zaterdag 22 april 2006

Nederland en Afghanistan 59

Met de toegenomen Westerse terreur in het Midden Oosten is ook de contra-terreur toegenomen. Een feit waar het kabinet Balkenende rekening mee zal moeten houden nu Nederlandse militairen steeds meer betrokken raken bij de oorlog in Afghanistan. De Christian Science Monitor bericht: 'US intel report: Major increase in terrorist incidents. But experts say a common definition of terrorism is a great challenge and a global issue. In a report to be released next week, US government figures will show that the number of terrorist attacks in the world jumped sharply in 2005, totalling more than 10,000 for the first time. That is almost triple the number of terrorist attacks in 2004 -- 3,194. Knight Ridder's Washington bureau reports that counterterrorism experts say that there are two reasons for the dramatic increase: a broader definition of what consitutes a terrorist attack, and the war in Iraq. More than half the fatalities from terrorism worldwide last year occurred in Iraq, said a counterterrorism official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the data haven't been made public. Roughly 85 percent of the US citizens who died from terrorism during the year died in Iraq. The figures cover only noncombatants and thus don't include combat deaths of US, Iraqi and other coalition soldiers.
"There's no question that the level of terrorist attacks in Iraq was up substantially," said the official, who's familiar with the methods used by the National Counterterrorism Center to track terrorist trends. The center is part of the US intelligence community. Knight Ridder also reports that the new definition was used in 2004, but 2005 was the first year that analysts had more time to use the new method. In past years, only terrorist attacks that involved people from more than one country were counted. But officials realized this would, for instance, leave out incidents like the one in the Philippines where terrorists sank a ferry killing 132 Filipinos.
The latest figures will be released in conjunction with the US State Department's annual report on terrorism. Earlier this month, the reported that two officials from the US State Department slammed Europe's policies on the integration of Muslim communities into broader communities, saying that Europe's failure to do so is creating a "particularly dangerous mix." Daniel Fried, the undersecretary for European affairs, told a US Senate committee that "the failure to integrate Muslim minorities in Europe constitutes a security risk for the US."
Mr Fried said unemployment, discrimination and lack of integration among Europe’s Muslim communities had created an "audience" open to extremist messages, according to Reuters. He added that some European countries’ far-reaching freedom of expression laws helped radical elements to spread anti-democratic ideologies. "Add to this a deeply negative perception and a distorted perception of US foreign policy among Western European Muslim communities, and relative freedom of movement across the Atlantic, and you have a particularly dangerous mix," he said.' Lees verder:

Nederland en Afghanistan 58

USA Today bericht: Four Canadian soldiers killed in southern Afghanistan. KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — A roadside bomb killed four Canadian soldiers Saturday in southern Afghanistan, the deadliest attack against Canadian forces since they deployed here in 2002.
Canadian military officials blamed remnants of the toppled Taliban government for the blast in the village of Gomboth, about 25 miles north of Kandahar city. "We are pretty confident that it was the Taliban, and we knew coming in here that they would be targeting us," Maj. Quentin Innis told The Associated Press. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing, but Taliban militants have vowed to step up attacks against coalition and Afghan forces during the spring and summer months. A four-vehicle Canadian convoy was patrolling the village when the bomb exploded; it targeted the third vehicle, which carried four soldiers, Innis said. Gunmen opened fire on the convoy from different directions, drawing retaliatory fire from Canadian forces on the ground before fleeing. Three soldiers were killed at the scene. The fourth died at a military medical facility, Innis said. It was the deadliest attack against the 2,200-Canadian contingent since it took over control of Kandahar from U.S. troops. At least 16 Canadians have been killed in Afghanistan since 2002. It also was the deadliest attack against coalition forces here since a Feb. 13 bombing killed four U.S. soldiers in the central province of Uruzgan.' Lees verder:

Propaganda 19

John Pilger schrijft: 'The Real First Casualty of War. During the 1970s, I filmed secretly in Czechoslovakia, then a Stalinist dictatorship. The dissident novelist Zdenek Urbánek told me, "In one respect, we are more fortunate than you in the west. We believe nothing of what we read in the newspapers and watch on television, nothing of the official truth. Unlike you, we have learned to read between the lines, because real truth is always subversive." This acute skepticism, this skill of reading between the lines, is urgently needed in supposedly free societies today. Take the reporting of state-sponsored war. The oldest cliché is that truth is the first casualty of war. I disagree. Journalism is the first casualty. Not only that: it has become a weapon of war, a virulent censorship that goes unrecognized in the United States, Britain, and other democracies; censorship by omission, whose power is such that, in war, it can mean the difference between life and death for people in faraway countries, such as Iraq. As a journalist for more than 40 years, I have tried to understand how this works. In the aftermath of the U.S. war in Vietnam, which I reported, the policy in Washington was revenge, a word frequently used in private but never publicly. A medieval embargo was imposed on Vietnam and Cambodia; the Thatcher government cut off supplies of milk to the children of Vietnam. This assault on the very fabric of life in two of the world's most stricken societies was rarely reported; the consequence was mass suffering. It was during this time that I made a series of documentaries about Cambodia. The first, in 1979, Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia, described the American bombing that had provided a catalyst for the rise of Pol Pot, and showed the shocking human effects of the embargo. Year Zero was broadcast in some 60 countries, but never in the United States. When I flew to Washington and offered it to the national public broadcaster, PBS, I received a curious reaction. PBS executives were shocked by the film, and spoke admiringly of it, even as they collectively shook their heads. One of them said: "John, we are disturbed that your film says the United States played such a destructive role, so we have decided to call in a journalistic adjudicator." The term "journalistic adjudicator" was out of Orwell. PBS appointed one Richard Dudman, a reporter on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and one of the few Westerners to have been invited by Pol Pot to visit Cambodia. His dispatches reflected none of the savagery then enveloping that country; he even praised his hosts. Not surprisingly, he gave my film the thumbs-down. One of the PBS executives confided to me: "These are difficult days under Ronald Reagan. Your film would have given us problems."' Lees verder:

De Bush Bende 8

De New York Times bericht: 'CIA Warned Bush of No Weapons in Iraq. Washington - The CIA had evidence Iraq possessed no weapons of mass destruction six months before the 2003 US-led invasion but was ignored by a White House intent on ousting Saddam Hussein, a former senior CIA official said according to CBS.
Tyler Drumheller, who headed CIA covert operations in Europe during the run-up to the Iraq war, said intelligence opposing administration claims of a WMD threat came from a top Iraqi official who provided the US spy agency with other credible information. The source "told us that there were no active weapons of mass destruction programs," Drumheller said in a CBS interview to be aired on Sunday on the network's news magazine, "60 Minutes." "The (White House) group that was dealing with preparation for the Iraq war came back and said they were no longer interested," he was quoted as saying in interview excerpts released by CBS on Friday.
"We said: 'Well, what about the intel?' And they said: 'Well, this isn't about intel anymore. This is about regime change'," added Drumheller, whose CIA operation was assigned the task of debriefing the Iraqi official. He was the latest former US official to accuse the White House of setting an early course toward war in Iraq and ignoring intelligence that conflicted with its aim.
CBS said the CIA's intelligence source was former Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri and that former CIA Director George Tenet delivered the information personally to President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other top White House officials in September 2002. They rebuffed the CIA three days later.' Lees verder: Of:

De Oorlogsstaat 41

Amy Goodman interviewde de Amerikaanse auteur Stephen Kinzer over zijn nieuwe boek 'Overthrow.' Democracy Now: 'Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq.
AMY GOODMAN: Stephen Kinzer joins us today in Chicago. He is a veteran New York Times foreign correspondent, author of several books, including All the Shah's Men and Bitter Fruit. He has just recently left the New York Times. We welcome you to Democracy Now!
STEPHEN KINZER: It’s great to be with you, Amy.
AMY GOODMAN: It's good to be in your city, Stephen.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, you are looking at 14 coups that the U.S. was involved with. What was the primary reason for the U.S. government's involvement in overthrowing other countries' governments?
STEPHEN KINZER: A lot of these coups have been studied individually, but what I'm trying to do in my book is see them not as a series of isolated incidents, but rather as one long continuum. And by looking at them that way, I am able to tease out certain patterns that recur over and over again. They don't all fit the same pattern, but it's amazing how many of them do.
You ask about the motivations, and that is one of the patterns that comes through when you look at these things all together. There’s really a three-stage motivation that I can see when I watch so many of the developments of these coups. The first thing that happens is that the regime in question starts bothering some American company. They start demanding that the company pay taxes or that it observe labor laws or environmental laws. Sometimes that company is nationalized or is somehow required to sell some of its land or its assets. So the first thing that happens is that an American or a foreign corporation is active in another country, and the government of that country starts to restrict it in some way or give it some trouble, restrict its ability to operate freely.
Then, the leaders of that company come to the political leadership of the United States to complain about the regime in that country. In the political process, in the White House, the motivation morphs a little bit. The U.S. government does not intervene directly to defend the rights of a company, but they transform the motivation from an economic one into a political or geo-strategic one. They make the assumption that any regime that would bother an American company or harass an American company must be anti-American, repressive, dictatorial, and probably the tool of some foreign power or interest that wants to undermine the United States. So the motivation transforms from an economic to a political one, although the actual basis for it never changes.
Then, it morphs one more time when the U.S. leaders have to explain the motivation for this operation to the American people. Then they do not use either the economic or the political motivation usually, but they portray these interventions as liberation operations, just a chance to free a poor oppressed nation from the brutality of a regime that we assume is a dictatorship, because what other kind of a regime would be bothering an American company?' Lees of luister verder:

De Israelische Terreur 13

De Israelische journaliste Amira Hass die al jaren in bezet gebied woont schrijft over de gevolgen van de Israelische terreur: 'Hungry and shell-shocked. GAZA - Where will the next blow land? That is the question. Not if it will come, but rather when, and on whom will it land, and what kind will it be? Five-year-old L. believes the solution is to sleep every night in his parents' bed, and in that way to be protected from the shelling. But even there he is not able to fall asleep because he is so worried and afraid. In the kindergarten in the yard outside the house, the children speak all the time about the "booms" that fill their day. Booms from the sea and booms from the land. Day and night. Sometimes three per minute, sometimes three per hour. Sometimes simultaneously from the land and from the sea. The air quivers, a flock of birds takes off in fear, and for a minute the silence of terror reigns. Are there casualties? Who, where, how many? If the parents succeed in hiding from their children pictures of the other children who have been killed or wounded by the shells, the older children fill in the gory details from what they saw on TV or read in the papers. They strengthen each other's fears. In an agricultural neighborhood near the border in the northern Gaza Strip, north of Beit Lahiyeh, the fears are made concrete by the shrapnel that has fallen countless times on the asbestos roofs. The parents have sent the children to relatives in Gaza city, so they may go to school far away from the shells. "In our neighborhood, people have not yet been killed," Z. says cynically. But the shells have taken their toll: two donkeys, a few sheep and a handful of chickens. In the northern Gaza Strip, thousands of farming families are due to return to work their lands which were destroyed by Israeli army bulldozers over the past five years. Immediately after the Israeli army pulled out of the Gaza Strip, government and non-government bodies joined forces to rehabilitate the scorched earth. They howed and they plowed and they distributed seeds and saplings. But the farmers are afraid to go out to their lands.' Lees verder:

11 September 2001(9)

Sinds enige tijd stellen ook wetenschappers het officiele rapport over de aanslagen van 11 september 2001 ter discussie. Ze zijn verenigd in 'S.P.I.N.E. : The Scientific Panel Investigating Nine-Eleven. Members of the Scientific Panel Investigating Nine-eleven come from a variety of professional backgrounds. Some investigate aspects of the 9/11 attacks, others search the web for useful information, and some write up new material. We have tried to maintain professional standards in both the analysis and presentation of the evidence we have assembled, as well as in the scenarios we have constructed. General Statement by the Panel: "We have found solid scientific grounds on which to question the interpretation put upon the events of September 11, 2001 by the Office of the President of the United States of America and subsequently propagated by the major media of western nations. Our analysis of the detailed evidence implies a staged attack employing a variety of deceptive arrangements. Indeed, every element of the September 11 attacks, including cellphone calls from fast-moving aircraft, has an alternate means of creation." Panel members are scientists, engineers, and other professionals. All contribute through search and research. Members of S.P.I.N.E. may be contacted by clicking here and entering the name of the member you'd like to contact, along with a brief message.' Lees verder:

De Oorlogsstaat 40

De kosten van de oorlog in Irak zijn onvoorstelbaar hoog. De VS kunnen de bezetting niet betalen uit de Irakese olie-opbrengsten omdat de pijpleidingen permanent opgeblazen worden. 'The costs of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq have far exceeded the initial estimate, and final sum could top 1 trillion U.S. dollars, ABC News reported Friday. ABC analyst Tony Cordesman, who also holds the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said the exorbitant costs come down to poor planning.
"When the administration submitted its original budget for the Iraq war, it didn't provide money for continuing the war this year or any other. We could end up spending up to one trillion (dollars) in supplemental budgets for this war," he said. Other analysts say the increases can be blamed on the rising cost of maintaining military equipment and developing new equipment.
As the cost of military equipment escalates, the cost of the war escalates. In fact, developing state-of-the-art weapons to defeat insurgents and their roadside bombs will hit the wallets of American taxpayers for years to come. The costs of the war have already far exceeded the Bush administration's initial projection of 50 billion dollars. According to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments(CSBA), a Washington think-tank, for military operations alone, the United States spent 48 billion dollars for Iraq in 2003, 59 billion in 2004, and 81 billion in 2005.
The center predicts the figure will balloon to 94 billion for 2006, which equates to a 1,205-dollar bill for each of 78 million U.S. families, on top of taxes they already pay.' Lees verder:

Iran 40

Truthout bericht: 'Prominent US Physicists Send Letter to President Bush. Thirteen of the nation's most prominent physicists have written a letter to President Bush, calling U.S. plans to reportedly use nuclear weapons against Iran "gravely irresponsible" and warning that such action would have "disastrous consequences for the security of the United States and the world." The physicists include five Nobel laureates, a recipient of the National Medal of Science and three past presidents of the American Physical Society, the nation's preeminent professional society for physicists. Their letter was prompted by recent articles in the Washington Post, New Yorker and other publications that one of the options being considered by Pentagon planners and the White House in a military confrontation with Iran includes the use of nuclear bunker busters against underground facilities. These reports were neither confirmed nor denied by White House and Pentagon officials. The letter was initiated by Jorge Hirsch, a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego, who last fall put together a petition signed by more than 1,800 physicists that repudiated new U.S. nuclear weapons policies that include preemptive use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear adversaries . Hirsch has also published 15 articles in recent months documenting the dangers associated with a potential U.S. nuclear strike on Iran. "We are members of the profession that brought nuclear weapons into existence, and we feel strongly that it is our professional duty to contribute our efforts to prevent their misuse," says Hirsch. "Physicists know best about the devastating effects of the weapons they created, and these eminent physicists speak for thousands of our colleagues." "The fact that the existence of this plan has not been denied by the Administration should be a cause of great alarm, even if it is only one of several plans being considered," he adds. "The public should join these eminent scientists in demanding that the Administration publicly renounces such a misbegotten option against a non-nuclear country like Iran ." The letter, which is available at, points out that "nuclear weapons are unique among weapons of mass destruction," and that nuclear weapons in today's arsenals have a total power of more than 200,000 times the explosive energy of the bomb that leveled Hiroshima, which caused the deaths of more than 100,000 people.' Lees verder: Of:

Iran 39

Inter Press Service bericht: 'Cabal Blocked 2003 Nuclear Talks With Iran. Washington - The George W. Bush administration failed to enter into negotiations with Iran on its nuclear programme in May 2003 because neoconservative zealots who advocated destabilisation and regime change were able to block any serious diplomatic engagement with Tehran, according to former administration officials. The same neoconservative veto power also prevented the administration from adopting any official policy statement on Iran, those same officials say.
Lawrence Wilkerson, then chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, says the failure to adopt a formal Iran policy in 2002-2003 was the result of obstruction by a "secret cabal" of neoconservatives in the administration, led by Vice Pres. Dick Cheney. "The secret cabal got what it wanted: no negotiations with Tehran," Wilkerson wrote in an e-mail to IPS. The Iranian negotiating offer, transmitted to the State Department in early May 2003 by the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, acknowledged that Iran would have to address U.S. concerns about its nuclear programme, although it made no specific concession in advance of the talks, according to Flynt Leverett, then the National Security Council's senior director for Middle East Affairs.
It also raised the possibility of cutting off Iran's support for Hamas and Islamic Jihad and converting Hezbollah into a purely socio-political organisation, according to Leverett. That was an explicit response to Powell's demand in late March that Iran "end its support for terrorism".
In return, Leverett recalls, the Iranians wanted the United States to address security questions, the lifting of economic sanctions and normalisation of relations, including support for Iran's integration into the global economic order. Leverett also recalls that it was drafted with the blessing of all the major political players in the Iranian regime, including the "Supreme Leader", Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Realists, led by Powell and his Deputy Richard Armitage, were inclined to respond positively to the Iranian offer. Nevertheless, within a few days of its receipt, the State Department had rebuked the Swiss ambassador for having passed on the offer.' Lees verder: Of:

Irak 70

Newsweek bericht: 'The Business of Tragedy. Iraq's daily death toll keeps a lot of people working. The outlook for Iraq's economy is grim. Oil production has fallen to prewar levels. With foreign investors scared off by political instability and a climate of violence that produces about 70 attacks a day, private investment has stagnated. Local businesses keep shorter hours, while wealthy businessmen are regularly targeted for kidnapping. Electricity levels have dropped to the same as they were three years ago, frustrating ordinary Iraqis and hampering new development projects. The main reason for these troubles: insurgents and unchecked militias have done a good job of driving Iraq's economy to a near halt. Well, almost. One sector of the economy has been quietly expanding since the March 2003 invasion-the so-called death industry. Cemeteries are growing from Najaf to Fallujah, while projects to expand morgues are underway in Baghdad. An entire class of low-wage workers now relies solely on the bloody violence to make their living-from men who shuttle bodies to cemeteries to caterers who provide coffee and tea for funerals. There's more money in the business than ever before, too, as costs for funerals have multiplied. The prices for coffins, plots, tombstones and other funeral services have skyrocketed. In the past year of the war, there were 36 violent deaths a day, according to Iraq Body Count, an independent organization that tracks media reports of civilian casualties. In the first year there was an average of 20 per day. "The number of bodies that come to our house has increased a hundred fold after the fall of Baghdad," says Jamal Abdul Hassan, whose family has run a funeral preparation shop in Baghdad for three generations. "Before that, maybe out of each 1,000 cases, one would be a murdered person. Now the opposite applies." Hassan saw a recent spike in business following the Feb. 22 bombing of the Askariya mosque in Samarra, which set off a wave of killings that has now claimed over 1,500 lives. In the single worst attack of the year, suicide bombers dressed in women's robes struck a Shiite mosque in Baghdad on April 7, killing 79 people and wounding more than 160. "I am too exhausted to talk," the 48-year-old with a well-trimmed gray beard told a NEWSWEEK reporter recently. "I am exhausted, emotionally and psychologically." It was a car bombing of a Shiite mosque in Baghdad that occurred a week after Samarra that pushed Hassan to the edge: 25 of the dead ended up at his shop for the Islamic cleansing ritual. Hassan and two partners worked through the night to prepare what was left of the bodies, simply washing them with water, bandaging the wounds, and stuffing nostrils, ears and mouths with cotton. "Many had either missing organs or were greatly deformed, not to mention the bodies that weren't found," he said bitterly. "I wonder what those families had done to deserve such a destiny?"' Lees verder: Of:

Rachel Corrie 3

A memorial of candles and flowers for Rachel Corrie at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington on March 17, 2003. One of the most disturbing things about 'My Name Is Rachel Corrie,' the Royal Court play based on the journals and e-mails of a young American who died in Palestine for no apparent reason, is that it has yet to be seen in the United States. (Anthony P. Bolante/Reuters) De Toronto Star bericht: 'Play Pushed Underground Cancelled in New York, the first Toronto reading of My Name Is Rachel Corrie is being held at a secret location. Rachel Corrie was born in Washington, killed in the Gaza Strip, praised in London and censored in Manhattan. Now she's being forced to go underground in Toronto. My Name Is Rachel Corrie is a play based on the life and words of the 23-year-old American activist who died in Gaza on March 16, 2003, after an incident involving an Israeli Defence Forces bulldozer. Corrie's supporters claim she was run over deliberately during the course of a peaceful political demonstration. Those on the opposing side insist the bulldozer driver couldn't see her and it was simply an accident. The New York production of the play was recently cancelled, because of fears that its pro-Palestinian stance would upset the Jewish community at a difficult political time. This decision provoked a worldwide debate that has become so heated it has become necessary to keep secret the exact location of a simple reading of the script for 50 people at the University of Toronto Sunday night. But the astonishing thing about this whole affair is that at no point in the play's history has it been the cause of any actual confrontations or demonstrations. It's the fear of what might happen that seems to be motivating people's actions.' Lees verder:

11 September 2001(8)

Van Bou Berkenbosch ontving ik de volgende email: 'Inmiddels zijn er reeds drie websites, waar men in het Nederlands kennis kan nemen van het bedrog van 11 september 2001 en de leugens omtrent het moslimterrorisme.

Op staat sinds 1 april een zeer goed gedocumenteerde serie over het bedrog van 11 september. Men is zich nu aan het bezinnen op mogelijke acties.
Op is men nog bezig om de website op te bouwen, maar deze zal uitsluitend worden gewijd aan het bedrog van 11 september. Ook organiseert deze groep bijeenkomsten, op 16 maart j.l. in Groningen, maar binnenkort ook in Amsterdam, Rotterdam en elders in het land.
Op heeft men de Amerikaanse website reopen911 "vertaald" in het Nederlands, waarschijnlijk met behulp van een vertaalmachine, want de grammatica rammelt aan alle kanten, maar ook daar wordt aan gewerkt. Op deze site staat zowel de film: Painful Deceptions, als de documentaire: Confronting the Evidence, met Nederlandse ondertiteling.

Overigens besteedt ook aandacht aan het bedrog van 11 september.'

vrijdag 21 april 2006

Irak 69

Het Britse kwaliteits tijdschrift Prospect brengt een interessant achtergrondartikel over het uiteenvallen van Irak. ´Despite the imminent formation of a government of national unity, Iraq is splintering into its three historic provinces. The break-up can be managed, but it cannot be avoided. The western powers and Iraqi nationalists must now accept that radical federalism is the only alternative to civil war. Sometime in the next few days or weeks, a government of national unity will finally be formed in Iraq. This rare piece of good news will briefly rekindle some of the optimism about the political future of a unified Iraq that followed last December's election. But the reality on the ground is that Iraq is breaking up. The Kurdish north is largely independent and Basra, capital of the Shia south, is increasingly falling out of Baghdad's orbit. Moreover, there is anecdotal evidence of significant population movement—with Shias leaving Sunni areas, Sunnis leaving Shia areas, and Kurds (and many professionals of all identities) moving north to the relative sanctuary of Kurdistan. The partitioning, or rather radical decentralisation, of Iraq is under way. This should not necessarily be seen as a problem. Historical Iraq was a place of three semi-independent parts—Kurdish north, Sunni centre and Shia south—within the loose framework of the Ottoman empire. It is the centralised Iraq—starting with Britain's creation of the modern state in 1921-23 and reaching its nadir in nearly three decades of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship—that has failed and should be allowed to die. There are, however, powerful forces refusing to contemplate partition or "hard federalism." The radical Shia movement led by Muqtada al-Sadr, emerging as one of the most powerful groups in Iraq, rejects federalism as a divide-and-rule tactic and defends Iraqi identity in traditional nationalist terms. Opposition among the Arab Sunnis who have traditionally dominated the state is even stronger. Whether radical Islamists, ex-Ba'athists or secularists, Arab Sunnis see federalism as undermining everything they have stood for in nearly a century of Iraqi history.´ Lees verder

