran to Kingdom-come over its nuclear ambitions. But that doesn't mean we should kid ourselves. Iran has zero need of "peaceful" nuclear-generated electricity. It has the second-largest untapped reserve of natural gas on the planet, a clean, safe, cheap source of power. There's only one reason for a "nuclear" program, and it's not to light Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's bedside lamp.

Here's the problem with Baker's weird combo of embedding our boys with Iraq's scary army while sucking up to the Iranians: it won't work. The mayhem will continue, with Americans in the middle, because the Baker brigade dares not mention two words: "Saudi" and "Arabia."

Saudi Arabia is the elephant in the room (camel in the tent?) that can't be acknowledged -- and the reason Baker is so desperately anxious to sell America on keeping half our soldiers in harm's way.

James III wants to seduce or bully Iran into stopping their funding of the murderous Shia militias. But the Shias only shifted into mass killing mode in response to the murder spree by Sunni "insurgents."

Where do the Sunnis get their money for mayhem? According to a seething memo by the National Security Agency (November 8, 2006), the Saudis control the, "public or private funding provided to the insurgents or death squads." Nice.

Baker wants us to bribe or blackmail Iran into stopping one side in Iraq's uncivil war, the Shia. Yet we close our eyes to the Saudis acting as a piggy bank for the other side, the Sunni berserkers. (The House of Saud follows Wahabi Islam, a harsh, fundamentalist sect of Sunnism.)

Why is Baker, ordinarily such a tough guy, so coy with the Saudis? Baker Botts, the law firm he founded, became a wealthy powerhouse by representing Saudi Arabia. But don't worry, the Iraq Study Group is balanced by Democrats including Vernon Jordan of the law firm of Akin, Gump which represents … Saudi royals.

Of course, the connections between Baker, the Bush Family and the Saudis go way beyond a few legal bills. (See, "The Best Little Legal Whorehouse in Texas" from my book Armed Madhouse.

Baker is more than aware that, two weeks ago, Dick Cheney dropped his Thanksgiving turkey to fly to Riyadh at the demand of the Saudis for a dressing down by King Abdullah. The Saudis have made it clear that they will crank up their payments to warriors in Iraq to protect their Sunni brothers if America pulls out our troops.

King Abdullah's wish is Cheney's command -- and Baker's too. The Saudis want 70,000 US troops baby-sitting the Shia killers in Iraq's Army -- and so we will stay.

What gives King Abdullah the power to ghost-write the Iraq Study Group recommendations? It's not because the Saudis sell us broccoli.

And therein lies the danger. Behind the fratricidal fracas in Iraq is something even more dangerous than bullets in Baghdad: a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia to control Iraq's place in OPEC, the oil cartel. What is painted by Baker's Iraq Study Group as an ancient local clash between Shia and Sunni over the Kingdom of God, is, in fact, a remote control proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia over the Kingdom of Oil.

Sweeping Changes Expected in Voting by 2008 Election

By the 2008 presidential election, voters around the country are likely to see sweeping changes in how they cast their ballots and how those ballots are counted, including an end to the use of most electronic voting machines without a paper trail, federal voting officials and legislators say.


BREAKING | McKinney Introduces Bill to Impeach Bush

In what was likely her final legislative act in Congress, outgoing Georgia representative Cynthia McKinney announced a bill Friday to impeach President Bush.


A fire at a hospital in the Russian capital Moscow has killed 42 people, news services report.

MOSCOW, Russia (AP) -- A fire broke out in a women's ward of a Moscow drug treatment hospital early Saturday, filling the ward with heavy smoke and killing 42 people, the city fire department said.

Russia's chief fire inspector, Yuri Nenashev, said he was "90 percent certain" that the fire was caused by arson. But Moscow city prosecutor Yuri Syomin said that investigators were looking into other possibilities, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.

Moscow fire department spokesman Yevgeny Bobylyov said that investigators were still working at the site of Hospital No. 17 in southern Moscow but that it was already clear that the first call to the fire department had come very late.

"Secondly, the hospital personnel worked very badly, they did not take steps to evacuate people in the early stages of the fire," he said.

The fire broke out in a cabinet at one end of a corridor on the hospital's second floor -- a factor that led to suspicions of arson -- and the only other exit, at the other end, was blocked by a locked gate, Nenashev said. The barred windows were shut with locks that hospital personnel could not open.

"Judging by the placement of the bodies, they really tried to get out," said Alexander Chupriyanov, the deputy emergency situations minister.


Prosecution For Foley Unlikely…

Associated Press LARRY MARGASAK December 8, 2006 10:35 AM

The House ethics committee has concluded that Republican leaders were negligent in protecting male pages from ex-Rep. Mark Foley (news, bio, voting record)'s improper advances, but they did not break any rules in handling the Foley case, a congressional aide said Friday.

