Tara's Blog – August 2009 Archive (42)

No settlement can follow from Israel's imposing its narrative

By Mustafa Abu Sway

Commentary by

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Palestinian-Israeli “road map” was supposed to be a performance-based plan leading to a two-state solution by 2005. Israel “accepted” the road map, yet it presented 14 reservations, a classic move aimed at placating the international community while, at the same time, presenting its own understanding of what peace or a peace process should look like. This imposition of a Zionist narrative onto attempts at… Continue

Added by Tara on August 31, 2009 at 12:43am — No Comments

Obama Caught Up in the Washington Blame Game

The rancorous atmosphere in Washington has spread to healthcare town hall meetings

By Kenneth T. Walsh

Posted August 27, 2009

No matter how much politicians say they want to get along, a dominant feature of the political landscape in Washington is still the blame game. And it will intensify next month when congressional Democrats and Republicans return from their summer break to do battle on healthcare, the economy, climate change, and the wars in Afghanistan and… Continue

Added by Tara on August 28, 2009 at 2:28pm — No Comments

Video: Ex-Guantanamo inmate to sue

An Afghan man detained for six-and-a-half years in Guantanamo Bay, the US military detention centre in Cuba, is to sue the US government, his lawyer has said.

Major Eric Montalvo, the US military lawyer representing Mohammed Jawad, said the former detainee's family will be suing for compensation in US courts.

Jawad was released after his confession to throwing a hand grenade that wounded two US soldiers was rejected as having been coerced out of… Continue

Added by Tara on August 27, 2009 at 11:56am — No Comments

Iran gets nations’ backing for attack ban bid

27 August 2009, 11:26 PM

Developing nations at the UN nuclear watchdog are backing Iran’s push to debate a ban on military attacks targeting nuclear facilities at a meeting of the IAEA next month.

Israel, which along with Western powers fears Iran’s declared civilian nuclear energy programme is a front for bombmaking, has not ruled out military action to prevent Tehran acquiring atom bombs and threatening the Jewish state.

In a letter to International Atomic… Continue

Added by Tara on August 27, 2009 at 12:41am — 2 Comments

Polling shows uncertainties about 'public option' insurance in health reform

While nearly eight out of 10 Americans say they favor a "public option" insurance plan in national health care reform proposals now before Congress, fewer than four out of 10 can correctly define what a public option means, a new poll underwritten by AARP shows.

Those and other poll findings are bad news for President Barack Obama, who's facing the possible defeat of most or all of one of his administration's highest-priority goals -- health care reform -- and the increasing… Continue

Added by Tara on August 26, 2009 at 12:57am — No Comments

What every American should be made to learn about the IG Torture Report

I wrote earlier today about Eric Holder's decision to "review" whether criminal prosecutions are warranted in connection with the torture of Terrorism suspects -- that can be read here -- but I want to write separately about the release today of the 2004 CIA's Inspector General Report (.pdf), both because it's extraordinary in its own right and because it underscores how unjust it would be to prosecute only low-level interrogators rather than the high-level officials who implemented the torture… Continue

Added by Tara on August 25, 2009 at 11:58am — 2 Comments

Palestinians: No homeland in Jordan

Barack Obama, the US president, is attempting to seal an Arab-Israeli peace deal that has eluded the region for more than six decades.

Ahead of an initiative expected to be announced in September, Al Jazeera is examining the prospects for peace in a week-long series from Israel, the West Bank, Gaza and Jordan.

In the first of the series, Al Jazeera's Nisreen El-Shamayleh speaks to Palestinian refugees about an Israeli plan that Jordan become their… Continue

Added by Tara on August 24, 2009 at 12:10pm — 1 Comment

US Air Force training more drone operators than pilots

4:00AM Monday Aug 24, 2009

By Edward Helmore

As part of an expanding programme of battlefield automation, the American Air Force has said it is now training more drone operators than fighter and bomber pilots.

In a controversial shift in military thinking - one encouraged by the death of Pakistani Taleban leader Baitullah Mehsud in a drone strike on August 5 - the Air Force is looking to hugely expand its fleet of unmanned aircraft by 2047.

Three years ago,… Continue

Added by Tara on August 23, 2009 at 7:44pm — 3 Comments

Russia declassifies secret documents on Nazi-Soviet pact

Tom Parfitt in Moscow guardian.co.uk, Friday 21 August 2009 20.05

Russia has declassified top-secret surveillance documents in an attempt to justify its occupation of Eastern Europe under the Nazi-Soviet pact, signed 70 years ago on Sunday.

The hidden protocols of the pact, in which Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler agreed to carve up Poland and other sovereign states, were denounced by the Soviet parliament in 1989, shortly after they were revealed for the first… Continue

Added by Tara on August 22, 2009 at 12:58pm — No Comments

Time to boycott Israel For the sake of our children, I am convinced that an international boycott is the only way to save Israel from itself

Neve Gordon

Israeli newspapers this summer are filled with angry articles about the push for an international boycott of Israel. Films have been withdrawn from Israeli film festivals, Leonard Cohen is under fire around the world for his decision to perform in Tel Aviv and Oxfam has severed ties with a celebrity spokeswoman, an actress who also endorses cosmetics produced in the occupied territories. Clearly, the campaign to use the kind of tactics that helped put an end to the… Continue

Added by Tara on August 21, 2009 at 4:58pm — 9 Comments

Top Sweden Newspaper Says IDF kills Palestinians for their Organs

By: Morten Berthelsen and Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent

A leading Swedish newspaper reported this week that Israeli soldiers are abducting Palestinians in order to steal their organs, a claim that prompted furious condemnation and accusations of anti-Semitic blood libel from a rival publication.

