Bush’s Nuclear Bunker Buster Bombs Ready To Launch Against Iran!

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Photographs of Hiroshima and Nagaski – this boy was less than 1/2 mile from the hypocenter (the surface position directly beneath the center of a nuclear explosion). Watch the video below with this photo in mind – and tell us how this is acceptable in the 21st Century. Also ask yourself – what would we do if this was Iranian television – or Chinese…or how about Russian – talking about doing this to us? NOW who has the WMD’s?

This is truly appalling –

“The latest information I have had from the followers of Bush is that he has demanded and received permission to use nuclear ‘bunker busters’ in Iran in a preemptive strike”.

“As a nuclear veteran I can affirm that this is absolute madness. The bunker buster is a cute sounding name for a nuclear horror . . . Using bunker busters in Iran, or anywhere else for that matter, will vaporize hundreds of thousands of tons of earth, water and rock and send this radioactive soup downwind to kill and sicken whole populations. Those immediately downwind will die quickly, in hours or days.” –

Stephen M. Osborne, a freelance writer living on Camano Island in the Pacific Northwest and an ‘Atomic Vet.’ (Operation Redwing, Bikini Atoll 1956)

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  1. illa morales

    Why War With Iran is Bananas #1: LOOK AT IRAN!
    Want a reason why the US should not even be considering a war with Iran? Try this:

    Afghanistan
    Population: 31,889,923
    Land: 250,001 sq miles

    Iraq
    Population: 27,499,638
    Land: 168,754 square miles

    Iran
    Population: 65,397,521
    Land: 636,296 square miles

    That’s right, Iran is geographically larger and more populous than Iraq and Afghanistan PUT TOGETHER.

    Doesn’t that say it all?

    The US has started two wars against Middle East nations and has failed miserably in bringing peace, freedom, or effective democracy to either of them. Our military is trapped in unwinnable situations in both countries, lacking enough troops, a clear mission, a clear strategy to achieve it, and popular support (both at home and in the occupied countries). These disasters have increased the threat of terrorism in the US and around the world, increased the animosity towards the US and its allies, increased the influence of religious conservatives, and destroyed the lives of millions of people through death, injury, economic ruin, and displacement.

    Do we really need to start a THIRD war in the Middle east with a country that is bigger and more populous than Iraq and Afghanistan put together? Do we really think we’ll win a war against a huge country when we’re losing in two smaller ones? Do we really think that the Bush administration has suddenly taken their competency meds and can now handle the equivalent of TWO Iraq wars and TWO Afghanistan wars simultaneously?

  2. illa morales

    above post by DJK

  3. illa morales

    Robert Fisk: The Iraqis don’t deserve us. So we betray them…
    http://news.independent.co.uk/fisk/article2886358.ece

  4. illa morales

    For decades, the US government has been spying on American Indians, attorneys, and peace activists. Just recently, the DoD decided to shut down the program and database where all the information was stored.
    http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2007/08/in-beginning-there-were-denver-spy.html

  5. illa morales

    How Will You Leave Your Mark on the World?
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18229.htm

  6. illa morales

    U.S. to screen aid groups for terror links: report
    http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSN2320877720070823

  7. illa morales

    The Pentagon will fall far short of its goal of sending 3,500 lifesaving armored vehicles to Iraq by the end of the year. Instead, officials expect to send about 1,500
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20070822/armored-vehicles-iraq/

  8. illa morales

    Wake up Britain! Can’t you see you have been used . Led around by the nose for four years and now when you realise it’s time to go. you are ridiculed.Don’t be fooled again, don’t march into the “valley of Death” on the US coatails. Get out now!
    http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1335622007

  9. illa morales

    Condemning the FoxNews Channel as a warmonger that’s agitating for a U.S. attack on Iran, filmmaker R Greenwald and ind U.S. Sen. B Sanders announced an “online viral video campaign” calling on tvnews organizations “not to follow Fox down the road to war”
    http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/08/23/3366/

  10. illa morales

    CRIMINALS serving periodic detention will be given a get-out-of-jail free card during APEC, with authorities forced to clear 500 prison beds in anticipation of arrests during violent clashes.
    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22298045-2,00.html

  11. illa morales

    The real battle is for mindshare. And it is on the television screen. That is where governments of the developed world are made or unmade. Popularity is the god that the West worships. Because popularity translates into money and power.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18209.htm

  12. illa morales

    U.S. missile shield is provocation: Austrian minister
    http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSL2352932420070823

  13. illa morales

    The debate on India US civil nuclear deal is likely to to taken up on 29 August or 30 August.
    http://www.nowpublic.com/debate-india-us-civil-nuclear-deal-india-s-parliament

  14. illa morales

    WASHINGTON — Federal authorities on Thursday charged an Army officer stationed in Baghdad with taking a $50,000 bribe to help a company win military contracts.
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2007-08-23-iraqbribe_N.htm?csp=34

  15. illa morales

    AAHHOOOO…O’Reilly…ahh delusion-the vacation without leaving your home. And O’Reilly is traveling a one way ticket. Bill Maher Hilariously Attacks Everything O’Reilly Holds Dear
    http://bravenewfilms.org/blog/10941-bill-maher-hilariously-attacks-everything-o-reilly-holds-dear?play=1

  16. illa morales

    10 Massive Demonstrations for Peace Across the U.S.
    http://www.oct27.org/

  17. illa morales

    His aides are jumping ship, his inner circle is torn apart by feuds and his orders are being ignored. Bush has 17 months left in the White House, but he is now a rudderless leader who will soon have taken more than 436 days’ holiday while in office.
    http://www.newstatesman.com/200708230011

  18. illa morales

    Troops allowed to enter Pakistan without notice
    New documents show U.S. permits pursuing terror suspects across border
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20416528/

  19. illa morales

    Report Raises Strong Doubt About Iraqi Governmenthttp://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/23/washington/23cnd-policy.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5088&en=b8459df49b553040&ex=1345521600&adxnnl=0&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1187928132-AWoA8CW3rzfzqNoEPBruAA

  20. illa morales

    U.S. atomic bomb test unreported

    By David Rothauser

    It’s around 11:00 AM on August 30, 2006. I’m in Hiroshima, Japan. Inside the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, I see a gaggle of media people with TV cameras filming and there is someone talking beneath an old clock on the wall. People are milling about, seeming excited. I leave the museum and head in the direction of the International Conference Center. Two college-age women smile and move towards me. They are wearing press passes from NHK TV.

    “Where are you from?” one of them inquires.

    “America,” I reply.

    “Do you know what happened?” she asks.

    “No, what happened?” She appears so pleasant that I don’t think anything serious happened.

    “Your country tested a nuclear bomb this morning.”

    “What?” I’m taken aback. “When? Where? Is that why all the TV cameras are here?”

    “Yes, the museum is turning the peace clock back to Ground Zero time,” she explains. Ground Zero time was 8:15 AM, August 6, 1945 when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. A second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki three days later.

    Soon we are joined by two male reporters. They confirm what she told me and tell me that a demonstration will soon take place. “The test happened early this morning in Nevada,” they tell me.

