Information Clearing House Newsletter 21 December 2011: A Better World's In Birth (Maybe)

21 December 2011 — Information Clearing House

Engineering Consent For Attack On Iran 
Iran Could Get Nuclear Bomb Within a Year
By Haaretz
Panetta said, “There are no options off the table,” and added that a nuclear Iran is “unacceptable”.

Not so much of the Shock and Awe:
How an American born outside the U.S. responds to the National Defense Authorization Act
By Pubali Ray Chaudhuri
It continues to be okay to talk of Iraqis and Afghans like they are not quite human, and their deaths regrettable, but definitely nowhere near as apoplexy-inducing as a threat to a real human being-an American citizen.

NATO’s Depraved Disregard for Libyan Civilian Casualties
By Glen Ford
“NATO carried out a plan designed for no other purpose than to hide the killing of civilians, to methodically suppress all evidence of war crimes.”

Egypt: Female Protesters Beaten With Metal Poles
Video and Pictures
Shocking images revealing the brutality of Egypt’s armed forces in quelling protests caused outrage around the world.

America’s Growing Isolation
By Alan Hart
A longer headline would have added the words because of President Obama’s grovelling for Jewish campaign funding and votes.

Fact Check:
Gingrich’s Incendiary Example From Palestinian Textbook Was Bogus
By Ali Gharib
They teach terrorism in their schools. They have textbooks that say, ‘If there are 13 Jews and nine Jews are killed, how many Jews are left?’ We pay for those textbooks through our aid money. It’s fundamentally time for somebody to have the guts to stand up and say, enough lying about the Middle East.

Dont Mute Newt
By Joel S. Hirschhorn
Think creatively and you will see how electing Gingrich president could accomplish the impossible: motivate Americans to rebel and overthrow the two-party plutocracy.

A Better World’s In Birth (Maybe)
By David Michael Green
I’d much rather have some GOP jerk in the White House to make things worse and get the blame than another four years of Half-a-Bama, carrying water for Wall Street while dissipating the anger of stupid liberals.

Republicans Worship a Nazi Jesus
By Loren Adams
They picture a Jesus bearing a sword riding a white horse to slay millions of unbelievers.

The False Equation: Religion Equals Morality
By Gwynne Dyer
Indeed, religion may actually be bad for morality.

The New Breed of Hero
By John Brennan
The United States has done a remarkable job over the years convincing you that the folks in law enforcement are here for no other reason then to “protect and serve.”

Activists: At least 100 killed in Syrian town: The Syrian conflict, which began with peaceful protests in March, has become increasingly militarized in recent weeks, with clashes nearly every day between troops and army defectors who have joined the movement against Mr. Assad. Idlib province has witnessed some of the most intense clashes.

Syrian forces make push for deserter stronghold: Syrian troops battled army defectors Wednesday in the city of Idlib, the main stronghold of army deserters, where opposition activists said more than 200 people have been killed this week alone.

Gulf states issue warnings to Syria and Iran: They appealed for Damascus to “put an end to bloodshed, lift all signs of armed conflict and release prisoners, as a first step towards implementing the (Arab) protocol”.

Syria to publish Arab leaders sex films?: Bouthaina Shaaban – Syrian presidential adviser and senior government minister has reportedly threatened Arab rulers to expose their sexual scandals by publishing video clips which will indicate their intimate preferences.

Russian navy in Syria: Thorn in US side: The US-based intelligence-gathering firm Stratfor says most of the claims by the Syrian opposition about the seriousness of the country’s crisis are untrue. The company insists protesters are exaggerating, to win support from powers like the US.

Yemen: 15 Killed in latest attack:
A local official in the adjacent town of Jaar told AFP that the army has benefited from US logistical support which allows Yemeni forces to locate the Islamists’ hideouts.

Yemenis start Taizz to Sana’a march:
Thousands of Yemenis have begun a protests march from the southern city of Taizz to the capital, Sana’a, to demand the prosecution of Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Kenya Kills 15 Civilians In Somalia:
At least 15 civilians have been killed in two air raids on an Islamist-controlled village in Somalia near the Kenyan border, witnesses told the BBC.

Five Polish troops killed in Afghanistan: Five Polish soldiers were killed in Afghanistan Wednesday when a road-side bomb exploded next to a NATO convoy, Poland’s PAP news agency reported, citing unnamed government sources.

UN: Afghan security incidents up 21 per cent; NATO differs: United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in his latest report on Afghanistan said Tuesday that ‘security-related events’ were up by 21 per cent this year, compared to the first 11 months of 2010.

