‘With US politics swimming in so much corporate money that it’s pretty much an oligarchy, it can be hard to keep track of which particular set of lobbyists is trying to milk more cash out of health care, fossil fuels, and other very important issues from one week to the next.
But thanks to 16-year-old Nick Rubin, keeping track of just how much politicians have sold out has become a lot easier. He created Greenhouse, a new browser plug-in that operates under the motto “Some are red. Some are blue. All are green.” The plugin aims “to shine light on a social and industrial disease of today: the undue influence of money in our Congress.”‘
‘America has entered its third great era: the post-constitutional one. In the first, in the colonial years, a unitary executive, the King of England, ruled without checks and balances, allowing no freedom of speech, due process or privacy when it came to protecting his power.
In the second, the principles of the Enlightenment and an armed rebellion were used to push back the king’s abuses. The result was a new country and a new constitution with a Bill of Rights expressly meant to check the government’s power. Now we are wading into the shallow waters of a third era, a time when that government is abandoning the basic ideas that saw our nation through centuries of challenges far more daunting than terrorism. Those ideas—enshrined in the Bill of Rights—are disarmingly concise. Think of them as the haiku of a genuine people’s government.
Deeper, darker waters lie ahead and we seem drawn down into them. For here there be monsters.’
‘As we’ve been told since 9/11, the government needs certain special powers in order to keep us safe from terrorism. The PATRIOT Act, FISA Courts, telecom immunity, the NSA looking at your naked pictures – all of this is made or enhanced in the name of fighting the type of monsters who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks. Certainly the Fourth Amendment can be weakened in the name of that most noble of goals.
And man, has it! But as I have previously mentioned in this space, the convenient thing for the security state fanatics is that so much of the anti-terrorism work has been done for them already in the name of another cause all together. Frequently, that would be the war on drugs.’
‘America is on the precipice of a fascist uprising. While liberals have consistently leveled the f-word against opponents on the right, much the same way conservatives have appropriated socialist or Marxist against those on the political left, there is now data showing that proto-fascist movements are on the rise. The kindling for the fire of fascism has already been lit. While the Republican Party holds at least one branch of the federal government, America will never be able to deal intelligently and earnestly with the economic policies that have destroyed the working class and all but decimated the middle class. A GOP congress guarantees that Democratic efforts to raise the minimum wage, reform the tax code and repair our crumbling infrastructure will be thwarted, all in the name of protecting the rich from paying their fair share.
Long-term unemployment promises to be the norm, as well stagnant and poverty-level wages, foreclosures, crippling personal debt and bankruptcies, the evaporation of savings and retirement funds, the outsourcing of jobs, the continued dilapidation of our schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, and airports, and the regulations that safeguard our food, water, and clean air. All this comes courtesy of obscene profits, bonuses, taxpayer subsidies, tax breaks and compensation being doled out to our corporate overlords. “It [USA] is very similar to late Weimar Germany,” says Noam Chomsky. “The parallels are striking, and the United States is extremely lucky that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen.”’
‘The U.S. Army bought its first spy drone in 1959. After more than five decades of technological advancement, today’s unmanned aircraft do much more … with much less human support. Radioplane’s AN/USD-1 system—also known as Surveillance Drone 1 or SD-1—originally was a target for training anti-aircraft gunners. These early drones were similar in size and shape to the current RQ-7 Shadow.
An SD-1 weighed 430 pounds and had a wingspan of 11.5 feet. The current RQ-7B checks in at 375 pounds, with a wing spanning 14 feet. The SD-1 quickly evolved. The Army expected it to fly over the battlefield searching for enemy troops and spotting targets for artillery. The Shadow performs the same basic functions, as well as teaming up with attack helos,relaying radio messages and, in the near future, maybe even attacking the enemy on its own. But this is where the similarities end.’
‘The Obama administration has expanded the national terrorist watchlist system by approving broad guidelines over who can be targeted. A leaked copy of the secret government guidebook reveals that to be a deemed a “terrorist” target, “irrefutable evidence or concrete facts are not necessary.” Both “known” and “suspected” suspects are tracked, and terrorism is so broadly defined that it includes people accused of damaging property belonging to the government or financial institutions. Other factors that can justify inclusion on the watchlist include postings on social media or having a relative already deemed a terrorist. We are joined by investigative reporters Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux of The Intercept. Last week they published the secret U.S. document along with their new article, “The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist.”’ (Democracy Now!)