    I notice a group of people assembling under the suspended West Building of the Peace Museum. They are mainly elderly men and women.“They are hibakusha,” one of the reporters tells me. Hibakusha is the Japanese word for atom bomb survivors.

    The hibakusha cover the wet pavement with jackets and raincoats that they sit on.

    “Do you think they’ll mind if I join them?” I inquire of the reporters.

    “It’s okay. Go, go,” they encourage me.

    I find a space near the back of the group. The front row of hibakusha display a large white banner with red characters calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Some of the hibakusha are scarred and deformed, but most look healthy. All seem surprisingly relaxed. They chat incessantly with each other as though they are at a college reunion. A younger woman offers me a piece of newspaper to sit on. She is curious about me. I am the only non-Asian at the demonstration. She tells me in broken English that her parents were lost in the bombing of Hiroshima.

    “Why are you in Hiroshima?” she asks.

    I explain that I came to make a documentary film about hibakusha. A middle-aged man addresses the crowd. One-by-one hibakusha go to the microphone to express their opinions. The Korean woman translates for me. “They are telling of their experiences and how important it is to continue the struggle to abolish nuclear weapons. You go speak,” she urges me.

    “It’s not my place,” I say.

    “Yes, you speak—go!” I decline again.

    The Korean woman goes to the man who is moderating the demonstration. She gestures towards me. The man glances at me, then nods to the woman. She returns to sit next to me.

    “You will speak,” she declaims.

    Have I a choice? Two more hibakusha go to the microphone. While they are talking the moderator comes over to introduce himself to me.

    “It’s good,” the Korean woman says. “You go speak.”

    I follow the moderator. He introduces me. My stomach is flip-flopping, my heart is racing. I take the microphone. “Two years ago,” I begin, “Nakanishi Eiji, the youngest survivor of Hiroshima came to America. He said that it was always his dream to come to America to apologize for Japan starting World War II. I am in Japan to make a film about hibakusha. I would like to say, personally, that I apologize for America dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

    The hibakusha give me a warm round of applause. Many thank me. I go to sit down. Four hibakusha shake my hand and pat me on the shoulder. I recognized them as the group that I had interviewed in Boston this past April. They are happy to see me. One of them, Miyoji Kawasaki, a retired English teacher, takes me to the museum bookstore and buys a large format book, The Spirit of Hiroshima, which he happily presents to me. Gift giving is a tradition and an art in Japan.

    Most of the hibakusha I interviewed are very active in the peace movement. They are committed to the abolition of nuclear weapons and to Article 9 of their constitution, which was re-written mainly by U.S. occupation forces with some Japanese input after World War II. The heart of the constitution, Article 9, forbids Japan to ever make war again, but aspires instead to an international peace based on justice and order. Since the constitution was ratified in 1946, Japan is the only major industrial nation to have become an economic superpower without going to war. They have lived in peace for 60 years, a phenomenon by current political standards and a beacon of hope for the future.

    So committed are the hibakusha to this philosophy that they travel worldwide to tell their personal stories to schools, colleges, libraries, anti-nuclear groups, churches, political parties, and at the UN. They constantly lobby for improved medical care, not only for themselves, but for hibakusha from Korea, the Philippines, China, and Australia. Until recently the Japanese government refused to give medical treatment to hibakusha who were not living in Japan. Now hibakusha from those countries may receive medical care without having to return to Japan.

    Shortly after the Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945, teams of medical experts descended on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to study the effects of nuclear warfare on the surviving population. The trauma experienced by the victims was horrific. Whole families and neighborhoods had been obliterated in an instant. The long-term effects of radiation, although well known by American scientists, did not become common knowledge to Japanese citizens until months after the bombings. Hibakusha suddenly became mysteriously ill with keloids, leukemia, kidney failure, and other radiation-caused illnesses. Fetuses in-utero were often stillborn while survivors near the hypocenter in early stages of pregnancy gave birth to children with abnormally small heads. This condition, called microcephaly, is often accompanied by stunted growth and mental retardation. They cannot survive daily life without assistance. Another part of the trauma is psychological. This is common to conventional types of bomb victims, but both psychological and physiological trauma are magnified in victims of atomic bombs because of the fear of long-term radiation effects on themselves, their children, and generations to come.

    Tadahiko Murata, deputy director of Hiroshima Council of A-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, speaks of the anguish he felt when his wife’s parents refused to allow her to marry a hibakusha. “I also lived with the fear that my children would be stillborn or not be healthy if they survived. When they were born healthy I felt so happy. Still, you live every day wondering if your children will grow to live normal lives.”

    Many victims of the atom bomb were discriminated against by a large percentage of citizens. The victims were perceived as contaminated and a threat to the survival of the Japanese people. Those most traumatized psychologically are the gaikokujin or foreign victims of nuclear warfare. Pak Su-nam is a successful Korean filmmaker living in Tokyo. She speaks sadly about the plight of Koreans who had been forced laborers in Japan before the war. “They suffered a double tragedy. First from the A-bomb, then because they lost their identity. No one wants them, not the Japanese or the Koreans. They don’t know where they belong.”

    Kang Soe-ryoeng, a 23-year-old Korean employed by the Japanese army in Hiroshima in 1945, was heavily burned. “I had eleven brothers and sisters. Just two of them survived. I used to offer flowers and incense at the place where my brothers and sisters had died. But last year the city built a new building there and I can’t do that anymore. The peace conference? All that nonsense has nothing to do with us. No matter how much we protest, America will do whatever they feel like anyway.”

    Yet nothing stops the hibakusha. Ranging in age from 64 to their early 90s, they know their mission. They may be dying within from dreaded radiation diseases, but their spirit drives them on. On any given day you may find hibakusha teaching, speaking, demonstrating, urging young people to take up the cause, to press for the mutual survival of all living beings.

    The August 30, 2006 U.S. nuclear test report is broadcast on the Hiroshima nightly news. And probably in Nagasaki too. Later I learn that it never makes the news in Tokyo or the U.S. This raises serious questions for all concerned with human survival. Why were people living in Hiroshima and Nagasaki the only ones informed about the test? And by what moral perspective does the U.S. government defend its right to continue producing nuclear weapons while at the same time criticizing “rogue” nations for developing their own nuclear programs? When will governments worldwide come to realize that the proliferation of nuclear weapons can eventually only reach one conclusion—mass suicide?

    Which government has the courage and the resources to abolish nuclear weapons, thereby setting an example in leadership for other nations to follow in a true quest for world peace?

