Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:03:56 PM EST
Germany Critical of Unilateral Mission: US Used by Afghan Drug Clan to Take Out Rival - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

A "high-ranking" member of al-Qaida was seized during a recent US mission in Afghanistan which left five people dead. But the Americans were set up: The tip-off as to his location came from a drug clan who wanted to get rid of a rival.

A secret mission by elite American Delta Force commandos in northern Afghanistan has triggered resentment among German forces, SPIEGEL has learned.

An Afghan boy looks through a broken window at the site of the raid in Imam Sahib. The American forces were tricked by a drug clan into taking out a rival as part of an operation to seize an al-Qaida member. Now German soldiers are paying the price for the operation's civilian casualties.

The raid took place on March 21 in Kunduz province, where German forces are helping with security and reconstruction. A US liaison officer asked the German reconstruction team to keep the Kunduz airport clear but said nothing about the impending mission. Around half an hour later, a Hercules transport aircraft landed at the airfield, together with a whole fleet of combat and transport helicopters, which then took off for the nearby town of Imam Sahib.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:06:50 PM EST
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US opens route to Afghanistan through Russia's backyard | World news | The Guardian

The road passes a shimmering green mountain pasture, then dips steeply to a new US-built bridge. Across the languid Panj river is Afghanistan and the dusty northern town of Kunduz. On this side is Tajikistan, Afghanistan's impoverished Central Asian neighbour.

It is here, at what used to be the far boundary of the Soviet empire, that the US and Nato are planning a new operation. Soon, Nato trucks loaded with non-military supplies will start rolling into Afghanistan along this northern route, avoiding Pakistan's perilous tribal areas and the ambush-prone Khyber Pass.

This northern corridor is essential if Barack Obama's Afghan-Pakistan strategy is to work. With convoys supplying US and Nato forces regularly attacked by the Taliban on the Pakistan route, the US is again courting the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:13:33 PM EST
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The US has always been used by factions playing off against each other. One taxi driver spent a couple of years in Guantanamo cos another driver reckoned he'd stolen a fare, so grassed him up. Half the people in Abu Ghraib were there cos of score settling.

this isn't new. what's awful is that the US still hasn't learnt a damn thing about how to behave when it's "winning" hearts and minds. But then again this isn't about h&m, it's about throwing your weight around cos you're "america" (f"ck yea !!) and you can do what you like when you like to whom you like and nobody will ever give a damn.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 04:52:51 PM EST
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Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Arab leaders snub al-Bashir warrant

Arab Leaders meeting in Doha, the Qatari capital, have rejected an international arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president accused of war crimes in Darfur.

In a draft communique issued at the end of the first day of the 21st Arab League summit on Monday, the leaders said they considered the warrant to be in violation of the Vienna agreement of 1961.

It stated that any efforts to address the situation in Darfur would need an agreement between all Sudanese factions, rather the trial of the president.

Ibrahim al-Faqir, the Sudanese ambassador in Doha, told Al Jazeera: "We are very pleased at the Arab support to President al-bashir and we are hopeful to have the solidarity with the president in the final statement.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:12:40 PM EST
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BBC NEWS | Middle East | Gaddafi storms out of Arab League

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has stormed out of the Arab League summit in Qatar having denounced the Saudi king for his ties with the West.

He disrupted the opening session by criticising King Abdullah, calling him a British product and an American ally.

Col Gaddafi has angered Arab leaders in the past with sharp remarks at summits.

Meanwhile, leaders have been urged to reject an international arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes in Darfur.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:17:13 PM EST
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He came back.  Everyone's getting along just famously now.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 10:09:36 PM EST
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MercoPress: US will no longer "dictate unilaterally", but Cuban embargo remains

"The time of the United States dictating unilaterally, the time where we only talk and don't listen is over" Biden said in Santiago after holding discussions with several Latinamerican leaders at the Progressive Governance forum in Chile.

Mr. Biden represented President Obama at the Progressive Governance conference in Viña del Mar and on Sunday left for Costa Rica.

"My visit here is just the beginning of a renewal of a partnership with the Americas. In the past, even when we engaged positively we tended to engage 'for' the (western) hemisphere. We're not engaging 'for,' this is 'with,'" Biden added.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet hailed the new US administration's "genuine wish to play a proactive and decisive role in the construction of a new world dialogue."

US Vice-president Biden met with the heads of state of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Chile during a two-day conference and before flying to Costa Rica for a Central American summit.

However in Chile Biden reiterated that the Obama administration supported a change in policy toward age-old foe Cuba, but added: "we think the Cuban people should determine their own fate and that they should be able to live in freedom and with some prospect of economic prosperity".

Of course, not sure how a U.S. blockade allows Cubans to determine their own fate.

by Magnifico on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 04:48:56 PM EST
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Shorter biden : We will listen if you say things we want to hear.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 04:54:39 PM EST
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"we think the Cuban American people should determine their own fate and that they should be able to live in freedom and with some prospect of economic prosperity".


by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 09:37:31 AM EST
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Apparently God did not make the commandment "Thou shall not commit adultery" clear enough.

