Friday, July 30, 2010

"The Real Terrorist Was Me"

Anti-War Speech By US War Veteran


Video

Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or policies we don't understand; The real enemy is a system that wages war when it's profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it's profitable, the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it's profitable, the Banks who take away our homes when it's profitable. Our enemies are not several hundred thousands away. They are right here in front of us

- Mike Prysner

Posted July 29, 2010

Please Support the Veterans Against War at:
http://www.ivaw.org/


Michael Prysner, an Iraq war veteran and now peace activist, was a corporal in the US army that invaded Iraq in 2003. Today he is a leader of March Forward, an organization of American veterans from both the Iraq and Afghanistan conflict.

Michael Prysner stated: I saw that it was not for the liberation of the Iraqi people at all. I saw that it wasn’t to help the Iraqi people at all, and I saw that I was doing exactly the opposite, that I was just hurting the Iraqi people. Every day was a catastrophe for them and it was seeing day by day the things that were committed against them, the lives that they had to live under occupation, I realized that it was a complete sham that we were there to help them.

Check it out at http://tinyurl.com/2cvow67

US wars and occupations are not for the benefit of the people of Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else. Every military assault the USA and its quisling sidekick armies (such as NATO, UK, Australia, etc.) do is for the benefit of the obscenely rich ruling class of war profiteers.



Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wikileaks: US Attack Killed 300 Civilians In Afghanistan: Report

By David Leigh
Continue


Afghan leak:
Wikileaks Julian Assange tells all
Channel 4 News speaks exclusively to founder of Wikileaks Julian Assange about the Afghan war logs
Go to story | Go to homepage


Down To The Last Trillion in Red Ink
US Treasury Running on Fumes

By Paul Craig Roberts

The White House is screaming like a stuck pig. WikiLeaks’ release of the Afghan War Documents “puts the lives of our soldiers and our coalition partners at risk.” What nonsense. Continue


Congress's response to WikiLeaks: shoot the messenger: Despite the release of some 92,000 classified documents that cast doubt on the success of the US war effort in Afghanistan, all but the staunchest antiwar members of Congress focused their most scathing words Monday on WikiLeaks, the website that published the material.

Pentagon Eyes Accused Analyst Over WikiLeaks Data: Military investigators are checking computers used by Bradley Manning, a U.S. Army intelligence analyst charged this month with leaking classified information, to see if he is the source of thousands of military documents published Sunday by WikiLeaks.

Legal Fund Established to Fight Imprisonment of Accused WikiLeaks Whistleblower: At 4PM EST on July 27, the Bradley Manning Support Network (www.bradleymanning.org) will begin accepting online donations for the legal defense of Private First Class Bradley Manning.


Afghanistan War Logs:
Massive Leak of Secret Files Exposes Truth of Occupation

By Nick Davies and David Leigh

Hundreds of civilians killed by coalition troops • Covert unit hunts leaders for 'kill or capture' • Steep rise in Taliban bomb attacks on Nato • Read the Guardian's full war logs investigation Continue


How US Marines Sanitised Record of Bloodbath

By Declan Walsh

War logs show how marines gave cleaned up accounts of incident in which they killed 19 civilians. Continue


Afghan War Leaks Expose Costly Folly

By Ray McGovern

The brutality and fecklessness of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan have been laid bare in an indisputable way just days before the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on whether to throw $33.5 billion more into the Afghan quagmire, when that money is badly needed at home. Continue


Julian Assange on the Afghanistan war logs: 'They show the true nature of this war': Video: Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, explains why he decided to publish thousands of secret US military files on the war in Afghanistan

Download Afghan War Diary, 2004-2010

Wikileaks Afghanistan files: download the key incidents as a spreadsheet: Key incidents from the Wikileaks Afghanistan war logs selected by Guardian writers. As a spreadsheet, with co-ordinates

How the US is losing the battle for hearts and minds: Leaked Afghanistan war logs reveal villagers' unenthusiastic responses to US army attempts to build bridges

WikiLeaks Iraq Cache More Than Three Times As Big: The cache of classified U.S. military reports on the Iraq War as yet unreleased by WikiLeaks may be more than three times as large as the set of roughly 76,000 similar reports on the war in Afghanistan made public by the whistle-blower Web site earlier this week, Declassified has learned.