  21. illa morales

    1. “White House to Offer Iraq Plan of Gradual Cuts,” New York Times, August 18, 2007
    http://www.moveon.org/r?r=2887&id=11068-8540825-O1EUuw&t=4

    2. “The Terrorism Index: The Failing Surge,” Foreign Policy Magazine, August 20, 2007
    http://www.moveon.org/r?r=2892&id=11068-8540825-O1EUuw&t=5

    3. “Top general may propose pullbacks,” Los Angeles Times, August 15, 2007
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-pullback15aug15,0,1634199,full.story?coll=la-home-world

    4. . “Petraeus: Iraq ‘Challenges’ to Last for Years,” Washington Post, June 18, 2007
    http://www.moveon.org/r?r=2888&id=11068-8540825-O1EUuw&t=6

    5. “‘War Czar’ Concerned over Stress of War on Troops,” NPR, August 10, 2007
    http://www.moveon.org/r?r=2882&id=11068-8540825-O1EUuw&t=7

  22. illa morales

    Click here to sign up:

    http://pol.moveon.org/event/events/event.html?event_id=40000&id=11068-8540825-O1EUuw&t=2

    The Take A Stand Town Halls will have great speakers—ranging from Iraq vets and their families to members of Congress. Organizers will be showing a short video of the victories in your community from this past summer and informing you of new ways to get involved for the big battle in the fall.

    In September, President Bush and his White House spin-machine will issue its long-awaited report on whether the “surge” is working.1 Many in Congress have been waiting for this report before making up their minds on what to do about Iraq.

    We the people are ahead of the curve when it comes to what needs to be done in Iraq—it’s the politicians who’re behind. We don’t need a White House propaganda report to know that the ‘surge’ isn’t working. Even 64 percent of conservative foreign policy experts are “saying the surge is having a negative impact or no impact at all.”2

    We know President Bush is going to ask for more time to wage his war3 and that more time could mean 10 more years in Iraq4 and the possibility of a draft.5

    Time is up! Congress needs to void President Bush’s blank check on Iraq and start bringing our troops home now.

    This Tuesday, make sure your representatives know they must end the war in September or start looking for another job in 2008.

    http://pol.moveon.org/event/events/event.html?event_id=40000&id=11068-8540825-O1EUuw&t=3

  23. illa morales

    NY Times: Republicans Will Use “Elaborate Dirty Trick” to Steal White House
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rick-jacobs/ny-times-republ_b_61599.html

  24. illa morales

    Jonas Phillips is the third resident of Asheville, North Carolina to be arrested in recent weeks for displaying a pro-impeachment sign.
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/grigg/grigg-w31.html

  25. illa morales

    ACLU Upset With Possible Surveillance Camera Network in Charleston
    http://wowktv.com/story.cfm?func=viewstory&storyid=28030

  26. illa morales

    Three British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan by so-called friendly fire from American fighter planes, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6962071.stm

  27. illa morales

    A powerhouse Republican lobbying firm with close ties to the White House has begun a public campaign to undermine the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, CNN has confirmed.
    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2007/08/23/major-republican-firm-lobbying-to-undermine-maliki/

  28. illa morales

    Justin Frank, Author of “Bush on the Couch:” On The Possibility Of A Bush Attack On Iran
    He named this piece, Dangers Of A Cornered Bush and this part, indeed, frightening:

    “We are left with a president who cannot actually govern, because he is incapable of reasoned thought in coping with events outside his control, like those in the Middle East.”
    “This makes it a monumental challenge – as urgent as it is difficult – not only to get him to stop the carnage in the Middle East, but also to prevent him from undertaking a new, perhaps even more disastrous adventure – like going to war with Iran, in order to embellish the image he so proudly created for himself after 9/11 as the commander in chief of ‘the first war of the 21st century.'”
    chrischecter

  29. illa morales

    Paper refuses to play ball with FBI’s phony terror alerts
    http://mparent7777-2.blogspot.com/2007/08/paper-refuses-to-play-ball-with-fbis.html

  30. illa morales

    Proposal Expands Destructive Practice of Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining
    http://newsblaze.com/story/20070824144621nnnn.nb/newsblaze/TOPSTORY/Top-Stories.html

  31. illa morales

    Noble lies and perpetual war: Leo Strauss, the neocons, and Iraq. Are the ideas of the conservative political philosopher Leo Strauss a shaping influence on the Bush administration’s world outlook?
    http://netcool.wordpress.com/2007/07/27/noble-lies-and-perpetual-war-leo-strauss-the-neocons-and-iraq-2/

  32. illa morales

    Anti-war groups ridiculed a $15 million, Republican-led ad campaign aimed at rallying support for the war in Iraq Wednesday as a “desperate move” — and vowed to counter the move with a PR surge of their own.
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0807/5486.html

  33. illa morales

    A new ‘super-weapon’ being supplied to British soldiers in Afghanistan employs technology based on the “thermobaric” principle which uses heat and pressure to kill people targeted across a wide air by sucking the air out of lungs and rupturing internal or
    http://rawstory.com/news/2007/British_Army_deploys_new_weapon_based_0823.html

  34. illa morales

    Reporters Without Borders condemns the “self-discipline” pact signed by at least 20 blog service providers including Yahoo.cn! and MSN.cn. . . [This pact] can be used to force service providers to censor content and identify bloggers.
    http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=23372

  35. illa morales

    Region must be wary of Venezuela: U.S. official
    http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSN2327002620070823

  36. illa morales

    Just Foreign Policy News
    August 24, 2007

    Tell the Truth About the Iraqi Death Toll
    Send a letter to the editor.
    http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq/writealetter.html

    Another Iraq-Vietnam Link: Many Killed By U.S. War
    Standard estimates of the death toll in Vietnam suggest that the Just Foreign Policy estimate of deaths in Iraq is plausible.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/another-iraqvietnam-link_b_61713.html

    Just Foreign Policy Estimates Iraqi Deaths Due to U.S. Invasion and Occupation
    Most Recent Estimate: 1,019,627. Post our counter on your web site or blog.
    http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq/iraqdeaths.html

    Just Foreign Policy: “Withdrawal Support Calculator”
    Estimate support for withdrawal from Iraq in your Congressional District. http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/issues/supportwithdrawal.html

    Support the Work of Just Foreign Policy
    http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate.html

    Summary:
    U.S./Top News
    1) Filmmaker Robert Greenwald and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders announced an “online viral video campaign” Wednesday calling on television news organizations “not to follow Fox down the road to war again,” AP reports.

    2) U.S.-based CARE International has “turned the food aid industry on its head” by declaring that they will turn down $46 million in food subsidies from the U.S. government, Inter Press Service reports. CARE says the way the U.S. government distributes food hurts small poor farmers in the very communities and countries the program is supposed to help.

    3) US charges against Iran’s role in Iraq are mounting, the Christian Science Monitor reports. But analysts say that a history of unsubstantiated US claims against Iran should serve as a cautionary tale. The article notes that a previous US government effort to blame Iran for a chemical attack in northern Iraq in 1988 was so successful that until recently, references to the “Iraqi” gassing yielded letters of complaint from readers, pointing out the Iranian role, and offering US government documents as proof.

    4) Threatening Iran with military strikes and arms sales to potential adversaries is more likely to spur Tehran to add to its own arsenal while being less open to talks on its nuclear program, writes William Hartung in The Nation. Representative Weiner has pulled together a group of 114 House members opposed to the deal. Now Representative Lantos and Senator Biden need to move from skepticism to opposition. Clinton and Obama need to join their rival Edwards in roundly denouncing the deal.

