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U.S. Outreach to Tribal Sunnis Backfiring

by Ali al-Fadhily This year U.S. military authorities worked to firm up a tribal coalition that they said would oppose al-Qaeda terror groups fighting against U.S. forces. Unnamed officials in the Bush administration have made claims to reporters that the move has reduced violence in al-Anbar, but residents in the area think otherwise

Falluja Security Crackdown Traps Residents, Breeds Hatred

by Ali al-Fadhily A recent spike in attacks against Iraqi and U.S. forces in and around the city has prompted harsh measures by the U.S. military, including the imposition of curfews, limits on movement in and out of Falluja, and the creation of more checkpoints throughout the city. These restrictions have greatly angered residents. Most of these measures, which are perceived by many people here as a form of collective punishment

Zyklon B on the U.S. Border

by Alexander Cockburn Though Lloyd opposed quarantine, he did urge delousing for 'all the dirty, lousy people coming into this country from Mexico.' His facility was ready for business just as the Immigration Act became law. Soon Mexicans were being stripped and daubed with kerosene, their clothes fumigated with gasoline, kerosene, sodium cyanide, cyanogens, sulfuric acid and Zyklon B

UAE Planning Zero-Carbon, Zero-Waste City

by Meena Janardhan Urban planners in the United Arab Emirates are dreaming of a city that is pedestrian-friendly, free of cars, powered by renewable energy and surrounded by wind and photovoltaic farms -- all in the middle of a petroleum-rich desert

Denied Legitimacy After Winning Elections, Hamas Takes it by Force

by Jamal Dajani Though Hamas won elections in January 2006, its efforts to govern have been stymied by sanctions, an Israeli siege and Fatah's attempts to discredit it. With Hamas' recent victory over Fatah in the Gaza Strip, Israel and Washington may now have to do what was once unthinkable: recognize Hamas as a legitimate political party

Executive Branch: Withered Limb, or Merely Twig?

by Steve Young The President doesn't argue that there is great disagreement in the country as to whether there is or is not, an Executive Branch, but there is no question that if there is an Executive Branch, it is or is not a necessarily part of the Executive Branch, that may or may not exist

Satan Apologizes for Ann Coulter

by Steve Young I need to apologize for the existence of Ann Coulter. Quite frankly, I don't know what I was thinking. Not only does she not serve a worthwhile purpose, but this broad just can't seem to stop trying to one-up me

Time to Boycott Bill

by Steve Young What? Bill 'Support The Troops' O'Reilly doesn't care if another bomb goes off where our kids are directly in harm's way? Wait 'til Sean Hannity hears. Of course, it shouldn't be surprising. O'Reilly is a pathological narcissist who supposes he knows more about torture than former prisoner of war John McCain and more about military tactics than former Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO General Wesley Clark. He knows more about anything than anyone

The Paris Hilton Effect

by Steve Young Unfortunately, with Paris fast-changing events, Jay Leno's monologue could be dated even by the time it airs a couple of hours later on the east coast. Hell, if you go the bathroom, keeping your Internet columns up to date is a challenge

Hundreds Kidnapped, Killed at Baghdad Checkpoints

Manned by the Iraqi police, Iraqi soldiers or sometimes by militias, checkpoints are adding to the immense strain already felt by Baghdad residents. Locals say that people are often arrested at checkpoints on suspicion of working with armed groups -- and after being arrested, anything can happen

Bush Rejects Plan to set Limits on Greenhouse Gas

by Haider Rizvi Leaked documents indicate that during negotiations prior to the summit, the Europeans tried hard to persuade Washington to change its stance but failed in their attempts as U.S. officials continued to insist on drastic changes in the text of the draft statement

Rep. Jefferson Indicted on 16 Counts

by Hazel Trice Edney Specifically, the indictment says that Jefferson tried to hide faxes and attachments addressed to him during a court-approved search of this New Orleans home on August 3, 2005. Despite controversy swirling around his case last spring, he was soundly re-elected by a faithful New Orleans constituency in November

