Saturday, June 24, 2006
Iran too fragile for women's rights
Leading Iranian women's rights activists Noushin Ahmadi Khorasani and Parvin Ardalan have been charged with acting "against national security" by calling for an "illegal" gathering to promote equal rights and publishing related statements, according to Iranian news reports," says Radio Liberty today. The charges stem from a June 12 women's rights gathering in Tehran that was forcefully dispersed by police forces, including baton-wielding female officers (photo left, female police with batons beat women demonstrators at the June 12 demonstration.) Noushin Ahmadi Khorasani and Parvin Ardalan were the 2004 winners of the Latifeh Yarshater Award, given by the Persian Heritage Foundation, for a book they co-authored about a leading Iranian political figure.
Into the Snake pit: O'Really would run Iraq "just like Saddam ran it."
O'REILLY: So because -- what you have here now is a tipping point in history. A tipping point in history. So you have to win the Iraq situation. Now, to me, they're not fighting it hard enough. See, if I'm president, I've got probably another 50-60,000 with orders to shoot on sight anybody violating curfews. Shoot 'em on sight. That's me. President O'Reilly, curfew in Ramadi, 7 o'clock at night. You're on the street, you're dead. I shoot you right between the eyes. OK?
That's how I'd run that country -- just like Saddam ran it. Saddam didn't have explosions. He didn't have bombers, did he? Because if you got out of line, you're dead.
Now, is that the kind of country I want for Iraq? No. But you have to have that for a few months to stabilize the situation so the Iraqi government can get organized, can get security in place and get the structure going. So, any area that is giving you trouble, you have a 7-to-7 curfew. And you can't come out of your house. That's it. And if you do, we shoot you. That's how you control it. All right?
Hmm. Maybe that's the ticket: Embrace your inner despot. Either that or don't go into wars that you know from the beginning have zero justification.
The War Against Women
For the last several years, the United States has depicted the battle against terrorism as a contest pitting free societies against those who would impose Islamic rule on the world. But across the globe right now the epochal struggle is not between Islam and the West, but between those societies in which women are free and those in which they are repressed.
Women's lives are controlled in those nations observing some form of Islamic law. The Taliban first came to the world's horrified attention with reports of the beatings, stonings and summary executions of women who were held to have violated Islamic law. Throughout the Islamic world women are not permitted to move freely in public, are denied full access to educational and economic life, and are barred from voting. In Saudi Arabia — our ally in the fight against terrorism — women are even forbidden to drive cars.
Social and political control over women's bodies, however, extends well beyond the Islamic world. In many African societies women are forced to have their genitals mutilated. Rape has routinely been used as an instrument of war from Bosnia to Darfur. The trafficking of women in sexual slavery is now endemic across much of Eastern Europe and Asia.
In the developing world, it has been a truism for a generation that the surest indicators of a country's social and economic progress are the educational levels of its women and women's ability to limit their pregnancies.
Put crudely, as education for women goes up and family size goes down, societies prosper.
During the 20th century, the control of women's reproductive lives marked the most despicable regimes. Among the first things the Nazis did upon seizing power in 1933 was to outlaw abortion. Family planning centers were closed, access to contraception made increasingly difficult and abortion criminalized. By 1943 the Nazis made abortion a capital offense. Stalin, too, outlawed abortion in 1936, and both dictators clearly saw control of women's reproduction as a part of the larger apparatus of state control.
States that are repressive enough to control women's contraceptive options are just as likely to control other aspects of childbearing. The Romanian despot Nicolae Ceausescu made contraception illegal in 1966 for any woman who had fewer than five children. Not satisfied with that, 20 years later, in 1986, he created a monitoring system for all pregnant women, and miscarriages became subject to a criminal investigation. These acts forced women to have children whether they wanted to or not, and 200,000 of those children wound up in those infamous orphanages. Just as tyrannically, China, which limits family size by law, has long been accused of coercing women to have abortions and be sterilized.
So as Ohio and Louisiana rush to join South Dakota in attempting to criminalize abortion, we should ask: Which side are we on? Are we among those societies who permit women the full measure of their freedom or with those who control women's bodies in the service of a larger state agenda?