    5) Senator Warner said President Bush should start bringing home some troops by Christmas to show Iraq the U.S. commitment in Iraq is not open-ended, AP reports. Warner said the troop withdrawals are needed because Iraqi leaders have failed to make substantial political progress.

    6) A new assessment of Iraq by U.S. intelligence agencies provides little evidence that the American troop “surge” has accomplished its goals and predicts that the U.S.-backed government of Prime Minister Maliki will become “more precarious” in the months ahead, McClatchy News reports.

    Iran
    7) A draft US intelligence report on Iran suggests that a major near-term change in that country’s government appears unlikely despite growing public anger over the country’s economic woes, AP reports.

    8) Iranian soldiers crossed into Iraq Thursday and attacked several small villages in the northeastern Kurdish region, McClatchy News reports. A spokesman for the Kurdish militia said Iranian troops have been lobbing artillery at Iraq from across the border since Aug. 16. He said a statement issued by a branch of the Kurdistan Workers Party claimed credit for the recent assassination of an Iranian intelligence official, and that the Iranian raid was in retaliation.

    Iraq
    9) When Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack wrote approvingly of the “surge,” mainstream media news outlets reported that two long-time critics of the Iraq war were conceding military progress, while ignoring the fact that both O’Hanlon and Pollack had initially been very vocal supporters of the war effort, Inter Press Service reports.

    10) The number of Iraqis fleeing their homes has soared since the American troop increase began in February, the New York Times reports. Statistics collected by the Iraqi Red Crescent Organization indicate that the total number of internally displaced Iraqis has more than doubled, to 1.1 million from 499,000, since the buildup started in February.

    11) The number of detainees held by the American-led military coalition in Iraq has swelled by 50% under the troop increase ordered by President Bush, the New York Times reports. Nearly 85% of the detainees in custody are Sunni Arabs.

    Pakistan
    12) The Pakistani Supreme Court decision that Nawaz Sharif, the deposed Prime Minister, can return from exile is tremendous news for the resurgent democratic movement in Pakistan, writes Manan Ahmed for Informed Comment Global Affairs.

    Israel/Palestine
    13) Members of the Hamas Executive Force police militia broke up a protest of the rival Fatah faction in Gaza, the New York Times reports. AFP said four journalists had been detained, but that all were released shortly afterward, unharmed. Reuters reported that one of its photographers was “roughed up and threatened,” and that another journalist’s television camera was smashed. A spokesman for the Hamas-run Interior Ministry in Gaza said: “Anyone proven to have been involved in assaults against journalists will be punished.”

    Burma
    14) Democracy activists took to the streets in Burma for the third time this week, forming a human chain to try to prevent officers from dragging them into waiting trucks and buses, AP reports.

    Colombia/Venezuela
    15) People across Colombia have come to see Gustavo Moncayo, who walked across the country to protest the government’s failure to secure his son’s release from the FARC, as a folk hero, the Washington Post reports. On Monday he will meet with Venezuelan officials to discuss ways to resolve the crisis.

    Contents:
    U.S./Top News
    1) Senator and Filmmaker Take On Fox News
    Associated Press, Thursday, August 23, 2007
    http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/08/23/3366/

    Condemning the Fox News Channel as a warmonger that’s agitating for a U.S. attack on Iran, documentary filmmaker Robert Greenwald and independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders announced an “online viral video campaign” Wednesday calling on television news organizations “not to follow Fox down the road to war again.”

    Greenwald, the director behind “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism” and “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price,” has compiled a new three-minute video that mashes clips from Fox’s coverage of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and its aftermath with recent coverage of possible U.S. military action against Iran.

    The video and an accompanying “open letter” to ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and CNN-viewable at http://www.FoxAttacks.com -urge news organizations to ask tough questions about administration policy on Iran and say citizens should pressure them to do so.

    2) Mutiny Shakes US Food Aid Industry
    Ellen Massey, Inter Press Service, Friday, August 24, 2007
    http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/08/24/3395/

    One of the largest international aid organizations in the world turned the food aid industry on its head recently by declaring that they will turn down 46 million dollars in food subsidies from the U.S. government.The United States budgets 2 billion dollars a year in food aid, which buys U.S. crops to feed populations facing starvation amidst crisis or those that endure chronic hunger.

    But the U.S.-based CARE International has forfeited its substantial slice of the food aid pie that is the U.S. “Food for Peace” program, claiming that the way the U.S. government distributes food hurts small poor farmers in the very communities and countries the program is supposed to help. CARE has been one of the largest suppliers of food aid around the world for the past 50 years so its shift in policy could have a dramatic effect on the food aid industry.

    The reasoning behind CARE’s decision is part of a years-long debate that has influenced everything from U.S. trade and domestic legislation to the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization talks.

    The objection to the current system is that the donation and sale of U.S.-subsidized crops in developing countries where people regularly go hungry actually weakens local farming. “We are not against emergency food aid for things like drought and famine,” CARE spokeswoman Alina Labrada said last week, but local farmers are “being hurt instead of helped by this mechanism”.

    Though the policy to phase out U.S. government subsidies has been in place for more than a year, CARE’s rejection of the status quo has been catapulted into the spotlight as the U.S. Congress debates the Farm Bill, a massive 25-billion-dollar piece of legislation that establishes the funding structures for agricultural research, rural development, government subsidies and food aid policy.

    3) An intensifying US campaign against Iran
    Amid US charges of Iran’s hand in Iraq’s instability, some counsel caution.
    Scott Peterson, Christian Science Monitor, August 24, 2007
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0824/p01s01-wome.html

    Somalia, 1993: During the darkest days of the American military intervention, when US troops were taking casualties from drug-addled gunmen wearing flip-flops, US officials pointed to a familiar nemesis.

    It was Iran, warned Madeleine Albright, then-US envoy to the United Nations, that had forged a “tactical alliance” with a Somali warlord and “terrorists” in Sudan. Intelligence sources for the first time spoke of smuggled Iranian weapons. In Mogadishu, journalists were told that Iranian agents were training Somalis to make car bombs. But no proof was ever presented.

    US charges against Iran’s role in Iraq are mounting. But analysts say that a history of unsubstantiated US claims against Iran should serve as a cautionary tale. The lesson to be drawn is not that Iran is guiltless in Iraq, they say, but one of restraint as a familiar drumbeat sounds.

    The latest step in the Bush administration’s intensifying campaign to depict Iran as a disruptive force in Iraq is a decision to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard force a “terrorist” group. That label, and a push for more UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, and continued charges of training, funding, and supplying anti-US militants in Iraq, experts say, could harm Iraq security talks between US and Iranian diplomats in Baghdad.
    ?
    Still, other charges have not stuck and some have been retracted. US intelligence sources claimed in Baghdad in February, for example, that the sophisticated manufacture of EFP parts led them to believe that they could only have been made in Iran and that Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei would almost certainly have been aware of it.

    Shortly afterwards the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Peter Pace, said that he could not confirm that Iran’s government “clearly knows or is complicit.” US forces have also raided numerous EFP workshops inside Iraq and found such explosives ; they are often used in the oil industry.

