Maybe you thought we’d get out of Afghanistan this very year, the drawdown date President Obama set as he surged U.S. troops into the country in December 2009; or maybe you thought the Obama administration’s target for withdrawal might be the last day of 2014, that date certain of recent vintage for turning over U.S. and NATO combat duties to the Afghans; or maybe — if you happen to be a news jockey — you took note when Brigadier General Walter Givhan suggested that the Afghan air force he was training might finally be up and running in 2016; or when his successor Brigadier General Michael Boera suggested that the date might slip to 2018 if Congress insisted that the Pentagon buy American, not Russian, helicopters for its pilots. Or maybe you noticed when Lieutenant General William Caldwell, commander of NATO Training Mission Afghanistan, recently suggested that the Afghan military would need the support of thousands of foreign trainers until at least 2020.
Archive for August, 2011
By Bryan Dyne, wsws.org, August 26, 2011
and antiparticle [Photo: CERN]
The CERN experiment ACACUSA has weighed antiprotons to an unprecedented level of accuracy. The results, published in Nature , do not reveal a significant difference in mass between the antiproton and its proton counterpart.
Though this answer is to be expected based on current physics, it does not help understand why matter dominates almost exclusively over anti-matter in our universe. This preponderance of matter over anti-matter is one of the main unknowns in contemporary physics.
By Miles Goslett, Mail Online, Aug. 27, 2011
Doctors are preparing to challenge the Government’s decision not to hold an inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly.
In June, Attorney General Dominic Grieve ruled one out after telling Parliament evidence that the weapons inspector killed himself was ‘overwhelmingly strong’.
He was responding to legal papers sent to his office by the doctors.
But now they have told the Daily Mail that they still believe it vital that a coroner consider the case and are seeking a judicial review of Mr Grieve’s decision.
The doctors said they had spent ‘a considerable amount of time reflecting on the situation’ and had read Mr Grieve’s recent response ‘extremely carefully’.
But they concluded that there were matters which he did not address satisfactorily and they felt ‘a duty’ to carry on with their campaign.
Details of the story don’t add up. Footage of the raid either exists or doesn’t. The tale of that night in Abbottabad keeps getting more muddled.
You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to be still scratching your head about the end of Osama bin Laden. Between the Obama administration and major media reports, there have been multiple divergent accounts of the Navy SEALs’ mission in Abbottabad, Pakistan, with the story seeming to be colored by politics, sensationalism, and outright fantasy. In some respects that’s unsurprising for one of the most important and highly classified military missions in modern memory‚ the outcome of which, many would argue, is all that really matters. But precisely because of its importance, it is worth considering how the tales have been told, and where history begins to bleed into mythology.
“No Man Is an Island”: Reflections From Norway
We are spending a few days at a cottage on Vesterøy (Western Island) off the eastern shore of Oslofjord. The rainy afternoon is interrupted by the ringing of our host’s mobile telephone. The woman we expect to join us from Oslo calls to postpone her arrival for a day. She reports that, moments ago, there was a huge explosion. It appears that the government buildings in Oslo have been bombed. She’s tied up in traffic, and, like us, in deep shock. We do not believe such a thing could have happened in Norway, this sliver of a country “way up north of Europe”(Oslo, in the south of the country, is at 61 degrees north latitude). We switch on the television. The mobile rings again. Only five minutes have passed since the explosion. Our host’s son, who is in France, rings to find out if his father is safe. He has already heard about the event from his mother, who inquired in turn about his safety from Southern Africa, where she read the news over the Internet. The time and space of the human world are contracting, despite what scientists call our expanding universe. But worse is yet to come.
Voice of America News, August 23, 2011
Amnesty International is calling for an impartial investigation into mass graves found in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Sunday, India’s Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission released a report saying a three-year investigation had uncovered 2,156 unidentified bodies in 38 sites in the region.
In a statement released Monday, Amnesty International asked Indian officials to allow impartial forensic experts to carry out a thorough investigation of the skeletal remains.
Rehbar Weekly Newspaper, Srinagar, Aug. 28, 2011
By Yoginder Sikand, Countercurrents.org, Aug. 26, 2011
Some weeks ago, Subramanian Swamy, President of the Janata Party and former Union Cabinet Minister of Commerce, Law and Justice, created a major stir by publishing what was widely denounced as a hard-hitting anti-Muslim article in a leading daily newspaper. The media was agog for a while with news about the story, and an irate National Commission for Minorities even threatened to take Swamy to court for it. However, the controversy appeared to have died soon out thereafter.
Scanning the Internet for material for a piece I was writing about the Swamy affair, I learned that he had written an entire tome detailing his Hindutva-grounded vision for India, and that his newspaper piece, devoted to his solution to the ‘Muslim problem’, was a modified version of a chapter of this book. I purchased the book, and forced myself to read it (despite finding it eminently avoidable) in order to learn how Swamy and folks like him who share a common commitment to Hindutva conceive of the future of this country.
In recent years, the extreme Israeli right has developed an alliance with heads of the evangelical movement, who define themselves as Christian Zionists, some of whom believe that another Holocaust of the Jews will ensure the resurrection of Jesus.
Haaretz Editorial, Aug. 25, 2011
Against the backdrop of what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his spokesmen call the “delegitimization” of Israel, a “support event” was held in Jerusalem yesterday evening led by American preacher-broadcaster Glenn Beck. Beck was accompanied by personages identified with the Republican Party’s extreme right and a group of Christian Zionist evangelical leaders.
Hard-line Israeli defenders have tried to shut down protests over how the Palestinians have been treated by accusing critics of “anti-Semitism” and by labeling dissenting Jews as “self-hating.” These intimidating tactics are now common on U.S. college campuses, Lawrence Davidson writes.
By Lawrence Davidson, Consortium News, Aug. 26, 2011
Can criticism of Israel, particularly a) criticism of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people and b) criticism of the state ideology of Zionism that justifies that treatment, be labeled anti-Semitic?
This is not a hypothetical query. An affirmative answer to this question is being advocated by influential Zionist lobbies in the United States. The question is of particular importance on the nation’s college and university campuses.
In places like the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Cruz, and also at Rutgers University in New Jersey, Zionist students are now threatening to sue these institutions for failing to prevent an “atmosphere of anti-Semitic bigotry” allegedly created by the presence of pro-Palestinian student groups and faculty.
One might ask if it isn’t a stretch to assert that protesting Israeli and Zionist behavior is the same as anti-Semitism? Common sense certainly tells us this is so.