De Oorlogsstaat 39

Oorlog is peperduur. De Washington Post bericht: 'Bill Bulges With Unforeseen Spending for Guns, Tanks. Senate to take up measure as military fights to keep guns, tanks working.
With the expected passage this spring of the largest emergency spending bill in history, annual war expenditures in Iraq will have nearly doubled since the U.S. invasion, as the military confronts the rapidly escalating cost of repairing, rebuilding and replacing equipment chewed up by three years of combat. The cost of the war in U.S. fatalities has declined this year, but the cost in treasure continues to rise, from $48 billion in 2003 to $59 billion in 2004 to $81 billion in 2005 to an anticipated $94 billion in 2006, according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. The U.S. government is now spending nearly $10 billion a month in Iraq and Afghanistan, up from $8.2 billion a year ago, a new Congressional Research Service report found. Annual war costs in Iraq are easily outpacing the $61 billion a year that the United States spent in Vietnam between 1964 and 1972, in today's dollars. The invasion's "shock and awe" of high-tech laser-guided bombs, cruise missiles and stealth aircraft has long faded, but the costs of even those early months are just coming into view as the military confronts equipment repair and rebuilding costs it has avoided and procurement costs it never expected. "We did not predict early on that we would have the number of electronic jammers that we've got. We did not predict we'd have as many [heavily] armored vehicles that we have, nor did we have a good prediction about what our battle losses would be," Army Chief of Staff Peter J. Schoomaker recently told the Senate Armed Services Committee. Steven M. Kosiak, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments' director of budget studies, said, "If you look at the earlier estimates of anticipated costs, this war is a lot more expensive than it should be, based on past conflicts." The issue will be hotly debated next week when the Senate takes up a record $106.5 billion emergency spending bill that includes $72.4 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House passed a $92 billion version of the bill last month that included $68 billion in war funding. That funding comes on top of $50 billion already allocated for the war this fiscal year.' Lees verder: Of: l

De Israelische Apartheid

De Islamic Republic News Agency bericht: 'British Euro-MP condemns Israel's apartheid policies. A British member of the European parliament has returned for a visit to the occupied territories, calling for Israel's apartheid treatment of the Palestinians to be condemned.
"We should be honest. These are the racist policies of apartheid, yet Israel continues to pose as a victim," Liberal Democrat MEP for northwest England Chris Davies said. Any hope of creating a viable, independent Palestinian state is being destroyed by Israeli bulldozers, barbed wire and concrete walls, Davies was quoted saying by the local Oldham Evening Chronicle. The Lib Dem MEP was part of an all-party delegation from the Strasbourg-based European Parliament which visited occupied West Bank last week. "Palestinian land is being carved up and communities isolated. The people liken themselves to hamsters kept in cages connected by tubes that are opened and shut at the whim of their Israeli masters. Economic progress is impossible," he said.
"Towns are being physically divided and people denied the right to travel between them. Israel continues to steal land to expand illegal settlements served by roads which Palestinians are forbidden to use," Davies said about his findings. During the visit, MEPs held meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, and newly elected members of the legislative council, including supporters of both Fatah and Hamas. The Lib Dem member for northwest England warned about the recent EU decision to suspend payments to the Palestinian Authority, following the election victory of Hamas. He said that after visiting Auschwitz concentration camp in Germany last year, he found it "very difficult to understand why those whose history is one of such terrible oppression appear not to care that they have themselves become oppressors".' Lees verder:
Het Britse Channel 4: 'In his first interview with British TV the Palestinian Prime Minister tells us why he thinks it is legitimate to attack Israel.' Zie:
Reuters bericht: 'France rules out cutting off Palestinian relief aid. PARIS (Reuters) - France said on Wednesday it flatly opposed cutting off humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Territories but again urged the Hamas-led Palestinian government to reject violence, recognise Israel and embrace peace. Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy told French radio that while the European Union had cut funding to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority it had no plans to end relief aid. "It is absolutely out of the question ... to cut off humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Territories," he told RMC radio. "That would be a major political mistake." "If we don't help the Palestinian Territories, others like Iran will do so. And, on the other hand, we risk pushing the Palestinian people towards radicalism and that's not what we want and that's why we should continue to help them." President Jacques Chirac said Hamas must see violence had no future and also urged Israel to resist unilateral action, targeted assassinations of Palestinian figures and to halt colonisation of Palestinian territories.' Lees verder:

Nederland en Afghanistan 57

David Michael Smith is a professor of government at the College of the Mainland in Texas City, Texas. In de Canadian schrijft hij: 'In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President Bush declared that the United States would launch a "War on Terrorism." In early October, U.S. airplanes began bombing Afghanistan and providing assistance to the Northern Alliance and other groups opposed to the Taliban regime. Within a few months, U.S. troops and their Afghan allies had succeeded in ousting the Taliban and installing a new regime. Although Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants apparently escaped, U.S. officials proclaimed that a significant blow had been dealt to the al-Qa'ida network. Traumatized and outraged by the horrific events of September 11, the majority of Americans supported the war in Afghanistan. Most people believed the U.S. Commander-in-Chief when he said that the replacement of the Taliban regime was required to safeguard our country against another catastrophic attack by al-Qa'ida forces. Even Princeton Professor Richard Falk, a longtime anti-war activist, wrote in The Nation ("Defining a Just War," Oct. 29, 2001) that the war in Afghanistan was "the first truly just war since World War II." But was it? Since last October, thousands of people have participated in anti-war rallies, marches, and teach-ins in New York City, Washington, San Francisco, Houston, and other cities. People opposed to the war have made clear that they condemn the atrocity of September 11. But they also condemn the U.S. role in the deaths of thousands of Afghan people who had nothing to do with the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.In the British Guardian ("The innocent dead in a coward's war," Dec. 20, 2001), journalist Seumas Milne estimated that about ten thousand Afghan soldiers may have died in the war and cited University of New Hampshire Professor Marc Herold's estimate that about four thousand civilians have also died. Moreover, anti-war activists and progressive writers argue that the war in Afghanistan has been, in large part, another "oil war." The September 11 attacks provided a compelling pretext for military action against the al-Qa'ida forces in Afghanistan. But a growing body of research by journalists and scholars reveals that the Bush Administration's decision in favour of a regime change and all-out war in Afghanistan was significantly influenced by the desire to install a new government that would be more sympathetic to U.S. economic interests in Central Asia. Although Afghanistan itself has no significant oil or natural gas reserves, it is strategically located in a region which does. As Eric Margolis observed in the Toronto Sun ("The U.S. is Determined to Dominate the World's Richest New Source," Jan. 13, 2002), Central Asia's Caspian Basin, over which sit the former Soviet states of Uzbekistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgystan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan, is the world's "richest new source of oil." In the Jurist ("The Deadly Pipeline War," Dec. 8, 2001), Marjorie Cohn noted that some analysts have estimated the potential value of Caspian oil and natural gas reserves at four trillion dollars. Phil Gasper recalled in the Socialist Worker ("The Politics of Oil," Jan. 25, 2002) that the Middle East Economic Digest editors have described Central Asia as "the Middle East of the twenty-first century."' Lees verder:
Ondertussen bericht Worldnet Daily: 'FROM JOSEPH FARAH'S G2 BULLETIN. Real bad news in AfghanistanTaliban regains control of much of country. While the Bush administration is on the defensive for its conduct of the war in Iraq, the real setback in the U.S. war effort is coming in Afghanistan where the Taliban is alive, well and thriving throughout the countryside and even in much of neighboring Pakistan, according to an exclusive report in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.
In a report by Paul L. Williams, author of the new book, "Dunces of Doomsday," and David Dastych, one-eyed Mullah Omar and his army of radical Islamic students are currently in control of all of the rural and mountain areas of Afghanistan, including Khost, Paktia, Paktika, Ghazni, Zabul, Helmand, and Oruzgan, as well as a vast expanse of eastern and southern provinces including sections of Kandahar. They also have become the central governing body in South and North Qaziristan and other tribal territories of Pakistan. The news comes in part from an interview with Hamid Mir, the only journalist to conduct face-to-face interviews with Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri in the wake of 9-11.' Lees verder:

Nederland en Afghanistan 56

Radio Free Europe bericht: 'Infant Reportedly Among Afghans Injured By U.S. Military. Reports from Afghanistan say a number of civilians, including a newborn baby, were injured after a U.S. military patrol opened fire on their vehicle in the southeastern Afghan province of Khost. Local officials say the incident took place late on April 17. The governor of Khost Province, Mayrajuddin Patan, told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that the U.S. patrol opened fire on the car after it ignored instructions to stop. "Reports of some news agencies, particularly Khybar TV, that American forces killed seven civilians, are false and based on rumors," Patan said. "What really happened is that U.S. forces patrolling at night ordered a car to stop, but the car didn't stop.[U.S. soldiers] thought that those people might be terrorists and a soldier fired one bullet and that one bullet injured three people. It was really an accident."
Some reports say up to six civilians were injured, including a baby. In another part of Khost, a five-year-old boy and another youngster were wounded by U.S.-led troops on April 18.
There has been no response from the U.S. military in Afghanistan.' Lees verder: De Dow Jones Newswires bericht: 'US, Afghan Forces Kill 5 Militants In Kunar Province. KABUL (AP)--U.S. and Afghan soldiers have killed five militants during a large-scale operation targeting Taliban and al-Qaida fighters in a volatile eastern region of the country near Pakistan, the U.S. military said Tuesday. The renewed violence in Kunar province came as Afghanistan urged neighboring Pakistan to do more to curb militancy on their shared frontier, drawing an angry rebuke from Islamabad which has deployed 80,000 soldiers to the region. Coalition forces shot dead five "terrorists" Monday near the Kunar provincial capital of Asadabad, about 170 kilometers northeast of the capital, Kabul, after a patrol spotted a group of seven militants, the U.S. military said in a statement. It was unclear what happened to the remaining two militants. Some 2,500 American and Afghan soldiers are waging an ongoing campaign, dubbed Operation Mountain Lion, to hunt down extremists allied to this country's toppled Taliban regime and their al-Qaida allies, along with armed criminals active in the region.' Lees verder:

Irak 68

De Islamic Republic News Agency bericht: 'Time to plan for US withdrawal from Iraq, says Brzezinski. Iraq-US Withdrawal Former US president Jimmy Carter's national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski said Wednesday that it was time to plan for an American withdrawal from Iraq. "Given that a more authentic Iraqi political leadership is finally beginning to push aside the earlier US-hand-picked choices, the time is ripe to adopt a strategy for terminating US military presence in the country," Brzezinski said. He said that the US needs to recognize that 'its intervention in Iraq is becoming part of a wider, dangerous collision between America and the Muslim world'. It was a 'collision that could prove, if it becomes truly widespread, devastating to America's global position', the former security advisor said. "An America in a conflict with the world of Islam as a whole will be an America with more enemies and fewer friends, an America more isolated and less secure," he warned. In an article for the Financial Times Wednesday, Brzezinski proposed a four-point program, which he suggested could serve as the basic framework to terminate US involvement in which the Bush seems 'unable either to win militarily or to end politically'. Firstly, he suggested that Washington should quietly ask Iraqi leaders to publicly ask the US to leave, rather than announce arbitrarily a date for the departure. Second, after such a public request, the US and Iraqi governments would jointly consult on a date for ending the occupation, Carter's former advisor said, believing that it should be within a year to allow a complete and orderly disengagement. After this, he proposed that the Iraqi government -- not the US -- should then also call for a regional conference of Muslim states, some immediately adjoining Iraq, others more distant, to help consolidate internal stability. On leaving, Brzezinski's fourth point was that the US should convene a donors' conference of European states, Japan, China and others with an interest to help finance the restoration of the Iraqi economy.' Zie:

De Bush Bende 7

Rolling Stone stelt de onvermijdelijke vraag: 'The Worst President in History? One of America's leading historians assesses George W. Bush.
George W. Bush's presidency appears headed for colossal historical disgrace. Barring a cataclysmic event on the order of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, after which the public might rally around the White House once again, there seems to be little the administration can do to avoid being ranked on the lowest tier of U.S. presidents. And that may be the best-case scenario. Many historians are now wondering whether Bush, in fact, will be remembered as the very worst president in all of American history. From time to time, after hours, I kick back with my colleagues at Princeton to argue idly about which president really was the worst of them all. For years, these perennial debates have largely focused on the same handful of chief executives whom national polls of historians, from across the ideological and political spectrum, routinely cite as the bottom of the presidential barrel. Was the lousiest James Buchanan, who, confronted with Southern secession in 1860, dithered to a degree that, as his most recent biographer has said, probably amounted to disloyalty - and who handed to his successor, Abraham Lincoln, a nation already torn asunder? Was it Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson, who actively sided with former Confederates and undermined Reconstruction? What about the amiably incompetent Warren G. Harding, whose administration was fabulously corrupt? Or, though he has his defenders, Herbert Hoover, who tried some reforms but remained imprisoned in his own outmoded individualist ethic and collapsed under the weight of the stock-market crash of 1929 and the Depression's onset? The younger historians always put in a word for Richard M. Nixon, the only American president forced to resign from office. Now, though, George W. Bush is in serious contention for the title of worst ever. In early 2004, an informal survey of 415 historians conducted by the nonpartisan History News Network found that eighty-one percent considered the Bush administration a "failure." Among those who called Bush a success, many gave the president high marks only for his ability to mobilize public support and get Congress to go along with what one historian called the administration's "pursuit of disastrous policies." In fact, roughly one in ten of those who called Bush a success was being facetious, rating him only as the best president since Bill Clinton - a category in which Bush is the only contestant.' Lees verder:

donderdag 20 april 2006

De VS en het IMF

De Los Angeles Times bericht: 'IMF Sees US Budget, Trade Deficits as Risk Factors. Bush officials are less than pleased with the global organization's economic outlook. Washington - Clearly irritating U.S. economic officials, the International Monetary Fund faulted the United States on Wednesday for its budget and trade deficits and its failure to provide universal health insurance, predicting that the dollar would inevitably decline in value against the world's other currencies. In its semiannual report on the world economic outlook, the IMF painted a generally rosy picture, with the global economy growing by 4.9% in 2006. But the IMF, which was established in 1944 to come to the aid of distressed national economies, said "global imbalances" loomed as risks to that scenario. Among the imbalances, it singled out U.S. budget and trade deficits. U.S. officials generally declined to get into an argument with the IMF. But Timothy D. Adams, undersecretary of the Treasury for international affairs, defended the administration's budget policy, saying it was in line with the rest of the world's, and he blamed other countries, particularly China, for America's large - and growing - trade deficit. The IMF forecast a considerably more robust global economy than it did six months ago, with global economic growth running 0.6 percentage points ahead of the 4.3% it estimated in September. China, with projected growth of 9.5%, and India, with 7.3%, led the way. Almost uniformly, the IMF forecast above-average growth for developing economies and below-average growth for the industrial world. The United States, with a projected 3.4% growth, was the leader among the seven largest industrial economies. Raghuram G. Rajan, the IMF's economic counselor, said the bright outlook provided ideal conditions for addressing the world's looming economic risks. Instead, he said, political leaders were taking the easy way out by putting off dealing with economic problems that, if allowed to fester, would become more acute. "If progress cannot be made now," the IMF said in its economic outlook, "it will surely be even more difficult later on."
The world's greatest economic imbalance is in trade. The current U.S. account deficit, which measures the flow of goods, services and investments, has grown in nine of the last 10 years - from $114 billion in 1995 to $805 billion last year. Other countries, notably China, have developed gigantic surpluses, and their economies depend on the U.S. market to buy what they produce.' Lees verder:,1,7331134.story?coll=la-headlines-nation Of

De Bush Bende 6

Het verzet in de Verenigde Staten tegen de Bush bende blijft groeien. Jason Miller is a 39 year old sociopolitical essayist with a degree in liberal arts. He is a member of Amnesty International and an avid supporter of Oxfam International and Human Rights Watch. In Information Clearing House schrijft hij: 'Forget the Middle East:
North America Harbors the World's Most Dangerous Terrorists.
“After the explosion itself, anyone on the edge of the explosion (who were lucky enough to survive) would have melted flesh and severe burns, the skin would literally fall off the bone. Anyone who had seen the blast from such a distance would have permanent loss of vision.” (
A little perspective, pleaseAfter years of living under the perpetual risk of the ultimate terrorist attack, most people have become acclimated to the distinct possibility of imminent extinction of life on Earth. Fortunately, humans tend to be highly adaptable beings, and most are able to go on with their daily tasks without dwelling on potential doomsday scenarios.In fact, people have become so desensitized to the threat of nuclear holocaust that those who still believe American propaganda are more terrified of religious fanatics wielding box cutters than they are of an ICBM capable of annihilating millions.According to the FBI, domestic terrorism is:“the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or its territories without foreign direction committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”Given the knowledge that it is the United States which created and primarily wields the power to extinguish life on Earth, it is not a tremendous intellectual leap to classify the American government as the world’s most dangerous and most powerful terrorist.America’s own domestic law enforcement entity has defined terrorism as “threatened use of force or violence”, intimidation, and coercion against governments or civilian populations for the “furtherance of political or social objectives”.What could be more threatening or violent than a nuclear attack? What could be more coercive than the US imposition of its will, culture, and ruthless economic agenda on a global populace like a domineering father abusing his cowed children? Employing terrorist tools of intimidation, coercion and threats of violence, the United States consistently sets the political and social objectives for the rest of the world. Remember, Iran, “All options are on the table.”America is the Don Corleone of the world community. They make offers you can’t refuse. “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” delivered the Sicilian message that nations defying the United States would find many of their innocent civilians “sleeping with the fishes”. 200,000 dead Japanese showed the skeptics that the Godfather meant business.' Lees verder:

Iran 38

De Amerikaanse auteur Norman Solomon schrijft: 'When "Diplomacy" Means War One of the nation's leading pollsters, Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center, wrote a few weeks ago that among Americans "there is little potential support for the use of force against Iran." This month the White House has continued to emphasize that it is committed to seeking a diplomatic solution. Yet the U.S. government is very likely to launch a military attack on Iran within the next year. How can that be?In the run-up to war, appearances are often deceiving. Official events may seem to be moving in one direction while policymakers are actually headed in another. On their own timetable, White House strategists implement a siege of public opinion that relies on escalating media spin. One administration after another has gone through the motions of staying on a diplomatic track while laying down flagstones on a path to war.Several days ago President Bush said that "the doctrine of prevention is to work together to prevent the Iranians from having a nuclear weapon" -- and he quickly added that "in this case, it means diplomacy." On April 12 the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, urged the U.N. Security Council to take "strong steps" in response to Iran's announcement of progress toward enriching uranium. Bush and Rice were engaged in a timeworn ritual that involves playacting diplomacy before taking military action.Seven years ago, President Clinton proclaimed that a U.S.-led NATO air war on Yugoslavia was starting because all peaceful avenues for dealing with the Serbian president, Slobodan Milosevic, had reached dead ends. The Clinton administration and the major U.S. media outlets failed to mention that Washington had handed Milosevic a poison-pill ultimatum in the fine print of the proposed Rambouillet accords -- with Appendix B stipulating that NATO troops would have nearly unlimited run of the entire Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.Recent decades of American history are filled with such faux statesmanship: greasing the media wheels and political machinery for military interventions in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Central America and the Middle East. But the current administration's eagerness to use "diplomacy" as a prop for going to war has been unusually brazen.On Jan. 31, 2003 -- five days before the ballyhooed speech by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell to the U.N. Security Council -- the president held a private Oval Office meeting with Tony Blair. Summing up the discussion, which occurred nearly two months before the invasion of Iraq, the British prime minister's chief foreign policy adviser David Manning noted in a memo: "Our diplomatic strategy had to be arranged around the military planning." Meanwhile, President Bush and his top aides were still telling the public that they were pursuing all diplomatic channels in hopes of preventing war.' Lees verder: Of:

Iran 37

In navolging van de Amerikaanse commerciele massamedia liet het NOS-Journaal onlangs weer eens in een bijzinnetje weten dat de Iraanse president Israel van de kaart wil vegen. Propaganda. Nu de werkelijkheid. Information Clearing House bericht: 'Does Iran's President Want Israel Wiped Off The Map - Does He Deny The Holocaust?An analysis of media rhetoric on its way to war against Iran - Commenting on the alleged statements of Iran's President Ahmadinejad. By Anneliese Fikentscher and Andreas Neumann. Translation to English: Erik Appleby04/19/06 "Kein Krieg!" -- -- - "But now that I'm on Iran, the threat to Iran, of course -- (applause) -- the threat from Iran is, of course, their stated objective to destroy our strong ally Israel. That's a threat, a serious threat. It's a threat to world peace; it's a threat, in essence, to a strong alliance. I made it clear, I'll make it clear again, that we will use military might to protect our ally, Israel, and -- (applause.)" George W. Bush, US-President, 2006-03-20 in Cleveland (Ohio) in an off-the-cuff speech (source:
But why does Bush speak of Iran's objective to destroy Israel?Does Iran's President wants Israel wiped off the map?To raze Israel to the ground, to batter down, to destroy, to annihilate, to liquidate, to erase Israel, to wipe it off the map - this is what Iran's President demanded - at least this is what we read about or heard of at the end of October 2005. Spreading the news was very effective. This is a declaration of war they said. Obviously government and media were at one with their indignation. It goes around the world.But let's take a closer look at what Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said. It is a merit of the 'New York Times' that they placed the complete speech at our disposal. Here's an excerpt from the publication dated 2005-10-30:"They say it is not possible to have a world without the United States and Zionism. But you know that this is a possible goal and slogan. Let's take a step back. [[[We had a hostile regime in this country which was undemocratic, armed to the teeth and, with SAVAK, its security apparatus of SAVAK [the intelligence bureau of the Shah of Iran's government] watched everyone. An environment of terror existed.]]] When our dear Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Iranian revolution] said that the regime must be removed, many of those who claimed to be politically well-informed said it was not possible. All the corrupt governments were in support of the regime when Imam Khomeini started his movement. [[[All the Western and Eastern countries supported the regime even after the massacre of September 7 [1978] ]]] and said the removal of the regime was not possible. But our people resisted and it is 27 years now that we have survived without a regime dependent on the United States. The tyranny of the East and the West over the world should have to end, but weak people who can see only what lies in front of them cannot believe this. Who would believe that one day we could witness the collapse of the Eastern Empire? But we could watch its fall in our lifetime. And it collapsed in a way that we have to refer to libraries because no trace of it is left. Imam [Khomeini] said Saddam must go and he said he would grow weaker than anyone could imagine. Now you see the man who spoke with such arrogance ten years ago that one would have thought he was immortal, is being tried in his own country in handcuffs and shackles [[[by those who he believed supported him and with whose backing he committed his crimes]]]. Our dear Imam said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map and this was a very wise statement. We cannot compromise over the issue of Palestine. Is it possible to create a new front in the heart of an old front. This would be a defeat and whoever accepts the legitimacy of this regime [Israel] has in fact, signed the defeat of the Islamic world. Our dear Imam targeted the heart of the world oppressor in his struggle, meaning the occupying regime. I have no doubt that the new wave that has started in Palestine, and we witness it in the Islamic world too, will eliminate this disgraceful stain from the Islamic world."(source:, based on a publication of 'Iranian Students News Agency' (ISNA) -- insertions by the New York Times in squared brackets -- passages in triple squared brackets will be left blank in the MEMRI version printed below) It's becoming clear. The statements of the Iranian President have been reflected by the media in a manipulated way. Iran's President betokens the removal of the regimes, that are in power in Israel and in the USA, to be possible aim for the future. This is correct. But he never demands the elimination or annihilation of Israel.' Lees verder:

Nederland en Afghanistan 55

De voormalige wethouder van Borculo, minister Henk Kamp, hijst zich snel in een kogelvrij vest.

