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Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 10:00 PM PDT

October 2012

by dancewater

OCTOBER 2012

Iraq – The Al Basrah Maternity Hospital reported 1.37 birth defects per 1,000 children born in the period of the year ending October 1995. In the full year of 2003, by contrast, that rate was 23 birth defects per 1,000 births. By 2009, the rate in Iraq's second-largest city had jumped again to a peak of 48. [There are also evidence shown for high levels of birth defects in Fallujah, and other areas of Iraq are also showing health effects since the US war of aggression on Iraq.]  

USA STILL IN IRAQ:  The Pentagon says it will be able to fund the training of Iraqi security forces for the next 90 days, even though Congress did not include money for the program in its temporary budget resolution.

Iraq – A series of attacks across Iraq on Tuesday killed six people, including three soldiers and a judge, police and health officials said.

Iraq – On Wednesday morning, CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien asked the Utah Republican if he had "voted to cut the funding for embassy security." "Absolutely," Chaffetz said. "Look we have to make priorities and choices in this country. We have…15,000 contractors in Iraq. We have more than 6,000 contractors, a private army there, for President Obama, in Baghdad.”

Iraq – Turkey bombs Iraq.  Again.

Iraq – Eleven more killed in bombings and shooting in Iraq. In September alone, some 365 people were killed across Iraq, making it the country's deadliest month for more than two years, says the government.

Iraq – A string of bombings and other attacks primarily targeting the country’s Shiite community on Saturday [October 27] left at least 40 dead.

Iran - Senator Graham said this about Iran on 10-1-12:  "They have two goals: one, regime survival. The best way for the regime surviving, in their mind, is having a nuclear weapon, because when you have a nuclear weapon, nobody attacks you."  And that is the real reason why the US government does not want Iran to get a nuclear weapon.

Iran – Iran’s currency plunges 40%.  Iran deployed riot police in Tehran after street protests broke out over Iran's falling currency.  [Other sources said it dropped 60% in 8 days.]

Iran – Medicine crisis in Iran due to sanctions. "We are feeling the shortage mostly for cancer and MS drugs. Of course, thalassemia and dialysis patients are also facing hardships. These all are rooted in problems which have been caused by sanctions against the banking sector and difficulties transferring foreign currency," the Tabnak website quoted Hashemi as saying on Tuesday. [It is the USA that should be under sanctions.]

Iran – Britain has decided that the USA will not be allowed to use their bases for attack on Iran.

Afghanistan – The country is in worse shape than before the surge. According to most of the yardsticks chosen by the military — but not all — the surge in Afghanistan fell short of its stated goal – stopping the Taliban’s momentum. In August 2009, insurgents used just under 600 homemade bombs on U.S.-aligned forces. They used just over 600 homemade bombs on U.S.-aligned forces in August 2012.

Afghanistan – The outgoing head of the delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Afghanistan, Reto Stocker, declared in Kabul today that for ordinary Afghans the armed conflict in the country has taken a turn for the worse.
Afghanistan – Seven Royal Marines arrested on suspicion of murder in Afghanistan

Afghanistan – Afghan officials said on Monday [October 15] that a NATO air strike killed three children while it was targeting Taliban insurgents planting mines on a road in southern Afghanistan.  
Afghanistan – US troops killed four children who were tending to livestock in the country's east.  The operation took place in the Baraki Barak district of Logar province on Saturday [October 20].  
Afghanistan – Two more US soldiers killed in “green-on-blue” attack. [October 25]

Afghanistan – Two more US soldiers killed in “green-on-blue” attack.  [October 30]

Afghanistan – The Taliban Hit Region Seen as 'Safest' for Afghans.  

Pakistan – A US drone strike targeting a vehicle killed at least three persons Monday [October 1]in Mir Ali, security officials said. Another security official confirmed the attack and casualties and said the identities of the militants killed in the strike were not immediately clear. [How do they know they are militants if they don’t know the identity?]  Monday's U.S. drone strike (on 10-1-12) is the 31st of its kind in Pakistan since 2012. So far this year, at least 222 people have reportedly been killed in such strikes.  

Pakistan – According to Conflict Monitoring Center, nearly 3,000 people have been killed in U.S. drone strikes since 2004 in Pakistan, including more than 300 in 38 drone attacks this year alone. Last year, 609 people were killed in 75 drone attacks in Pakistan, according to the agency.

