Information Clearing House Newsletter June 20, 2010: Gulf oil spill: A Hole in the World

Report: U.S., Israeli Warships Cross Suez Canal Toward Red Sea
By Jack Khoury
Egypt opposition angered at government for allowing the fleet of more than 12 ships to cross Egyptian manned waterway, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reports.

The U.S. War Addiction:
Funding Enemies to Maintain Trillion Dollar Racket
By David DeGraw
A few recent news items help expose the true drivers of current wars around the world.

Israel Should Consider a One-state Solution
It Might Soon Be Its Only Option
By Carlo Strenger
Israel would do well to apply some of the features of the one-state solution: to become a truly liberal, secular state without ethnic dominance in which subgroups no longer try to impose their way of life on each other.

Scandal of Vulnerable Colombian Citizens Killed for €1,500 Bonus
By Tom Hennigan
“People working for paramilitaries and criminals went to the poor barrios around Bogotá and lured youths, some disabled, others with criminal pasts, others with offers of work. Then they were sold to military units, who executed them and presented them as guerrillas killed in action.

Canadian Gold Company Sues El Salvador For 100 Million Dollars
After a People’s Movement Opposes Mining Operation
By Paul Jay
Canadian mining company, Pacific Rim, is in court suing the government of El Salvador for 100 million dollars. It claims that by not awarding the company an exploitation permit for its proposed gold mine, the tiny country is in breach of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (known as CAFTA).

Driven by Globalization, Today’s Slave Trade Thrives at Home and Abroad
By Michelle Chen
“The bosses carried weapons. They scared me. I never knew where I was. We were transported every fifteen days to different cities. I knew if I tried to escape I would not get far because everything was unfamiliar. The bosses said that if we escaped they would get their money from our families.” —Congressional testimony of Maria, trafficking survivor from Mexico.

Gulf oil spill:
A Hole in the World
By Naomi Klein
This Gulf coast crisis is about many things – corruption, deregulation, the addiction to fossil fuels. But underneath it all, it’s about this: our culture’s excruciatingly dangerous claim to have such complete understanding and command over nature that we can radically manipulate and re-engineer it with minimal risk to the natural systems that sustain us.

Gulf Fisherman: “It’s Heartbreaking”
Dwayne Price, a charter boat fisherman, gave the AP’s Bonny Ghosh a tour of oil-soaked Barataria Bay in Louisiana.

Washington: Theater of the Absurd
By Ralph Nader
This week, a united Republican cabal, joined by Senators Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and Ben Nelson (D-NE), blocked a $120 billion package (the threat of filibuster again) to extend unemployment benefits, preserve Medicare payments, extend tax credits for corporate research, raise taxes on oil companies, other big companies and investment partnerships.

That ’30s Feeling
By Paul Krugman
In America, many self-described deficit hawks are hypocrites, pure and simple: They’re eager to slash benefits for those in need, but their concerns about red ink vanish when it comes to tax breaks for the wealthy.

Two car bombs exploded in Baghdad, 27 killed: Sunday:
The death toll is likely to rise given the severity of the injuries suffered by some victims, sources added.

22 Killed in Turkish, PKK Clashes; Planes Bomb Iraq :
Ten Turkish soldiers were killed in attacks by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, according to Turkey’s armed forces. The military said 12 PKK members had been killed in subsequent clashes.

Sixteen Iraqis killed, injured W. Baghdad, six bodies found in E. – police:
Two Iraqis were killed and 14 others injured in three blasts that rocked Al-Hurriya area western Baghdad, while bodies of six women were found eastern the capital, police said on Saturday.

Deadly bombings kill at least 6 in Iraq:
At least six people have been killed and more than 80 others have been wounded after two car bombs went off in northern parts of Iraq, police sources say.

2 killed as Basra residents erupt over electricity shortage:
Demonstrators pelt provincial government headquarters with rocks, and police open fire. Iraq is entering its eighth scorching summer with only a few hours of electricity each day,0,3210179.story

Turkish troops enter Iraq after Kurd rebel attacks:
Turkish forces pushed into northern Iraq on Sunday, killing four people, including a 15-year-old girl, as “they hit back” against hideouts of Kurdish rebels who killed 12 soldiers in the deadliest spell of violence in two years.