Waarom zijn Nederlandse militairen in Afghanistan gelegerd? Het ministerie van Defensie geeft deze verklaring: 'Op 7 oktober 2001 begonnen de Verenigde Staten en Groot-Brittannië met operatie Enduring Freedom, gericht tegen Al Quaida en Taliban-eenheden in Afghanistan. Het Taliban-regime werd uit het land verdreven. Vlak daarna werd de International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) gestart, in eerste instantie bedoeld om de Afghaanse interimregering [van de voormalige oliemaatschappij-adviseur Karzai svh.] te ondersteunen bij het handhaven van de veiligheid. Onder auspiciën van de NAVO moet Afghanistan opnieuw worden opgebouwd tot een veilig en stabiel land. Nederland neemt op dit moment deel aan zowel ISAF als OEF. Hierbij worden militairen ingezet van alle krijgsmachtdelen.' Zie: Het opmerkelijke is dat in deze paar zinnen 1 fout staat en 1 misvatting. De fout is dat het Taliban-regime niet uit Afghanistan is verdreven, maar uit Kaboel. En dat is nu juist ook het probleem. De Taliban zit nog steeds in het land en wordt steeds sterker, vooral ook omdat de Taliban behoort tot de grootste etnische bevolkingsgroep, namelijk de Pashtun. De misvatting is dat het Westen daar nu een 'veilig en stabiel' land kan opbouwen. Een van de machtigste en wreedste krijgsheren van Afghanistan, de Pashtun Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, die in ruil voor miljoenen dollars in 2001 de kant van de Amerikanen koos, schreef al in oktober 2002 in een open brief aan de Democratische Partij van de VS over zijn minachting voor het Karzai regime in Kaboel: 'We do not know what sort of human being with sound wisdom and conscience would consider people rulers of a country whose personal security is also maintained by foreigners - who cannot trust any of their compatriots in the entire country and cannot find any force inside the country to keep them safe inside their own palace; those who go to their own province and to their own countrymen under the protection of American commando's, and even then they are attacked.' De andere grote Pashtun krijgsheer (en oude vriend van Osama bin Laden) Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, die later de kant van de Noordelijke Alliantie koos, verklaarde: 'I do not find a convincing reason for their [Amerikaanse and NAVO troepen svh.] continued presence. We did not get rid of the Soviets to get the Americans in the end.' Op zijn beurt zei de voormalige chef-staf van het Pakistaanse leger, generaal Mirza Aslam Beg: 'The Pashtuns, who have ruled Afghanistan for 250 years, have been pushed into a corner and are brooding over the [mis]treatment of fellow Pashtuns,' door de regering Karzai. De Amerikaan Michael Scheuer die 22 jaar lang voor de CIA werkte concludeert in zijn boek 'Imperial Hubris' dat 'unless U.S.-led foreign forces are massively increased and are prepared to kill liberally and remain in Afghanistan permanently, the current Afghan regime cannot survive... In Afghanistan, above all other places, familiarity with foreigners breeds not just contempt, but war to the death.' Het Nederlandse leger, met zijn Srebrenica verleden, zal in toenemende mate met deze werkelijkheid geconfronteerd worden. De vraag blijft dus: waarom zijn Nederlandse militairen in Afghanistan gelegerd? En wat mag dat uiteindelijk gaan kosten? Ik bedoel, qua levens en geld. Misschien kan het Nederlandse parlement zich daarover eens buigen. Of misschien kunnen mijn collega's bij de omroepen of van de kranten zich daar eens in verdiepen, zodat we straks niet - net als bij Srebrenica - met een mond vol tanden staan.


Truthout bericht: 'The Fight Over the Water Beneath Black Mesa. Window Rock, Arizona - The C Aquifer for Diné, a grassroots group opposing use of the Coconino Aquifer's water to slurry coal from Black Mesa Mine, is in Window Rock for the Navajo Nation Council Spring Session armed with a petition "to stop the Navajo water grab." The Spring Session opens today.
C Aquifer for Diné President Calvin Johnson, Vice President Laura Chee, and adviser Anna Marie Frazier, said Navajos from throughout the western and central portions of the reservation came together April 3 at Leupp Chapter House and expressed total opposition to recently disclosed plans to pump and pipe Navajo groundwater from the C-Aquifer for industrial use associated with Peabody Western Coal Co.'s Black Mesa Mine. Peabody Western is part of the world's largest coal company, Peabody Energy, and the aquifer at issue serves as a primary source of drinking water for the area's Hopi and Navajo residents. The grassroots group, dedicated to preservation and protection of the C-aquifer, said Navajo residents from Leupp and neighboring communities organized under the umbrella of Diné Care. The new organization received the support of To Nizhoni Ani, another Navajo grassroots group defending the use of the Navajo Aquifer on Black Mesa. "Together, these organizations and communities will converge on Window Rock for the Spring Session of the Navajo Nation Council, which is expected to consider the recent plans to dewater the C-Aquifer for coal transportation purposes," said Frazier. "The united citizen army of Navajoland will also take Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley to task for his lead role in developing these plans and agreeing to drop a tribal lawsuit against Peabody for short-changing the tribe in coal royalties by $600 million," she said.
The Leupp Chapter and other local self-governing communities in the Western Navajo Agency have passed resolutions in recent years opposing the planned depletion of the C-Aquifer, "and, in fact, have had several meetings with President Shirley to address these critical concerns. Yet, Dr. Shirley has proceeded ahead with the secret negotiations and planning," the group said.' Lees verder: Of:


De Independent bericht: 'Scientists Condemn US as Emissions of Greenhouse Gases Hit Record Level. The United States emitted more greenhouse gases in 2004 than at any time in history, confirming its status as the world's biggest polluter. Latest figures on the US contribution to global warming show that its carbon emissions have risen sharply despite international concerns over climate change. The figures, which were quietly released on Easter Monday, reveal that net greenhouse gas emissions during 2004 increased by 1.7 per cent on the previous year, equivalent to a rise of 110 million tons of carbon dioxide. This is the biggest annual increase since 2000 and means that in 2004 - the latest year that full data is available - the US released the equivalent of nearly 6,300 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Scientists in Britain condemned the increase, saying that it showed how the US was failing to take a lead in the international attempt to curb greenhouse gas emissions despite being the worst offender.
Professor David Read, the vice-president of the Royal Society, said that the US and Britain needed to take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas levels in order to honour their commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. "The figures published this week show not only that the US emissions are not decreasing, but that they are actually increasing on an annual basis," Professor Read said. "And while the UK appears to be doing slightly better, its carbon dioxide emissions have been rising annually for the past three years," he said. "The US and the UK are the two leading scientific nations in the world and are home to some of the best climate researchers." "But in terms of fulfilling the commitment made by their signature to the UN convention to stabilise greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere, neither country is demonstrating leadership by reducing their emissions to the levels required," Professor Read said.' Lees verder: Of:

De Bush Bende 5

Sidney Blumenthal schrijft in de Britse Guardian: 'Walking the White House Plank. White House press secretary, Scott McClellan, departs as the investigation into Karl Rove enters into a serious new phase. The resignation of the White House press secretary, Scott McClellan, is an event of almost complete insignificance except insofar as the beleaguered White House presents it as an important change. Meanwhile, the secretary of defence, Donald Rumsfeld, under siege from dissenting ex-generals demanding his firing for arrogant incompetence, stays. McClellan is a flea on the windshield of history. On the podium, he performed his duty as a slow-flying object swatted by a frustrated and flustered press corps. Inexpressive, occasionally inarticulate and displaying a limited vocabulary, his virtue was his unwavering discipline in sticking to his uninformative talking points, fending off pesky reporters, and defending the president and all the president's men to the last full measure of his devotion. Inside the Bush White House, he was a non-player, a factotum, the instrument of Karl Rove, Bush's chief political strategist and deputy chief of staff. McClellan played no part in the inner councils of state. He was the blank wall erected in front of the press to obstruct them from seeing what was on the other side. McClellan's stoic façade was unmatched by a stoic interior. He was a vessel for his masters, did whatever he was told, put out disinformation without objection, and was willing to defend any travesty. He is the ultimate dispensable man. Events that could truly shake the Bush White House to its foundation, however, may be discerned elsewhere. On Monday, in Chicago, a jury found former Republican governor George Ryan guilty of 18 counts of corruption. His trial was the climax of a nine-year investigation that had yielded 75 convictions, including some of the most powerful figures in the Republican party of Illinois. The federal investigation, dubbed Operation Safe Roads, began by looking into bribery for driver's licenses. Over time, prosecutors systematically uncovered broader and deeper patterns of corruption reaching up to the governor's office. Patiently, they built their cases until they reached the top.' Lees verder:

Nederland en Afghanistan 54

Het persbureau Associated Press bericht: 'Blast hits near U.S. embassy in Kabul. -- A massive explosion believed to have been caused by a rocket shook the Afghan capital late Wednesday near the U.S. Embassy compound, wounding an Afghan security contractor, officials said. U.S. Embassy spokesman Lou Fintor said the blast did not occur on embassy property, and no Americans were injured. Staff members rushed to a bunker in the compound after the 11 p.m. blast.
"All embassy personnel are safe and accounted for," Fintor told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. A U.S. counterterrorism official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because it is still early in the investigation, said the southwest side of the U.S. Embassy's compound was among the buildings struck in the rocket attack. The official was not immediately aware of casualties or the magnitude of the attack. It also was too early to say who was responsible. Lt. Col. Todd Vician, a Pentagon spokesman, said one rocket struck near, but not inside, the U.S. Embassy compound. The blast occurred inside the grounds housing the state-run television offices, a police official at the scene said. The building is next to the heavily fortified embassy and the base for NATO-led forces in the capital.' Lees verder:


De Independent bericht: 'Millions of Refugees are Hidden Victims of the West's War on Terror, Warns UN. Refugees fleeing persecution or civil war are becoming the hidden victims of the West's obsession with combating terrorism, the United Nations will warn in a report published today. Only a fraction of the world's 9.2 million refugees have the means to reach the industrialised world to seek asylum. Those who do are increasingly likely to be treated like criminals as rich countries put up the barriers to keep out terrorists and economic migrants.
"More and more, asylum-seekers are portrayed not as refugees fleeing persecution and entitled to sanctuary, but rather as illegal migrants, potential terrorists and criminals - or at a minimum, as 'bogus'," the report by the office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), warns.
The UNHCR singles out a Europe-wide initiative launched by Tony Blair in 2003 as an example of how the industrialised north is trying to make the developing world cope with more than its share of refugees. "Are affluent states about to outsource refugee protection to low-cost, no-frills countries? Some observers would affirm that this is already happening, with the deflection policies of the north leaving the south with a disproportionate share of the protection burden," the report says. As an example, it cites an attempt by Britain, Denmark and the Netherlands to introduce a new policy under which some classes of asylum-seekers would be removed to centres outside Europe while their cases are processed. The move, backed by Tony Blair, was defeated by Germany, France and Sweden.' Lees verder: Of:

woensdag 19 april 2006

Irak 67

De onafhankelijke Amerikaanse journalist Dahr Jamail bericht: 'The Ongoing War on Truth in Iraq. The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honor. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiqués are belated, insincere, incomplete. Things have been far worse than we have been told, our administration more bloody and inefficient than the public knows ... We are today not far from a disaster.-- T.E. Lawrence (a.k.a. Lawrence of Arabia), The Sunday Times, August 1920

On Monday, April 17, my sources in Baghdad reported fierce fighting in the al-Adhamiya neighborhood of the capital city, as well as fighting in the al-Dora neighborhood. One source, who lives in the predominantly Sunni area of Adhamiya, had been telling me the situation was disintegrating for days leading up to this. There had been clashes every day for four days leading up to yesterday's huge clash there, with sporadic fighting between Sunni resistance fighters and members of the two largest Shia militias. The armed wing of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the Badr Organization, and Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army have been launching ongoing attacks against fighters in the neighborhood. There is a shorter version of this description.Civil war.Yet we don't hear it described as such in the corporate media, nor from the Cheney administration. Their propaganda insists that Iraq is not yet in a civil war.But in Adhamiya, every night now for several weeks roads have been closed with tires, trunks of date palm trees and other objects to prevent "kidnappers and Shia death squads" from entering the area, according to one source, whom I'm keeping anonymous for security reasons. His description of the fierce fighting in his neighborhood is quite different from the reporting of it in mainstream outlets."Sunday night at 12:30 a.m. clashes started just like on the four previous nights, but it was very heavy and from different directions. It was different from the other nights in quantity and quality; it was truly like the hell which I haven't seen even in the battles of the war between Iraq and Iran during the eighties," wrote my source. He added that mortars and rocket-propelled grenades were used, and so much ammunition that the sky was "glowing red." The situation went on until Monday morning. He said, "I usually have my cup of coffee in my small backyard to drink it in a good atmosphere, but the minute I opened the door someone from the interior ministry commandos shouted at me, telling me to get inside or he'd shoot me. Of course I stayed inside and the shooting continued in a very heavy way until 12:30 p.m., when the American forces came to start helping the militia's attack on al-Adhamiya after they were watching the scene from their helicopters."' Lees verder: Of:

De Bush Bende 4

De Boston Globe bericht: 'Robbery, not reconstruction, in Iraq. The great liberator of Iraq was actually the hyena that cleaned out the nation.Piece by piece, Halliburton over here, a corrupt company over there, we have heard various individual cases of overcharging and fraud by American firms in the reconstruction of Iraq. Last weekend, a Globe story connected some of the dots of corruption. Of $20.7 billion in Iraqi bank accounts and oil revenues seized by the Coalition Provisional Authority in the US-led invasion of Iraq, $14 billion was given out for reconstruction but tens of millions of dollars were unaccounted for. A year ago, an audit by the inspector general found no evidence of work done or goods delivered on 154 of 198 contracts. Sixty cases of potential swindles are under investigation.Halliburton and its hundreds of millions of dollars of overcharges or baseless costs are well known. But millions more were taken by companies that promised to build or restore libraries or police facilities, or deliver trucks and construction equipment. Money was given to the puppet government with no follow-up. US government investigators can account for only a third of the $1.5 billion given by the CPA to the interim government and it appears that a substantial portion of the $8 billion given to Iraqi ministries went to ''ghost employees.''Because of the way the United States set things up after the invasion, contractors are immune from prosecution by Iraqis. And even when firms are prosecuted, the millions of dollars in fines go to the US Treasury, not the Iraqi people. It amounts to two invasions. First the bombs. Then the banks.This is robbery, not reconstruction.It also amounts to yet another slow-motion lie by the Bush administration. The magnitude of the corruption brings into sharper relief the claims made by then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz a month before the war.The claims came from the same infamous testimony before the House Budget Committee where Wolfowitz said Army chief of staff Eric Shinseki was ''wildly off the mark'' for saying several hundred thousand troops would be needed to stabilize Iraq. Wolfowitz told the committee that the administration was ''doing everything possible in our planning now to make post-war recovery smoother and less expensive.''' Lees verder:

De Bush Bende 3

De befaamde Amerikaanse journalist Carl Bernstein schrijft over de regering Bush: 'it is essential that the Senate vote—hopefully before the November elections, and with overwhelming support from both parties—to undertake a full investigation of the conduct of the presidency of George W. Bush, along the lines of the Senate Watergate Committee's investigation during the presidency of Richard M. Nixon.How much evidence is there to justify such action?Certainly enough to form a consensus around a national imperative: to learn what this president and his vice president knew and when they knew it; to determine what the Bush administration has done under the guise of national security; and to find out who did what, whether legal or illegal, unconstitutional or merely under the wire, in ignorance or incompetence or with good reason, while the administration barricaded itself behind the most Draconian secrecy and disingenuous information policies of the modern presidential era."We ought to get to the bottom of it so it can be evaluated, again, by the American people," said Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on April 9. "[T]he President of the United States owes a specific explanation to the American people … about exactly what he did." Specter was speaking specifically about a special prosecutor's assertion that Bush selectively declassified information (of dubious accuracy) and instructed the vice president to leak it to reporters to undermine criticism of the decision to go to war in Iraq. But the senator's comments would be even more appropriately directed at far more pervasive and darker questions that must be answered if the American political system is to acquit itself in the Bush era, as it did in Nixon's.Perhaps there are facts or mitigating circumstances, given the extraordinary nature of conceiving and fighting a war on terror, that justify some of the more questionable policies and conduct of this presidency, even those that turned a natural disaster in New Orleans into a catastrophe of incompetence and neglect. But the truth is we have no trustworthy official record of what has occurred in almost any aspect of this administration, how decisions were reached, and even what the actual policies promulgated and approved by the president are. Nor will we, until the subpoena powers of the Congress are used (as in Watergate) to find out the facts—not just about the war in Iraq, almost every aspect of it, beginning with the road to war, but other essential elements of Bush's presidency, particularly the routine disregard for truthfulness in the dissemination of information to the American people and Congress.The first fundamental question that needs to be answered by and about the president, the vice president, and their political and national-security aides, from Donald Rumsfeld to Condoleezza Rice, to Karl Rove, to Michael Chertoff, to Colin Powell, to George Tenet, to Paul Wolfowitz, to Andrew Card (and a dozen others), is whether lying, disinformation, misinformation, and manipulation of information have been a basic matter of policy—used to overwhelm dissent; to hide troublesome truths and inconvenient data from the press, public, and Congress; and to defend the president and his actions when he and they have gone awry or utterly failed.' Lees verder: Of:

Watch CNN's investigation into a UN aid truck that was hit by Israeli forces world/2024/02/20/israel-gaza- un-aid-trucks-investigation- polglase-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn ...