Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
It was reported that so far only Hillary Rodham Clinton had accepted her nomination as the Secretary of states.
Bill Richardson is said to be the next Commerce Secretary - official.
Timothy Geithner - Treasury Sec.
Lawrence Summers - Leader of the National Economic Council.
Eric Holder - Attorney General.
Tom Deschle - Sec. of health & human services.
Janet Napolitano - Homeland Security Sec.
General James Jones - likely to be the National Security Adviser.
source : AOL
The New York Times said Clinton came to her decision after additional discussions with Obama about the nature of her role as the top US diplomat and his plans for foreign policy.
Democratic Party sources have said Clinton was on track to be nominated, with an official announcement expected after the Nov. 27 Thanksgiving holiday.
Clinton has been rumored for weeks to be the top candidate for the job and has been going through an extensive vetting process by the Obama transition team, along with her husband and former president Bill Clinton.
Once Obama's rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Clinton met the president-elect last week in Chicago to first discuss the possibility of her taking on the role of the top US diplomat.
Policy analysts say her selection as secretary of state could mean a more hawkish US stance, noting that she has been more reluctant than Obama to commit to a firm timetable for withdrawing US troops from Iraq.
NBC news meanwhile also reported two other key Obama appointments: New York Federal Reserve President Timothy Geithner as treasury secretary, and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as commerce secretary. NBC said official announcements on the appointments were expected on Monday.
source : almanar
"The debate has finished and the vote will take place on Wednesday," Mahmud Mashhadani said after a seven-hour session of parliament during which about 40 MPs expressed their views.
If the three main blocs, Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, can agree a joint position, the vote could even take place before Wednesday, he added.
On Saturday, Kurds spoke out about differences they have with the government while other MPs appear divided amongst themselves on the proposed Status of Forces Agreement. "Errors were committed during the negotiations which were conducted without transparency and with neither parliament nor the people being kept informed," said a leader of the 53-member Kurdish Alliance parliamentary faction.
His comments appeared to put at risk the group's previous support for the agreement.
On Friday, thousands of Sadrists gathered in Baghdad to protest the security pact. The crowds swarmed into central Baghdad's Firdoos Square. The protestors hung an effigy of US President George W. Bush from the abstract statue that now stands in the center of the square.
Source : almanar
By Burhan Al-Chalabi.
The U.S. Presidential Election has sent a clear and unequivocal message to the world. The American people have rejected the foreign and domestic policies of President George W. Bush.
In Britain, the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, found his position unsustainable and resigned, leaving the invasion of Iraq and its awful consequences as his political legacy. The new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has talked about the need to be open and transparent in order to win the trust of the British public, but has so far shown no sign of addressing or redressing his predecessor’s failed policies in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. The military occupation of Iraq and the exploitation of its vast mineral wealth continue unabated.
To justify the invasion of and war against Iraq, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair cited two violations by the Iraqi regime: of human rights and of UN Security Council resolutions passed just before and after the first Gulf War of 1991. The purpose of the war, it was claimed, was to hold the Iraqi regime accountable under international law.
But by invading Iraq, the U.S. Administration and the British Government were themselves violating UN resolutions and international law, as stated in the Report by Lord Bingham, the Law Lord, and published in the Guardian on 18th November 2008. The Iraqi people’s human and civil rights were ---and remain---swept aside by the acts of war and the continuing fact of occupation. . . . . read more
Public Forum : “Iraq war was illegal. Get real and stop lying!”
Friday, November 21, 2008
But it ranked near the bottom, 22nd, when it came to adherence to principles and guidelines established by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to ensure that political considerations don't exclude worthy recipients of aid.
DARA's findings reflect what it called the United States' use of humanitarian assistance to achieve military or political goals in eight crisis zones the group studied, including Afghanistan, Colombia and the Palestinian territories. . . read more
Former attorney general Lord Goldsmith defended his legal advice
Legal advice given to Tony Blair by the attorney general prior to the Iraq war was fundamentally "flawed," a former law lord has claimed.
Lord Bingham said Lord Goldsmith had given Mr Blair "no hard evidence" that Iraq had defied UN resolutions "in a manner justifying resort to force".
Therefore, the action by the UK and US was "a serious violation of international law," Lord Bingham added. . . read more
Today is the day of Iraqi unity among Arabs, Kurds, all communities of Iraq, to reject the security pact
Hazim al-Araji ;
Aide to Moqtada Sadr
The BBC's Andrew North, who was at the protest, says people waved Iraqi flags, Shia banners and chanted anti-American slogans, and an effigy of US President George W Bush was attacked by the crowd.
Joint prayers were held with many Sunni Muslims at the demonstration, our correspondent said. . . . read more.