- Blacklisted: The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist
- The Absurd Criteria Needed to Put You on a Terror Watchlist Will Shock You
- U.S. government agents ‘directly involved’ in most high-profile US terror plots
- NYPD detained men who had pressure cookers to ‘prepare rice’
- Government fails to vet chemical plants with terror risk
- U.S. government changes focus in War On Terror towards U.S. citizens
- Homeland Security adviser tweets America is ‘Islamic country’
- FBI Threatens Man’s Life for Refusing to Become Informant
- No-fly list used by FBI to coerce Muslims into informing, lawsuit claims
- NYPD Has Disbanded Its Most Notorious Spy Unit, but Is the Age of Muslim Surveillance Really Over?
‘Ten hours before the first plane hit the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, Bill Clinton allegedly told a group of businessmen in Australia that he had a chance to kill Osama bin Laden, but passed because it would have meant killing hundreds of innocent civilians. That’s according to never-before-released audio of remarks made public by Australian media on Wednesday.
On September 10, 2001, Clinton was speaking to a group of about 30 businessmen in Melbourne, including Michael Kroger, the former head of the Liberal Party in the Australian state of Victoria. The event was recorded with the former president’s permission, according to Kroger, but the audio never released — until Wednesday night, when Kroger appeared on Sky News with host Paul Murray to unveil it. Kroger said he had forgotten about the recording until last week. ‘
‘As Abdel Hakim Belhaj appeals the ruling that barred him from suing MI6 for its role in his rendition and torture in 2004, his lawyer told a British court that UK government officials are trying to evade responsibility and prevent the case from continuing.
Richard Hermer QC, who represents Belhaj, told the judges of UK’s high court on Monday that government officials want “immunity from accountability… irrespective of the illegality of the act.”
Belhaj is suing MI6, MI5, the Home Office, the Foreign Office, and other UK intelligence agencies and officials for their collusion in his and his wife’s abduction and rendition to Libya, where they were tortured by security forces of Muammar Gaddafi. Belhaj’s wife, Fatima Boudchar, was pregnant at the time. Belhaj, a prominent Libyan dissident, was a leader of the anti-Gaddafi Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and the Libyan al-Watan party.’
- Police investigate evidence that six CIA torture flights landed in Scotland
- Lost US extraordinary rendition files have ‘dried out’, Foreign Office says
- Senate report points to UK ‘complicity’ in US extraordinary rendition
- Emails shed new light on UK link to CIA ‘torture flights’
- Secret British files on CIA rendition flights ‘accidentally destroyed’
- Investigation into UK gov’t complicity is ‘expedient on grounds of national security’
- UK urged to admit that CIA used island as secret ‘black site’ prison
‘[...] The fear of Communist expansion into the Western Hemisphere after Fidel Castro’s 1959 victory in the Cuban Revolution was the geo-political background for the 1963 KUBARK manual. Castro’s victory not only encouraged the 1964 U.S.-supported overthrow of democratically elected Brazilian President Joao Goulart; it also encouraged the CIA to spread KUBARK across the continent to help prop up pro-U.S. governments. After the Brazilian coup, right-wing military leaders across Latin America began seizing control from democratically elected governments with US encouragement, School of the Americas degrees, and a copy of the KUBARK manual.
The Secret, 127-page KUBARK manual, first declassified (with redactions) in 1997 thanks to a Baltimore Sun FOIA request, is a comprehensive guide for training interrogators in obtaining intelligence from “resistant sources.” According to the National Security Archive’s 2004 posting, Prisoner Abuse: Patterns from the Past, KUBARK –a CIA cryptonym for itself– “describes the qualifications of a successful interrogator, and reviews the theory of non-coercive and coercive techniques for breaking a prisoner.”’
