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Archive for December, 2009

Paul Craig Roberts | Takimag.com | December 02, 2009

HappyObama

It didn’t take the Israel lobby very long to bring President Obama to heel regarding his prohibition against further illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land. Obama discovered that a mere American president is powerless when confronted by the Israel lobby and that the United States simply is not allowed a Middle East policy separate from Israel’s.

Obama also found out that he cannot change anything else either, if he ever intended to do so.

The military-security lobby has war and a domestic police state on its agenda, and a mere American president can’t do anything about it.

President Obama can order the Guantanamo torture chamber closed and kidnapping and rendition and torture to be halted, but no one carries out the order.

Essentially, Obama is irrelevant.

(more…)

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Daniel Tencer | Raw Story | Sunday, Dec 27th, 2009

Obama ‘giving his generals a little too much leeway’

Congressman Dennis Kucinich says President Barack Obama ought to fire the generals who publicly aired their views on the war in Afghanistan during this fall’s deliberations on a troop surge.

The Ohio Democrat known for his anti-war views said there is “no question” that the president was pressured by the military into approving a 30,000-troop surge.

“Some of [Obama’s] generals made remarks publicly, which is unheard of,” Kucinich told Russia Today. “Generals are subordinate to the Commander-in-Chief. When generals start trying to suggest publicly what the president should do, they shouldn’t be generals anymore. That’s the way it works. And frankly, President Obama, who is a good man, has given his generals a little too much leeway.”

Kucinich also said that the Constitutional mechanism for declaring and waging war, which gives authority over the issue to Congress, has been eroded by successive presidencies that have not seen fit to ask Congress for permission for military campaigns abroad.

“We’ve had a series of presidents who have basically taken the initiative to go to war and hadn’t really checked with Congress,” Kucinich said. “Richard Nixon prolonged a war in Vietnam and he did so when many efforts were made by members of congress to cut off funds.”

Kucinich has tabled a resolution in Congress that calls for a vote on a withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

The following video was broadcast on Russia Today, December 23, 2009.

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We’ve all heard of “shotgun weddings,” but here in the USofA, our first-rate, employment-based private insurance system has led to a whole new form of marriage-the “stethoscope” wedding.

The writer of this CNN article lays out why she found herself becoming a “Mrs.” I will say that this is indeed an act of love, and I will personally vouch that it isn’t an unusual catalyst; my own worries about a red-headed girl’s health was a factor in my own mind for moving up our wedding date (and I’ve never told her that, and I expect you to STFU as well 🙂 ) In my own case, I’d definitely have done it anyway, but I have to wonder…. how many people are doing this PRIMARILY because our system sucks so bad? How many of them will wind up divorced later?

And isn’t it a damned obscenity that gay people cannot do this for a loved one in most states?

I’d never been one of those girls who’d dreamt about her perfect wedding. The white wedding dress, the exorbitant costs, the fuss over a big, shiny rock — none of it ever appealed to me.

I wanted to find a lifelong partner, and a family sounded nice, too, but honestly? I never cared much about that piece of paper.

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President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., spoke at the White House after Senate voted on the health care bill on Thursday. - Luke Sharrett/The New York Times

ROBERT PEAR | NYT | December 24, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted Thursday to reinvent the nation’s health care system, passing a bill to guarantee access to health insurance for tens of millions of Americans and to rein in health costs as proposed by President Obama.

The 60-to-39 party-line vote, on the 25th straight day of debate on the legislation, brings Democrats a step closer to a goal they have pursued for decades. It clears the way for negotiations with the House, which passed a broadly similar bill last month by a vote of 220 to 215.

If the two chambers can strike a deal, as seems likely, the resulting product would vastly expand the role and responsibilities of the federal government. It would, as lawmakers said repeatedly in the debate, touch the lives of nearly all Americans.

The bill would require most Americans to have health insurance, would add 15 million people to the Medicaid rolls and would subsidize private coverage for low- and middle-income people, at a cost to the government of $871 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

SOURCE

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by Marjorie Cohn, CommonDreams.org, Dec 21, 2009

President Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize nine days after he announced he would send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. His escalation of that war is not what the Nobel committee envisioned when it sought to encourage him to make peace, not war.

In 1945, in the wake of two wars that claimed millions of lives, the nations of the world created the United Nations system to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” The UN Charter is based on the principles of international peace and security as well as the protection of human rights. But the United States, one of the founding members of the UN, has often flouted the commands of the charter, which is part of US law under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.

Continues >>

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Interview with Richard Falk

Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and author of “Crimes of War: Iraq” and “The Costs of War: International Law, the UN, and World Order after Iraq” recorded October 17, 2009 in Seattle

Information Clearing House, posted Dec 21, 2009

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BBC | 22 December, 2009

A senior US diplomat who resigned over the war in Afghanistan has told the BBC that the troop surge there “will not make a difference”.

Matthew Hoh stepped down from his position in the US state department in October 2009.

The former marine, who served in Iraq, had previously been the senior US civilian official in Zabul province.

He told BBC Radio 4 that a political solution was needed to what he called a “35-year-old civil war”.

Matthew Hoh’s resignation was described by one leading American newspaper as having sent “ripples all the way to the White House”.

In a letter sent to explain his decision, he wrote that he had lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan. (more…)

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