As Libya seals its return to the international fold this week with a visit from US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Muammar Gaddafi has marked the 39th anniversary of his rise to power with promises to overhaul the country's political system.
The diplomatic community's rejection of Libya centred on Col Gaddafi's backing for a number of militant groups, including the Irish Republican Army and the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
Libya paid $1.8bn (£1.2bn) in October into a fund to compensate victims of the 1988 bombing - which killed 270 people - and other attacks.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sun, 16 Nov 2008 09:39:33 GMT
The Iraqi cabinet has endorsed a security agreement to be signed with the
The cabinet approved the long term security agreement with 27 ministers voting for it, one minister abstaining, and the remaining 10 skipping the meeting.
Lawmaker Ahmed al-Masoudi, a spokesman for the Sadr parliamentary bloc, however, said the government's endorsement of the pact "does not mean anything" as long as the deal requires the approval of a parliament which would reject it, the Voices of Iraq news agency reported on Sunday.
The agreement, which has been opposed by a majority of parliamentarians, would allow US troops to stay in
Under the deal Iraqi courts would have no jurisdiction over US troops and contractors inside their bases and when on duty.
Hazem al-Araji, a senior leader from Sadr bloc, also voiced his opposition to the approval, saying "We were surprised and shocked by the decision, which represents devotion to the occupation" through agreeing to "the occupiers' demand"
Parliament is scheduled to vote on the pact on November 24, with he first reading set for Monday, deputy speaker Khalid al-Attiya told AFP.
Monday, November 17, 2008
MUMBAI : Crude reserves were considered the biggest hedge against any eventuality so far. For many oil rich countries, especially the Arab nation, crude was the trump card.
Not any more. Iran’s recent conversion of its financial reserves into gold proves that gold is a better hedge, especially that the prices of crude have fallen flat.
Local newspapers in Teheran reported that the office of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad confirmed that action was to avoid problems in future especially with U.N. and U.S. sanctions over the alleged nuclear programmes.
Moreover the crude prices have tumbled and countries like are re-thinking on its strategy to depend its complete economy on crude.
Iran is the world's fourth-largest oil producer and before the fall of 60 percent from peak of $ 147 per barrel, Iran gained considerably. But the lowering crude prices will only aggravate the financial isolation.
Read report from guardian.co.uk
Saturday, November 15, 2008
The fight for the Ogaden region, populated mainly by ethnic Somalis, known as the Ogaden, has been going on for more than 19 years
The ONLF is a grassroots social and political movement founded in 1984 by the Somali people of Ogaden who could no longer bear the atrocities committed against them by successive Ethiopian regimes. Today, the ONLF as both an advocate for and defender of the people is dedicated to restoring the rights of Somalis in Ogaden to self-determination, peace, and development
Thursday, November 6, 2008
An Open Letter to Barack Obama
By RALPH NADER
3 Nov 2008
Dear Senator Obama:
In your nearly two-year presidential campaign, the words "hope and change," "change and hope" have been your trademark declarations. Yet there is an asymmetry between those objectives and your political character that succumbs to contrary centers of power that want not "hope and change" but the continuation of the power-entrenched status quo.
Far more than Senator McCain, you have received enormous, unprecedented contributions from corporate interests, Wall Street interests and, most interestingly, big corporate law firm attorneys. Never before has a Democratic nominee for President achieved this supremacy over his Republican counterpart. Why, apart from your unconditional vote for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, are these large corporate interests investing so much in Senator Obama? Could it be that in your state Senate record, your U.S. Senate record and your presidential campaign record (favoring nuclear power, coal plants, offshore oil drilling, corporate subsidies including the 1872 Mining Act and avoiding any comprehensive program to crack down on the corporate crime wave and the bloated, wasteful military budget, for example) you have shown that you are their man?
To advance change and hope, the presidential persona requires character, courage, integrity-- not expediency, accommodation and short-range opportunism. Take, for example, your transformation from an articulate defender of Palestinian rights in Chicago before your run for the U.S. Senate to an acolyte, a dittoman for the hard-line AIPAC lobby, which bolsters the militaristic oppression, occupation, blockage, colonization and land-water seizures over the years of the Palestinian peoples and their shrunken territories in the West Bank and Gaza. Eric Alterman summarized numerous polls in a December 2007 issue of The Nation magazine showing that AIPAC policies are opposed by a majority of Jewish-Americans.
You know quite well that only when the U.S. Government supports the Israeli and Palestinian peace movements, that years ago worked out a detailed two-state solution (which is supported by a majority of Israelis and Palestinians), will there be a chance for a peaceful resolution of this 60-year plus conflict. Yet you align yourself with the hard-liners, so much so that in your infamous, demeaning speech to the AIPAC convention right after you gained the nomination of the Democratic Party, you supported an "undivided
During your visit to
David Levy, a former Israeli peace negotiator, described your trip succinctly: "There was almost a willful display of indifference to the fact that there are two narratives here. This could serve him well as a candidate, but not as a President."
