Tag Archives: United States

As Ukraine violence escalates, leaked tape suggests the US was plotting coup

As Ukraine violence escalates, leaked tape suggests the US was plotting coup

“Where do you want me to begin? I mean, we are watching history being made, but history of the worst kind. That’s what I’m telling my grandchildren: Watch this. What’s happening there, let’s take the big picture, then we can go to the small picture. The big picture is, people are dying in the streets every day. The number 50 is certainly too few. They’re still finding bodies. Ukraine is splitting apart down the middle, because Ukraine is not one country, contrary to what the American media, which speaks about  the Ukraine and  the Ukrainian people. Historically, ethnically, religiously, culturally, politically, economically, it’s two countries. One half wants to stay close to Russia; the other wants to go West. We now have reliable reports that the anti-government forces in the streets—and there are some very nasty people among them—are seizing weapons in western Ukrainian military bases. So we have clearly the possibility of a civil war.”

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The future of war: inside UK drone command

The future of war: inside UK drone command

“The UK’s use of drones is currently much more limited than in the United States. All of the UK’s drones are operated by the armed forces, and there is at the moment no British equivalent of the CIA’s drone programme which, according to the rights group Reprieve, has killed more than 4,700 people in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. These deaths, says Reprieve, amount to summary execution without trial.

Still, Reprieve says the UK shouldn’t be let off the hook. It’s a key ally of the US, and until recently the UK’s Reaper drone operations were controlled from Creech Airforce Base in Nevada. Roughly half of them still are. The close symbiosis between the two countries’ drone know-how sets off alarm bells for those who want more transparency and accountability on the technology’s use. “

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In pictures: Mexico vigilantes battle cartels

In pictures: Mexico vigilantes battle cartels

In Mexico, a country home to powerful drug cartels, groups of armed vigilantes known as ‘fuerzas autodefensas’, or self-defence groups, have formed in the past year. In recent weeks, they have even taken over communities in the state of Michoacan; in one case surrounding a city thought to be a key stronghold for the Knights Templar cartel and taking over nearby towns after violent street clashes.

In these newly occupied towns the citizen militia have disarmed and detained local police, claiming that both police and government forces are corrupt and in league with the cartels. 

Mexico’s drug war has wreaked havoc on the country, bringing staggering levels of crime and violence. These civilians, armed with AK-47s, have been fighting back in what they see as a bid to liberate the country.”

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Big money behind war: the military industrial complex

Big money behind war: the military industrial complex

“The new military-industrial complex is fuelled by a conveniently ambiguous and unseen enemy: the terrorist. Former President George W Bush and his aides insisted on calling counter-terrorism efforts a ‘war’. This concerted effort by leaders like former Vice President Dick Cheney (himself the former CEO of defence-contractor Halliburton) was not some empty rhetorical exercise. Not only would a war maximise the inherent powers of the president, but it would maximise the budgets for military and homeland agencies.”

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I worked on the U.S. Drone Program–here’s what really happens

I worked on the U.S. Drone Program–here’s what really happens

“What the public needs to understand is that the video provided by a drone is not usually clear enough to detect someone carrying a weapon, even on a crystal-clear day with limited cloud and perfect light. This makes it incredibly difficult for the best analysts to identify if someone has weapons for sure. One example comes to mind: ‘The feed is so pixelated, what if it’s a shovel, and not a weapon?’ I felt this confusion constantly, as did my fellow UAV analysts. We always wonder if we killed the right people, if we endangered the wrong people, if we destroyed an innocent civilian’s life all because of a bad image or angle.”

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Dirty wars: Jeremy Scahill and Rick Rowley’s new film exposes hidden truths of covert U.S. warfare

Dirty wars: Jeremy Scahill and Rick Rowley’s new film exposes hidden truths of covert U.S. warfare

“If you look at the use of the state secrets privilege; if you look at the way the Obama administration has expanded the drone wars; has empowered special operations forces, including from JSOC, the Joint Special Operations Command, to operate in countries where the United States is not at war; if you look at the way in which the Obama administration has essentially boxed Congress out of any effective oversight role of the covert aspects of U.S. foreign policy, what we really have is a president who has normalized, for many, many liberals in the United States, the policies that they once opposed under the Bush administration. And, you know, this really has been a war presidency.”

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Race and class in the US foster care system

Race and class in the US foster care system

“At any given time, the foster care system in the United States is home to over 400,000 children. Children and youth flow into and out of the system, with a substantial percentage returning home, being adopted, or ‘aging out’ each year, and a comparable percentage entering care. About half the children in foster care are housed with non-relative foster parents, another quarter with relatives (‘kinship”’foster parents), and the remainder in group homes, residential treatment, or on ‘trial discharge’ to their birth parents while still legally in care. “

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Why the Iran deal is good for U.S.

Global Public Square

By Laicie Heeley, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Laicie Heeley is the director of Middle East and defense policy at The Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation. The views expressed are the writer’s own.

Two weeks after the P5+1 powers reached a deal aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program in return for some sanctions relief, the American public is still trying to make sense of the deal.

Multiple polls, including from Washington Post/ABC and Reuters/Ipsos indicate strong American support for the deal with Iran. Yet a new Pew Research poll suggests many Americans are skeptical about Iran’s intentions, with a plurality disapproving of the agreement.  Given that the agreement is so complex, it’s understandable that the U.S. public is making up its mind about the deal. But the reality is that after decades of disappointment, the United States is finally approaching a win with Iran. This is a good…

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Mexican Congress Votes to Open Oil Industry to Private Companies

World

Mexico’s Congress passed a major piece of energy legislation Thursday that will open the country’s currently state-monopolized oil industry to private investment.

Mexico’s lower house voted to pass the bill after hours of rancorous debate. It now has to be approved by 17 of the country’s 31 state legislatures and signed by President Peña Nieto. The measure is a key piece of Nieto’s reform package, the Associated Press reports.

If it becomes law, the measure will permit the government to grant contracts and license to conduct oil and gas drilling operations to private companies, something currently banned under the country’s constitution. State-owned Petróleos Mexicanos, better known as Pemex, has had a monopoly on the industry for the last 75 years, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Mexico is one of the largest oil producers in the world. By 2025, it hopes to raise output from 2.5 million barrels a…

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