Pakistan – A nine-mile convoy (led by Imran Khan to protest US drone strikes) heads towards South Waziristan as local officials say it will not be allowed to proceed.  Thousands of Pakistanis, joined by US anti-war activists, have headed toward Pakistan's volatile tribal region to protest against American drone strikes despite threats from the Taliban.  

Pakistan – A US drone strike targeting a militant base has killed five insurgents in a Pakitani tribal region near the Afghan border.  [I wonder who they really killed.]

Pakistan – A US drone attack on Thursday killed 18 insurgents – mostly Afghans – at a militant compound in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) near the border with Afghanistan, officials said.

Pakistan – “I will never forget what the American soldiers did to my country, my tribe and my family. They violated our national sovereignty and our Islamic laws. They killed my son and my younger brother. They destroyed my home. If I see the soldiers who are responsible for this – if I have the opportunity — I will kill them.” (translated from Pashtoun) These are the chilling words of Kareem Khan, a Pakistani journalist from a tribe in Northern Waziristan, whose compound was destroyed by a Hellfire missile from an American drone on Dec. 24, 2009. They starkly illustrate the concept of “blowback.”

Pakistan – Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Wednesday that the majority of those killed in drone attacks were innocent people. Speaking to the media outside Parliament, Malik said there were 336 drone attacks conducted in Pakistan in which 2,300 people have been killed. According to Malik, only 20 percent of those killed in drone attacks were militants while the rest were innocent people.
Pakistan – A damning dossier assembled from exhaustive research into the strikes’ targets sets out in heartbreaking detail the deaths of teachers, students and Pakistani policemen. It also describes how bereaved relatives are forced to gather their loved ones’ dismembered body parts in the aftermath of strikes. The dossier has been assembled by human rights lawyer Shahzad Akbar, who works for Pakistan’s Foundation for Fundamental Rights and the British human rights charity Reprieve. Filed in two separate court cases, it is set to trigger a formal murder investigation by police into the roles of two US officials said to have ordered the strikes.  

Pakistan – US drones kill one person, maybe two more, and it is “not clear” whether they had “any link to militancy” or if they were male or female.  [October 24]

Syria - According to the US State Department, the latest supplies will include "more than 1,100 sets of communications equipment, including satellite-linked computers, telephones, and cameras, as well as training for more than 1,000 activists." Such equipment allows the US-backed militias on the ground to coordinate operations with their CIA and Turkish army handlers. [Stated US policy is to overthrow Assad.]

Syria – Three suicide bombers kill 34+ and injure 120+ in Aleppo.  They used cars packed with explosives.  This happened in a government controlled area of the city, and multiple suicide bombings are a mark of al Qaeda.

Syria – An Islamist militant group has claimed responsibility for coordinated suicide bombings in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo that killed 48 people, the SITE monitoring group which tracks Jihadist websites said on Thursday. [These are the people the US is supporting.  See above.]

Syria - Some commanders [from the FSA] have given up trying to entice defectors, and others have resorted to more desperate measures: cajoling, duping, threatening and even drugging and kidnapping military men to get them to change sides, or at least stay out of the fight. Without defections, they say, the opposition cannot hope to grow, never mind prevail. “We use means only used by the devil,” said Ahmed Qunatri, a rebel commander in northern Syria who defected from the Republican Guard.
Syria – Weapons intended for the Saudi military have been diverted to Syrian rebels.

Syria – Dozens of people were killed in a double suicide attack on a military security branch in Harasta, just northeast of the capital Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday, October 9, 2012. "Dozens of people were killed in two suicide attacks against the air force intelligence branch in Harasta" late on Monday, Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said. "The fate of hundreds of prisoners being held in the basements of the buildings is still unknown," he added.  

Syria – Rebel Arms Flow Is Said to Benefit Jihadists in Syria.  Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats.

Syria – 23 Children killed by Syrian fighter jets in Syria. 44 in total killed. Rescuers said bombs destroyed two residential buildings and a mosque, where many women and children were taking refuge, in the strategic northwestern town, which was captured by rebels on October 9 in a push to create a buffer zone along the Turkish border.

Syria – The Obama administration on Wednesday [October 31] renounced the proclaimed leaders of the Syrian political opposition and said any group seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad must reject attempts by extremists to "hijack" a legitimate revolution.  [Looks like they are waking up to reality in the FSA.]
Jordan – The United States military has secretly sent a task force of more than 150 planners and other specialists to Jordan to help the armed forces there handle a flood of Syrian refugees, prepare for the possibility that Syria will lose control of its chemical weapons and be positioned should the turmoil in Syria expand into a wider conflict. [oh, they will be positioned all right.  And they are building “headquarters” there.]

