US, Iraq at Odds Over Extending Pullout
Surprise, surprise surprise. Obama's been acting like this agreement between Iraq and the US was non-existent since his inauguration. In all the 'debates' about Iraq in this administration, the fact that there is already a signed agreement with Iraq spelling out the pullback and withdrawal dates is never mentioned. Now Iraq expects the US to abide by this treaty. The Iraqis should come over here and talk to some of the surviving descendants of American Indians to get an idea on how much a treaty means to the US Gov.
Iraq Bombs May Slow U.S. Pullout as Splits Fuel Fresh Violence
The recent spate of bombings in Iraq means U.S. officials may have to keep troops there longer than they planned, and Iraqis may have to live with a higher level of violence than they wish.
Surprise, surprise, surprise. Even the slow pullout proposed by Obama might be given an excuse to be ignored. And interesting how the Iraqis don't get to decide on the 'level of violence' in their own country.
Israeli Military Exercise Over Gibraltar Raises Specter of Iran Strike
Israel continues to threaten to attack Iran. Remember, somewhere down below on this blog is an item with quotes from Obama officials who say their only concern is that this doesn't happen until they feel the time is right.
Gates plans to reassure allies on Iran outreach
In a sane world, the US would be trying to reassure people that there might not be another war, this time with Iran. But, in this world, Gates is over there 'reassuring' people that the US 'outreach' to Iran is doomed to fail.
"And I just think it's important to reassure our friends and allies in the region that while we're willing to reach out to the Iranians, as the president said, with an open hand, I think everybody in the administration, from the president on down, is pretty realistic and will be pretty tough-minded if we still encounter a closed fist."
As a side note, its interesting how much 'foreign policy' the military conducts these days. Isn't it the President and the State Dept that should be conducting foreign policy?
Officials: Gitmo court system likely to stay open
You didn't really think Obama was going to change very much from what Bush was doing, did you? And, remember the story from last week, that the US is now saying there are 50 to 100 people held at Gitmo that they can't put on trial and can't release. There's a fundamentally un-American idea for you, holding people without giving them a trial.
Calif.'s Harman Rails Against Wiretapping That Ensnared Her
Here's a funny one for you. In the funny-ironic category. The Democratic Congress lady who supported every Bush (and now Obama) initiative to spy on American citizens is upset that she was spied upon. Remember, as ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, Harman (like Speaker Pelosi), would have been briefed on the issues like spying and torture by the Bush White House. She never complained at what was being done, never worked to stop it, and consistently worked to support it. But, now she's upset that she wasn't immune to what she so enthusiastically approved for the rest of us.
Robert Fisk’s World: Right to the very end in Iraq, our masters denied us the truth
The sentence ‘millions of Iraqis now live free of oppression’ is pure public relations
At least as a Brit, Mr. Fisk can speak of 'the end' of his country's involvement in Iraq. Here in America, there is no end in sight. Obama's weak withdrawal promises still planned on leaving many more troops in Iraq than the UK ever had there to begin with. And, as you saw above, the US is now saying that we now have excuses not to even follow through on Obama's tepidly slow withdrawal. Short of a revolt of the American people in the 2010 elections, the US will still have many, many troops in Iraq at the end of Obama's term.
Gates optimistic on 2010 US defense budget success
Gee, I'm sure he is. Since the Democrats have approved every one of Bush's military budgets in the past, and are proposing and pushing their own increases in military spending. Even in a depression and with budget deficits approaching 2 trillion dollars, the modern Democrats say we have to spend more and more and more on 'defense'. I wonder why Gates is optimistic?
Gates told CNN that he has been surprised by the limited scope of criticism aimed so far at his recommendations for the Pentagon budget for fiscal year 2010, which begins Oct. 1, and had heard some "important voices raised in support."
"I'm relatively optimistic, actually," he said in the interview, which was taped last week. "I think we've presented, as one news magazine referred to it, a radically sane set of proposals. They don't represent a cut, and where we have eliminated one program, you have added to others."
Israel 'ups questioning of Gaza patients'
It said the Shin Beth had interrogated minors, photographed patients against their will; harassed, cursed and intimidated patients during questioning; and returned to Gaza patients who did not cooperate.
People seeking to leave Gaza for medical treatment find themselves "between a rock and a hard place" as they also face pressure from the Hamas rulers of Gaza, the group said.
Israel continues to show what a kind, wonderful humanitarian country they are. First they blockade Gaza and thus deny people medical care they need. Then, they target the clinics and the hospitals during their 'war'. Then, when people are forced to beg Israel to be able to travel somewhere else for medical care they need, this is how they are treated.
Gaza costs Israel its reputation for press freedom
Israel had a reputation for 'press freedom'? Well, I guess compared to even worse places. But, for years, any reports you've seen from Israel have been cleared by government censors. Just like Saddam used to do in Iraq. And its always been a sure bet that no Isreali media would publish something the Israeli military didn't want published.
And, this study is from "Freedom House", which is a highly-biased right-wing group in the US. If the crazy right-wingers are starting to criticize Israel, then ....
Over on CounterPunch ....
The AIPAC Spy Case by James Abourezk.
Note very carefully that while the Bush administration was willing to pursue espionage charges related to AIPAC, the Obama administration quickly dropped those charges during its first 100 days in office. Well, I guess its a change. For an administration that's offered remarkably little change, that's something. Of course, Obama was always rather vague on which direction he would be changing in.
So lets see, if you try to give money to a Palestinian charity, you'd better do a lot of investigation of that group because the US DOJ will threaten to charge you with supporting terrorism if you give to a group that knows another group that's connected to some 'wrong' group. But, an Israeli lobbying group can pass around top-secret US documents and there are no charges filed.
This is why the Founders felt that a nation that was a 'rule of law', instead of rule by imperial fiat, was an important guarantee of liberty. What a quaint notion, that the law should apply equally to everyone.
Obama's War Budget by Jeff Leys.
Details on Obama's off-budget(just like Bush), supplemental, supposedly 'emergency' (too make constitutional) war budget request. Obama want's $200 billion more for the wars. That's $75 billion more for the remainder of budget year 2009 (now to Oct), and $130 billion more for this year.
Gawd I'm glad we elected the Democrats to stop these wars so we can use this $200 billion instead to help our own citizens in this crashing economy.
From Huffington Post ...
Why Are Bankers Still Being Treated As Beltway Royalty?
Because dear Arianna, that Democratic Party you so gladly helped into power is bought and owned by the bankers. They pumped $20 million or more into Obama's accounts, and who knows how much into other Dem campaigns. Arianna, what the heck did you expect? That Obama and the Democrats would then turn around and bite the hand that's given them millions? What a fool!
Of course, we'll see fake progressives like Arianna make some noise in opposition about this. That is from now until 4 to 6 months before the next election. Then they'll go into full campaign mode telling us how we need to elect the banker's candidates next time as well.