Days After Hamas Takeover, Gaza Already in Aid Crisis

UN agencies and many humanitarian organizations resumed full operations in the Gaza Strip on June 17 after internecine violence last week brought their activities to a standstill. Food is available but, with border crossings closed, is running low, power is limited and hospitals remain overcrowded with supplies low

In Mexico's War on Drugs, Cartels Have Upper Hand

by Louis Nevaer With major drug kingpins languishing in U.S. prisons, power struggles are unfolding, scenes familiar to Americans in documentaries about ruthless Chicago mobsters who controlled trafficking in alcohol during Prohibition. Taking a page from events in Iraq, drug kingpins have outraged Mexicans with their tactics

Ex-EPA Chief Whitman Grilled Over Her 9/11 Role

Whitman defended herself against accusations by the Democratic members of the panel that the EPA revised press releases to be more reassuring and altered scientific warnings that the air around the toppled towers was hazardous at the behest of a White House that wanted to minimize disruption of the economy

Blackwater Claims Military Immunity in Wrongful Death Suit

by Bill Berkowitz In February of this year, relatives of the four slain Blackwater USA contractors testified, at a House of Representatives hearing in Washington held by Rep. Henry Waxman, on the company's operations. The families of the slain men, still unclear about what happened when their loved ones were killed, sued Blackwater USA for wrongful death

Over Half of Iraqi Government Absent at any Time

by Ali al-Fadhily 'More than half the [members of parliament], ministers and senior officials are on vacation, sick leave or on official assignment abroad' at any given time, a government official said on condition of anonymity. 'It is common practice now that they spend more time abroad than in their offices. The main reason is their fear of being targeted inside the country'

Growing Numbers of Homeless Iraq Veterans

by Aaron Glantz The group Veterans for America, formerly the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, estimates that 10,000 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are now living on the street

Cheney Camp Again Touts Iran and Taliban Link, NATO Again Denies

by Gareth Porter In a development that underlines the tensions between the anti-Iran agenda of the Bush administration and the preoccupation of its military command in Afghanistan with militant Sunni activism, a State Department official publicly accused Iran for the first time of arming the Taliban forces last week, but the U.S. commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan rejected that charge for the second time in less than two weeks

U.S. Backs Clean Energy -- In Asia

by Emad Mekay The United States and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) are joining forces to coax Asian nations to switch to cleaner forms of energy, in hopes of averting a predicted spike in carbon emissions by the world's fastest-growing region

Judge Throws the Book at "Scooter"

by Jim Lobe Libby's sentencing also follows the loss of a number of Cheney loyalists in key positions within the administration over the past seven months, beginning with Rumsfeld's ouster last November, the resignation of UN Amb. John Bolton the following month, and, more recently, the departure of Bush's deputy national security adviser, J.D. Crouch

Weapons From 1995 Balkan War Flowing Into Iraq

by Vesna Peric Zimonjic Hundred of thousands of small arms and light weapons from the Bosnia and Herzegovina's wartime stockpiles together with tens of millions of rounds of ammunition were reportedly shipped -- clandestinely and without public oversight -- to Iraq by a chain of private brokers and transport contractors under the auspices of the Pentagon

Foreign Workers Hired for Kuwait Find Jobs Shifted to Iraq

by David Phinney There were no more jobs at the hotel, Autencio was told, and because the recruiter only processed him for a one-month travel visa, he was told he could not stay in Kuwait. Autencio said First Kuwaiti offered him one of three options: pay a 1,000-dollar penalty and work in Kuwait for free for six months; be arrested and jailed; or work for the company in Iraq

Justice Dept. Investigating Slave Labor at U.S. Embassy Construction in Iraq

by David Phinney The Justice Department is actively investigating allegations of forced labor and other abuses by the Kuwaiti contractor now rushing to complete the sprawling $592 million U.S. embassy project in Baghdad, numerous sources have revealed

Bush Loses Key Repubs on Iraq

by Jim Lobe The defections, which were set off by a major policy address Monday on the floor of the Senate by the ranking Republican on the chamber's Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar, suggest that patience for Bush's approach among his own party is fast running out