Iraqi army confronted UK deportation officials on Baghdad plane:
Army officer reportedly warned UK officials not to return Iraqis by force again, as UNHCR condemns removals to Baghdad

20 killed in Mogadishu gunbattles:
Gun fights between Somali government troops and Islamist rebels in the capital Mogadishu has killed 20 people, including more than a dozen civilians, officials said yesterday.

Act of terror?
US attack in Pakistan kills 13 people:
A missile, suspected to have been fired by an unmanned US drone, is reported to have killed 13 people and wounded seven others after it struck a house in the Mir Ali area of Pakistan’s North Waziristan.

US Kills 10 Afghan Civilians:
Ten civilians, including at least five women and children, were killed in NATO airstrikes in Khost Province, the provincial police chief said Saturday.

5 NATO Occupation Force Soldiers Killed by Afghan Rebels:
Five NATO troops, including three Americans, were killed on Friday by resistance fighters in Afghanistan, raising to 34 the number of United States occupation soldiers killed so far this month in the country.

WikiLeaks Preparing to Release Video of Alleged U.S. ‘Massacre’ in Afghanistan:
As the founder of the whistleblower website WikiLeaks remains underground in fear that the U.S. will detain him, the site is preparing to release a leaked video of a U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan that is said to be more shocking than the Iraqi video that sent its controversial leader into hiding.

Pentagon Rebuffs Leaker’s Lawyers:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hired lawyers to represent the Army intel analyst accused of leaking State Dept. secrets. But the Pentagon sent them away. Philip Shenon reports.

Security hasn’t improved in Afghanistan: UN :
A UN report released yesterday painted a grim picture of the security situation in Afghanistan, saying roadside bombings and assassinations have soared in the first four months of the year amid ramped up military operations in the Taliban-dominated south.

Jobs for the boys:
Blackwater Firm Gets $120M U.S. Gov’t Contract:
The State Department has awarded a part of what was formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide a contract worth more than $120 million for providing security services in Afghanistan.

Asset list reveals Afghan president earns $525 a month:
Afghan president Hamid Karzai earns just US$525 a month, has less than $20,000 in the bank and owns no land or property, according to a declaration of his assets on Sunday by an anti-graft body

10 killed as gunmen attack Yemen police headquarters:
Gunmen in military uniforms raided a police headquarters in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden yesterday, killing 10 security officers and freeing several detainees.

Report: U.S., Israeli warships cross Suez Canal toward Red Sea:
Egypt opposition angered at government for allowing the fleet of more than 12 ships to cross Egyptian manned waterway, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reports.

Russia Cancels S-300 Missile Defense System Delivery to Iran:
Russia has announced it is canceling its delivery of the S-300 missile defense system to Iran. The news came as a result of the increased sanctions imposed June 9 by the United Nations Security Council, according to Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrei Denisov.

Gas deal with Iran: US warns Pakistan:
The U.S. warned Pakistan that a recently signed gas pipeline deal with Iran could run afoul of new sanctions being finalized in Congress, the U.S. special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan said Sunday

Poll: Most Palestinians want peace with Israel:
73 percent of Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza were in favor of peace negotiations with Israel, but stressed that a settlement freeze should be a precondition to talks.

Report: Lebanon forbids launch of Gaza-bound flotilla:
A reported Gaza-bound aid flotilla may not be allowed to depart from Lebanon, Lebanese sources told the Arab daily Al-Hayat on Sunday, saying it was illegal for a vessel leaving a Lebanese port to dock in a port under Israeli occupation.

Israel to UN: We reserve the right to stop Lebanon Gaza-bound flotilla:
Lebanon aid ship Miriam to set sail to Gaza Sunday; Israel’s UN envoy says Israel will use all necessary means to prevent ships from violating the naval blockade on Gaza.

Report: German government to demand sea aid to Gaza:
The German parliament is to issue a cross-party demand that Israel allow humanitarian aid to reach the Gaza Strip by sea, the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported Saturday.

Israel bars German minister from Gaza:
‘Sometimes the Israeli government does not make it easy for its friends to explain why it behaves the way it does,’ says aid minister Dirk Niebel.

