Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator    

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Yes You can

Barack Obama - Yes We Can music video

Roadside blasts kill 5 U.S. soldiers in Iraq

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Five American soldiers were killed in roadside bombings in Iraq on Friday, the U.S. military said on Saturday,

Q: Why did Israel bomb a target in Syria?

Interview: Seymour Hersh
By Sarah Brown
Seymour Hersh, one of the world's best known investigative journalists, has turned his attention to the mysterious and controversial bombing of a Syrian facility by Israel last year.
In a new article for the New Yorker magazine, the Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, best known for his work exposing the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the horrific mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, says evidence indicates the bombing was a warning to Syria and its allies, including Iran.
Al Jazeera spoke to him about the bombing, why he feels the media failed on the story, and what it means for the Middle East.

Friday, February 08, 2008


By Jerome R. CorsiHuman Events6-14-6
Quietly but systematically, the Bush Administration is advancing the plan to build a huge NAFTA Super Highway, four football-fields-wide, through the heart of the U.S. along Interstate 35, from the Mexican border at Laredo, Tex., to the Canadian border north of Duluth, Minn.
Once complete, the new road will allow containers from the Far East to enter the United States through the Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenas, bypassing the Longshoreman's Union in the process. The Mexican trucks, without the involvement of the Teamsters Union, will drive on what will be the nation's most modern highway straight into the heart of America. The Mexican trucks will cross border in FAST lanes, checked only electronically by the new "SENTRI" system. The first customs stop will be a Mexican customs office in Kansas City, their new Smart Port complex, a facility being built for Mexico at a cost of $3 million to the U.S. taxpayers in Kansas City.
As incredible as this plan may seem to some readers, the first Trans-Texas Corridor segment of the NAFTA Super Highway is ready to begin construction next year. Various U.S. government agencies, dozens of state agencies, and scores of private NGOs (non-governmental organizations) have been working behind the scenes to create the NAFTA Super Highway, despite the lack of comment on the plan by President Bush. The American public is largely asleep to this key piece of the coming "North American Union" that government planners in the new trilateral region of United States, Canada and Mexico are about to drive into reality.
Just examine the following websites to get a feel for the magnitude of NAFTA Super Highway planning that has been going on without any new congressional legislation directly authorizing the construction of the planned international corridor through the center of the country.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Iraq’s Tragic Future

