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War of the Whales


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Tag: Military

Musharraf Rivals Join Forces

It wasn’t a good Sunday for Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, as the leaders of Pakistan’s two biggest opposition parties agreed to set aside enough of their differences to form a coalition. Their first order of business is to strip the president of a number of his powers.

Posted on Mar 9, 2008 READ MORE


Iraq, Turkey Look to End Kurdish Clashes

A week after Turkey withdrew troops from northern Iraq, claiming its military initiative against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was successfully completed, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani met with Turkish President Abdullah Gul to try to figure out how regional tensions might be contained in the future.

Posted on Mar 7, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Warren Cohen on the Rise (and Fall) of the Neocons

Just who are the “neocons,” where did they come from and how was it they came to wield so profound an influence among the highest circles of America’s policy elites? These are some of the questions asked by Jacob Heilbrunn in his new book, “They Knew They Were Right.”

Posted on Mar 6, 2008 READ MORE


Ahmadinejad and Talibani
AP photo / Hadi Mizban

Visit Trumpets Iran’s Power in Iraq

Ahmadinejad’s unprecedented trip to Baghdad demonstrates his nation’s influence on its neighbor since the fall of Saddam.

Posted on Mar 3, 2008 READ MORE


McCain’s Political Quagmire

Within the next two weeks, the number of American troops killed in Iraq is likely to reach 4,000, assuming that the average number of fatal casualties per day remains steady. It is an arbitrary number, given meaning by the fact that the nation may briefly take notice, but a day will come in this presidential campaign when Sen. John McCain must explain what he thinks we have gained by the sacrifice of those men and women.

Posted on Feb 28, 2008 READ MORE


Mughniyeh coffin
AP photo / Hussein Malla

The Mughniyeh Enigma

Imad Mughniyeh was once America’s most-wanted terrorist, and his crimes were truly abhorrent. But his assassination, Ritter argues, will only lead to more violence.

Posted on Feb 26, 2008 READ MORE


militants
AP photo

The Calm Before the Conflagration

There’s an ugly secret behind the “success” of the surge: The United States is paying off Iraqi militants with weapons and cash. It’s a recipe for disaster, one that reminds Chris Hedges of “Yugoslavia before the storm.”

Posted on Feb 25, 2008 READ MORE


Gibney
Truthdig

Alex Gibney in Conversation With Robert Scheer

Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer interviews documentarian Alex Gibney about his 2008 Academy Award-winning documentary, “Taxi to the Dark Side,” a compelling examination of the circumstances that led Americans to commit torture.

Posted on Feb 24, 2008 READ MORE


troops
english.aljazeera.net

Turkish Army Enters Iraq

After bombarding the area with airplanes and artillery, Turkish forces entered northern Iraq, ostensibly in search of Kurdish rebels. It isn’t the first time Turkey has crossed the border, but one source described the force as much bigger—roughly 10,000 men—than previous incursions. A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, however, said he believed only a few hundred Turkish troops were involved in the operation.

Posted on Feb 22, 2008 READ MORE


The Nation: Gitmo Trials Are Reported Rigged

It’s unfortunately not unusual anymore to hear about the politicization of American legal and intelligence institutions under the Bush administration, but, even so, this report by The Nation’s Ross Tuttle about how the trials of six key prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have allegedly been rigged from the get-go is disturbing. Updated

Posted on Feb 21, 2008 READ MORE


Gates
AP photo / Mark Wilson, pool)

U.S. Claims Successful Hit on Faulty Satellite

The official reason the U.S. military offered for its show of fireworks Wednesday night high above the Pacific was to shoot down, using an anti-satellite missile, a failed spy satellite before it might do damage upon reentry. However, not everyone read the skywriting that way.

Posted on Feb 21, 2008 READ MORE


No ‘Straight Talk’ on Iraq Cost

As a presidential candidate, John McCain stands out not only for his vocal endorsement of the unpopular war in Iraq, but also because one of his own sons is a Marine Corps officer on active duty there.

Posted on Feb 21, 2008 READ MORE


McCain’s Losing Message

John McCain has the advantage of getting to run right away. Too bad he’s campaigning on failed policies and bad ideas.

