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Archive for December, 2011
The US is struggling with a paradox: while its military power retains global reach, its role as world leader is gradually ending
- guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 28 December 2011
The time has long since past when it became fashionable to talk about a new world order. The collapse of the Soviet Union provided an opportunity to fashion one. But instead of using that opportunity to create a new security architecture in Europe, Nato expanded eastwards as the military anchor for democracy promotion. Not content to have seen off one global military competitor in the Soviet Union, the western military industrial complex and the think-tanks they funded scurried around for a worthy replacement. When 11 September happened, they thought they were in business again. For a brief moment, al-Qaida seemed to fulfil some of the characteristics of communism: it could pop up anywhere in the world; it was an existential enemy, driven ideologically and uncontainable through negotiation; and it was potentially voluminous. . .
BBC News, 29 December 2011
A doctor who testified that Pakistani security forces had killed a group of unarmed foreigners has himself been shot dead.
Dr Baqir Shah was gunned down in the city of Quetta.
He had contradicted police reports earlier this year which suggested the five victims had been suicide bombers.
Dr Shah was in his car when gunmen pulled up alongside him and sprayed the vehicle with bullets.
He died soon afterwards in hospital.
It was Dr Shah who, back in May, carried out the autopsies in a controversial case.
Stephen Lendman, uruknet.info, Dec 30, 2011
Palestinians have endured decades of ruthless occupation. World leaders decline support. They’re left largely on their own despite growing millions globally supporting them.
Life in occupied Palestine is harsh and repressive. On December 26, Jerusalem’s mayor, Nir Barakat, delivered another blow. The Municipality will classify 70,000 Israeli Arab citizens non-residents and involuntarily transfer them to West Bank locations.
At issue is entirely Judaizing Jerusalem through forced ethnic cleansing to facilitate escalated settlement construction. It’s also part of creating a greater Jerusalem and preventing a two-state solution.
Two new Haaretz reports are also significant heading into 2012, one by writer Barak Ravid.
PAKISTAN: A lawyer from Hindu community is missing and police refuse to register the case claiming that the abduction of Hindus is of no consequenceDecember 31, 2011
AHRC, Dec 30, 2011
Urgent Appeal Case : The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding that a lawyer belonging to the Dalit caste of Hindu minority community has been missing since December 23 when he was going to attend the Sindh High Court. His car was found abandoned at a Taxi stand with all court files in it. The high police officials of the district Hyderabad, Sindh province have refused to register the case. The police are also fighting on the jurisdiction of the concerned police stations to avoid filing the case. The abductors have asked for ransom of Rs. 10 million but still the police refuse to register the case and are also not investigating it as the abductions of Hindus are not a new thing and the routine business of Muslim fundamentalist groups. It is feared by his family that he would be killed if he does not embrace Islam or pay the ransom.
Qaddafi was supposedly worth over $200 billion with assets in bank accounts, real estate and corporate investments around the world.
This staggering new estimate comes from senior Libyan officials and seems to be legitimate, according to the LA Times.How did he get so rich?”King of Kings” Qaddafi had uncontested personal control over the largest oil reserves in Africa for the past 41 years.Unlike Abdullah and other oil-rich leaders, Qaddafi invested little money in national infrastructure like schools and hospitals or any kind of economic diversification. What money Qaddafi did spend went largely to buy support from African leaders.While much of this money was held by government institutions like the Central Bank of Libya and the Libyan Investment Authority, Qaddafi was able to withdraw money at will. Read more details at the LA Times >
Patrick Martin, wsws.org, 28 December 2011
According to a study reported Tuesday, nearly half the members of the United States Congress are millionaires. Of the 535 legislators (100 members of the Senate and 435 members of the House of Representatives), at least 250 are millionaires and the median net worth is $913,000.
Sixty-seven senators are millionaires and the median wealth of the body’s 100 members is $2.63 million.
While the Senate has long been known as a millionaires’ club, the transformation of the House is a relatively recent phenomenon. The median net worth of members of the House of Representatives, excluding home equity, has more than doubled over the last 25 years, from $280,000 in 1984 to $725,000 in 2009 in inflation-adjusted dollars. During that same period, the median net worth of an American family fell from $20,600 to $20,500.
by Stephen Lendman, opednews.com, Dec 28, 2011
December 27 is the third anniversary of Israel’s premeditated war of aggression on Gaza with more planned.
December 27 marks the third anniversary of Israel’s lawless war on Gaza. Without provocation, three weeks of terror bombing and invasion devastated the Strip.
Missiles, bombs, shells, and illegal weapons were used against defenseless people. Mass slaughter and destruction followed.
Brazen crimes of war and against humanity were committed. Responsible officials remain unaccountable. Security Council no-fly zone protection wasn’t ordered. International leaders shared culpability through silence. They still do. Washington was complicit by supplying Israel with weapons, munitions, and encouragement.
Cast Lead’s one of history’s great crimes. Before his fall from grace, Richard Goldstone said:
“(T)here is evidence indicating serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law were committed by Israel during the Gaza conflict, and that Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity.”
Khalaf Ali Hassan, Egypt Independent, December 27, 2011
The military police assaulted volunteer doctors working at the field hospital in Tahrir Square, doctors have said. The doctors say the military told them it was helping the wounded.
“The military police burnt our first aid kits,” said Dr. Mona Mina at a press conference on Sunday, adding that they were treating the doctors as if they were prisoners of war. “They must respect the international conventions that Egypt has signed in this regard.”
“The wounded have the right to medical treatment, even if they were thugs,” she said, refuting the army’s excuse for removing the make-shift clinics.
Dr. Karim Abdel Halim said the military police beat him with clubs and shocked him with taser guns. “And they took my mobile phone and my camera,” he said.
By Greg Miller, The Washington Post, December 28, 2011
The Obama administration’s counterterrorism accomplishments are most apparent in what it has been able to dismantle, including CIA prisons and entire tiers of al-Qaeda’s leadership. But what the administration has assembled, hidden from public view, may be equally consequential.
In the space of three years, the administration has built an extensive apparatus for using drones to carry out targeted killings of suspected terrorists and stealth surveillance of other adversaries. The apparatus involves dozens of secret facilities, including two operational hubs on the East Coast, virtual Air Force cockpits in the Southwest and clandestine bases in at least six countries on two continents.