Posted on Feb 5, 2008
By Scott Ritter
Any analysis of the current state of the ongoing U.S. occupation of Iraq that relied solely on the U.S. government, the major candidates for president or the major media outlets in the United States for information would be hard pressed to find any bad news. In a State of the Union address which had everything except a “Mission Accomplished” banner flying in the background, President Bush all but declared victory over the insurgency in Iraq. His recertification of the success of the so-called surge has prompted the Republican candidates to assume a cocky swagger when discussing Iraq. They embrace the occupation and speak, without shame or apparent fear of retribution, of an ongoing presence in that war-torn nation. Their Democratic counterparts have been less than enthusiastic in their criticism of the escalation. And the media, for the most part, continue their macabre role as cheerleaders of death, hiding the reality of Iraq deep inside stories that build upon approving headlines derived from nothing more than political rhetoric. The war in Iraq, we’re told, is virtually over. We only need “stay the course” for 10 more years.
This situation is troublesome in the extreme. The collective refusal of any constituent in this complicated mix of political players to confront Bush on Iraq virtually guarantees that it will be the Bush administration, and not its successor, that will dictate the first year (or more) of policy in Iraq for the next president. It also ensures that the debacle that is the Bush administration’s overarching Middle East policy of regional transformation and regime change in not only Iraq but Iran and Syria will continue to go unchallenged. If the president is free to pursue his policies, it could lead to direct military intervention in Iran by the United States prior to President Bush’s departure from office or, failing that, place his successor on the path toward military confrontation. At a time when every data point available certifies (and recertifies) the administration’s actions in Iraq, Iran and elsewhere (including Afghanistan) as an abject failure, America collectively has fallen into a hypnotic trance, distracted by domestic economic problems and incapable, due to our collective ignorance of the world we live in, of deciphering the reality on the ground in the Middle East.
Rather than offering a word-for-word renouncement of the president’s rosy assertions concerning Iraq, I will instead initiate a process of debunking the myth of American success by doing that which no politician, current or aspiring, would dare do: predict the failure of American policy in Iraq. With the ink on the newspapers parroting the president’s words barely dry, evidence of his misrepresentation of reality begins to build with the announcement by the Pentagon that troop levels in Iraq will not be dropping, as had been projected in view of the “success” of the “surge,” but rather holding at current levels with the possibility of increasing in the future. This reversal of course concerning troop deployments into Iraq highlights the reality that the statistical justification of “surge success,” namely the reduction in the level of violence, was illusory, a temporary lull brought about more by smoke and mirrors than any genuine change of fortune on the ground. Even the word surge is inappropriate for what is now undeniably an escalation. Iraq, far from being a nation on the rebound, remains a mortally wounded shell, the equivalent of a human suffering from a sucking chest wound, its lungs collapsed and its life blood spilling unchecked onto the ground. The “surge” never addressed the underlying reasons for Iraq’s post-Saddam suffering, and as such never sought to heal that which was killing Iraq. Instead, the “surge” offered little more than a cosmetic gesture, covering the wounds of Iraq with a bandage which shielded the true extent of the damage from outside view while doing nothing to save the victim.
Iraq is dying; soon Iraq will be dead. True, there will be a plot of land in the Middle East which people will refer to as Iraq. But any hope of a resurrected homogeneous Iraqi nation populated by a diverse people capable of coexisting in peace and harmony is soon to be swept away forever. Any hope of a way out for the people of Iraq and their neighbors is about to become a victim of the “successes” of the “surge” and the denial of reality. The destruction of Iraq has already begun. The myth of Kurdish stability—born artificially out of the U.S.-enforced “no-fly zones” of the 1990s, sustained through the largess of the Oil-for-Food program (and U.S.-approved sanctions sidestepped by the various Kurdish groups in Iraq) and given a Frankenstein-like lease on life in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion and occupation—is rapidly unraveling. Like Dr. Frankenstein’s monster, present-day Iraqi Kurdistan has been exposed as an amalgam of parts incompatible not only with each other but the region as a whole.
Ongoing Kurdish disdain for the central authority in Baghdad has led to the Kurds declaring their independence from Iraqi law (especially any law pertaining to oil present on lands they control). The reality of the Kurds’ quest for independence can be seen in their support of the Kurdish groups, in particular the PKK, that desire independence from Turkey. The sentiment has not been lost on their Turkish neighbors to the north, resulting in an escalation of cross-border military incursions which will only expand over time, further destabilizing Kurdish Iraq. Lying dormant, and unmentioned, is the age-old animosity between the two principle Kurdish factions in Iraq, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP). As recently as 1997, these two factions were engaged in a virtual civil war against one another. The strains brought on by the present unraveling have these two factions once again vying for position inside Iraq, making internecine conflict all but inevitable. The year 2008 will bring with it a major escalation of Turkish military operations against northern Iraq, a strategic break between the Kurdish factions there and with the central government of Baghdad, and the beginnings of an all-out civil war between the KDP and PUK.

The next unraveling of the “surge” myth will be in western Iraq, where the much applauded “awakening” was falling apart even as Bush spoke. I continue to maintain that there is a hidden hand behind the Sunni resistance that operates unseen and uncommented on by the United States and its erstwhile Iraqi allies operating out of the Green Zone in Baghdad. The government of Saddam Hussein never formally capitulated, and indeed had in place plans for ongoing active resistance against any occupation of Iraq. In October 2007 the Iraqi Baath Party held its 13th conference, in which it formally certified one of Saddam’s vice presidents, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, as the supreme leader of the Sunni resistance.
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US admiral confirms secret camp at Gitmo

Now in there, they can use all the illegal techniques they have to hide from the public domain.
US admiral confirms secret camp at Gitmo
AP News
Feb 07, 2008 07:50 EST
Somewhere amid the cactus-studded hills on this sprawling Navy base, separate from the cells where hundreds of men suspected of links to al-Qaida and the Taliban have been locked up for years, is a place even more closely guarded — a jailhouse so protected that its very location is top secret.
For the first time, the top commander of detention operations at Guantanamo has confirmed the existence of the mysterious Camp 7. In an interview with The Associated Press, Rear Adm. Mark Buzby also provided a few details about the maximum-security lockup.
Guantanamo commanders said Camp 7 is for key alleged al-Qaida members, who must be kept apart from other prisoners to prevent them from retaliating against long-term detainees who have talked to interrogators. They also want the location kept secret for fear of terrorist attack.