Turkey Looking for Excuse to Cross Iraq Border

by Conn Hallinan The major danger is that the tension between Turks and Kurds could quickly get out of hand. For the past few weeks the Turkish Army has been shelling Kurdish villages in Iraq and sending small units across the border. A miscalculation by either side could quickly escalate, which is exactly what the United States fears

Iraq Will be Occupied Like Korea, White House now Says

by Jim Lobe White House spokesman Tony Snow confirmed this week that Bush favors a 'Korean model' for Iraq in which Washington would provide 'a security presence' and serve as a 'force of stability [for] a long time.' Snow's statement spurred new questions about the administration's aims in Iraq and whether Bush intends to set up a permanent military presence there

U.S. Airstrikes On Pakistan Border Destroy Once-Effective Medical System

by Ashfaq Yusufzai Prior to the launch of the U.S.-led 'war on terror,' Afghan patients would come to hospitals in the tribal area for treatment. But an acute shortage of medical professionals has paralyzed the roughly 26 hospitals and eight rural health centers, as well as more than 400 community health centers

Al-Qaeda May Try to Provoke U.S. Attack on Iran, Warns Brzezinksi

by Gareth Porter Former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinksi warned last week that al-Qaeda may be tempted to attack the U.S. with the aim of providing a pretext for Washington to bomb Iran

UN Undermining Palestinian State, Charges Outgoing UN Mideast Envoy

by Thalif Deen On the eve of his retirement and after 25 long years with the world body, Under-Secretary-General Alvaro de Soto blasted the United Nations in a 52-page confidential report, accusing the world body of undermining the goal of a Palestinian state.

After Hamas Takes Gaza, Israel Decides Fatah Not so Bad, After All

Analysis by Peter Hirschberg Now that the Islamic movement has vanquished the more moderate Fatah forces and established its control over the coastal strip and its population of 1.4 million Palestinians, the Israeli government's way of confronting this new reality is becoming clear: reward the moderates and punish the extremists

Rushdie's Knighthood Deepens Iran's Anger at UK

by Kimia Sanati Britain, the closest ally of Bush in his tirades against Iran, has accused Iran of helping and arming terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan. For its part, Iran charges that Britain interferes in its internal affairs and is the mastermind behind Arab separatism in the southwestern province of Khuzistan

Hamas Fears Isolation in Gaza

by Peter Hirschberg The exiled Hamas leader insisted his Islamic movement had no intention of taking over the Palestinian Authority, that they recognized Mahmoud Abbas as their President, and that they wanted to work with his Fatah movement

Is Bush Planning to Dump Iraq on UN?

Analysis by Thalif Deen Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan famously said that the U.S. war on Iraq was illegal because it was not sanctioned by the Security Council. But the current secretary-general, usually tight-lipped on sensitive political issues, has not expressed similar views on the ongoing conflict

Turkey Bombing Kurds in N Iraq, But Will Troops Cross Border?

Analysis by Hilmi Toros Turkey is beefing up military preparedness against Iraq-based Kurdish rebels as a prelude to a possible cross-border incursion that is opposed by the United States, European Union and the Iraqi government

Gitmo Tribunal Throws Out Premiere Cases

by Eli Clifton The military tribunal system designed to prosecute terrorist suspects detained at Guantanamo Bay hit a major snag when a U.S. military judge dismissed charges in cases against a man accused of being Osama Bin Laden's driver and another defendant who was 15 years old at the time he was detained by U.S. forces in Afghanistan

Iraqi Christians Fear Noose Tightening

by Mohammed A. Salih In his meeting with Bush in the Vatican last week, the Pope expressed concern that 'the society that is evolving (in Iraq) would not tolerate the Christian religion.' That is already happening. Hundreds of Christians have been killed, their churches bombed and a ferocious campaign is under way to intimidate them, particularly in the insecure parts of the country

Centrists Finally Face Reality in Iraq

by Joe Conason Washington's self-styled centrists, as usual, are trailing far behind public opinion, which is strongly polarized against the war and in favor of disengagement. Centrists in both parties enabled the neo-conservatives in the White House by repeatedly failing to speak out about their destructive fantasies and stunning incompetence as, year by year, we sank more deeply in the quicksand

