Antiwar.com’s Week in Review | October 16, 2011
IN THIS ISSUE
- An Iranian assassination plot?
- No good news from Afghanistan
- NTC abusing prisoners, fighting resistance
- Israeli prisoner swap and "price tag" attacks
- Assorted news from the empire
- What’s new at the blog?
- Antiwar Radio
Alleged Iran Plot Facilitates War Rhetoric
The Justice Department announced this week an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate a Saudi ambassador to the U.S. while in Washington. Manssor Arbabsiar, an Iranian-American living in Texas, supposedly sought out an operative of the Zetas Mexican drug gang to carry out the assassination on behalf of a contact he had in the Iranian Quds Force, but the plot was foiled when the Zetas operative turned out to be a DEA informant. The alleged plot has been criticized by specialists as not credible, very unlikely, and entrapment.
No evidence of direct involvement by any of the Iranian leadership has been brought forth, and the details of the case continue to be outlandish. President Obama has claimed he has such evidence, but that it is secret.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration – along with the news media – has aggressively taken this opportunity to rally for some sort of belligerent response. Obama asserted that the Iranian government will "pay a price," even if it had no direct knowledge of the plot, and that "all options are on the table." His administration has engaged in a diplomatic full-court press to "unite the world" against Iran," generating fears of impending military conflict.
Torture and Lies of "Progress"
Detainees in Afghan prisons are subjected to systematic torture, according to a U.N. report released this week. Prisoners are hung from the ceilings by their wrists, are severely beaten with cables and wooden sticks, have their toenails torn off, are treated with electric shock, and even have their genitals twisted until they lose consciousness.
The U.S.-led drug war and opium-eradication program in Afghanistan continues to have deleterious effects. Meanwhile, the Afghan government blocked a major corruption probe, and a new report has concluded that claims of "progress" in Afghanistan have been exaggerated.
A British general this week conceded that the military occupation of Afghanistan would not end at Obama’s 2014 date for withdrawal, and the U.N. extended its Afghan war mandate for at least another year.
NTC Abuses Thousands of Detainees
The Libyan National Transitional Council is holding more than 2,500 detainees in makeshift prisons without charges, subjecting them to harsh treatment, beatings, forced confessions, and more. Additional criticism of the NATO proxy gaining power in Libya comes from the continuing weapons smuggling making its way to Egypt in particular.
NATO officials said this week they have been "surprised" at the level of resistance fighting going on, especially in Sirte and Bani Walid. At least 17 rebel fighters were killed in battles in Bani Walid, and fighting continues in Sirte.
Gilad Shalit and Price-Tag Attacks
A prisoner-swap deal was reached between Hamas and the Israeli government, wherein Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held in captivity for over five years, would be released in return for over 1,000 Palestinians detained by Israel. Meanwhile, clashes continued this week as Israeli settlers engaged in vandalism and violence in "price tag" attacks. Additionally, Israeli Defense Forces destroyed for the third time a mosque in the Israeli-controlled West Bank, explaining that it was "built without permission."
Assorted News From the Empire
- U.S. ally Bahrain continued its crackdown on freedom of speech, fining newspaper editors for publishing "false reports."
- U.S.-supported militias and African Union troops claimed to have ousted militant group al-Shabab.
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the alliance with Pakistan will continue but that Pakistan is "part of the problem." A Haqqani member was killed in a drone strike in South Waziristan, along with 10 other unidentified victims.
- Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is still railing against budget cuts to the Pentagon, even as over $1 billion has been lost due to accounting mistakes.
- The U.S.-supported Philippine army has been detaining innocent children and falsely claiming they are child soldiers.
- After the Iraqi government agreed to the U.S. request to maintain 5,000 troops past the deadline in December, the U.S. is saying it hasn’t yet decided on the intended troop levels.
What’s New at the Blog?
John Glaser explained how the incumbent warmonger-in-chief will again get the "peace" vote, how the national security state is making criminals out of activists, why Herman Cain is an idiot, and how the war party will only accept criticism of state enemies. Matt Barganier drew attention to the Pentagon’s so-called "doomsday" budget cuts. Jeremy Sapienza wrote about Occupy D.C.’s faux storming of the Air and Space Museum. James Bovard blogged about DEA informants being America’s biggest liars. Eric Garris posted former CIA agent Michael Scheuer’s comments that the Iran plot is just another FBI sting operation.
John Glaser was featured in a television interview for Voice of America’s international broadcast on the military industrial complex in Afghanistan; Ivan Eland was on al Jazeera English to talk about the torture rampant in Afghan prisons; and Angela Keaton spoke at LPAC.
Justin Raimondo wrote two hard-hitting pieces deconstructing the outlandish official narrative of the Iranian assassination plot. Phil Giraldi analyzed Republican foreign policy follies. Ivan Eland uncovered the flimsy legal rationale for the Awlaki drone assassination. Kelley B. Vlahos wrote about Hollywood’s obsession with surveillance.
Scott Horton had on David Enders to talk about the future of the U.S. presence in Iraq. Adam Morrow discussed the latest violence in Egypt and America’s insatiable need to intervene. Greg Gordon discussed the holes in the FBI’s case against anthrax suspect Bruce Ivins. Marcy Wheeler explained the Awlaki killing and its so-called collateral damage. And Phil Giraldi talked to Scott about his inside information on the alleged Iranian assassination plot.
Angela Keaton will be speaking at an antiwar rally and vigil marking the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. The UNH Peace and Justice League and the UNH Young Americans for Liberty are putting on the event on Monday the 17th and Tuesday the 18th of October. Angela will be speaking Monday at a teach-in about effective peace activism and the peace movement in the America. The following day she will take part in antiwar demonstrations and speaking about the effects of America’s drone wars in particular.
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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