Hundreds of Jewish men and women who want to cheat on their spouses are flocking to a new Web site for ultra-Orthodox Jews seeking heretical hookups.

Shaindy.com -- named for the founder's first mistress -- was launched March 19 by a modern Orthodox man from Midwood, Brooklyn, who says he got the idea from Hasids he met in chat rooms seeking adulterous action.

The website has been already suspended...

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 02:11:23 AM EST
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Guardian: 'Worse than the Taliban' - new law rolls back rights for Afghan women

Hamid Karzai has been accused of trying to win votes in Afghanistan's presidential election by backing a law the UN says legalises rape within marriage and bans wives from stepping outside their homes without their husbands' permission.

A briefing document prepared by the United Nations Development Fund for Women also warns that the law grants custody of children to fathers and grandfathers only.
by Sassafras on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 03:00:13 AM EST
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The Afghan war has never been about women's rights, despite constant protestations to the contrary by its cheerleaders (starting with Laura Bush in 2001).

Los Angeles Times: Laura Bush Addresses State of Afghan Women (November 18, 2001)

Seeking to draw attention to the treatment of women and children in Afghanistan, the White House assigned President Bush's weekly Saturday radio address to First Lady Laura Bush, who said the war on terrorism was "a fight for the rights and dignity of women."

Her speech--the latest in a series of steps by the first lady toward a more public role--was coordinated with the release of a State Department report condemning conditions for women and children in Afghanistan under the Taliban and the Al Qaeda terror network.

The broadcast marked the first time a presidential wife has given the entire radio address alone. In June, the first lady delivered a portion of the weekly speech, in a commemoration of Father's Day. Nancy Reagan and Hillary Rodham Clinton also joined their husbands in delivering radio addresses.

How to get women to support war: trot out a "presidential wife" to lie about it.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 03:28:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is Netanyahu's expected cabinet, about twice the size of Obama's...
Prime Minister: Binyamin Netanyahu, Likud
Vice Prime Minister: None
Vice Premier and Regional Cooperation Minister: Silvan Shalom, Likud
Defense: Ehud Barak, Labor
Foreign Affairs: Avigdor Lieberman, Israel Beiteinu
Finance: Binyamin Netanyahu, Likud
Minister-without-Portfolio in the Finance Ministry: Yuval Steinitz, Likud
Education: Gideon Sa'ar, Likud
Justice: Yaakov Neeman, Likud
Interior: Eli Yishai, Shas
Industry, Trade and Labor: Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, Labor
Construction and Housing: Ariel Attias, Shas
Public Security: Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Israel Beiteinu
Transportation: Yisrael Katz, Likud
National Infrastructures: Uzi Landau, Israel Beiteinu
Health: Binyamin Netanyahu, Likud
Agriculture and Rural Development: Shalom Simhon, Labor
Communications (Media): Moshe Kahlon, Likud
Telecommunications and Diaspora Affairs: Yuli Edelstein, Likud
Tourism: Stas Meseznikov, Israel Beiteinu
Environmental Protection: Gilad Erdan, Likud
Science and Technology: Daniel Herschkowitz, Habayit Hayehudi
Immigrant Absorption: Sofa Landver, Israel Beiteinu
Culture and Sport: Limor Livnat, Likud
Religious Services: Ya'acov Margi, Shas
Pensioner Affairs: Michael Eitan, Likud
Strategic Affairs: Moshe Ya'alon, Likud
Minister-without-Portfolio for Intelligence Agencies: Dan Meridor, Likud
Minister-without-Portfolio for Minorities: Avishay Braverman, Labor
Minister-without-Portfolio in Prime Minister's Office: Meshulam Nahari, Shas
Minister-without-Portfolio: Bennie Begin, Likud
No vice prime minister. Is that because of what happened to the last one?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 05:14:13 AM EST
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Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Trouble looms for Israel coalition

Israel's new government has found itself in increasing turmoil even before it has been sworn in, with coalition partner Yisrael Beiteinu already threatening to pull out.

The Yisrael Beiteinu website posted a statement on Tuesday warning that Avigdor Lieberman, the party's leader, would pull out if he is not given the foreign ministry as promised.

Recent rumours have suggested Netanyahu's Likud party could reclaim the foreign ministry, having promised it to Lieberman, and award it to Silvan Shalom, a Likud official.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 09:05:09 AM EST
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I think they've oversimplified the situation. Here is a more detailed explanation. Basically, Lieberman seems certain to be foreign minister.  But he may soon be charged with corruption, in which case he may have to step down. The fight is over whether the position will be guaranteed ahead of time to someone else in his party, or not.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 09:15:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yisrael Beiteinu: Not giving up Foreign Ministry - Israel News, Ynetnews
"Anyone counting on the fact that Lieberman will be dismissed from the post following an investigation needs to take into account that (an investigation) would take at least 13 years," said a party spokeswoman who noted that investigations against the chairman had begun as early as 1996.
The mind boggles.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 09:23:24 AM EST
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