Hope2012


US War Of Terror Update: Iraq & Afghanistan

US Announces Second Fake End to Iraq War

“Days after the U.S. officially ended combat operations and touted Iraq’s ability to defend itself, American troops found themselves battling heavily armed militants assaulting an Iraqi military headquarters in the center of Baghdad on Sunday. The fighting killed 12 people and wounded dozens.”

Deconstructing the Official Narrative on the U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq

More Troops Head to Iraq as Obama Declares Mission Accomplished

Privatizing the Occupation: The Mercenaries and the NGOs

Iraq War Continues under a New Name: “Operation New Dawn.” U.S. Troops Still Fighting and Dying in Iraq

Karzai: Private contractors ‘looting and stealing,’ working with terrorists

Iraq War Vet Camilo Mejía: US Withdrawal Plan Marks “Privatization of Military Occupation”

The World From Berlin: ‘The Invasion of Iraq Was Wrong, Unjust and Damaging’

U.S. to Double Mercenary Forces in Iraq After 2011 Military Pullout

Five myths about the Iraq troop withdrawal

Germany gave assassination list to secret US unit

The US isn’t leaving Iraq, it’s just rebranding the occupation

Obama says withdrawal is on schedule, but renaming or outsourcing combat troops won’t give Iraqis back their country

Alarms sound over trash fires in war zones of Afghanistan, Iraq

Former U.S. Soldiers Describe Indiscriminate Military Violence in Iraq

Iraqi army chief: We need US military until 2020

US Military Brass Urge Soldiers To Kill Indiscriminately

July is deadliest month of Afghan war for US

Afghan Blogger Films Survivors of Massacre, Contradicts NATO Denial

In an experiment in citizen journalism, Greenwald, of RethinkAfghanistan, has trained dozens of intrepid local Afghan interns in film reporting and armed them with simple camcorders. One of these brave souls entered the area and and has released footage of interviews with the survivors.

Hans Blix Offers Harsh View of Iraq Invasion

Document Reveals Military Was Concerned About Gulf War Vets’ Exposure to Depleted Uranium

For years, the government has denied that depleted uranium (DU), a radioactive toxic waste left over from nuclear fission and added to munitions used in the Persian Gulf and Iraq wars, poisoned Iraqi civilians and veterans.

But a little-known 1993 Defense Department document written by then-Brigadier Gen. Eric Shinseki, now the secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), shows that the Pentagon was concerned about DU contamination and the agency had ordered medical testing on all personnel that were exposed to the toxic substance.

The VA, however, never conducted the medical tests, which may have deprived hundreds of thousands of veterans from receiving medical care to treat cancer and other diseases that result from exposure to DU.

The Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center recently reported that ten years of data confirm that service members tend to have higher rates of certain cancers compared to civilians, according to the Army Times. While researchers suspected that service members are diagnosed with cancer more often and at a younger age because they have guaranteed access to health care and mandatory exams, the data does not explain the disparities in diagnosis among branches of the military. For example, the rate of lung cancer among sailors is twice that of other branches, while Marines have much lower cancer rates across the board.

State Dept. faces skyrocketing costs as it prepares to expand role in Iraq

Broken Laws, Broken Lives–Proof of American War Crimes

In PHR’s new report, Broken Laws, Broken Lives, we have for the first time medical evidence to confirm first-hand accounts of men who endured torture by US personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo Bay. These men were never charged with any crime.



US IMPERIALISM UPDATE: Global War of Terror Continues Under Obama

2010: U.S. To Wage War Throughout The World

Beginning with the October 7, 2001 missile and bomb attacks on Afghanistan, American combat operations abroad have not ceased for a year, a month, a week or a day in the 21st century.

RAND Corporation Blueprint for Militarized “Stability Police Force”

Outsourcing War: The Rise of Private Military Contractors (PMCs)

Obama’s War for Oil in Colombia

Obama Authorizes Covert Economic War Against Venezuela

Africom – Latest U.S. Bid to Recolonise the Continent

CIA has Distributed 400 Million Dollars Inside Iran to Evoke a Revolution

The USA’s alliance with Iran

Obama Approves $30 Billion Military Aid To Israel Over Next Decade

NBC News Investigation: Toxic water in Iraq

Iraq littered with high levels of nuclear and dioxin contamination, study finds

More than 40 sites across Iraq are contaminated with high levels or radiation and dioxins, with three decades of war and neglect having left environmental ruin in large parts of the country, an official Iraqi study has found.

Areas in and near Iraq’s largest towns and cities, including Najaf, Basra and Falluja, account for around 25% of the contaminated sites, which appear to coincide with communities that have seen increased rates of cancer and birth defects over the past five years. The joint study by the environment, health and science ministries found that scrap metal yards in and around Baghdad and Basra contain high levels of ionising radiation, which is thought to be a legacy of depleted uranium used in munitions during the first Gulf war and since the 2003 invasion.

U.S. Marines end role in Iraq

Ministers WERE told invading Iraq was illegal, Foreign Office law chief tells Chilcot inquiry

Lord Goldsmith: I changed my mind about legality of Iraq war after talks with Bush’s lawyers in Washington

Commander: US to Experience Imminent Military Failure in Region

“The United States’ collapse is evident in economic aspects and in military dimensions too it is on the verge of a collapse, given its failures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine,” Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Ahmad Miqani said.

Miqani further cited views of the western theoreticians, and said they also believe the fall-in of the US is for sure and imminent.

US Steps up Drone Attacks, Assassinations in AfPak “Surge”

The Secret US War in Pakistan

At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the center of a secret program in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, “snatch and grabs” of high-value targets and other sensitive action inside and outside Pakistan, an investigation by The Nation has found.

