Information Clearing House Newsletter 23 May, 2010: Drones and Democracy

Drones and Democracy
By Kathy Kelly and Joshua Brollier
On May 12th, the day after a U.S. drone strike killed 24 people in Pakistan’s North Waziristan, two men from the area agreed to tell us their perspective as eyewitnesses of previous drone strikes.

Obama’s Drone Blitz
They Seek Them Here, They Bomb Them There …
By Brian Cloughley
Let us imagine that Spain invaded Mexico in similar fashion to the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 because Madrid suffered a terrorist atrocity that was planned by a Saudi Arabian fanatic living in Chihuahua.

America’s Exalted Capacity for Murder
By Pankaj Mishra
The west’s war now stretches from Waziristan to Connecticut. There will be no victors in this desert of bewilderment.

Obama Wins the Right to Detain People with no Habeas Review
By Glenn Greenwald
Few issues highlight Barack Obama’s extreme hypocrisy the way that Bagram does.

It’s Time to Rid the World of Nuclear Weapons
By Desmond Tutu
Sceptics may say a nuclear-free world is an impossible dream, but they said that about slavery and apartheid too.

City fears of ‘Great Depression Mark II’
By Edmund Conway
Leading City experts have started raising the prospect of “Great Depression II” amid worries that the European economic crisis could trigger a deeper bout of chaos.

The Million Dollar Questions
Must watch 2 minute video
John Clarke and Bryan Dawe calculate the cost of the European debt crisis.

Latin America’s New Middle Class Rulers
Stabilization, Growth and Inequality
By James Petras
The new rising middle class used its past leftist and social connections to the mass movements to rise to power; it consolidates power via its control over the state and subsidies to movement leaders.

Tea Party Candidates Are Owned By Israel?
Rand Paul and Israel:
By By Philip Klein
I’ve obtained a document that the Rand Paul campaign is circulating to those interested in his views on Israel, and it’s interesting to see how the positions he’s taking as a Republican Senate candidate in Kentucky differ from those adopted by his father, Rep. Ron Paul, a harsh critic of U.S.-Israel ties.

Liberated from Libertarianism:
Rand Paul Runs and Hides from… Rand Paul
By David Michael Green
I mean, if you guys are just going to practice deceit and hypocrisy, why bother taking over the Republican Party?

30 killed in Pakistan: :
Thirty alleged “Taliban fighters” were killed and around 35 more injured when helicopter gunships pounded militant positions in several parts of the restive Orakzai tribal region in northwest Pakistan on Sunday.

US Attack Kills Women and Children In Pakistan:
The airstrike in North Waziristan Friday night allegedly killed two children, two women and five men, Pakistani intelligence and administrative officials said

Pakistan holds six over US bomb attempt:
The co-owner of a catering company that organised events for the US Embassy is among six men detained by Pakistan for allegedly helping the failed Times Square bombing suspect, a Pakistani intelligence official said

Pak detainees’ proud of their link in failed Times Square bombing:
Two Pakistani men belonging to upper strata of society who were arrested for their alleged links to the attempted Times Square bombing have admitted playing a role in the botched attack and are unrepentant for their action. One of them angrily accused Pakistani interrogators of “siding with the infidels”, a senior intelligence official said.

15 Somalis die in presidential palace attack:
Islamist militants attacked Somalia’s presidential compound and other government positions in the capital Sunday, and at least 15 people were killed and 30 others wounded, officials and witnesses said.

Four civilians, two soldiers killed in Afghanistan:
Two Afghan army troops were killed and five others were wounded when their patrol were hit by roadside bombs in southern provinces of Kandahar, Helmand and Zabul on Sunday

Afghan official: Helicopter gunship kills 10 after 2 insurgents shot; NATO: 4 dead in south:
An Afghan official, district chief Gulab Shah, says at least a dozen people have been killed south of the capital after U.S. troops spotted two insurgents trying to plant bombs. He said the two were shot dead in Paktia province.

16 killed in Afghan violence:
Three foreign soldiers and one civilian working with Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were killed in two separate incidents in southern Afghanistan Saturday

Taliban Attack Kandahar Airfield :
Militants fired rockets and launched a ground attack on NATO’s main base in southern Afghanistan on Saturday evening

British defence minister on Afghan visit calls for troop withdrawal :
Senior British officials, including new Foreign Secretary William Hague arrived in Afghanistan Saturday with a warning that Britain wants to withdraw its troops as soon as possible.

Crack in UK cabinet on Afghanistan:
Hours before meeting the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, yesterday, Liam Fox, the Tory defence secretary, risked insulting his host by referring to Afghanistan as “a broken 13th-century country”

Taliban: Afghan Government is Not Honest :
The Taliban Council accused the Afghan government of being dishonest in its peace talks with the armed anti-government groups

Four killed in Turkish air strikes on Kurdish rebels:
Four fighters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party were killed in Turkish air strikes on rebel targets in northern Iraq earlier this week, the separatist group said yesterday.