- CIA: KUBARK’s very long shadow
- After 16 years, CIA declassifies new portions of “KUBARK” interrogation manual
- Newly Revealed Portions of CIA Torture Manual: Doctoring Tapes, Foreign Detentions & Interrogating ‘Defectors”
- National Archives Quietly Pulls School of the Americas Human Rights Evidence Citing Possible “Terrorist Activity”
- Torture was taught by CIA; Declassified manual details the methods used in Honduras; Agency denials refuted
- A Debate on Torture: Legal Architect of CIA Secret Prisons, Rendition vs. Human Rights Attorney
- CIA Admits It Spied on Senate Intel Panel
- Internal CIA Investigation Confirms CIA Hacked into Senate Computers Being Used for Torture Report
- Scahill: White House Censoring What US Public Can Know About Torture Program
- Pelosi Hesitates To Criticize CIA: ‘They Really Come After You’
- White House accidentally emails torture report document to AP
- CIA initially ‘kept Colin Powell in the dark’ about torture practices
- Senate’s CIA report could come out in August
- Senators consider obscure rule in CIA torture report declassification debate
- Dispute over ex-CIA officials’ access to Senate ‘torture report’ highlights feud
- New Torture Report Blames Obama and the Media for Not Confronting the Truth
- The CIA spying scandal and the disintegration of American democracy
- Security fears loom over CIA report
- Torture, the Senate, and the CIA
- What Happened to CIA Torture Report? Senate in the Dark Too
- Generals Want CIA Torture Report Declassified
- CIA torture architect breaks silence to defend ‘enhanced interrogation’
- CIA’s Declassified Torture Handbook: How to Create a “World of Fear, Terror, Anxiety, Dread”
- Don’t Let the Torturer Play Censor
‘Isolated native people likely to be fleeing attacks in Peru have turned up in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest where they made contact with the outside world, according to a video released by the country’s indigenous authority.
Brazilian experts have said the tribespeople probably crossed the border as they had come under pressure from illegal logging and drug trafficking at home. The tribe, part of the Pano linguistic group, made contact with the Ashaninka native people of northern Brazil in late June.’
‘On Tuesday, Clint Williamson — an American diplomat appointed EU prosecutor in 2011 to investigate crimes against humanity in Kosovo — released a scathing statement that accused the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) of murdering a handful of people and then trafficking their kidneys, livers, and other body parts. KLA leaders now run the tiny Balkan country’s government…. The KLA also murdered, kidnapped, and detained people illegally, and in general oversaw a reign of terror against its non-Albanian and Albanian opponents after the group won Kosovo’s independence from Serbia in 1999.
The important thing for Americans to recall here is that the KLA achieved victory with the help of United States and NATO bombers attacking Serbian forces. At the time, President Bill Clinton portrayed the KLA as freedom fighters challenging Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic — a genocidal monster who died in a Hague prison cell in 2006. A few years ago, grateful Kosovars erected a bronze statue of Clinton in downtown Pristina, their capital. But now, it turns out, members of the KLA were probably monsters, too.’
‘The UK is full of heavy drinkers with bad eating habits who are ignorant, intolerant and too nationalistic – so it’s just as well that we are also very polite.
It might sound like a stereotypical list of national traits, but these are the views of more than 5,000 young adults from five different countries who were asked to give their opinion on modern Britain by the British Council.
Its report As Others See Us, published today, shows that the UK is struggling to overcome certain long-held negative perceptions about its poor weather and cuisine, which are viewed as its least attractive features. Culture and history are seen as its best qualities, with its best-known cultural icons cited as Shakespeare, the Queen, and David Beckham.’
‘As The Nation has warned repeatedly, the unthinkable may now be rapidly unfolding in Ukraine: not just the new Cold War already under way but an actual war between US-led NATO and Russia. The epicenter is Ukraine’s eastern territory, known as the Donbass, a large industrial region heavily populated by Russian-speaking Ukrainian citizens and closely tied to its giant neighbor by decades of economic, political, cultural and family relations.
The shoot-down of Malaysian jetliner MH17 on July 17 should have compelled the US-backed government in Kiev to declare a prolonged cease-fire in its land and air attacks on nearby cities in order to honor the 298 victims, give international investigators safe access to the crash site, and begin peace talks. Instead, Kiev, with Washington’s backing, immediately intensified its attacks on those residential areas, vowing to “liberate” them from pro-Russian “terrorists,” as it brands resisters in eastern Ukraine, killing more innocent people. In response, Moscow is reportedly preparing to send heavy weapons to the “self-defenders” of the Donbass.
Now, according to a story in The New York Times of July 27, the White House may give Kiev sensitive intelligence information enabling it to pinpoint and destroy such Russian equipment, thereby, the Times article also suggests, risking “escalation with Russia.” To promote this major escalation, the Obama administration is alleging, without firm evidence, that Russia is already “firing artillery from its territory into Ukraine.” Virtually unreported, however, is repeated Ukrainian shelling of Russia’s own territory, which killed a resident on July 13.