The committee was releasing its findings Friday.


Sen. Russ Feingold: Iraq Study Report “Written By Washington Insiders, For Washington Insiders”…

READ MORE: 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan

When the Iraq Study Group's report was unveiled this week, it was like the opening of a blockbuster movie, with reporters counting down the minutes until it was released. But now that all the hoopla has subsided, all we are left with is a Washington inside job: a report written by Washington insiders, for Washington insiders, who share the same mindset that led us into the misguided war in Iraq.

The Iraq Study Group essentially sees Iraq the same way that most of official Washington does - as the be-all and end-all of our foreign and national security policy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Any decisions about our Iraq policy must be guided by our top national security priority: defeating the global terrorist networks operating in countries around the world. We cannot look at Iraq in isolation; we need to also be looking at Somalia and Afghanistan and the many other places around the world where we face grave and growing threats.

The report has some good recommendations, including its call for the U.S. to step up diplomatic efforts with countries like Iran and Syria. But many of its recommendations perpetuate the Iraq-centric policies that have failed so miserably. They fail to correct the course that the American people rejected at the polls in November.


Generals say plans won't work in field

By Toby Harnden and Alex Massie in Washington
Last Updated: 9:58am GMT 08/12/2006

Pentagon generals believe that the Iraq Study Group's military recommendations are unrealistic.

If American combat troops were pulled out before Iraqi security forces were capable of battling the insurgency alone it would be courting disaster, according to defence sources.

Retired officers who served as military advisers to the group said they were not consulted about the final recommendations.

A separate internal Pentagon policy review is expected to be more cautious about likely timescales.

The prospect of all US combat troops being withdrawn by the first quarter of 2008 was described as impractical by Gen Jack Keane, a retired US Army chief of staff and an adviser to the group. "Based on where we are now, we can't get there."

Gen Keane, who was speaking to The New York Times, said the report said more about "the absence of political will in Washington than the harsh realities in Iraq". >>>cont


A Region-Wide Civil War? Catastrophe Still Awaits


A ray of realism appeared in the confirmation hearings for Secretary of Defense nominee Robert Gates before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Gates himself said that the US was not winning in Iraq, a statement with which everyone agreed except the White House. The US, however, is not out of the woods. The question remains: what will be the US government's response to the lost war and the terrible calamity that Bush has created in Iraq?...

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Index on Afghanistan : November 2006 Has Rumsfeld Really Gone?


Rumsfeld retired, but the disastrous Iraq and NATO 'plans’ roll on unobstructed, with a little help from Rumsfeld’s UN-Nato ally, Victoria Nuland. Meanwhile, 'Exit Strategy’ are the mots du jour amongst the "elected" leaders of and invading forces in both war-ravaged countries. A coalition of US and international human rights groups announced a "plan to file a war crimes lawsuit" against Rumsfeld, and 13 others*. Junior Bush has a knack for nominating strange bedfellows. Two U.S. NATO commanders, who headed notorious prisons, are not on the war crimes list. U.S. Army Chief Branz Craddock was an assistant to Rumsfeld and oversaw Guantanamo. Army General Dan K. McNeil oversaw the disgraced Bagram Prison in Afghanistan...

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Conspiracies Behind Haim Saban’s Closed Doors

Kurt Nimmo

"As if to finally dispel the myth there is a difference between Israel First neocons and Democrats, consider the upcoming "closed session" at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, a "think tank" bankrolled by Israeli-American millionaire Haim Saban. "Among the many officials attending are Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni; David Welch, the current top U.S. envoy to the region; Shimon Peres, Israel’s deputy prime minister; Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and her husband, former President Bill Clinton; Amos Yadlin, director of Israel’s military intelligence; Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s minister of strategic planning; and many other Bush administration officials and U.S. and Israeli lawmakers," reports the Jewish Telegraph Agency....

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Another US crime in Ashaqi

Roads to Iraq

Eyewitnesses say that the US occupation forces committed a crime against innocent people in Ishaqi. The occupation forces besieged the homes of brothers Mohammed Hussein Jalmood and Mahmoud Hussein Jalmood, opened fire on members of the two families in the early hours today, to cover up the crime they air bombed the houses. People of the area who rushed to the crime scene and removed the bodies from the rubble found that all victims had been shot at close range, which confirms that they were mass executed...

continua / continued

Words Even an Ex-President Can't Say in America

The Media Lynching of Jimmy Carter
It seems Israel's "supporters" have conscripted me in their lynching of Jimmy Carter. Count me out. True, the historical part of Carter's book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, contains errors in that it repeats standard Israeli propaganda. However, Carter's analysis of the impasse in the "peace process" as well as his description of Israeli policy in the West Bank is accurate - and, frankly, that's all that matters...
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