Posted on Feb 19, 2008 READ MORE


Nassrallah

Tension in Wake of a Hezbollah Leader’s Assassination

The Mosaic Intelligence Report looks at the killing of Emad Moghniyeh, whom the United States considered a leading terrorist. Hezbollah has vowed to avenge him, and Israel has put its military and embassies on high alert.

Posted on Feb 17, 2008 READ MORE


Homeland Insecurity

The president and other fear mongers love to harangue Americans with the specter of terrorism when their pet projects (and our freedoms) are on the line, but when it comes to the basic programs that protect us from disaster, money talks louder than threats.

Posted on Feb 14, 2008 READ MORE


Senate Votes to Outlaw Waterboarding

The House of Representatives and Senate have now both signaled their disapproval of the CIA’s use of waterboarding by voting for a ban on any techniques but the 19 officially approved by the Army, but President Bush has already, in turn, signaled his intent to veto any legislation that would rule out harsh interrogation methods.

Posted on Feb 13, 2008 READ MORE


Berger and Albright
news.bbc.co.uk

Whispering in the Ear of the President

It’s safe to assume that the people currently advising Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on foreign policy will continue to do so if their candidate is elected. So what approaches can we expect from an Obama or a Clinton administration? There are some bad apples in either bunch, but Foreign Policy in Focus says the company Obama and Clinton keep largely parallels their votes on the war.

Posted on Feb 11, 2008 READ MORE


basketball team
AP photo / Carlos Osorio

The War Against Tolerance

Walid Shoebat, Kamal Saleem and Zachariah Anani are the three stooges of the Christian right. These self-described former Muslim terrorists are regularly trotted out at Christian colleges—a few days ago they were at the Air Force Academy—to spew racist filth about Islam on behalf of groups such as Focus on the Family. It is a clever tactic.

Posted on Feb 11, 2008 READ MORE


French troops

France Catches Colonial Fever

The Mosaic Intelligence Report investigates France’s aggressive new push to involve itself in the Middle East. The French have signed a deal to set up a permanent military base in the Persian Gulf region, the first such facility controlled by a Western nation that isn’t led by George W. Bush.

Posted on Feb 10, 2008 READ MORE


Putin
bfs-zh.ch

Putin and the New ‘Arms Race’

Vladimir Putin isn’t taking the expansion of NATO and a planned missile shield lightly. The Russian president told his people: “It is already clear that a new phase in the arms race is unfolding in the world. ... It is not our fault, because we did not start it.” Flush with oil money, Russia is planning to beef up and flaunt its military capabilities in response.

Posted on Feb 8, 2008 READ MORE


What Will McCain Do Now?

The revival of John McCain’s presidential candidacy, now expected to carry him through to his party’s nomination, can be interpreted as either proof of the judgment of Republican primary voters or evidence of the paucity of alternative choices.

Posted on Feb 7, 2008 READ MORE


So Much for Conventional Wisdom

Super Tuesday, Super Duper Tuesday, Plus-Size Tuesday, Vastly Engorged and Rotund Tuesday turned into a serious case of political bulimia. Never before have so many gorged on such huge portions of political expectations only to find themselves purged the next morning.

Posted on Feb 6, 2008 READ MORE


Bush's budget
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The Legacy of Bush II

Curb your enthusiasm. Even if your favored candidate did well on Super Tuesday, ask yourself if he or she will seriously challenge the bloated military budget that President Bush has proposed for 2009.

Posted on Feb 5, 2008 READ MORE


Iraqi
AP photo / Khalid Mohammed

Iraq’s Tragic Future

The former U.N. weapons inspector examines the president’s claims about the “surge” and says what the media and Congress won’t: It is not a strategy, it is an escalation, one that will not prevent the coming collapse of Iraq. There are no solutions just waiting to be found, and the only sensible thing to do is leave. Now.

Posted on Feb 5, 2008 READ MORE


Bomber

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Posted on Feb 4, 2008 READ MORE


American Veterans in Crisis

When young American men and women sign up to serve in our military, the government makes them a basic promise: If they are wounded in the line of duty, they will get the care they need. But for far too many, that’s a promise that only exists on paper—even months after the news emerged about American vets’ shameful treatment at U.S. military facilities.