In fact, Kiev has been Washington’s military proxy against Russia and its “compatriots” in eastern Ukraine for months. Since the political crisis began, Secretary of State John Kerry, CIA Director John Brennan and Vice President Joseph Biden (twice) have been in Kiev, followed by “senior US defense officials,” American military equipment and financial aid. Still more, a top US Defense Department official informed a Senate committee that the department’s “advisers” are now “embedded” in the Ukrainian defense ministry.’
- Senate bill 2277: The “Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014”
- Former US intelligence officers warn President Obama on US actions against Russia
- Germany Pushes Broad Plan to Settle Russia-Ukraine Dispute
- The U.S. Is Already MILITARILY Involved In Ukraine
- Pentagon Plan Would Help Ukraine Target Rebel Missiles
- US Senators Push for Lethal Military Aid to Ukraine
- Senator Corker: MH17 Should “Galvanize” U.S. & International Community to Make Putin Pay
- Pat Buchanan: A GOP Ultimatum to Vlad
- Russia says Lavrov, Kerry agree on need for swift ceasefire in Ukraine
- As fighting continues in east Ukraine, U.S. releases images said to implicate Russia
- CFR: Putin Appears to Be Angling for Invasion, Not De-Escalation
- Cameron: Britain will not start World War Three over Ukraine
- US Releases Satellite Images Allegedly Proving Russian Shelling Of East Ukraine
- The Public Turns Against War
- Ukraine leader calls for ‘larger’ US response
- Ukraine Asked U.S. for Tech to Counter Russia’s Jet-Killers
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine to fend off Putin-backed rebels
- The Rise of BRICS: Cold War Redux or End of Empires?
- It’s Still 1945 in Europe — In Washington’s View
‘Ricardo Espírito Santo Silva Salgado is known in Portugal as “Dono disto tudo,” or “Owner of everything.’ The oligarch’s family has been calling the shots in Portugal for over a century. It’s the largest shareholder of the country’s biggest stock market listed bank, and controls a string of other financial companies, agricultural, energy, health care and property companies in Portugal and across the globe. But now it looks like the final chapters in the long history of the most renowned members of the country’s elite are about to be written. And perhaps with it a new chapter in Portugal’s and Europe’s financial and economic crisis.
Last week Ricardo Salgado, now aged 70, was arrested. He was detained – later released on bail for €3m – in connection with a long-running investigation into money laundering and tax evasion. Ricardo Salgado’s arrest didn’t come about of nowhere. The Espírito Santo family has been under “intense scrutiny” since earlier this year when an audit ordered by the central bank discovered accounting irregularities at the Luxembourg-registered holding company ESI. With ESI and its 100%-owned Rioforte now preparing for bankruptcy, the country’s President Anibal Cavaco Silva has admitted that the failure could be systemic: “We cannot ignore that there will be some impact on the real economy,” he said, providing a rather darker forecast that most of the experts quoted in the press with soothing words such as “contained” and “priced-in.”’
‘[...] The campaign against Argentina shows how driven and deep-pocketed hedge funds can sometimes wield influence outside of the markets they bet in. George Soros’s successful wager against the pound in 1992 affected Britain’s relationship with Europe for years.
While Mr. Singer’s firm has yet to collect any money from Argentina, some debt market experts say that the battle may already have shifted the balance of power toward creditors in the enormous debt markets that countries regularly tap to fund their deficits. Countries in crisis may now find it harder to gain relief from creditors after defaulting on their debt, they assert.
“We’ve had a lot of bombs being thrown around the world, and this is America throwing a bomb into the global economic system,” said Joseph E. Stiglitz, the economist and professor at Columbia University. “We don’t know how big the explosion will be — and it’s not just about Argentina.”’
- Argentina’s second debt default could have been avoided
- How an American hedge fund forced Argentina into default
- Profile: Argentina’s nemesis, hedge fund manager Paul Singer
- Argentina blames US mediator for debt default
- It’s the end of Argentina as we know it, and the world economy will be just fine
- Why Does Argentina Not Simply Default Again?
- Argentina Loses Court Appeal Against “Vulture” Fund Manager Paul Singer
- The Vulture: Chewing Argentina’s Living Corpse
- Greg Palast on Vulture Capitalism, Argentina & Goldman Sachs
- The Fragile State Of Argentina When It Defaulted (Documentary)
- Greg Palast: Who Shot Argentina? The Finger Prints On the Smoking Gun Read ‘I.M.F.’
