Archive for November, 2011

How NATO copes with protection of Afghan civilians

November 29, 2011

Photo: EPA
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Late on Wednesday, seven civilians, including six children, were killed in a Nato air strike in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan, the BBC reported.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the bombing. The Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) said it has begun a high level inquiry into the “unfortunate incident” and would also undertake a join assessment with Afghan authorities. Isaf commander Gen John Allen said: “Protecting the Afghan civilian population is central to our mission here in Afghanistan and we will investigate this situation fully to determine exactly what took place and whether any further actions need to be taken.”

First civilian casualties were reported in Afghanistan before the US and NATO-led invasion into the country in 2001, and the situation has not changed for the better since then. In 2011 the death toll among civilians has risen by 15% on the year, and in Jan-Jun was reported at 1462. These are “unfortunate incidents”, indeed.

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PAKISTAN: Custom of child marriages violates human rights law

November 29, 2011
AHRC, November 28, 2011

11 year old Irum Naz was married with 61 year old man and she curses her parents day and night for putting their own daughter to misery

Farzana Ali Khan 

AHRC-ART-062-2011.jpg

Throughout the world, marriage is regarded as a moment of celebration and a milestone in adult life. Sadly, as this article makes clear, the practice of early marriage gives no such cause for celebration.
While much of the impact remains hidden, it is absolutely clear that millions of under-age children – particularly girls – suffer negative consequences.

Early marriage takes many different forms and has various causes, one issue is paramount. Whether it happens to a girl or a boy, early marriage is a violation of Human Rights. The right to free and full consent to a marriage is recognized in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and in many subsequent human rights instruments – consent that cannot be ‘free and full’ when at least one partner is very immature.

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Israel: Profile of a Rogue State

November 29, 2011
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Rogue states spurn international law, treaties, conventions, and in Israel’s case its own laws and Supreme Court decisions.

Daily examples offer proof, including from Ahmed el-Helah and Mariam Itani’s new book titled, “The Suffering of the Palestinian Child under the Israeli Occupation,” saying:

Over a million Palestinian children “live and suffer every moment of their lives under the painful reality of occupation.”

Growing numbers are killed, injured, maimed, handicapped, arrested, imprisoned, and tortured. Most are impoverished and many hungry.

“What about those who have lost their parents, friends, brothers and sisters due to” continuous Israeli oppression?

“What about the children who live in fear and who suffer distress or cannot sleep, who feel unprotected in the face of a ruthless and arrogant Israeli occupation?”

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7th Anniversary of the War Crimes at Fallujah

November 27, 2011
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War Crimes at Fallujah K. L. War Crimes Tribunal unanimously convicts Bush and Blair for ‘crimes against peace’

According to media reports the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal unanimously found former United States president George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair guilty of “crimes against peace”.

The tribunal found that the two had planned, prepared and invaded the state of Iraq on March 19, 2003, in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law.

“The Tribunal deliberated over the case and decided unanimously that the first accused George Bush and second accused Blair have been found guilty of crimes against peace,” the tribunal said in a statement.

“Unlawful use of force threatens the world to return to a state of lawlessness. The acts of the accused were unlawful.”

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Millions demand downfall of US-backed Egyptian junta

November 27, 2011

By Johannes Stern, wsws.org,  26 November 2011

On Friday millions of workers and youth protested against military rule in Egypt and demanded the downfall of the US-backed Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) junta. In Cairo hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered on Tahrir Square. By the early afternoon, the square was packed with protesters chanting, “The people demand the removal of the field marshal,” “We will not go, he should go” and “Down, down with military rule.”

Throughout the day, mass marches kicked off from different locations in the capital, all converging in Tahrir Square. Thousands of marchers tore down the banners and posters of parliamentary candidates on their way to Tahrir, protesting the decision to hold parliamentary elections under the thumb of the SCAF junta, and denouncing the political establishment as a whole.

