Information Clearing House 16 October 2013: Starve the (Military) Beast

16 October 2013 — Information Clearing House

US War On Iraq Claimed Half a Million Lives, Study Finds

By Joseph Brownstein

US Public perception of the civilian death toll from the war is in the neighborhood of 10,000.


Ready to Detonate: Saudi-backed Rebels Strap Bombs to Geneva-2 Talks

By Nile Bowie

As Washington and Riyadh evidently have no interest in a political solution, a new pretext would be required to escalate the conflict to force Assad out.


Israeli Factor in Syrian Conflict Unveiled

By Nicola Nasser

Peres said: “Today” the Syrian President Basher al-Assad “is punished for his refusal to compromise” with Israel and “the Syrian people pay for it.”


Iran FM Praises Nuclear Talks

By Barak Ravid

The talks held between world powers and Iran over the latter’s nuclear program in Geneva over the last two days were “the beginning of a new page in our relations with the international community,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said.


Iran Hints Of More Nuclear Concessions

By Reuters

Diplomats offer to scale back uranium enrichment; next round of talks with world powers planned for early November.


Israel, Arab States Work Together to Battle Iran’s Nuclear Plan

By Attila Somfalvi

Secretive cooperation between Israel, Arab, Gulf states, against nuclear “threat” from Iran.


The Talks with Iran:

3 Voices Whose Advice We Should Ignore

By Stephen M. Walt

Letting Tel Aviv dictate our negotiating position guarantees failure.


Do You Feel Safer Yet?

The Unpersuasive Case for the NSA Call Dragnet’s Effectiveness

By Julian Sanchez

One could just as easily say that tarot readings-in combination with other programs-helped disrupt terrorism.


Fake Heroes and Warmongering

Why Bad Movies Keep Coming Out And What To Do About It

By John Pilger

The hype of public relations – Edward Bernays’ euphemism for propaganda – is now regarded as truth.


Starve the (Military) Beast

By Norman Pollack

Can capitalism afford to invite full human emancipation through the reduction of the military to an absolute minimum?


What The US Has Become

By John Chuckman

A president sits in the Oval Office signing authorizations for teams of young buzz-cut psychopaths to guide killing machines against mere suspects and innocent bystanders.


Americans Need to Discover How the World Sees Them

By Timothy Garton Ash

The erosion of American power is happening faster than most of us predicted – while the politicians in Washington behave like rutting stags with locked antlers.


Letter To European Friends

Understanding “The Stupid” In U.S. Politics

By Bernard Weiner

I suggest that what might help you Europeans understand how Americans got to this dangerous political place is a bit of historical context:


People of Ireland Begin Criminal Proceedings Against Banks


While golden handshakes are the order of the day for retiring civil servants and financial regulators, extra taxes, cutbacks in services and attending the funerals of family members and friends who could no longer cope with the stress and strain is now common place for many Irish people.


At least 41 killed in Syria Kurd-jihadist fighting: activists:

At least 41 fighters have been killed in violent clashes pitting Kurds against jihadists and Islamist rebels in northeastern Syria, a monitoring group said on Wednesday.


Syria minibus blast: Mine ‘kills 21’ in Deraa province:

Six women and four children were among those who died when the vehicle hit a landmine in the town of Nawa, in the province of Deraa, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.


Syria army hails recapture of rebel town near Damascus:

Syrian troops recaptured the strategic town of Bweida, south of Damascus, from rebel forces on Wednesday, state media and a monitoring group reported.


12 killed as bomb rips through worshippers:

A bomb ripped through a crowd of worshippers at a Sunni mosque in Iraq, killing 12 people as a study put the death toll in the war-torn country at nearly half a million since the US-led 2003 invasion.


Iran offers nuclear concessions, next talks set for Nov 7-8:

After a six-month hiatus, Iran and the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany began negotiations in earnest on Tuesday to end a long, festering stand-off that could boil over into a new Middle East war.


Iran ‘may allow’ snap nuclear checks as last step:

Iran could allow unannounced visits to its nuclear sites as a “last step” in a proposal to resolve differences with the West, an Iranian official says.


Netanyahu makes a case for a preemptive strike:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered a thinly veiled defense of a possible Israeli preemptive strike on Iran during a Knesset commemoration Tuesday of the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War.


Democrats, AIPAC Jeopardize Iran Talks:

The Obama administration is facing an unexpected hurdle in its new nuclear talks with Iran – a sizeable bloc of Democratic lawmakers who have made clear that they would break with the White House and fight any effort to lift the current sanctions on Tehran.