Palestinian American commentator, Ali Abunimah, noted that Obama did not utter a single criticism of
In numerous columns Gideon Levy, writing in Haaretz, strongly criticized the Israeli government's assault on civilians in
Israeli writer and peace advocate-- Uri Avnery-- described Obama's appearance before AIPAC as one that "broke all records for obsequiousness and fawning, adding that Obama "is prepared to sacrifice the most basic American interests. After all, the
A further illustration of your deficiency of character is the way you turned your back on the Muslim-Americans in this country. You refused to send surrogates to speak to voters at their events. Having visited numerous churches and synagogues, you refused to visit a single Mosque in
Although the New York Times published a major article on June 24, 2008 titled "Muslim Voters Detect a Snub from Obama" (by Andrea Elliott), citing examples of your aversion to these Americans who come from all walks of life, who serve in the armed forces and who work to live the American dream. Three days earlier the International Herald Tribune published an article by Roger Cohen titled "Why Obama Should Visit a Mosque." None of these comments and reports change your political bigotry against Muslim-Americans-- even though your father was a Muslim from
Perhaps nothing illustrated your utter lack of political courage or even the mildest version of this trait than your surrendering to demands of the hard-liners to prohibit former president Jimmy Carter from speaking at the Democratic National Convention. This is a tradition for former presidents and one accorded in prime time to Bill Clinton this year.
Here was a President who negotiated peace between
But then your shameful behavior has extended to many other areas of American life. (See the factual analysis by my running mate, Matt Gonzalez, on www.votenader.org). You have turned your back on the 100-million poor Americans composed of poor whites, African-Americans, and Latinos. You always mention helping the "middle class" but you omit, repeatedly, mention of the "poor" in
Should you be elected President, it must be more than an unprecedented upward career move following a brilliantly unprincipled campaign that spoke "change" yet demonstrated actual obeisance to the concentration power of the "corporate supremacists." It must be about shifting the power from the few to the many. It must be a White House presided over by a black man who does not turn his back on the downtrodden here and abroad but challenges the forces of greed, dictatorial control of labor, consumers and taxpayers, and the militarization of foreign policy. It must be a White House that is transforming of American politics-- opening it up to the public funding of elections (through voluntary approaches)-- and allowing smaller candidates to have a chance to be heard on debates and in the fullness of their now restricted civil liberties. Call it a competitive democracy.
Your presidential campaign again and again has demonstrated cowardly stands. "Hope" some say springs eternal." But not when "reality" consumes it daily.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
British Muslim journalist Yvonne Maryam Ridley
British Muslim journalist Yvonne Ridley has sharply criticized the
In a press conference with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan last Tuesday, she also questioned the arrest of a Pakistani female doctor on charges of 'attacking' two US soldiers in Kabul.
The former Taliban hostage condemned the detention of neuroscientist Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, saying it was a scenario beyond even
"She has been continuously abused over the five-year period since she and her children were kidnapped," the Daily Times quoted Ridley as saying.
"There are many Muslim women held captive by American forces and if the public remained silent, they would lose their sisters forever," she added.
Ridley also expressed doubt over the identity of Prisoner No. 650, an unknown woman believed to have been raped and tortured in Bagram prison.
“I can tell you categorically Prisoner 650 is not Dr. Aafia,” continued Ridley.
She said prisoners who fled the notorious Bagram prison have recounted the story of a female detainee who was "brutally tortured" and "repeatedly raped."
"The cries of a helpless woman used to echo in the jail that prompted prisoners to go on a hunger strike," she concluded.
Iraqi females suffer in US custody
Iraqi women in the
Hundreds of Iraqi women are being held under humiliating conditions in the
According to released Iraqi prisoners, female detainees are being raped by US troops and forced into undressing in front of the guards, Wisam Al-Bayati, Press TV correspondent in
"What I have suffered inside American prisons is so terrible that I can't express in words" a former prisoner told Press TV. She explained that she was detained during a
"They took me to get information about my husband and they kept me for one year and a half without being charged," she added.
The report said most of the female detainees are being held only for being married to Iraqi 'wanted fighters'. The occupiers use the arrest to put the Iraqi fighters under pressure.
Human rights activists in
Sat, 25 Oct 2008 17:41:13 GMT - By Arash Parsa, Press TV, Tehran
A US helicopter patrols over Baghdad.
US troops massacred 24 civilians, including women and children in Haditha Iraq in November 2005.
Iraqi groups have reacted to the security pact in different ways. For example, certain ultranationalist Kurdish leaders have welcomed SOFA and the US military presence, in line with their traditional policy, just because they believe that it might lay the groundwork for realizing their dream of an “independent Kurdish country”.