Reaganite Rudy's Bad Memory

by Joe Conason The only way for Rudolph Giuliani to protect his status as the Republican Party's leading presidential aspirant is to distract his party's primary voters from the long list of issues that divide them from him

China Now #1 in Carbon Emissions

Bush administration officials at the Interior Department have repeatedly manipulated science in order to weaken protections for endangered species, former agency officials and environmentalists told the House Resources Committee

Chaos, Curfews Follows Bombing of Major Shiite Mosque

Civilians are defying a curfew to flee their homes in fear of an increase in sectarian violence after insurgents blew up two minarets at a revered Shia shrine in Samarra on June 13. Partial destruction of the shrine last year sparked spiralling sectarian bloodshed

Iraq Is the New Korea?

by Robert Scheer The 50-year Iraq war -- bring it on. Not that the media or the Democrats made much of it, but the White House's admission that President Bush is modeling America's presence in Iraq upon the 54-year-old stationing of U.S. troops in South Korea is as outlandish as it is alarming

Profiteering at Taxpayer Expense

by Robert Scheer As the Iraq war that Vice President Dick Cheney created continues to shred American -- and many more Iraqi -- lives, further documentation has emerged proving that, even during failed wars, the merchants of death profit. No company has profited more from the carnage in Iraq than Halliburton

Hamas Holds the High Cards

by Robert Scheer What irony that the United States and the European Union, both of which cut off aid to the Palestinian government in 2006 when Hamas won the election, have now resumed aid to the PLO-dominated government that lost power through the vote

The Perils of Backing "Any Democrat"

by Robert Scheer Lieberman provides a cautionary tale for folks who talk of backing 'any Democrat' who can win

Bush Endorses Abbas as "President of all Palestinians"

by Hasan Zillur Rahim No sooner had Bush, along with Israel and the European Union, pledged to resume the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars in financial aid to the beleaguered PA, than neo-conservative commentators and some Congressmen criticized Washington's public support of Fatah's 'moderate' Palestinian government and demanded that rigid conditions be placed on any aid sent to the Palestinian territories

Iraqi Kurds Flee as Turkish Forces Target Border Villages

Hundreds of Iraqi Kurds have been forced to flee their homes after up to 30,000 Turkish soldiers massed on the Iraqi-Turkish border and launched attacks against Kurdish fighters, Iraqi border police say

Wolfowitz's Golden Parachute

by Sameer Dossani While the scandal involving the pay raises given to longtime girlfriend Shaha Riza proved to be Wolfowitz's downfall, his own extraordinary compensation should have raised just as many eyebrows

Climate Change a Major Cause of Darfur Crisis

A number of commentators, journalists and analysts have recently focused on competition for natural resources, increasingly scarce due to global warming, as the trigger of the conflict in western Sudan

Poorly-Paid Mexican Police Tempted by Drug Mafia $$

by Diego Cevallos The attorney-general's office reports that the drug traffickers' '"private armies' are partly made up of former members of the police and the military, who earn up to $100,000 a month. And there are places in the country where police officers receive between $300-500 a day from the drug cartels in exchange for protection and support, the attorney-general's office adds

Bush Facing Global Muslim Foreign Policy Meltdown

Analysis by Jim Lobe Four years after the emergence of the first signs of a serious insurgency in Iraq, President George W. Bush finds himself beset with major crises stretching from Palestine to Pakistan

Expert on Iran "Threat" Part of Anti-Iran Terror Group

by Khody Akhavi Jafarzadeh claimed that Iran's biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons programs progressed rapidly under Khatami, a reformist known for trying to promote a thaw in Iranian-U.S. relations. When the State Department added the NCRI as an alias to its terrorist list, Jafarzadeh suddenly became a FOX News analyst based in Washington