2 US Soldiers Killed in Iraq:
The U.S. military in Iraq says two American soldiers were killed in separate incidents in the country’s north.

White House Official Says US Actively Seeking American-born “Terrorist”:
Al-Awlaki is alleged to have been a mentor of Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Malak Hasan, who killed 13 people at the Texas base. He is also alleged to have been in contact with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried unsuccessfully to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day.

Israeli troops demolish biggest UNRWA summer camp in Gaza:
Israeli armed troops Sunday attacked one of the largest camps set up by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) on the shores of Gaza Strip.

Aid convoy sets off for Gaza:
Nine ships under the banner, Freedom Flotilla, began their journey to Gaza on Saturday, despite warnings from Israel that they will be stopped for “breaching Israeli law”.

Most of Gaza remains in ruins 16 months after Israeli assault:
About three quarters of the damaged buildings and infrastructure have still not been repaired, according to a United Nations report released on Sunday.

Qatar’s offer to help rebuild Gaza is snubbed by Netanyahu:
Israel has turned down an offer from Qatar for a reopening of diplomatic contacts between the two countries in return for the Gulf state being allowed to import supplies to Gaza to carry out a series of badly needed reconstruction projects.

‘Shame on you, democracy,’ Vanunu yells as he returns to prison:
“I survived 18 years – I could survive another six,” Vanunu called out outside the Jerusalem District Court. “Are you trying to discipline me? You cannot take my freedom of expression away”

Iran sends letter to IAEA on swap deal:
Iran Sunday handed over a letter to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano on a nuclear swap deal reached with Brazil and Turkey, the Iranian state-run Press TV reported.

Iran will ditch fuel plan if new sanctions – speaker: –
Iran will abandon an offer to ship some of its uranium stockpile abroad if the United States imposes new sanctions, its parliament speaker said on Sunday.

AP source: US, China still at odds on NKorea, Iran:
A senior U.S. official says the United States and China are still at odds about how to deal with North Korea over the sinking of a South Korean warship and the specifics of U.N. sanctions to slap on Iran over its suspect nuclear program.

Stranger than fiction: :
Probe concludes torpedo sank South Korea ship: report:
The metallic debris and chemical residue appear to be consistent with a type of torpedo made in Germany, indicating the North may have been trying to disguise its involvement by avoiding arms made by allies China and Russia, Yonhap quoted the official as saying.

Clinton to wage digital war on Kim for sinking ship:
The plans include using mobile phone, MP3 and internet technology to spread dissident messages as well as cold-war tactics such as leaflets sent into North Korea by balloons and radio broadcasts.

Iran renews offer to help on US oil spill:
Mehran Alinejad, the head of special drilling operations at NIDC, pointed to the experience gained by Iranian experts in containing huge oil leaks during the eight-year Iraqi-imposed war in the 1980s, and said, “Iranian technical teams have had major achievements in oil well capping and the Gulf of Mexico oil rig is not a great feat in comparison.”

5 Reasons You Won’t See the Worst of the Gulf Oil Spill: Chemical Dispersant Cover-Up:
Despite the fact that nobody is sure exactly how toxic the stuff is, or how being deployed on such a large scale will effect ecosystems, it will have at least one effect: it will delay public outrage by masking the apparent extent of the spill’s damage.

How Much Oil’s Spilling? It’s Not Rocket Science:
Basically, the method for determining oil spillage boils down to common sense and high school (or even middle school) geometry, specifically the formula for the volume of a cylinder.

El Niño could make 2010 the hottest year ever:
CLIMATE scientists have warned that 2010 could turn out to be the warmest year in recorded history.

UK duchess in newspaper scandal:
Sarah Ferguson, Britain’s Duchess of York, has allegedly been caught in a newspaper sting carried out by Britain’s News of the World.

32 States Have Borrowed from the Federal Government to Make Unemployment Payments;
California Has Borrowed $7 Billion: has learned that 32 states have run out funds to make unemployment benefit payments and that the federal government has been supplying these states with funds so that they can make their payments to the unemployed

Las Vegas Unemployment Rate At 14.2 Percent:
Seasonal hiring did little to improve the jobless crisis in Las Vegas last month. In fact, despite adding 2,500 jobs, the city’s unemployment rate soared to a new record of 14.2 percent.

A perfect storm for unemployment in June:
While there is plenty of talk about the economic recovery, there is barely a whisper about what is just a few weeks ahead. It’s not any one thing. It’s a combination of three (and possibly four) different events that will deliver devastating body-blows to the economy.

Central Falls Rhode Island – Bankrupt – Goes Into Receivership:
City officials Wednesday persuaded a Superior Court judge to appoint a receiver to take over municipal finances, a process that could end up with new contracts imposed on the city’s unions and vendors.

Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered Since The U.S. Invaded Iraq “1,366,350"

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America’s War On Iraq:  4,717
Number Of  International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 1,783

Cost of War in Iraq & Afghanistan

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