Human rights – Obama waived the application of the prohibition against child soldiers in respect to Libya, South Sudan and Yemen and partially waived it in the DR Congo.  This was done to allow “the issuance of licenses for direct commercial sales of U.S. origin defense articles” and to allow military training of child soldiers.  
Human rights – Attorney General Eric Holder rewards the teams that gave torturers and murderers immunity. The DOJ still is aggressively prosecuting John Kiriakou for talking about this torture.

Human rights – The UN will investigate civilian deaths from US drone strikes.

Turkey – Turkey bombs Syria after some agent in Syria fired mortars at a town in Turkey, killing five of their citizens. Turkey and the USA claim that the Syrian government was responsible.

Turkey – The UN (and the Obama administration) condemns this mortar attack in the strongest terms, but has nothing to say about the suicide car bombers in Syria this week. This hypocrisy is noted by the Syrian authorities. [And the rest of the world.]

Turkey – The mortar used to attack the Turkish town of Akcakale is a design specific to NATO and was given to Syrian rebels by Ankara, according to Turkey’s Yurt newspaper. The mortar killed one adult and four children.

Turkey - A Syrian-bound plane intercepted by Turkey was carrying Russian-made defence equipment destined for Syria's defence ministry, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said. Syria and Russia have denied the plane was carrying illegal cargo.
Turkey – The Turkish parliament last week authorized troop deployments beyond Turkey's borders.

Turkey – A second plane, from Armenia, is forced down for inspection inside Turkey.  Nothing was found, and plane continued to Aleppo.

Turkey – The US deploys troops to Turkey.  [They are in Jordan and Lebanon too.]

Security – US Senate committee said that “fusion centers” spy on innocent Americans, produce shoddy work, and waste a lot of money.  These “centers” are considered to be the one of the centerpieces of DHS counter terrorism measures.

Security – The US House of Representatives have a bill currently in Congress to prepare/plan for a mass fatality event.  Just a couple months back, DHS bought a huge load of high power ammunition.

Security – Border agent likely killed by friendly fire.  

Security – CIA proposes more drones! [Who wooda thunk it?]

Security – Eric Holder, attorney general under President Barack Obama, has prosecuted more government officials for alleged leaks under the World War I-era Espionage Act than all his predecessors combined.
Libya - Obama's Libya response highlights his foreign policy mentality.  Extreme secrecy, extrajudicial assassinations, and a self-perpetuating militarism are driving Benghazi responses. [At the end of the month, Obama did release information.  Looks like this outpost was a CIA office.]

Libya – Obama administration fails to secure the details of Libyans who were acting as security personnel in Benghazi and local leaders who met with US officials. Thereby putting Libyan lives at risk. [And since the Libyans were working with the CIA, I would say they are REALLY at risk!]

Libya – The Republicans put Libyan lives at risk too.  [And it is looking like this security failure will be studied more thoroughly than the security failure of 9-11.]

Libya – Extreme secrecy gets blown away at a Congressional hearing.  Yes, there was a large CIA operation going on at the site where Ambassador Stevens was killed.

Libya - How US Ambassador Chris Stevens May Have Been Linked To Jihadist Rebels In Syria. …..  And if the new Libyan government was sending seasoned Islamic fighters and 400 tons of heavy weapons to Syria through a port in southern Turkey—a deal brokered by Stevens' primary Libyan contact during the Libyan revolution—then the governments of Turkey and the U.S. surely knew about it.

Libya – State Department admits it knew Libya attack [against Stevens] was terrorism. [They have not yet admitted that the NATO bombing of Libya was also terrorism.]

Libya – Libya’s third government in less than a year is over. Libya’s prime minister-elect failed a confidence vote by an overwhelming margin on Sunday, removing him from office and throwing the country into yet more political uncertainty.

Libya – Shelling by Libyan pro-government forces has killed three people including a child in the former Gaddafi stronghold of Bani Walid, a local militia leader said on Tuesday, October 9, 2012.