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Who Voted for War With Iran, Mr. Obama?

By Philip Giraldi

July 28, 2010 "American Conservative" --

House of Representatives resolution 1553, introduced by Congressional Republicans, and currently working its way through the system will endorse an Israeli attack on Iran, which would be going to war by proxy as the US would almost immediately be drawn into the conflict when Tehran retaliates.

The resolution provides explicit US backing for Israel to bomb Iran, stating that Congress supports Israel’s use of “all means necessary…including the use of military force”. The resolution is non-binding, but it is dazzling in its disregard for the possible negative consequences that would ensue for the hundreds of thousands of US military and diplomatic personnel currently serving in the Near East region.

Even the Pentagon opposes any Israeli action against Iran, knowing that it would mean instant retaliation against US forces in Iraq and also in Afghanistan. The resolution has appeared, not coincidentally, at the same time as major articles by leading neoconservatives Reuel Marc Gerecht and Bill Kristol calling for military action. AIPAC thinks it is wonderful.

Ironically, the push against Iran comes at a time when the National Intelligence Estimate on the country is being finished. It might come out as soon as August, but it will be secret and its conclusions will either be leaked or released in summary.

My sources inside the intelligence community insist that it will support the 2007 NIE that concluded that Iran no longer has a weapons program.

The White House has delayed the process seeking harder language to justify a range of options against Iran, including a military strike, but the analysts are reported to be resisting. So we spend $100 billion on intelligence annually and then ignore the best judgments on what is taking place. Might as well use a Ouija board.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Vietnam's Forgotten War Victims

by Chris Arsenault

When Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, visited Vietnam on Thursday she extolled the country's "unlimited potential" and strong trade relations with the US. But the words must have rung hollow for Ngyuen Ngoc Phuong, who has seen his potential destroyed by American chemical poisoning.

[The Vietnam war ended 35 years ago, but children are still being born with birth defects from chemical poisoning allegedly caused by defoliants sprayed by the US military (GALLO/GETTY)]The Vietnam war ended 35 years ago, but children are still being born with birth defects from chemical poisoning allegedly caused by defoliants sprayed by the US military (GALLO/GETTY)
Phuong, 19, was born long after the US cut and run from the Vietnam war, evacuating its last remaining personnel by helicopter from the roof of its Saigon embassy in 1975.

But the results of that war, which officially ended 35 years ago, affect every aspect of Phuong's life.

The young man has severe physical deformities, and like an estimated three million Vietnamese, he suffers from exposure to Agent Orange, a toxic chemical US forces sprayed during the war to defoliate the dense jungles Viet Cong rebels used for cover.

In its manufacture, the chemical was contaminated with TCDD, or dioxin, "the most toxic substance known to humans", according to an investigation in the journal Science.

Dangers known

In his book Agent Orange on Trial published by Harvard University Press, Peter Schuck reported that companies who manufactured the defoliant knew "as early as 1952" that deadly dioxin had contaminated the chemical.

Between 1962 and 1971, the US military sprayed an estimated 80 million litres of Agent Orange and other herbicides on Vietnam, the journal Nature reported in 2003.

"I met one family of victims with four blinded children, no eyes - period," Dr Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, a Vietnamese researcher, said in a 2007 interview.

In a now declassified report for the US department of veterans affairs, Admiral ER Zumwalt Jr wrote that Dow Chemical and other manufacturers knew Agent Orange exposure could cause "general organ toxicity" and "other systematic problems" as early as 1964.

These and other studies show that the American military, and the chemical companies who serviced it, were well aware of the dangers posed by the chemicals on the general population.

On this front, Agent Orange elucidates an alarming trend in modern warfare, particularly counter-insurgency fighting: civilians and the environment tend to be main casualties.