Pentagon backtracks after Gates ‘admits’ Blackwater operating in Pakistan

US Finally Admits Blackwater Operating in Pakistan

‘Blackwater, DynCorp Working in Pakistan’: US Considering Giving Pakistan Drones: Gates



News Round-Up: American Imperialism Around the World

US Military Actions Overseas: 1798 – 2008  – compiled by Congressional Research Service for Congress, 2009

With the infrequent exception of year off now and again, we have been at war continuously since 1798.

Timelines 2000-2010: US, Europe, Latin America, Africa & Asia

A History of CIA Atrocities  

World’s Sole Military Superpower’s 2 Million-Troop, $1 Trillion Wars

 In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech on December 10 the president of the United States appropriated for his country the title of “the world’s sole military superpower” and for himself “the Commander-in-Chief of the military of a nation in the midst of two wars.”

This may well have been the first time that an American – and of course any – head of state in history boasted of his nation being the only uncontested military power on the planet and unquestionably the only time a Nobel Peace Prize recipient identified himself as presiding over not only a war but two wars simultaneously.

Congress Approves $636.3 Billion for Defense in Fiscal 2010

Mercenaries and Assassins: The Real Face of Obama’s “Good War”

Stunning Statistics About the War Every American Should Know

Contrary to popular belief, the US actually has 189,000 personnel on the ground in Afghanistan right now—and that number is quickly rising.

A hearing in Sen. Claire McCaskill’s Contract Oversight subcommittee on contracting in Afghanistan has highlighted some important statistics that provide a window into the extent to which the Obama administration has picked up the Bush-era war privatization baton and sprinted with it. Overall, contractors now comprise a whopping 69% of the Department of Defense’s total workforce, “the highest ratio of contractors to military personnel in US history.” That’s not in one war zone—that’s the Pentagon in its entirety.

Blowback From America’s Mercenary Army–Ret. Generals Make More Than Gates

America’s Faltering Military/Mercenary Army

Kucinich: The War Is a Threat to Our National Security

“The war is a threat to our national security. We’ll spend over one $100 billion next year to bomb a nation of poor people while we reenergize the Taliban, destabilize Pakistan, deplete our army and put more of our soldiers’ lives on the line. Meanwhile, back here in the USA, 15 million people are out of work. People are losing their jobs, their health care, their savings, their investments, and their retirement security. $13 trillion in bailouts for Wall Street, trillions for war; when are we going to start taking care of things here at home?”

Ron Paul: Obama Is Preparing for Perpetual War

Demoralization, Destabilization, Insurgency, Normalization  

23 CIA Agents Convicted in Rendition Case  

Short Video About UAV Combat Operations

Fake Al Qaeda

“The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive the TV watcher to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US . . .” — Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook

AFRICOM and America’s Global Military Agenda: Taking The Helm Of The Entire World

US “sinister” plans in Latin America

Obama Is Preparing for War in South America

“Nobel Peace Prize Winner Barack Obama, is Preparing for War in South America”; Interview with Eva Golinger

 “The first and foremost important achievement during the Chávez administration is the 1999 Constitution, which, although not written nor decreed by Chávez himself, was created through his vision of change for Venezuela. The 1999 Constitution was, in fact, drafted – written – by the people of Venezuela in one of the most participatory examples of nation building, and then was ratified through popular national referendum by 75% of Venezuelans.

CIA ran at least two secret prisons in Lithuania, inquiry confirms

CIA Secret ‘Torture’ Prison Found at Fancy Horseback Riding Academy

The CIA built one of its secret European prisons inside an exclusive riding academy outside Vilnius, Lithuania, a current Lithuanian government official and a former U.S. intelligence official told ABC News this week.

Where affluent Lithuanians once rode show horses and sipped coffee at a café, the CIA installed a concrete structure where it could use harsh tactics to interrogate up to eight suspected al-Qaeda terrorists at a time. A full report on the can be seen on ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson tonight.

India: Was Mumbai suspect a double agent for US?

 The Indian press is abuzz with news that Indian Home Ministry officials are investigating whether a terror suspect in the Mumbai attacks, David Headley from Chicago, was working as a ‘double agent’ with the US.

If “Al Qaida” Existed Would They Waste American Sleeper Cells Attacking India?

‘Headley was no low-level operative’

 The extensive use of terrorist tradecraft by Pakistani American terror suspect David Headley makes it evident that he “was not merely a low-level cannon fodder-type operative”, according to US strategic think tank Stratfor.

Mumbai Attackers Await Identification in J.J.Hospital Morgue

A long article about the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 26th, 2008

Officials: Mysterious ‘Country A’ In Nozette Spy Case Is India  

Nozette Intrigue Grows: Spy Suspect Recently Cooperated With Feds In Separate Criminal Probe

Agent Orange Continues to Poison New Generations in Vietnam

Obama’s Bioweapons Program

RELATED:

News Round-up: American Imperialism in AfPak Region

News Round-Up: American Imperialism in the Middle East



News Round-Up: American Imperialism in the Middle East

Obama Ordered U.S. Military Strike on Yemen Terrorists

Iran Had a Democracy Before We Took It Away

US to ’simulate’ technically impossible attack by Iran

Obama told China: I can’t stop Israel strike on Iran indefinitely

U.S. President Barack Obama has warned his Chinese counterpart that the United States would not be able to keep Israel from attacking Iranian nuclear installations for much longer, senior officials in Jerusalem told Haaretz.

They said Obama warned President Hu Jintao during the American’s visit to Beijing a month ago as part of the U.S. attempt to convince the Chinese to support strict sanctions on Tehran if it does not accept Western proposals for its nuclear program.