Remember that for many, abortion and contraception are no different. What they really want is to control the reproductive choices we all make in accordance with their particular ideas. p>
The lesson of the 20th century is clear, at least to the rest of the world. Free societies allow their citizens to make their own reproductive decisions; repressive ones restrict them. Which side are we on when this administration votes with countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia to block funding for family planning initiatives in the United Nations?
For their part, the Romanians deeply understood the intrinsic connection between freedom and reproductive choice. On Dec. 26, 1989, the day after the evil Ceausescu had been toppled, the National Salvation Front issued two decrees: It lifted the ban on the private ownership of typewriters, and it repealed the laws that policed pregnant women.
No society can be called a free society until and unless women are free to make their own decisions about family planning, and this includes the United States. So are we going to join those nations where women enjoy their freedom or are we going to follow places such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and El Salvador, which treat their women as less than free? Which side are we going to be on?
One thousand posts...
So thanks to everyone who has passed through to bring dissent or to praise the work that we do. Thank you to DJEB for his immense contribution and also to Toby who has recently joined the team. Hopefully we will be expanding the team again in the near future to widen the range of articles we post.
Apart from that , there is nothing to see here ... move on to the posts below :-)
Taliban takes to hi-tech propaganda
On the internet, unknown in Afghanistan while the Taliban were in power, there is also a sophisticated website, www.alemarah.org. In Arabic and Pashto it offers news, poetry, messages from the Taliban's spiritual leader, Mullah Omar, and regularly updated videos of the last messages of Taliban suicide bombers.
A DVD called Lions of Islam is one of a number that is widely available. It was largely filmed in Pakistan's tribal areas and includes the beheading of an Afghan alleged to be an American spy and the execution of local criminals according to Taliban Sharia justice.
In response, Western forces in the country are extending a fledgling military funded radio channel called Radio Peace into the south to counter anti-government propaganda.
"It is perhaps something we haven't paid enough attention to in the past," a Nato military spokesman, Major Luke Knittig, said.
The Afghan government issued a directive through its intelligence service on Monday which banned Afghan journalists from filming or interviewing alleged members of the Taliban. The directive also included a ban on reports "that aim to represent that the fighting spirit in Afghanistan's armed forces is weak".
The Afghan media were also told not to lead with stories about "terrorist activities". The directive was later said to bea request by the office of Hamid Karzai reflecting "the need to help the nascent media sector in Afghanistan to approach the complex issue of terrorism and terrorist activities in a principled manner".
One tape purchased by The Independent features two singers engaging in an imagined debate between President Hamid Karzai and the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar; in a style not dissimilar to that of American rappers.
"I have brought peace and stability, I defeated al-Qa'ida and the terrorists," sings the voice that represents Karzai. "You have killed your Muslim brothers to satisfy the Jews and the Infidels," sings back the voice representing Omar.
"I was elected president by free and fair elections," sings Karzai. Omar replies: "What kind of election is it that everywhere there are American and British tanks and infidel soldiers? The infidels have tanks, artillery and air support, but we have God's support."
It continues for half an hour with Karzai eventually admitting defeat.
Paper runs 'Rove, Satan' strategy satire as news story
A call to the St. Petersburg Times revealed that the paper had run the column neglecting to include the byline of satirist Andy Borowotz.
Source Raw story
Iraqis Call State of Emergency in Baghdad
The military also announced the deaths of five more U.S. troops in a particularly violent week for American forces that included the discovery of the brutalized bodies of two soldiers. Twelve U.S. servicemembers have died or been found dead this week.
The fierce fighting in the heart of Baghdad came despite a crackdown launched 10 days ago that put tens of thousands of U.S.-backed Iraqi troops on the streets as the new prime minister sought to restore a modicum of safety for the capital's 6 million people.
Iraqi and U.S. military forces clashed with heavily armed attackers throughout the morning Friday in the alleys and doorways along Haifa Street and within earshot of the Green Zone, which houses the U.S. and British embassies and Iraqi government headquarters.
Four Iraqi soldiers and three policemen were wounded before the area was sealed and searched house-to-house for insurgent attackers, police Lt. Maitham Abdul Razzaq said. U.S. and Iraqi forces also engaged in firefights with insurgents in the dangerous Dora neighborhood in south Baghdad.
