Friday, April 13, 2007


Truth Dig: Iraqis Finally Unite—Against the U.S.
By Robert Scheer

You have to hand it to Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., for having the chutzpah to cite the fiercely anti-American rally that dominated the anniversary of Iraq’s fourth year of U.S. occupation as evidence that the troop “surge” is working. As opposed to Lieberman, who continues to act as Bush’s overeager lap dog, his masters in the White House knew better than to celebrate at this depressing moment.

After a weekend in which 10 U.S. soldiers were killed—four more were killed on Monday, bringing the total to 45 already in April—and the citizens of once bustling Baghdad cowered in their homes under a U.S.-imposed round-the-clock curfew, President Bush had the good sense for once to say not a word about the glorious “liberation” of Iraq. Instead, as Dana Milbank noted in The Washington Post, the president never mentioned Iraq in a 24-minute speech he gave on the happier subject of illegal immigration, nor did any of his top aides touch on the topic. The White House website ignored Iraq entirely under the heading “LATEST NEWS,” instead featuring Clifford the Big Red Dog’s romp at the South Lawn’s annual Easter egg hunt.

Meanwhile, back in liberated Iraq, the anniversary of Saddam Hussein’s overthrow was marked by only one sign of public response: In the Shiite holy city of Najaf, hundreds of thousands gathered to burn American flags and otherwise denounce the United States. “Yes! Yes! Iraq. No! No! America,” chanted demonstrators organized by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, reported the BBC. “We were liberated from Saddam. Now we need to be liberated again. Stop the suffering. Americans leave now.”

IRAQ: Divide and Conquer

Independent: Divide and rule - America's plan for Baghdad
by Robert Fisk

Faced with an ever-more ruthless insurgency in Baghdad - despite President George Bush's "surge" in troops - US forces in the city are now planning a massive and highly controversial counter-insurgency operation that will seal off vast areas of the city, enclosing whole neighbourhoods with barricades and allowing only Iraqis with newly issued ID cards to enter.

The campaign of "gated communities" - whose genesis was in the Vietnam War - will involve up to 30 of the city's 89 official districts and will be the most ambitious counter-insurgency programme yet mounted by the US in Iraq.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

PR WATCH: HPV Vaccination

Guardian: Vaccination campaign funded by drug firm

A campaign fronted by doctors and celebrities to persuade European governments, including the UK, to vaccinate all young girls against cervical cancer is being entirely funded by the drug company that markets the vaccine.

Sanofi Pasteur MSD, which markets Gardasil in Europe on behalf of the drug giant Merck, spent millions on what was billed as the "first global summit against cervical cancer", held in Paris on Thursday with doctors and patient organisations from across Europe.

"The "first global summit against cervical cancer" was held in Paris on March 22 and promoted the need for national vaccination programmes for girls.

The cost of the summit, estimated at millions of dollars, was "entirely funded" by Sanofi Pasteur MSD, the company with the European license to market Merck's Gardasil vaccine, reports Sarah Boseley.

Gardasil is effective against the most common strains of human papilloma virus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer.

The "Coalition Against Cervical Cancer" was launched at the summit, and promoted by a video news release produced by the PR firm Euro RCSG and distributed by AP Television News.

"Celebrities, doctors and journalists were shipped in from across Europe and the United States by PR agencies working for Sanofi," Boseley reports.

Diane Harper, a professor at Dartmouth medical school in New Hampshire, flagged potential concerns and described a mass vaccination program as being "a great big public health experiment."


Thursday, April 05, 2007

IRAN: Secret War

ABC News: The Secret War Against Iran

A Pakistani tribal militant group responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources tell ABC News.

The group, called Jundullah, is made up of members of the Baluchi tribe and operates out of the Baluchistan province in Pakistan, just across the border from Iran.

It has taken responsibility for the deaths and kidnappings of more than a dozen Iranian soldiers and officials.

U.S. officials say the U.S. relationship with Jundullah is arranged so that the U.S. provides no funding to the group, which would require an official presidential order or "finding" as well as congressional oversight.

Tribal sources tell ABC News that money for Jundullah is funneled to its youthful leader, Abd el Malik Regi, through Iranian exiles who have connections with European and Gulf states.

IRAN: Crisis

India Enews: US to attack Iran by end of April: report

The US is planning to attack Iran's nuclear reactors and other nuclear facilities by the end of this month, the Kuwait-based Arab Times newspaper reported Wednesday.

Citing anonymous sources in Washington, it said that various White House departments had started preparing the political speech to be delivered by the US president later this month, announcing the military attack on Iran.

The speech will provide the 'evidence' and the 'justification' for the US to resort to the military option after failing to persuade Tehran to give up its nuclear ambitions, said the report.

IRAN: Sailors Freed

Reuters: Britons head for London, ending Iran standoff

TEHRAN (Reuters) - The 15 British military personnel who had been held by Iran left Tehran on a flight to London on Thursday, ending a two-week standoff that raised international tension and rattled financial markets.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a news conference broadcast round the world on Wednesday he had decided to forgive and free the 15 sailors and marines even though Britain was not "brave enough" to admit they had strayed into Iran's territory.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

IRAN: Hostage Crisis, Britain faked Map?