Super Delegates

Here’s a little something for all you list lovers out there — a list of superdelegates and who they have endorsed (so far). Keep in mind that superdelegates can change their minds before the convention, and some probably will — maybe back and forth a few times.
Here’s a list of the superdelegates who haven’t endorsed anyone yet:

The UK will need to adopt primitive Sharia law, they say:

Sharia law in UK is 'unavoidable'
The Archbishop of Canterbury says the adoption of certain aspects of Sharia law in the UK "seems unavoidable".
Dr Rowan Williams told Radio 4's World at One that the UK has to "face up to the fact" that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system.
Dr Williams argues that adopting parts of Islamic Sharia law would help maintain social cohesion.
For example, Muslims could choose to have marital disputes or financial matters dealt with in a Sharia court.
He says Muslims should not have to choose between "the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty".

UNFRIKINGBELIEVABLE, first 99 lashes and now death, wonder what they give unfaithful men.

'Adultery' sisters to be stoned to death in Iran
Two Iranian sisters convicted of adultery face being stoned to death after the supreme court upheld death sentences against them, Iranian media have reported.The two sisters were found guilty of adultery - a capital crime in Iran - after the husband of one of the pair presented a video showing them in the company of other men while he was away.The penal court of Teheran province had already sentenced the sisters, identified only as Zohreh, 27, and Azar, to stoning, the newspaper said.The Etemad newspaper quoted Jabbar Solati, their lawyer, as saying that the sisters had initially been tried for "illegal relations" and had received 99 lashes. However, they were convicted of "adultery" in a second trial for the same incident.

New tone set in e-mails on Bush warrant

The tone has changed in e-mails this Vermont town has been receiving on its proposal to issue warrants for the arrests of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Now, more people are supporting the resolution.
Brattleboro's town offices have been flooded with 7,000 e-mails since its selectboard voted Jan. 25 to include the item on its Town Meeting Day agenda.
Some of the earliest messages received were so full of vitriol that town officials said they were worried for their safety. Some writers called Brattleboro a bastion of "liberal appeaser wimps" and "wackjobs" for even considering the warrants.


In the 19 states that had both a Republican and Democratic primary there were 14,460,149 combined voters for Obama and Clinton versus 8,367,694 voters for McCain, Romney, and Huckabee. 73% more people came out to vote for the two Democratic candidates than for the three Republicans

Scientists hail spinal injury breakthrough

Researchers use bypass technique to restore movement in paralysed rats
A pioneering technique that uses the body's nerves to bypass spinal injuries could help thousands of people to regain feeling, and possibly even the use of paralysed limbs, scientists say. Using similar principles to heart bypass surgery, where veins from a patient's leg are used to get around an artery blockage, scientists in the US have shown that nerves can be used to circumvent spinal damage and reconnect the brain to the body.
The procedure, successfully used in experiments with rats, raises the prospect of the first human trials within five years, offering hope to the 40,000-plus people in the UK with spinal cord injuries.

Dem Congressman Walz Endorses Obama Because His Constituents Did, Too

By Eric Kleefeld - February 6, 2008, 11:12PM
For anybody worried about the super-delegates overruling the wishes of the democratically elected pledged delegates, Barack Obama's latest Congressional endorsement should be taken as an encouraging sign. Congressman Tim Walz (MN) announced that he's backing Obama now, even though he really likes both candidates. And here's why:
"Last night at the Democratic caucuses, the voters of southern Minnesota overwhelmingly supported Senator Barack Obama and his hopeful vision for positive change. As a superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention, I will honor their decision and support Senator Obama."
If Walz is following the decision of the people in his district, could the super-delegates as a whole actually refuse to honor the decision of the country?