Deadly clashes are not new to Haifa Street, a thoroughfare so dangerous that a sign at one Green Zone exit checkpoint warns drivers against using the street. But Friday's fighting was unusual in its scope and intensity, prompting Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to order everyone off all streets in the capital with just two hours notice and while Friday prayers were still in progress.
Clusters of women shrouded in black head-to-toe robes scurried along to beat the ban, and U.S. soldiers frisked men also dashing home against a backdrop of thick, black smoke rising above the white high-rise buildings of Haifa Street.
Friday, June 23, 2006
Katrina Plus Ten Months (video)
They only require interior repairs, and thousands of displaced low income families want to move back in. But instead, they are being fenced off and condemned. Why? Chris Hume and L. Wild Horse speak with Professor Bill Quigley and several former tenants.
Windows Media player required : DSL or 56K (5 min video)
depleted uranium (flash)
check out this flash animation about depleted uranium Here
Many thanks to Hype for sharing this link with us.
Hamas recognises Israel
Hamas has made a major political climbdown by agreeing to sections of a document that recognise Israel's right to exist and a negotiated two-state solution, according to Palestinian leaders.
In a bitter struggle for power, Hamas is bowing to an ultimatum from the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to endorse the document drawn up by Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails, or face a national referendum on the issue that could see the Islamist group stripped of power if it loses.
But final agreement on the paper, designed to end international sanctions against the Hamas government that have crippled the Palestinian economy, has been slowed by wrangling over a national unity administration and the question of who speaks for the Palestinians.
Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's executive committee and a lead negotiator on the prisoners' document, said Hamas had agreed to sections which call for a negotiated and final agreement with Israel to establish a Palestinian state on the territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem.
"Hamas is prepared to accept those parts of the document because they think it is a way to get rid of a lot of its problems with the international community. That's why it will accept all the document eventually," he said.
Hamas, facing a deep internal split over recognition of the Jewish state, declined to discuss the negotiations in detail.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Saddam lawyer's murder blamed on interior ministry
Former Qatari justice minister Najeeb Al Nuaimi, one of the lawyers for the former Iraqi leader, also blamed the Americans for failing to protect the defence team, but added that the assassination will not affect the trial.
"The responsibility for Al Obaidi's assassination lies with the Iraqi ministry of the interior … They have killed him like they have killed the others before. They are trying to hinder us from continuing our work," Al Nuaimi told Gulf News in Doha.
"The statements they [the Iraqi ministry of the interior] gave today about Al Obaidi's death are false … Officials from the ministry went to his house at 7 in the morning and asked him to accompany them for an interrogation. His wife was with him. After an hour his body was found dumped in an area of Baghdad called Hur. It was not true that he was found shot in a car," Al Nuaimi said.
Shopowners told reporters that three gunmen had dumped the body at a roundabout under a poster of a senior Shiite cleric killed by Saddam's agents in 1999. The cleric is the father of Moqtada Al Sadr, the leader of the Mehdi Army.
"They fired into the air and said 'this is the fate of Baathists!'," said a shopkeeper.The area is not far from the Sadr City slum, a stronghold of Sadr's militia.
Al Nuaimi said that the defence team had previously warned the US security forces of the risks Al Obaidi was exposed to, but their demands for tighter security went unheard."Al Obaidi was living in Baghdad without any guards. We asked the Americans to protect him. They did not believe he was running any risks. They gave him a pistol."
Anti-terror law quashes peaceful Kurdish protest
The trial tomorrow of three Kurdish activists on anti-terrorism charges after they attempted to stage a peaceful protest near the Iraq border calls into question the Turkish leadership’s commitment to human rights reforms, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
To demonstrate that his government stands by the reform process, Prime Minister Erdoğan must ensure that Ibrahim Güçlü, Zeynel Abidin Özalp and Ahmet Sedat Oğur are released. These three Kurdish activists are scheduled to go on trial tomorrow in the eastern city of Diyarbakir. They were arrested on May 2 as they prepared to walk to the border of Iraq to peacefully protest the recent killings of civilians by security forces in southeastern Turkey and express their concern about tensions between the Turkish government and the Kurdish-led administration in northern Iraq.