OBAMA: CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO IRAN

Fake Al Qaeda

“The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive the TV watcher to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US . . .” — Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook

Airforce gets new 30,000 pound bomb for Iran

Toxic munitions cause of baby deaths and deformities in Fallujah

Iraq inquiry: Blair told Bush he was willing to join, 11 months before war

Iraq report: Secret papers reveal blunders and concealment

On the eve of the Chilcot inquiry into Britain’s involvement in the 2003 invasion and its aftermath, The Sunday Telegraph has obtained hundreds of pages of secret Government reports on “lessons learnt” which shed new light on “significant shortcomings” at all levels.

They include full transcripts of extraordinarily frank classified interviews in which British Army commanders vent their frustration and anger with ministers and Whitehall officials.

Leaked documents reveal No 10 cover-up over Iraq invasion

 Military commanders are expected to tell the inquiry into the Iraq war, which opens on Tuesday, that the invasion was ill-conceived and that preparations were sabotaged by Tony Blair’s government’s attempts to mislead the public.

They were so shocked by the lack of preparation for the aftermath of the invasion that they believe members of the British and US governments at the time could be prosecuted for war crimes by breaching the duty outlined in the Geneva convention to safeguard civilians in a conflict, the Guardian has been told.

Officials knew WMD evidence was tainted

Study: Bushies Lied 935 Times to Sell Iraq Invasion

Tony Blair admits: I would have invaded Iraq anyway

 Tony Blair has said he would have invaded Iraq even without evidence of weapons of mass destruction and would have found a way to justify the war to parliament and the public.

The former prime minister made the confession during an interview with Fern Britton, to be broadcast on Sunday on BBC1, in which he said he would still have thought it right to remove Saddam Hussein from power.

“If you had known then that there were no WMDs, would you still have gone on?” Blair was asked. He replied: “I would still have thought it right to remove him [Saddam Hussein]”.

Iraqi cab driver was source for Iraq WMD claim, British MP says

Indiana soldier is first to die of toxic exposure in Iraq

If Lt. Col. Jim Gentry and his doctors were right about the cause of his cancer, the Indiana National Guard officer didn’t die for his country — he died for defense contractor KBR.

Gentry’s death from lung cancer last week is being recorded as the US’s first fatality from exposure to a cancer-causing toxin in Iraq, according to the Evansville, Indiana, Courier & Press.

In 2003, Gentry commanded a 600-strong force providing security for KBR’s refittal of the Qarmat Ali water-pumping plant, which provided water needed for oil extraction. Gentry and others claim that during that time they were exposed to hexavalent chromium, a cancer-causing toxin that the Iraqis who had built the plant had used as anti-corrosive material.

In a lawsuit filed last year, Gentry and 15 other plaintiffs said KBR, at the time a subsidiary of Halliburton, was aware that soldiers and civilian contractors were being exposed to hexavalent chromium months before they told the people working at the site.

Researchers have linked hexavalent chromium to lung cancer and leukemia, as well as a variety of liver and kidney problems. It’s the same compound that poisoned residents of Hinkley, California, in a case that was made famous by the movie Erin Brockovich.

RELATED:

News Round-Up: American Imperialism Around the World

News Round-up: American Imperialism in AfPak Region



Updates on the Israeli invasion of Gaza

DOCUMENTING THE WAR CRIMES:

The Boston Globe Photo Gallery (Graphic) – via WUFYS 1/10/09

Israel Is Committing War Crimes  – Wall St Journal 1 /7/09

Depleted uranium found in Gaza victims  – Global Research 1/6/09

Israel Attacks UN Aid Convoys to Gaza – Global Research 1/10/09

Horrific new weapon used in Gaza – WUFYS 1/10/09

DIME bombs: cause severed limbs, rapid onset of cancer, damage to DNA.Used in Gaza by the IDF.

More Children Killed In Israel’s Attack On Gaza (Warning: Graphic Content) – WUFYS 1/7/09

Uncensored Video Report From Dr.Mads Gilbert In Gaza Hospital – WUFYS 1/7/09

Gaza Massacre pictures – Islam Boutique 1/7/09

Gaza cameraman films brother’s last moments – CNN 1/8/09

At a Gaza hospital, doctors tried to revive a 12-year-old victim of the violence, but their efforts were in vain. Mahmoud died. Recording the tragedy at the hospital was his brother, freelance cameraman Ashraf Mashharawi.

Israel’s War Crimes – Alternet 1/7/09

 The Israeli airstrikes represent severe and massive violations of international humanitarian law.

Israeli F-16 planes hit a 4-storey apartment building belonging to civilians in Gaza on Tuesday. While the building was razed to the ground, 25 people were killed in the building. – LiveLeak 1/6/09

Israeli troops kill U.N. truck driver at Gaza crossing – McClatchy DC 1/8/09

IDF uses live ammo to break up West Bank protests – Atheo News 1/11/09

Criticism of Israel’s war crimes mounts  – Global Research 1/9/09

 

HISTORY & CONTEXT:

Maps of War – Imperial History of the Middle East – Maps of War.com

Who has controlled the Middle East over the course of history? Pretty much everyone. Egyptians, Turks, Jews, Romans, Arabs, Persians, Europeans…the list goes on. Who will control the Middle East today? That is a much bigger question.

Occupation 101: Voices of the Silenced Majority – Cryptogon 1/7/09

This is an outstanding documentary. Please pass it along. Official Site: occupation101.com

FLASHBACK – EXAMPLES OF HATE SPEECH – What Really Happened.com

“When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.” Raphael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Forces, New York Times, 14 April 1983.