    Likewise, initial speculation by US officials pointed to “Iranian-trained operatives” in a January attack in Karbala, in which militants dressed as US soldiers and speaking English drove into a US base, kidnapped US troops, and killed five. Months later, the top US general in Iraq denied finding any tie to Iran.

    Still, headlines linking Iran to the Karbala killings emerged again in early July, after a US general said that two captured operatives, a Lebanese Hizbullah member, and an Iraqi group leader, said that Iran’s Qods Force “knew of and supported planning” for the attack. But in late July, Time magazine reported – based on an internal US Army investigation and interviews with US and Iraqi witnesses – that details “suggest” an inside job by the Iraqi police.
    ?
    Such episodes echo past hostile US-Iran allegations, as in Somalia, since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Few examples are as clear-cut as that of Halabja, the Kurdish town in northern Iraq gassed by Saddam Hussein’s troops in 1988 in a strike that left up to 5,000 civilians dead.

    Iraq increasingly received the backing of the US and the West in its 1980s war against Iran. So US officials, to cast doubt that Iraq was solely responsible for such a war crime, began suggesting that Iran was also to blame.

    “There is a rush to judgment [against Iran today], and this should be questioned, given the past and the outright dissembling that occurred [in 1988] when it was convenient to accuse the Iranians because the American ally Iraq was doing something totally embarrassing to the Reagan administration,” says Joost Hiltermann, author of the recently published “A Poisonous Affair: America, Iraq, and the Gassing of Halabja.”

    “These people have learned the lesson that this kind of lying works and will do it again,” says Hiltermann, the Istanbul-based Middle East director for the International Crisis Group.

    The charge against Iran took root so effectively in the media – this newspaper also published notable, unattributed examples of “good intelligence” that cited Iran’s role – that until recently, references to the “Iraqi” gassing of Halabja yielded letters of complaint from readers, pointing out the Iranian role, and offering US government documents as proof.

    The Halabja case suggests “an exceptional attempt at naked deception,” says Hiltermann in his study, noting that 18 tons of Iraqi secret police and intelligence documents seized in northern Iraq in 1991 make frequent reference to Iraqi use of chemical weapons, but none about any chemical use by Iran.

    4) Exporting Instability
    William D. Hartung, The Nation, September 10, 2007
    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070910/hartung

    Under the guise of promoting a “security dialogue” in the Persian Gulf, the Bush Administration has proposed $63 billion in arms transfers to the Middle East over the next ten years. As is so often the case, team Bush seems to prefer to let the weapons do the talking, even when it claims to be engaging in diplomacy. The foundation of the deal is a pledge to sell $20 billion worth of high-tech arms to Saudi Arabia and the other oil-producing states in the Gulf. Items in the package reportedly include upgrades to Riyadh’s US-supplied fighter planes, satellite-guided bombs and combat ships. To ease any concerns about the Gulf buildup, the plan calls for increasing military aid to Israel and Egypt to $3 billion and $1.3 billion per year, respectively. That’s $43 billion in US taxpayer support over the next decade.

    Why pour more weapons into the region now? The principal rationale appears to be to send a message to Iran that it must bend to US pressure to end its nuclear program, stop the flow of Iranian weapons to Iraqi insurgents and cease its support for Hamas and Hezbollah. Otherwise, the argument goes, not only will Tehran face the prospect of US military action but it will also be surrounded by neighbors armed with top-of-the-line US weaponry. The arms package will be seen as even more provocative by Iran in light of the latest move in the Bush Administration’s campaign to turn up the pressure on the regime: the recent decision to label its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization.

    Threatening Iran with military strikes and arms sales to potential adversaries is more likely to spur Tehran to add to its own arsenal while being less open to talks on its nuclear program. If the Bush Administration is looking for a new designated enemy to stand in for the late Saddam Hussein, this approach will work just fine. But if it wants to solve the security problems of the region, it would be hard to come up with a more counterproductive policy.

    Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have tried to paper over the real intent of the deal by arguing that it will promote “stability” by bolstering moderate regimes. This is a strange assertion, especially as regards Saudi Arabia. Not only are funds from Saudi sources supporting insurgents in Iraq, but they are financing Islamic extremism around the world. The Saudis also operate one of the most repressive regimes on the planet, in direct contradiction of the Administration’s continuing claims to be promoting democracy. The State Department’s latest human rights report on Saudi Arabia contains this upbeat passage: “Religious police harassed, abused and detained citizens and foreigners of both sexes.” The most recent Human Rights Watch Saudi report points out that “the government undertook no major human rights reforms in 2006, and there were signs of backsliding in issues of human rights defenders, freedom of association, and freedom of expression.” Sending more weapons will not reverse these trends, which does not bode well for long-term stability in the Saudi kingdom.
    ?
    Thankfully, there has been early opposition in Congress. Representative Anthony Weiner has pulled together a group of 114 House members opposed to the deal. Now the foreign affairs committee chairs in the House and Senate, Representative Tom Lantos and Senator Joe Biden, need to move from skepticism to opposition. They should hold hearings as soon as Congress comes back in September. And Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama need to join their rival John Edwards in roundly denouncing the deal. If there is a significant public debate about its likely impacts, it won’t withstand even minimal scrutiny.

    5) Warner: Bush Should Bring Troops Home
    Associated Press, August 24, 2007
    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Iraq-Congress.html

    President Bush should start bringing home some troops by Christmas to show the Baghdad government that the U.S. commitment in Iraq is not open-ended, a prominent Republican senator said Thursday. The move puts John Warner, a former Navy secretary and one-time chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, at odds with the president, who says conditions on the ground should dictate deployments.

    Warner, R-Va., said the troop withdrawals are needed because Iraqi leaders have failed to make substantial political progress, despite an influx of U.S. troops initiated by Bush this year. The departure of even a small number of U.S. service members – perhaps 5,000 of the 160,000 troops in Iraq – would send a powerful message throughout the region that time was running out, Warner said.

    “We simply cannot as a nation stand and continue to put our troops at continuous risk of loss of life and limb without beginning to take some decisive action,” he told reporters after a White House meeting with Bush’s top aides.

    Warner’s new position is a sharp challenge to a wartime president that will undoubtedly color the upcoming Iraq debate on Capitol Hill. Next month, Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker are expected to brief members on the war’s progress.

    6) A new intelligence report paints a bleak picture of Iraq
    Warren P. Strobel & Leila Fadel, McClatchy News, August 24, 2007
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/19175.html

    A new assessment of Iraq by U.S. intelligence agencies provides little evidence that the American troop “surge” has accomplished its goals and predicts that the U.S.-backed government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will become “more precarious” in the months ahead.

    A declassified summary of the report released Thursday said that violence remains high, warns that U.S. alliances with former Sunni Muslim insurgents could undercut the central government and says that political compromises are “unlikely to emerge” in the next 12 months.

    Perhaps most strikingly, U.S. intelligence analysts concluded that factions and political players in and outside Iraq already are maneuvering in expectation of a drawdown of U.S. troops – moves that could later heighten sectarian bloodshed.