Cheney Neo-Cons Try to Link Iran to Taliban, but few Takers

by Gareth Porter Another factor helping to explain the influx of arms from Iran, as noted by former Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan Rustam Shah Momand in an interview on Pakistan's GEO television Apr. 19, is that the Taliban now controls areas on the Iranian border for the first time. Momand said the Taliban, which is awash in money from the heroin exports to Iran, buys small quantities of weapons in Iran and smuggles them back into Afghanistan. But the Iranian government itself is not involved in the trade in arms, Momand insisted

Neo-Con Coup at Foreign Broadcast News Ops

by Khody Akhavi Intent on fixing what AEI fellow Joshua Muravchik termed Bush's 'public diplomacy mess,' right-wing hawks have gained control of the weapons in the "war of ideas" -- U.S. government-funded and supported media outlets such as Voice of America (VOA), Al-Hurra, and Radio Farda, which broadcast to the Middle East and aim to offer an alternative view of the news

Colombia Anti-Drug Spraying Linked to DNA Damage

by Stephen Leahy U.S.-funded aerial spraying of coca plantations in Colombia near the Ecuador border has severely damaged the DNA of local residents, a new study has found

Ethiopia Wins Battle With Starbucks Over Trademark Coffee Brands

by Emad Mekay A deal between Starbucks and Ethiopia that ends their trademark dispute and offers more benefits to Ethiopian coffee farmers has been hailed as a potential model for other poor nations seeking to better use the modern trading system, especially the often-controversial intellectual property rights provisions

NATO Forces Surrender Part of Afghanistan to Taliban

In February, Taliban rebels recaptured Musa Qala District in southern Afghanistan. It happened after a deal where NATO-led British forces would withdraw as local elders promised to keep the Taliban away - a promise they couldn't keep

We Can Thank Ourselves for Hamas in Gaza

by MJ Rosenberg Today it is almost amusing to contemplate the professions of horror on the part of right-wing Israelis (and their neo-con friends) who scream "bloody murder" about an outcome they helped effect and actually welcome

Bush, Putin to "Consider" Limits on Greenhouse Gas

by Julio Godoy The Group of Eight industrialized countries has decided to halve greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050, but U.S. and Russian leaders weakened the breakthrough by issuing a major caveat

Neo-Nazis Gain Ground in Slovakia

by Zoltan Dujisin Throughout the last year several racial incidents have been witnessed in this relatively homogenous five-million strong nation where the mere bearing of extremist symbols is considered a crime. One of the most visible cases came in early March when a group of neo-Nazis attacked a group of Spanish and Mexican students, who afterwards said this was not their first violent encounter with xenophobia

Israel Suddenly Generous With Help for Abbas, Fatah

by Peter Hirschberg It will take a lot more than the release of a handful of prisoners -- there are thousands in Israeli jails -- and the freeing up of funds to boost Abbas. The release of only Fatah prisoners could also paint the Palestinian leader as being in league with Israel -- an image Hamas is already trying to cultivate

Soviet-Era Weapons, Not Iran, Arming Taliban

by Tahir Qadiry While United States officials accuse Iran of arming a resurgent Taliban, officials here say the weapons are actually part of vast caches left behind by the Soviet army that fought a nine-year war in Afghanistan before withdrawing in 1988

Hoping the "Government Will do Something Decent"

by Julie Johnson The Charania family's legal misfortunes are all too common for immigrants who must rely on immigration attorneys to navigate an aspect of the legal system many say is more complicated than the tax code. Filing paperwork on time and keeping clients up-to-date on their standing can mean the difference between deportation or residency. An application filed past the deadline caused the courts to deny the Charanias' petition for asylum in 1999. However a judge granted a stay of deportation, allowing her parents to apply for employment-based visas, which were granted finally in September 2006. Gibson says all they can do now is wait for DHS to decide if they can stay on their employment visas. 'There's no legal remedy,' Gibson says. 'All we can do now is hope the government will do something decent'

With GI Husband Missing in Iraq, Wife Faces Legal Limbo

by Aaron Glantz A federal immigration judge put Yaderlin's deportation proceedings on hold while the Pentagon sent Alex Jimenez twice to Iraq. Halfway through his second tour, Alex Jimenez went missing after his unit was attacked by armed men in Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad. But with the possibility that Jimenez might be dead looking increasingly likely, Yaderlin's friends and family began to worry not only about the safety of her husband but also about her own deportation proceedings

