Afghan officials have repeatedly asked US-led forces to end the imprecise aerial bombardments that mostly inflict civilian casualties. US-led forces, however, maintain that they are targeting militants. US-led forces in Afghanistan are currently continuing with their massive military operation in Kandahar. Witnesses told Press TV that NATO forces have dropped more bombs on villages they think Taliban militants are hiding in, inflicting extensive damage to civilian properties. The Western military alliance says it is experimenting with a new, powerful bomb during the operation.
Just when we thought the killing of civilians in Afghanistan has ended: A US-led airstrike has killed 20 people and wounded several others in the troubled southern regions of that country: The US-led military alliance ays the airstrike took place in a district of Kandahar Province, near the border with Pakistan. NATO issued a statement, saying that the Friday airstrike targeted a group of Taliban militants in Spin Boldak district, considered to be a Taliban-linked stronghold. The incident comes as the US and its allies step up a bombing campaign in southern Afghanistan.
An intense military campaign aimed at crippling the Taliban has so far failed to inflict more than fleeting setbacks on the insurgency or put meaningful pressure on its leaders to seek peace, according to US military and intelligence officials citing the latest assessments of the war in Afghanistan. Officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are NOT authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The Obama administration's plan to conduct a strategic review of the war in December has touched off maneuvering between US military leaders seeking support for extending the American troop buildup and skeptics looking for arguments to wind down our nation's role: Among the troubling findings is that Taliban commanders who are captured or killed are often replaced in a matter of days. Insurgent groups that have ceded territory in Kandahar and elsewhere seem content to melt away temporarily, leaving behind operatives to carry out assassinations or to intimidate villagers while waiting for an opportunity to return: US officials said Taliban operatives have adopted a refrain that reflects their focus on President Obama's intent to start withdrawing troops in the middle of next year. Attributing the words to Taliban leader Mohammad Omar, officials said, operatives tell one another: "The end is near."
According to NATO, a fresh US-led airstrike has killed at least 20 people and wounded several others in the troubled southern regions of Kandahar Province, near the border with Pakistan. NATO's statement says that the Friday air strike targeted a group of Taliban militants in Spin Boldak district, considered a Taliban-linked militant stronghold. The incident comes as the US and its allies step up a bombing campaign in southern Afghanistan. Afghan officials have repeatedly asked US-led forces to end the imprecise aerial bombardments that mostly inflict civilian casualties. (My group of former Army Veterans, led by Gordon Sturrock: Veterans Against Torture, and Veterans for Justice, have continually argued against such indiscriminate use of weapons, especially if the end result means the mass destruction of innocent civilians.) Nevertheless, witnesses have told Press TV that NATO forces have dropped more bombs on villages they think Taliban militants are hiding in, inflicting extensive damage and severe loss of innocent lives. The Western military alliance says it is 'experimenting' with a new powerful bomb during the operation. British General Nick Carter told AFP that it would take until June to know if the offensive were making genuine progress.
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Them thar Stuppid Forreners is on to Us Now: The Canadian Newspaper The Globe And Mail - Wednesday edition, decided to take Obama to task for his reckless spending habits: Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff says US government debt is NOT $13.5 trillion US dollars, which is 60 per cent of current gross domestic product, as global investors and American taxpayers think, but rather 14-fold higher: $200-trillion- 840 percent of current GDP. "Let's get real," Prof Kotlikoff says. "The US is bankrupt." Writing in the September issue of Finance and Development, a journal of the International Monetary Fund, Professor Kotlikoff says the IMF itself has quietly confirmed that the US is in terrible fiscal trouble - far worse than the Washington-based lender of last resort has previously acknowledged. "The US fiscal gap is huge," the IMF asserted in a June report. "Closing the fiscal gap requires a permanent annual fiscal adjustment equal to about 13 per cent of US GDP." This sum is equal to all current US federal taxes combined. The consequences of the IMF's fiscal fix, a doubling of federal taxes in perpetuity, would be appalling - and possibly worse than appalling.
Though we have obviously lost our war in Afghanistan, the death and destruction continues! In other words, nasty quagmires just don't go away. Meanwhile, back in Kabul, "President" Karzai and the locals in Kandahar are cutting their own deals with our enemies, in the assumption that our wishes no longer matter! "Karzai rails against America in a diatribe", was the way a New York Times headline summarized his press conference, apparently suggesting that his complaints were nothing more than the temper tantrum of an ungrateful child! On the other hand, Karzai may be right: American mercenaries have spread mayhem across Afghanistan, thanks to the enormous spending on contractors that he has ordered out of his country. "The money starts in the name of the private security companies in the hallways of the US government", adding: "The profits are made and arranged there, then they send the money to kill people here. When this money comes to Afghanistan, it causes insecurity in Afghan homes and causes the killing of Afghan children, as well as explosions and terrorism in Afghanistan." His words are spoken as a man who still loves his people, and feels responsible for their welfare. Meanwhile, where is Obama's concern about the health and welfare of our soldiers in the midst of this unholy, sordid mess?