    Iran
    7) US intelligence preparing grim assessment on Iran’s political situation, officials say
    Associated Press, Thursday, August 23, 2007
    http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/08/24/america/NA-GEN-US-Iran.php

    A draft intelligence report on Iran suggests that a major near-term change in that country’s government appears unlikely despite growing public anger over the country’s economic woes, U.S. officials say.
    ?
    The latest in a series of reports from the nation’s 16 intelligence agencies, the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran is almost completed and could be delivered to President George W. Bush and other policymakers within weeks, said the officials. One said it is expected to be completed as early as next week.

    8) Iranians attack Kurdish rebels in Iraq
    Chris Collins & Yaseen Taha, McClatchy News, August 24, 2007
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/iraq/story/19172.html

    Iranian soldiers crossed into Iraq on Thursday and attacked several small villages in the northeastern Kurdish region, local officials said. U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Garver said he couldn’t confirm the attacks, but five Kurdish officials said that troops had infiltrated Iraqi territory and fired on villages.

    The Iranian military regularly exchanges artillery and rocket fire with Kurdish rebels who’ve taken refuge across the border, but Iraqi Kurdish officials worried that Iran’s willingness to cross the border raises the possibility of a broader confrontation that would draw the Iraqi government and U.S. forces into an unwanted showdown.

    One Kurdish legislator said that if reports of the attacks were true, then Iraq must “stand firmly” against future Iranian encroachments.
    ?
    Gen. Jabbar Yawr, a spokesman for the Kurdish militia, said Iranian troops have been lobbing artillery at Iraq from across the border since Aug. 16, though Thursday was the first time that Iranian troops crossed the border.

    He said that a statement issued by the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan, a branch of the Kurdistan Workers Party, which is also known as the PKK, claimed credit for the recent assassination of an Iranian intelligence official. Yawr said the Iranian raid was in retaliation. The United States has declared the PKK to be an international terrorist group.

    Iraq
    9) How Iraq War Backers Morphed Into “Critics”
    Khody Akhavi, Inter Press Service, Friday, August 24, 2007
    http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/08/24/3394/
    ?
    Amidst the gruesome attacks that continue to plague Iraqis – the casualty toll of last week’s bombing in a poor rural area near the Syrian border has soared to more than 500, making it the bloodiest coordinated attack since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 – and the crumbling political alliances and Sunni defections within Nouri al-Maliki’s floundering government, the White House is hoping to bookend the latest chapter in the Iraq war debacle with some good news.

    As usual, the Bush administration has been getting by with a little help – perhaps unwittingly – from its friends in the U.S. mainstream media.

    The most recent “information surge” to pulsate through U.S. broadcast news outlets originated from the pens of Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack, two self-described critics of the administration’s “miserable handling of Iraq”, who, in a Jul. 30 New York Times Op-Ed entitled “A War We Just Might Win”, wrote that “We [the U.S. forces] are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms.”

    O’Hanlon and Pollack, who also work as fellows at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Centre for Middle East Policy, a Washington-based think-tank, were careful not to acknowledge the possibility of “victory in Iraq” – an oft-used phrase that, along with “stay the course,” has been recently omitted from President Bush’s rhetoric. But they wrote that they were heartened by the morale of U.S. troops, surprised at the gains made by the “surge”, and confident in its potential to produce a “sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.”

    “There is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008,” they concluded. In doing so, O’Hanlon and Pollack jump-started an information surge that would end up providing political cover for the administration’s war policy.

    Mainstream media news outlets – perhaps more out of complacence than collusion – jumped on the bandwagon, reporting that two long-time critics of the Iraq war were conceding military progress, while ignoring the fact that both O’Hanlon and Pollack had initially been very vocal supporters of the war effort.

    During a Jul. 30 interview on CNN Newsroom, anchor Heidi Collins painted Pollack as an opponent of the war who, based on his eight-day visit to Iraq, had ostensibly changed his mind and was becoming more supportive.

    “You are a self-proclaimed critic of the way the Bush administration has handled this war, you wrote a book about the situation in Iraq, you shared your thoughts all over TV and in some newspapers, but yet it seems like the tune is changing a bit,” she said.

    Collins failed to mentioned the content of Pollack’s 2002 book – “The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq” – whose title speaks for itself, or that he heavily promoted the invasion of Iraq on the Oprah Winfrey show in 2002.

    10) More Iraqis Said to Flee Since Troop Increase
    James Glanz & Stephen Farrell, New York Times, August 24, 2007
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/24/world/middleeast/24displaced.html

    The number of Iraqis fleeing their homes has soared since the American troop increase began in February, according to data from two humanitarian groups, accelerating the partition of the country into sectarian enclaves.

    Despite some evidence that the troop buildup has improved security in certain areas, sectarian violence continues and American-led operations have brought new fighting, driving fearful Iraqis from their homes at much higher rates than before the tens of thousands of additional troops arrived, the studies show.

    The data track what are known as internally displaced Iraqis: those who have been driven from their neighborhoods and seek refuge elsewhere in the country rather than fleeing across the border. The effect of this vast migration is to drain religiously mixed areas in the center of Iraq, sending Shiite refugees toward the overwhelmingly Shiite areas to the south and Sunnis toward majority Sunni regions to the west and north.

    Though most displaced Iraqis say they would like to return, there is little prospect of their doing so. One Sunni Arab who had been driven out of the Baghdad neighborhood of southern Dora by Shiite snipers said she doubted that her family would ever return, buildup or no buildup. “There is no way we would go back,” said the woman, 26, who gave her name only as Aswaidi. “It is a city of ghosts. The only people left there are terrorists.”

    Statistics collected by one of the two humanitarian groups, the Iraqi Red Crescent Organization, indicate that the total number of internally displaced Iraqis has more than doubled, to 1.1 million from 499,000, since the buildup started in February.

    Those figures are broadly consistent with data compiled independently by an office in the United Nations that specializes in tracking wide-scale dislocations. That office, the International Organization for Migration, found that in recent months the rate of displacement in Baghdad, where the buildup is focused, had increased by as much as a factor of 20, although part of that rise could have stemmed from improved monitoring of displaced Iraqis by the government in Baghdad, the capital.

    11) Number of Iraqis Held by U.S. Is Swelling
    Thom Shanker, New York Times, August 24, 2007
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/24/world/middleeast/24cnd-detain.html

    The number of detainees held by the American-led military coalition in Iraq has swelled by 50 percent under the troop increase ordered by President Bush, with the inmate population growing from 16,000 in February to 24,500 today, according to American military officers in Iraq.

    Nearly 85 percent of the detainees in custody are Sunni Arabs, the minority faction in Iraq that ruled the country under the government of Saddam Hussein, with the other detainees being Shiite Muslims, the officers say.

    Of the Sunni detainees, about 1,800 claim allegiance to a group that calls itself Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, military officers said. Another 6,000 identify themselves as takfiris, meaning Muslims who believe some other Muslims are not true believers. Such extremists view Shiite Muslims as heretics.