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P.C. Roberts: The Roads To War And Economic Collapse

November 27, 2011
by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS, Counterpunch, November 24, 2011

November 23, 2011: The day before the Thanksgiving holiday brought three extraordinary news items.  One was the report on the Republican presidential campaign debate. One was the Russian President’s statement about his country’s response to Washington’s missile bases surrounding his country. And one was the failure of a German government bond auction.

As the presstitute media will not inform us of what any of this means, let me try.

With the exception of Ron Paul, the only candidate in either party qualified to be the president of the US, the rest of the Republican candidates are even worst than Obama, a president who had the country behind him but sold out the American people to the special interests.

No newly elected president in memory, neither John F. Kennedy nor Ronald Reagan, had the extraordinary response to his election as Barak Obama. A record-breaking number of people braved the cold to witness his swearing in ceremony. The mall was filled with Americans who could not see the ceremony except as televised on giant screens.

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USA: Questions to Ask the Candidates

November 27, 2011

Exclusive: During recent presidential debates, moderators have asked mostly predictable questions and – except for some notable gaffes – have elicited mostly talking-point answers. But ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern says it’s time for citizens to put politicians on the spot with some more pointed questions.

By Ray McGovern, Consortium News,  Nov 25, 2011

Pity the pundits. It must be hard to pretend to be a journalist and live in constant fear of being one question or comment away from joining the jobless.

This Thanksgiving holiday weekend we can be thankful for the obscene transparency of the “mainstream” pundits’ efforts to avoid at all cost offending the corporations that own and use them.

Rather, media personalities who wish to be around for a while must do what they can to promote the notion of American exceptionalism and the need to sacrifice at home in order to defend and expand the Empire — “so that we don’t have to fight them here.”

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NATO Defends Attack on Pakistani Soldiers as ‘Self Defense’

November 27, 2011
by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com, November 26, 2011

Faced with massive fallout from their overnight bombing of two Pakistani military bases in Mohmand Agency, NATO officials are incredibly defending the strike, saying that the strafing of two bases full of sleeping soldiers amounted to “self-defense.”

Early reports from NATO indicated that there was some sort of clash with militants near the border that led to the bombers and attack helicopters being brought in. Despite the apparent official approval of the incident it is entirely unclear why they would’ve attacked the military bases in response to a cross border raid by militants.

Israeli newspaper owner says Obama can’t stop settlers’ ‘apartheid regime’ because of ‘Jewish lobby’

November 27, 2011

by Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, November 25, 2011

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Amos Schocken in Haaretz’s offices. (Photo: Michal Chelbin/The New Yorker)

Amos Schocken, owner of Haaretz, writes in Israel (not here, no way) that the settler movement Gush Emunim is building an “apartheid regime” in Israel and Palestine and that it is supported by the “Jewish lobby” in the U.S. That lobby is “totally addicted” to settler policies; and this explains Obama’s collapse.

In trying to understand Obama’s reversal of his declaration in Cairo in 2009, Schocken does what Walter Russell Mead of the Council on Foreign Relations swears never to do; he ascribes political influence on the Democratic Party to American Jews. Mead would classify Schocken as an anti-semite for saying this.

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Jonathan Cook: Is Britain Plotting with Israel to Attack Iran?

November 25, 2011

Ex-ambassador Exposes Government Cover-up

by Jonathan Cook, Dissident Voice,  November 25th, 2011

Last February Britain’s then defense minister Liam Fox attended a dinner in Tel Aviv with a group described as senior Israelis. Alongside him sat Adam Werritty, a lobbyist whose “improper relations” with the minister would lead eight months later to Fox’s hurried resignation.

According to several reports in the British media the Israelis in attendance at the dinner were representatives of the Mossad, Israel’s spy agency, while Fox and Werritty were accompanied by Matthew Gould, Britain’s ambassador to Israel. A former British diplomat has now claimed that the topic of discussion that evening was a secret plot to attack Iran.

The official inquiry castigating the UK’s former defence secretary for what has come to be known as a “cash-for-access” scandal appears to have only scratched the surface of what Fox and accomplice Adam Werritty may have been up to when they met for dinner in Tel Aviv.

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