Judges: UK has 4 weeks to free US-held Pakistani: British judges on Wednesday gave the government four weeks to obtain the release of a Pakistani man held in U.S. custody in Afghanistan – a ruling that could make for prickly discussions between British officials and their American counterparts.

Gilani stresses ‘no drone, no Abbottabad-like incidents’ as new rules of Pak-US engagement: He stressed that the drone attacks must be stopped, which were causing collateral damage and were grossly detrimental to the government’s efforts to isolate terrorists from local population.

US officials were ‘threatening’ after Osama raid: Husain Haqqani: Describing his stint in Washington as a “thankless assignment”, Pakistan’s former envoy to the US Husain Haqqani on Tuesday said American officials were “intransigent and even threatening” after the May 2 raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Two killed, 15 wounded in Iraq attacks: At least two people were killed and 15 wounded in separate bomb attacks in central Iraq Monday, the police said.

Iraq PM demands Kurds hand over vice-president accused of running terrorist gangs:
He added that Iraq is a unified country, and said the Kurdish authorities should hand over al-Hashemi to the Iraqi justice system.

Iraqi premier threatens to resign over lawmaker’s “dictator” remark: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has threatened to resign if lawmakers fail to pass a no-confidence vote against one of his deputies for calling him ‘a dictator,’ an aide was quoted as saying Tuesday.

Maliki acting “like Saddam”: Sunni bloc leader: Iraq’s Nuri al-Maliki is acting like Saddam Hussein in trying to silence opposition and he risks provoking a new fightback against dictatorship, one of Maliki’s predecessors as prime minister said on Tuesday.

Maliki says will sack Iraqiya ministers: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has threatened to dismiss the ministers of the Iraqiya bloc if they do not end a cabinet boycott.

Top U.S. General: Military option on Iran ‘executable if necessary’:
In an interview with CNN, General Martin Dempsey says miscalculation may draw the country into a prolonged conflict, which would be ‘a tragedy for the region and the world.’

US military ‘ready to engage in a conflict with Iran’: America’s most senior military official has indicated that the country is ready to engage in a conflict with Iran, if President Barack Obama were to give the signal.

US commander visits Israel to finalize missile drill: Lt.-Gen. Frank Gorenc, commander of the US’s Third Air Force based in Germany, visited Israel to finalize plans for the upcoming drill, expected to see the deployment of several thousand American soldiers in Israel.

UN members point finger at US for refusing to condemn Israeli “settlement” building: Fourteen frustrated members of the U.N. Security Council pointed a finger at the United States Tuesday for blocking any condemnation of Israel’s accelerated settlement construction in Palestinian territory.

Hamas: Palestinian unity cabinet to be sworn in by end of next month: Speaking to Palestinian news agency Ma’an, Hamas spokesman says rival factions also agree to release all political prisoners in Gaza, West Bank by Jan. 2012.

Women in Egypt hold huge rally to protest violence against them (video): Egyptian police and soldiers fired guns and teargas to try to clear hundreds of women protesters from Cairo’s Tahrir Square on the fifth day of clashes that have killed 13 people

Prosecutors: Manning’s direct link to Assange: Investigators give evidence on alleged conversations between WikiLeaks founder and US soldier accused of leaking files.

If America is the battleground, nobody has any rights: Last Thursday — which happened to be the 220th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights — the Senate passed a defense bill that demonstrates just how cavalier Congress can be with our fundamental liberties.

U.S. Citizen Is Convicted in Plot to Support Al Qaeda: An American citizen from an upscale suburb here was convicted on Tuesday of conspiring to support Al Qaeda and of other terrorism charges.

Mehanna conviction puts freedom of speech on trial: We Americans have a duty to defend what Anthony Lewis calls “freedom for the thought we hate”, even as we have a parallel duty to use our freedom of speech to call out bad ideas for ridicule and condemnation

Suit Claims Prisoners Are Mistreated : Norman Shelton, claims prison officials twice forced him to share cells with inmates they knew would beat him because he is a Muslim. When he had objected to other dangerous cell assignments, he alleges, guards put him in restraints so restrictive he now has scars and nerve damage.

Local Cops Ready for War With Homeland Security-Funded Military Weapons: A decade of billions in spending in the name of homeland security has armed local police departments with military-style equipment and a new commando mentality

More Predator drones fly U.S.-Mexico border: In the dead of night, from a trailer humming with surveillance monitors, a pilot for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency was remotely flying a Predator drone more than 1,000 miles away.

Cost Of war

Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered In US War And Occupation Of Iraq “1,455,590”
Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America’s War On Iraq:

Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 2,835
Cost of War in Iraq & Afghanistan
Total Cost of Wars Since 2001

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