The men are being charged under the Anti-Terror Law for “making propaganda for the PKK,” a charge that is all the more ironic in light of the fact that Güçlü has repeatedly and publicly condemned violence by the PKK (the Turkish acronym for the Kurdish Workers’ Party, a prominent illegal armed opposition group). All three are officials of Kurt-Der, a Kurdish association that Turkish authorities closed last month for conducting its internal business in the Kurdish language.
The detention and trial of these activists reflect a broader deterioration of Turkey’s human rights record in recent months, Human Rights Watch said. The Turkish leadership must reverse this negative trend and reaffirm its commitment to human rights reforms, underway since 1999 and driven partly by Turkey’s quest for European Union membership.
Human Rights Watch expressed strong concern about the disproportionate use of force by police dealing with protestors, particularly in the southeast, where 19 people have been killed in demonstrations and disturbances since November. The Turkish government must conduct swift investigations into the widespread allegations of torture and ill-treatment of people detained during violence that erupted after funerals in Diyarbakir of PKK militants killed by Turkish security forces.
Karzai criticises foreign tactics
His comments came as the US military said four more of its soldiers had been killed in north-eastern Afghanistan.
Speaking in Kabul, President Karzai said improving local government and strengthening the police and army was the way in which to tackle the problem of terrorism.
"I have systematically, consistently and on a daily basis warned the international community of what was developing in Afghanistan... and of a change in approach by the international community in this regard."
The BBC's Alastair Leithead in Kabul says President Karzai's careful criticism is a sign of his growing frustration at the worsening security situation in Afghanistan.
Burundi Gov't detaining rather than helping former child soldiers
The Burundian government is detaining rather than rehabilitating former child soldiers associated with the rebel National Liberation Forces, Human Rights Watch said in a briefing paper released today.
On the annual Day of the African Child, Human Rights Watch called on the Burundian government to fulfill its obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to protect the rights of all children in Burundi, including former child combatants.
Dozens of former FNL child soldiers associated with the National Liberation Forces (Forces Nationales pour la Libération, or FNL) languish in government custody – in prisons, jails, and a newly opened welcome center for former FNL combatants – without any clarity of their legal status or knowledge of when they might be returned to their families. Some are as young as 13 years of age. Human Rights Watch has documented how former FNL child soldiers detained in prisons live in overcrowded cells, eat once a day, and are accused of participating in the rebellion. In contrast, children in the welcome center live in better conditions and are not facing prosecution, though they are held with adult combatants.
B'Tselem: Grave Suspicion of War Crime
The Israeli Air Force fired missiles again yesterday into a residential neighborhood in the Gaza Strip. The missile fire, which hit a home in Khan Yunis, killed a 35 year old pregnant woman, Fatmeh Ahmad, and her brother Zachariya Ahmad, 48, and injured 11 others, among them 6 children.
Since 20 May 2006, 25 civilians who took no part in the fighting, including 7 children, have been killed by IDF missile fire in the Gaza Strip.
The circumstances of this incident, as well as the circumstances of previous incidents this month, raise the grave suspicion that this was a disproportionate attack. Attacks of this kind are defined as a war crime. B'Tselem wrote the IDF Judge Advocate General demanding that a Military Police Investigation be opened immediately regarding all those responsible for the operation, including the Chief of Staff and the Commander of the Air Force.
The principle of proportionality, a central pillar of international humanitarian law to which Israel is obligated, prohibits conducting an attack, even against a legitimate military target, if it is known that the attack will cause harm to civilians that is excessive compared to the anticipated military advantage. Israel bears the burden of proof that a particular attack was expected to achieve a military advantage significant enough to justify harming civilians. This burden of proof also requires proof that there was no reasonable alternative to the attack. Violation of the principle of proportionality is defined as a war crime, and therefore carries individual criminal liability for those responsible.
The missiles were launched in the heart of a residential neighborhood. Those planning the attack should therefore have expected that innocent civilians would be harmed, particularly given the incidents that have taken place during the past month. All of these facts raise the grave suspicion that yesterday's operation was a disproportionate attack of a nature defined as a war crime.