Libya – At least five Libyans have died and dozens have been wounded in fighting around Bani Walid - a former stronghold of slain leader Muammar Gaddafi.  Militias allied to Libya's army reportedly shelled the hilltop town from three sides, prompting clashes. [October 17, 2012]
Libya – Amid conflicting reports that the Libyan city of Bani Walid was captured by army forces, RT has learned that 600 people were allegedly killed in Wednesday’s fighting [October 24], and over 1,000 have been hospitalized.
Libya – The most obvious explanation is that cadres – the Green Resistance – loyal to Qaddafi and in opposition to the NATO-imposed regime carried out the attack [on Ambassador Stevens]. NATO and its Libyan quislings don’t want to admit this subversive reality. The fact of a resistance – a potent and growing resistance at that – has to be denied, erased from the record.

Libya – The militia commander who led the deadly raid on the U.S. mission in Benghazi is an Islamist and former political prisoner whose fighters were also blamed for assassinating a senior military officer after he defected to the opposition during last year's revolution against Moammar Kadafi, a senior Libyan official said. [Another claim about the party responsible for the attack on Ambassador Stevens.]

Libya – Human Rights Watch issued a report this month that documents torture and mass murder and other war crimes by Misrata-based militias following the capture and execution of Gaddafi in 2011.  [Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.]

Libya – Libyans protest the fighting and shelling in Bani Walid. The current government of Libya have authorized bombing of Bani Walid.  [Sure glad that we got rid of Gaddafi, since he was going to bomb a town in Libya. …. Oh, wait…..]
Mali - The UN Security Council has adopted a resolution paving the way for military intervention in Mali to retake the north from Islamist extremists. [They are making plans.]

Africa – Bad news for Africa:  3,000 more US soldier are on the way.

Yemen – US drone strike kills five in southern Yemen.

Yemen – Nine suspected al Qaeda militants were killed in what a local security source and residents said was a U.S. drone attack on a farmhouse outside a town in southern Yemen.  The farmhouse just west of Jaar, one of two southern towns that Yemen's army took back from rebel control this summer, was hit by three separate missile strikes at dawn, they said.

Yemen – The drone strike, the second in four days, took place in the early evening in the Hami and Al-Damashqa area 17 kilometres east of Maarib city.

Sudan – Sudan threatens retaliation for an air strike on an arms factory that caused a huge explosion and killed two people.  They have blamed Israel for this air strike.

Honduras – The 2009 military coup in Honduras was one of the earliest stains on the foreign policy record of Barack Obama. The coup has had a long, dismal and murderous aftermath.

Bahrain – Their government outlaws protests and public gathering.  USA does nothing. [Rumor has it that Obama will speak out about this.]

Environment – US forests in the southeast are being cut down, turned into wood pellets for export to European utility companies.  And being done in the name of “green energy”.

Gaza – Israeli tank fire and airstrikes kill at least three Palestinians and wound several more on October 23. This is in response to the wounding of an Israeli soldier on Gaza border by a bomb.

Gaza – Israeli forces killed 2,300 and injured 7,700 people in Gaza in the last five years.

USA IMMORALITY – A new Pew Research poll has found that 62% of Americans approve of drone attacks in Pakistan, even though 49 civilians are killed for each terrorist.  U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan are condemned by Greece (90 percent), Egypt (89 percent), Jordan (85 percent), Turkey (81 percent), Spain (76 percent), Brazil (76 percent) and Japan (75 percent) and others, reports RT.com.  
USA – Two major candidates for the office of US president have a debate and agree on drone bombings in foreign countries with no accountability or oversight of law and no Congressional declaration of war.

USA – Two major candidates for the office of US president have a debate and agree on a war of aggression on Iran for imaginary nuclear weapons and also agree on killing economic sanctions for Iran.

USA – Two major candidates for the office of US president have a debate and agree on indefinite detention without habeas corpus rights and eroding civil liberties for Americans.    

USA – Two major candidates for the office of US president have a debate and agree on “kill lists” for criminal suspects with no judicial oversight.

USA – Two major candidates for office of US president have a debate and agree on nearly all foreign policy issues, including permanent war.

USA – Two major candidates for the office of US president have a debate and agree on imperialist interventions around the world.

USA – Two major candidates for the office of US president have a debate and never mention climate change.  A major freak hurricane hits NJ/NYC and causes major flooding and major damage.  Scores of lives are lost.

USA – The only person to be criminally prosecuted, and now likely jailed, as a result of the Bush-era torture regime is John Kiriakou, who refused to participate in torture, helped expose the program, and said on national television that torture was wrong. The US attorney for the CIA has succeeded in covering-up CIA's torture, again.  
USA – The US Social Security Administration wants Americans to know that they are concerned with the safety of their workers. That is why, they now say, they’ve ordered 174,000 rounds of lethal hollow-point bullets.

