Category Archives: violence

Soldiers Speak Out While Obama Escalates War on Afghanistan

Veterans to Congress: Rethink Afghanistan Now

Military Escalation: Obama okays $130 b for Afghanistan, Iraq wars

President Barack Obama Wednesday signed the fiscal 2010 National Defence Authorization Act during a ceremony at the White House.

Obama hailed the act, which contains $680.2 billion in military budget authority, as transformational legislation that targets wasteful defence spending.

The authorization act contains $130 billion to fund overseas contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and it also provides $6.7 billion for thousands of all-terrain, mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles now arriving in Afghanistan.

The president was accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, congressional leaders and other senior officials, including Defence Secretary Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“There’s still more waste we need to cut; there’s still more fights that we need to win,” Obama said, noting he and Gates will continue to seek out unnecessary defence spending.

Obama said he has ended unnecessary no-bid defence contracts and signed bipartisan legislation to reform defence procurement practices so weapons systems’ costs do not spin out of control. “Even as we have made critical investments in equipment and weapons our troops do need, we’re eliminating tens of billions of dollars in waste we don’t need,” Obama said.
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“As commander in chief, I will always do whatever it takes to keep the American people safe to defend this nation,” Obama said. “That’s why this bill provides for the best military in the history of the world.”
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Money also is budgeted to fund programs that address “real and growing threats,” Obama said. Such systems, he said, include the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter, the littoral combat ship, and more helicopters and reconnaissance support for deployed U.S. forces.

Obama praised Gates and Mullen for their hard work in developing the 2010 defence budget. “I want to thank, publicly, Bob Gates for his service to our nation,” he said, and he added that Mullen has “provided wise counsel and stood with us in our efforts to initiate reform.”

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Obama Nation: Ray of Hope has Already Darkened for Many

State of Obama Nation: One year on from America’s choice

Decorated Marine Resigns in Protest Over War in Afghanistan

U.S. Official: Afghanistan Not Worth It

A former Marine turned diplomat resigns in protest over the war in Afghanistan.

U.S. official resigns over Afghan war

When Matthew Hoh joined the Foreign Service early this year, he was exactly the kind of smart civil-military hybrid the administration was looking for to help expand its development efforts in Afghanistan.

A former Marine Corps captain with combat experience in Iraq, Hoh had also served in uniform at the Pentagon, and as a civilian in Iraq and at the State Department. By July, he was the senior U.S. civilian in Zabul province, a Taliban hotbed.

But last month, in a move that has sent ripples all the way to the White House, Hoh, 36, became the first U.S. official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war, which he had come to believe simply fueled the insurgency.

“I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan,” he wrote Sept. 10 in a four-page letter to the department’s head of personnel. “I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end.”

The reaction to Hoh’s letter was immediate. Senior U.S. officials, concerned that they would lose an outstanding officer and perhaps gain a prominent critic, appealed to him to stay.

U.S. Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry brought him to Kabul and offered him a job on his senior embassy staff. Hoh declined. From there, he was flown home for a face-to-face meeting with Richard C. Holbrooke, the administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“We took his letter very seriously, because he was a good officer,” Holbrooke said in an interview. “We all thought that given how serious his letter was, how much commitment there was, and his prior track record, we should pay close attention to him.”

While he did not share Hoh’s view that the war “wasn’t worth the fight,” Holbrooke said, “I agreed with much of his analysis.” He asked Hoh to join his team in Washington, saying that “if he really wanted to affect policy and help reduce the cost of the war on lives and treasure,” why not be “inside the building, rather than outside, where you can get a lot of attention but you won’t have the same political impact?” Full Story

Special Needs Children Abused in Schools

Mom Says School Aide Waterboarded Her Kid

Special Needs Student Beaten by Illinois police over dress code

Boy stripped to underwear locked in seclusion room in school

Peace Prize President to Send 45000 More Troops to Afghanistan

Obama: Afghanistan Decision in ‘Coming Weeks’

United States to send ‘up to 45,000 more troops to Afghanistan’

President Barack Obama’s administration is understood to have told the British government that it could announce, as early as next week, the substantial increase to its 65,000 troops already serving there.

The decision from Mr Obama comes after he considered a request from General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander in Afghanistan, to send tens of thousands of extra American troops to the country.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the Chief of the Defence Staff, said: “I don’t want to put words in the mouths of the Americans but I am fairly confident of the way it is going to come out.”

An announcement next week could coincide with a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Bratislava, Slovakia, due next Thursday and Friday.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs dismissed the claims, after President Obama met with his war council for the fifth time to map out a new strategy in Afghanistan.

“I would not put any weight behind the fact that a decision has been made, when the President has yet to make a decision,” he told reporters in Washington.

“I’ve seen the report. It’s not true, either generally or specifically. The president has not made a decision.”

But Ministry of Defence sources indicated that the British Government had been told to expect a substantial increase in the number of of American troops.

Earlier Gordon Brown announced the British force in Afghanistan would increase to 9,500 but was told by former defence secretary John Hutton that he should have sent more troops to Afghanistan six months ago. Full Story

Weapons Used in Illegal Iraqi War Causing Birth Defects

Deformed babies in Fallujah Iraq

Young women in Fallujah in Iraq are terrified of having children because of the increasing number of babies born grotesquely deformed, with no heads, two heads, a single eye in their foreheads, scaly bodies or missing limbs. In addition, young children in Fallujah are now experiencing hideous cancers and leukaemias. These deformities are now well documented, for example in television documentaries on SKY UK on September 1 2009, and on SKY UK June 2008. Our direct contact with doctors in Fallujah report that:

In September 2009, Fallujah General Hospital had 170 new born babies, 24% of whom were dead within the first seven days, a staggering 75% of the dead babies were classified as deformed.

This can be compared with data from the month of August in 2002 where there were 530 new born babies of whom six were dead within the first seven days and only one birth defect was reported.

Doctors in Fallujah have specifically pointed out that not only are they witnessing unprecedented numbers of birth defects but premature births have also considerably increased after 2003. But what is more alarming is that doctors in Fallujah have said, “a significant number of babies that do survive begin to develop severe disabilities at a later stage”.

As one of a number of doctors, scientists and those with deep concern for Iraq, Dr Chris Burns-Cox, a British hospital physician, wrote a letter to the Rt. Hon. Clare Short, M.P. asking about this situation. She wrote a letter to the Rt. Hon.Douglas Alexander, M.P. the Secretary of State of the Department for International Development (a post she had held before she resigned on a matter of principle in May 2003 ) asking for clarification of the position of deformed children in Fallujah.

GI Resistance Increasing Against Unconstitutional Wars

US Soldiers Find Themselves Being Terrorists in Afghanistan

As the US continues to step up war efforts in Afghanistan, the number of American soldiers refusing deployment to war zones is also increasing. Author and Independent Journalist Dahr Jamail tells RT that U.S. soldiers in combat zones find themselves being terrorist.