Pakistan Arrests Two Suspects In Bhutto Assassination

AP MUNIR AHMAD February 7, 2008 at 09:55 AM
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Police arrested two suspects Thursday in the suicide attack that killed opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, an official said, as a team from Scotland Yard returned to Pakistan to report the conclusions of their probe into the assassination.
Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said the two men were arrested in Rawalpindi, where Bhutto died in a gun and bomb attack on Dec. 27, but gave no further details. Cheema said he expected the pair would appear in an...

CIA Destroyed Tapes As Judge Sought Interrogation Data

The New York Times reports this morning that according to recently declassified documents, the federal judge overseeing the case of Abu Zubayday was still seeking CIA tapes of his interrogation even as the government had the recordings destroyed:
At the time that the Central Intelligence Agency destroyed videotapes of the interrogations of operatives of Al Qaeda, a federal judge was still seeking information from Bush administration lawyers about the interrogation of one of those operatives, Abu Zubaydah, according to court documents made public on Wednesday. The court documents, filed in the case of Zacarias Moussaoui, appear to contradict a statement last December by Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the C.I.A. director, that when the tapes were destroyed in November 2005 they had no relevance to any court proceeding, including Mr. Moussaoui's criminal trial.
Read the article here.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press is reporting that the prosecutor of Zacarias Moussaoui was aware that tapes of the interrogation had been destroyed almost year before the information was made public. The Justice Department informed him of the destruction even as he sought the death penalty for Moussaoui.
The lead prosecutor in the terror case against Zacarias Moussaoui may have known the CIA destroyed tapes of its interrogations of an al-Qaida suspect more than a year before the government acknowledged it to the court, newly unsealed documents indicate. The documents, which were declassified and released Wednesday by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, detail efforts by Moussaoui's attorneys to send the case back to a lower federal court to find out whether the tapes should have been disclosed and whether they would have influenced his decision to plead guilty.
Read the article here.

Lieberman’s superdelegate status stripped.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), who endorsed Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for president, will be disqualified as a superdelegate at the Democratic convention “under what is informally known as the Zell Miller rule.”

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Insists waterboarding not torture; senators dispute defense, UN blasts WH.

GOP Trembling Over Fraud Investigation

NRCC probe scares GOP
Feb 6, 2008 06:10 AM EST
Top House Republicans were told in recent days that a former employee of their campaign committee may have forged an official audit during the contentious 2006 election cycle and that they should brace for the possibility that an unfolding investigation could uncover financial improprieties stretching back several years, according to GOP sources briefed on the members-only discussions.
The National Republican Congressional Committee has retained a forensic auditor to review its accounting for the last several election cycles, the sources said.
The NRCC’s accounting problems were discussed during two high-level conference calls between senior GOP lawmakers on Friday and Monday night, according to Republicans briefed on the calls.
“There is a sense that this could be very damaging to the committee,” said a Republican insider close to the GOP leadership.
The precise details of the suspected accounting irregularities and their possible fallout are not entirely clear. NRCC officials and top GOP leaders are being tight-lipped in large part because the FBI is investigating the matter. An outside lawyer advising members and staff has warned everyone at the committee to keep quiet. >>>cont

Sex Assault Suit Vs. Halliburton Killed

A mother of five who says she was sexually harassed and assaulted while working for Halliburton/KBR in Iraq is headed for a secretive arbitration process rather than being able to present her case in open court.
A judge in Texas has ruled that Tracy Barker's case will be heard in arbitration, according to the terms of her initial employment contract.
Barker says that while in Iraq she was constantly propositioned by her superior, threatened and isolated after she reported an incident of sexual assault.

