ashameduscitizen

There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people. Howard Zinn

Praising the Troops for Defending Our “Rights” and “Freedoms”

Via: The Future of Freedom Foundation

by Jacob G. Hornberger March 14, 2013

Have you ever wondered what people mean when they praise the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for defending our rights and freedoms here at home? This is one of the most popular and important bromides of our time. Given that we hear it all the time, especially in church and at sporting events, wouldn’t it be good to contemplate what people mean by it?

I think everyone by now will agree that the 9/11 attacks were not the first stage of a giant terrorist invasion of the United States. It’s been 12 years since those attacks. That’s plenty of time for tens of thousands of transport ships carrying hundreds of thousands of terrorists to appear on the horizon on the eastern shore of the United States. Not even one transport ship carrying a few terrorists, much less tens of thousands that would be necessary for a successful conquest of the United States, has even departed from the Middle East on its way to the United States.

Yet, as a practical matter, the only way for Americans to lose their rights and freedoms would be for an army of terrorists to take control of the U.S. government and the levers of power, thereby being able to subjugate the entire nation to the will of the terrorists.

Oh sure, it’s entirely possible that a few terrorists can blow up a building or kill some people, but that, of course, is a far cry from conquering an entire nation and enslaving its citizenry.

Thus, the reality, notwithstanding all the hype and fear, is that the rights and freedoms of the American people are not in any danger whatsoever of being lost to the terrorists. That is, there is no army of hundreds of thousands of terrorists crossing the ocean in transport ships seeking to invade and conquer the United States.

As a matter of fact, such an endeavor would be so utterly difficult from a military standpoint that one can say with certainty that the chances of success would be virtually nil. After all, don’t forget that Hitler’s massive and powerful army couldn’t even cross the English Channel to invade and conquer England. Don’t forget also that the Allied invasion at Normandy involved around 150,000 troops and, even then, success was not guaranteed. Needless to say, there is no evidence whatsoever that 150,000 terrorists are planning the much more difficult operation of successfully launching a military crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.

So, the fact is that American rights and freedoms are not in danger, at least not from the terrorists.

Thus, if American troops are not over there defending our rights and freedoms, what are they defending?

Read more: here

Freedom and Democracy Baby…. 
Repeat the lies until they become the accepted truth…
– Moose

Americans’ Sympathy For Israel at 22-year High

Via: The Times of Israel

  Ahead of Obama’s visit, Gallup poll finds 64% of Americans sympathize more with Israel, just 12% with the Palestinians 

 By Haviv Rettig Gur March 16, 2013

NEW YORK – Americans’ sympathy for Israel is at a 22-year high, according to Gallup figures released on Friday, just five days ahead of Barack Obama’s first visit to Israel as president.

In figures gleaned from the polling organization’s early February World Affairs poll, 64 percent of Americans say their sympathies “in the Middle East situation” – Gallup’s term for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and peace talks – lie more with the Israelis than with the Palestinians. Just 12% favor the Palestinians.

Nearly one-quarter, or 23%, said their sympathies lie with both parties, neither, or had no opinion.

The figures mark a 22-year high in sympathy for Israel. The last Gallup poll that showed 64% sympathy came in 1991, at the height of the First Gulf War and in the midst of the first intifada.

Sympathy for Israel then declined through the 1990’s, though it remained comfortably ahead of sympathy figures for Palestinians. The number who said they favored Israel reached a low point of 38% in 1997, during the first government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the early 2000′s, Americans’ sympathy for Israel saw turbulent spikes and drops as US public opinion responded to successive terror attacks on Israel’s cities and the subsequent Israeli military incursions that drew civilian casualties.

But those public opinion swings resolved by 2005 into a steady, rising trend line showing widespread and growing support for Israel.

Read more: here

Best advertising money can buy…
-Moose 

A Low, Dishonest Decade: New Details for the Iraq War Crime Mosaic

Via: Empire Burlesque

Written by Chris Floyd
Thursday, 07 March 2013 00:36

The truth-telling of the imprisoned Bradley Manning continues to bear rich fruit, even as he faces a lifetime in prison for acting on principle to save innocent lives and prevent his country from staining itself further with war crimes. This week, the Guardian released a special investigation into the hideous regime of torture that the United States imposed and empowered during its years-long rape of Iraq.

The Guardian report draws on the trove of documents that Manning gave to Wikileaks (and the now diplomatically “sequestered” Julian Assange) to provide new details on the direct links of America’s highest officials — including the bipartisanly adored and now much mourned retired apparatchik David Petraeus — to the torture of tens of thousands of Iraqis.

In many ways, of course, it’s hardly a revelation that American forces were deeply involved in torture during the “extraordinary achievement” (B. Obama) in Iraq. Some cranks have been writing about it since the earliest days of the invasion — as in this piece, from August 2003:

Here’s a headline you don’t see every day: “War Criminals Hire War Criminals to Hunt Down War Criminals.”

Perhaps that’s not the precise wording used by the Washington Post this week, but it is the absolute essence of its story about the Bush Regime’s new campaign to put Saddam’s murderous security forces on America’s payroll.

Yes, the sahibs in Bush’s Iraqi Raj are now doling out American tax dollars to hire the murderers of the infamous Mukhabarat and other agents of the Baathist Gestapo – perhaps hundreds of them. The logic, if that’s the word, seems to be that these bloodstained “insiders” will lead their new imperial masters to other bloodstained “insiders” responsible for bombing the UN headquarters in Baghdad – and killing another dozen American soldiers while Little George was playing with his putts during his month-long Texas siesta.

Naturally, the Iraqi people – even the Bush-appointed leaders of the Potemkin “Governing Council” – aren’t exactly overjoyed at seeing Saddam’s goons return, flush with American money and firepower. And they’re certainly not reassured by the fact that the Bushists have also re-opened Saddam’s most notorious prison, the dread Abu Ghraib, and are now, Mukhabarat-like, filling it with Iraqis – men, women and children as young as 11 – seized from their homes or plucked off the street to be held incommunicado, indefinitely, without due process, just like the old days. As The Times reports, weeping relatives who dare approach the gleaming American razor-wire in search of their “disappeared” loved ones are referred to a crude, hand-written sign pinned to a spike: “No visits are allowed, no information will be given and you must leave.” Perhaps an Iraqi Akhmatova will do justice to these scenes one day.

There were many, many more where that came from, from many sources, as the mosaic of horror built up, fragment by fragment. Unfortunately, America’s multifarious war crime in Iraq is news that stays news — because awareness of the depth of evil we wrought there has scarcely penetrated the American public consciousness. And of course, the Wikileaks documents give more form and substance to the piecemeal parceling of earlier truth fragments.

The Guardian pieces focus on the long lineage of the American way of torture, as represented by the figure of James Steele, a Special Forces offer who made his bones in the torture racket during the murderous American-backed, American-trained, American-funded “counterinsurgency” campaigns in Latin America during the 1980s. Steele has a little pal back in those days by the name of Davy Petraeus; later, the two worked cheek-by-jowl in Iraq to foment a hell on earth of sectarian violence and state terror.

Read more: here

But they deserved it cuz they caused 911!  That’s what my pwezident tode me….

-Moose  

Ken Braun: A Gun Control Proposal That Everyone Should Support

Via: MLive

By Ken Braun March 16, 2013

The Legislature should reconsider a bill that would make police accountable for raids they conduct.

Thomas Torres, age 54, was the target of a Connecticut State Police SWAT raid shortly before Christmas two years ago. The Spanish-speaking, subsidized housing resident of New Haven was living in a building infested with drug dealers and prostitutes. He kept his door closed unless given a damn good reason to do otherwise.

He didn’t have the drugs the police were looking for and told them so, repeatedly, despite the language barrier, after the raiding party knocked down his door. What followed was the trashing of his apartment and a physical altercation between the unarmed middle-aged man on disability and several officers that somehow managed to leave Torres with a badly bruised face and broken arm. No drugs were found. Torres wasn’t charged with any offense – not even assaulting an officer or attempting to flee – but the cops did helpfully get an ambulance for him.

By one estimate, cited by the Cato Institute, American citizens have their homes and private property invaded 40,000 times per year by their government’s use of para-military police raids. There are obviously cases where SWAT teams are sent after clearly dangerous and violent criminals that need to spend many years in a cage.

But these home invasions are too often used against non-violent drug offenders, sometimes in situations – such as the Torres matter – where there isn’t even a clear crime being committed. Most alarmingly, they can also happen when bad information and mistakes send cops to the wrong doors.

When there’s 109 military assaults on Americans each day, mistakes happen. An elderly couple in Brooklyn recently suffered through 50 visits from police when a computer glitch in the NYPD’s database repeatedly dispatched cops to their home looking for various evildoers.

Read more: here

It wouldn’t be a police state if they were accountable…
-Moose

An Orwellian America

Via: Zero Hedge

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/15/2013

Via Gordon T Long

We are one crisis away from a police state. All the powers are in place. Someone will flip the switch. Whether a Cyber Attack, escalating Currency War tensions or a ‘terrorist’ attack by indebted college youth, it is only a matter of time and circumstance.

As a young man, I voraciously read George Orwell’s “1984”, Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” and Alvin Toffler’s trilogy which included “Future Shock”‘, “The Third Wave” and “Power Shift”. During the era of the Vietnam War, I wondered seriously about the future and how it was destined to unfold. Now being considerably older, I have the vantage point to reflect back on my early ruminations and expectations. Unfortunately, I am too old to alter the lessons that are now so painfully obvious. Instead, I pass the gauntlet to those who can understand and take action o what I have unavoidably come to expect for America.

Read more: here

It is gonna get messy…
-Moose

That’s No Train! Air Force Eyes Subway for Nuclear Missiles

Via: Wired

By Robert Beckhusen 03.14.13

The Air Force wants to upgrade its aging nuclear missiles and the hundreds of underground silos that hold them. One idea it’s exploring: the construction of a sprawling network of underground subway tunnels to shuttle the missiles around like a mobile doomsday train. As one does.

As first reported by Inside Defense, the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center will award several study contracts next month worth up to $3 million each to research the idea. A broad agency announcement from the Air Force describes the hair-raising concept, intended to keep the weapons secure through 2075, as a system of tunnels where nuclear missiles are shuttled around on rails or some undefined “trackless” system.

The advantage of the world’s deadliest subway: During an atomic holocaust, mobile missiles are harder for an adversary to target than a static silo. Missiles could be positioned at launch holes placed at “regular intervals” along the length of the tunnels.

“The tunnel concept mode operates similar to a subway system but with only a single transporter/launcher and missile dedicated to a given tunnel,” stated the notice. “The tunnel is long enough to improve survivability but leaving enough room to permit adequate ‘rattle space’ in the event of an enemy attack.”

The Air Force hasn’t given specifics on where the tunnels could be built, or how long they’d need to be. But they’ll probably have to be jumbo-sized to “minimize impact from attack during all phases of missions/operations,” the notice stated. The Air Force requires that all research proposals address ways to “minimize likelihood” that unauthorized persons could sneak in, while keeping the system working safely and not sacrificing the doomsday train’s ability to “conduct world-wide operations.”

Read more: here

Again…WTF!?…How can this madness be stopped? Is there something in the water? Maybe it is from playing with trains as a youth…
-Moose

Army Officer Invokes ‘Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines’ In Official Drones Paper

Via: Business Insider

terminator machines

One of the things Army Lt. Col. Douglas Pryer is known for is his mastery of words, but he still has a respect for pictures.

Pryer is a former intelligence officer who worked in various command staff in Iraq, Kosovo, Germany, and others. He’s also an award winning military author.

Plastered to the top of his most recent report, published by the Army’s Combined Arms Center, is a picture from the Terminator movies: a squad of evil looking humanoid machines, undoubtedly looking for human victims.

Pryer even named the paper after the last of these movies. He calls the paper “The Rise Of The Machines: Why Increasingly ‘Perfect’ Machines Help Perpetuate Our Wars And Endanger Our Nations.”

So it’s not hard to see what Pryor thinks about the global drone war, even without reading a word.

If a few words had to be picked though, let them be the most terrifying collection.

Along the way Pryer writes that he wishes he believed that America would one day look back at transnational drone strikes as a morally disastrous policy that our nation briefly toyed with at the turn of the century, before gaining wisdom from this folly.”

He believes himself to be optimistic in this regard though. A dreamer. Instead, a combination of an American feeling of blind moral superiority and technological supremacy make the development of Spartan robots seem like a foregone conclusion.

Then he drops this dystopic doozy:

[The U.S. seems bound to develop] robots so advanced that they make today’s Predators and Reapers look positively impotent and antique. These killer robots, though, will share one thing in common with their primitive progenitors: with remorseless purpose, they will stalk and kill any human deemed “a legitimate target” by their controllers and programmers.

Read more: here

I said this was gonna happen……
-Moose

US Drones Bombing Africa Operated From RAF Bases In The Heart of The Lincolnshire Countryside

Via: The Daily Mail

By Robert Verkaik, Mail On Sunday Security Editor

An RAF base in Britain is being used by America in its controversial drone warfare campaign, it was claimed last night.

Documents seen by The Mail on Sunday reveal that the United States has established a drone ‘operations centre’ in the heart of the Lincolnshire countryside which could be used to co-ordinate attacks in the Middle East and Africa.

Last night, the revelation sparked claims of British complicity in the US Airforce (USAF) assassination programme which is being investigated by the United Nations.

One document requests US security-cleared staff to work at RAF Waddington on a USAF drone called the Predator. The weapon has killed hundreds of people in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

A second document describes a role for a communications technician at the same base ‘supporting 24/7 operations of critical real-time USAF/ANG [Air National Guard] mission operations’.

Bosh Global Services, the US company recruiting personnel, designs and maintains key drone equipment for the American military and has established a base in Lincolnshire, believed to be at RAF Waddington.

The site has been designated Britain’s first drone centre and will have five fully armed Reapers from next year.

Read more: here

Thank goodness we will never have armed drones in the US…
-Moose 

Pentagon Creates 13 Offensive Cyber Teams For Worldwide Attacks

Via: RT

Published time: March 13, 2013 17:27

The head of the United States Cyber Command says the US is developing 40 new teams of cyber-agents that will both protect America’s critical infrastructure from hackers and as well as launch attacks against the country’s adversaries.

Gen. Keith Alexander, who leads both the Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, told the US Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that the 40 online support teams should be ready for action by 2015, with 13 of those units existing specifically to attack other countries.

Alexander has been reluctant to go into detail about how the newly-designed teams will engage in cyber battle with America’s enemies, but he did say that the 13 squads of offensive fighters won’t be sitting around waiting for hackers from abroad to strike first. The NSA chief described the groups as ‘‘defend-the-nation’’ teams but also stressed that their role will be one that puts them on both sides of the action.
“I would like to be clear that this team. . . is an offensive team,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“The teams are analogous to battalions in the Army and Marine Corps — or squadrons in the Navy and Air Force,” said Alexander. “In short, they will soon be capable of operating on their own, with a range of operational and intelligence skill sets, as well as a mix of military and civilian personnel.”

Read more: here 

WTF? They just can’t stop..Endless war…Endless threats…
-Moose

Don’t Fall for Pentagon Spin

Via: Salon

Never mind what you heard about massive new cuts to the defense industry. Here’s how contractors avoided calamity

Tuesday, Mar 12, 2013
By Ben Freeman

If you believe the hype, sequestration is going to deal a catastrophic blow to the politically powerful defense industry.

It’s a “doomsday mechanism,” former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta declared. The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) – the leading advocacy group for Pentagon contractors – has also warned of the allegedly dire consequences of sequestration for their industry (which receives nearly $1 billion a day from the Pentagon), expressing “extreme disappointment that sequestration was not averted.”

The political implications for the contractor lobby are just as calamitous, we’re told. Roll Call’s Eliza Newlin Carney says the enactment of sequestration “marks a moment of truth for an industry that has lost clout and allies on Capitol Hill, probably for good.”