Report: Germany rejects Israeli call to halt probe into Mossad role in Dubai killing:
German gov’t ignores Israeli requests to block extradition from Poland of Uri Brodsky, alleged Israeli spy suspected of procuring a passport for the assassins of a top Hamas official, according to German press reports.

Israeli Blockade ‘Eased’ Only in English, but U.S. Media Eat It Up:
News coverage in the United States omitted an important aspect of the story that undermines the narrative that Israel is “easing” its blockade of Gaza

Israeli minister hits back: Erdogan is the enemy, not Turkey:
Turkish PM says ‘Turkey’s problem is with Israel’s government, not its people,’ says the country will continue to fight Israel’s ‘piracy,’ seek solutions to fight Gaza flotilla raid within international law.

Sometimes you just got to laugh:
Deal could yield guilty plea from bin Laden’s cook:
A little-known case of a Sudanese captive at Guantánamo could yield the Obama administration its first war court conviction.

Inside Australia’s data retention proposal:
Data retention requires telecommunications providers, including internet service providers (ISPs), to log and retain certain information on subscribers for local enforcement agencies to access when they require it.

Pentagon revives Rumsfeld-era domestic spying unit:
The Pentagon’s spy unit has quietly begun to rebuild a database for tracking potential terrorist threats that was shut down after it emerged that it had been collecting information on American anti-war activists.

World opinion condemns the US for a ‘savage’ execution:
Around the world and across the US, the firing squad execution in Utah has been met with a wave of criticism from those entirely opposed to the death penalty and those who say that shooting is not the most humane method of killing a prisoner.

Far From Gulf, a Spill Scourge 5 Decades Old:
Big oil spills are no longer news in this vast, tropical land. The Niger Delta, where the wealth underground is out of all proportion with the poverty on the surface, has endured the equivalent of the Exxon Valdez spill every year for 50 years by some estimates. The oil pours out nearly every week, and some swamps are long since lifeless.

Spill could last for up to four more years:
BP oil spill caused by ‘negligence or misconduct’, says drilling partner

Let them eat cake:
BP chief’s yachting trip ‘a big mistake’?:
Pictures of Tony Hayward yachting at the Isle of Wight billed as a PR nightmare and insulting to those affected by oil slick

BP’s plan: Raise $50 billion, sue business partners:
BP will also study the possibility of selling its 1.4 percent stake in Rosneft, which it bought at the time of the Russian firm’s 2006 flotation for one billion dollars, the report said.

Obama officials still approving flawed Gulf drilling plans:
Despite President Barack Obama’s promises of better safeguards for offshore drilling, federal regulators continue to approve plans for oil companies to drill in the Gulf of Mexico with minimal or no environmental analysis.

Democracy for Sale :
Why Wall Street’s generous to New Democrats in House:
Members of the powerful New Democrat Coalition in the House of Representatives are among the top Democratic recipients of Wall Street campaign money this election cycle – and also among the most vocal advocates for weakening a plan to regulate complex financial instruments called “derivatives” that helped fuel the near-collapse of the economy in 2008.

Medvedev Pushes Ruble Reserve Currency to Cut Dollar Dominance:
Russia wants the ruble to be one of the world’s reserve currencies as President Dmitry Medvedev renews his push to reduce the dollar’s dominance and make Moscow a global financial hub.

Greenspan Says U.S. May Soon Reach Borrowing Limit:
“Perceptions of a large U.S. borrowing capacity are misleading,” and current long-term bond yields are masking America’s debt challenge

California on ‘verge of system failure’:
Golden State, like many others, is nearly bankrupt and desperately needs a bailout

Inside the Dire Financial State of the States:
Falling prices for stocks and real estate have made mincemeat of often underfunded public pension plans. Unemployed workers have swelled the demand for welfare and Medicaid services.,8599,1997284,00.html#ixzz0rLmInpFH

Nearly one million US workers cut off unemployment benefits:
With 12 Democrats joining a unanimous Republican bloc, the US Senate voted Wednesday to defeat a proposed extension of unemployment benefits for workers who have been jobless for nearly two years. The bill would have extended unemployment benefits for those out of work more than six months, until November 30

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:  4,725
Number Of  International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 1,842

Cost of War in Iraq & Afghanistan

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