“There was no such thing as Palestinians, they never existed.” Golda Maier Israeli Prime Minister June 15, 1969

“The thesis that the danger of genocide was hanging over us in June 1967 and that Israel was fighting for its physical existence is only bluff, which was born and developed after the war.” Israeli General Matityahu Peled, Ha’aretz, 19 March 1972.

 “We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they are resigned to live here as slaves.” Chairman Heilbrun of the Committee for the Re-election of General Shlomo Lahat, the mayor of Tel Aviv, October 1983.

“Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it.” – Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, October 3, 2001, to Shimon Peres, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio

 

NEWS HEADLINES:

UN human rights chief accuses Israel of war crimes – Guardian, UK 1/9/09

Video: Former Israeli Air Force captain speaks out against Israel’s attack on Gaza – YouTube.com

Yonotan Shapira, former Israeli Air Force captain, interviewed Jan 6 on BBC speaks out against the Israeli military’s attack on Gaza. Also says Obama “acts like a slave” by staying silent on this and not using his influence to try to stop it.

CNN Finally Confirms Israel Broke Ceasefire First – Global Research 1/7/09

UN demands ‘full withdrawal’ of Israel from Gaza – Raw Story 1/8/09

Homeless and terrified, 15,000 seek refuge in UN schools – Guardian, UK 1/6/09

Broader Middle East War? Plans for Redrawing the Middle East  – Global Research 1/11/09

JUSTIFYING THE WAR IN GAZA IS AS CRIMINAL AS THE WAR ITSELF – Desert Peace 1/10/09 

Israel’s bombardment of Gaza is not self-defence – it’s a war crime – Times Online, UK 1/10/09

Israel Attacks UN Aid Convoys to Gaza – Global Research 1/10/09

Reports: Khalilzad Ordered to Keep UN From Stopping Gaza War – Antiwar.com 1/6/09

Indeed, Israeli paper Haaretz is quoting sources at the UN who say Khalilzad had been ordered by the State Department to “torpedo any initiative proposed by the Arab bloc which is designed to grant the Security Council the status of an official arbiter that will have direct involvement with disentangling the Gaza crisis.”

US Senate Endorses Israel’s War on Gaza – Dissident Voice 1/9/09

The US Senate on Thursday passed a non-binding resolution promoted by the influential Israeli lobby AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee), effectively endorsing Israel’s war on Gaza. The resolution, entitled “A resolution expressing solidarity with Israel in Israel’s defense against terrorism in the Gaza Strip” recognizes “the right of Israel to defend itself against attacks from Gaza” and reaffirms “the United States’ strong support for Israel in its battle with Hamas”.

The resolution does not recognize the right to self-defense of the Palestinian people.

Pentagon denies arms shipment to Israel linked to Gaza fighting  – Haaretz, Israel 1/9/09

The U.S. military has sought to hire a merchant ship to deliver ammunition to Israel this month, tender documents show, but the Pentagon said the shipment was not linked to the conflict in the Gaza Strip.

If the US supplies the majority of Israeli weapons, then of course it’s tied to Gaza

Arms exports to Israel from EU worth €200m  – Global Research 1/9/09

Gaza: international plan hatched to bring back Fatah – Times Online, UK 1//10/09

Israeli planes fly over Egypt to bomb Gaza: witnesses – Reuters, UK 1/11/09

Vatican official: Gaza Strip has become a ‘concentration camp’     – Raw Story 1/7/09

The Gaza Ghetto Uprising – Global Research 1/9/09

GAZA : “This is an all-out war against the civilian Palestinian population” – Global Research 1/6/09

Israeli fighters penetrate into Lebanon  – Global Research 1/6/09

Seumas Milne: Having done the diplomatic groundwork for Israel’s assault on Gaza, Tony Blair now talks of ceasefire – Guardian, UK 1/6/09

Blair had three main points. First, there could be a ceasefire, he said – but only if there was “clear action” to cut off Hamas’s arms and cash supplies through tunnels under the Egyptian border. Second, there had to be Palestinian unity to achieve a Palestinian state – but only “on the right terms”. And third, that such a state had to built from the “bottom up” – just as was currently taking place in the northern West Bank, where Palestinians were now “doing” security.

On all counts, his comments reeked of the savage hypocrisy that underpins the west’s role in the current carnage. In fact, so long as Hamas survives in Gaza, there will be no ceasefire based on the closure of tunnels because that would amount to the elected administration’s unilateral disarmament. Such a demand is therefore simply a call for what Blair described as the only alternative: “a protracted conflict”.

10k descend on White H. in protest  – Raw Story 1/10/09

250000 in Madrid against Israel’s genocide – El Pais, Spain 1/11/09

Video: London, Paris face Gaza riots – Raw Story 1/10/09

What You’d Know About Israel If You Watched Al Jazeera TV  – Alternet 1/9/09

Naomi Klein: Enough. It’s time for a boycott of Israel – Guardian, UK 1/9/09

Israel Puts Media Clamp on Gaza – NYTimes 1/6/09

Journalists have been barred from the battle zone in Gaza, but they are given full access to sites in Israel hit by Hamas rockets.

Atrocities in Gaza: Piecing Together the Story  – Global Research 1/6/09 

The Bloodbath in Gaza: Separating the truth from the hype – Global Research 1/7/09

Israel’s aim: To make the Gazan prison even more secure  – Global Research 1/7/09

Israel ’s Collective Punishment of Gaza – Global Research 1/6/09

The Quartet’s Hypocrisy and Failure in Occupied Palestine – Global Research 1/7/09

 

Previously here and here



War Crimes Update: Israel escalates Gaza invasion

Obama stays silent on Gaza crisis – Raw Story 1/3/09 

Obama has made his position clear.  Transcripts to his AIPAC speeches are below.

In Pictures: the slaughter of Gazan children Victims of the Israeli occupation forces in the tenth day of their attacks on Gaza Strip – January 5, 2009 – Uruknet 1/5/09

“They are Bombing 1.5 million People in a Cage”  – Juan Cole 1/5/09

Of 2500 wounded, 50% are women and children. Doing surgery around the clock. There are injuries you do not want to see– children coming in with open abdomens, with injured legs, we had to amputate both of them. This is a war on the civilian population of Gaza. It is a very young population. They cannot flee. They are fenced in. They are bombing one and a half million people in a cage.

Unconventional Weapons against The People of Gaza – Global Research 1/6/09

WAYS YOU CAN HELP THE BESIEGED PEOPLE OF GAZA – Desert Peace 1/5/09

Gates spoke with Israel defense chief – Raw Story 1/5/09

Has the NSA sold out to Israel? Video – Americans Journey 1/5/09

Democracy Now interview with James Bamford has shocking revelations.

The Long and Bloody Hypocrisy of U.S.-Israeli Acts of Terrorism  – Alternet 1/5/09

War Crimes: White Phosphorus bombs into Gaza  – Global Research 1/4/09

Worldwide alarm at Israeli ground offensive (AFP)  – AFP/Yahoo 1/4/09

Israel’s tank and troop assault on the Gaza Strip unleashed worldwide cries of alarm on Sunday, but Israel won heavyweight US backing and moves for an immediate ceasefire foundered at the United Nations.

Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land: Media & the Israel-Palestine Conflict – Google Video

The Politics of An Israeli Extermination Campaign – Information Clearingouse 1/4/09

Because of the unconditional support of the entire political class in the US, from the White House to Congress, including both Parties, incoming and outgoing elected officials and all the principle print and electronic mass media, the Israeli Government feels no compunction in publicly proclaiming a detailed and graphic account of its policy of mass extermination of the population of Gaza.

Free Gaza Update and Call to Action – FreeGaza.org 1/4/09

Depleted uranium found in Gaza victims  – PressTV, Iran 1/4/09

Medics tell Press TV they have found traces of depleted uranium in some Gazan residents wounded in Israel’s ground offensive into the strip.  Norwegian medics told Press TV correspondent Akram al-Sattari that some of the victims who have been wounded since Israel began its attacks on the Gaza Strip on December 27 have traces of depleted uranium in their bodies.  The report comes after Israeli tanks and troops swept across the border into Gaza on Saturday night, opening a ground operation after eight days of intensive attacks by Israeli air and naval forces on the impoverished region.  Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned on Sunday that the wide-ranging ground offensive in the Gaza Strip would be “full of surprises.” 

France condemns Israel land offensive in Gaza – Reuters, UK 1/3/09

The Invasion of Gaza: “Operation Cast Lead”, Part of a Broader Israeli Military-Intelligence Agenda  – Global Research 1/4/09

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS CONCERNING THE GAZA HOLOCAUST – Desert Peace 1/4/09

National March on Washington Saturday, January 10 – ANSWER 1/4/09

Robert Fisk: Why bombing Ashkelon is the most tragic irony – Independent, UK 1/4/09

How easy it is to snap off the history of the Palestinians, to delete the narrative of their tragedy, to avoid a grotesque irony about Gaza which – in any other conflict – journalists would be writing about in their first reports: that the original, legal owners of the Israeli land on which Hamas rockets are detonating live in Gaza.

That is why Gaza exists: because the Palestinians who lived in Ashkelon and the fields around it – Askalaan in Arabic – were dispossessed from their lands in 1948 when Israel was created and ended up on the beaches of Gaza. They – or their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren – are among the one and a half million Palestinian refugees crammed into the cesspool of Gaza, 80 per cent of whose families once lived in what is now Israel. This, historically, is the real story: most of the people of Gaza don’t come from Gaza.

Paramedic killed as shell hits ambulance in Gaza – Atheo News 1/4/09

Gaza: Life under bombardment – Guardian, UK 1/4/09

Hatem al-Shurrab, an aid worker for the Gaza-based Islamic Relief organisation, has kept a video diary of the last few days to show what conditions have been like since Israeli air strikes began.

Former head of Mossad says talking to the enemy is the only answer – Guardian, UK 1/5/09

Thousands flee guns and shells as Israel tightens grip on Gaza – Guardian, UK 1/4/09

Israeli tanks and troops seized control of large parts of the Gaza Strip yesterday, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes as relentless artillery and gunfire killed at least 40 more civilians, including children. Some were killed when an Israeli shell hit Gaza City’s central market.

Israel military keeps wary eye on northern border – Guardian, UK 1/4/09

Some of the thousands of extra reservists called up by the Israeli military are to be held ready in case of conflict on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, the scene of a long and costly battle two years ago.  As Israeli troops invaded Gaza on Saturday night, the defence minister, Ehud Barak, warned that the military was monitoring the northern border.  “While we are fighting in Gaza, we keep an open eye on the sensitive situation in our northern border,” he said. “We hope the situation there will remain calm; nevertheless we are ready and alert to face any unwarranted development in that area.” 

Last week, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, said he had put his forces on alert. Israel believes Hezbollah has rearmed itself, yet there has been no sign that the group is ready for another conflict. Since the summer of 2006, when Hezbollah and Israel fought a bloody conflict that claimed the lives of more than 1,000 Lebanese and more than 100 Israelis, the border has been quiet, with a UN monitoring force patrolling in southern Lebanon.