Israeli TV condradicts Israeli military
[T]he Israeli network Channel Two is reporting new developments that bolster accusations the Israeli military was responsible for the recent Gaza beach bombing that killed eight people. Sources inside the Israeli hospital that treated some of the victims said they removed shrapnel used in Israeli shells, and not by Palestinian militants. The claims back the analysis of a Human Rights Watch military expert who investigated the scene of the bombing. The Israeli army maintains the blast was likely caused by bombs planted by Palestinian militants.
Update: From Knight Ridder via Common Dreams:
The Israeli military cleared itself of responsibility for the deaths, saying that whatever exploded on the beach June 9 wasn't an errant shell fired by Israeli soldiers during a barrage of the waterfront. Based on video clips from one of its ships, Israel concluded that the explosion came at least 10 minutes after the military had stopped shelling.
But medical logs, cell phone records and other evidence reviewed by Knight Ridder suggest that the explosion took place during the barrage and probably was due to an artillery round.
According to phone records and ambulance logs, the first emergency call for help at the beach came at 4:40 p.m., while the shelling was going on and about 20 minutes before Israel contends the blast hit the Palestinians.
Defense analysts and human rights advocates say a large piece of shrapnel that a Palestinian family says hit their son that afternoon came from the same type of artillery shells that Israel uses, though Israel disputes that.
Doubts about the military investigation have sparked calls from human rights groups and the Palestinian Authority for an independent examination, something Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has suggested is unnecessary.
Human Rights Watch offered to provide the Israeli military with shrapnel it pulled from a car that had been hit by the blast, but investigators refused, Garlasco said.
"An investigation that refuses to look at contradictory evidence can hardly be considered credible," he said. "The IDF's partisan approach highlights the need for an independent, international investigation."
Third Saddam lawyer killed
Khamis al-Obeidi was abducted from his house at 7am local time. "The police found the corpse of Obeidi tossed in the Good Morning roundabout in the Ur neighbourhood" of Baghdad's mainly Sunni Adhamiyah district, an interior ministry official said.
Mr Obeidi is the third defence team lawyer to be killed since the trial against Saddam and seven co-accused on charges of crimes against humanity began in October.
Saddam's lead lawyer, Khalil Al-Dulaimi, blamed the interior ministry, which Sunnis have alleged is infiltrated by Shiite death squads.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
[No] freedom of speech in Afghanistan
The BBC has obtained evidence that Afghanistan's intelligence services are putting new restrictions on what Afghan journalists can report. According to a leaked memo, Afghan journalists are no longer allowed to criticize the U.S.-led military coalition, or publish interviews against the government’s foreign policy. The Afghan media has also been instructed to limit the coverage dedicated to the activities of militants and there are now prohibitions on interviewing, filming or photographing men considered terrorist commanders. The government maintains the restrictions are needed to prevent the media from what it describes as glorifying terrorism. A spokesperson for the U.S.-backed President Hamid Karzai said "This request is entirely consistent with the principles of the freedoms of speech and press enshrined in the constitution.” One news agency chief said 95% of his stories would be banned if these rules and regulations became law.
Entirely consistent with the principles of the freedoms of speech, eh? War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
Desperately seeking war
The Washington Post is reporting the Bush administration ignored an offer from Iran in 2003 to cooperate on a number of key issues now at the center of the dispute between the two nations. According to the report, Iran offered to fully cooperate on its nuclear program, recognize the state of Israel and terminate support for Palestinian militant groups. Iran sent the offer just weeks after the U.S. invaded Iraq. The Bush administration belittled the offer and formally complained to the Swiss ambassador for sending the proposal along.Yet Bush has recently had the gall to say this:
“If Iran's leaders reject our offer, it will result in action before the Security Council, further isolation from the world and progressively stronger political and economic sanctions..."
Killing Iraqi Children
In a short editorial, the Detroit News asked an interesting question:
“Some war critics are suggesting Iraq terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi should have been arrested and prosecuted rather than bombed into oblivion. Why expose American troops to the danger of an arrest, when bombs work so well?”
Here’s one possible answer: In order not to send a five-year-old Iraqi girl into oblivion with the same 500-pound bombs that sent al-Zarqawi into oblivion.
Of course, I don’t know whether the Detroit News editorial board, if pressed, would say that the death of that little Iraqi girl was “worth it.” Maybe the board wasn’t even aware that that little girl had been killed by the bombs that killed Zarqawi when it published its editorial. But I do know one thing: killing Iraqi children and other such “collateral damage” has long been acceptable and even “worth it” to U.S. officials as part of their long-time foreign policy toward Iraq.