And, of course, sequestration’s plan to reduce Pentagon spending by $492 billion over the next nine years was the reason Democrats mistakenly believed Republicans would seek to avoid it at all costs.

Don’t believe the hype…

The truth? We’re watching a political magic trick. Right now, we’re at the part of the show where it appears Congress and the President sawed through Pentagon contractors. They’re moaning and complaining – giving the audience a good show – but fear not, contracts will be just fine.

This is largely because of the rock solid foundation the industry is standing on. Every year for the last five years the Pentagon has doled out at least $360 billion to contractors. In fact, every year since the war in Afghanistan began contractors have received more than half of the Pentagon’s total budget. In other words, contractors have received more taxpayer money than the Department of Defense’s civilian employees and nearly 1.4 million active duty military personnel combined.

All that money has really added up. So much so that Pentagon contractors are sitting on a backlog of contracts worth nearly as much as the entirety of Pentagon sequestration.

Read more: here

Unbelievable…no morality at all is left…It is a tax on all of us for the benefit of a few…
-Moose 

How the US Exported its ‘Dirty War’ Policy to Iraq – With Fatal Consequences

Via: The Guardian

Using Latin American covert operations as a template for its Iraqi paramilitary proxies, the US once again lost the moral war

Murtaza Hussain, guest-blogging for Glenn Greenwald
Friday 8 March 2013 16.08 EST

In one of the fiery oratories for which he was well-known, the late Hugo Chávez once stated his belief that “the American empire is the greatest menace to our planet.” While his detractors have often sought to paint his rhetorical flourishes as a manifestation of unprovoked and unpopular extremism, to his death Chávez remained extremely popular with the majority of the Venezuelan people.

Indeed, far from being an outlier, Chávez fit well within the spectrum of both Central and Latin American popular opinion. While his style may have been his own, his beliefs and worldview regarding US interventionism were reflected in other leaders throughout the region. Looking at the history of US engagement in Latin America, it becomes evident why such a situation exists.

From overthrowing democratically elected leaders, operating death squads, and torturing civilians, the history of US involvement in the region has understandably helped create a widespread popular backlash that persists to this day.

Read more: here

US Drone Strikes Listed and Detailed in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen

Via: The Guardian

Where has the US been using drones in attacks – and how many people have died there?

Are drone attacks becoming the face of modern warfare? The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has collected the comprehensive database of reported drone attacks.

It shows hundreds of attacks: up to 337 in Pakistan, largely along the tribal areas of Waziristan, especially in the northern part…

Plus there are another 35-45 recorded in Yemen and up to nine in Somalia.

The data also records the number of deaths, which could be up to 3,247 across the three countries, including up to 852 civilians.

Read more: here

Am I the only person bothered by this?
-Moose

US Gen. McChrystal Warns Against Drones

Via: thescottross.blogspot



In essence this is a warning from a four-star US General to his government about the use of drones, saying that if America uses them carelessly then it has no right to be outraged over extremist retaliation.

 Stanley McChrystal: “I question its universal validity. If you go back to the British tactics on the North-West Frontier, the “butcher and bolt” tactics, where they would burn an area and punish the people and say, “Don’t do that anymore,” and simultaneously offer a stipend to the leader while saying, “If you will remain friendly for a period of time, we’ll pay you”—that approach worked for a fair amount of time. It managed problems on their periphery. But it certainly didn’t solve the problems.

The tactics that we developed do work, but they don’t produce decisive effects absent other, complementary activities. We did an awful lot of capturing and killing in Iraq for several years before it started to have a real effect, and that came only when we were partnered with an effective counterinsurgency approach. Just the strike part of it can never do more than keep an enemy at bay.

And although to the United States, a drone strike seems to have very little risk and very little pain, at the receiving end, it feels like war.

 Americans have got to understand that.

If we were to use our technological capabilities carelessly—I don’t think we do, but there’s always the danger that you will—then we should not be upset when someone responds with their equivalent, which is a suicide bomb in Central Park, because that’s what they can respond with.”

