A War Crime or an Act of War?
But the truth is, all we know for certain is that Kurds were bombarded with poison gas that day at Halabja. We cannot say with any certainty that Iraqi chemical weapons killed the Kurds. This is not the only distortion in the Halabja story. ..
This much about the gassing at Halabja we undoubtedly know: it came about in the course of a battle between Iraqis and Iranians. Iraq used chemical weapons to try to kill Iranians who had seized the town, which is in northern Iraq not far from the Iranian border. The Kurdish civilians who died had the misfortune to be caught up in that exchange. But they were not Iraq's main target.
And the story gets murkier: immediately after the battle the United States Defense Intelligence Agency investigated and produced a classified report, which it circulated within the intelligence community on a need-to-know basis. That study asserted that it was Iranian gas that killed the Kurds, not Iraqi gas. (NYT)
posted by y2karl
on Jan 31, 2003 -
Hunger rates highest in rural West.
"Unemployment and prevalence of seasonal labor go hand-in-hand with hunger, experts say. Oregon
rank high in both jobless and hunger rates. Across the West, the agriculture industry relies on seasonal labor to harvest everything from mushrooms to apples. Families that work in the summer often can't make ends meet in the winter."
posted by crasspastor
on Dec 3, 2002 -
War With Iraq - As Predictable As Chess
There is still a good chance we can avoid war with Iraq. Saddam Hussein has never won a war, and his military forces surely foresee their own destruction. Numerous assassination attempts by them (some involving the Republican Guard) have failed. They are likely trying again, even now. Therein lies our best hope.
What if they fail again? Then invasion by the U.S. is inevitable.
posted by daHIFI
on Nov 22, 2002 -
How the world sees Americans.
"They readily distinguish between the official face of the American government (who they tend to disagree with and fear) and American people, pop culture and values (which they tend to adore and emulate)." "It's the world's superpower ... that has a childlike understanding of everyone else."
Journalist Mark Hertsgaard travelled the globe gathering opinions about the U.S. He talks about the surprising results.
posted by gazingus
on Nov 6, 2002 -
Recently, the armed forces announced
that it would seek the approval of congress to begin recruiting non-citizens, specifically arabs, into the special forces. Seems reasonable enough, we all know the army is lacking native Arab speakers. Meanwhile, the Federal government is firing
every non-citizen from their job as airport bag checkers (1200 in San Francisco alone - mostly Filipino
). An interesting paradox in our war against terrorism? An unfortunate cost to enure security? A cruel injustice to working men and women? Who could do more damage, a Delta Force member, armed to the teeth and trained to kill acting as forward observer for air and artillery strikes? Or the guy checking your shaving kit?
posted by pejamo
on Oct 29, 2002 -
Does this story
about the US govt making someone disappear for no admitted reason scare you as much as it scares me?
posted by lerrup
on Oct 21, 2002 -
A look into peacekeeping training
being conducting in Chile with the U.S. and most South American countries participating. A rare view of the interaction between national militaries to improve good relationships. The pics are great, too.
posted by mcchesnj
on Oct 19, 2002 -
It's not your imagination, Americans (and those of us who live in similar cultures) really are getting fatter. The latest Journal of the AMA has the reports
posted by aeschenkarnos
on Oct 9, 2002 -
I recently bought a cheap DVD of Broken Arrow
, the late 90's John Woo thriller that portrays an attempt to steal nuclear weapons. A earlier MeFI thread
briefly brought up NEST, or the Nuclear Emergency Search Team
who are supposed to find these things if smuggled into the United States.
I googled on it
, and while I wasn't surprised to learn there have been a large number of hoaxes I was surprised find out there have been some thirty incidents
not classified as a hoax.
A large part of the Woo film deals with the idea of The Feds searching for nuclear weapons from oribit.
Well I might just be a country boy but even I know there is Physics and then there is Movie Physics
so I was curious - can
these nuclear weapons be spotted by satellites? Maybe we're getting all bothered over pretty much nuthin
, if The Feds already know where they are. Rense
has a interesting post about NEST in NYC.
posted by Mutant
on Oct 4, 2002 -
Germany slips on its jack boots to keep in step with the USA
In the wake of september 11th Most supposedly enlightened "western" countries have curtailed or outright forbidden free speech to groups suspected to be sympathetic to "terror". The question in my mind is how long until just being part of a political organization that opposes first use of violence and criticizes government policy (libertarians, Greens, CUSPA) will get you on the FBI "hit" list here at home?
posted by hoopyfrood
on Sep 19, 2002 -
Apparently I live in the most diverse city in the United States.
