“To know better about the deep tragedy that is Afghanistan, this 8 years they changed my country from a capital to the center of drugs. Today 93% of opium is produced in Afghanistan. Through the dirty business of opium every year 500 Million dollars goes only into the pockets of the Taliban. From 2001 until now there was 4500% opium increase; the Taliban are busy dealing with this dirty business because millions of dollars they are receiving from this business. Another example of the catastrophe that is my country is that recently, the Human Development Index produced a report that Afghanistan is ranked 181 of 182 countries. Our official reports suggest 36 Billion dollars the government received these 8 years. Where that much money went? Into the pockets of war lords, drug lords, these criminals, misogynists, NGO lords, donors themselves, and these officials. Today, 18 million people of my country, they live on less than 2 dollars a day. Two mothers of my country in Hirat and Ghowr province, they are ready to sell their babies for only 10 dollars, they cannot feed them. In this example, in many other examples that never made it into the mainstream media, they never want to give it (the news) to you.”—Afghan Peace Activist Malalai Joya Speaks on “Crisis and Resistance” [Real News Network]
“In the week in which General Patraeus reported back to US Congress on the impact the recent ‘surge’ had in Iraq, a new poll revealed that more than 1,000,000 Iraqi citizens have been murdered since the invasion took place in 2003.”—
These findings come from a poll released today by ORB, the British polling agency that has been tracking public opinion in Iraq since 2005. In conjunction with their Iraqi fieldwork agency a representative sample of 1,499 adults aged 18+ answered the following question:
Q: How many members of your household, if any, have died as a result of the conflict in Iraq since 2003 (ie as a result of violence rather than a natural death such as old age)? Please note that I mean those who were actually living under your roof.
None 78% One 16% Two 5% Three 1% Four or more 0.002%
Given that from the 2005 census there are a total of 4,050,597 households this data suggests a total of 1,220,580 deaths since the invasion in 2003. Calculating the affect from the margin of error we believe that the range is a minimum of 733,158 to a maximum of 1,446,063
A Detailed analysis (which is available on the website) indicates that almost one in two households in Baghdad have lost a family member, significantly higher than in any other area of the country. The governorates of Diyala (42%) and Ninewa (35%) were next.
The poll also questioned the surviving relatives on the method in which their loved ones were killed. It reveals that 48% died from a gunshot wound, 20% from the impact of a car bomb, 9% from aerial bombardment, 6% as a result of an accident and 6% from another blast/ordnance. This is significant because more often that not it is car bombs and aerial bombardments that make the news – with gunshots rarely in the headlines.
As well as a murder rate that now exceeds the Rwanda genocide from 1994 (800,000 murdered), not only have more than one million been injured but our poll calculates that of the millions of Iraqis that have fled their neighbourhoods, 52% have moved within Iraq but 48% have crossed its borders, with Syria taking the bulk of refugees.
"The British High Court’s original ruling in Mohamed’s favor contained seven paragraphs which described the torture to which Mohamed was subjected. It has been previously reported that those paragraphs contain descriptions of abuse so brutal that not even our own American media could dispute that it constitutes "torture":
The 25 lines edited out of the court papers contained details of how Mr Mohamed’s genitals were sliced with a scalpel and other torture methods so extreme that waterboarding, the controversial technique of simulated drowning, “is very far down the list of things they did,” the official said.
But before the decision was released, the Court decided to redact those seven paragraphs. And in February, 2009, it issued a new ruling explaining its reason to conceal those paragraphs: the Bush administration had issued what the Court called a “threat” that the U.S. would reduce or even eliminate intelligence-sharing with the British if those paragraphs were made public.” — GG
“It was the first week of the war, fighting was intense, there were explosive charges to expose, tunnels in open spaces and armed men inside houses. Warfare was slow and basically a very small area was occupied. Every unit, every force had a rather small designated area of several dozen houses only, which they had to take over, and that took a whole week. That is warfare and that took a whole week. They really moved slowly. Close in on each house. The method used has a new name now – no longer ‘neighbor procedure.’ Now people are called ‘Johnnie.’ They’re Palestinian civilians, and they’re called Johnnies and there were civilians there who stayed in spite of the flyers the army distributed before it went in. Most people did leave, but some civilians stayed to watch over the houses. Perhaps they had nowhere else to go. Later we saw people there who could not walk, some simply stayed to keep watch. To every house we close in on, we send the neighbor in, ‘the Johnnie,’ and if there are armed men inside, we start, like working the ‘pressure cooker’ in the West Bank.”—
When asked to explain what was meant by the “pressure cooker terms the soldiers replied that it meant sending in a civilian to check on the “presence of armed men, or using “Johnnies” to smash walls for Israeli troops to storm through.”
“I am both surprised and deeply humbled by the decision of the Nobel committee. Let me be clear, I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather of an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people of all nations. To be honest, I do not feel I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honored by this prize. Men and women who have inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace. But I also know that this prize reflects the kind of world that those men and women and all Americans want to build, a world that gives life to the promise of our founding documents. And I know throughout history that the Nobel Peace Prize has not been given for specific achievement, it’s also been used to give momentum to a set of causes. So that is why I will accept this award as a call to action.”—Barack Obama (via soupsoup)
“We know more about China’s military expenditures than we do about its foreign aid,” said David Shambaugh, an author and China scholar at George Washington University. “Foreign aid really is a glaring contradiction to the broader trend of China’s adherence to international norms. It is so strikingly opaque it really makes one wonder what they are trying to hide.”—
Uneasy Engagement: China Spreads Aid in Africa, With a Catch
I want to post every single extremely graphic image that i’m seeing on the GazaUnderFire & PCHR websites but i’m too overwhelmed by what i’m seeing; really i don’t think any of us can handle the kinds of atrocities documented in the collection of images that is the story of every Palestinian living in the illegally occupied territories. If you think you can endure it, or if your conscience needs to be satisfied, behold for yourself the undeniable truth that is plain to see for anyone willing to open their eyes: that real human beings are dying in Palestine everyday and, in most cases, for no reason whatsoever and with no moral justification to back it up.
The saddest part is that, unlike the Palestinian people, we have the luxury to look away or turn off our computers. For them, this nightmare is what they wake up to every morning (that’s if they’re ever able sleep… or whether they ever wake up again at all).