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Posts Tagged ‘United States’

Three Quarters of Deaths in Two Years Since President Obama Took Office

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com,  January 02, 2011

A new report from the Conflict Monitoring Centre (CMC) has reported that 2,043 Pakistanis have been slain in CIA drone strikes in the past 5 years, with the vast majority of them innocent civilians.

The report notes that the attacks target Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas where “people usually carry guns and ammunition as a tradition. US drones will identify anyone carrying a gun as a militant and subsequently he will be killed.” Pakistan’s government, which has only a nominal presence in the region, traditionally brands anyone killed by the US a “suspect.”

And while 2,043 is a lot of people to kill in the past five years, over 75% of them were actually killed in the past two years since President Obama took office. 2009 saw over 700 people killed in the CIA drone strikes, and the report shows 929 more killed in 2010.

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By Rick Rozoff, opednews.com, Dec 23, 2010

On December 22 both houses of the U.S. Congress unanimously passed a bill authorizing $725 billion for next year’s Defense Department budget.

The bill, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011, was approved by all 100 senators as required and by a voice vote in the House.

The House had approved the bill, now sent to President Barack Obama to sign into law, five days earlier in a 341-48 roll call, but needed to vote on it again after the Senate altered it in the interim.

The proposed figure for the Pentagon’s 2011 war chest includes, in addition to the base budget, $158.7 billion for what are now euphemistically referred to as overseas contingency operations: The military occupation of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan.

The $725 billion figure, although $17 billion more than the White House had requested, is not the final word on the subject, however, as supplements could be demanded as early as the beginning of next year, especially in regard to the Afghan war that will then be in its eleventh calendar year.

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Eric Margolis, Information Clearing House, Dec 13, 2010

In 1956, Britain, France and Israel colluded to invade Egypt to overthrow its hugely popular nationalist leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Israel provoked border clashes and quickly captured the Sinai Peninsula. The British and French landed at Suez.

US President Dwight Eisenhower deemed the tripartite Suez aggression immoral and damaging to American interests in the Muslim world.   “Ike” angrily ordered the British, French and Israelis to get out of Egypt at once – or else. They got out.

Fast forward to 2010. President Barack Obama has been demanding Israel stop building illegal Jewish settlements around Jerusalem and on the West Bank.

Obama rightly concluded the ongoing agony of Palestine has turned the Muslim world against the United States. It is also  the primary cause of what Washington calls “terrorism.” I write about this extensively in my latest book, “American Raj.”

After the Suez invasion, Israel’s American partisans set about building an influence network that would ensure no American president could ever force Israel to do anything against its will. Over the next half century, the Israel lobby became the most powerful and feared lobby in America, dominating both the US Congress and media.

The lobby’s brilliant success was again confirmed last week as Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of Israel’s rightist coalition, literally spit in Obama’s face, sneeringly rejecting the president’s pleas to create a viable Palestinian state. Vice President Joseph Biden was earlier humiliated on a trip to Israel to plead with Israel to stop building Jewish settlements.

The US Congress and rightwing media actually applauded the public humiliation of their president and vice president.

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by Robert Greenwald and Derrick Crowe, The Huffington Post,  Dec 5, 2010

When asked by USA Today‘s pollsters last week, sixty-eight percent of Americans said we worry that the cost of the Afghanistan War hurts our ability to fix problems here in the U.S. This week, we learned just how right we were about that. Friday’s terrible jobs report shows that a crushing 9.8 percent of us are unemployed. And, millions of us are about to lose our lifeline because Congress refuses to extend unemployment insurance benefits. We’re spending $2 billion per week — per week! — in Afghanistan while millions of people face going hungry during the holidays.

Do our elected officials not get it? We’re drowning out here, and the administration is throwing money that could put Americans back to work at a failed war on the other side of the planet. In fact, that’s where the president was when the jobs report came out this morning — in Afghanistan, talking about “progress” again.

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Join Peace Vet-Led Protest at White House on December 16th

by Kevin Zeese, Dissident Voice,  December 9th, 2010

The White House is in the midst of a strategic review of Afghanistan. This review is coming at a time when the reality is hard to ignore: Afghanistan cannot be won, the cost is escalating at a time when the U.S. economy is in collapse and the war is undermining U.S. national security and the rule of law.  It is time to end the war-based foreign policy of the United States.

Opposition to war is growing. Sixty-one House members wrote president Obama last month calling for an end to the Afghan war. The letter was co-signed by 57 Democrats and 4 Republicans.  They wrote: “This has become the longest war in US history. The rate of casualties is at an all-time high. And we have already spent $365 billion on this unwinnable war.”  This reflects the views of Americans.  A recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac University found that 50 percent of those surveyed said the United States should not be involved in Afghanistan, compared to 41 percent who opposed the war in September.

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NATO Confirms Apache Helicopters Launched Attacks Against Pakistani Territory

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com,  September 26, 2010

NATO spokesmen are confirming tonight that a pair of US Apache helicopters crossed the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan, launching an attack against tribesmen in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) which killed over 50.

NATO says that the tribesmen they attacked were believed to be the same ones responsible for an attack against a NATO base in the Khost Province of Afghanistan. The Khost Province borders FATA’s North Waziristan Agency, a regular target for US drone strikes.

Though it is not the first time US forces have crossed the border and launched attacks into Pakistan, such attacks have been exceedingly rare (and followed by angry reactions from Pakistan’s military and civilian government). NATO has also repeatedly tried to distance itself from previous attacks, insisting there is no basis for crossing the border.

NATO depends on Pakistani territory as a supply route for its troops in land-locked Afghanistan, and following a pair of 2008 raids by US troops into Pakistan the nation’s government briefly blocked the supplies. With many, many more NATO troops in Afghanistan now than in 2008 the supply route is all the more vital, though simultaneously all the more fragile.

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13 US Strikes in 12 Days in Restive Agency

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com, September 15, 2010

Yesterday a pair of US drone strikes against Bushnarai and Datta Khel in North Waziristan Agency killed at least 16 people. Today, two more US drone strikes involving at least 10 more missiles struck. The new attacks hit homes in Dandi Derpakhel and Datta Khel, killing at least 21 more “suspects” and wounding an unknown number of others. This brings the total to four attacks in two days with 37 dead. All of the slain have been termed “suspects” primarily because North Waziristan, which has only a nominal Pakistani government presence, is known to be home to the Haqqani network. None of those slain in the attacks have been “high value” targets, which is to say people conclusively linked with the group. The attacks also mark the 12th and 13th attacks by US drones against the region in the past 12 days. Though a number of civilians have been confirmed killed (including several children) none of the attacks appear to have killed anyone “high value,” though officials were bragging that a drone strike inside Afghanistan managed to kill a cousin of a top Haqqani family figure.

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