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"That invasion, less than eight months before Iraq invaded Kuwait, was condemned by the UN General Assembly," explains former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. "No action was taken, although the United States violated all the international laws later violated by Iraq when it invaded Kuwait, plus a number of Western Hemisphere conventions and the Panama Canal Treaties."
Only Six Fluent in Arabic at U.S. Embassy in Iraq (Reuters)This tells you pretty much all you need to know about the American debacle in Iraq. Imagine the arrogance and stupidity of conquering, occupying and trying to run a country without being able to speak its language. A nation of 26 million people â€“ and your embassy has only six people who can actually understand what is being said, written, and broadcast there. This is a folly that amounts to a monstrous crime in itself, aside from the inherent evil of launching an unprovoked war of aggression.
Among the 1,000 people who work in the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, only 33 are Arabic speakers and only six speak the language fluently, according to the Iraq Study Group report released on Wednesday.
[Note to Readers: For those of you who want a provocative and fascinating background overview of the ever-roiling crisis in the Middle East at this perilous moment, here's a Tomdispatch.com recommendation. Don't miss the just published book-length conversation between Noam Chomsky and Lebanese scholar Gilbert Achcar, Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy.]
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Right now, we have on the table a "possible exit strategy" from Iraq -- James A. Baker's Iraq Study Group report -- that, once you do the figures, doesn't get the U.S. even close to halfway out the door by sometime in 2008; and that report is already being rejected by the Republican and neocon hard right; by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, who continues to plug for some form of "victory" ("The enemy must be defeated...") on his last lap in Iraq, while still flaying the media for only reporting the "bad news"; by a President who is still on the IED-pitted road to success ("Not only do I know how important it is to prevail, I believe we will prevail..."), has called for three other reviews of Iraq policy (by the Pentagon, National Security Council, and White House) in an attempt to flood Washington with competing recommendations, and is probably on the verge of "surging" 15,000-20,000 more U.S. troops into Baghdad.
All sides in this strange struggle in Washington would add up to so much political low comedy if the consequences in Iraq and the Middle East, the oil heartlands of our increasingly energy-hungry planet, weren't so horrific. As Andrew Bacevich, historian, former military man, and author of The New American Militarism, wrote recently in the Boston Globe, Iraq's many contradictions "render laughably inadequate the proposals currently on offer to save Iraq and salvage American honor. Dispatch a few thousand additional US troops into Baghdad? Take another stab at creating a viable Iraqi army? Lean on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to make â€˜hard decisions?' One might as well spit on a bonfire."
By Ramzy Baroud
groups have recently suggested a ceasefire, in exchange for a cessation of
Israeli violence. Ehud Olmert responded with a conciliatory speech, cleverly
timed with President Bushâ€™s arrival to
standing side by side with
by Linda Milazzo
An Illinois man has been charged with two terrorism-related charges after allegedly planning to set off hand grenades in garbage cans at a mall in Rockford, about 90 miles west of Chicago, federal officials announced today.Apparently a hand grenade is now a weapon of mass destruction. Well, what do you know?
Derrick Shareef, 22, of Rockford was arrested Wednesday after meeting with an undercover federal agent at a store parking lot to trade a set of stereo speakers for four hand grenades and a handgun, according to the FBI and U.S. Attorney's offices in Chicago.
In a complaint filed today in U.S. District Court in Chicago, Shareef was charged with attempting to damage or destroy a building by fire or explosion and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.
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" I died for freedom, this I know,
For those who bade me fight have told me so." -
- Lines from a poem published in England during the early months of WW1.