Posted on Feb 1, 2008 READ MORE


National Guard Difficulty ‘Places the Nation at Risk’

A commission set up by Congress in 2005 to examine the readiness of National Guard and reserve units has found that they’re simply inadequate to the task of dealing with a major disaster in the United States. The commission blamed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also the Pentagon’s assumption that training for those conflicts would somehow prepare troops for disaster relief at home.

Posted on Feb 1, 2008 READ MORE


Army Suicide Rate Highest on Record

The number of active-duty soldiers who kill themselves or attempt to is the highest it’s been since the Army began keeping records almost 30 years ago. Three hundred fifty soldiers attempted suicide or injured themselves in 2002, compared with 2,100 in 2007.

Posted on Jan 31, 2008 READ MORE


Eliyahu Winograd
plusnews.fr

Israel Inquiry Slams Political and Military Leaders

A government probe of Israel’s 2006 war in Lebanon has not only found that the war was a blunder but revealed “serious failings” in the political and military leadership of the country. The panel criticized the unnecessary loss of life and found that Israel’s ability to deter its enemies had been seriously damaged. Above, inquiry leader Eliyahu Winograd.

Posted on Jan 30, 2008 READ MORE


Protesters Punished, Blackwater Shooters Remain Free

Last week at the gates of the mercenary company Blackwater, nonviolent protesters who re-enacted an infamous Blackwater shooting were arrested. As “Blackwater” author Jeremy Scahill notes: “The arrest of the activists and the subsequent five days they spent locked up in jail is more punishment than any Blackwater mercenaries have received for their deadly actions against Iraqi civilians.”

Posted on Jan 29, 2008 READ MORE


George Piro
cbsnews.com

Saddam’s Interrogator Speaks

George Piro, the FBI agent who spent nearly seven months interrogating Saddam Hussein, tells “60 Minutes” that the late Iraqi leader didn’t think the U.S. would actually invade and didn’t deny having weapons of mass destruction in order to intimidate Iran. “He told me he initially miscalculated ... President Bush’s intentions,” Piro revealed in the interview, which airs this Sunday.

Posted on Jan 24, 2008 READ MORE


Bush
overspun.com

Bush Bails on War Funding

President Bush’s new budget will not fully fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, the White House plans to ask for “bridge” funds—enough to pay for the wars until the next president takes over. Though no official figure has been given, congressional estimates put the amount at less than half of what we spend on the wars in a year.

Posted on Jan 23, 2008 READ MORE


Bush ranch posse
merip.org

The 935 Lies They Told Us About Iraq

The Center for Public Integrity has launched a new Web site that documents some of the 935 “false statements” that George W. Bush and his seven hawks made while pushing war with Iraq. The site endeavors to show that this wasn’t a case of just getting it wrong, but “a carefully orchestrated campaign of misinformation.”

Posted on Jan 23, 2008 READ MORE


What They Call ‘Progress’ in Iraq

As America marks the first anniversary of the troop escalation in Iraq, at least one thing has become clear. Although the “surge” is failing as policy, it seems to be succeeding as propaganda.

Posted on Jan 16, 2008 READ MORE


Musharraf
AP photo / David Guttenfelder

The Pakistan Conundrum

Pervez Musharraf’s recent actions remind us, Ritter argues, that America’s special relationship with Pakistan serves neither country’s best interests.

Posted on Jan 16, 2008 READ MORE


Blackwater Gassed Baghdad Checkpoint in 2005

The questionable actions of Blackwater Worldwide are coming back to haunt the private security contractor once again, this time regarding an incident in May 2005.  In that incident Blackwater teams on the ground and in the air near a busy Green Zone checkpoint released CS gas, which is used by the U.S. military only sparingly and only in strictly controlled circumstances.  The gas temporarily compromised American troops’ ability to maintain security in the area.

Posted on Jan 10, 2008 READ MORE


Iraq CLC
AP photo / Capt. Allie Weiskopf Chase, U.S. Army, HO

Surge Success at a Rate of $10 a Day

Here’s an interesting idea for dampening insurgent violence in Iraq:  Pay the would-be troublemakers to temporarily join America’s side and watch the surge success reports roll in.  That’s the tactic the U.S. military has employed with some 70,000 former insurgents, according to this NPR report.

Posted on Jan 8, 2008 READ MORE


Baghdad
AP photo / Dusan Vranic

The Five Iraqs

From Hillary Clinton to Mitt Romney, the candidates have no shortage of solutions for the Iraq mess, but their shallow rhetoric reveals an ignorance of the increasingly fractured and disastrous reality.