Read more: here

Duh!
-Moose

Can U.S. Citizen Shoot Down Domestic Spy Drones? Question Looms

Via: DailyTECH

Jason Mick (Blog) – September 14, 2012 3:50 PM

Every single day / And every word you say / Every game you play, every night you stay / I’ll be watching you
Oh, can’t you see / You belong to me?

…that famous line of Sting and the Police perhaps best summarizes the warning delivered in a report released last week by the Congressional Research Service that suggests the growing army of drones flying over the U.S. airspace could be used to continuously monitor U.S. citizens.

I. Plans for Domestic Drone Spying Escalate 

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in a recent report that it expects 30,000 commercial and government drones to be flying over the U.S. airspace within 20 years.  The drones will be cheap, will be able to stay aloft continuously, and can even be as small as an insect (so-called “nano-drones”).  All of that makes the perfect vehicle for something many great writers and philosophers have long feared — ubiquitous, uninterrupted government surveillance.

While it sounds like a paranoid flight of fantasy, that’s precisely the issue that was being discussed in last week’s report.  It comments, “In the near future, law enforcement organizations might seek to outfit drones with facial recognition or soft biometric recognition, which can recognize and track individuals based on attributes such as height, age, gender and skin color.” 

Read more: here

An interesting question…..
-Moose

John Brennan Sworn in as CIA Director Using Constitution Lacking Bill of Rights

Via: emptywheel

 
Posted on March 8, 2013

According to the White House, John Brennan was sworn in as CIA Director on a “first draft” of the Constitution including notations from George Washington, dating to 1787.

Vice President Joe Biden swears in CIA Director John Brennan in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 8, 2013. Members of Brennan’s family stand with him. Brennan was sworn in with his hand on an original draft of the Constitution, dating from 1787, which has George Washington’s personal handwriting and annotations on it.

That means, when Brennan vowed to protect and defend the Constitution, he was swearing on one that did not include the First, Fourth, Fifth, or Sixth Amendments — or any of the other Amendments now included in our Constitution. The Bill of Rights did not become part of our Constitution until 1791, 4 years after the Constitution that Brennan took his oath on.

I really don’t mean to be an asshole about this. But these vows always carry a great deal of symbolism. And whether he meant to invoke this symbolism or not, the moment at which Brennan took over the CIA happened to exclude (in symbolic form, though presumably not legally) the key limits on governmental power that protect American citizens.

Read more: here

Nothing to worry about…..
-Moose

Why Is The US Spending Hundreds Of Millions On These Secret Israeli Bunkers?

Via: Business Insider

Robert Johnson    | Mar. 7, 2013, 1:50 AM

Last year it was announced the U.S. was looking to build a secret underground complex in Israel. On February 13 a contract was awarded to Conti Corp Federal Services in Edison, NJ to complete the project.

Their bid of almost $63 million came in well below the possible $100 million set aside for the project.

Conti’s bid went toward building five underground levels and six above ground buildings that they have 900 days from February 13 to complete.

The U.S. government then issued another request for proposal December 28 to construct Site 81 Phase II. Also in Israel, also partially underground, this project calls for up to $100,000,000 to refinish six underground facilities and some currently occupied surface buildings.

Walter Pincus from the Washington Post fleshed out the original Proposal construction project, called Site 911 in November.

That nearly $63 million project awarded to Conti can be built only by workers from specific countries with proper security clearances.

Read more: here

Because they are our friends..Now move along…
-Moose

From El Salvador to Iraq: Washington’s Man Behind Brutal Police Squads

Via: The Guardian

In 2004, with the war in Iraq going from bad to worse, the US drafted in a veteran of Central America’s dirty wars to help set up a new force to fight the insurgency. The result: secret detention centres, torture and a spiral into sectarian carnage 
Wednesday 6 March 2013

 Mona Mahmood, Maggie O’Kane, Chavala Madlena, Teresa Smith, Ben Ferguson, Patrick Farrelly, Guy Grandjean, Josh Strauss, Roisin Glynn, Irene Baqué, Marcus Morgan, Jake Zervudachi and Joshua Boswell

An exclusive golf course backs onto a spacious two-storey house. A coiled green garden hose lies on the lawn. The grey-slatted wooden shutters are closed. And, like the other deserted luxury houses in this gated community near Bryan, Texas, nothing moves.

