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Thursday, Jul 02nd

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How One U.S. Soldier Blew the Whistle on a Cold-Blooded War Crime

US soldier exposes war crimeJess Cunningham was a staff sergeant in a mechanized unit of the U.S. Army—Alpha Company, First Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, First Infantry Division—during the intensified fighting that accompanied the surge of American troops in Baghdad in 2007.

This was his second tour in Iraq, and his first with Alpha Company. He had been a high-school football star in Bakersfield, California, before heading off to war. He had excelled in the army, rising rapidly through the ranks. Now 26, he was strong, alert, and accustomed to battle. He had a bright future.

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Al-Qaeda confirms Yemen leader killed in US drone strike

Nasir al-WuhayshiAl-Qaeda in Yemen leader Nasir al-Wuhayshi has been killed in a U.S. bombing, the group said in a statement posted online Tuesday morning.

“Our Muslim nation, a hero of your heroes and a master of your masters left to God, steadfast,” senior operative Khaled Batrafi said in the video. “To the infidel America: God has kept alive those who will trouble your life and make you taste the bitterness of defeat.”

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) had met and appointed its former military chief Qassim al-Raimi as his replacement, Batrafi said.

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US spending on Islamic State fight totals $2.7bn

cost of war against ISISThe US spends more than $9m (£5.7m) a day on the war against Islamic State, and has poured $2.7bn (£1.7bn) into the bombing campaign since the start.

An international coalition has been conducting air strikes in Iraq and Syria since last August.  The first breakdown of US costs, released by the Pentagon, show that two-thirds of the total bill has gone to the Air Force.

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How US Cluster Bombs Banned by Most Countries Ended Up in Yemen

cluster bombsOn April 29, three adults and a child came across some fist-sized canisters on the ground outside of Baqim, a Yemeni town controlled by Houthi rebels. To the 10-year-old boy among them, they "looked like toys." Out of curiosity, they picked up the cannisters, which then exploded.

All four were injured; a nurse told Human Rights Watch that the child was wounded in the stomach, and one of the adults received injuries to his face, torso, thigh, and crotch. Considering the kind of damage that cluster-bomb submunitions can cause, they're lucky to still be alive.

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Far from facing the truth, the US is telling new lies about Iraq

Lies about iraqA couple of weeks ago, the Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush was asked in an interview with Fox News whether, knowing what he knows now, he would have invaded Iraq.

It’s the kind of predictable question for which most people assumed he would have a coherent answer. They were wrong. Jeb blew it. “I would have [authorised the invasion],” he said. “And so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got.”

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Slaughter of Iraqi family in suspected US-led air strike hints at cost of war

Slaughter of Iraq family of 5Mustafa was jolted awake by the thunderous sound of two large explosions. As the ground shook beneath him, he could hear a young woman screaming in the distance.

Bolting out his front door, he found several hundred men running through the dark towards an olive farm on the outskirts of the village of Fadhiliya, 10 miles north of Mosul. The farm, home to a family of seven, had been hit by an air strike some time after midnight, the local imam said.

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The Real Cost of Vietnam

Vietnam warThe commemoration of the end of the Vietnam War this week in 1975 will be lost on many Americans who are too young to recall the tumultuous events of the Indochina wars. (We also bombed Laos and Cambodia mercilessly in the same period.)

The iconic photographs of the U.S. helicopter about to lift off from the roof of the U.S. embassy in Saigon, with desperate Vietnamese scrambling to board, as the final reckoning are symbolic but also misleading. The image of the "pitiful, helpless giant" misleads because the U.S. military had almost completely withdrawn many months before after having laid waste to Vietnam, north and south, for nearly a decade.

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