‘It was a momentous day for Latin America: On March 11, 1990, Augusto Pinochet, the region’s last military dictator, finally handed power to an elected civilian president. Since then, democracy has put down roots in the Americas to such an extent that few expect a repeat of the bloody coups that frequently punctuated the region’s history.
But now, across Latin America, the military is flexing its muscles once again and taking on more central roles in society, including in ways that experts warn are posing subtler risks to constitutional rule.
The most obvious way is the armed forces’ increasingly upfront participation in crime fighting, with the public, media and politicians demanding a “mano dura,” or firm hand, against rampant street violence and ruthless drug cartels.’
- CSIS: Latin American Defense Spending Trends
- U.S. Defense Spending vs. Global Defense Spending
- U.S. military expands its drug war in Latin America
- The US war on drugs and its legacy in Latin America
- Latin America promising market for Russian military aviation
- Lavrov: Russia has no plans for military bases in Latin America
- Putin’s quiet Latin America play
‘[...] This is the reality of Colombia today. But it’s not, of course, the story sold by the Colombian government and its US and British backers. As far as they’re concerned, the peace talks with the Farc are heading for success after Juan Manuel Santos was re-elected president last month on a peace ticket.
Colombian officials talk peace and human rights with an evangelical zeal and a dizzying array of flipcharts. But, as one independent report after another confirms, there is a chasm between the spin and life on the ground. Laws are not implemented or abusers prosecuted. Thousands of political prisoners languish in Colombia’s jails. Political, trade union and social movement activists are still routinely jailed or assassinated.
A quarter of a million have died in Colombia’s war, the large majority of them at the hands of the army, police and government-linked paramilitaries. Five million have been forced from their homes. Although the violence is down from its peak, the killing of human rights and union activists has actually increased in the past year.’
- Colombian peace talks will fail without government concessions, Farc warns
- Colombia president says ‘demented’ FARC attacks could end peace talks
- Testimony: Colombian soldiers paid $500 for victims to boost kill counts
- Who controls Medellín? Fragile peace in Colombia’s ‘model’ city
- US removes terror designation for Colombia group
- Santos Wins ‘Dirty Election’ in Colombia
- Support From the Left Helps Keep a Right-Wing President in Power in Colombia
- Colombia’s FARC rebels hope World Cup fosters ‘reconciliation’
- Colombia government and Farc rebels to set up truth commission
- Colombian peace negotiator demands FARC hand in weapons
- Factbox: Colombia’s left-wing guerrillas the ELN
- High-stakes Colombian presidential race marred by scandals, personal feuds
- After 50 years of war, Colombian rebels look to politics
- Colombia presidential candidate says spying scandal a plot against him
- Colombia rebels say ‘stable and lasting peace’ is possible
- Gangs target Colombian children
- Human Rights Watch Colombia Report 2014
- 2013: Record year for attacks against human rights defenders
- Colombia: Disappearances Plague Major Port
‘Burundi’s ruling party is perpetrating a relentless campaign of intimidation against government critics and its youth wing is carrying out crimes with impunity ahead of next year’s election, warns Amnesty International in a report published today.
‘Locked down: A shrinking of political space’ explores a crackdown on freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly and a sharp increase in politicized violence in Burundi linked to the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) party.
“The government’s clampdown on free expression and peaceful assembly has serious implications for human rights ahead of next year’s elections,” said Tom Gibson, Amnesty International’s Burundi researcher.
Political tensions in Burundi have run high as President Nkurunziza looks to be pushing for a third presidential term, perceived by many as in violation of Burundi’s Constitution.’
‘Twitter in Turkey broke into a collective grin on Wednesday as hundreds of women posted pictures of themselves laughing. They weren’t just happy. They were smiling in defiance of the deputy prime minister, Bülent Arinç, who in a speech to mark Eid al-Fitr on Monday said women should not laugh in public.
…On Wednesday thousands of women posted pictures of themselves laughing out loud, with the hashtags #direnkahkaha (resist laughter) and #direnkadin (resist woman) trending on Twitter. Turkish men also took to social media to express their solidarity. “The men of a country in which women are not allowed to laugh are cowards”, tweeted one user.’
Spinwatch director talks to VICE about British PR companies “reputation laundering” for dictatorships
‘The UK PR industry generates roughly £7.5 billion per year. If you work in media, it might feel like a good chunk of that comes via companies blasting your inbox with products that literally no one could ever want. But let’s be rational about this: there’s a lot more to be made by working for heavy hitters than trying to flog iridescent bean bags to a music reviews website.
