By Jonathan S. Landay
Nov. 7, 2009
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is nearing a decision to send more than 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan next year, but he may not announce it until after he consults with key allies and completes a trip to Asia later this month, administration and military officials have told McClatchy.
As it now stands, the administration’s plan calls for sending three Army brigades from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky. and the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y. and a Marine brigade, for a total of as many as 23,000 additional combat and support troops.
Another 7,000 troops would man and support a new division headquarters for the international force’s Regional Command (RC) South in Kandahar, the Taliban birthplace where the U.S. is due to take command in 2010. Some 4,000 additional U.S. trainers are likely to be sent as well, the officials said.
By Paul Craig Roberts
November 06, 2009 “Information Clearing House”
The US government is now so totally under the thumbs of organized interest groups that “our” government can no longer respond to the concerns of the American people who elect the president and the members of the House and Senate. Voters will vent their frustrations over their impotence on the president, which implies a future of one-term presidents. Soon our presidents will be as ineffective as Roman emperors in the final days of that empire.
Obama is already set on the course to a one-term presidency. He promised change, but has delivered none. His health care bill is held hostage by the private insurance companies seeking greater profits. The most likely outcome will be cuts in Medicare and Medicaid in order to help fund wars that enrich the military/security complex and the many companies created by privatizing services that the military once provided for itself at far lower costs. It would be interesting to know the percentage of the $700+ billion “defense” spending that goes to private companies. In American “capitalism,” an amazing amount of taxpayers’ earnings go to private firms via the government. Yet, Republicans scream about “socializing” health care.
President Barack Obama instructed Justice Department attorneys to argue last week in San Francisco before Federal District Judge Vaughn Walker, that he must toss out the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Shubert v. Bush lawsuit challenging the secret state’s driftnet surveillance of Americans’ electronic communications.
This latest move by the administration follows a pattern replicated countless times by Obama since assuming the presidency in January: denounce the lawless behavior of his Oval Office predecessor while continuing, even expanding, the reach of unaccountable security agencies that subvert constitutional guarantees barring “unreasonable searches and seizures.” EFF senior staff attorney Kevin Bankston wrote:
November 9 will mark the twentieth anniversary of the government of the German Democratic Republic opening crossing points at the wall separating the eastern and western sections of Berlin.
From 1961 to 1989 the wall had been a dividing line in, a symbol of and a metonym for the Cold War.
A generation later events are to be held in Berlin to commemorate the “fall of the Berlin Wall,” the last victory the West can claim over the past two decades. Bogged down in a war in Afghanistan, occupation in Iraq and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the United States, Germany and the West as a whole are eager to cast a fond glance back at what is viewed as their greatest triumph: The collapse of the socialist bloc in Eastern Europe closely followed by the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Baum: New technologies are allowing Israel to maintain control over its occupation remotely
This week, the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erakat, announced that because Israeli settlements continue to grow (with de facto US support) and annex the land planned for a future Palestine, the Palestinians may have to abandon hopes for an independent state. He therefore urged Palestinians to fight for one democratic state where all citizens will be equal. With this announcement, many are wondering what the future of the Israeli occupation would look like. Meanwhile, Israel is continuing its technological evolution of the occupation, making it possible to institutionalize control over the occupation remotely. At the end of October, the joint Israeli-Palestinian Alternative Information Center held a conference in Bethlehem on economy of the occupation. The Real News’ Lia Tarachansky attended and spoke to Dalit Baum of Who Profits and Shir Hever, of the Alternative Information Center about the changing face of the Israeli occupation.
Bill Moyers Journal
November 6, 2009
As America prepares to observe Veterans Day and President Obama weighs sending more troops to fight in Afghanistan, BILL MOYERS JOURNAL broadcasts a powerful documentary about the impact on soldiers of learning to kill – or be killed. THE GOOD SOLDIER follows four veterans – one from World War II, two from Vietnam, and the fourth from Iraq – as they reveal how the experiences of battle changed their lives. Continue reading