USA – The Washington Post has laid out, in there separate articles, the details of Obama’s drone program and kill list and the people in the administration who are responsible for this program.  Murder by the USA has been “codified” and it goes beyond just using drones to kill people. They call it the “disposition matrix”.  No one in the US can claim in the future that “they did not know” what their government was up to.  And there is no possibility that these murder programs will go away with a new President.

USA – Home eviction from foreclosure done by SWAT team.

"The day we see truth and cease to speak is the day we begin to die." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Discuss

Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 02:56 PM PDT

September 2012

by dancewater

Early in the month of September, I felt that there was a LOT going on in the fields of foreign policy and human rights by the US government.  So, I started a list.  Here are the things that the Obama administration is up to in September 2012, or in some cases, newly revealed atrocities by studies published in September.  Some are ongoing problems.  Read it and weep.

September 2012

-We are supporting al Qaeda affiliates in Syria, just like we did in Libya in 2011.  Human Rights Watch and several journalists say the FSA and the al Qaeda affiliates have tortured and executed some of their detainees.

-Al Qaeda affiliates in Libya was behind the violence in Libya that killed Ambassador Stevens, who worked for the State Department.  He died from the violence he helped unleash.

-Secretary Clinton blamed it on Mali al Qaeda elements.  (Hope this does not mean we will be drone bombing Mali soon.)  By the way, in April 2012, three US Army commandos died with three prostitutes in a car accident in Mali.  Still no explanation of what they were doing there. (Funny how the CIA and al Qaeda keep showing up in the same places.)

-At least a dozen CIA agents were flown out of Libya the same night as the attack on Stevens.  There was a major CIA operation going on there, reportedly to get major weapons away from the al Qaeda militias.  These weapons formerly belonged to Gaddafi, and we sold the weapons to him back when he was Bush’s and Blair’s friend.

-A report was issued from HRW this month on how the US sent al Qaeda suspects to Gaddafi in Libya (years ago, under Bush), based on information found in bombed buildings.  Today, some of these men are political leaders in Libya.  The US helped put them in power. This was ignored by the US corporate media.

-The al Qaeda flag was raised at the US Embassies in Libya and Egypt after Stevens was killed.  NPR said it was a “black” flag.  

-Meanwhile, it is okay for Americans to fund the Syrian “rebels” with weapons, while we have Americans sitting in jail for giving medicine to Iraqis during the sanctions of the 1990s.  

-The US government continues to supply Syrian “rebels” with funds, arms, assistance, as does Saudi Arabia. …..  just like in Libya.  And in Afghanistan in the 1980s.  Clinton is proposing $45 million in additional aid to these “opposition activists” – the new name by the US media.  This is supposed to be non-lethal aid. Total aid package is report at over $132 million.

-Recently, a group of US neo-con politicians wrote a letter to Obama saying that ground forces should be sent into Syria to overthrow Assad’s government.  They are hungry for more war.  A lot of them were behind the push to have war on Iraq.  Some are members of the Syrian National Congress, believed to be a CIA group.  They are all war criminals.

-US State Department decided MEK was no longer a terrorist group.  This was achieved via spending lots of $$$ on US politicians – a bi-partisan effort.  This money probably came from Mossad, and they are likely behind the bombings of scientists in Iran.  Iran says this action shows US double-standards.

-Sanctions on Iran are starting to kill people since they cannot get a hold of medicine that they need.  This is war, economic war.  And so are the cyber attacks by the US and Israel.  

-There is a continued build up for war on Iran by the US and Britain.  More navel power in the Persian Gulf, more land forces, and more anti-missile defenses are evident.  This is the largest military build up seen in the Gulf since 2003. Special operations and drones are going on currently in Iran, along with the economic sanctions and cyber attacks by the USA. These are acts of war.

-Iran has done nothing to deserve the war being waged on them by a pack of liars from the US and Israeli government.  There is no evidence that Iran is pursing a nuclear weapon.

-Conditions in Palestine, especially Gaza, continue to deteriorate.  The US taxpayers fund more of Israel’s military than Israel taxpayers do.

-CIA agents lost their appeal in Italy.  22 CIA agents were convicted of kidnapping (rendition) and torture, and sentenced to 7 years in jail.  They can never go to Italy or the rest of Europe because they will be arrested.  The USA might not care about kidnapping and torture, but the rest of the world sure does.

