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US soldier gets 100 years in prison for rape, murder of Iraqi girl February 24, 2007

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Fri Feb 23, 2:56 AM ET

FORT CAMPBELL, United States (AFP) – A US soldier was sentenced Thursday to 100 years in prison for his role in the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the slaying of her family.

Sergeant Paul Cortez, 24, admitted he was among five soldiers who plotted the March 2006 rape and murders in Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad, while they were drinking gin and whiskey and playing cards at a traffic checkpoint.

Cortez was in tears as members of his 101st Airborne unit testified on his behalf ahead of sentencing Thursday.

“I’m sorry I let you guys down, you guys treat me better than this,” he said.

He also apologized to his two brothers and parents in the courtroom audience: “I love you guys, I’m sorry for what I did.”

Cortez was convicted of conspiracy to rape, rape, four counts of murder, and other charges including violating a general order by drinking.

Cortez was the second soldier to plead guilty in the high-profile case, one in a series of incidents which have tarnished the reputation of US forces in
Iraq.

The military judge in the court martial here first sentenced him Thursday to life in prison without parole, as well as a dishonorable discharge.

But the judge then acknowledged that, under a plea bargain overseen by the commanding general of the 101st Airborne, Cortez could only be sentenced to 100 years imprisonment, which under military law allows the possibility of parole after 10 years.

Defense lawyer William Cassara called the sentence “an appropriate sanction for what he did.”

The case shocked many by accounts that the soldiers calmly plotted to violate a young girl they had seen walking down the street in the Iraqi village and deliberately tried cover up their crime by killing her family and setting their house alight.

They decided Abeer Kassem Hamza al-Janabi would make a good target for the plan to “have sex with an Iraqi female” because her father was the only man in the house, Cortez told a military court.

In a statement frequently interrupted by tears, Cortez described how a fellow soldier pinned the girl to the ground and held her down while he raped her. Cortez then held al-Janabi down as an accomplice, Specialist James Barker, raped her.

Barker also avoided the death penalty as part of a plea deal last November in which he was sentenced to 90 years in prison and agreed to cooperate with prosecutions of the other soldiers. [read more]

For some this is only fun and games.

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Oily Truth Emerges in Iraq February 24, 2007

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By Juan Gonzalez

Throughout nearly four years of the daily mayhem and carnage in Iraq, President Bush and his aides in the White House have scoffed at even the slightest suggestion that the U.S. military occupation has anything to do with oil.

02/23/07 “NYDN” — – -The President presumably would have us all believe that if Iraq had the world’s second-largest supply of bananas instead of petroleum, American troops would still be there.

Now comes new evidence of the big prize in Iraq that rarely gets mentioned at White House briefings.

A proposed new Iraqi oil and gas law began circulating last week among that country’s top government leaders and was quickly leaked to various Internet sites – before it has even been presented to the Iraqi parliament.

Under the proposed law, Iraq’s immense oil reserves would not simply be opened to foreign oil exploration, as many had expected. Amazingly, executives from those companies would actually be given seats on a new Federal Oil and Gas Council that would control all of Iraq’s reserves.

In other words, Chevron, ExxonMobil, British Petroleum and the other Western oil giants could end up on the board of directors of the Iraqi Federal Oil and Gas Council, while Iraq’s own national oil company would become just another competitor.

The new law would grant the council virtually all power to develop policies and plans for undeveloped oil fields and to review and change all exploration and production contracts.

Since most of Iraq’s 73 proven petroleum fields have yet to be developed, the new council would instantly become a world energy powerhouse.

“We’re talking about trillions of dollars of oil that are at stake,” said Raed Jarrar, an independent Iraqi journalist and blogger who obtained an Arabic copy of the draft law and posted an English-language translation on his Web site over the weekend.

Take, for example, the massive Majnoon field in southern Iraq near the Iranian border, which contains an estimated 20 billion barrels. Before Saddam Hussein was toppled by the U.S. invasion in 2003, he had granted a $4 billion contract to French oil giant TotalFinaElf to develop the field.

In the same way, the Iraqi dictator signed contracts with Chinese, Russian, Korean, Italian and Spanish companies to develop 10 other big oil fields once international sanctions against his regime were lifted.

The big British and American companies had been shut out of Iraq, thanks to more than a decade of U.S. sanctions against Saddam.

But if the new law passes, those companies will be the ones reviewing those very contracts and any others.
[read more]

Americans Underestimate Iraqi Death Toll February 24, 2007

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Saturday February 24, 2007 12:31 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans are keenly aware of how many U.S. forces have lost their lives in Iraq, according to a new AP-Ipsos poll. But they woefully underestimate the number of Iraqi civilians who have been killed.

When the poll was conducted earlier this month, a little more than 3,100 U.S. troops had been killed. The midpoint estimate among those polled was right on target, at about 3,000.

