Please watch and laugh but don’t let the serious underlying message go over your head.
First off, if you have a weak stomach do not look at these photos. If you don’t know who the ‘Kill Team’ is, they were from the Bravo Company from the US Army and are accused of murdering and framing Afghan citizens for sport. This is a gruesome story but needs to be told to the American public who has no realities of the now 3 wars we are engaged in Africa.
Among the men of Bravo Company, the notion of killing an Afghan civilian had been the subject of countless conversations, during lunchtime chats and late-night bull sessions. For weeks, they had weighed the ethics of bagging “savages” and debated the probability of getting caught. Some of them agonized over the idea; others were gung-ho from the start. But not long after the New Year, as winter descended on the arid plains of Kandahar Province, they agreed to stop talking and actually pull the trigger.
Say what you want but this is felt by alot more people that just Ahmadinejad, he just has the heart to speak on it on a world stage. Listen to this video and you will hear him lay out why he thinks the US government is guilty of knowing alot more about the terrible act of 9/11 then what we have been told.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
via Huff Post
(AP) UNITED NATIONS — The U.S. delegation walked out of the U.N. speech of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday after he said some in the world have speculated that Americans were actually behind the Sept. 11 terror attacks, staged in an attempt to assure Israel’s survival.
This is absolutely terrible that this soldier would say these obscene things to children. And we wonder why these guys wanna kill us?
Vodpod videos no longer available.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An Alaska-based soldier is under investigation for a video on his Facebook page that taunts smiling Iraqi children by asking if they’re gay, if they engage in certain sex acts and if they would grow up to be terrorists.
Can you imagine if these guys had on some name brand sneakers? Nike is eating their hearts out now.
But just to refresh you guys memory, this is the guy who threw the shoe at George Bush awhile back. Hit the jump to see the original shoe thrower aim for the dome of GW.
I have officially heard it all.
This is a very serious story about the realities of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. These young men are turned into killing machines and are expected to come back home and adjust to normal life.
This report highlights that many soldiers are having a difficult time doing this and the evidence shows that the are suffering post traumatic stress from long engagements. Our so-called political leaders need to stop all the cat and mouse politics and begin to address the needs of these young men and women.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – Soldiers from an Army unit that had 10 infantrymen accused of murder, attempted murder or manslaughter after returning to civilian life described a breakdown in discipline during their Iraq deployment in which troops murdered civilians, a newspaper reported Sunday.
Some Fort Carson, Colo.-based soldiers have had trouble adjusting to life back in the United States, saying they refused to seek help, or were belittled or punished for seeking help. Others say they were ignored by their commanders, or coped through drug and alcohol abuse before they allegedly committed crimes, The Gazette of Colorado Springs said.
A couple of years ago, Blackwater executive Joseph Schmitz seemed to see a silver lining for mercenary companies with the prospect of US forces being withdrawn or reduced in Iraq. “There is a scenario where we could as a government, the United States, could pull back the military footprint,” Schmitz said. “And there would then be more of a need for private contractors to go in.”
When it comes to armed contractors, it seems that Schmitz was right.
According to new statistics released by the Pentagon, with Barack Obama as commander in chief, there has been a 23% increase in the number of “Private Security Contractors” working for the Department of Defense in Iraq in the second quarter of 2009 and a 29% increase in Afghanistan, which “correlates to the build up of forces” in the country. These numbers relate explicitly to DoD security contractors. Companies like Blackwater and its successor Triple Canopy work on State Department contracts and it is unclear if these contractors are included in the over-all statistics. This means, the number of individual “security” contractors could be quite higher, as could the scope of their expansion. Continue reading
via NY Times
BABYLON, Iraq — After decades of dictatorship and disrepair, Iraq is celebrating its renewed sovereignty over the Babylon archaeological site — the “liberation” of it and other archeological sites, as one official put it — by fighting over the place, over its past and future and, of course, over its spoils.
Time long ago eroded the sun-dried bricks that shaped ancient Babylon, the city of Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar, where Daniel read the writing on the wall and Alexander the Great died.
Colonial archaeologists packed off its treasures to Europe a century ago. Saddam Hussein rebuilt the site in his own megalomaniacal image. American and Polish troops turned it into a military camp, digging trenches and filling barricades with soil peppered with fragments of a biblical-era civilization. Continue reading
BERLIN — U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says about 30 detainees have been cleared for release from Guantanamo Bay.
