In Kandahar, fears of Taliban takeover
By NOOR KHAN and NAHAL TOOSI, Associated Press Writers
Southern Afghanistan’s largest city, Kandahar, is slipping back under Taliban control as overstretched U.S. troops focus on clearing insurgents from the countryside — a potentially alarming setback for President Barack Obama’s war strategy….Losing Kandahar, a city of nearly 1 million and the Taliban’s former headquarters, would be a huge symbolic blow because it is effectively the capital of the ethnic Pashtun-dominated south, the main battlefield of the Afghan war…
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Hakims death highlights Nasrallah’s contradictions: Sectarian Solidarity Prevails and Hypocrisy Abounds
BY RAID KHOURY
Will Sayid Hassan Nasrallah please explain the difference to the Arab public between the SLA and the Badr Brigades or Samir GeaGea and Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim? Both of them represent narrow, sectarian interests and share a common racism and animosity towards Arabs and Arab Nationalism. Both of them lead fascistic, sectarian militias that committed some of the worst atrocities the Arab world has ever seen. GeaGea’s Lebanese Forces militia specialized in the slaughter of innocent Lebanese and Palestinian civilians and introduced us to “identity card killings.” Following in the path of “identity card killings”, Hakim’s Badr Organization brought us the new method of killing and torture by drilling holes in the heads of Sunni Muslims in its campaign to cleanse Baghdad, the Arab world’s most diverse, tolerant, and cosmopolitan city of “Muawiyah’s Grandchildren”…
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Whose Recovery, and at Whose Cost?
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
The bankster class went from comatose to all-powerful in a matter of months, discovering along the way how easy it is to loot trillions from the home-nation. “Taxpayers are committed to buttress the financial sector to the tune of $23.7 trillion – 1.7 times last year’s GDP!” With fantastic riches so easily gained through domestic plunder, the banksters will abandon honest work forever…
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Israeli shelling tears Palestinian fisherman’s head off
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
Another murder by Israeli soldiers: a few days ago on Palestinian farmland in Gaza’s northwest; today, on Gaza’s sea. Muhammad Nady Al-Attar, a 25 year old fishermen, is killed, and another fisherman injured when Israeli navy soldiers shelled their boat. This happened earlier today, and I will find out more details tomorrow. But we can surmise that the martyred Muhammad Al-Attar’s killing came in circumstances of Israeli naval terrorism that numerous Palestinian fisherman have reported, that international volunteers have witnessed, and that most on Gaza’s shoreline can hear day or night…
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U.S. Puppet Regime in Baghdad Builds Former Dep. Prime Minister Tariq Aziz’ Sentence to 22 years in Prison
By News Bulletin. Axis of Logic commentary
Tariq Aziz, former deputy prime minister of Iraq at the time of the U.S. invasion in 2003 has been sentenced to 7 additional years in prison by Mahmoud Salih, a judge in the U.S. puppet government in Baghdad. This sentence is added to an earlier sentence of 15 years which was also based on trumped up charges by the U.S. The first sentence was pronounced by Abdel-Rahman, the judge who sentenced President Saddam Hussein to death by hanging. Rahman ran into hiding in Britain where he was given asylum immediately after sentencing President Hussein to death. He then briefly returned to Iraq to sentence Tariq Aziz. Mr. Aziz’s combined prison sentences of 22 years amount to a life sentence for him, given his age and health problems…
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Blackwater, the private mercenary company owned by Erik Prince, has been thrust back into the spotlight by a series of stunning revelations about its role in covert US programs. Since at least 2002, Blackwater has worked for the CIA in Afghanistan and Pakistan on “black” contracts. On August 19, the New York Times revealed that the company was, in fact, a central part of a secret CIA assassination program that Dick Cheney allegedly ordered concealed from Congress. The paper then reported that Blackwater remains a key player in the widening air war in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where it arms drone aircraft. These disclosures follow allegations—made under oath by former Blackwater employees—that Prince murdered or facilitated the murder of potential government informants and that he “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe.”… And yet, despite these black marks, the Obama administration continues to keep Blackwater on the government’s payroll
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Fighting for the Right to Walk
By Ramzy Baroud
Gaza’s troubles have somehow been relegated, if not completely dropped from the mainstream media’s radar, and subsequently the world’s conscience and consciousness. Weaning the public from the sadness there conveys the false impression that things are improving and that people are starting to move on and rebuild their lives. But nothing could be further from the truth. Since the conclusion of Israel’s war last year, the Palestinian Ministry of Health declared that 344 Gaza patients have reportedly been added to the swelling number of casualties….
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Video: “US soldiers find themselves being terrorists in Afghanistan”
…So by definition, the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, since it happened without UN Security Council ratification, in fact this is not self-defense. It wasn’t the nation of Afghanistan that attacked the US. So a soldier who follows a direct order to deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan is actually violating his own uniform code in military justice that says to follow lawful orders,” says independent journalist Jamail…
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The Executions of 1988
What happened in the prisons of Iran (especially Evin) during the summer of 1988 is unprecedented. Killing thousands of people in the span of only a few short months, as far as I know, is unprecedented in the modern history of Iran. The list that groups outside of Iran have released reports of 5000 names. Ayatollah Montazeri reports that the number of executions is between 2800 and 3800 and that he can not remember the exact number…
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Video: Is this evidence of Sri Lankan ‘war crimes’?