Far from a vague statistic, the death toll is painfully real for many Americans. Seventeen percent in the poll know someone who has been killed or wounded in Iraq. And among adults under 35, those closest to the ages of those deployed, 27 percent know someone who has been killed or wounded.

For Daniel Herman, a lawyer in New Castle, Pa., a co-worker’s nephew is the human face of the dead.

“This is a fairly rural area,” he said. “When somebody dies, … you hear about it. It makes it very concrete to you.”

The number of Iraqis killed, however, is much harder to pin down, and that uncertainty is perhaps reflected in Americans’ tendency to lowball the Iraqi death toll by tens of thousands.

Iraqi civilian deaths are estimated at more than 54,000 and could be much higher; some unofficial estimates range into the hundreds of thousands. The U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq reports more than 34,000 deaths in 2006 alone.

Among those polled for the AP survey, however, the median estimate of Iraqi deaths was 9,890. The median is the point at which half the estimates were higher and half lower. [read more]

Cheney hints at Iran strike February 24, 2007

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By Greg Sheridan | February 24, 2007 01:20am

US Vice-President Dick Cheney has raised the possibility of military action to stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.

He has endorsed Republican senator John McCain’s proposition that the only thing worse than a military confrontation with Iran would be a nuclear-armed Iran.

In an exclusive interview with The Weekend Australian, Mr Cheney said: “I would guess that John McCain and I are pretty close to agreement.”

The visiting Vice-President said that he had no doubt Iran was striving to enrich uranium to the point where they could make nuclear weapons.

He accused Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of espousing an “apocalyptic philosophy” and making “threatening noises about Israel and the US and others”.

He also said Iran was a sponsor of terrorism, especially through Hezbollah. However, the US did not believe Iran possessed any nuclear weapons as yet.

“You get various estimates of where the point of no return is,” Mr Cheney said, identifying nuclear terrorism as the greatest threat to the world.

“Is it when they possess weapons or does it come sooner, when they have mastered the technology but perhaps not yet produced fissile material for weapons?”

Mr Cheney also condemned Kevin Rudd’s plan to withdraw all Australian combat troops from Iraq. Although he did not mention the Opposition Leader by name, Mr Cheney said the withdrawal of Australian troops “would clearly be a disappointment from our standpoint”.

He encouraged further Australian involvement: “The more allies we have and the more committed they are to the effort, the quicker we can anticipate success.”

Mr Cheney said the allied coalition could not afford to “anticipate failure” and said that the outcome in Iraq would affect not only US security: “We all have a stake in getting the right outcome in Iraq.”

The US, he said, would stay in Iraq until it “got the job done”.

“We deeply appreciate Australia, the Brits and others who have been there from the beginning and made a contribution and have been willing to get into the fight with us.”

Earlier, in an address in Sydney to the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue, Mr Cheney had emphasised the importance of the challenge of defeating Islamist terror, underlining the long-term nature of the struggle for the US and its allies.

“We have never had a fight like this, and it’s not a fight we can win using the strategies from other wars,” he said.

In his interview with The Weekend Australian, Mr Cheney said the US-Australian alliance was, based on his knowledge of the relationship, now closer than ever and that this was in part because of John Howard.

However, he believed that new institutional closeness between the US and Australia, as evidenced in new intelligence-sharing arrangements and in the trilateral security dialogue among the US, Japan and Australia, would outlast individual politicians.

Mr Cheney paid tribute to the Australian military contribution in Iraq and Afghanistan. He singled out the elite SAS for particular praise, saying: “The SAS troops are great. We like very much working with the Australians.”

Mr Cheney, who is regarded as the most hardline member of the Bush administration, was unrepentant about the Iraq operation.

“The world’s better off now that (Saddam Hussein) is dead and there’s a democratically elected Government in his place in Baghdad,” he said.

“The Iraqi people are well on the road to establishing a viable democracy.

“In the long term when we look back on this period of time that will be a remarkable achievement. We’re not there yet. We’ve still got a lot to do.”

Mr Cheney saw Mr Rudd yesterday afternoon and will spend today with John Howard. He will fly home tomorrow.

Bush ‘supports troops’ with mice and mold February 24, 2007

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There’s only one thing worse than paying poor working class folks in one country to kill poor working class folks in another country – and that’s treating them like sh*t when they get back.

We used to get chocolate milk delivered to our beds. The amputees of Walter Reed Army Medical Center were accustomed to first-class service as a matter of hospital policy. “The Ritz-Carlton is where you want to go, not Motel 6,” the head nurse of Ward 57 told her staff after the Iraq war began in 2003. “That’s how I want all my patients treated.”

But it was a courtesy that apparently stopped at the hospital’s front door. According to a series in this week’s Washington Post, some wounded soldiers have lived amid mice, mold and mismanagement in outpatient facilities. It was a shocking account to ordinary Americans who know of Walter Reed by its spit-shine, high-tech image, but especially to me. An embedded reporter who lost a hand in a grenade attack, I was treated at Walter Reed as an in-patient from December 16, 2003 to January 8, 2004, when I left for my home in Washington. I returned regularly to the hospital as an outpatient for 18 months, stopping often to visit friends who were living in the modern, clean Malogne House.

No doubt other reporters treated well out of fear that they’d otherwise spill the beans.

Even they grumbled about paperwork snafus and the bewildering medical retirement process. But they also enjoyed the freedom of outpatient life as well as comfortable housing and meals. Clearly problems worsened as the outpatient community exploded later in 2005. It was not until October of that year that soldiers were housed in the notorious Building 18.

Appalling.

Hopefully, it will give young Americans one more reason not to join the military. Or, if they do enlist – follow Lt. Watada’s example, and not fight an illegal war based on lies.

Mice and Mold is what you’ll get in return.

source

Lebanon Will Be First Victim of Iran Crisis February 24, 2007

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How easily the sparks from the American-Israeli fire fall across the Middle East. Every threat, every intransigence uttered in Washington and Tehran now burns a little bit more of Lebanon. It is not by chance that the UN forces in the south of the country now face growing suspicion among the Shia Muslims who live there. It is no coincidence that Israel thunders that the Hizbollah are now more powerful than they were before last year’s July war. It is not an accident that Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbollah’s leader, says he has brought more missiles into Lebanon.

Why, the Lebanese ask, did President Bashar al-Assad of Syria visit President Ahmadinejad of Iran last weekend? To further seal their “brotherly” relations? Or to plan a new war with Israel in Lebanon?

The images of Iran’s new missile launches during three days of military manoeuvres – apparently long-range rockets which could be fired at US warships in the Gulf – were splashed across the Beirut papers yesterday morning, along with Washington’s latest threats of air strikes against Iran’s military. Be certain that the Lebanese will be the first to suffer.

 Robert Fisk, The Independent, February 21

Defence Minister Amir Peretz trying to watch military – lens caps still on February 23, 2007

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Oh dear,

How embarassing, protecting Israel blindly:

Israeli newspapers have printed photos of Defence Minister Amir Peretz trying to watch military manoeuvres through binoculars with the lens caps still on.

Mr Peretz was inspecting troops in the Golan Heights with the Israeli army’s new chief of staff, Gen Gabi Ashkenazi.

According to the photographer, Mr Peretz looked through the capped binoculars three times, nodding as Gen Ashkenazi explained what was in view.

Analysts say it is a new blow for the embattled defence minister.

Mr Peretz’s popularity has fallen in the wake of last year’s war against Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.

But one Israeli paper pointed out that he is not the first prominent official to make this mistake.

According to daily Yediot Ahronot, US President George W Bush and former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon have both done the same thing. [read more]

A new war is brewing in Lebanon February 23, 2007

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Suspicion of UN troops grows in south Lebanon . . .

The international force, deployed to keep the peace and support the expansion of the Lebanese army’s authority over the previously Hizbullah-controlled south, is perceived by villagers to be favouring Israel.“They are not our guests any more,” said Hajj Ali, a revered Hizbullah fighter from the large southern town of Bint Jbeil, who limps from an injury sustained during the summer war. “If they continue to help the Israelis we will have to take action against them.”

Many in the south suspect Israel is trying to create a buffer zone along the border on Lebanese land allegedly captured during the war and that the UN is assisting it, furthering the popular perception that the UN forces, Unifil, are in south Lebanon to protect Israel from Hizbullah. Hizbullah, Lebanon’s largest political party, is still part of the social fabric and continues military activities along the border.

Many in south Lebanon have struggled through the winter with intermittent electricity and running water, under threat from unexploded cluster munitions, which still litter large swaths of the countryside. More than 30 people have been killed and 180 wounded by bomblets since the war ended. Residents complain of Israeli overflights and incursions and this month a clash erupted when the Lebanese army opened fire on Israeli troops.

In the bomb-shattered village of Maroun al-Ras, overlooking the Lebanon Israeli border, 65-year-old farmer Mohammed Allawi was repairing damage to his house from Israeli shelling. He said many farmers were no longer able to tend their fields for fear of being shot by Israeli troops.

“Unifil has not lifted a hand against Israel but only intervenes to protect the Israelis, why are they on our land and why have they brought so many tanks?”

Hussein, a relative from Bint Jbeil, said the French were particularly unpopular. Hostility towards Lebanon’s former colonial power can be found across the south. “Why are the French so aggressive?” asked Mr Allawi’s wife, Fatmeh, “They come through the village at night in their big, noisy tanks, scaring the children. They never talk to us and we don’t know what they are doing.”

Nevertheless, Unifil provides jobs and social services and plays a vital role in disposing of unexploded munitions.

[none of which would be necessary had israel abided by international law.]

Hizbullah still dominates the south, its security men policing the Shia villages and its fighters patrolling the border, albeit with greater stealth than before. A senior Unifil official said operational bunkers had been found and that Hizbullah fighters had been seen on patrols.

As the UN destroys Hizbullah’s military infrastructure, the threat of confrontation grows. The official, speaking off the record, said some areas controlled by the Lebanese army were off limits to the UN. Hajj Ali said they were Hizbullah military zones protected under a deal between Hizbullah and the Lebanese army.

The UN official also said there had been an increase in Hizbullah activity north of the Litani river, outside Unifil’s jurisdiction. “There will be another war in the summer,” Hajj Ali said. “It is the beginning of the end for Israel; we are preparing.”

Is this any surprise, during the war it took the UN and western nations over a month to call for a ceasefire, especially when the western nations US and UK realized that Israel is actually getting a bashing from Hezbollah. Its no surprise that UN is working for the west and openly favors decisions and actions in favor of Israel and US.

It’s a shame and usually this type of favoritism is very short lived indeed.

The shame revealed February 23, 2007

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Forward, February 23:

The recent discovery that the family of Anne Frank had unsuccessfully attempted to obtain an American visa before being captured by the Nazis shines light on the failure of the United States to do enough to save Jews from the Holocaust. In reaction to the news, Rep. Steve Israel has reintroduced a bill to make the child martyr an honorary American citizen.

“The best way we can honor Anne Frank in death is to give her what her father sought for her in life,” said Israel, a New York Democrat, in a statement last week. “The news that Anne Frank’s family sought to flee to the United States makes it clearer than ever that we should bestow honorary citizenship upon Anne Frank.”

We respectfully disagree: The best way to honor Anne Frank’s memory — and to demonstrate that America has learned a lesson from its past mistakes — would be for the Bush administration to take comprehensive steps to address the needs of the mounting numbers of Iraqi refugees. It has been estimated that since the American invasion, 1.8 million people in Iraq have been driven from their homes and another 2 million have fled to neighboring states.

What has the administration done to address the crisis? From 2003 until last month, the United States admitted 466 Iraqi refugees (this is not a misprint — there are no zeros missing from the end of that figure). America currently spends about $8 billion a month on the war, but the administration reportedly entered 2007 planning to spend just $60 million this fiscal year to provide shelter and protection for displaced Iraqis, and $20 million to help resettle refugees here and in other countries.

Apocalypse not February 23, 2007

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Richard Dreyfuss, The Washington Monthly, March 2007:

The only power that could qualitatively worsen Iraq’s sectarian civil war is the United States. Washington continues to arm and train the Shiites, although so far it has resisted Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s pleas to provide Iraq’s Shiite-led army and police with heavy weapons, armor, and an air force. Only if that policy changed, and the United States began to create a true Shiite army in Iraq, would the Sunni Arab states likely feel compelled to build up Iraq’s Sunni paramilitary militias into something resembling a traditional army.

Thus, even if we assume that Iraq’s parties cannot achieve some sort of reconciliation as the United States withdraws, an American pullout is hardly guaranteed to unleash unbridled chaos. On the contrary, each year since 2003 that American troops have remained in Iraq, the violence has escalated steadily.

The Bush fantasy February 23, 2007

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Words fail:

Speaking of George Bush, with whom [Ariel] Sharon developed a very close relationship, [Sharon biographer] Uri Dan recalls that Sharon’s delicacy made him reluctant to repeat what the president had told him when they discussed Osama bin Laden. Finally he relented. And here is what the leader of the Western world, valiant warrior in the battle of cultures, promised to do to bin Laden if he caught him: “I will screw him in the ass!”

Dialogue with Islamists February 23, 2007

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Alastair Crooke, The Cordoba Foundation, October-December, 2006:

“…What Muslims hate is the West’s monopoly on the socio-economic implementation of values such as justice, freedom, good governance, which all Muslims share. Muslims don’t believe simply that the West is the only model of the implementation of these values, and the only way you can have good governance is to have Western good governance. In fact, they are not sure the West has good governance in many respects.”

The (black) golden drop February 23, 2007

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Are we supposed to believe that the Iraq war had nothing to do with oil? The Financial Times reports:

All the world’s extra oil supply is likely to come from expensive and environmentally damaging unconventional sources within 15 years, according to a detailed study.

This will mean increasing reliance on hard-to-develop sources of energy such as the Canadian oil sands and Venezuela’s Orinoco tar belt.

A report from Wood Mackenzie, the Edinburgh-based consultancy, calculates that the world holds 3,600bn barrels of unconventional oil and gas that need a lot of energy to extract.

So far only 8 per cent of that has begun to be developed, because the world has relied on easier sources of oil and gas.

Only 15 per cent of the 3,600bn is heavy and extra-heavy oil, with the rest being even more challenging.

The study makes clear the shift could come sooner than many people in the industry had expected, even though some major conventional oil fields will still be increasing their production in 2020. Those increases will not be enough to offset the decline at other fields.

“It becomes unclear beyond 2020 that conventional oil will be able to meet any of the demand growth,” Wood Mackenzie said. The report added that natural gas products such as liquids and condensate would also become important sources of growth.

The Kurds are already well ahead of the game in trying to secure Iraq’s precious resource, but the role of US multinationals remain mired in suspicion.

Saddam Hussein – The Trial You’ll Never See February 19, 2007

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Made for European television this film was never broadcast in North America.

Barry Lando and Michel Despratx’s documentary
Try to watch this documentary before it disappears from the net. It’s divided in several series of 5 minute each. It’s well worth it.

Boy oh boy do Western leaders fool us… be it the United States or Europe… and of course there wouldn’t be a dirty plot without this “poor little victim-state” called Israel!
Enjoy!
Cherifa

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info:80/article17053.htm

Web of Deceit

Saddam Hussein – The Trial You’ll Never See

Made for European television this film was never broadcast in North America.

Barry Lando and Michel Despratx’s documentary

The horrifying truth is the extent to which we in the west have been complicit. Check out Lando’s new book “Web of Deceit” and his blog at http://barrylando.com/

source 

US ‘dumped’ report into UK troops’ crash ordeal February 18, 2007

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Lawyers claim the Pentagon will now pay £1.2m compensation after trying to deny Iraq collision

Mark Townsend

The wreckage of the Land Rover after it was struck by the tank transporter.

The Pentagon has been accused of obstructing an investigation into how three British soldiers almost died when an American tank transporter rammed them off a road in Iraq.

Lawyers for the UK troops claim that the US authorities tried to ‘dump’ their inquiry in a move to block a compensation claim. The American military also said it had no record of the incident, but it has emerged that the collision was officially recorded at the time.

The allegations risk creating fresh tensions between the UK and US coalition forces and arrive amid the ongoing inquest into the death of Lance Corporal Matty Hull, who was killed by American pilots after they mistakenly fired on his convoy.

US army officials are due in London this week to interview Corporal Jane McLaughlan, Staff Sergeant James Rogerson, Corporal Stephen Smith and their interpreter, Khalid Allahou, almost four years after all were seriously injured when their Land Rover was struck twice from behind by the US transporter. McLaughlan, who was driving, was unable to keep control and the Land Rover crashed off the road. All four passengers were thrown from the vehicle.

Their legal advisers said that, despite attempts to block their claim, the US authorities were likely to pay £1.2m in compensation to the soldiers, the first financial payment of its kind involving coalition allies in the Iraq war.

Initially, British Royal Military Police launched a detailed inquiry into the incident, before the Pentagon said it would take over the investigation. Michael Doyle, a personal injury lawyer for the Houston-based firm Doyle Raizner, who is helping to represent the claimants, said: ‘No report was produced, it was basically dumped and nothing was done for well over a year.  [read more]

“US Senators to arrive in israel for indoctrination” February 18, 2007

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It’s not my title – this is how Calcutta News and Malaysia Sun decided to describe the following story from Ynet News:

A delegation of American senators is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Sunday. The senators are members of a joint Senate-Knesset committee headed by Senator Jon Kyl, who is close to President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Member of Knesset Yuval Steinitz (Likud) is hosting the delegation. Together with Senator Kyl, he established the committee four years ago to strengthen defense cooperation between the two countries.

“We formed the committee four years ago, when I was Chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. It is the only joint committee between the American Congress and another country,” said Steinitz.

“We think that it is important that the members of the delegation feel the connection and understand Israel better. They are mostly non-Jewish and we want them to feel some obligation to the country,” he added.

Excuse me??? Their only ‘obligation’ is to the people (not the corporations) of the United States of America.

And if they don’t like it – on behalf of their constituents, I accept their resignation.

“The ability of the Senate and the Congress to promote issues is just as important as that of the American administration. They will be briefed by Mossad Officials about Iran, Hizbullah and global Jihad,” he said.

“The committee has had major achievements and we hope that this visit will lead to additional feats,” he concluded.

Like, for example, a green light from Congress to invade Iran even as the US continues to take a beating in Iraq.

That would be a pretty incredible feat.

One of the committee’s successes to date is receiving funding for a project to develop a rocket-interception system.

Meanwhile, back in the United States, people sleep on sidewalks and collect food stamps, just to stay alive.

The two-day visit includes meetings with Opposition Chairman MK Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Chief of the Mossad. Later on they will also meet Deputy President and Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

The visit will end with dinner with Coalition Chairman MK Avigdor Itzchaky, MK Tzachi Hangebi, Nobel Prize Laureate Prof. Robert Auman and Nathan Sharansky.

Why end it at all?

Why don’t they just stay there?

It seems that that’s where they belong.

Is the Bush administration behind the bombings in Iran? February 18, 2007

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By Peter Symonds

Two bombings this week in Zahedan in southeastern Iran are the latest in a series of incidents involving armed opposition groups based among the country’s ethnic minorities. The most recent attacks again raise questions about the activities of the US military and CIA inside Iran as the Bush administration intensifies its preparations for war.

The first blast killed at least 11 members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) who were travelling in a bus from their housing compound to a military base. After forcing the bus to stop, the attackers triggered explosives packed in a car. Another 31 people were injured in the explosion. A further bombing, followed by sustained clashes between police and an armed group, was reported yesterday.

Yet Bush (administration) is accusing Iran for arming insurgents in Iraq to attack American/British soldiers, but what does Bush expect that the insurgents and regular Iraqi people to greet the American/British soldiers with roses and flowers, the same soldiers who kidnap, rape and torture Iraqi people at random.

Bush needs to remember that America themselves arm countries to attack other nations, a notorious example is Israel being armed to the teeth to drive out Palestinians out of their own land.

Italians protest against US base “Yankees go Home” February 18, 2007

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Tens of thousands of protesters have taken part in a rally against the expansion of a US military base in Vicenza in northern Italy.

Police estimated the number of demonstrators on Saturday as 25,000, but organisers put the turnout at more than 100,000.

Protesters waved rainbow-striped peace banners while some carried anti-US slogans such as “Yankees go Home”.

About 1,500 police were on duty and police helicopters could be heard buzzing overhead.

Favio Lotti, one of the demonstration’s organisers, told Al Jazeera: “The world does not need another military base. It needs greater peace efforts by the US and by the Italian government.”

Lotti said that claims by those in favour of the base that it would benefit the economy were false.

“The Italian government is contributing to one third of the expenses of the base,” he said.

Protesters are also concerned that the expansion of the base could cause traffic, deplete local resources including water and gas, and increase the risk of Italy being targeted by a terrorist attack.

Romano Prodi, Italy’s prime minister, angered allies last month when he decided not to renege on a pledge by Silvio Berlusconi, the former prime minister, to allow the expansion of the base in Vicenza. [read more]

Just a reminder that its not Muslims saying “Yankees go Home” after all it is freedom of speech

While World Capitalists Spend Trillions of Dollars on their Wanton Wars, Hunger Kills 18,000 Children Each Day February 18, 2007

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By Hassan El-Najjar

While world capitalists spend trillions of dollars on their wanton wars, hunger kills 18,000 children everyday, as reported by UN officials below.

These are not children dying only in poor areas in the world, but they are children dying as a result of wars launched on their countries by the world imperialist powers.

On top of these children come those of Palestine, who have been under an Israeli-US-EU financial embargo for more than a year now, for no reason other than their parents exercising their political democratic rights. Their sin was voting for Hamas. They have been punished because of expressing their desire to get rid of the brutal Israeli occupation of their homeland.

Iraqi children have been killed since the US-Led NATO embargo (1990-2003), which resulted in killing more than half a million Iraqi children in the 1990s. The US Secretary of State, Mad Albright, then uttered her infamous announcement that killing them was “worth it.” Their plight did not end by the US invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. More than 650,000 Iraqi civilians were killed by the end of 2006. Most of them were children, women, elders, and innocent civilian men.

In Darfur, suddenly rebel groups emerged when oil and uranium reserves became well-known. These rebel groups have been well supplied with weapons to fight for independence from Sudan. You can guess who is funding them. Again, Darfur children have been victims of this oil-uranium war, just like their fellow Sudanese in the South in the past.

Afghani children have been suffering continuously since the US encouraged Afghanis to fight the Soviet invasion in 1979. The war devastated the economy and resulted in a failing state. When finally, the Soviets left in mid-1980s, the US left the Afghanis alone fighting a devastating civil war, which destroyed what was left of the countries institutions. Finally, since the 2001 US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, and despite hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the war, Afghanis have not seen improvement in their life, including those related to children. A frequent NATO media propaganda has been expressing intentions for reconstruction, after defeating the Taliban resistance movement!

They (the western countries) don’t care so long as its not their children. What’s more important is the control of oil and other resources from the same countries where these children are.

Brandeis Donors Exact Revenge For Carter Visit February 18, 2007

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Zionist and their (so called) commitment to free speech (al long as it does not include Israel):

Major donors to Brandeis University have informed the school they will no longer give it money in retaliation for its decision last month to host former President Jimmy Carter, a strong critic of Israel.

The donors have notified the school in writing of their decisions — and specified Carter as the reason, said Stuart Eizenstat, a former aide to Carter during his presidency and a current trustee of Brandeis, one of the nation’s premier Jewish institutions of higher learning.

They are “more than a handful,” he said. “So, this is a concern. There are evidently a fair number of donors who have indicated they will withhold contributions.”

Brandeis history professor Jonathan Sarna, who maintains close ties with the administration, told The Jewish Week, “These were not people who send $5 to the university. These were major donors, and major potential donors.

“I hope they’ll calm down and change their views,” Sarna said. [read more]

Yvonne Ridley fires with the truth. February 17, 2007

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10 Ways To Tell If Your Empire Is Falling February 17, 2007

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1. You know your Empire is falling when you preach human rights and you became the worst human rights violator on the planet.