-The ‘green-on-blue’ violence in Afghanistan caused the US to stop working with the Afghan military that they were training.

-Eight women/girls were killed and 10 more injured by NATO bombings in Afghanistan.  They were collecting firewood, early in the morning. NATO bombers don’t know the difference between sticks and weapons or men from women/girls.  They don’t know who they are bombing.  

-29 were killed in 8 days of drone bombings in Yemen.  Four of them were children.

-Obama offered up his justifications for drone bombings on a CNN interview this month. One of the excuses was the claim that these “terrorists” cannot be safely caught. This is a flat out lie, since one victim of a drone bombing in Pakistan in 2011 was at a meeting in Islamabad just 72 hours before he was killed. He could have been arrested at the meeting. He was 16 years old. His 12 year old cousin was killed by the drone strike too.  

-The US sent 200 Marines to Guatemala this month.

-We have Special Forces in over 120 countries currently.

-Over in Somalia, there is reportedly a flotilla of 30 ships supporting regional operations, a multi-pronged military and CIA campaign against militants in Somalia.  This includes training of Somali agents and secret prisons and commando raids.  Oh, and helicopter attacks. No “troops on the ground” so no one is calling it war on Somalia.

-There has been a huge increase in cash for “counterterrorism” in east Africa.

-There are special operations forces in Uganda, South Sudan, DR Congo, and Central African Republic supposedly looking for Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army. US Special Forces have a new base in CAR.

-A report from Stanford and New York universities' law schools (called “Living under drones”) showed the terror and horror and illegality of US drone strikes in Pakistan.  The report claims that that drone strikes are mainly killing civilians, causing widespread psychological trauma and are violations of international law. This report is reported on by some print media (like the LA Times) but ignored by the cable TV “news”.

-Some anti-war activists are going to Pakistan to document the effects of drone strikes. Pakistan claims 90% of people killed by drones are innocent civilians.

-Outrage at the “double tap” drone attacks (where the US goes after rescuers and people at funerals for prior victims), as documented in the “Living under drones” report. Pakistan Foreign Minister says drones are the cause of anti-American feelings.  Report also states the drone bombings are counter-productive in reducing terrorism.  I am confident the Obama administration knows all this.

-The government of Pakistan ‘categorically rejects’ claims that it allows US drones to operate in their country.

-FOIA requests show that Assange is listed as an “enemy of the state” and all he did was journalism.

-An innocent man dies at Guantanamo – he was cleared for release years ago, and spent 1/3 of his life in the prison there even though he was never found guilty of anything.

-A Canadian was released from Guantanamo and sent to prison in Canada.  He was captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan at the age of 15.  He reportedly was fighting US troops there.  He was tortured for years by the US military and US forces.  He is the only child on the planet who was imprisoned and tortured for being forced to be a child soldier. Only the US government had prosecuted children for participating in war (on the wrong side, of course).  The rest of the world sees child soldiers as victims.  There is credible evidence that this Canadian teenager was sexually assaulted by the Afghans, prior to being captured by US troops.

-This month we found out that, contrary to official denials, prisoners in Guantanamo were given injections of scopolamine, the so-called “truth drug”.  This was on top of the forced ingestion of anti-malaria drugs known to cause psychosis.

- The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is asking for answers from the US government concerning it military activities with US children.  This is in regards to provisions around No Child Left Behind, JROTC, and the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.

-78% of all global weapons sales come from the USA in 2011. Second place was Russia, who sold less than 6% of all global weapons.  We arm the world.  We are selling drones too, including six weaponized drones to Italy (in spite of the fact that our CIA agents have been sentenced to prison by Italy).  Over 50 countries are now building their own drones.  And, what goes around - comes around…….

-Bombs went off in at least five Iraqi cities the last day of September.  Over 35 were killed, hundreds injured.  This was blamed on Sunni extremists (al Qaeda).

-People in Iraq, especially children, are still suffering horribly from our war of aggression and occupation of their country.  Cancers and birth defects are exploding.  An Iraq War Veteran recently said this:  "I have a certain sense of relief that I get to share in the sufferings of the Iraqis. We were conducting those burn pits in agricultural fields.... Americans are gaining awareness of the impacts of burn pits on soldiers, but not the impact they will have on Iraqi civilians."  This veteran died of cancer last month, which he thinks came from his time in Iraq in 2004.  His name was Joshua Casteel.  Yes, we bring the freedom of the grave even to our own.  He was wrong that Americans are gaining awareness of what is happening to our veterans.  No one is noticing or caring, as far as I can tell.