Obama’s Position on Gaza: Transcript of Obama’s AIPAC speech from June 4, 2008

EXCERPTS: Nothing reflects the face of AIPAC more than the 1,200 students who have traveled here to make it clear to the world that the bond between Israel and the United States is rooted in more than our shared national interests — it’s rooted in the shared values and shared stories of our people. And as president, I will work with you to ensure that this bond is strengthened. …

Like Eisenhower, each of us bears witness to anyone and everyone who would deny these unspeakable crimes, or ever speak of repeating them. We must mean what we say when we speak the words “never again.”

It was just a few years after the liberation of the camps that David Ben-Gurion declared the founding of the Jewish State of Israel. We know that the establishment of Israel was just and necessary, rooted in centuries of struggle and decades of patient work. But 60 years later, we know that we cannot relent, we cannot yield, and as president I will never compromise when it comes to Israel’s security.

Not when there are still voices that deny the Holocaust. Not when there are terrorist groups and political leaders committed to Israel’s destruction. Not when there are maps across the Middle East that don’t even acknowledge Israel’s existence, and government-funded textbooks filled with hatred toward Jews. Not when there are rockets raining down on Sderot, and Israeli children have to take a deep breath and summon uncommon courage every time they board a bus or walk to school. …

I have been proud to be a part of a strong, bipartisan consensus that has stood by Israel in the face of all threats. That is a commitment that both John McCain and I share, because support for Israel in this country goes beyond party. But part of our commitment must be speaking up when Israel’s security is at risk, and I don’t think any of us can be satisfied that America’s recent foreign policy has made Israel more secure.

Hamas now controls Gaza. Hezbollah has tightened its grip on southern Lebanon, and is flexing its muscles in Beirut. Because of the war in Iraq, Iran — which always posed a greater threat to Israel than Iraq — is emboldened and poses the greatest strategic challenge to the United States and Israel in the Middle East in a generation. Iraq is unstable, and al-Qaida has stepped up its recruitment. Israel’s quest for peace with its neighbors has stalled, despite the heavy burdens borne by the Israeli people. And America is more isolated in the region, reducing our strength and jeopardizing Israel’s safety.

The question is how to move forward. There are those who would continue and intensify this failed status quo, ignoring eight years of accumulated evidence that our foreign policy is dangerously flawed. And then there are those who would lay all of the problems of the Middle East at the doorstep of Israel and its supporters, as if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the root of all trouble in the region. These voices blame the Middle East’s only democracy for the region’s extremism. They offer the false promise that abandoning a stalwart ally is somehow the path to strength. It is not, it never has been, and it never will be.

Our alliance is based on shared interests and shared values. Those who threaten Israel threaten us. Israel has always faced these threats on the front lines. And I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security.

That starts with ensuring Israel’s qualitative military advantage. I will ensure that Israel can defend itself from any threat — from Gaza to Tehran. Defense cooperation between the United States and Israel is a model of success, and must be deepened. As president, I will implement a Memorandum of Understanding that provides $30 billion in assistance to Israel over the next decade — investments to Israel’s security that will not be tied to any other nation. First, we must approve the foreign aid request for 2009. Going forward, we can enhance our cooperation on missile defense. We should export military equipment to our ally Israel under the same guidelines as NATO. And I will always stand up for Israel’s right to defend itself in the United Nations and around the world….

That work must include our shared commitment to Israel. You and I know that we must do more than stand still. Now is the time to be vigilant in facing down every foe, just as we move forward in seeking a future of peace for the children of Israel, and for all children. Now is the time to stand by Israel as it writes the next chapter in its extraordinary journey. Now is the time to join together in the work of repairing this world.  

Let me be clear. Israel’s security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable. The Palestinians need a state that is contiguous and cohesive, and that allows them to prosper — but any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.

Transcript of Obama’s AIPAC speech from March, 2007

Times Square Rally Protests Fighting in Gaza – NYTimes 1/3/09

The protest, which stretched four blocks and clogged much of the tourist district, came as Israeli troops began a ground incursion into the Hamas-controlled territory.

12k condemn Israel in London protest – Raw Story 1/4/09

Protester shot dead by Israeli troops – Raw Story 1/4/09

Kristol says Gaza invasion ‘a favor for Obama’ – Raw Story 1/4/09

Hamas, Israel, Gaza and Violent Resistance –  Global Research 1/4/09

Israeli troops invade Gaza – live – Guardian, UK 1/4/09

The Lede: The Lede: Two Pictures of the Israeli Military – NYTimes 1/6/09

Israel bars International Red Cross from entering Gaza  – Press TV, Iran 1/4/09

For a second day running, Israeli authorities have barred a Red Cross medical team from entering Gaza to help treat residents injured in bombings.

Israeli bombs hit UN school – Raw Story 1/6/09

Hamas Is Not Iran’s Puppet – Alternet 1/6/09

That the conflict between Israel and Hamas is a proxy war with Iran is a myth that has grown up during the Bush administration.

Faheem Hussain : Gaza and India: a View From Pakistan – CounterPunch 1/5/09

 

HISTORY & CONTEXT

ISRAEL: THE MAPS TELL THE TRUE STORY – What Really Happened.com

U.S. Vetoes of UN Resolutions Critical of Israel – Jewish Virtual Library 1/4/09

List of United Nations resolutions concerning Israel – Wikipedia 1/4/09

HISTORY AND ‘MORALS’ OF ETHNIC CLEANSING: REFLECTIONS AFTER GAZA INVASION – Desert Peace 1/5/09

I arrived in Israel 40 years ago. It took me many years to understand that the very existence of my country, as it is today, is based on an ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. The project started many years ago. Its seed can be traced to the basic fallacy of the Zionist movement, which set out to establish a Jewish-national state in a location already inhabited by another nation. Under these conditions, one has, at most, a moral right to strive for a bi-national state; establishing a national state implies, more or less by definition, ethnic cleansing of the previous inhabitants. 