Holder met with reporters in Germany ahead of a speech appealing for Europe’s help to close the U.S. military detention facility.
The attorney general says the U.S. has not decided which detainees they want to send to specific countries, adding that those decisions are weeks away.
There are 241 prisoners at Guantanamo, and Holder has been visiting European leaders this week asking for help relocating detainees and shuttering the detention site over the next nine months.
Previewing his later speech, Holder said closing the detention facility is a shared responsibility for the U.S. and Europe.
AP’s earlier story is below. Continue reading
WASHINGTON, March 30 (Reuters) – Pentagon spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and to fight terrorism elsewhere has reached $685.7 billion since 2001, a U.S. government watchdog agency said on Monday.
The Government Accountability Office, or GAO, said the Iraq war accounted for $533.5 billion in Defense Department spending obligations through last December, while spending on operations in Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and the Philippines totaled $124.1 billion.
The remaining $28.1 billion was for operations to defend the U.S. mainland, the GAO said in a letter to Congress dated March 30.
The spending total equals about 85 percent of the $808 billion that Congress has appropriated for military operations in the global war on terrorism since the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, the GAO said.
The $122.3 billion difference reflects multiyear contracts for procurement, military construction, research, development and other programs, the watchdog agency said. Continue reading
David Banner recently discussed the effects of the Iraq war, speaking on the number of soldier suicides.
The rapper-turned-actor said recently spending time overseas made him realize the seriousness of war.
“That experience changed my life,” Banner said in an interview. “There are troops who are experiencing situations we couldn’t imagine…Things are really hard over there and the Bush Administration really tried to hide the real number of suicides in the Iraq War. There have been multiple thousands of suicides. And I don’t personally agree with the war, but that has nothing to do with supporting the people who are putting their life on the line, or dying over there or fighting that war. They feel like people have forgotten about them.” (Hip Hop DX)
Banner was selected by the United States Organizations (USO) earlier this year to perform for troops in the Persian Gulf in 2009.
The performances are part of a week-long USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour, in which Banner will visit several military posts. “There’s nothing I enjoy more than giving back and expressing my thanks to those serving our nation,” Banner said in the release. “I am honored to travel with the USO and feel privileged to do what I do everyday. Regardless of your political affiliation or viewpoint on the war, our soldiers work hard and have paved the way to where we are today.” (The Clarion-Ledger) Continue reading
What a beautiful spring ritual, at least there not taking the opportunity to go to war, like Bush did six years ago to this day. I wonder how many Americans will get the clue and start planting their own food?
She will be joined by students from Bancroft Elementary School in the District of Columbia. The children will stay involved with the project, including planting the fruits, vegetables and herbs in the coming weeks and harvesting the crops later in the year.
Mrs. Obama spent time earlier this week at an exhibit on rooftop gardening.
“We’re going to get a big one in our back yard, the South Lawn,” she promised the volunteers.
Such a White House garden has been a dream of noted California chef Alice Waters, considered a leader in the movement to encourage consumption of locally grown, organic food. She has been appealing for change through the taste buds since the 1960s. Continue reading
via Raw Story
Blackwater Worldwide is abandoning its tarnished brand name as it tries to shake a reputation battered by oft-criticized work in Iraq, renaming its family of two dozen businesses under the name Xe.
The parent company’s new name is pronounced like the letter “z.” Blackwater Lodge & Training Center — the subsidiary that conducts much of the company’s overseas operations and domestic training — has been renamed U.S. Training Center Inc., the company said Friday.
The decision comes as part of an ongoing rebranding effort that grew more urgent following a September 2007 shooting in Iraq that left at least a dozen civilians dead. Blackwater president Gary Jackson said in a memo to employees the new name reflects the change in company focus away from the business of providing private security.
“The volume of changes over the past half-year have taken the company to an exciting place and we are now ready for two of the final, and most obvious changes,” Jackson said in the note.
In his memo, Jackson indicated the company was not interested in actively pursuing new private security contracts. Jackson and other Blackwater executives told The Associated Press last year it was shifting its focus away from such work to focus on training and providing logistics. Continue reading
Air Force Gen. Victor Renuart, the Pentagon’s homeland security commander, thinks one of the tools the military uses to combat insurgents in Iraq — the collection of biometric data — is needed here at home.
The Associated Press has this
alarming intriguing quote from Renuart, who spoke Tuesday at a defense industry conference in northern Virginia:
“Interestingly, we are probably further forward in using biometrics outside our country in some of the combat environments than we are inside our country,” said the general. “We’ve got to find a way to fix that.”
Tuesday’s conference was devoted to discussion of implementation of HSPD-24, a homeland security directive signed by President George W. Bush in 2008. The directive is supposed to harmonize the way federal agencies and the military collect, store, analyze — and share — biometric data. As it stands, the directive instructs the Attorney General to work with the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology to create an action plan for implementing HSPD-24 by this June.
The new administration may be reviewing a number of Bush directives, but now might be a really good time to read up on the military’s use of biometric technology. Noah reported extensively on the use of biometrics to deny freedom of movement to insurgents in Anbar province; he also noted the privacy and human-rights implications. For good measure, go read this fascinating transcript of this bloggers’ roundtable from 2007 with Lt. Col. John Velliquette, then the chief of biometrics collection in Iraq. Continue reading
Iraq’s government says it won’t give Blackwater a license to operate in the country. So does that mean the firm’s cadre of tattooed gunslingers will be gone from Iraq, forever? Not exactly.
Sure, Blackwater as a corporate entity probably won’t be roaming the streets of Baghdad or Mosul for much longer. But the individual mercenaries who’ve been working for years in Iraq, serving as a Praetorian Guard for the State Department’s diplomats — those guys likely will be able to stay.
The State Department has a contract for “worldwide personal protective services” with three firms: Blackwater, DynCorp, and Triple Canopy. If Blackwater is no longer allowed to operate in Iraq, a lawyer steeped in the field tells Danger Room, there’s no legal reason why the other two firms can’t scoop up Blackwater’s employees. “State simply issues a new task order to DynCorp or Triple Canopy, who turn around and hire some or all of Blackwater’s employees,” he says.
Which could prove to be more than a little problematic. More than any other private military firm in Iraq, Blackwater had a reputation for recklessness and violence. Think about the drunken Blackwater contractor, who killed a bodyguard of Iraq’s vice president on Christmas Eve, 2007. Or the car full of people a Blackwater detail ran off the road, in September 2006. Or the Nisour Square shooting that left 17 dead, in September 2007. “If you think Blackwater culture is to blame, this [loophole] kind of confounds that,” the lawyer observes. Continue reading
WASHINGTON (CNN) — The U.S. Army will report Thursday the highest level of suicides among its soldiers since it began tracking the rate 28 years ago, CNN has learned.
Statistics obtained by CNN show the Army will report 128 confirmed suicides last year and another 15 suspected suicides in cases under investigation among active-duty soldiers and activated National Guard and reserves.
The confirmed rate of suicides for the Army was 20.2 per 100,000. Army officials were reviewing the suspected suicides Wednesday. If any of them are confirmed, the rate would rise.
Last month, Army officials said the nation’s suicide rate was 19.5 people per 100,000, a 2005 figure considered the most recent.
Military officials have long said it is difficult to compare the military suicide rate with that of the private sector because of demographic differences and overall human stress factors. Another factor is that military suicides tend to be committed by young men with access to weapons. Continue reading
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Air Force soon will fly commercial planes outfitted with surveillance technologies that can help troops in Iraq or Afghanistan detect mines, explosives and other enemy efforts, a senior service official said Friday.
Air Force Brig. Gen. Blair Hansen detailed previously classified plans to reconfigure used and new Hawker Beechcraft Corp. aircraft under a nearly $1 billion contract to support surveillance and reconnaissance operations in both U.S.-led wars and beyond. The first two King Air 350 planes are slated to begin flights by April.
“We always need to know more because of the nature of insurgency … (and have) more information faster,” Hansen, the service’s director of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, told reporters at a Pentagon press briefing.
The Air Force said it will buy a total of 37 of the modified MC-12 aircraft, which will carry a crew of four, plus two operators, under the so-called “Project Liberty” program. United Technologies Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney is building the engines for the nearly 47-foot long aircraft.
The planes can carry up to 539 gallons of fuel and reach a maximum speed of roughly 370 miles per hour. Continue reading
via NY Times
THREE days after the world learned that $50 billion may have disappeared in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, The Times led its front page of Dec. 14 with the revelation of another $50 billion rip-off. This time the vanished loot belonged to American taxpayers. That was our collective contribution to the $117 billion spent (as of mid-2008) on Iraq reconstruction — a sinkhole of corruption, cronyism, incompetence and outright theft that epitomized Bush management at home and abroad.
The source for this news was a near-final draft of an as-yet-unpublished 513-page federal history of this nation-building fiasco. The document was assembled by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction — led by a Bush appointee, no less. It pinpoints, among other transgressions, a governmental Ponzi scheme concocted to bamboozle Americans into believing they were accruing steady dividends on their investment in a “new” Iraq.
The report quotes no less an authority than Colin Powell on how the scam worked. Back in 2003, Powell said, the Defense Department just “kept inventing numbers of Iraqi security forces — the number would jump 20,000 a week! ‘We now have 80,000, we now have 100,000, we now have 120,000.’ ” Those of us who questioned these astonishing numbers were dismissed as fools, much like those who begged in vain to get the Securities and Exchange Commission to challenge Madoff’s math.
What’s most remarkable about the Times article, however, is how little stir it caused. When, in 1971, The Times got its hands on the Pentagon Papers, the internal federal history of the Vietnam disaster, the revelations caused a national uproar. But after eight years of battering by Bush, the nation has been rendered half-catatonic. The Iraq Pentagon Papers sank with barely a trace.
After all, next to big-ticket administration horrors like Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo and the politicized hiring and firing at Alberto Gonzales’s Justice Department, the wreckage of Iraq reconstruction is what Ralph Kramden of “The Honeymooners” would dismiss as “a mere bag of shells.” The $50 billion also pales next to other sums that remain unaccounted for in the Bush era, from the $345 billion in lost tax revenue due to unpoliced offshore corporate tax havens to the far-from-transparent disposition of some $350 billion in Wall Street bailout money. In the old Pat Moynihan phrase, the Bush years have “defined deviancy down” in terms of how low a standard of ethical behavior we now tolerate as the norm from public officials. Continue reading
via NY Times
LAHORE, Pakistan — When Muhammad Saad Iqbal arrived home here in August after more than six years in American custody, including five at the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, he had difficulty walking, his left ear was severely infected, and he was dependent on a cocktail of antibiotics and antidepressants.
In November, a Pakistani surgeon operated on his ear, physical therapists were working on lower back problems and a psychiatrist was trying to wean him off the drugs he carried around in a white, plastic shopping bag.
The maladies, said Mr. Iqbal, 31, a professional reader of the Koran, are the result of a gantlet of torture, imprisonment and interrogation for which his Washington lawyer plans to sue the United States government.
The coming administration of President-elect Barack Obama is weighing whether to close the Guantánamo prison, which many critics have called an extralegal system of detention and abuse.
But the full stories of individual detainees like Mr. Iqbal are only now emerging after years in which they were shuttled around the globe under the Bush administration’s system of extraordinary rendition, which used foreign countries to interrogate and detain terrorism suspects in sites beyond the reach of American courts. Continue reading
This dude needs his own sitcom when he leaves office. Admit it, you’ll miss him because he’s become such an in-grown part of the fabric of not only American politics but our daily dose of humor. He’s a hilarity when he’s not even trying. He’s actually saying he doesn’t know what this dudes “beef” was. This is obviously a man who is in serious denial.
WASHINGTON -An internal State Department report says Blackwater Worldwide may lose its license to work in Iraq and recommends that the agency prepare alternative means to protect its diplomats there.
The 42-page draft report by the State Department’s Inspector General says the department faces “numerous challenges” in dealing with the security situation in Iraq, including the prospect that Blackwater may be barred from the country. The department would have turn to other security arrangements to replace Blackwater, officials said.
The State Department had no immediate comment on the report itself, but deputy spokesman Robert Wood said that after the probe is done, officials would look at “whether the continued use of Blackwater in Iraq is consistent with the U.S. government’s goals and objectives.”
It is not clear how the State Department would replace Blackwater. It relies heavily on private contractors to protect its diplomats in Iraq, as its own security service does not have the manpower or equipment to do so. The report suggests that one way to fill the void would be for the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service to beef up its presence in Iraq. Continue reading
Iraq’s justice system is to probe the case of the journalist who hurled his shoes at US President George W. Bush, officials said on Tuesday, as his brother said he had been beaten up by security agents.
“Muntazer al-Zaidi has been transferred to the judicial authorities who have opened an investigation. But it is too soon to say who was behind this act,” General Qassem Atta, spokesman for a Baghdad security plan, told AFP.
The journalist’s brother, meanwhile, said he has a broken arm and ribs after being struck by Iraqi security agents.
Durgham Zaidi was unable to say whether Muntazer had sustained the injuries while being overpowered during Sunday’s protest against Bush’s visit to Baghdad or while in custody later. Continue reading
An Iraqi television journalist hurled two shoes at President Bush on Sunday during a joint news conference Bush was holding with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki to mark the signing of a U.S.-Iraq security agreement.
Bush had just finished his prepared remarks in which he said the security agreement was made possible by the U.S. surge of troops earlier this year, whhen the journalist, Muthathar al Zaidi pulled his shoes off and hurled them at the president. “This is a goodbye kiss, you dog,” Zaidi shouted.
Bush dodged the shoes and was not struck. Bodyguards quickly wrestled Zaidi to the floor and hauled him, kicking and screaming, from the room. Two other Iraqi journalists were briefly detained after one of them called Zaidi’s actions “courageous.”
via My Way
SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq (AP) – International media watchdog groups called Wednesday for the release of a freelance journalist jailed in northern Iraq for violating a public decency law by writing a story about homosexuality.
Adel Hussein was sentenced Nov. 24 to six months in jail by a court in Irbil, capital of the Kurdish-ruled region of northern Iraq, according to the Committee To Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders.
Hussein also was ordered to pay a fine of about $106, the organizations said. He is being held at Mahata prison in Irbil, about 220 miles north of Baghdad.
“We are astonished to learn that a press case has been tried under the criminal code. What was the point of adopting – and then liberalizing – a press code in the Kurdistan region if people who contribute to the news media are still be tried under more repressive laws,” Reporters Without Borders said in a statement.
The case centers on an April 2007 article Hussein wrote for the independent weekly Hawlati that detailed the physical effects of homosexual sex, the organizations said. Continue reading
So let me get this right, it took them over a decade to acknowledge that soldiers are being exposed to hazardous conditions. So how long is it going to take them to acknowledge that soldiers may be coming home from Iraq with potential illnesses. On news programs I’ve seen them use and expose themselves to depleted uranium aka Willie Pete. This, my friends is a lethal biological weapon, a WMD on a smaller scale. So, these soldiers (support the troops!) are going to be returning to the mainland with conditions that’ll have them radioactive, potentially ticking-time bombs. Great to know.
WASHINGTON (CNN) — 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.
That illness is a condition now identified as the likely consequence of exposure to toxic chemicals, including pesticides and a drug administered to protect troops against nerve gas.
The 452-page report states that “scientific evidence leaves no question that Gulf War illness is a real condition with real causes and serious consequences for affected veterans.”
The report, compiled by a panel of scientific experts and veterans serving on the congressionally mandated Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses, fails to identify any cure for the malady.
It also notes that few veterans afflicted with Gulf War illness have recovered over time.
“Today’s report brings to a close one of the darkest chapters in the legacy of the 1991 Gulf War,” said Anthony Hardie, a member of the committee and a member of the advocacy group Veterans of Modern Warfare. Continue reading
Oh, and I got a bridge in Brooklyn for sale…
For five years Ali and Mohammed have lived alongside US soldiers in their Baghdad neighbourhood near Rasheed Street, a prominent commercial artery running through the heart of the Iraqi capital.
During that time American culture and politics have become familiar to them, and they say that if they could, they would vote for Republican candidate John McCain in next week’s US presidential election.
“McCain would be best for Iraq because he would ensure stability,” said Ali, 66, an expert on the Sumerian era.
The personal qualities and political platforms of McCain and his Democrat rival Barack Obama are of little import to Ali, however. His focus is on Iraq and its neighbours such as Iran.
“The Iranians believe that if Obama is elected he will not take action against them despite their nuclear ambitions. That worries me,” said Ali, sitting on an old bench in Al-Zahawi coffee shop.
“If the Iranians get the bomb they will become the Tarzan of the region,” said the former teacher and lecturer at the University of Baghdad, referring to the vine-swinging strongman of the jungle in old Hollywood movies. Continue reading
via Army Times
The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.
Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.
Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.
It is not the first time an active-duty unit has been tapped to help at home. In August 2005, for example, when Hurricane Katrina unleashed hell in Mississippi and Louisiana, several active-duty units were pulled from various posts and mobilized to those areas. Continue reading
On Monday, September 15 the chickens came home to roost. Now, when those words were used 45 years ago to describe the assassination of America’s beloved president John F. Kennedy it caused a rift in the Nation of Islam between Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X, who erroneously mouthed those sentiments against the wishes of his advisers. We all know how that ended up. So, in the spirit of harmony I ask that you don’t shoot the messenger, I am just stating the obvious.
When the obituary for the American Empire is written, its death will not be attributed to Al Qaeda or Middle Eastern terrorists. The eulogist won’t say that everything came to an abrupt end because the country was on the cusp of electing it’s first “Black President.” No, it may read something more like this: In the end, the wagging dog ate it’s own tail. America, that great bastion of freedom and capitalism was consumed by unprecedented GREED.
Seven score years ago, one of the most tragic events in modern times took place in our beloved City of New York (9/11). An attack took place, that much we know, and the financial heart of the Empire, the World Trade Center was the target. Apparently the plan was to bring America to her knees by crippling her financial markets and destabilizing the economy through FEAR. Did it work? On the contraire, citizens were instructed to go shopping to infuse the economy with a stimulus so that we may fight the terrorist with our ‘wallets.’ Then an amazing thing happened as the wallets parted ways and the cash was delivered: under periods of stress and duress, America flourished. Red, white and blue flags were waving from places where years ago the same flag was burned to a crisp in protest of the Imperialistic agenda these jihadist were raging against. Continue reading
via Times Online
American soldiers will withdraw from cities across Iraq next summer and all US combat troops will leave the country within three years, provided the violence remains low, under the terms of a draft agreement with the Iraqi Government.
In one of the most detailed insights yet into the content of the deal, Hoshyar Zebari, the Iraqi Foreign Minister, has also told The Times that the US military would be barred from unilaterally mounting attacks inside Iraq from next year.
In addition, the power of arrest for US soldiers would be curbed by the need to hand over any detainee to a new, US-Iraqi committee. Troops would require the green light from this joint command before conducting any operation. Continue reading
It seems that we are at a very important time in history. With a dogfight being waged for the White house, it is no secret that the incoming adminstration has a lot of work to do concerning this illegal war that was weighed by the Bush/Cheney Adminstration. One of the problems will be how unjustly detainees are being treated at Guntanamo Bay. This story is sad indeed.
“I’d been to Guantanamo in mid-June,” explained Remes, “and there’s a certain amount of normalcy that has settled over the normal miserable conditions of confinement, which amount to solitary confinement without sleep and without sunlight and without anyone to talk to.
It’s not uncommon for a big-budget Hollywood flick to get mixed reviews and then go on to do gang-busters at the box office. Movie-goers’ desires when looking for a little escapism on a Saturday afternoon don’t always mesh with the critics’ tastes. But it’s almost unheard of for scrappy, independent films to do well without critical raves. Low-budget films live or die according to their reviews, and a so-so write up is usually a quick ticket to the video shelf.
That’s the rule; War, Inc., John Cusack’s dark parable about the rape and pillage of the Iraqi economy — what Antonia Juhasz calls Bush’s “economic invasion” of Iraq – is the exception. While the film wasn’t exactly panned by critics — overall, its writing and acting were well-received — quite a few mainstream reviewers were dismissive of its premise. For many in the commercial media, Iraq, and the rampant war-profiteering that’s marked the adventure from the beginning, is old news, and they greeted it with a collective ‘ho-hum.’
via WTOP News
Car lovers in Iraq, tired of an endless parade of sand-colored Humvees, got a bit of a treat Monday when police discovered five fancy cars _ each a tad dusty _ once owned by a notorious son of former dictator Saddam Hussein.
