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Miracles of the Middle East: Israel

The True Miracle of Israel
by Ramzy Baroud
Israelis and their supporters tend to depict Israel as a country of miracles. What else could explain the country's astonishing "birth" and subsequent survival against all sorts of "existential threats"? How else would Israel develop at such a phenomenal pace, making the "desert bloom" and continually scoring a high ranking amongst developed nations in most noteworthy aspects?

Meanwhile, Palestinians continue to be depicted as "their own worst enemies", a people who "never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity" and who stand outside the parameters of rational human behaviour. Israel is often, if not always, contrasted against a regional backdrop of "backward", "undemocratic" and essentially violent Arabs and Muslims.

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Canada's Military in Iraq

Canadian General Takes Senior Command Role in Iraq
by Jon Elmer and Anthony Fenton
Despite the government's official position abstaining from combat in Iraq, Canada has dispatched yet another top general to the command group overseeing day-to-day operations for the U.S.-led occupation and counterinsurgency war.

Brigadier-General Nicolas Matern, a Special Forces officer and former commander of Canada's elite counter-terrorism unit, will serve as deputy to Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin III, incoming commander of the 170,000-strong Multi National Corps-Iraq beginning in mid-February.
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The Unmaking of a Nation - Harper's Golden Spike

The Unmaking of a Nation - Harper's Golden Spike
by C. L. Cook
Canada has again distinguished itself in the United Nations for a singular commitment to the destruction of the Palestinian people. Recall Canada, great paragon of democracy, in the days following the 2006 Hamas electoral victory in remnant Palestine, being first to charge the world stage and declare support for Israel's announced sanctions and divestment campaign against the nascent government.
Israel, also "in protest" of vile Hamas, refused to remit Israeli collected taxes owed the legally elected administration. A red-faced Harper then declared to the world, he would not have over "one red cent" of Canadian aid monies to Hamas.

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Baquba: Life Among the Ruins

Under Curfew, This Is No Life
by Ahmed Ali and Dahr Jamail
Continuing curfew has brought normal life to a standstill in Baquba, capital of the restive Diyala province north of Baghdad.

Through nearly three decades of rule under Saddam Hussein, Iraqis witnessed only two curfews; for the census in the 1970s and 1980s. Under the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, curfews are commonplace, enforced whenever the Iraqi government and U.S. military fail to control the situation on the ground.
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Shreiber-Mulroney Affair: Bribery Perhaps, But is it Legal?

Despite Federal Accountability Act, many of the alleged questionable actions in the Mulroney-Schreiber affair are still legal
by Duff Conacher
Federal Conservatives and some political commentators have been claiming recently that everything has changed in Ottawa, and that the alleged scandalous actions of the Mulroney-Schreiber affair couldn’t happen now (or, at least, are now illegal) because of the Conservatives’ so-called "Federal Accountability Act" (FAA).  
Other politicians and commentators (such as former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, former Opposition Party Leader Preston Manning, journalist Jeffrey Simpson, university professor Janice MacKinnon, and the Public Policy Forum,) are claiming that the FAA went too far, and has slowed down the federal government with new regulations that also discourage good people from working for the government.

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Lies and War and Lies and Words and Lies

New Study Claims Mistruths Shaped Rush To War
by Danny Schechter
It took almost five years for major studies to come out to confirm what most of us knew a long time ago about Iraq.The conclusion: the lies “were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.”

So now it’s “official” with two top journalist organizations documenting that the war in Iraq was facilitated and sold with a whopping 935 misleading assertions. May we ask: Why is it that truth takes so long come out in a land which proudly claims to have the freest media in the world?

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Gaza: Great Escape or Ethnic Cleansing?

Escape from Gaza or Voluntary Transfer?
by Mike Whitney
Forget everything you've read about the “Great Escape” from Gaza. It's all rubbish. The whole farce was cooked up in an Israeli think tank as way to rid Palestine of its indigenous people. Here's an excerpt from the Israeli newspaper Arutz Sheva which explains the real motive behind the incident:

  • “MK (Israeli Knesset member) Aryeh Eldad is hailing the Arab exodus to Egypt as proof that voluntary transfer is indeed an option.”

  • “The Israeli left continues to claim that there is no such thing as voluntary transfer, and simply ignores reality,” Eldad said. (Arutz Sheva)

Voluntary transfer. Bingo.

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Brutus World

The “Brutal World”
by Paul Craig Roberts
I read the statement three times trying to figure out the typo.  Then it hit me, the West has now out-Owellled Orwell: The West must nuke other countries in order to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction!  In Westernspeak, the West nuking other countries does not qualify as the use of weapons of mass destruction.  

The astounding statement comes from a paper prepared for a Nato summit in April by five top military leaders--an American, a German, a Dutchman, a Frenchman, and a Brit. It can be found here.   

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Hillary's Nevada "Shenanigans"

Bringing Back Democracy
by Katrina vanden Heuvel
In a campaign where there has been much talk about change, bringing new people into the process, and high voter turnout (at least on the Democratic side), the recent lawsuit in Nevada attempting to bar nine at-large districts created so that shift-workers could vote was indeed a low moment.
Fortunately, a District judge made the right decision, protecting voters and rejecting a transparent effort to suppress turnout for Barack Obama.

Shouldn't Democrats be on the side of getting more voters to the polls, not turning them away? Leave that to the Republicans.

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Canadian Government Ceases Afghan Detainee Transfers

Government Ceases Afghan Detainee Transfers
The Government of Canada has informed the BC Civil Liberties Association and Amnesty International Canada that it has ordered the Canadian Forces to cease all transfers of detainees into Afghan custody due to allegations of torture, effective November 5, 2007.
The Government kept this decision a secret until now.
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Economy: Jokers in the House of Cards

House of Cards
by Jim Miles
America today is not the only empire, but it is one that has consistently formulated itself around the ideologies of corporate business, the military, big government, and religious self-righteousness, mass marketing itself and mass exploiting others with military back-up when needed to make itself the biggest and most powerful ever known. 
Superficially, the empire has used the media interface of corporate business, the well known media companies themselves such as Time-Warner, to keep the general public ill-advised and readily entertained with pulp writing, pulp broadcasting, and computer activities and internet surfing.
The government and military combine to provide “reliable information” from “reliable sources” who wish to remain “anonymous” and thus create a mystique of underhanded cleverness and consequently apparent correctness of information.
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