Antiwar.com’s Week in Review | September 30, 2011
Watch Justin Raimondo talk with Judge Andrew Napolitano about Obama’s secret wars and the FBI investigation of Antiwar.com at the Antiwar.com blog. Don’t miss Scott Horton interview Glenn Greenwald for Antiwar Radio live tonight 6:30pm PT/9:30pm PT at Pacifica’s KPFK 90.7FM Los Angeles.
IN THIS ISSUE
- The Losing Fight in Afghanistan
- Tensions With Pakistan
- Unrest in Client State Iraq
- Ganging Up on Palestine
- Troops in Libya, Rebels Struggle
- What’s New at the Blog?
- Antiwar Radio
Soaring Violence in Afghanistan
The United Nations reported this week that violence is soaring in Afghanistan, with month-to-month comparisons in the number of attacks showing a 39-percent increase in violence since last year. The increase is very large, especially considering that 2010 also broke records in terms of violence. The report also raised doubts about the supposed withdrawal date of 2014.
The Pentagon announced an increase of 800 American military trainers in Afghanistan while also admitting that not a single unit of the approximately 180 Afghan National Army battalions can operate without U.S. help. Battles between occupation forces, Afghan government forces, and insurgents raged across the country on Tuesday, killing at least 54 people. Meanwhile, cross-border attacks with the Pakistani army occurred Wednesday, destroying at least six homes and displacing over 100 residents.
Pointing Fingers at Pakistan
Pentagon officials anonymously came out against Mullen’s accusations last week of a Pakistan-Haqqani alliance, leading some to believe that his claims were purposely exaggerated in order to pressure Pakistan to crack down on the tribal region. The allegations led to a chorus of hawks in Congress hinting at military action against Pakistan, a move the Pakistani prime minister sternly warned against. Rising tensions with the U.S. may be leading Pakistan to look for other powerful allies, such as China.
Unrest in Client State Iraq
Violence surged in Iraq as well this week with insurgents attacking a government building in Karbala, which killed 22 and wounded 106 others. Gunmen also murdered the family of a member of the U.S.-supported Iraqi militia Sahwa in an apparent assassination attempt. Still, the extension of the U.S. presence in Iraq went uninterrupted, as the Maliki government estimated that a final deal for U.S. troops to remain past the December deadline for withdrawal will be reached next month. In addition, the Maliki government agreed to buy 18 F-16 warplanes from the U.S. in a $3 billion deal.
Punishing Palestine for UN Bid
After Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas officially submitted his request for Palestinian statehood at the United Nations, he reiterated his promise not to return to the failed peace process negotiations until Israel freezes settlement construction.
In response to the PA bid at the U.N., hard-line Israeli leaders in the Knesset urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to punish Palestinians by increasing settlement construction and laying plans to annex the West Bank. Not long after, the Israeli government responded by announcing the approval of 1,100 new housing units in Gilo, which was captured in the 1967 war.
Antiwar Radio’s very own Scott Horton was on Russia Today to discuss President Obama’s 2009 sale of "buster bombs" to Israel.
Troops in Libya, Rebels Struggle
The White House announced this week that additional ground forces would be deployed into Libya to "secure conventional arms storage sites." Meanwhile, thousands were fleeing the city of Sirte as the NATO-rebel offensive there continued, further devastating an already suffering area. Concerns are still widespread about the rebels’ ability to form a government, and pro-Gadhafi loyalists continue to resist their rule.
Assorted News From the Empire
- Mass protests, insurgent attacks, and tribal battles against Yemeni security forces continued in President Saleh’s first week back, and Yemenis doubt his support for new elections.
- U.S. drones attacked at least three sites in the southern Somali port city of Kismayo, although the number of deaths could not be determined.
- Dozens of Bahraini Shi’ites were jailed after a boycott of the by-elections. Meanwhile, harsh prison sentences were issued to medical professionals for treating protesters injured by government repression.
- The U.S. will provide Turkey with Predator drones for use against Kurdish separatists in the southeast, a move publicly condemned by an Iraqi MP.
- The head of the Iranian navy, Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari, claimed that Iranian navy vessels would soon be sent close to the Atlantic coast in response to years of provocation by the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf.
What’s New at the Blog?
Matt Barganier blogged about recurring themes in Bush and Obama missile defense policy, the perversity of a media continuously distracted from the depravity within the military, and Ron Paul’s outsider views on the drug war. Jeremy Sapienza highlighted some dirty politics. Kelley B. Vlahos wrote about former Foreign Service officer Peter Van Buren being fired from the government for linking to WikiLeaks cables on his personal blog. Brian Beyer covered U.S. intervention in Somalia. John Glaser blogged about America’s bullying, authoritarian foreign policy, the still failing humanitarian justification for Libya, U.S. policy that is preventing Egyptian democracy, the FBI’s rejection of the presumption of innocence, and America’s weapons welfare program of arms trading.
Justin Raimondo wrote on the U.S. failure in Libya and American belligerence toward Pakistan. Philip Giraldi lamented Obama’s illegal – and expanded – drone war. Ivan Eland explained the American license to kill, from Troy Davis to Anwar al-Awlaki. Kelley B. Vlahos wrote on the Project on Government Oversight and featured an interview with Executive Director Danielle Brian.
Scott Horton interviewed Jacob Hornberger on the José Padilla case and the loss of constitutional protections. Eric Margolis was on to discuss U.S. accusations about Pakistan’s terrorism ties. The Other Scott Horton talked about the travails of Obama’s counterterrorism policies. Gareth Porter explained how the U.S. likes to blame Pakistan every time the Afghan war takes a turn for the worse. M.J. Rosenberg was interviewed about the mainstreaming of the Israel lobby and the prospects for a Palestinian state. Grant F. Smith also discussed AIPAC. Will Grigg explained the unsustainability of America’s economic policies and the dollar. And Lew Rockwell was on to talk about the federal police state and the twisted state of the judicial system.
Angela Keaton will discuss ComeHomeAmerica.us and the new peace movement in a breakout event at this year’s Libertopia in San Diego, Oct. 21-23. Libertopia is an annual festival of peace, freedom, music, community, and ideas that will change the world. Keaton will give a 30-minute speech and a 15-minute Q&A at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21.
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