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Arne Løining's List: Current affairs

  • Aug 19, 08

    On the Press, Peter Wilby: Saakashvili's government has won the press over with a skillfully deployed PR campaign

  • Jul 31, 08

    The war between the United States and Iran is on. American taxpayer dollars are being used, with the permission of Congress, to fund activities that result in Iranians being killed and wounded, and Iranian property destroyed. This wanton violation of a nation’s sovereignty would not be tolerated if the tables were turned and Americans were being subjected to Iranian-funded covert actions that took the lives of Americans, on American soil, and destroyed American property and livelihood

    • The MEK traces its roots back to the CIA-orchestrated overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeg.
    • its overall value as an intelligence resource is negatively impacted by the fact that it is the sole source of human intelligence in Iran. As such, the group has taken to exaggerating and fabricating reports to serve its own political agenda. In this way, there is little to differentiate the MEK from another Middle Eastern expatriate opposition group, the Iraqi National Congress, or INC, which infamously supplied inaccurate intelligence to the United States and other governments and helped influence the U.S. decision to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein.

    3 more annotations...

      • SOTT: While some of these things may come to happen, do not take the report too seriously. Apart from the fact that it is next to impossible to make accurate long term predictions, the authors are making a few assumptions based on propaganda; for example, that "Islamic revolutionary groups" represent a significant threat, or that climate change means global warming.

        Some of their propositions also suffer from naivety. The assertion that there will be an "increase in human life span" seems to imply that this will be the case for the majority of the population. Most likely, advances in medicine will come at a high price, making them a privilege of the elite.

        Likewise, the idea that countries will look for natural resources in space overlooks the fact that the cost of current space programs hugely outweighs the value of the resources that can be gathered from our solar system. Unless of course governments have much more advanced secret space technology at their disposal; but in that case, there is no reason why they would use it for the benefit of everyone.

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    • Water scarcity will be a major issue, U.S. economic crisis is likely, a pandemic may happen, and the global financial system may fail;
  • Jul 05, 08

    The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (B’Tselem) reported that a Palestinian child was tortured by Israeli soldiers while arresting him and was also tortured in an Israeli prison during interrogation.

  • Jun 27, 08

    This story could represent a very strange twist in the 'war on terror', and a terrifying view of 'things to come'.\n\nThink of all those 'behavior detection officers' at airports examining passengers for "body language and facial cues ... for signs of bad intentions"... with the assistance of 3D Airport Scanners.

    • The situation in the Gaza Strip is worse, there the 'prison' is already in place, and because of the resistance by the Palestinians to the imprisonment, Israel launches an escalating policy of massive killings. The world seems indifferent, and the Arab world uninterested.
    • A society that endorses a 40-year occupation of another people cannot be a liberal one. A society that discriminates against 20 percent of its population because they are not Jews cannot be described as progressive. The problem in Israel is not the role of religion or tradition; it is the role of Zionism, a very clear ideology of exclusion, racism and expulsion. This ideology allows the army to play a significant role in most of the domestic and foreign policies, and it is probably right to say that Israel is not a state with an army, but an army with a state.
  • Jun 23, 08

    Globally, war has killed three times more people than previously estimated, and there is no evidence to support claims of a recent decline in war deaths

  • Jun 23, 08

    The Bush administration is guilty of committing "war crimes" and ought to be held to account, according to retired Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba in a new report on medical evidence of torture at U.S. facilities around the world.

    • "After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.
  • Jun 28, 08

    Washington - The United States and the European Union are nearing completion of an agreement allowing law enforcement and security agencies to obtain private information - like credit card transactions, travel histories and Internet browsing habits - about people on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. The potential agreement, as outlined in an internal report obtained by The New York Times, would represent a diplomatic breakthrough for American counterterrorism officials, who have clashed with the European Union over demands for personal data. Europe generally has more stringent laws restricting how governments and businesses can collect and transfer such information. Negotiators, who have been meeting since February 2007, have largely agreed on draft language for 12 major issues central to a "binding international agreement," the report said. The pact would make clear that it is lawful for European governments and companies to transfer personal information to the United States, and vice versa.

    • it is lawful for European governments and companies to transfer personal information to the United States, and vice versa
    • race, religion, political opinion, health or “sexual life” may not be used by a government “unless domestic law provides appropriate safeguards.
    • with the   new law granting   immunity to   telecom   companies and   granting the   federal   government wide   discretionary   powers in spying   on our   communications   (which has   become far   simpler in this   electronic day   and age), the   Imperial rubber   stamp arm of the   federal   government has   brutally   murdered another   of our precious   rights: the 4th   Amendment which   states: "The   right of the   people to be   secure in their   persons, houses,   papers, and   effects, against   unreasonable   searches and   seizures, shall   not be violated,   and no Warrants   shall issue, but   upon probable   cause, supported   by Oath or   affirmation, and   particularly   describing the   place to be   searched, and   the persons or   things to be   seized."
  • Jun 28, 08

    Former CIA officer Ray McGovern says President Bush and his ally, Israel, will likely attack Iran in 'late summer or early fall'.

    • A perfect storm seems to be gathering in late summer or early fall,
  • Jun 27, 08

    For many years now the American foreign policy has been characterized by the strong tie between the United States and Israel. Does the United States in fact keep Israel on its feet? And how long will it continue to do so?

    In March 2006 the American political scientists John Mearsheimer (University of Chicago) and Steve Walt (Harvard) published the controversial article 'The Israel Lobby and US foreign policy'. In it they state that it is not, or no longer, expedient for the US to support and protect present-day Israel. The documentary sheds light on both parties involved in the discussion: those who wish to maintain the strong tie between the US and Israel, and those who were critical of it and not infrequently became 'victims' of the lobby. The question arises to what extend the pro-Israel lobby ultimately determines the military and political importance of Israel itself. Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson (Colin Powell's former chief-of-staff) explains how the lobby's influence affects the decision-making structure in the White House.

    With political scientist John Mearsheimer, neocon Richard Perle, lobby organization AIPAC, televangelist John Hagee, historian Tony Judt, Human Rights Watch director Kenneth Roth, colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Democrat Earl Hilliard, Israeli peace negotiator Daniel Levy and investigative journalist Michael Massing.

  • Jun 27, 08

    William Pfaff is worth listening to. He was one of the only journalists who predicted the fall of the Soviet Union back around 1980. He also predicted pretty well how the fall would unfold.\nNow he is predicting the end of Israel. \n

    • In the immediate area of the two attacks, our calculations show that within 48 hours, an estimated 2.6 million people would die.
    • Over 1,000,000 people would suffer immediate injuries including thermal and flash burns, radiation sickness, broken limbs, lacerations, blindness, crush injuries, burst eardrums and other traumas. In the wider region, over 10.5 million people would be exposed to significant radiation from fallout (those in the light green to pink zones on the map above), leading to radiation sickness, future excess cancer deaths, genetic abnormalities in future generations, as well as high rates of stillbirths, miscarriages, malignancies and hypothyroidism. Most if not all medical facilities near the two attack sites would be destroyed, or located within the radiation "hot zone" and thus unusable. Little or no medical care would be available to the injured in the aftermath of an attack, leading to many avoidable deaths.
  • Jun 30, 08

    Israeli fighter jets flew 1,500 kms across the Mediterranean this month, in a dry run for an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. Tehran has threatened to treat such a raid as a declaration of war. As the Middle East braces itself for a stand-off of epic proportions, how close is the region to that nightmare scenario?

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