Synagogue arsons, propane-tank-bomb-plotting and suburban hate crime aside, Sacramento is a pretty neat place, especially since my wife (Korean-American) and I (Jewish) can afford to own a house on our meager incomes and still go out to eat Pho
(Ethiopian), Som Tum
(Korean) all within a short drive. It's not San Francisco, but neither is the cost of living. Do you notice the tension caused by resistance to diversity in your town, or are you too busy eating the sushi
posted by luriete
on Aug 29, 2002 -
The pursuit of permanent military supremacy.
"The question facing all Americans, therefore, is whether the expenditure of hundreds (later thousands) of billions of dollars to defend against hypothetical enemies that may not arise until thirty or forty years from now is a sensible precaution, as contended by the President and Defense Secretary, or whether it eventually will undermine US security by siphoning off funds from vital health and educational programs and by creating a global environment of fear and hostility that will produce exactly the opposite of what is intended by all these expenditures."
posted by homunculus
on Jul 22, 2002 -
Sound to make an army flee
A NEW sonic weapon being developed for the Pentagon makes use of one of the most fearsome sounds known to humans: a baby crying.
The article also talks about use for crowd control. If I were a club owner, I'd buy one so that everyone clears out expiditiously. Clear them out like cockroaches when the lights come on!
posted by Modem Ovary
on Jun 25, 2002 -
Home Depot stops doing business with federal government.
Home Depot Inc., the nation's largest hardware and home-improvement chain, has told its 1,400 stores not to do business with the U.S. government or its representatives.
Most of Home Depot's managers interviewed by the Post-Dispatch shared the confusion. All the managers contacted declined to be quoted, but most said they didn't know what was behind the company's refusal to sell to the federal government.
posted by percine
on Jun 17, 2002 -
Le Roi Est Mort
, declared the newspapers upon his death. A king
without a country, Joshua A. Norton
declared himself Emperor
Norton I of these United States in 1859
. Was he a charlatan? A
genius? Royalty? Or maybe all three? We may never know. Visit his archives
to find out more.
posted by charlesv
on Jun 11, 2002 -
Beyond the Axis of Evil
- The United States has added Cuba, Libya and Syria to its "axis of evil" - nations it claims are deliberately seeking to obtain chemical or biological weapons. The Under Secretary of State also warned that the US would take action.
posted by Stuart_R
on May 6, 2002 -
Operation Snipe: To rescue 76 US hostages?
"Joined by the US and Canadian troops, more than 2000 British-led Special Commando forces under "Operation Snipe" are gearing up efforts to launch a major attack to rescue around 76 soldiers who were arrested by the Taliban and Al Qaida forces during the battle in the snow covered Arma Peaks of Paktia Province in March this year, highly credible sources have confided to PNS."
posted by crasspastor
on May 6, 2002 -
"Writer William Langewiesche, a pilot in his own right, explains why a jet packed with 217 passengers plunged 33,000 feet into the Atlantic Ocean
in the dead of night--and why it took so long for the U.S. and Egyptian governments to issue an explanation. Using
black-box transcripts and radar records, Langewiesche
meticulously reconstructs the last minutes of the so-called
suicide flight. In a feat of storytelling, he reveals the nasty
combination of politics and culture clashes that delayed the
posted by semmi
on May 3, 2002 -
Australia and Europe incensed over U.S. lies on free trade
Bush: "The final provisions of the farm Bill are also consistent with America's international trade obligations, which will strengthen our ability to open foreign markets for American farm products".
In other words, free trade good when we sell to you, bad when you sell to us.
posted by magullo
on May 3, 2002 -
America Can Persuade Israel to Make a Just Peace
An op-ed piece by former president Jimmy Carter that is going to get a lot of play in the media. Unfortunately, Mr. Carter seems to suggest a rather easy solution: give back the Palestinian lands and have the Palestinians recognize Israel's right to exist. Put the pressure on Israel by withhold financial aid till they do as we bid.
Problem: Palestinians being subsidized by Iraq, Iran, EU and Syria. What about pressure on them? And: Palelstinian issues still in need of resolving: capital and Right of Return....with this left out, we are still not going to get peace. Does Carter simplify or is he on target? reg reqd.
posted by Postroad
on Apr 21, 2002 -
The Swastika & the Crescent The peculiar bond between white nationalist groups and certain Muslim extremists derives in part from a shared set of enemies Jews, the United States, race-mixing, ethnic diversity. It is also very much a function of the shared belief that they must shield their own peoples from the corrupting influence of foreign cultures and the homogenizing juggernaut of globalization. Both sets of groups also have a penchant for far-flung conspiracy theories that caricature Jewish power.