-September saw a total of 2,000 US troop killed in Afghanistan.  Over 17,000 US troops were reported injured in this war.  This does not include US citizens who were working as contractors in Afghanistan.  This was likely an insider attack.

-We have no idea how many Afghans have been killed.  The US government makes no attempt to find out, put to lie the claim that we are there to help the Afghan people.  But a child was killed the same day as the 2,000 US troop was killed.  The child was run over by an ISAF tank.

-Taliban release video of attack on NATO base.

-A congressional investigation has revealed (this month!) that a top U.S. general in Afghanistan sought to stall an investigation into abuse at a U.S.-funded hospital in Kabul that kept patients in "Auschwitz-like" conditions. Army whistleblowers revealed photographs taken in 2010 which show severely neglected, starving patients at Dawood Hospital, considered the crown jewel of the Afghan medical system, where the country's military personnel are treated.  This was buried and denied.

-Non-violent protest continues against the building of a huge naval base on an island belonging to South Korea.  The island is a UNESCO designed Biosphere Reserve.  And guess who is behind destroying this island and the people who live there - that’s right, the US government.

-The ACLU has released documents that show that in the last two years the US Department of Justice has conducted more warrantless electronic surveillance, involving spying on telephones, email and Facebook accounts, than in the preceding decade.  Here in the USA, of course.

-Obama claims he would never use the provisions of the NDAA, which include indefinite detention of US citizens by the US military with no habeas corpus rights. There are few limits anymore on executive power in the US, and this privilege will transfer to future presidents.

-After losing on the right to have the military detain US citizens in a lawsuit over NDAA by Chris Hedges and others (including a member of the Iceland’s Parliament, who angered the Obama administration by supporting Bradley Manning), the Obama administration filed an immediate appeal.  It is suspected that this immediate appeal was due to that fact that there are American citizens already detained under the NDAA.  We just don’t know about them yet.

-Yemeni president claims he has approved US drone attacks.  

-Bahrain police shot a 17 year old protester dead.  Bahrain protests have stayed peaceful, the US government says and does nothing to help these protestors.  They could stop it in a minute by threatening to remove the 5th fleet from Bahrain.

-US issues terror warning to Americans in Egypt.  They should issue a warning to all Americans around the world.

-It was revealed this month that US agencies sprayed radioactive particles over parts of St. Louis in the 1950s and 1960s.  Mainly in the projects.

-Over one million US kids are reportedly homeless in September 2012.

-The US “war on drugs” is being formally questioned at the UN.

-Military spending continues to go up – to over a trillion a year now. For a small portion of that amount, we could make college tuition at all state colleges free.  Forever.

-“The decision by the European Court of Human Rights last week to refuse to block the extradition of the radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri and four others to the United States on terrorism charges removes one of the last external checks on our emerging gulag state.  Masri and the four others, all held in British jails, will soon join hundreds of other Muslims tried in Article III federal courts in the United States over the last decade. Fair trials are unlikely. A disturbing pattern of gross infringements on basic civil liberties, put in place in the name of national security, has poisoned our legal system. These infringements include intrusive surveillance, vague material support charges, the use of prolonged pretrial solitary confinement, classified evidence that the accused cannot review, and the use of political activities, normally protected under the First Amendment, to demonstrate mind-set and intent. Muslims caught up in the Article III courts are denied the opportunity to confront their accusers and to have their religious and political associations protected, and they rarely find a judge courageous enough to protect their rights. These violations of fundamental civil liberties will not, in the end, be reserved exclusively for Muslims once the corporate state feels under siege. What is happening to them will happen to the rest of us.”  – Chris Hedges (Or, at least, some of the rest of us.)

-Starting or fanning brushfire wars on several continents could lead to raging wildfires that spread unpredictably and prove difficult, if not impossible, to quench. – Nick Turse

Discuss

Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 10:56 AM PST

human rights and letter writing

by dancewater

There are human rights abuses all around the world, and the United States is one of many countries who violate human rights.  I am busy this week with writing letters for Amnesty International.  They pick 12 causes or individuals whose rights are being violated, and then hundreds of people write letters about this individuals or causes.  

Here is a link to Amnesty International’s Global Write-a-thon 2010.

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I guess this should come as no surprise – the US troops are still running around Iraq and still killing civilians.  This time it was an unlucky guy headed to work.

And, as usual, the US troops blame the Iraqi for getting himself killed for driving to work in his own country.

