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Saturday, Aug 30th

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War drums are beating for Iran. But who's playing them?

Dwight D Eisenhower

Just like the taxpayers of medieval Italian cities, we're having our money siphoned off to pay for a a greedy military machine


Wind forward 650 years or so. The US, under George W Bush, decided to privatise the invasion of Iraq by employing private "contractors" like the Blackwater company, now renamed Xe Services. In 2003 Blackwater won a $27m no-bid contract for guarding Paul Bremer, then head of the Coalition Provisional Authority. For protecting officials in conflict zones since 2004, the company has received more than $320m. And this year the Obama government contracted to pay Xe Services a quarter of a billion dollars for security work in Afghanistan. This is just one of many companies making its profits out of warfare.

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Pearl Harbour memo shows US warned of Japanese attack

Pearl HarborOn the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbour, the attack that propelled America into the Second World War, a declassified memo shows that Japanese surprise attack was expected.

Now, on the 70th anniversary of Japan's devastating bombardment of the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, evidence has emerged showing that President Franklin D.Roosevelt was warned three days before the attack that the Japanese empire was eyeing up Hawaii with a view to "open conflict."

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The boys who cry “Holocaust”

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and neonconservative William Kristol The same neocon hawks who lied us into Iraq are using the ultimate argument-stopper to push war with Iran


When hawks begin beating the drums for war in the Middle East, Israel is usually a big reason why. That was true in the run-up to the war in Iraq, and it is doubly true with the current  hysteria over Iran. Despite disingenuous claims to the contrary, the only reason the U.S. is even talking about war with Iran is Israel. As the invaluable M.J. Rosenberg, who knows the working of the Israel lobby as only a former card-carrying member can, notes, “It is impossible to find a single politician or journalist advocating war with Iran who is not a neocon or an AIPAC cutout. (They’re often both.)”

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Cost to house a captive at Guantanamo Bay is $800,000

GitmoGuards get combat pay, just like troops in Afghanistan, without the risk of being blown up. Some commanders get to bring their families to this war-on-terror deployment. And each captive gets $38.45 worth of food a day.

The Pentagon detention center that started out in January 2002 as a collection of crude open-air cells guarded by Marines in a muddy tent city is today arguably the most expensive prison on Earth, costing taxpayers $800,000 annually for each of the 171 captives by Obama administration reckoning. That's more than 30 times the cost of keeping a captive on U.S. soil.

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U.S. pullout leaves Iraqi interpreters in 'dangerous limbo'

Ali Kanaan, interpreter for US in IraqI am an Iraqi citizen who worked as an interpreter with the U.S. military for two years. It was an honor to serve, and I did it because I believed that bringing freedom to Iraq required brave people to stand up and try to make a difference. Now, as a result of my service, I find myself in a dangerous limbo.

Before 2003, I thought of the U.S. primarily as the home of Bruce Willis, Hollywood and Las Vegas. But it was also a dream, a dream of freedom.

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Multiple missteps led to drone killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan

US Predator droneOn the evening of April 5, a pilot settled into a leather captain's chair at Creech Air Force Base in southern Nevada and took the controls of a Predator drone flying over one of the most violent areas of southwestern Afghanistan. Minutes later, his radio crackled.

A firefight had broken out. Taliban insurgents had ambushed about two dozen Marines patrolling a bitterly contested road.

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Report: Military Blew $1 Trillion on Weapons Since 9/11

One trillion blown on weapons since 9/11Capitol Hill conservatives and Pentagon brass fighting cuts to defense spending have argued that the military is limping off the battlefield with decrepit hardware. It's quite the sob story: At a hearing last week, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the chair of the House armed services committee, cut his remarks short to literally sob for "these young men that are going outside the wire over in Afghanistan, every day on patrol."

But a new report shows the US defense establishment is in much better shape than it claims: The DOD has blown roughly $1 trillion on shiny new tanks, ships, and jets since the 9/11 attacks—and it's often done so with dollars that were supposed to be spent on those troops on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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