Just three months after the Sri Lankan government declared the country liberated from the Tamil Tigers, video footage has emerged apparently showing government troops summarily executing Tamils. Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka, which obtained the material, said it was filmed in January – when the international media were prevented by the Sri Lankan government from covering the conflict zone. The images in Jonathan Miller’s report contain extremely disturbing images….
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Gaza: Tomorrow Never Die
The holy month of Ramadan is not so joyous for Gazans trying to cope with unemployment, an ongoing, critical siege, and the death of family members in the war. It’s a big prison, holding 1.5 million Palestinians, and it takes you to the closed iron gates, and an Israeli soldier sipping his coffee and working on the order of trucks, which have arrived, loaded with the Israeli products, which are sometimes corrupted because of the length of time waiting for permission to cross into the Strip. Such goods serve a useful purpose, but do not mean much to the Palestinians, in the light of the deadly Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip. The pain unleashed in Ramadan acts daily to affect the future of the Palestinians…
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The Silence of the Antiwar Movement is Deafening
Cindy Sheehan’s Lonely Vigil in Obamaland
By JOHN V. WALSH
Cindy Sheehan will be at Martha’s Vineyard beginning August 25 a short way from Obama’s vacation paradise of the celebrity elite but very far from the Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iraq where the body bags and cemeteries fill up each day as Obama’s wars rage on. She will remain there from August 25 through August 29 and has issued a call for all peace activists to join her there. For those of us close by in the New England states and in New York City, there would seem to be a special obligation to get to Martha’s Vineyard as soon as we can….
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Iran MP says rape of some vote detainees proven
By Parisa Hafezi and Zahra Hosseinian
Some Iranian reformers jailed after the disputed presidential election were raped in prison, a member of a parliamentary investigation said on Thursday. “Raping of some detainees with a baton and soda bottle has been proven to us,” the Parlemannews website quoted the unidentified lawmaker from the investigative committee as saying. Iran’s defeated presidential candidate, Mehdi Karoubi, had said some imprisoned protesters were raped and abused in jail, a charge government officials rejected as “baseless.”..
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Abdul Aziz al-Hakim has passed away . . . and, oh yeah, the death the media’s glomming on as well
A death with significant implications has broken in the news.
The Common Ills
Yes, we mean Abdul Aziz al-Hakim. The Iraqi leader with ties to Iran — pictured above with good buddy Bully Boy Bush. As noted June 3rd on Nouri’s trip to Iran: Iran’s Press TV reported he flew to “Hakim’s bedside in Tehran” this weekend because Abdul Aziz al-Hakim is receiving treatments for cancer. al-Hakim, like Nouri, is an Iraqi chicken who ran to exile, stayed in exile for decades and then, after the US invasion, was a ‘respected’ Iraqi . . . in the eyes of the US. al-Hakim grew up in Najaf and left Iraq in 1980 for Iran. Robin Wright (Washington Post) reported May 19, 2007 that al-Hakim had gone to Houston due to lung cancer: “Vice President Cheney played a role in arranging for Hakim to see U.S. military doctors in Baghdad, who made the original diagnosis, and for the current medical treatment in Houston, the sources said.”…
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US Won’t Press Israel on Settlements
US Promises Not to Press for East Jerusalem Freeze
While the US State Department publicly insisted the official Obama Administration on the Israeli settlements had not changed, privately diplomats are saying that the adminstration has done a virtual 180, backing off pretty much all its demands with respect to Israel’s settlement activity. At this point, the US had agreed to completely abandon complaints over Israeli construction in East Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in 1967. Though the US will not publicly endorse the continued construction it will no longer ask Israel to freeze them…
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Afghanistan’s Next Likely Vice President Linked to Drug Trafficking
Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai is leading so far, in the partial results from his reelection bid and despite claims of election fraud, there is a good chance he will serve another term as president. And that’s what worries the United States, because Karzai’s running mate, former defense minister, Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim, is heavily linked to drug trafficking and the lucrative poppy trade in Afghanistan. According to a piece in the New York Times, Karzai has garnered the support of a group of notorious warlords in his reelection campaign..
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Is the PLO playing with the Palestinian national cause?
By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine
Despite rhetorical denials, the PLO and Palestinian Authority (PA), which Fatah constitutes the backbone of both, are moving steadily toward adopting positions that would effectively compromise inalienable Palestinian rights and might even lead to the liquidation of the Palestinian cause. The reported PLO propensity to “deal positively” with dubious “peace plans” that would obliterate Palestinian rights should alarm all patriotic Palestinians…
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Open Letter to Congressmen Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, and to Sen. Jim Webb On Inhuman CIA Torture/Interrogation
Peter Chamberlin & Dr. Dan E. Dunlap
Congressman Paul, we are writing you concerning the investigation into the abusive inhuman torture tactics used for interrogation by the US Army, under the direction of the CIA. Widespread public outrage over the official “unofficial” hypocrisy of fighting a “war on terror,” driven on torture-based intelligence, demands that these investigations are both legitimate and transparent, and not just another cover-up or whitewash, like the 911 “investigation” …
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