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Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 09:19 AM PST

BOMBS AWAY, PAKISTAN VERSION

by dancewater

Yes, it’s BOMBS AWAY in Pakistan, especially in Northern Waziristan, part of the semiautonomous tribal region.  According to the Associated Press, the Obama administration has carried out more than 100 drone strikes in Pakistan in 2010; witch is about twice the number of the bombs they dropped there in 2009.  Not that they will admit that they are doing this – even though they claim they have killed militants now and then.

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Sun Nov 28, 2010 at 10:36 AM PST

BOMBS AWAY, AFGHAN GROUND VERSION

by dancewater

Targeted assassinations, death squads, tanks demolishing homes and entire neighborhoods, burning up fields or other wise destroying them – just some tactics in the BOMBS AWAY GAME now going on in Afghanistan.

The New York Times reports that the US military are blowing up empty homes and farm buildings in Afghanistan.  They are claiming that these buildings are booby-trapped.  No reports of civilian casualties.  

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Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 11:37 AM PST

BOMBS AWAY, YEMEN VERSION

by dancewater

With no debate or vote in Congress, Obama has ordered Special Forces (they are so special that they get to hang around in 75+ different foreign countries!) and drone bombings into Yemen.  He is going after the "al Qaeda" in Yemen group, although I cannot tell if they are associated with the original 2001 version of al Qaeda or knock off wantabees.  I do know that some folks from Yemen have tried to bomb us, but they are apparently totally incompetent.  This is a good thing, because the US authorities are totally incompetent at stopping them.  

But hey, they got that BOMBS AWAY thing down!  They DO know how to BOMB AND BOMB AND BOMB!

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Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 11:15 AM PST

BOMBS AWAY, AFGHAN VERSION

by dancewater

The USA is certainly doing a lot of bombing in various places around the world.  This includes air bombing, ground bombing, and god-only-knows-what-else.  Of course, the USA is not doing this totally alone – NATO is there to help!

In Afghanistan, in October 2010 ALONE, there have been over a 1,000 bombs – that is air bombs – dropped in this poor country.  This is a rate of bombing not seen since 2001.  

Oh, and guess what?  Civilians casualties are on the rise, no surprise there.  While folks at home are worrying about being fondled at the airport, folks in Afghanistan are worrying that the US or NATO will drop a 2,000 pound bomb on them.  

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Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 03:46 PM PST

Vets for Peace Message

by dancewater

This is a special message, in honor of Veteran's Day.  Vets for Peace addresses the issues around Veteran’s Day, and issue a plea for our nation to demand a cessation of war. I have permission to reprint the entire message here today.

November 11 is a cause for mixed emotions among those former members of the military who wish to permanently halt the horror of war.

A holiday in our name is indeed an honor, as was our service itself, but "Armistice" somehow still sounds more suitable.  That word refers to the end of a conflict, the end of the killing, the maiming, the destruction, the inhumanity, the erosion of civilized personal behaviors that have taken centuries to mold.  While "Armistice" does not connote lasting peace, at least it does connote a chance for societies to grasp hold of themselves and, if able, to pull back from the abyss.

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Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 05:19 PM PST

In Remembrance, Part Four

by dancewater

In Remembrance:  He gave his all

Lieutenant Roman Unishchenko was 20 years old when he was killed by a sniper in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.  He was protecting a local official who was meeting with his commanding officer at the time of the sniper attack.  He was a member of the 52nd Infantry Brigade and was based in Moscow.
He is survived by his parents, three siblings, his grandmother and various aunts, uncles, and cousins.

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Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 06:58 PM PST

In Remembrance, Part Three

by dancewater

In Remembrance:  More grief from America

[sometime in the future.... Where Russia is bringing freedom and democracy to the USA and Canada...]

Sadly, two more Russian soldiers were killed in Kansas City, Kansas, USA, fighting anti-American insurgents.  Today, we will honor their memory.  Today, we will show our respect.

In the last nine years, there have been 1,469 Russian troops killed in Canada.  In the last seven years, there have been 4,578 Russian troops killed in America.

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Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 05:46 PM PST

In Remembrance, Part Two

by dancewater

In Remembrance:  A Family Man

[Sometime in the future.... Where Russia is bringing freedom and democracy to the USA and Canada...]

A soldier and father of two dies in America

A veteran soldier and father of four died August 1st supporting Operation American Liberation, according to the Russian Navy branch of the Russian Military.  

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