Posts Tagged ‘Tom Engelhardt’

News and views from around the web posted to the Wonderland Wire:


Daily Briefing—4th Aug 2010

Posted: 4 August 2010 by Editors in Daily Briefing
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News and views from around the web posted to the Wonderland Wire:


News and views from around the web posted to the Wonderland Wire:


News and views from around the web posted to the Wonderland Wire:



Al Jazeera English:

BBC News:

Commentary: “Obama Doesn’t Plan to End the Iraq Occupation” by Jeremy Scahill:

The New York Times is reporting about an apparent evolution” in president-elect Barack Obama’s thinking on Iraq, citing his recent statements about his plan to keep a “residual force” in the country and his pledge to “listen to the recommendations of my commanders” as Obama prepares to assume actual command of US forces. “At the Pentagon and the military headquarters in Iraq, the response to the statements this week from Mr. Obama and his national security team has been akin to the senior officer corps’ letting out its collective breath,” the Times reported. “[T]the words sounded to them like the new president would take a measured approach on the question of troop levels.”

The reality is there is no “evolution.”

Anyone who took the time to cut past Barack Obama’s campaign rhetoric of “change” and bringing an “end” to the Iraq war realized early on that the now-president-elect had a plan that boiled down to a down-sizing and rebranding of the occupation. While he emphasized his pledge to withdraw US “combat forces” from Iraq in 16 months (which may or may not happen), he has always said that he intends to keep “residual forces” in place for the foreseeable future. [read the full article] “Shambles in Afghanistan: Why Are They Dying?” by Brian Cloughley:

There can be few things more shameful or degrading for a head of state to have to admit than “I wish I could intercept the [US] planes that are going to bomb Afghan villages, but that’s not in my hands.” But Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai was forced to say this last week. In 2008, so far, at least 190 Afghan civilians have been killed by air strikes; about the same number as died in the atrocious slaughter in Mumbai. But there haven’t been any protests about the killing of civilians in Afghanistan, except by Afghans, of course. But who listens to Afghans?

No, it’s not in Karzai’s hands to rule his country, as he was elected to do. It is in the hands — or fists — of the occupying powers, who, through a pathetic combination of arrogance, ignorance and incompetence, are, in Karzai’s words, “still…not able to defeat the Taliban”. … [read the full article] “Muslim Revolution: How Washington Arrogance Helped Drive the Mumbai Attacks” by Paul Craig Roberts:

Is Pakistan responsible for the Mumbai attack in India? No.

Is India’s repression of its Muslim minority responsible? No.

Is the United States government responsible? Yes.

The attack on Mumbai required radicalized Muslims. Radicalized Muslims resulted from the US overthrowing the elected government in Iran and imposed the Shah; from the US stationing troops in Saudi Arabia; from the US invading and attempting to occupy Afghanistan and Iraq, bombing weddings, funerals, and children’s soccer games; from the US violating international and US law by torturing its Muslim victims; from the US enlisting Pakistan in its war against the Taliban; from the US violating Pakistan’s sovereignty by conducting military operations on Pakistani territory, killing Pakistani civilians; from the US government supporting a half century of Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their lands, towns and villages; from the assault of American culture on Muslim values; from the US purchasing the government of Egypt to act as its puppet; from US arrogance that America is the supreme arbiter of morality. … [read the full article]

guardian (UK): “The Answer is Easy” by Tim Otty:

The answer to the question “What to do with those still held at Guantánamo?” is at one level extraordinarily easy, and it remains the same as it has been since the detentions first began almost seven years ago. The detainees should be given a fair trial consistent with internationally recognised standards, or they should be released. Merely moving the detainees to a different prison on the US mainland to face preventative detention or trial, before a national security court hearing secret evidence, would do little to vindicate the fundamental rights of which they have been deprived to date or to restore the reputation of the US. If those to be tried are able to have the evidence against them ruled out, on the grounds that it has been obtained by torture, then those individuals too must be released. That is the price of a democratic system governed by the rule of law and, as Lord Brown put it in a recent appeal in the House of Lords concerned with our own counter-terrorism measures, the right to a fair hearing is “not merely an absolute right but one of altogether too great importance to be sacrificed on the altar of terrorism control”.

As to where those to be released should be sent, that too should not be complicated. If they can be returned safely to their countries of nationality then that is where they should go. If there is a risk that they would suffer further ill-treatment if so returned then the US or its allies should offer them asylum.

There is, however, a third and equally important question arising out of the detentions at Guantánamo Bay, Bagram, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. What is to happen to those responsible for devising and approving the interrogation systems deployed at these detention centres and which many respected commentators consider involved the direct sanctioning of torture? … [read the full article] “The Great Society: A Libertarian Critique” by Murray N. Rothbard:

The Great Society is the lineal descendant and the intensification of those other pretentiously named policies of 20th-century America: the Square Deal, the New Freedom, the New Era, the New Deal, the Fair Deal, and the New Frontier. All of these assorted Deals constituted a basic and fundamental shift in American life – a shift from a relatively laissez-faire economy and minimal state to a society in which the state is unquestionably king.[1]

In the previous century, the government could safely have been ignored by almost everyone; now we have become a country in which the government is the great and unending source of power and privilege. Once a country in which each man could by and large make the decisions for his own life, we have become a land where the state holds and exercises life-and-death power over every person, group, and institution. The great Moloch government, once confined and cabined, has burst its feeble bonds to dominate us all. …[read the full article]

Lew “Making Sense of the Taliban” by Tom Engelhardt and Anand Gopal:

Just when the Obama presidency-to-be was revving up to introduce its new national security “team” and reformulate U.S. policy in Afghanistan and the Pakistani border regions, the Afghan War ratcheted up a notch – and not because there was another missile strike from an American drone aircraft in the Pakistani tribal borderlands, or because yet more civilians died in U.S. military operations, or even because attacks by “the Taliban” rose yet again to new heights.

No, that ratcheting up occurred in Mumbai, India, where the planners of the murderous rampage by a crew of Kashmiri militants decided that stirring up a good old face-off between the two edgy nuclear powers of the subcontinent would be advantageous. A precision operation that managed to slaughter just about anyone in sight (including Indian Muslims) now threatens to change the nature of the Afghan War, heat up the conflict in Kashmir, and embroil the region in an even wider catastrophe, ending a period of easing tensions between India and Pakistan. Already Pakistan is threatening to transfer up to 100,000 troops from the borderlands with Afghanistan to the Indian border. …[read the full article]