Retired Colonel Jim Steele, whose military decorations include the Silver Star, the Defence Distinguished Service Medal, four Legions of Merit, three Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart, is not at home. Nor is he at his office headquarters in Geneva, where he is listed as the chief executive officer of Buchanan Renewables, an energy company. Similar efforts to track him down at his company’s office in Monrovia are futile. Messages are left. He doesn’t call back.

Read more: here

Iraq’s Depleted Uranium Clean-up to Cost $30m as Contamination Spreads

Via: The Guardian

Report says toxic waste is being spread by scrap metal dealers, and describes its ‘alarming’ use in civilian areas during Iraq wars

By Rob Edwards 
Wednesday 6 March 2013 06.44 EST

Cleaning up more than 300 sites in Iraq still contaminated by depleted uranium (DU) weapons will cost at least $30m, according to a report by a Dutch peace group to be published on Thursday.

The report, which was funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, warns that the contamination is being spread by poorly regulated scrap metal dealers, including children. It also documents evidence that DU munitions were fired at light vehicles, buildings and other civilian infrastructure including the Iraqi Ministry of Planning in Baghdad – casting doubt on official assurances that only armoured vehicles were targeted. “The use of DU in populated areas is alarming,” it says, adding that many more contaminated sites are likely to be discovered.

More than 400 tonnes of DU ammunition are estimated to have been fired by jets and tanks in the two Iraq wars in 1991 and 2003, the vast majority by US forces. The UK government says that British forces fired less than three tonnes.

DU is a chemically toxic and radioactive heavy metal produced as waste by the nuclear power industry. It is used in weapons because it is an extremely hard material capable of piercing armour.

Read more: here

Just bringing freedom and democracy to ya! It does have a funny aftertaste…
Oh, And hey, watch out for those mines, too…
Don’t you just love America?
-Moose

End Times for the American Empire

Via: ICH

Why the Invasion of Iraq Was the Single Worst Foreign Policy Decision in American History

By Peter Van Buren

March 07, 2013 “Information Clearing House” – TomDispatch – I was there. And “there” was nowhere. And nowhere was the place to be if you wanted to see the signs of end times for the American Empire up close. It was the place to be if you wanted to see the madness — and oh yes, it was madness — not filtered through a complacent and sleepy media that made Washington’s war policy seem, if not sensible, at least sane and serious enough. I stood at Ground Zero of what was intended to be the new centerpiece for a Pax Americana in the Greater Middle East.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the invasion of Iraq turned out to be a joke. Not for the Iraqis, of course, and not for American soldiers, and not the ha-ha sort of joke either. And here’s the saddest truth of all: on March 20th as we mark the 10th anniversary of the invasion from hell, we still don’t get it. In case you want to jump to the punch line, though, it’s this: by invading Iraq, the U.S. did more to destabilize the Middle East than we could possibly have imagined at the time. And we — and so many others — will pay the price for it for a long, long time.

Read more: here

Overthrowing Saddam Hussein Was The Right Move For The US and It’s Allies

Via: The Guardian

Opponents of the Iraq war continue to spread myths. The reality is the US achieved many of its goals in the war.

By John Bolton (A F%cking Liar)

Overthrowing Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003 achieved important American strategic objectives. Our broad international coalition accomplished its military mission with low casualties and great speed, sending an unmistakable signal of power and determination throughout the Middle East and around the world. Despite all the criticism of what happened after Saddam’s defeat, these facts are indisputable.

Nonetheless, relentless hostility by the war’s opponents now threaten to overwhelm, in the public mind, the clear merits of eliminating Iraq’s Ba’athist dictatorship. Leaving the critics unanswered, combined with the utterly erroneous policy conclusions they have derived, will only lead to more serious problems down the road. Let us consider a few of the prevailing myths:

Read more: here

What a bunch of lies…Bolton is a criminal!

-Moose

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