Brutality clearly defined World War I and II and previous conflicts between standing armies, but soldiers usually made up the majority of the dead.

Poisoning civilians

From the jungles of Vietnam to the plains of Sudan, Iraq's cities to the Afghan mountains, civilians now bear the highest cost for wars not of their making.

"In Vietnam it was chemical [weapons] ... Agent Orange and napalm," Len Aldis, secretary of the Britain-Vietnam friendship society,told Al Jazeera.

"In Iraq, Kosovo, [and] Afghanistan the US, UK and Nato have used depleted uranium, cluster weapons ... and drones that are controlled from military bases in the US."

These conflicts tend to continue even after the wars officially end.

"We did a number of soil samples and followed [dioxin contamination from Agent Orange spraying] though the food chain into ponds, to fish, into ducks and then into humans. We found it in children who had been born long after the war ended," Dr Wayne Dwernychuck, who led the first team of western scientists to study the long-term affects of sprayingin Vietnam, said in an interview.

"We concluded the only way they could be contaminated is through food and nursing," he said, referencing his 1994 study.

Former US military bases including Bien Hoa, Phu Cat and the infamous Danang are the worst sites of present day contamination.

"We have been working with Vietnam for about nine years to try to remedy the effects of Agent Orange," Clinton said at a press conference in Hanoi.

Since 2007, the US congress has appropriated $9m to help Vietnam clean up contaminated areas and for related health activities, or an amount roughly equal to the cost of 12 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

'Wounds still remain'

In June, a joint panel of US and Vietnamese policymakers, citizens and scientists estimated the cost of a proper clean-up and rehabilitation for the sick at $300m.

"The war is over but the wounds from the war still remain in many areas of Vietnam," Nguyen Van Son, a member of Vietnam's National Assembly, said during the report's launch in Hanoi.

Vietnamese civilians are not the only ones suffering from exposure. Veterans in the US, Canada and beyond also have historieswith the chemicals.

In 1984, US veterans reached an out-of-court settlement for $180m with companies who produced the chemicals, including Monsanto and Dow Chemical.

Remarkably, Dow maintains that there is no evidence to link Agent Orange to illnesses from US veterans and Vietnamese civilians.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM),the pre-eminent scientific authority in the US when it comes to setting government policy, links exposure to a raft of conditions including cancers, diabetes and spina bifida.

Like their American counterparts, Vietnamese victims have tried to gain justice in US courts, but after a series of cases, the US supreme court refused to hear their case in 2009.

However, American conservatives were some of the first to recognise the moral quagmire around giving pensions and other benefits to US veterans and not Vietnamese civilians, even though both groups were poisoned by the American government and the companies who provided it with chemicals.

'Difficult to rationalise'

It is "difficult to rationalise why [American] Vietnam vets are compensated for Agent Orange exposure but Vietnamese civilians shouldn't be," Steve Milloy, a scholar at the Cato institute, wrote in a commentary for Fox News.

During her visit, Clinton criticised Vietnam for jailing rights activists and censoring the internet and urged the single party, nominally communist state to "strengthen its commitment to human rights".

However, in the broader schema of rights, Vietnam's transgressions against courageous lawyers and journalists seem positively minor compared to three million destroyed lives: children born missing eyes, grossly elongated heads or misshapen legs where their arms ought to be.

Monday, July 19, 2010


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Petraeus promotes civil war in Afghanistan

Statement from Brian Becker, National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition

Badly losing the war in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus has decided to promote a violent civil war in Afghan villages.

That is the true intent of the new so-called Local Defense Initiatives that Petraeus forced down the throat of Afghanistan’s puppet president Hamid Karzai. The new plan is a variant of the Community Defense Initiative that Gen. Stanley McChrystal tried to impose on Afghanistan after Obama selected him to lead the expanded war effort in 2009.