    Those statistics would seem to indicate that the main inspiration of the hard-core Sunni insurgency is no longer a desire to restore the old order – a movement that drew from former Baath party members and security officials who served under Hussein – and has become religious and ideological.

    But military officers say a large number Iraqi detainees say money is a significant reason they planted roadside bombs or shot at coalition and Iraqi forces. “Interestingly, we’ve found that the vast majority are not inspired by jihad or hate for the coalition or Iraqi government – the vast majority are inspired by money,” said Capt. John Fleming of the Navy, who is spokesman for coalition detainee operations in Iraq.

    “The primary motivator is economic – they’re angry men because they don’t have jobs,” he said. “The detainee population is overwhelmingly illiterate and unemployed. Extremists have been very successful at spreading their ideology to economically strapped Iraqis with little to no formal education.”

    According to statistics supplied by the headquarters of Task Force 134, the American military unit in command of detention operations in Iraq, there are about 280 detainees from countries other than Iraq. Of those, 55 are identified as Egyptian, 53 as Syrian, 37 as Saudi, 28 as Jordanian and 24 as Sudanese.
    ?
    Few reliable numbers exist for those detained by the Iraqi government, according to John Sifton, a researcher with Human Rights Watch, an advocacy organization. The American military in Iraq will not provide numbers for detainees held by the government of Iraq.

    “The allegations of abuse are far worse for Iraqi facilities than for those detainees in U.S. custody,” Sifton said. “It is difficult to know the Iraqi detainee population. There are both official and unofficial Iraqi detention systems.”

    Overall, he said, human rights organizations “have concerns about a 50 percent increase in detainees because it is 50 percent more people at risk of having been arbitrarily detained or, worse, of being handed over to Iraqi officers who might subject them to torture.”

    Pakistan
    12) Winds of Change
    Manan Ahmed, Informed Comment Global Affairs, Thursday, August 23, 2007
    http://icga.blogspot.com/2007/08/winds-of-change.html
    ?
    Today, the Supreme Court has ruled that Nawaz Sharif, the deposed Prime Minister, can return from exile to Pakistan.

    Nawaz Sharif, you may recall, was the Prime Minister whose administration fell to Pervez Musharraf’s military coup in 1999. Since then, he has been living in Saudi Arabia and London – forced, he says, to agree to a 10 year long exile by Musharraf’s regime. A similar exile was arranged with Benazir Bhutto. The reason these leaders agreed to the exile may have to do with the myriad anti-corruption cases launched against their persons and administration by Musharraf’s government [some are highly merited – and are currently active in the courts].

    Benazir Bhutto has recently met with Musharraf and been in discussions to return to Pakistan as well. She gave some details of those “power-sharing” arrangements but this decision by the Supreme Court will undoubtedly complicate, if not make moot, such discussions. Both exiled ex-PMs Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif want to be back in Pakistan by October and running for re-re-re-election in December. Hopefully.

    What does it all mean? In terms of internal politics of Pakistan, this is tremendous news for the resurgent democratic movement in Pakistan. The full participation of the many political parties – including the Bhuttos and Sharifs – will guarantee that Pakistan start recovering from the despotic military regime. However, that is easier said than done. The military, under Musharraf, has become the largest land-owning, asset-controlling entity in Pakistan with ex- and current military officials serving across the civil and social landscape. How can that military be coaxed “back into the barracks”? It is quite probable that there are forces within the military eager to curtail their political vulnerabilities. The popular image of the military in Pakistani society has underwent tremendous change in recent years – from a highly valued and respected institution (the only “corruption-free” one) to a hegemonic and undesirable presence. I could argue that the military’s own interests lie in withdrawing from the political realm and re-burnishing its image and standing. Of course, the defense budget remains the highest expenditure in the country and no successive civil government will change that. By and large, the military cannot lose by “giving democracy back” to the country. That was, after all, what Musharraf claimed when he took control.

    Israel/Palestine
    13) Hamas Breaks Up Fatah Protest in Gaza
    Isabel Kershner, New York Times, August 24, 2007
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/24/world/middleeast/24cnd-mideast.html

    Members of the Hamas Executive Force police militia broke up a protest of the rival Fatah faction in Gaza City today, firing into the air and briefly detaining several journalists who were trying to document the events, according to news media reports.

    Today’s anti-Hamas demonstration was the largest since the Islamic militant group seized control of Gaza after a week of factional fighting in June.

    Thousands of Fatah supporters had gathered in a central Gaza square for open-air noon prayers, to protest against what they described as incitement against them in the Hamas-run mosques, according to the independent Palestinian news agency Maan. After prayers, the demonstrators marched toward Gaza’s main security compound known as the Saraya, formerly a Fatah stronghold and now a bastion of Hamas. There, some protesters threw stones and clashed with armed members of the Executive Force.

    Palestinian Authority Television, which is dominated by Fatah, reported 15 Palestinians hurt. Hamas denied that anybody had been injured. Agence France-Presse said that four journalists had been detained, including one of its photographers, but that all were released shortly afterward, unharmed. Reuters reported that one of its photographers was “roughed up and threatened,” and that another journalist’s television camera was smashed.

    Ehab al-Ghsain, a spokesman for the Hamas-run Interior Ministry in Gaza, which oversees the Executive Force, said: “Anyone proven to have been involved in assaults against journalists will be punished.”

    There have been growing signs of restiveness in Gaza. Executive Force members forcibly dispersed an opposition rally on August 13.

    Burma
    14) Burma’s Democracy Activists Hold 3rd Day of Protests
    Aye Aye Win, Associated Press, Friday, August 24, 2007; A09
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/23/AR2007082302041.html

    Defiant pro-democracy activists took to the streets Thursday for the third time this week, forming a human chain to try to prevent officers from dragging them into waiting trucks and buses. The demonstration came a day after 300 people marched to protest the military junta’s imposition of fuel price increases and two days after the arrest of at least 13 democracy activists.

    The protests have been one of the most sustained anti-government actions here in years. Burma’s ruling junta, which has received widespread international criticism for human rights violations, tolerates little public dissent. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace laureate whose party won the country’s last free elections in 1990, has been under house arrest or in prison for 11 years, and the election results were never recognized by the ruling generals.

    On Thursday, about 40 people, mostly from Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, walked quietly for about two miles toward the party headquarters in eastern Rangoon before being stopped by a security cordon.

    Authorities ordered bystanders, including reporters, out of the area as the protesters were overwhelmed after a 30-minute standoff. Some reporters were roughed up by security officers shouting abusive language.

    Protesters sat on the pavement and formed a human chain in an attempt to prevent officers from dragging them into waiting trucks and buses. A dozen protesters were dragged and shoved into the vehicles, where some were slapped, said witnesses, who asked not to be identified.

    A former political prisoner, Ohn Than, also staged an apparently solo protest outside the U.S. Embassy before being hauled away by plainclothes officers. He was holding a sign calling for U.N. intervention to make the government convene parliament, a witness said.