They Die in South Texas

by Mary Jo McConahay Pictures of the dead are kept discreetly in certain places in this town, a collective album that tells an important part of what Brooks County -- once known better for oil, watermelon, and a Halliburton facility -- has become in the last couple of years: a grave for the weak or unlucky

U.S. Blocks Oversight of Prisons With Immigrant Families

by Michele Deitch and Sunita Patel Lost in the news about the immigration reform package was an incident with diplomatic implications. Recently the U.S. government shamefully denied a United Nations expert access to two immigrant detention lock-ups during the expert’s three-week fact-finding mission to the United States

Justice Dept. Investigating Saudi Royal Family Bribe Case

by Emad Mekay Although the British government dropped its own probe last December, citing national security considerations, U.S. prosecutors determined that BAE could be investigated under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act because it used U.S. banks to allegedly transfer payments to accounts controlled by Prince Bandar

Ouster of Gen. Peter Pace a Sign of Purge at Rumsfeld's Pentagon

by Jim Lobe The announcement that Gen. Peter Pace will not be nominated for a second term as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Armed Forces marks the latest in a series of moves by Pentagon chief Robert Gates to transform the leadership of the Pentagon and consign his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld, to distant memory

Kurd Region of N Iraq Draws Investors

by Mohammed A. Salih While the rest of Iraq is coping with a ruthless campaign of violence, in the north Kurds have rolled up their sleeves to rebuild their autonomous region in the north, which was much damaged during decades of war and sanctions

Iraqis Blame "Outsiders" For Bombing of Golden Mosque

by Ali al-Fadhily 'They are dreaming of evicting the people of Samarra in order to deepen the wound in the Iraqi flesh,' 35-year-old Yassir al-Samarrai'i, a local television reporter from Samarra told IPS in Baghdad, 'Their problem is that Iraqis are still reluctant to engage in full scale civil war despite all the dirty business the occupiers have conducted to ignite it by these shrine explosions'

Iran Postpones Execution by Stoning After Global Outrage

by Thalif Deen The stoning, which was set to take place in a public square in a town in the north central province of Ghazvin, was intended as a punishment for a man and woman charged with adultery

Swamped With Iraq Refugees, Syria Faces Crisis

With up to 2,000 Iraqi refugees arriving each day, adding to the 1.5 million -- equivalent to around 8 percent of the Syrian population -- who have flooded into Syria since the start of the U.S.-led war on Iraq in 2003, economists and refugee experts warn of a looming social and economic crisis

Baghdad: No Electricity, no Fuel, and now, no Water

by Basim al-Sharaa For three weeks in a row, the city has suffered severe power shortages, now up to 23 hours a day, causing a water crisis in many areas. Without power, fuel and water, Sa'ad is afraid the swiftly approaching summer will be unbearable

New Post-Kyoto Treaty Needed, Says Nobel Laureate

by Diego Cevallos Large developing nations like China, India and Mexico should sign a new international treaty to curb climate change which must include economic penalties to clamp down on emissions of greenhouse gases, Nobel chemistry laureate Mario Molina said June 13

Mike Evans, New Shock Jock for Christian Right

by Bill Berkowitz Mike Evans is a shock jock for Armageddon, a cheerleader for the apocalypse. These days, the bestselling author and head of the 'Jerusalem Prayer Team,' a U.S.-based pro-Israeli Christian evangelical organization, is at the top of his game. On Jun. 3, his new book, 'The Final Move Beyond Iraq: The Final Solution While The World Sleeps,' made it onto the New York Times bestsellers' list at number one in the paperback category

The Return of Warlord Dostum

by Tahir Qadiry The ugly riots and police firing that resulted in the deaths of at least a dozen people in northern Jowzjan province in the last week of May are being seen as signs of rebellion against the Karzai government by the warlord Dostum and his Uzbek community

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