Don't be fooled by the myth of John McCain

A lazy, hazy myth has arisen out of the mists of New Hampshire and South Carolina. Across the pan-Atlantic press, the grizzled 71-year-old Vietnam vet, John McCain, is being billed as the Republican liberals can live with. He is "a bipartisan progressive," "a principled hard liberal," "a decent man" -- in the words of liberal newspapers. His fragile new frontrunner status as we go into Super Tuesday is being seen as something to cautiously welcome, a kick to the rotten Republican establishment.
But the truth is that McCain is the candidate we should most fear. Not only is he to the right of Bush on a whole range of subjects, he is also the Republican candidate most likely to dispense with Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. . . Rage seems to be at the core of his personality: describing his own childhood, McCain has written: "At the smallest provocation I would go off into a mad frenzy, and then suddenly crash to the floor unconscious. When I got angry I held my breath until I blacked out." But he claims he was transformed by his experiences in Vietnam -- a war he still defends as "noble" and "winnable," if only it had been fought harder. . .
McCain has distinguished himself most as an uber-hawk on foreign policy. To give a brief smorgasbord of his views: at a recent rally, he sang "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran," to the tune of the Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann." He says North Korea should be threatened with "extinction."
McCain has mostly opposed using U.S. power for humanitarian goals, jeering at proposals to intervene in Rwanda or Bosnia -- but he is very keen to use it for great power imperialism. . .
So why do so many nice liberals have a weak spot for McCain? Well, to his credit, he doesn't hate immigrants: He proposed a program to legalize the 12 million undocumented workers in the U.S. He sincerely opposes torture, as a survivor of it himself. He has apologized for denying global warming and now advocates a cap on greenhouse gas emissions but only if China and India can also be locked into the system. He is somewhat uncomfortable with the religious right (while supporting a ban on abortion and gay marriage).
It is a sign of how far to the right the Republican Party has drifted that these are considered signs of liberalism, rather than basic humanity.

Obama claims delegate lead

In a surprise twist after a chaotic Super Tuesday, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) passed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in network tallies of the number of delegates the candidates racked up last night.
The Obama camp now projects topping Clinton by 13 delegates, 847 to 834.
NBC News, which is projecting delegates based on the Democratic Party's complex formula, figures Obama will wind up with 840 to 849 delegates, versus 829 to 838 for Clinton.
Clinton was portrayed in many news accounts as the night’s big winner, but Obama’s campaign says he wound up with a higher total where it really counts — the delegates who will choose the party’s nominee at this summer’s Democratic convention.
With the delegate count still under way, NBC News said Obama appears to have won around 840 delegates in yesterday’s contests, while Clinton earned about 830 — “give or take a few,” Tim Russert, the network’s Washington bureau chief, said on the “Today” show.
The running totals for the two, which includes previous contests and the party officials known as “superdelegates,” are only about 70 delegates apart, Russert said.
The bottom line is that the two are virtually tied.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Operation Iraqi Freedom Enslaved Iraqi Women

Weam Namou
....Since the invasion, many women have been executed, assaulted, raped or released only after their families paid considerable ransom money. Serious threats and deadly attacks have forced Christians and Muslims to wear the veil and quit their jobs, and to avoid makeup and education. My friend’s sister-in-law, at the start of the war, was stabbed in the heart simply because she was wearing a cross, which was ripped off her neck and thrown over her body. Today when you talk to Iraqi women they remember "the good old days" when Saddam was in power and women were able to safely go to work, participate in social activities, take part in politics or stroll outside in the middle of the night. During Saddam’s regime, women were free to choose whether to wear western-style dress and make-up or the black abaya....

The lights have been turned off

Gideon Levy
One after another, the final lights are being turned off, and a moral gloom is falling upon us as we stand at the edge of an abyss. Just last week, three more lights were turned off. The Winograd Report did not come out clearly against the fact that Israel embarked on a pointless war; the Supreme Court authorized collective punishment and the attorney general concluded that the killing of 12 Israeli citizens and someone from the territories by the police does not warrant a trial. The final keepers of order, the lighthouses of justice and law, are reconciling themselves with the most serious injustices of the institutions of authority and no one so much as utters a word about it. The upsetting and depressing crop of a single week has drawn the moral portrait of the country.... continua / continued

Press Release: Act Against Iraq Poverty (Updated)

Iraq Solidarity Campaign (UPDATED)
The Baghdad section of the Iraq Solidarity Campaign is calling upon the international anti-occupation movements to mobilise in an act of unity and defiance, against the planned elimination of the Iraqi food rationing system. We are making this call, in response to the outcry by the Iraqi media, which has informed the international community, that the regime of Jalal Talabani, The Dawa Party and SCII, plan to eliminate the food rations by June of 2008, a system which was first put in place under the UN Sanctions and have since helped to save millions of Iraqi’s from starvation...
Sign our new International Petition!:

GIANTS & midgets.

