Saturday, January 18, 2014

Fantasyland Media:

http://www.fantasylandmedia.org

Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine. News that the people in charge, the corporations and your government want to keep from the public eye.

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Independent UK:
An important feature of this withdrawal of US and British troops is how little interest it is sparking in their home countries, although 2,806 US and 447 British soldiers have been killed since 2001. The total cost to the US of war, reconstruction and aid over the same period is $641.7bn according to the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. Of course, money spent on Afghanistan does not mean money spent in Afghanistan, but even taking this into account it is extraordinary that, despite gargantuan sums spent, Afghan government figures reveal that 60 per cent of children are malnourished and only 27 per cent of Afghans have access to safe drinking water. Many survive only through remittances from relatives working abroad or through the drug business, which is worth some 15 per cent of the Afghan gross national product.

The figures above come from a damning study of the outcome of 12 years of international intervention in Afghanistan by Thomas Ruttig of the Afghanistan Analysts Network in Kabul. His succinct, authoritative account of where Afghanistan stands today underscores the fact that US and British military intervention has ended in near total failure. The Taliban has not been crushed, operates in all parts of the country and, in provinces like Helmand, is poised to take over as US and British troops depart. Even with the backing of foreign troops, Afghan government control often ends a couple of kilometres outside the district capital. The extra 30,000 US troops sent as part of the surge in US troop numbers in 2010-11, which brought their total to 101,000 at peak deployment, have had little long-term impact."

-->Oh, how the truth hurts. Luckily, few Americans have to read it, since our media has covered most of this up. Polls show it probably doesn't matter, as this war is already the most unpopular in US history.

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Common Dreams:
"A congressional drive for new sanctions on Iran, backed by the lobbying muscle of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, is meeting growing push-back from a public that does not want another war.

'We have an opportunity to stand up and say we're not going to support legislation that will only move us towards war,' said Greg Broseus, Chicago-based member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, in an interview with Common Dreams. 'The goal now is to stop another war before it even starts.'
According to the latest count, 59 senators —16 of them Democrats — have thrown their public support behind the Iran Nuclear Weapon Free Act of 2013 (S. 1881), which would advance further sanctions on Iran and impose near-impossible conditions on a final agreement — in what critics, including the Obama administration, say amounts to a call for war. ...

'Efforts by the US Congress to derail [diplomacy with Iran] would, if successful, constitute a self-inflicted strategic wound even more myopic than its vote to endorse the 2003 invasion of Iraq," writes Stephen Kinzer for The Guardian.' "

-->Most of the US media is silent on this issue for the same reason that both US Senators from New York are cosponsoring this war amendment. The Israeli lobby is just that powerful. Interestingly enough, The NY Times did cover 
the story, but left out the role of both NY Senators in pushing for war.

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Common Dreams:
"LONDON - January 12 - A new report has revealed that the number of hunger strikers in Guantanamo has doubled since the final set of official figures was released by the US authorities on December 2 2013.

The report, compiled by human rights charity Reprieve, uses prisoner testimony to reveal that 33 men detained in Guantanamo are on hunger strike, with 16 being force fed. The Joint Task Force at Guantanamo, which runs the prison, announced in December of 2013 that they would no longer release official figures of those on hunger strike because they did not want to ‘further their protests'.

The report also reveals that authorities at the prison are punishing those on hunger strike by sending them to the strictest of the camps, ‘Camp V Echo’. One detainee described his experiences there to his lawyer at Reprieve: 'My cell in the dreadful Camp V Echo is constructed in a strange manner. It is designed to torture the person who is held there. All the surfaces made of steel. The bed is steel. The walls are steel. The floor is steel. The ceiling is steel. There is no toilet, but the hole in the ground is made of steel.' "

-->The NYT, like the rest of the US media, has left Guantanamo far behind. Still torturing prisoners there? The NYT did print on op-ed entitled "Despair at Guantánamo" in late December, but failed to mention any mistreatment or increase in hunger strike numbers.

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