“They plunder the organs of our sons,” read the headline in Sweden’s largest daily newspaper, the left-leaning Aftonbladet, which devoted a double spread in its cultural… Continue

Added by Tara on August 21, 2009 at 9:39am — 1 Comment


Published: August 19, 2009

In the course of its 60 years, NATO has institutionalized three monumental transformations in world affairs: first, the end of the centuries-long “civil war” within the West for trans-oceanic and European supremacy; second, the United States’s post–World War II commitment to the defense of Europe against Soviet domination; and third, the peaceful termination of the Cold War, which created the preconditions for a larger democratic European… Continue

Added by Tara on August 20, 2009 at 10:03am — 2 Comments

Drones and Democracy

Ramzy Baroud

20 August 2009

With elections in Afghanistan, it might be timely to reflect on the US engagement with that stricken nation and consider just how much foreign intervention has contributed to the prospect and possibility of free and democratic elections.

More, it is fitting to consider what kind of example the US and its allies have given to the people of Afghanistan, if they have bestowed any wisdom and guidance for a nation facing a turbulent and… Continue

Added by Tara on August 20, 2009 at 12:27am — No Comments

It's Time to Legalize Drugs

By Peter Moskos and Stanford "Neill" Franklin

Undercover Baltimore police officer Dante Arthur was doing what he does well, arresting drug dealers, when he approached a group in January. What he didn't know was that one of suspects knew from a previous arrest that Arthur was police. Arthur was shot twice in the face. In the gunfight that ensued, Arthur's partner returned fire and shot one of the suspects, three of whom were later arrested.

In many ways, Dante Arthur was… Continue

Added by Tara on August 19, 2009 at 10:51am — 2 Comments

Who Owns The News? And Where's Your Outrage, Man?

By Anthony Falzone

There is a fascinating debate raging about who owns the news -- or more precisely, who owns which parts of a news story. The AP kicked it off in earnest last April when Chairman Dean Singleton channeled his inner Howard Beale and announced the AP would no longer "stand by and watch others walk off with our work . . . . We are mad as hell, and we are not going to take it any more." Just a few days ago, the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard posted a confidential AP… Continue

Added by Tara on August 18, 2009 at 11:38am — 1 Comment

Afghanistan war polls-"Do you favor or oppose the U.S. war in Afghanistan?"

This is somewhat good news mixed in with all the bad news lately. A majority of Americans are now opposed to the war in Afghanistan and I think we'll see the opposition numbers grow in the up and coming months! We've got to take any good news we can get right now and capitalize on it!!!!


Added by Tara on August 17, 2009 at 11:38am — 1 Comment

Soldier accused of being hit man for cartel

CNN) -- A U.S. soldier arrested in connection with the killing of a Mexican drug cartel member in El Paso, Texas, allegedly worked as a hit man, court records say.

Pfc. Michael Jackson Apodaca, 18, was one of three men arrested Monday in connection with the shooting death of the mid-level drug cartel member who also worked as an informant for the United States, according to a complaint affidavit.

Apodaca joined the Army a year ago and worked as a crew member on a Patriot… Continue

Added by Tara on August 16, 2009 at 1:14pm — No Comments

'The West behind Iran unrest'


16 August 2009 TEHRAN - The West must be held to account for stoking Iran’s post-election unrest, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday, as the third mass trial got underway of demonstrators accused of trying to overthrow clerical rule.

The June 12 vote has plunged Iran into its biggest internal crisis since the 1979 Islamic revolution, exposing deepening divisions within its ruling elite and also further straining relations with Western… Continue

Added by Tara on August 16, 2009 at 12:47pm — No Comments

Officials seek access to phone and email data 1,381 times a day-UK

Requests by police and other officials for information on people's phone calls and emails ran at an average of 1,381 a day last year, according to a report released today by the interception of communications commissioner, Sir Paul Kennedy.

A total of 504,073 surveillance requests to telephone and internet companies were made in 2008, the equivalent of one in 78 adults being targeted. The figure was slightly lower than in 2007, but higher than in 2006, when Kennedy issued his first… Continue

Added by Tara on August 14, 2009 at 12:10pm — No Comments

A persistent blogger annoys police -- and winds up in jail.

A 34-YEAR-OLD woman, the mother of a 12-year-old girl, has been locked up in a Virginia jail for three weeks and could remain there for at least another month. Her crime? Blogging about the police.

Elisha Strom, who appears unable to make the $750 bail, was arrested outside Charlottesville on July 16 when police raided her house, confiscating notebooks, computers and camera equipment. Although the Charlottesville police chief, Timothy J. Longo Sr., had previously written to Ms. Strom… Continue

Added by Tara on August 14, 2009 at 10:00am — No Comments

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