This U.S. government mindset was expressed perfectly by former U.S. official Madeleine Albright when she stated that the deaths of half a million Iraqi children from the U.S. and UN sanctions against Iraq had, in fact, been “worth it.” By “it” she was referring to the U.S. attempt to oust Saddam Hussein from power through the use of the sanctions. Even though that attempt did not succeed, U.S. officials still felt that the deaths of the Iraqi children had been worth trying to get rid of Saddam.
It’s no different with respect to President Bush’s war on Iraq and the resulting occupation, which has killed or maimed tens of thousands of Iraqi people, including countless children. (The Pentagon has long had a policy of not keeping count of the number of Iraqi people, including children, it kills.) In the minds of U.S. officials, the deaths and maiming of all those Iraqi people, including the children, while perhaps unfortunate “collateral damage,” have, in fact, been worth it.
That’s why U.S. officials gave nary a thought to the death of that five-year-old girl who was bombed into oblivion with the bomb that did the same to Zarqawi. The child’s death was “worth it” because the bomb also killed a terrorist, which U.S. officials believe, brings the Middle East another step closer to peace and freedom.
Wars of aggression versus defensive wars
Some would argue that such “collateral damage” is just an unfortunate byproduct of war. War is brutal. People get killed in war. Compared with the two world wars, not that many people have been killed in Iraq, proponents of the Iraq war and occupation would claim.
Such claims, however, miss an important point: U.S. military forces have no right, legal or moral, even to be in Iraq killing anyone. Why? Because neither the Iraqi people nor their government ever attacked the United States. The Iraqi people had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington. Thus, this was an optional war against Iraq, one that President Bush and his military forces did not have to wage.
Continue reading Here
FBI says, “No hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11”
The FBI says on its Bin Laden web page that Usama Bin Laden is wanted in connection with the August 7, 1998 bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. According to the FBI, these attacks killed over 200 people. The FBI concludes its reason for “wanting” Bin Laden by saying, “In addition, Bin Laden is a suspect in other terrorists attacks throughout the world.”
On June 5, 2006, the Muckraker Report contacted the FBI Headquarters, (202) 324-3000, to learn why Bin Laden’s Most Wanted poster did not indicate that Usama was also wanted in connection with 9/11. The Muckraker Report spoke with Rex Tomb, Chief of Investigative Publicity for the FBI. When asked why there is no mention of 9/11 on Bin Laden’s Most Wanted web page, Tomb said, “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.”
Surprised by the ease in which this FBI spokesman made such an astonishing statement, I asked, “How this was possible?” Tomb continued, “Bin Laden has not been formally charged in connection to 9/11.” I asked, “How does that work?” Tomb continued, “The FBI gathers evidence. Once evidence is gathered, it is turned over to the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice than decides whether it has enough evidence to present to a federal grand jury. In the case of the 1998 United States Embassies being bombed, Bin Laden has been formally indicted and charged by a grand jury. He has not been formally indicted and charged in connection with 9/11 because the FBI has no hard evidence connected Bin Laden to 9/11.”
It shouldn’t take long before the full meaning of these FBI statements start to prick your brain and raise your blood pressure. If you think the way I think, in quick order you will be wrestling with a barrage of very powerful questions that must be answered. First and foremost, if the U.S. government does not have enough hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11, how is it possible that it had enough evidence to invade Afghanistan to “smoke him out of his cave?” The federal government claims to have invaded Afghanistan to “root out” Bin Laden and the Taliban. Through the talking heads in the mainstream media, the Bush Administration told the American people that Usama Bin Laden was Public Enemy Number One and responsible for the deaths of nearly 3000 people on September 11, 2001. Yet nearly five years later, the FBI says that it has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.
