Sanctions Not Really Hurting Ordinary Iranians, Says Anonymous U.S. Official By Peter Hart

Pharmacy in Iran

Photo: Vahid Salemi/AP

22 January 2013 — FAIR Blog

We’ve talked so often about the practice of granting anonymity to U.S. officials that it’s hard to be surprised by it. Nonetheless, I was surprised to be reassured in the Washington Post (1/20/13) that the U.S.-led sanctions on Iran aren’t really harming ordinary Iranians–based on the word of an anonymous U.S. official. Continue reading

Philippe Leymarie, “From Blunder to Blunder in Afghanistan”

11 May, 2009 – MRZine – Monthly Review

‘I also made it clear that the United States will work with our Afghan and international partners to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties as we help the Afghan government combat our common enemy,’ US President Barack Obama promised. He received his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari at the White House on Wednesday, the same day when the police chief of the Farah province, in southern Afghanistan, said the US Air Force’s airstrike on the village of Bala Buluk on Monday, to free the Afghan troops attacked by guerrillas, had resulted in more than a hundred victims, mostly civilians. As usual, investigations were launched by US and Afghan authorities, as well as by UN representatives.

This kind of ‘blunder’ — which the militaries prefer to dress up in a more technical term ‘collateral damage’ — is common in Afghanistan, especially on the part of the US Air Force, known for its ‘robust’ rules of engagement. According to the United Nations, 2,118 civilians were killed by violence in Afghanistan in 2008, the most deadly year for the people of Afghanistan since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001 — an increase of almost 40% over 2007. The UN Assistance Mission in Kabul (UNAM) regularly draws up a precise assessment of civilian casualties.

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Propaganda and Reality: The media’s onslaught on our senses and sensibilities By William Bowles

28 April 2004

The BBC this morning on Radio 4 (28/04/04) carried two reports on the (ongoing) US attack on Fallujah. One by an ’embedded’ reporter with all that that means and the other, an interview with US commanding officer Brigadier-General Kimmitt, who informed us that attacks on the city were performed using “incredibly precise weapons system” that minimised “collateral damage”. Tell that to the hundreds of innocent civilians who have been murdered in Fallujah.

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