A pretty penny. President Obama said Tuesday night it would cost $30 billion this fiscal year — or about $1 million per soldier — to send 30,000 additional troops there. That’s a low estimate, budget experts say, but let’s run with it for the moment. An extra $30 billion in Afghanistan means that in 2010 alone, US military spending in Afghanistan will equal nearly half of total spending on the war since 2001, according to Travis Sharp, military policy analyst with the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington. The troop increase will cost $2.5 billion per month, $82 million per day, $3.4 million per hour, $57,000 per minute, and $951 per second. Foreign Policy: The hidden costs of the Afghan escalation. PTSD Combat: Afghanistan, Iraq Veteran Army Suicide Rate Continues to Climb; PTSD Timeline Update.
There is an amazing story in Ha'aretz today on the "pro-Israel" litmus test that determines who is permitted to serve in the United States government. Here's the sort of lede you're not likely to read in the New York Times or Washington Post: Every appointee to the American government must endure a thorough background check by the American Jewish community. In the case of Obama's government in particular, every criticism against Israel made by a potential government appointee has become a catalyst for debate about whether appointing "another leftist" offers proof that Obama does not truly support Israel." Marco Villa: The Israel Lobby Goes After Another Obama Appointee.
Lies of "International Fellowship of Christians and Jews" [Part 2]
Holy Bible Isaiah 58 (New International Version) 1 "Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins.
1. Call with a [full] throat, do not spare, like a shofar raise your voice, and relate to My people their transgression, and to the house of Jacob their sins.
The Pentagon permeates everyday life in America. Its influence, along with that of the 15 U.S. intelligence agencies, is almost everywhere. From movies like Iron Man and G.I. Joe to video games like Halo 2 and America’s Army, from Home Depot to Google, from MIT to Harvard, the list of Pentagon-sponsored corporations, institutions and products is miles long.
First, nonscientists generally do not want to bother with understanding the science. Claims of consensus relieve policy types, environmental advocates and politicians of any need to do so. Such claims also serve to intimidate the public and even scientists — especially those outside the area of climate dynamics. Secondly, given that the question of human attribution largely cannot be resolved, its use in promoting visions of disaster constitutes nothing so much as a bait-and-switch scam. That is an inauspicious beginning to what Mr. Gore claims is not a political issue but a “moral” crusade. Lastly, there is a clear attempt to establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual repetition. An earlier attempt at this was accompanied by tragedy. Perhaps Marx was right. This time around we may have farce — if we’re lucky.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry rejected with anger as information about President Barack Obama’s plan to escalate
drone strikes assassinations against Pakistanis territory, a "somewhat-secret" addendum to his Afghanistan escalation, continued to emerge today and a top Congressmen confirmed the move was “under discussion.”
U.S. President Barack Obama’s plan for a 30,000-troop surge and a troop withdrawal timeline beginning in 18 months has caught criticism from both Democrat and Republican lawmakers. But a small group of hawkish foreign policy experts – who have lobbied the White House since August to escalate U.S. involvement in Afghanistan – are christening Obama the new "War President."
George Bush considered provoking a war with Saddam Hussein's regime by flying a United States spyplane over Iraq bearing UN colours, enticing the Iraqis to take a shot at it, according to a leaked memo of a meeting between the US President and Tony Blair. The two leaders were worried by the lack of hard evidence that Saddam Hussein had broken UN resolutions, though privately they were convinced that he had. According to the memorandum, Mr Bush said: "The US was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach."
A birthday celebration that culminated in a trip to catch the blockbuster movie "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" could land 22-year-old Samantha Tumpach in prison for three years. The Chicago, Illinois-area woman captured three minutes of the film on her videocamera while taping part of her sister's surprise party at a Muvico theater in Rosemont.
There are 4.2 million CCTV cameras in Britain watching our every move. In London, there are more CCTV cameras than any other city in the world with one camera for every eight Londoners. Civil rights campaigners are not happy with the scheme. Charles Farrier, from No CCTV, said: "Internet Eyes is a very worrying development - we are already the most watched country in the world. Now we have a private company asking private individuals to spy on each other."
Wading through the endless debate over health care has exhausted the patience of most Americans — the zigzags, obscure language, and long-winded discussion is inherently repulsive. But now the dust is starting to settle, and the Congressional vision for health care in the U.S. is emerging. Instead of being “progressive,” it will amount to a massive, corporate-inspired attack on American workers, the elderly, and the poor. HuffPo: Bernanke suggests repeal of Social Security and Medicare: 'That's Where The Money Is'. PNHP: Sanders offers Medicare-for-All amendment in Senate: Challenging head-on the powerful private insurance and pharmaceutical industries, Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced an amendment to the Senate health reform bill Wednesday that would replace the bulk of the Senate bill’s language with provisions establishing a single-payer, Medicare-for-All program. Reuters: Most in U.S. want public health option: poll.
"Erik Prince, recently outed as a participant in a C.I.A. assassination program, has gained notoriety as head of the military-contracting juggernaut Blackwater, a company dogged by a grand-jury investigation, bribery accusations, and the voluntary-manslaughter trial of five ex-employees, set for next month. Lashing back at his critics, the wealthy former navy seal takes the author inside his operation in the U.S. and Afghanistan, revealing the role he’s been playing in America’s war on terror." Several killed in Pakistan blast (BBC)
Russia has no evidence that Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday. "We have no information that Iran is working on the creation of a nuclear weapon," Putin said when asked by a reporter if Iran was close to making an atomic bomb. Russia, a veto-wielding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, is a key player in efforts to force Tehran to allay Western fears that it is trying to make nuclear weapons.
Ronald Reagan, May 20, 1988, transmitting the Convention Against Torture to the Senate for ratification: The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of the Convention. . . . Ratification of the Convention by the United States will clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today.
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