This is not a direct link. This link takes you to a page titled "Intelligence Project." Once there, Click on "Intelligence Report." Scroll down a bit and click on "The Swastika & the Crescent."
posted by Rastafari
on Apr 10, 2002 -
The Art of Espionage.
The ongoing tale of the massive spy ring that the U.S. media won't talk about. "The basis of the spy allegations is a 60-page document -- a compilation of field reports by Drug Enforcement Administration agents and other U.S. law enforcement officials.
posted by euphorb
on Mar 22, 2002 -
U.S. CONSIDERS MILITARY ACTION TO REMOVE SKATING JUDGES.
I don't mean to pimp Borowitz again so soon... but damn. Best line from this: While the decision to use military force against the figure skating judges was Mr. Bush’s, sources say there was a split within the Administration as to the appropriateness of using U.S. troops and air power to change the results of an Olympic skating contest.... These sources indicate that Secretary of State Colin Powell favored using economic and diplomatic measures while Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz advocated detaining and torturing the figure skating judges until they reversed their earlier decision.
posted by mattpusateri
on Feb 13, 2002 -
tried to collect $60 million for Enron on a recent trip to India...
posted by snakey
on Jan 18, 2002 -
might be really untimely investigative reporting or a very slick piece of disinformation to rework a very crude and obvious earlier attempt to spread more of the same
Whatever the reason, FoxNews published the story on their website (in 4 parts), and then they mysteriously took it down. Without any explanation.
Meanwhile, none of the other news outlets are going near the story. Except for www.cryptome.org. So, info or disinfo, you make the call...
posted by BentPenguin
on Dec 27, 2001 -
The US dedication to blocking peace.
“It was the second time in less than a year that the United States had used its veto power to effectively kill a resolution that would create a monitoring mechanism for the protection of Palestinian civilians.”
posted by raaka
on Dec 15, 2001 -
US Surgeon General: Lose some weight, already Overweight and obesity may not be infectious diseases, but they have reached epidemic proportions in the United States. . . Approximately 300,000 deaths a year in this country are currently associated with overweight and obesity . Left unabated, overweight and obesity may soon cause as much preventable disease and death as cigarette smoking.
posted by raysmj
on Dec 13, 2001 -
Buy Nothing Day 2001
"This November 23 is international Buy Nothing Day, an activist holiday at odds with the wartime equation of consumerism equals patriotism."
On the historically busiest shopping day of the year in America, here's a bit of individual protest one can engage in (or not) that has an even greater resonance this time around.
posted by mapalm
on Nov 22, 2001 -
It's the Democracy, Stupid
Quick hit from Middle East expert Thomas Friedman on why democracy matters in the Middle East, and by extension why democracy-building is one of the US's best weapons there. Starts out with a news quiz: "Name the second-largest Muslim community in the world. Iran? Wrong. Pakistan? Wrong. Saudi Arabia? Wrong." (NYT link)
posted by cell divide
on Nov 20, 2001 -
"First they came..."
Just a friendly reminder for all those folks who think it is somehow acceptable to allow the US government to infringe upon our civil liberties in the name of...[fill in the blank].
posted by mapalm
on Oct 1, 2001 -
Justice O'Connor foresees cutbacks in personal liberties.
Sandra Day O'Connor, during remarks given at the groundbreaking ceremonies for a Law School Building at NYU, cautions Americans that we may face restrictions in our personal freedoms. No real specifics in the remarks, but intriguing in that she would be among those having the final say as to the constitutionality of any laws that arise out of the "War on Terrorism". She poses some interesting questions in her remarks. And she is considered to be one of the moderate Justices.
posted by MAYORBOB
on Sep 30, 2001 -
A four part tale(1993) of deception, covert operations and secret revelations, which covers :
How The Blind Sheikh Came To USA
CIA's Friends Against Soviet Union
Was Mossad Behind WTC 1993
How The CIA Won It's Jehad
Search These Terms
"Mossad World Trade Center",
Hekmatyar, Hekmatyar Heroine,
The Blind Shiekh,
The Village Voice,
Robert I. Friedman,
posted by adnanbwp
on Sep 20, 2001 -