Daily Mail: How I know Blair faked Iran map
By CRAIG MURRAY, Former Ambassador to Uzbekistan and Head of the Foreign Office's Maritime

"But what about the map the Ministry of Defence produced on Tuesday, with territorial boundaries set out by a clear red line, and the co-ordinates of the incident marked in relation to it?

I have news for you. Those boundaries are fake. They were drawn up by the MoD. They are not agreed or recognised by any international authority.

To put it at its most charitable, they are a potential boundary. It is accepted practice, where no boundary exists, to work by a rule-of-thumb idea of where a boundary, based on a median line between the two coasts, might be.

But to elevate that to a hard and fast boundary, and then base a major international incident on being a few hundred yards one side or the other, is out of order."

Read Craig Murray's blog here

Iran: US Raid led to Hostage Crisis

Independent: The botched US raid that led to the hostage crisis
by Patrick Cockburn

Exclusive Report: How a bid to kidnap Iranian security officials sparked a diplomatic crisis

A failed American attempt to abduct two senior Iranian security officers on an official visit to northern Iraq was the starting pistol for a crisis that 10 weeks later led to Iranians seizing 15 British sailors and Marines.

Early on the morning of 11 January, helicopter-born US forces launched a surprise raid on a long-established Iranian liaison office in the city of Arbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. They captured five relatively junior Iranian officials whom the US accuses of being intelligence agents and still holds.

In reality the US attack had a far more ambitious objective, The Independent has learned. The aim of the raid, launched without informing the Kurdish authorities, was to seize two men at the very heart of the Iranian security establishment.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

IRAN: Coincidence? Iranian Hostage released Iranian hostage released in Iraq

An Iranian diplomat who was kidnapped in Iraq in February has been released and has returned home, Iran's official news agency has reported.

Gunmen in Iraqi army uniforms kidnapped the diplomat in February and Tehran blamed the US military for his abduction.

"Jalal Sharafi, second secretary of Iran's embassy in Baghdad, who was kidnapped in Baghdad on February 4, was released on Tuesday," IRNA reported, adding that he arrived back in Tehran where he was welcomed by Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

IRAQ: 650'000 Civilian Deaths - Lancet was right

Guardian: A monstrous war crime

With more than 650,000 civilians dead in Iraq, our government must take responsibility for its lies

Our collective failure has been to take our political leaders at their word. This week the BBC reported that the government's own scientists advised ministers that the Johns Hopkins study on Iraq civilian mortality was accurate and reliable, following a freedom of information request by the reporter Owen Bennett-Jones. This paper was published in the Lancet last October. It estimated that 650,000 Iraqi civilians had died since the American and British led invasion in March 2003.


Asia Times: British pawns in an Iranian game
by Pepe Escobar

This correspondent has been to the Shatt-al-Arab. It's a busy and tricky waterway, to say the least. Iraqi fishing boats share the waters with Iranian patrol boats. From the Iraqi shore one can see the Iranian shore, flags aflutter. These remain extremely disputed waters. In 1975, a treaty was signed in Algiers between the shah of Iran and Saddam Hussein. The center of the river was supposed to be the border. Then Saddam invaded Iran in 1980. After the Iran-Iraq War that this sparked ended in 1988, and even after both Gulf wars, things remain perilously inconclusive: a new treaty still has not been signed.

The British are adamant that the sailors were in Iraqi waters checking for cars, not weapons, being smuggled. It's almost laughable that the Royal Navy should be reduced to finding dangerous Toyotas in the Persian Gulf. Some reports from Tehran claim the British were actually checking Iranian military preparations ahead of a possible confrontation with the US.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Online Documetaries

I added a Link List for Online Video Documentaries.

Please feel free to send me more links to interesting Videos.

- FH451

IRAN: Oil Currency Switch

Int. Herald Tribune: Iran presses oil customers to pay in currencies other than dollars

BEIJING: Iran is pressuring its oil customers to start paying in currencies other than U.S. dollars and many have begun to comply, people in the oil industry here with knowledge of the practice said.

Zhuhai Zhenrong Trading, a Chinese state-run company that is the biggest buyer of Iranian crude oil worldwide, began paying for its oil in euros late last year as Tehran moved to diversify its foreign exchange reserves away from U.S. dollars. The company, which buys more than a tenth of the oil exports from Iran, has changed the payment currency for the bulk of its contract of roughly 240,000 barrels per day, the people said.


RIA Novosti: Russian intelligence sees U.S. military buildup on Iran border

MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russian military intelligence services are reporting a flurry of activity by U.S. Armed Forces near Iran's borders, a high-ranking security source said Tuesday.

"The latest military intelligence data point to heightened U.S. military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran," the official said, adding that the Pentagon has probably not yet made a final decision as to when an attack will be launched.

He said the Pentagon is looking for a way to deliver a strike against Iran "that would enable the Americans to bring the country to its knees at minimal cost."

He also said the U.S. Naval presence in the Persian Gulf has for the first time in the past four years reached the level that existed shortly before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.


AP: Blair warns of 'different phase' in Iran standoff

Prime Minister Tony Blair warned today that his government could make public evidence that a British navy crew was in Iraqi waters when it was captured by Iran, saying he was prepared to take the standoff to a "different phase" if diplomacy fails to win their release.

Iran said the 15 British sailors and marines were being treated well, but refused to say where they were being held, or rule out the possibility that they could be brought to trial for allegedly entering Iranian waters.