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Summary | The Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: Week of January 9

3 New Items including:

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  • 63 Percent of Americans Oppose War In Afghanistan
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  • How the US let al-Qaida get its hands on an Iraqi weapons factory
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

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Milt Priggee

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63 Percent of Americans Oppose War In Afghanistan, Amanda Terkel, Huffington Post
There are, however, at least two groups where there is still a slim majority of support for the war -- the Republican Party establishment, and Tea Party activists.

Mike Ferner: People's Media at Work in Afghanistan, Grant Lawrence, Before It's News
Most Afghans were glad at first when coalition forces toppled the Taliban, but, after 9 years of war and occupation, it's time for the U.S. and NATO to leave.

How the US let al-Qaida get its hands on an Iraqi weapons factory, Dominic Streatfeild, The Guardian | UK
In an exclusive extract from his new book, A History of the World since 9/11, Dominic Streatfeild explains how despite expert warnings, the US let al-Qaida buy an arsenal of deadly weapons – then tried to cover it up.

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Breaking the Israel-Palestine Deadlock

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  • "While intensively engaged in illegal settlement expansion, the government of Israel is also seeking to deal with two problems: a global campaign of what it perceives as 'delegitimation' - that is, objections to its crimes and withdrawal of participation in them - and a parallel campaign of legitimation of Palestine."
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  • The Charade of Israeli-Palestinian Talks
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Noam Chomsky, truthout

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Palestinian Abu Ayaesh picks his grape harvest downhill from the homes of the Karmi Zur settlement. (Photo: michaelramallah)

While intensively engaged in illegal settlement expansion, the government of Israel is also seeking to deal with two problems: a global campaign of what it perceives as “delegitimation” – that is, objections to its crimes and withdrawal of participation in them – and a parallel campaign of legitimation of Palestine.
The “delegitimation,” which is progressing rapidly, was carried forward in December by a Human Rights Watch call on the U.S. “to suspend financing to Israel in an amount equivalent to the costs of Israel’s spending in support of settlements,” and to monitor contributions to Israel from tax-exempt U.S. organizations that violate international law, “including prohibitions against discrimination” – which would cast a wide net.

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Amnesty International had already called for an arms embargo on Israel. The legitimation process also took a long step forward in December, when Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil recognized the State of Palestine (Gaza and the West Bank), bringing the number of supporting nations to more than 100.

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The Charade of Israeli-Palestinian Talks, Noam Chomsky, truthout
Washington’s pathetic capitulation to Israel while pleading for a meaningless three-month freeze on settlement expansion – excluding Arab East Jerusalem – should go down as one of the most humiliating moments in U.S. diplomatic history.

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WikiLeaks: How U.S. tried to stop Spain's torture probe

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  • The episode, revealed in a raft of WikiLeaks cables, was part of a secret concerted U.S. effort to stop a crusading Spanish judge from investigating a torture complaint against former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and five other senior Bush lawyers.
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  • WikiLeaks Cable: White House Worked With GOP To Kill Bush Torture Probe
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Carol Rosenberg, Miami Herald | FL

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button in the above right-hand corner—so we can bring you more just like it.

Spain's Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, left, speaks with U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, center, in the company of the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, Eduardo Aguirre at Spain's Interior Ministry in Madrid, Tuesday Oct. 24, 2006. Gonzales was in Madrid for talks with Spanish officials on cooperation in fighting terrorism, organized crime and illegal immigration. Paul White / Associated Press

It was three months into Barack Obama's presidency, and the administration -- under pressure to do something about alleged abuses in Bush-era interrogation policies -- turned to a Florida senator to deliver a sensitive message to Spain:
Don't indict former President George W. Bush's legal brain trust for alleged torture in the treatment of war on terror detainees, warned Mel Martinez on one of his frequent trips to Madrid. Doing so would chill U.S.-Spanish relations.

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Rather than a resolution, though, a senior Spanish diplomat gave the former GOP chairman and housing secretary a lesson in Spain's separation of powers. "The independence of the judiciary and the process must be respected,'' then-acting Foreign Minister Angel Lossada replied on April 15, 2009. Then for emphasis, "Lossada reiterated to Martinez that the executive branch of government could not close any judicial investigation and urged that this case not affect the overall relationship.''

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WikiLeaks Cable: White House Worked With GOP To Kill Bush Torture Probe, David Corn, Mother Jones
A WikiLeaks cable shows that when Spain considered a criminal case against ex-Bush officials, the Obama White House and Republicans got really bipartisan.

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Summary | The Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: Week of December 26

4 New Items including:

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  • Daniel Ellsberg: Julian Assange Is Not a Terrorist
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  • The Christian-Military-Industrial Complex
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

Scott Stantis

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Special Report | VFP-led DC Peace Action, David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

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  • 131 Choose Arrest at White House as Veteran-led Civil Resistance Demands: "Stop These Wars"
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  • Bitter Memories of War on the Way to Jail
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Daniel Ellsberg: Julian Assange Is Not a Terrorist,  Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!/Reader Supported News
"Assange and Bradley Manning are no more terrorists than I am."

131 Choose Arrest at White House as Veteran-led Civil Resistance Demands: "Stop These Wars", BorderExplorer, All Voices
Civil Resistance to war today (Thursday, Dec 16) at the White House fence leads to 131 arrests.

The Christian-Military-Industrial Complex, Shane Claiborne, Sojourners/God's Politics

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  • It’s true that my Christian faith gives me a passion for peace and sets me at odds with militarism. But I think I’d feel a similar dissatisfaction if the last resort for economic survival at our bookstores was selling Home Depot or Wal-Mart gift cards. I just have higher hopes for a distinctive Christian witness in the world today, even in a recession … especially in a recession.
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  • Bombs, Cookies And The Cross: A Christian View On Military Spending
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  • Western Civilization and Classical Economics: The Immorality of Austerity
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Speaking Ill of ‘the Best and the Brightest’

Holbrooke not only failed to learn from the U.S. mistakes in Vietnam; he repeated them in working for every Democratic president to follow.

Robert Scheer, TruthDig

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

Richard Holbrooke in Afghanistan. AP / Fradioon Pooya

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One of “the best and the brightest” died last week (Dec 12-18), and in Richard Holbrooke we had a perfect example of the dark mischief to which David Halberstam referred when he authored that ironic label. Holbrooke’s life marks the propensity of our elite institutions to turn out alpha leaders with simplistic world-ordering ambitions unrestrained by moral conscience or intellectual humility.

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Fresh from Brown University, Holbrooke marched off as a foreign service officer to win the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese, who were not buying it. He quickly became involved with the pacification program that herded peasants off their land into barbed-wire encampments while we bombed the surrounding areas.

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