Layla Anwar, The Arab Woman Newsbytes
What's this big deal about the "Super Baaawwl"? Do you actually call that football? A bunch of armored mental midgets kicking and falling on each other because of an egg shaped ball? The firs time I watched the "Super Baawwl", I honestly thought these were some aliens who had just landed from a spaceship, a UFO flying saucer kind of thing... What's these helmets that encage the face, like some crusader from the middle ages ? And what are those shoulder pads, tattooes and the rest? They really don't go well with the leggings/ tight pants - you guys really ought to make up your minds which way you wish to swing. (lol) Anyways, this does not look like football to me, it looks like a bunch of Marines from the U.S army going after a kill. Mind you everytime I see an American "hunk" even in leggings (lol) - reminds me of the U.S Marines. They shoot for sports too.
BUT . this is real football, a Giant patriotic football player - Abu Trika from Egypt.But Google removed the above photo. Was not "politically correct", it seems.

Lonely Survivors in the Cold...

Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
What is Life ? You breathe in and breathe out...but you have no power over your breath. You breathe while you are unconscious and you breathe while you are asleep, and you breathe in your dreams and your nightmares...but somehow you believe you control your breath and that of others... Breathing is the vital function that indicates you are still alive. That life is still circulating in you... Torture is about leaving you breathing but with no life circulating. Torture is about exercising the ultimate control, leaving you to hover between life and death. Torture is not only sadistic, it is the ultimate ego trip of someone mistaking himself/herself for God, for "Pneuma". I’ve written over 300 posts thus far, and if there one subject matter that paralyzes me with both - anger and indignation, it is that of rape and torture. I am deliberately referring to both Rape and Torture as one and the same thing. For me they are one and the same thing....

The Year of Living Dangerously: Part One of Two

Manuel Valenzuela
...America is slowly, yet inevitably, becoming a country of repression, suppression, oppression and persecution; of perpetual fear and perpetual war; of growing militarism and fascism, of the entangled fusion of state and profit; of an absence of rights, freedoms and liberties; of so-called democracy that is today but a sham, a concoction of snake oil and farce where choice is but a fleeting illusion, where candidates are selected through the manipulations and illusions presented by the Ministry of Truth, where elections are but a mechanism of control, and of deception, where decisions are made not by those who cast the votes, but by those who count them; and so-called representation of the people a mirage to hide the selling of government to the highest bidder by a two-headed hydra whose dual purposes of expanding power to corporations and unleashing further imperialism for the empire, both at the expense of the people, have furthered the steady decline of the nation into the grips of corporatism...
continua / continued

The "Great Mystery" of Iraq's WMDs?

CBS ignores evidence from its own show
A January 27 report on CBS's 60 Minutes attempted to answer what CBS reporter Scott Pelley claimed was a key mystery of the Iraq War: Why didn't Saddam Hussein tell the world he had no weapons of mass destruction, and thus avoid the U.S.-led invasion? But if Pelley had been watching his own network's exclusive interview with Hussein on the eve of the war, he would have known that Hussein did exactly that....
continua / continued

Iraqi family killed in US raid north of Baghdad

Associated Press
Three Iraqis were killed and at least one child was injured after American soldiers stormed a tiny one-room house north of Baghdad and opened fire, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Tuesday. Iraqi police, surviving relatives and neighbors said a couple and their 19-year-old son were shot to death in their beds lateMonday, but the U.S. military said soldiers came under fire and killed two suspected members of a terrorist cell. It said the men were shot in self-defense, and that it did not know who shot the woman and child.Two young girls were also wounded in the attack, and one died Tuesday at a hospital, police said....
continua / continued

