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Olle Johansson | Celebrate Mexican independence / CagleCartoons.com

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Iraq Posting Massive Surplus Thanks To U.S. Taxpayers

The GAO report concludes with an understated recommendation that "Congress may wish to consider Iraq's available financial resources" when reviewing future funding requests to support the Iraqi security forces.

Dan Froomkin, Huffington Post

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Barbara Ross

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Even as the United States has been borrowing trillions to pursue its wars in the Middle East, the government of Iraq has posted a tidy surplus, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

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The report makes a direct link between U.S. government spending -- including $642 billion on U.S. military operations there and $24 billion for training and equipping the Iraqi security forces -- and Iraq's cumulative surplus of $52.1 billion through the end of 2009.

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For comparison purposes, Iraq's annual gross domestic product is $65.8 billion. Meanwhile, the U.S. national debt has soared from $6.4 trillion to $13.4 trillion since former president George W. Bush invaded Iraq and decided to borrow the money for wars and slash taxes.

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Fact Check: Is Iraq combat really over for US? Calvin Woodward, Associated Press, New York Times | NY

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  • Despite President Barack Obama's declaration Tuesday (August 31) of an end to the combat mission in Iraq, combat almost certainly lies ahead.
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  • The occupation of Iraq isn't over - it's being rebranded
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Why Becoming a Legal Immigrant Is Next to Impossible

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  • Many wrongly assume there is a process you can easily go through to become legal. In reality, our immigration system is a bureaucratic nightmare.
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  • No One is “Illegal”
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  • Stop the Militarization of the DREAM Act!
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Mari Herreras  Tucson Weekly

The young woman sitting at a kitchen table with her father looks like any other Arizona teenager. Her hair is pulled back in a ponytail, and she's wearing jeans and a T-shirt emblazoned with a large silver peace sign.

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Moments ago she was running around her family's house in slippers being chased by a little black puppy her family got her -- a perfect distraction from her family's worries that her father faces deportation back to Mexico, where the family came from more than 14 years ago.

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At the request of the family's attorney, the Tucson Weekly will not identify her or her father or mother. The family is undocumented, in the country illegally. But this 18-year-old wants you to know a few things about her. She wants you to know that she works extra hard to be a good person. She obeys the law, works hard in school and cares about her community. She is in almost every way a model U.S. citizen.

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No One is “Illegal” Jim Wallis, Sojourners/God's Politics

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Today (Sep 15) is a day of hope for immigration reform. More than 500 immigration activists and faith leaders have gathered in Washington, D.C. to call on Congress to act on immigration reform. They represent the tens of thousands of you reading SojoMail today who, over the past few years, have taken action on immigration reform. It has been a long road, and a tough fight.

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But your actions make a difference. Due, in part, to this ongoing pressure, Senator Harry Reid announced yesterday (Sep 14) that the DREAM Act will be voted on as early as next week (Sep 19-25). The DREAM Act is bi-partisan legislation that allows young people who have been raised in the United States, excelled in school, and then pursued higher education or service in the military to have a pathway to citizenship.

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Stop the Militarization of the DREAM Act!, Comite Anti-Militarizacion (CAMI), in Change.org
Comite Anti-Militarizacion (CAMI) supports higher education for all students both documented and undocumented; however, we denounce the military component of the DREAM ACT. Unfortunately, this deadly component is strategically excluded from the debate by many Democrats and organizations who support the DREAM ACT.

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Nine years after 9/11, let's stop playing into bin Laden's hands

Could bin Laden, in his wildest imaginings, have hoped to provoke greater chaos? It is past time to reflect on what our enemy sought, and still seeks, to accomplish -- and how we have accommodated him.
The Self-Inflicted Wounds of 9/11

Ted Koppel, Washington Post | DC

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, succeeded far beyond anything Osama bin Laden could possibly have envisioned. This is not just because they resulted in nearly 3,000 deaths, nor only because they struck at the heart of American financial and military power. Those outcomes were only the bait; it would remain for the United States to spring the trap.

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The goal of any organized terrorist attack is to goad a vastly more powerful enemy into an excessive response. And over the past nine years, the United States has blundered into the 9/11 snare with one overreaction after another. Bin Laden deserves to be the object of our hostility, national anguish and contempt, and he deserves to be taken seriously as a canny tactician. But much of what he has achieved we have done, and continue to do, to ourselves. Bin Laden does not deserve that we, even inadvertently, fulfill so many of his unimagined dreams.

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The Self-Inflicted Wounds of 9/11, Melvin A. Goodman, Truthout

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  • "Nearly twice as many Americans have died fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than were lost in the 9/11 attacks. The total cost of these long wars will be in the trillions of dollars. When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, the cost of oil was less than $25 a barrel; the price reached $140 a barrel in 2008 and, currently, the price is still three times the 2001 levels. The entire national security system has suffered as a result of the wrong-headed actions of the Bush administration in Iraq and the Obama administration in Afghanistan." Melvin A. Goodman, Truthout
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  • A post-9/11 betrayal endures
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Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran

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  • Part II The Military Road Map
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  • Targeting Iran: Is the US Administration Planning a Nuclear Holocaust?
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Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research

The stockpiling and deployment of advanced weapons systems directed against Iran started in the immediate wake of the 2003 bombing and invasion of Iraq. From the outset, these war plans were led by the US, in liaison with NATO and Israel.
Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration identified Iran and Syria as the next stage of “the road map to war”. US military sources intimated that an aerial attack on Iran could involve a large scale deployment comparable to the US "shock and awe" bombing raids on Iraq in March 2003:

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"American air strikes on Iran would vastly exceed the scope of the 1981 Israeli attack on the Osiraq nuclear center in Iraq, and would more resemble the opening days of the 2003 air campaign against Iraq.(See Globalsecurity)

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Preparing for World War III, Targeting Iran: Part I: Global Warfare, Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research

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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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