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Pope Benedict XVI addressed the synod for the Middle East, which lasted two weeks in the Vatican, and which has issued a document supporting the Palestinian right to live free in Palestine. The document was signed by more than 180 bishops from catholic churches, invalidating the Jewish argument that they are exclusively chosen by God. The argument of these so-called "chosen" people has been used by Jewish Zionists to legalize the occupation of Palestine and the forcible removal of most of that country's original inhabitants. The pope stressed that a decent life must be guaranteed for all citizens of that country. Thus, the Pope makes it crystal clear that the bible can NOT be used to inflict pain, occupation of their land, or other injustices on the Palestinians. The synod has accused Israel of hindering the movement of Palestinian Christians by erecting a wall, and hundreds of checkpoints which may be used to humiliate Palestinians on a regular basis. The immediate establishment of a Palestinian state is one of many conditions to end the cycle of violence, according to Pope Benedict. He also urged the occupants of that region to live with mutual respect among the various faiths.
US Army General George Casey "doesn't remember" if the US downplayed Iraqi civilian casualty figures. Is he really too old for his job, or is he covering up for someone? According to Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan, "over the years, it has been impossible for the various organizations to come to agreement on a specific figure". Michael Moore suggests that someone stop the Colonel before he lies again. Recently, Michael received the John Steinbeck Award. John Steinbeck once said: "Courage is more important than anything else in the world, if you want to tell the truth". Thomas Steinbeck, the son of John Steinbeck presented Michael Moore with the award. This award is only given to those people who have the courage to say the truth, regardless of who disdains that knowledge. In his acceptance speech, Michael Moore said: "How much longer are we going to look out from our kitchen window, pull back the curtain a little, and see the Ryder truck pulling up to our neighbor's house and see them thrown out of a home by a bank which doesn't even have the piece of paper that is the mortgage? Good question! During his acceptance speech, Mike read passages from John Steinbeck's "Travels with Charley" and "The Grapes of Wrath".
Please click on my heading to check out Michael Moore's web site - a truly GREAT American.
Yes, amateur war fans, it's really true: Though the nearly 400,000 documents on the Iraq War released by wikileaks last Friday have stirred a flurry of attention to the persistent brutalizing of civilians during that war, the revelations about the abuse of detainees and the rampaging of private security contractors are only a small part of that human rights problem: The pattern of American commanders' misleading statements or outright dishonesty, is now becoming a military tradition, though the headlines, for once, are now focused on the death tolls of civilians. The reports raise the number of civilians killed by about 15,000 over the estimate of the Iraq Body Count. Unfortunately, the real count should be very much larger, in the 200,000 range, and very likely approaching 215,000. As I can vouch, based on my combat experience in Vietnam, counting enemy casualties is a tricky business, especially in the midst of a nasty war, that was stirred up by an invading military army. If the civilians in any country decide to join the war effort of their nation, all bets are off: When I probed for bunkers and tunnels outside the perimeter of our American base near Cu Chi, I merely removed the trap door of the enemy's hiding place, dropped a grenade into the opening, and began probing for the next enemy hiding place, with brazing rods furnished by the soldiers inside the base.
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When I served with our Army in Vietnam, my Advisory Team and I did our very best to avoid the killing of innocent civilians in our part of that war. According to an article in "The Independent", separating the "good" and "bad" guys seems now to be extremely difficult: A detainee tortured with live electrical wires here, children shot by US troops at a checkpoint there, insurgents using children to carry out suicide bombings somewhere else, the list now goes on and on, through 391,832 horrible and, to me, unimaginable documents. At the Pentagon (or should it now be renamed the "pentagram", where evil witches and warlocks hang out to torture the humans of good will on earth). Today, seven and a half years from the order to invade, the largest leak in history has shown what was unleashed by our declaration of war: The Iraqi security forces tortured hundreds, and the US military watched, noted and emailed, but rarely intervened. A helicopter gunship crew was ordered to shoot insurgents trying to surrender. A 'doctor' sold al-Qa'ida a list of female patients with learning difficulties so that they could be duped into becoming suicide bombers. A private US company, which made millions of dollars from the outsourcing of security duties, killed civilians, while other Americans cheered them on. To me, it seems as though the deeds of Adolf Hitler were not far behind.
All of those subprime and Alt-A mortgages written in the middle of the last decade were packaged and sold in securities. Now, we know that they have had huge losses, even though they had representations and warranties about what was in them. Guess what: the "investment banks 'may have' stretched credibility about those warranties. (Is nothing sacred??). There is the real probability that the 'investment' banks that sold them are going to gave to buy them back, a potential for multiple hundreds of billions in losses that have to be eaten by the large investment banks. (Bon Appetit !!). This 'tragedy' might potentially run into multiple hundreds of billions of dollars in losses, for some banks to have "real problems." Seems the Fed, PIMCO, and others are suing Countrywide over this very topic. It's hard to know where to start, but let us begin with testimony from Mr. Richard Bowen, former senior vice-president and business chief underwriter with CitiMortgage Inc: These mortgages were not underwritten by us before they were purchased. My Quality Assurance area was responsible for underwriting a small sample of the files post-purchase to ensure credit quality was maintained.