SOFA envisages immunity for US contractors. The picture shows one of the victims of US firm Blackwater's massacre in Baghdad.
However, it is important to know whose side the main players of the region are fighting on amid this dispute.
Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein shows a rifle to the then Saudi King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz. Saudi Arabia supported Saddam during the Iraq-Iran war.
The author of the article also suggests that the speculations that Barack Obama might win the US presidential election and rectify Washington's Iraq policy (which would prove to be in favor of Iran) have prompted Iraqi cleric Abdul Aziz Hakim's party to oppose the security agreement. (Mr. Hashemian, with the force of divine inspiration, concludes that Hakim has changed the name of his party from "The Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq" to "The Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council" to distance himself from Iran. But Mr. Hashemian's over reliance on "inspiration" has prevented him from using his logical reasoning to realize that after the fall of "Bro Saddam", there is no point in talking about a revolution.)
An Iraqi woman weeps as US troops raid her house in Baghdad's Radwaniya, October 2007.
He knows that he might be seen as a traitor by the Iraqi nation if he gave in to the pressure and signed the agreement. There is, certainly, an Iraqi group, which according to the Al-Arabiya article has adopted "a stable and reasonable stance" toward the agreement since the beginning: the Awakening Councils. Sheikh Ahmad Abu Risha, one of the leaders of the group, has declared that he supports SOFA to tell the US that he will back any coup against "ungrateful Shias"! (Note: "Ungrateful Shias" constitute the majority of the population of a country, in which an anti-terrorist hero called Sheikh Abu-Risha lives!)
Al-Arabiya also interprets Iran's support for the Iraqi nation's legitimate demand and their refusal to allow their country to become a de facto US colony as the Islamic Republic's concerns about a US military attack. But it fails to explain that if the US intended to launch an attack on Iran and could go on with its plans, wouldn't it have enough bases inside Iraq? What is the connection between the issue of legal immunity for Americans--which is opposed by Tehran-- and an attack on Iran? Mr. Hashemian also paints an imaginary scenario: If the US and Iraq fail to sign SOFA, Iran will manage to unite Iraqi Shia groups; as a result the Sunnis and Kurds will unite against the Shia groups and a civil war will be in the offing. Shall we consider these words as a threat by the Saudis that they would unleash terrorists inside Iraq if Baghdad refused to sign SOFA?
Or is it simply a psychological tactic to coerce the Iraqis into accepting Washington's humiliating conditions? But one thing is clear, those words, without a doubt, mean that if a country refuses to go under another country's tutelage, it will have to pay a heavy price. Maybe it is a kind of Saudi-style Arab nationalism, who knows, but Mr. Hashemian has not clarified whether patriotic Sunnis like Parliament Speaker Mahmud al-Mashhadani, who are opposed to the agreement, should be considered as Shias who are following Iran's orders.
It seems certain, that if we take the stance adopted by satellite channels like al-Arabiya into account, we will easily be able to conclude that for the Middle East godfathers, Arab nationalism is only a tool to incite hatred among the region's nations. Am I wrong in saying that behind- the-scene policy-makers of al-Arabiya, the princes of shadows, are ready to sacrifice the sovereignty of another Muslim nation when it comes to their sectarian goals? They, at best, suffer from "Shiaphobia", which may easily play into the hands of Muslims' common enemies. However, the signs indicate that they suffer from the refractory form of "opportunism and hatred syndrome".
posted by enqilab
Sun, 26 Oct 2008 08:36:14 GMTIraqi lawmakers gather in front of the
Members of parliament loyal to the anti-occupation Sadr bloc gathered in front of the Iraqi parliament on Saturday after vowing to continue their condemnation
the deal is completely annulled. The parliament representatives also criticized the
A similar demonstration has been staged in
against a controversial security pact which the
"The Seyyed al-Shohadaa (Master of Martyrs) Movement, a Shia group, organized the rally on Saturday in the central
The protestors called on the government not to allow US troops to be granted the permission to act outside the framework of the country's law, a demonstrator said.
bases and when on duty. Despite
Report: Maliki won't sign divisive SOFA Sat, 25 Oct 2008 18:40:21 GMTIraqi Premier Nouri al-Maliki 'will not sign' the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) over fears that it might create division in the country.
A lawmaker from the United Iraqi Alliance,
MP Sheikh Jalal al-Din al-Sagheer, who is also the deputy head of
According to the report,
The report comes while Ali al-Adeeb, the chief of staff of al-Maliki's Dawa party announced Wednesday that the Iraqi parliament "cannot approve this pact in its current form."
SOFA would also grant a form of immunity from legal prosecution to US citizens inside the country and it would allow the
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