2. You know your Empire is falling when you have to invent lies to sell an invasion of a tiny third world country ( which you already destroyed with crippling ten years of sanctions) so that you can control their resources and insert your military in the heart of the region where most of those resources are located to ensure your continued control over those resources, and fail miserably.

3. You know your Empire is falling when the above mentioned invasion is a complete and total failure and you spent $400 billion and lost thousands of troops and thousands more maimed for life. And you try the hated the world over dictator of that country in a kangaroo court, botch his execution turning him into a world hero.

4. You know your empire is falling when your national dept is $8.7 trillion and your spending your grand children’s money like a drunken sailor that’s been out to sea for six months.

5. You know you Empire is falling when your currency is so devalued that no one wants to trade it anymore.

6. You know your Empire is falling when all of the Latin American countries that once wanted to model themselves after you now blow you off and proudly elect anti-imperialist socialist governments.

7. You know your Empire is falling when nearly 50 million of your citizens can’t afford basic health care, and your health care system has been ranked #37 best in the world by the World Health Organization just above Slovenia and just below Costa Rica.

8. You know you Empire is falling when your military has the best trained troops with the best weapons, and their getting their asses handed to them by barefooted men with crude weapons and their belief in God.

9. You know your Empire is falling when one of your major cities drowns and you do nothing before, during, and after to help its inhabitants that are still displaced and homeless nearly two years later.

10. You know your Empire is falling when a hostile third world country develops and tests nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles that can reach your shores and your powerless to do anything about it.

Over and Out

source

Occupational Humor February 17, 2007

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For israelis . . .

An Israeli recently arrives at London’s Heathrow airport.

As he fills out a form, the customs officer asks him: “Occupation?”

The Israeli promptly replies: “No, just visiting.”

source

Car bombs kill 100 in Iraq February 16, 2007

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Who has access to those kind of explosives? And who benefits from emptying the country of its poor and disillusioned Muslims???

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Twin bombings Monday tore through stalls of vendors selling second-hand clothes and DVDs in a busy Baghdad market catering to Shiite Muslims during a religious festival. A market also was attacked north of the capital, and police said nearly 100 people died in the renewed campaign blamed on Sunni Muslim insurgents.

The U.S. military also reported the deaths Sunday of two Marines, raising the two-day death toll to 27 in a particularly bloody weekend for American forces in
Iraq. A roadside bomb killed a U.S. soldier and wounded four others Monday in northern Iraq, it said.

Monday’s first blast, a parked car bomb, hit shortly after noon in the Bab al-Sharqi market between Tayaran and Tahrir squares — one of the busiest parts of Baghdad. Seconds later, a suicide car bomber drove into the crowd.

Police estimated that each car was loaded with nearly 220 pounds of explosives.

Deputy Health Minister Hakim al-Zamili said at least 78 people were killed and 156 were wounded, making it the deadliest attack in two months. Figures provided by police and hospital officials showed that as many as 88 people were killed.

The explosions left body parts strewn on the bloodstained pavement as black smoke rose into the sky. Police sealed off the area as ambulances rushed to the scene.

Survivors were taken to nearby al-Kindi Hospital where emergency personnel worked feverishly over the bloodied and badly wounded.

Bodies covered in blue and white cloth littered the outdoor courtyard at the hospital. Family members and friends were at the side of the dead, screaming in grief and crying out oaths.

A suicide bomber killed at least 63 people in the same area last month.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, denounced the attack.

“We condemn this crime and we promise that the security forces will pursue all those involved in this crime and bring them to justice,” he said in a statement. [read more]

What a joke – this guy is powerless to stop these massacres. He doesn’t even know who’s committing them!

Spain hunts US soldiers who shot journalist February 16, 2007

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So hold on, let me get this right. This does not classify as friendly fire or collateral damage. WOW this is a big one:

The International Federation of Journalists reports: The IFJ today welcomed the decision by a Spanish Judge to issue arrest warrants for three US soldiers accused over the killing of Spanish TV cameraman José Couso.

Couso died when a US tank fired a shell at Baghdad’s Palestine Hotel on April 8, 2003. Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk was also killed and three other Reuters employees were seriously injured. On the same day Al Jazeera journalist Tareq Ayyoub was killed in a separate US attack on the network’s Baghdad bureau, raising questions of deliberate targeting of media.

The IFJ has called for independent investigations of these deaths and some 16 other deaths of media staff during the conflict at the hands of US troops.

Spain’s Supreme Court reopened the Couso case in December. As well as issuing the international arrest warrants the judge asked prosecutors to determine whether the soldiers’ assets in the United States could be frozen against any future compensation claims, according to recent press reports. [read more]

Who Hijacked my Religion! February 16, 2007

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Superb 7-min clip on Islam in the media. By Ummah Films

MWAW replies to Undercover Mosque February 16, 2007

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“The media must be so grateful to Jade Goody. Thanks to her and Big Brother they have a scapegoat for the racism that they themselves have made respectable. The same newspapers that fill their pages with hate for asylum-seekers, immigrants and multiculturalism suddenly declare themselves anti-racists.

“Not for one second have the print and broadcast media relented in their barrage of racism against Muslims. The latest example is Channel 4’s Dispatches documentary ‘Undercover Mosque’, broadcast on January 15. The documentary is a textbook example ofIslamophobic reporting. It has set the right-wing blogosphere on fire; clips from the programme on YouTube have gone straight into the top ten.

“The message of ‘Undercover Mosque” is that, however ‘moderate’ Muslims claim to be, it is the fundamentalists who are really pulling the strings, using the cover of moderation to preach racism, bigotry and holy war.” [read more]

Afghan civilians stop terror attack at U.S. base February 16, 2007

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KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) — Two civilians thwarted an attempted terrorist attack Tuesday when a vehicle loaded with explosives attempted to crash through the front gate of a U.S. base in the Afghan capital, according to the U.S. military.

The two men, an interpreter and a security guard, dragged the apparent suicide bomber from the vehicle before he could detonate explosives, said Col. Tom Collins, the chief spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

“I think it’s a pretty amazing and heroic event,” Collins said.

He said that at about 9 a.m. Tuesday (10:30 p.m. ET Monday) a driver crashed his vehicle into Camp Phoenix, the base where the Afghan National Army and police are trained. The driver reached for what appeared to be a cord to detonate a bomb, he said.

“Amazingly, a couple of Afghans who just happened to be on the scene there realized what was happening,” Collins said.

“Anyone’s inclination would have been to run away but these guys are genuine heroes,” Collins said.

The area was immediately cordoned off while authorities waited for a bomb disposal team.

During the attempt to disarm it, the device went off. It’s unclear how much or what kind of explosive material was used, Collins said. No U.S. or coalition troops were injured. [read more]

Not a whisper from any infidel or kafir blog. Uumm I wonder why?

What?… Muslims FOIL a terrorist attack on US and Afghan forces?!? What about all that drivel about how the Quran brainwashes muslims into being terrorists? Isn’t it embedded in their DNA? How… could… this… happen?!?

Jade Goody and her evil sisters with their racism against Shilpa February 16, 2007

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Watch and make up your own mind?

Racist Jade Bady with her evil racist bimbo sisters show how their represent Britain. Truly this is not just in Big Brother but its almost everywhere in Britain where such people exit. The difference is in reality you wont get to see this as you would on Big Brother. But you all have seen it for your self, so make up your own mind.

To me Shilpa who mother language is not English clearly outclasses the dumb British Big Brother bimbos as you can see from this clip.

All respect goes out to Shilpa who has clearly demonstrated that she has come from a educated and well established culture in Asia. You put Jade (and bimbos) like people to shame.

Shilpa Shetty & Jade Goody (or Jade Bady) February 16, 2007

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Gosh, what is our British society coming to or turning into?

Firstly I think Jade Goody should change her surname to Bady (Jade Bady), this suits her more.

I’m honestly scared to think that Jade represents a typical British person (as some blogs and news mediums have claimed). I had to copy and paste this almost perfect analysis from another blog member:

It seems to be my week for being upset by television programmes. This week I have watched a number of episodes of Celebrity Big Brother and have felt a growing sense of shame at the way one of the contestants, a Bollywood actress called Shilpa Shetty, has been treated.

Cases involving bullying and racial harassment make up a large proportion of my professional practice but, for the most part I have only ever experienced it second hand – via witness statements and oral testimony. To actually see it happen on television in front of my eyes has been astonishing and revolting in equal measure. In tonight’s episode Shetty commented that she was representing her country, India and that if those tormenting her represented the modern UK she was appalled. I agree with her entirely.

The ringleader, Jade Goody, standing in as the representative of a country once famed for its restraint and manners seems to find it impossible to grasp three basic principles of interaction:

(1) If you happen to be a slack-jawed harridan with the intellect of a biro and find yourself standing next to a foreign national who handles herself with dignity (and who has an English vocabulary that dwarfs your own), the fact that you feel insecure is not their fault. People aren’t intelligent for the sole purpose of making you look stupid. Standing next to a bottle of Toilet Duck would make you look stupid.

(2) You are right that it is wrong to speak ill of people behind their back. However, that does not mean that moral virtue is to be found in shouting abuse at them whilst congratulating yourself on your “honesty”. The better course is not to speak ill of people. But lest you think this all sounds a little self-righteous may I, in a gesture of meeting you halfway, point out what a repellent vacuous little twat you have come across as.

(3) Shouting so loudly that the other person cannot get a word in does not make you a successful debater. The aim is persuade not to deafen and degrade.

A masterly performance from the Danielle, a former beauty queen, who opined that Shilp Shetty should “go home”. When asked what she meant, her luminous intellect fizzed into action:

“Er … I don’t know .. but …er .. I did not mean she should go home.”