Next is the Bin Laden “confession” video that was released by the U.S. government on December 13, 2001. Most Americans remember this video. It was the video showing Bin Laden with a few of his comrades recounting with delight the September 11 terrorist attacks against the United States. The Department of Defense issued a press release to accompany this video in which Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said, “There was no doubt of bin Laden’s responsibility for the September 11 attacks before the tape was discovered.” What Rumsfeld implied by his statement was that Bin Laden was the known mastermind behind 9/11 even before the “confession video” and that the video simply served to confirm what the U.S. government already knew; that Bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
In a BBC News article reporting on the “9/11 confession video” release, President Bush is said to have been hesitant to release the tape because he knew it would be a vivid reminder to many people of their loss. But, he also knew it would be “a devastating declaration” of Bin Laden’s guilt. “Were going to get him,” said President Bush. “Dead or alive, it doesn’t matter to me.”
In a CNN article regarding the Bin Laden tape, then New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said that “the tape removes any doubt that the U.S. military campaign targeting bin Laden and his associates is more than justified.” Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said, “The tape’s release is central to informing people in the outside world who don’t believe bin Laden was involved in the September 11 attacks.” Shelby went on to say “I don’t know how they can be in denial after they see this tape.” Well Senator Shelby, apparently the Federal Bureau of Investigation isn’t convinced by the taped confession, so why are you?
Source and continued reading Here
I still believe that Bin Laden is in some way connected to the tragic attacks on 9/11, but the questioned asked in this article are certainly valid and worthy of review(as well as frequently discussed on this site .)
How , why and in exactly what capacity (and with whom (if anyone's) help) is Osama is connected to the terrorist acts of that day. Questions that clearly still puzzle the FBI. If not the western media.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Price of Human Life in Baghdad: US $2.40
"Our research shows that new ammunition is widely available on Baghdad's black market," says Barbara Stocking, director of Oxfam.
"There are two likely explanations for this: either it was smuggled in from neighbouring countries or it has leaked from coalition or Iraqi forces' supplies. In either case, weak controls mean lives lost on the streets of Baghdad."
Walking on the streets of Baghdad anyone can purchase an AK-47 bullet for US $0.30, says the report "Ammunition: the fuel of conflict," which states that this situation is fuelling conflict and human rights abuses throughout the Iraq.
Read the full article Here
Zarqawi sought US-Iran War
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was hoping to provoke a US-Iran war as a way of bogging the Americans down further and defeating them in Iraq.
Remember all those times Bush, Rice and Rumsfeld came out and said they suspected that Shiite Iran was somehow aiding the Sunni Arab insurgency? You remember how baffled I was at this bizarre allegation? You wonder whether they were being fed disinformation by a Zarqawi agent, and falling for it.
After they fell for the biggest whoppers of the 21st century, as retailed by Ahmad Chalabi, have Bush administration officials been gullibly swallowing an al-Qaeda black psy-ops operation intended to mire US troops in the Dasht-i Kavir? For people who think of themselves as tough as nails hardheaded realists, the Bushies seem awfully easy to fool.
American hawks tied to the Israeli Likud Party, such as Michael Ledeen and Michael Rubin, who are also trying to get up an American war on Iran, turn out to have the same goal as Zarqawi!
It is the case that if you did want to see the US completely defeated and humiliated, you could not do better than have Washington open a second conventiional front in Iran. Iran is much bigger than Iraq, more rugged in terrain, and 3 times more populous, and its population is politically savvy, literate and highly mobilized.
So, it doesn't matter whether you listen to Ledeen and Rubin on attacking Iran or to Zarqawi on the same subject. Either way, such a move spells disaster for the United States and should be opposed by genuine patriots who care about this country--until and unless Iran actually does something to the US that calls for a military response.
Juan Cole is Professor of History at the University of Michigan
Sunday, June 18, 2006
More condems please
Internal military documents suggest Canadian soldiers really are getting a lot more action these days.
The troops are being supplied with condoms at what appears to be a staggering pace, with documents suggesting a 12-fold increase from just four years ago.
The military has dispensed just under 300,000 publicly purchased prophylactics in each of the last two years, say figures obtained under the Access to Information Act.
"We hand them out like Kleenex," said one military official. "(The soldiers) just walk into the dispensary and claim them. We don't ask questions."
I don't particularly know what to make of this. The military is generally dominated by men with relatively few women. One of three things must be happening: women in the military are being taken advantage of, people the soldiers are meant to be protecting are being taken advantage of, or a whole lot of balloon animal fun is being had. My money is on one of the first two.