Israeli Massacres: Details and Numbers – Sound Of Egypt 1/5/09

Although the Image that Israel distributes about herself is that of an oppressed nation, it is with heavy hearts that we present these crimes that stand for themselves for the brutality of the Israeli Army and the heartlessness of its soldiers who seem to have a thirst for blood. It is for the hope that the world may see a clearer picture that we present these painful facts. It is interesting to notice that today’s media does not dwell on these crimes as they do on the Holocaust. They are reported in the news for a week or two and then swept into the sea of oblivion. Those who attempt to revive the true history of Israel are charged of being anti-Semitic. So with the hope to keep those memories in mind we present this shameful history of  Israel that seems to have found that the role of Goliath is more interesting than that of David.

FLASHBACK – Israeli crimes against humanity: Gruesome images of charred and mutilated bodies following Israeli air strikes – Uruknet July 2006

Flashback – Israel’s Chemical Weapons – Antiwar.com 7/8/04

“On June 10th, 2004, the two clinics in Al-Zawiya treated 130 patients for gas inhalation. The patients were children, women, old people and young men. Dr. Abu Madi related that there was a high number of cases of [tetany], spasm in legs and hands, connected to the nervous system. Pupils were dilated. … Other symptoms included shock, semi-consciousness, hyperventilation, irritation and sweating.”

Thus reads a report by medical units serving the West Bank village of Al-Zawiya, where nonviolent resistance to Israel’s impending wall has been extraordinarily resolute. According to the medical report (procured by the International Middle East Media Center [IMEMC]), “the gas used against the protestors is not tear gas but possibly a nerve gas.” 

FLASHBACK – PALESTINE: Hamas wins election – Green Left, Australia 11/17/93

In a stunning victory, the Islamic Palestinian resistance group Hamas claimed 76 of the 132 seats in the second Palestinian Authority (PA) election on January 25. This was the first election for the Palestinian Legislative Assembly held in almost 10 years. Hamas decisively defeated the ruling Fatah party, which retained 43 seats.

FLASHBACK – Israel to lobby ABC over nerve gas documentary – Sydney morning Herald 7/1/03

Secret nuclear and biological weapons programs in Israel – BrassCheckTV 1/4/09

BANNED VIDEO FROM 2003,that Israel tried to lobby Australia to ban showing.

Previously 1/3/09: Headlines and Context: Israel invades Gaza; your protests will not stop them



Support the Troops – Stop the Atrocities!

Gulf War illness is real, new federal report says – CNN 11/17/08

An extensive federal report released Monday concludes that roughly one in four of the 697,000 U.S. veterans of the 1990-91 Gulf War suffer from Gulf War illness. 

Gulf war veteran research lacking – Raw Story 11/14/08

Even as possibly hundreds of thousands of veterans suffer from a collection of symptoms commonly called Gulf War illness, the government has done too little to find treatments for their health problems nearly two decades after the war.

The New Gulf War Syndrome – Alternet 11/11/08

Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are in danger from toxic chemicals, yet most don’t know what they’ve been exposed to or where to get help.

Horror Of US Depleted Uranium In Iraq Threatens World  – Rense 4/29/05

Video: Depleted Uranium – Iraq’s Nuclear Nightmare – Uruknet 10/20/08

Anti-war veterans deploy 4,171 toy soldiers at gas station – Raw Story 11/17/08

Chemicals at US Iraq burn pit site – Raw Story 11/21/08

A soldier concerned about his tour at Forward Operating Base Hammer near Balad, Iraq, this year sent Military Times a report showing high levels of particulate matter and low levels of manganese, possibly due to materials destroyed in a burn pit.

“The high risk estimate is due to the average (particulate matter) level being at a concentration the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers ‘hazardous,’ and is likely to affect the health of all troops,” wrote Jeffrey Kirkpatrick, director of health risk assessment for the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine. “Manganese was also detected above its one-year military exposure guidelines.”

Raped in the Military? You’ll Have to Pay for Your Own Forensic Exam Kit – Alternet 11/11/08

Contractors Nervous About Losing Immunity in Iraq – Mother Jones 11/7/08

Military Contractors Are Here to Stay, Report Concludes – Mother Jones 11/10/08

Despite the Threat of Harsh Punishment, Soldier Says “No” to Deployment in Afghanistan – Alternet 10/23/08

How 21-year-old soldier Blake Ivey came to see war as “flat-out murder.”

Injured vets returned to combat – Raw Story 11/25/08

Definition of combat-related disabilities narrowed, costing vets benefits.

Report: Army to sink $50 million into combat training games – CNet 11/24/08

Revealed: Gulf War Syndrome is Real, Caused by Pills and Pesticides – Alternet 11/20/08

A groundbreaking study has found that pills given to U.S. and British troops to counter nerve gas is one of the causes of Gulf War Syndrome.

New friendly fire coverup: Army shreds files on dead soldiers – Salon 11/20/08

Hours after Salon revealed evidence that two Americans were killed by a U.S. tank, not enemy fire, military officials destroyed papers on the men.

Iraq veterans exposed to cancer-causing dust sue contractor – Raw Story 12/3/08

The Guardsmen charge that KBR was aware of dangerous levels of sodium dichromate on the premises, used to remove corrosion from pipes. Part of its chemical makeup is hexavalent chromium, which is known to cause lung cancer and birth defects. Sergeant First Class David Moore of Dubois, Indiana, was among those said to be affected: he died this year of chronic interstitial lung disease. His death was ruled service-related.

