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Summary: The Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: Week of August 29

5 New Items including:

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  • Task force: Military suicide prevention efforts inadequate
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  • The occupation of Iraq isn't over - it's being rebranded
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

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Jeff Danziger

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Read Huffington Post's Afghanistan Big News Page, Huffington Post
Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski
Some News So Big It Needs It's Own Page

US Forces in Iraq Shift to Long-term Occupation, Debra Sweet, The World Can't Wait

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  • Adil E. Shamoo, a professor of ethics, writes in What You Will Not Hear About Iraq, "Iraq has between 25 and 50 percent unemployment, a dysfunctional parliament, rampant disease, an epidemic of mental illness, and sprawling slums. The killing of innocent people has become part of daily life. What a havoc the United States has wreaked in Iraq...
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  • Iraq: Torture. Corruption. Civil war. America has Certainly Left Its Mark
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  • The occupation of Iraq isn't over - it's being rebranded
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Iraq: Torture. Corruption. Civil war. America has Certainly Left Its Mark. Robert Fisk, London Independent | UK, in ZCommunications

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  • The American soldiers came. They saw. They lost. And now they say they've won. How the Arabs, surviving on six hours of electricity a day in their bleak country, must be hoping for no more victories like this one.
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  • The War on Iraq : Five US Presidents, Five British Prime Ministers, Thirty Years of Duplicity, and Counting....
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The occupation of Iraq isn't over - it's being rebranded, Debra Sweet, World Can't Wait

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  • The occupation of Iraq is only being re-branded, not ended. Despite President Obama's fallacious claims that the war in Iraq is winding down, the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment is deploying!
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  • We Are Not Your Soldiers!
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  • Collateral Murder: U.S. Soldier Ethan McCord's Eyewitness Story
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Task force: Military suicide prevention efforts inadequate, Barbara Barrett, McClatchy Newspapers

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  • The task force describes the Defense Department's approach as a safety net riddled with holes.
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  • The military must look at mental health and well being as part of an overall approach to fitness — one that includes social, physical, spiritual and psychological wellness.
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Pakistani floods: A man-made not a natural disaster


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The tragedy unfolding in Pakistan as a result of the country’s worst floods in 80 years is a devastating indictment not only of the present Pakistani government, but of its international allies—the US in particular—and the profit system as a whole.

Wije Dias, World Socialist Web Site

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The tragedy unfolding in Pakistan as a result of the country’s worst floods in 80 years is a devastating indictment not only of the present Pakistani government, but of its international allies—the US in particular—and the profit system as a whole. While the torrential rains have been caused by natural forces, the human disaster has been compounded by decades of government neglect and the lack of planning and infrastructure.

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National Disaster Management Authority head Nadim Ahmed yesterday put the number of people affected so far at 12 million, with 650,000 homes destroyed over some 132,000 square kilometres. The official death toll is 1,500 and rising. Hundreds of thousands of people are still stranded without shelter or supplies of food and clean water.

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Iraq: Torture. Corruption. Civil war. America has Certainly Left Its Mark.

The American soldiers came. They saw. They lost. And now they say they've won. How the Arabs, surviving on six hours of electricity a day in their bleak country, must be hoping for no more victories like this one.

Robert Fisk, London Independent | UK, in ZCommunications

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle

When you invade someone else's country, there has to be a first soldier - just as there has to be a last.

The first man in front of the first unit of the first column of the invading American army to reach Fardous Square in the centre of Baghdad in 2003 was Corporal David Breeze of the 3rd Battalion, Fourth Marine Regiment. For that reason, of course, he pointed out to me that he wasn't a soldier at all. Marines are not soldiers. They are Marines. But he hadn't talked to his mom for two months and so - equally inevitably - I offered him my satellite phone to call his home in Michigan. Every journalist knows you'll get a good story if you lend your phone to a soldier in a war.

"Hi, you guys," Corporal Breeze bellowed. "I'm in Baghdad. I'm ringing to say 'Hi! I love you. I'm doing fine. I love you guys.' The war will be over in a few days. I'll see you soon." Yes, they all said the war would be over soon. They didn't consult the Iraqis about this pleasant notion. The first suicide bombers - a policeman in a car and then two women in a car - had already hit the Americans on the long highway up to Baghdad. There would be hundreds more. There will be hundreds more in Iraq in the future.