War criminal:

Bush: I won’t believe Iran’s peaceful intentions until it actually proves them:

Former U.S. president George W. Bush told a Jewish forum on Tuesday night that he “won’t believe in Iran’s peaceful intentions until they actually prove them.” Bush also told the audience that he doubts whether Iran’s “intentions” toward Israel will change until there is a “change of government in Tehran.”


Saudis fret about US-Iran ‘thaw’:

Riyadh’s anger over Obama policy reflects wider discomfort over Syria and changes of Arab spring


Eyeing Iran, Gulf states seek $10.8 billion in US weapons:

Saudi Arabia and UAE say they are looking to purchase American equipment to ward off Iranian threat


‘Israel bluntly told the US not to cut aid to Egypt’:

Israeli officials told Washington it was making ‘a strategic error’ in undermining el-Sissi, was partially heeded, Israeli TV report claims


Egyptian coup leaders hire US lobbyist with ties to Israel:

The Glover Park Group is no stranger to Israel. The group’s managing director, Arik Ben-Zvi, is an Israeli citizen who served in the Israeli army and consulted on Israel’s elections


Egypt Diplomat Says U.S. Relations In ‘Turmoil’:

Egypt’s top diplomat says the country’s relationship with the United States is in “turmoil” after the Obama administration suspended delivery of helicopters, fighter jets, and tanks.

Egypt Diplomat Says U.S. Relations In ‘Turmoil’


Libyan al-Qaeda suspect denies US embassy bombings:

The former computer programmer is also alleged to have carried out “visual and photographic surveillance” of the building in 1993 and “reviewed files” concerning possible attacks on Western interests in East Africa.


Pakistani official, 7 others killed by suicide bomber:

A suicide bomber in Pakistan’s volatile northwest killed eight people Wednesday, including a powerful provincial minister, and wounded 30 in the latest attack to hit the troubled region near the border with Afghanistan.


U.S. can’t account for millions of military parts bought for Afghan military:

U.S. and international forces can’t keep track of hundreds of millions of dollars in vehicle parts purchased for the Afghan National Army with American funds – because no one is keeping inventory.


Putin Builds North Korea Rail to Circumvent Suez Canal:

Vladimir Putin is inching closer to his goal of turning Russia into a major transit route for trade between eastern Asia and Europe by prying open North Korea, a nuclear-capable dictatorship isolated for half a century.


Israel poverty figures up, 40% of children at risk:

Nearly twice as many youngsters facing financial difficulties compared to average for European countries


Iranian man who survived execution must be hanged again, judges say:

Morgue workers spotted that 37-year-old Alireza was alive a day after he was hanged for possessing crystal meth


Forced rehab: A solution for Australia’s grog addicts?:

Australia’s Northern Territory has a serious drink problem and has introduced some of the world’s harshest measures to deal with it. Drunks can now be forced into rehabilitation – and jailed if they drop out.


Police Lure Drug Dealers to Town, Set Up Stings, Make Busts, and Keep Millions:

A six-month investigation into the Sunrise, Florida PD reveals that setups targeted poor and Hispanics.


Yada Yada:

US Senate reaches fiscal deal:

Republican and Democrat leaders of the US Senate have struck a cross-party deal to end a partial government shutdown and raise the US debt limit. Their bill must also pass the House, where a small group of Republicans are expected to join Democrats to send the bill to President Barack Obama. The bill extends the federal borrowing limit until 7 February.


What The Three Month Can-Kicking “Deal” Looks Like:

Here is what that “stunning reversal for the speaker” deal looks like. In short: the can has been kicked for three months, to early February.


Tea party groups denounce Senate plan:

“The Senate deal is a complete sellout. Speaker Boehner and the House should stand firm and reject this deal to reign in the executive branch’s power before it is too late,”


Fitch puts US AAA rating on rating watch negative:

“The political brinkmanship and reduced financing flexibility could increase the risk of a U.S. default,” the rating agency wrote in a statement.


The Army’s $5 billion New Uniform Already Being Replaced:

Eight years after spending $5 billion on a heavily-criticized universal camouflage pattern, the Army is back at the drawing board looking for a new design that’s estimated to cost another $4 billion.


JPMorgan pays $100M (Bribe), admits fault in London trades:

The settlement announced Wednesday by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission comes less than a month after JPMorgan agreed to pay $920 million and admit fault in a deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission and other U.S. and British regulators.


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: 4,883


Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 3,391


Cost of War in Iraq & Afghanistan

Total Cost of Wars Since 2001



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