The cars, two Rolls Royces and several vintage classics, had been stolen from Odai Hussein’s palace during the looting after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, police said. For years, the cars were buried beneath the dirt of an orchard in Baghdad’s Dora neighborhood.
Iran has test-fired what it called a new version of the Shahab-3 missile, which is capable of reaching its main regional enemy Israel, state media say.
The missile, said to have a range of 2,000km (1,240 miles), was one of nine launched from a remote desert site.
Iran has tested the Shahab-3 before, but the latest launch comes amid rising tensions with the US and Israel over the country’s nuclear programme.
TYNGSBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The knock on Brian Hart’s door came at 6 a.m. An Army colonel, a priest and a police officer had come to tell Hart and his wife that their 20-year-old son had been killed when his military vehicle was ambushed in Iraq.
Brian Hart didn’t channel his grief quietly. Committed to “preventing the senseless from recurring,” he railed against the military on his blog for shortcomings in supplying armor to soldiers. The one-time Republican teamed with liberal Sen. Edward Kennedy to tell Congress that the Pentagon was leaving soldiers ill-equipped.
And then Hart went beyond words to fight his cause. He became a defense contractor.
Source : Yahoo
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – About 870 prisoners escaped during a Taliban bomb and rocket attack on the main prison in southern Afghanistan that knocked down the front gate and demolished a prison floor, Afghan officials said Saturday. And in western Afghanistan on Saturday, a roadside bomb exploded near a U.S. military vehicle, killing four Americans in the deadliest attack against U.S. troops in the country this year, officials said.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A long way from Iraq and the war debate in Washington, Herman Moore sat outside a tent in a downtown New Orleans homeless camp, trying to make sense of a proposal that helps Iraqi war refugees but will likely exclude Hurricane Katrina victims.
“Messed up is not the phrase. I think you know the phrase,” Moore said. “This place has been forgotten, just forgotten.”
The 56-year-old lifelong city resident is referring to Congress’ plan to spend $212 billion to finance the war in Iraq. In the massive spending bill, $350 million is set aside to help Iraqi refugees while just $73 million has been allotted to help shelter physically and mentally disabled Katrina victims – and that money could be cut as early as Tuesday.
This is definetly something politically motivated. With Prime Minister Ehud Olmert facing possible ouster for corruption, one of his deputies, with his eyes on the prize of PM, is spewing this talk of attack to gain political favor from a country who fears the uranium enrichment of Iran. This type of rhetoric does more damage than anything else. More below:
An Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites looks “unavoidable” given the apparent failure of sanctions to deny Tehran technology with bomb-making potential, one of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s deputies said on Friday.
“If Iran continues with its program for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The sanctions are ineffective,” Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz told the mass-circulation Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.
“Attacking Iran, in order to stop its nuclear plans, will be unavoidable,” said the former army chief who has also been defense minister.
It was the most explicit threat yet against Iran from a member of Olmert’s government, which, like the Bush administration, has preferred to hint at force as a last resort should U.N. Security Council sanctions be deemed a dead end.
Tell me who in the world is surprised by this headline if it turns out to true. Especially the back and forth between Obama and Bush about how to handle Iran in future. Read below:
US President George W. Bush intends to attack Iran in the upcoming months, before the end of his term, Army Radio quoted a senior official in Jerusalem as saying Tuesday.
The official claimed that a senior member of the president’s entourage, which concluded a trip to Israel last week, said during a closed meeting that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were of the opinion that military action was called for.
However, the official continued, “the hesitancy of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice” was preventing the administration from deciding to launch such an attack on the Islamic Republic, for the time being.
The report stated that according to assessments in Israel, recent turmoil in Lebanon, where Hizbullah de facto established control of the country, was advancing an American attack.
Bush, the officials said, opined that Hizbullah’s show of strength was evidence of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s growing influence. They said that according to Bush, “the disease must be treated – not its symptoms.”
In an address to the Knesset during his visit here last week, Bush said that “the president of Iran dreams of returning the Middle East to the Middle Ages.”
“America stands with you in firmly opposing Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions,” Bush said. “Permitting the world’s leading sponsor of terror to possess the world’s deadliest weapon would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations. For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”