Posted on Dec 30, 2007 READ MORE


Bush toasting
whitehouse.org

Senate Doles Out $70 Billion More for the Wars

Twenty-one Senate Democrats, Joe Lieberman and all but one Republican just approved $70 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Democrats had tried for weeks to tie funding for the wars to a withdrawal plan, but in the end the president got his way.

Posted on Dec 18, 2007 READ MORE


Is Bush Stopped in His Tracks on Iran?

The release of the National Intelligence Estimate concerning Iran’s nuclear status marks the latest in a series of assaults by the Pentagon and the intelligence community against the war posturing of the administration.

Posted on Dec 16, 2007 READ MORE


Iraq convoy
arcent.army.mil

Circling the Wagons in Baghdad

Despite touting increased stability in the outer provinces as proof of the success of the “surge,” the U.S. military is about to abandon those regions altogether. The Pentagon’s new strategy for dealing with a reduction of forces in Iraq is essentially to pull back to Baghdad and hope for the best.

Posted on Dec 16, 2007 READ MORE


jets
news.bbc.co.uk

Turkey Bombs Kurds in Iraq

Turkey has dramatically ramped up its cross-border campaign against Kurds in Iraq with an airstrike involving as many as 50 warplanes. The Turkish military says the assault was aimed at Kurdish rebels seeking refuge in Iraq and not “people living in northern Iraq or local groups not engaged in enemy activity.”

Posted on Dec 16, 2007 READ MORE


U.S. Naval Academy
collegeprofiles.com

Navy Chaplain Gets Two Years for Sex Abuse

A 42-year-old Navy chaplain has been sentenced for a range of sexual crimes committed at the Quantico Marine base and the Naval Academy. In one episode, Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Matthew Lee forced oral sex on a 20-year-old midshipman. So much for moral superiority.

Posted on Dec 6, 2007 READ MORE


Bush Still Hawkish on Iran Despite Nuke Report

A day after the release of the National Intelligence Estimate assessment on Iran’s purportedly halted nuclear weapons program, President Bush once again demonstrated his well-practiced ability to repurpose facts or opinions to better serve his administration’s aims.

Posted on Dec 4, 2007 READ MORE


The Grown-Ups Never Showed Up

The ascension of George W., according to many Bush loyalists, was a return of mature and wise foreign policy.  Tell that to the ailing Middle East, whose future is now being pondered in a U.S. meeting that seems destined to fail.

Posted on Nov 28, 2007 READ MORE


Have They No Shame?

The Democrats have gotten in bed with torturers, those who support cruel treatment of military prisoners and some who may have authorized such abuse.

Posted on Nov 27, 2007 READ MORE


flags at the capital
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

America in the Time of Empire

All great empires and nations decay from within. By the time they hobble off the world stage, overrun by the hordes at the gates or vanishing quietly into the pages of history books, what made them successful and powerful no longer has relevance.

Posted on Nov 26, 2007 READ MORE


Turkish flag
AP photo / Murad Sezer

The Not-So-Sick Man of Europe Does Matter

The former weapons inspector and military intelligence officer argues that Turkey, once dismissed as the “sick man of Europe,” will be ignored by the West at its own peril.

Posted on Nov 23, 2007 READ MORE


head x-ray
defenseindustrydaily.com

Pentagon Sweeps 20,000 Veterans Under the Rug

Roughly 20,000 soldiers who aren’t on the military’s list of combat wounded have signs of brain injury, according to an analysis of Army, Navy and Veterans Affairs data conducted by USA Today. The Pentagon’s official tally of troops who’ve suffered brain trauma in combat is 4,471—one-fifth the total gleaned from military records.

Posted on Nov 23, 2007 READ MORE


AP Backs Photographer Held in Insurgency Case

Bilal Hussein, an AP photographer whom the U.S. military has accused of collaborating with insurgents, has been detained in Iraq for 19 months and may soon be tried by an Iraqi court. The Associated Press, apparently fed up with trying to reason with the military, has released the results of its own exhaustive investigation, which found the charges against Hussein to be “false” and “meaningless.”

Posted on Nov 21, 2007 READ MORE


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