“It’s not right,” said Mark McManaway, 55, the main plaintiff in the suit. He has suffered rashes and nosebleeds he blames on the exposure. Their attorney, Mike Doyle, is also representing ten KBR workers in arbitration (Langford v. Halliburton, American Arbitration Association, 70-480-00649-05) who echo the charge, saying that their employer chose to cover up the exposure after neglecting to issue them the proper protective gear. Ed Blacke, who worked as a medic at Qarmat Ali, testified to a Senate panel in June that he was fired when he discovered the toxic dust and tried to warn others. “A day’s exposure could write you a death warrant,” he added. “Just one day’s exposure.” He said that the chemical contamination was an act of sabotage by the Iraqi Baath party.

“The Tell City Guardsmen were repeatedly told that there was no danger on site, even after KBR managers knew that blood testing of American civilians exposed onsite confirmed elevated chromium levels,” Doyle said in the complaint…The Guardsmen’s complaint includes a copy of an internal KBR memo, dated June 2003, in which managers discussed sodium dichromate at the plant, and a statement from the Army confirming that there was “high potential for direct exposure” to the chemical during the time the Guardsmen were stationed at the plant.

Halliburton, KBR sickened largest base in Iraq, likely others – Army Times 12/4/08

A Georgia man has filed a lawsuit against contractor KBR and its former parent company, Halliburton, saying the companies exposed everyone at Joint Base Balad in Iraq to unsafe water, food and hazardous fumes from the burn pit there….Joshua Eller, who worked as a civilian computer-aided drafting technician with the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, said military personnel, contractors and third-country nationals may have been sickened by contamination at the largest U.S. installation in Iraq, home to more than 30,000 service members, Defense Department civilians and contractors….

Eller filed his claim after he deployed in February 2006 for 10 months. The lawsuit claims he developed skin lesions that subsequently spread, filled with fluid and burst. He said they went away, then reappeared, followed by blisters on his feet that made it painful for him to walk. He said they healed, but continue to return every three to four months.  Then, Eller said he experienced vomiting, cramping and diarrhea, and continues to suffer severe abdominal pain.

“Plaintiff witnessed the open air burn pit in operation at Balad Air Force Base,” the lawsuit states. “On one occasion, he witnessed a wild dog running around base with a human arm in its mouth. The human arm had been dumped on the open air burn pit by KBR.”…A report from Wil Granger, KBR’s water quality manager for Iraq, states that non-potable water used for showering was not disinfected. “This caused an unknown population to be exposed to potentially harmful water for an undetermined amount of time,”…The suit notes that former KBR employees Ben Carter and Ken May testified at a congressional hearing in January 2006 that KBR used contaminated water from the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Carter testified that he found the water polluted with sewage and that KBR did not chlorinate it.  The lawsuit states the swimming pools at Balad were also filled with unsafe water.

Eller also accused KBR of serving spoiled, expired and rotten food to the troops, as well as dishes that may have been contaminated with shrapnel.  “Defendants knowingly and intentionally supplied and served food that was well past its expiration date, in some cases over a year past its expiration date,” the lawsuit states. “Even when it was called to the attention of the KBR food service managers that the food was expired, KBR still served the food to U.S. forces.”  The food included chicken, beef, fish, eggs and dairy products, which caused cases of salmonella poisoning, according to the lawsuit.

“KBR prevented their employees from speaking with government auditors and hid employees from auditors by moving them from bases when an audit was scheduled,” the lawsuit states. “Any employees that spoke with auditors were sent to more dangerous locations in Iraq as punishment.”

The lawsuit also accuses KBR of shipping ice in mortuary trucks that “still had traces of body fluids and putrefied remains in them when they were loaded with ice. This ice was served to U.S. forces.”…

Eller also accuses KBR of failing to maintain a medical incinerator at Joint Base Balad, which has been confirmed by two surgeons in interviews with Military Times about the Balad burn pit. Instead, according to the lawsuit and the physicians, medical waste, such as needles, amputated body parts and bloody bandages were burned in the open-air pit.

“Wild dogs in the area raided the burn pit and carried off human remains,” the lawsuit states. “The wild dogs could be seen roaming the base with body parts in their mouths, to the great distress of the U.S. forces.”

According to military regulations, medical waste must be burned in an incinerator to prevent anyone from breathing hazardous fumes.

“On at least one occasion, defendants were attempting to improperly dispose of medical waste at an open-air burn pit by backing a truck full of medical waste up to the pit and emptying the contents onto the fire,” the lawsuit states. “The truck caught fire. Defendants’ fraudulent actions were thereby discovered by the military.”

The lawsuit also states that the contractors burned old lithium batteries in the pits, “causing noxious and unsafe blue smoke to drift over the base.”

Military Times has received more than 100 letters from troops saying they were sickened by fumes from the burn pits, which burned plastics, petroleum products, rubber, dining-facility waste and batteries.

The lawsuit asks that the plaintiffs receive monetary compensation for physical injuries, emotional distress, fear of future disease, and need for continued medical treatment and involvement, and that KBR and Halliburton be stripped of all revenue and profits earned “from their pattern of constant misconduct and callous disregard to the welfare of Americans serving and working in Iraq.” 

 

Bill Moyers Interviews former US Army Col. Andrew Bacevich – PBS 9/26/08

Is an imperial presidency destroying what America stands for? Bill Moyers sits down with history and international relations expert and former US Army Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich who identifies three major problems facing our democracy: the crises of economy, government and militarism, and calls for a redefinition of the American way of life