The Petraeus strategy calls for putting 10,000 job-hungry Afghan villagers on the Pentagon payroll. They will be given money and guns so that they can form militias and shoot and kill other members of their village who are asserted to be either pro-Taliban or opposed to the U.S./NATO occupation.

The new strategy further underscores the criminal role of the Pentagon generals. Petraeus is consciously fomenting civil war and ethnic rivalry just as he did in Iraq. Gen. James Mattis, Petraeus’ new boss at Central Command, when speaking to a crowd in San Diego in 2005 about his experience in Afghanistan, said “it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot 'em."

President Obama and his military team recognize that it is less damaging at home, where there is almost no support for this endless occupation, to foment civil war in Afghanistan and pay desperate Afghans to slaughter each other as a means of reducing U.S. casualties.

U.S. taxpayers who are experiencing devastating cuts in state and local budgets, layoffs of municipal workers, soaring tuition hikes in public colleges—all because of budget shortfalls—will see billions of their tax dollars go to fund the occupation of Afghanistan and pay the salaries of poor Afghans so that they can shoot other poor Afghans. This is a classic divide-and-conquer tactic used historically by all colonial powers to break up a united resistance by the people whose lands they occupy.

The Obama administration and its generals are borrowing a page from Nixon and Kissinger’s murderous “Vietnamization” plan, which became the announced policy in 1969. Since there was a rising tide of anti-war sentiment at home, Nixon and the Pentagon wanted the Vietnamese to kill each other in greater numbers as a way of diminishing U.S. war dead.

Millions of Vietnamese died during the war, as did 58,000 U.S. service members. The U.S. strategy succeeded in creating an ocean of human suffering, but it failed to alter the outcome. The Vietnamese, like the Afghan people, were unwilling to live under foreign occupation.

ANSWER Coalition organizers and volunteers have in recent months been working around the country to support the growing numbers of soldiers, marines, veterans and military families who are speaking out against the war in Afghanistan.

We are reaching more and more active duty service members and recently returned veterans who know that this colonial-type war is based on lies by the politicians and the Pentagon Brass. The ANSWER Coalition affiliate March Forward! is reaching out to soldiers, marines and veterans.

We urge you to support this work by checking out March Forward’s Ten point program and signing up for email updates at www.MarchForward.org.

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Friday, July 02, 2010

Doubts Grow In Whistle-blower "Suicide"

By Alex Newman

New revelations in the suspicious “suicide” death of whistle-blower Dr. David Kelly point even more strongly to the possibility of murder and a subsequent cover-up.
Continue

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Double Standard: BP and Bhopal

By Bill Quigley and Alex Tuscano

When President Barak Obama went after BP and demanded a $20 billion dollar fund be set up for victims of the Gulf oil spill, the people of India were furious. They saw a US double standard. Continue

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Iraq War Legal Advice Published
Iraq inquiry publishes legal advice to Blair on war

BBC News


In a letter to the prime minister on 30 January, 2003, Lord Goldsmith said he "remained of the view that the correct legal interpretation of resolution 1441 is that it does not authorise the use of military force without a further determination by the Security Council". Continue

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Sinking Ship
The attack on the Gaza relief flotilla jeopardizes Israel itself.

By John J. Mearsheimer

Israel’s botched raid against the Gaza-bound humanitarian flotilla on May 31 is the latest sign that Israel is on a disastrous course that it seems incapable of reversing. The attack also highlights the extent to which Israel has become a strategic liability for the United States.
Continue

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New Study Documents Media's Servitude to Government

By Glenn Greenwald

American newspapers are highly inclined to refer to waterboarding as "torture" when practiced by other nations, but will suddenly refuse to use the term when it's the U.S. employing that technique.
Continue

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Warning Of War
Discovering The Truth In Time

By Fidel Castro

I do not harbor the slightest doubt that as soon as the warships of the United States and Israel take up their positions – together with the rest of the U.S. military vessels located in the vicinity of the Iranian coasts – and attempt to inspect that country’s first merchant ship, a rain of missiles will be unleashed in both directions. That will be the precise moment when that terrible war will begin. Continue