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The War on Iraq : Five US Presidents, Five British Prime Ministers, Thirty Years of Duplicity, and Counting. ..., Felicity Arbuthnot, Global Research
"Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism's face
 And the international wrong." (W.H. Auden, 1907-1973, writing in 1939.)

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Working the Line

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The hidden life of the U.S. Border Patrol

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Luis Alberto Urrea, Orion magazine<http://www.orionmagazine.org>

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The Border Patrol agent was driving us to supper in a desert border city. Since the publication of my book The Devil’s Highway, I have found myself in this situation with regularity. When I started writing that book, there was no indication that the migra agents would come to consider me their confidant. Even, for some agents, a friend. If you had told me this in my more radical days, or in my Tijuana boyhood, I would have laughed.

It wasn’t late, but the night was already heavy on the land, dropping hard like it does in desert winter. We rode in a late-model pickup—club cab. And the agent was looking up at a railroad bridge as we passed under. “Saw this guy once,” he said, almost to himself. “Three guys, actually. Two on either side, holding up the third. They were staggering down the tracks, you know. So I lit ’em up with my spotlight and got out of the truck.” In my memory, this moment lasts forever. Saguaros splash in our headlights, looking like landscape in black-and-white noir films. He said: “The guy in the middle . . . the train had cut off his feet. But the weight of the train . . . it had pinched his ankles closed. He didn’t seem to know it. He was trying to walk on his stumps.”

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The Devil's Highway ~ Luis Alberto Urrea, Reviewed in LiP Magazine
The Devil's Highway is a strip of deadly desert along the US-Mexico border in a region where, on average, at least one migrant has died every day of the past few years. For the thousands of immigrants from Mexico, Central and South America, and even sometimes Asia and Africa who cross the border here, it really is like hell on earth: an endless swath of jagged mountains and blazing stretches of sand, teeming with Border Patrol agents, corrupt police officers, brutal smugglers, scorpions and rattlesnakes, all under a relentlessly cruel sun.

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The Point of No Return

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Image Credit: Alex Williamson

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  • In the gap between Washington’s and Jerusalem’s views of Iran lies the question: who, if anyone, will stop Iran before it goes nuclear, and how? Here’s an inside look at how, if things remain on the current course, an Israeli air strike will unfold.
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  • Targeting Iran: Is the US Administration Planning a Nuclear Holocaust?
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Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic

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It is possible that at some point in the next 12 months, the imposition of devastating economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran will persuade its leaders to cease their pursuit of nuclear weapons. It is also possible that Iran’s reform-minded Green Movement will somehow replace the mullah-led regime, or at least discover the means to temper the regime’s ideological extremism. It is possible, as well, that “foiling operations” conducted by the intelligence agencies of Israel, the United States, Great Britain, and other Western powers—programs designed to subvert the Iranian nuclear effort through sabotage and, on occasion, the carefully engineered disappearances of nuclear scientists—will have hindered Iran’s progress in some significant way. It is also possible that President Obama, who has said on more than a few occasions that he finds the prospect of a nuclear Iran “unacceptable,” will order a military strike against the country’s main weapons and uranium-enrichment facilities.

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But none of these things—least of all the notion that Barack Obama, for whom initiating new wars in the Middle East is not a foreign-policy goal, will soon order the American military into action against Iran—seems, at this moment, terribly likely. What is more likely, then, is that one day next spring, the Israeli national-security adviser, Uzi Arad, and the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, will simultaneously telephone their counterparts at the White House and the Pentagon, to inform them that their prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has just ordered roughly one hundred F-15Es, F-16Is, F-16Cs, and other aircraft of the Israeli air force to fly east toward Iran—possibly by crossing Saudi Arabia, possibly by threading the border between Syria and Turkey, and possibly by traveling directly through Iraq’s airspace, though it is crowded with American aircraft. (It’s so crowded, in fact, that the United States Central Command, whose area of responsibility is the greater Middle East, has already asked the Pentagon what to do should Israeli aircraft invade its airspace. According to multiple sources, the answer came back: do not shoot them down.)

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Targeting Iran: Is the US Administration Planning a Nuclear Holocaust? Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research

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  • The international community has endorsed nuclear war in the name of World Peace. "Making the World safer" is the justification for launching a military operation which could potentially result in a nuclear holocaust.
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  • The Real Aim of Israel’s Bomb Iran Campaign
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