Helped by a lack of interference from the government, and with no regulation standing in their way, British PR firms are doing their bit to suppress the evils of foreign dictatorships, and making a decent sum in the process. This isn’t a new phenomenon, of course – regimes have been employing spin doctors for decades whenever they need a dodgy human rights violation smoothed over. But thanks to the internet, there are increasingly more ways in which they can soften whatever blow it is that needs softening.’
Using TV, videos or a computer game as a stress reducer after a tough day can lead to feelings of guilt and failure
‘It seems common practice: After a long day at work, most people sometimes just want to turn on the TV or play a video or computer game to calm down and relax. However, in a study recently published in the Journal of Communication researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany and VU University Amsterdam in the Netherlands found that people who were highly stressed after work did not feel relaxed or recovered when they watched TV or played computer or video games. Instead, they tended to show increased levels of guilt and feelings of failure.’
‘In a world that is becoming increasingly more polarized, it’s hard to decipher truth. News outlets we once turned to for information have now become sensationalized 24-hour “info-tainment” networks. Yet one journalist has had enough of the system that controls media, finance and government, and is Breaking the Set in hope of inspiring viewers to act and think locally. At 29 years old, Abby Martin has definitely left her mark on political journalism. Outspoken and a little unfiltered at times, she stands true to herself (nose ring included) in delivering stories that deserve public recognition.
As a Millennial herself, Abby understands the plight we face as a generation. Mainstream media has lost all legitimacy. Financial institutions have proven to be dangerous and manipulative. And our government has exercised unrestrained spending and power causing young adults to be eternally in debt and slaves to the authority. But with the rise of the Internet, new mediums are popping up daily that offer hope for the future.’
‘Ever since U.S. forces invaded Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, the U.S. government has worried that Iraq would splinter into three states — each representing the feuding religious and ethnic factions the dictator held together through his iron rule. It may no longer be necessary to worry that Iraq will break apart. In many ways, it already has.
The radical Islamic State that seized a swath of western and central Iraq last month effectively left the nation in three pieces, government officials and analysts say. The United States worries that a fractured Iraq could lead to a failed state, allowing the radical Islamists to establish a stronghold from which they can export terrorism to other parts of the region and world.
Ryan Crocker, who served as U.S. ambassador to Iraq from 2007 to 2009, described the divisions as “Shiastan,” “Jihadistan” and Kurdistan. The references are to the majority Shiite Muslims, who run the national government in Baghdad; the insurgent Sunni Muslim jihadists who make up the Islamic State; and the ethnic Kurds, who have long presided over an oil-rich, semiautonomous enclave in the north.’
- Iraq edges towards collapse into rival statelets
- Purge of minorities re-draws Iraq map
- Idea of splitting Iraq into 3 autonomous enclaves gains traction
- US planning to split Iraq
- Bush-Era Advocates Of Splitting Iraq Into Three Parts Say: I Told You So
- 2006: The Case For Dividing Iraq
- Biden in 2006: Split Iraq into 3 different regions
‘Former FBI director Robert Mueller said Friday, “what’s happening in Gaza today will feed and fuel the desire for many more to join radical groups.”
Mueller was participating in a panel at the Aspen Security Forum discussing the growing flow of foreign fighter, particularly those with western passports, to countries like Syria with the intention of joining the global jihad.
Mueller added that those inspired to join radical groups will not necessarily go to the Gaza strip, but could feel prompted to look join the larger extremist movement elsewhere (for example, in Iraq and Syria).’
‘As the ambulance stopped in Iraq’s northern city of Kirkuk, people rushed in to help. They unloaded six children, from several months to 11 years old, all injured allegedly by an air attack in the neighbouring town of Tuz Khurmatu. “The situation in Iraq is grave,” said Tirana Hassan, senior emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch, recalling a scene she witnessed during a recent research trip there. “Families, including those with children, are stuck in the middle of an increasingly violent war and they are paying the price,” she told IPS.
Nearly two months since the outbreak of violence between Islamist militants and Iraqi government forces, civilian casualties have surged. In June alone, 1,500 people were killed, the highest in a month since 2008, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said. “In all conflict-affected areas, child casualties due to indiscriminate or systematic attacks by armed groups and by government shelling on populated areas have been on the rise,” said UNAMI. Activists have also reported child casualties caused by government airstrikes against fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).’