Gates declines to estimate war cost

30 Iraqi weapons scientists were shrugged off by the CIA -

The CIA operation that should have prevented the Iraq war
When Saad Tawfiq watched Colin Powell's presentation to the United Nations on February 5 2003 he shed bitter tears as he realised he had risked his life and those of his loved ones for nothing.
As one of Saddam Hussein's most gifted engineers, Tawfiq knew that the Iraqi dictator had shut down his nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programmes in 1995 -- and he had told his handlers in US intelligence just that.
And yet here was the then US secretary of state -- Tawfiq's television was able to received international news through a link pirated from Saddam's spies next door -- waving a vial of white powder and telling the UN Security Council a story about Iraqi germ labs.
"When I saw Colin Powell I started crying. Immediately. I knew I had tried and lost," Tawfiq told AFP five years later in the Jordanian capital Amman.
Now in his fifties, a round-faced man with a small moustache and lively eyes behind delicate spectacles, Tawfiq described how the CIA set up an elaborate operation to recruit Iraqi weapons scientists and then ignored the results.
From the end of 2002 the US spy agency had sources inside Iraq's weapons plants telling them clearly what the whole world now knows -- that Saddam had ended efforts to produce weapons of mass destruction. >>>cont




Time Runs Out for an Afghan Held by the U.S.(Dies at Gitmo)

Source: NY Times
Abdul Razzaq Hekmati was regarded here as a war hero, famous for his resistance to the Russian occupation in the 1980s and later for a daring prison break he organized for three opponents of the Taliban government in 1999.
But in 2003, Mr. Hekmati was arrested by American forces in southern Afghanistan when, senior Afghan officials here contend, he was falsely accused by his enemies of being a Taliban commander himself. For the next five years he was held at the American military base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where he died of cancer on Dec. 30.
The fate of Mr. Hekmati, the first detainee to die of natural causes at Guantánamo, who fruitlessly recounted his story several times to American officials, demonstrates the enduring problems of the tribunals at Guantánamo, say Afghan officials and others who knew him.
Afghan officials, and some Americans, complain that detainees are effectively thwarted from calling witnesses in their defense, and that the Afghan government is never consulted on the detention cases, even when it may be able to help. Mr. Hekmati’s case, officials who knew him said, shows that sometimes the Americans do not seem to know whom they are holding. Meanwhile, detainees wait for years with no resolution to their cases.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Obama wins first US Democratic Party voting abroad on 'Super Tuesday'

Obama wins first US Democratic Party voting abroad on 'Super Tuesday' Advertisements [?]Source: Google (AFP)
JAKARTA (AFP) — US Democratic Party voters in Indonesia, where Barack Obama spent part of his childhood, handed him a win over Hillary Clinton in the first voting abroad on "Super Tuesday," party officials said.
Seventy-five percent of nearly 100 votes cast by expatriate Americans just past midnight (1700 GMT Monday) went to Obama and 25 percent went to Clinton, Democrats Abroad officials here said.
Results still need formal verification.
Registered Democrats in Indonesia's capital Jakarta were the first to vote in person on the day of the US mega-primary, which will select more than half the delegates to the Democratic National Convention in August.

Lethal Agreements in Baghdad.

Layla Anwar, The Arab Woman Newsbytes
Oh, please listen to this puppet with his three day unshaved beard and his silver ring from Qum. Listen to what the puppet has to say about "Al-Qaeda." "It is time to launch a decisive battle against terrorism.The battle that our armed forces will launch will destroy terrorism and the criminal gangs and outlaws in Nineveh." And he adds "so we can get rid of terrorism and the remnants of the former (Saddam Hussein) regime..." In another statement, the puppet said "I swear on the blood (of the victims), we will achieve all our goals in securing a stable Iraq. We will continue to ... crush the terrorists and target their strongholds..." May I remind the reader, that a high ranking official in the U.S army proudly stated that "75% of Al-Qaeda has been finished off." Today, that same official cries that Al-Qaeda is still a very serious threat...

But Senator Obama did the right thing.

Clinton, Obama, and Cluster Bombs
Over 150 nations have signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. It pains me that our great nation has not. But in the autumn of 2006, there was a chance to take a step in the right direction: Senate Amendment No. 4882, an amendment to a Pentagon appropriations bill that would have banned the use of cluster bombs in civilian areas.
Senator Obama of Illinois voted IN FAVOR of the ban.
Senator Clinton of New York voted AGAINST the ban.
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