    Colombia/Venezuela
    15) After a Long Trek Across Colombia, Hostage Advocate Not Ready to Rest
    Juan Forero, Washington Post, Friday, August 24, 2007; A01
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/23/AR2007082302331.html

    Gustavo Moncayo’s small-town life of quiet anonymity was marked by daily church services and a two-block walk to the public school where he taught social studies. On special days, he said, he’d play his flute. That was before he became a household name – a man who made a 600-mile, Forrest Gump-like walk across much of Colombia, finishing early this month, to draw attention to the plight of the estimated 3,000 people being held hostage in this country. Among those victims is his son, a soldier captured by rebels a decade ago.

    The 46-day odyssey by Moncayo generated so much attention that it prompted Colombian President Álvaro Uribe to meet him in Bogota’s central square for an impromptu debate. There, with the political theater televised nationwide, the two men argued about an intractable problem that afflicts thousands of Colombian families: how to free civilians and soldiers held hostage by the Marxist guerrillas who have been waging war here since 1964.

    Moncayo, 55, of southwestern Narino province, has stayed in the plaza since the debate, sleeping in a big white tent with his family. From there, he ventures off to meet with diplomats, university students, Colombian congressmen and, on Monday in the capital of neighboring Venezuela, President Hugo Chávez. Chávez invited “the professor,” as Moncayo is known here, and a dozen other relatives of hostages to Caracas to discuss ways to resolve the crisis.

    In a few weeks, people across Colombia have come to see Moncayo as a folk hero who, through a mix of stubborn determination and unabashed optimism, can make things happen, even if those things have nothing to do with kidnapping. It’s a role that Moncayo says he has undertaken reluctantly.
    ?
    That the wiry, garrulous father of five has become the hope for so many families underscores the mounting frustrations people here feel with the government’s inability to secure the release of the kidnapping victims, most held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. The hostages include policemen and soldiers, politicians, three U.S. Defense Department contractors and Ingrid Betancourt, a Colombian author with dual French citizenship whose liberation has become a priority for France’s new government.
    ?
    Chávez, who has had cordial relations with Uribe despite ideological differences, has offered another, surprising proposal aimed at brokering a deal. He said Venezuelan territory could be used for negotiations and, if talks are successful, for an exchange of rebels and hostages. “Hopefully we can help,” Chávez said this past weekend in a nationally televised speech. “Hopefully we can convince the guerrilla forces of the FARC, and the Colombian government, to find a position to free these people.”


    Robert Naiman
    Just Foreign Policy
    http://www.justforeignpolicy.org

    Just Foreign Policy is a membership organization devoted to reforming US foreign policy so it reflects the values and interests of the majority of Americans.

  37. illa morales

    As you may recall from your own high school days, teenagers are filled with piss, vinegar and testosterone, but they are often unsure of what to do with their lives. Thus, they’re sitting ducks for the Bush-Cheney war machine.
    http://www.smirkingchimp.com/node/9525

  38. illa morales

    New calls from lawmakers to begin withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq may trouble the White House but are not too out of step with scenarios envisioned by war commanders. The disagreement mainly is about how deeply to cut, not when to begin.
    http://story.news.ask.com//article/20070825/D8R85G7O0.html

  39. illa morales

    Israeli Jets Penetrate Lebanon’s Airspace All Day Thursday – May Be Planning Pre-Emptive Strike on Hezbollah
    http://newsblaze.com/story/20070824134042payn.nb/newsblaze/OPINIONS/Opinions.html

  40. illa morales

    “Iraq Does Not Exist Anymore”: Journalist Nir Rosen on How the U.S. Invasion of Iraq Has Led to Ethnic Cleansing, a Worsening Refugee Crisis and the Destabilization of the Middle East
    http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/21/1349252

  41. illa morales

    Bloodbath is not a metaphor in Iraq, thanks to the Cheney/Bush war. The author of this article is a contractor who has lived and worked in Baghdad.
    http://www.bestcyrano.org/cyrano/?p=146

  42. illa morales

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – A wealthy Russian tried to buy a U.S. B-52 bomber from a group of shocked American pilots at an airshow near Moscow, a Russian newspaper reported Friday.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070824/od_nm/russia_usa_bomber_dc

  43. illa morales

    Don’t Believe Bush’s Surge Lies! – Iraq Deaths Double What They Were A Year Ago!
    John Ehrenfeld

    Yes, I know it’s a tough picture to look at. It makes you wince and think about that father’s pain and grief and also about what that child’s life might have been like in happier times. You wonder what his name is and then you look at your children and you want to give them a hug and hold them close. It’s heart-wrenching yet it’s important to not sanitize what death is really like in Iraq and not to let that child disappear into anonymity forever. That’s what Bush and Cheney want to you to do, dehumanize people who suffer and wrap it all up in a neat, jingoistic package. Don’t fall for it; remember this child.

    This is the Iraqi people’s reality every day and despite what the despots and liars in the White House are telling you . . . it’s getting worse not better.
    According to a new report from the Associated Press seen in newsvine.com, “The death toll from sectarian attacks around the country is running nearly double the pace from a year ago. The figures are considered a minimum, the actual numbers are likely higher, as many killings go unreported or uncounted.”

    The AP findings state that,

    “Iraq is suffering about double the number of war-related deaths throughout the country compared with last year, an average daily toll of 33 in 2006, and 62 so far this year.”

    “Nearly 1,000 more people have been killed in violence across Iraq in the first eight months of this year than in all of 2006. So far this year, about 14,800 people have died in war-related attacks and sectarian murders. AP reporting accounted for 13,811 deaths in 2006. The United Nations and other sources placed the 2006 toll far higher.”

    “Baghdad has gone from representing 76 percent of all civilian and police war-related deaths in Iraq in January to 52 percent in July, bringing it back to the same spot it was roughly a year ago.”

    “According to the Iraqi Red Crescent Organization, the number of displaced Iraqis has more than doubled since the start of the year, from 447,337 on Jan. 1 to 1.14 million on July 31.”

    Don’t believe Bush’s lies any more!

  44. illa morales

    CIA said to step up operations against Iran as hawks seek to tie Iraq bombs to Tehran
    http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Eyeing_strike_Bush_Administration_shifts_Iran_0824.html

  45. illa morales

    ” … the scene at Fort Knox reflected a brewing conflict between the Army’s junior and senior officer corps — lieutenants and captains on one hand, generals on the
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/26/magazine/26military-t.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

  46. illa morales

    US Rep Jan Schakowsky amazed during her visit to Iraq; Petraeus says we will be needed there for another decade. NOT what she was expecting to
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/25/AR2007082500991.html?hpid%3Dtopnews&sub=AR

  47. illa morales

    With no sign of torture on a prisoner, then it didn’t happen, right? “The absence of physical evidence should not be construed to suggest that torture did not occur, since such acts of violence against persons frequently leave no marks or permanent …
    http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0734,hentoff,77589,2.html

  48. illa morales

    Steep Price Paid by Those Who Blew Whistle on Iraq Fraud
    http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/08/25/3410/

  49. illa morales

    According to the US Ambassador to the United Nations, turmoil in the Middle East could lead to another world war.
    http://rawstory.com//news/2007/US_ambassador_to_UN__Middle_0827.html




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