Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

It's as though ISIS and the U.S. media and political class worked in perfect unison to achieve the same goal here when it comes to American public opinion: fully terrorize them.

What kind of country goes around bombing people with no strategic purpose and with little motive other than to "flex muscles" and "show toughness"? This answer also seems clear: one that is deeply insecure about its ongoing ability to project strength (and one whose elites benefit in terms of power and profit from endless war). read more

Monday, September 08, 2014

Politics, if we take politics to mean the shaping and discussion of issues, concerns and laws that foster the common good, is no longer the business of our traditional political institutions. These institutions, including the two major political parties, the courts and the press, are not democratic. They are used to crush any vestiges of civic life that calls, as a traditional democracy does, on its citizens to share among all its members the benefits, sacrifices and risks of a nation. They offer only the facade of politics, along with elaborate, choreographed spectacles filled with skillfully manufactured emotion and devoid of real political content. We have devolved into what Alexis de Tocqueville feared -- "democratic despotism." read more

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

"Building a coalition could be done, and I think the United States could build it. But the problem that the U.S. faces now, and I think the policymakers in Washington are facing, is if they supported the Iranian-trained militias in defeating Islamic State, wouldn't that be handing Iraq and Syria over to Iran? They don't have a substitute to that. There is -- Iraq has disintegrated. The military itself, that the U.S. have helped building, has collapsed. So I think it's a policy dilemma." read more

In a lot of ways, we're worse off today than we were under George W. Bush.

Back then, Bush's extremist assault on civil liberties, human rights and other core American values in the name of fighting terror felt like an aberration.

The expectation was that those policies would be quickly reversed, discredited -- and explicitly outlawed -- once he was no longer in power.

Instead, under President Barack Obama, they've become institutionalized. read more

Friday, August 29, 2014

The United States and NATO are openly accusing Russia of sending combat forces into Ukraine as tensions continue to mount. According to the United Nations, nearly 2,600 people have been killed in eastern Ukraine since April in fighting between Ukrainian forces and separatist rebels sympathetic to Russia. On Thursday, at least 15 civilians were killed when Ukrainian forces shelled the rebel-held city of Donetsk. Meanwhile, a new Human Rights Watch report accuses the rebels of arbitrarily detaining civilians and subjecting them to torture, degrading treatment, and forced labor. On Thursday, NATO released satellite images that it says show Russian artillery, vehicles and troops in and around eastern Ukraine. We are joined from London by the Guardian's Jonathan Steele, the organization's former Moscow correspondent and author of many books, including "Eternal Russia: Yeltsin, Gorbachev, and the Mirage of Democracy." read more


Bah. You are running your hamster in an attempt to justify fascist imperialism. They would not have attacked us were we not murdering them on a scale of millions.


Estimates of deaths due to sanctions

Estimates of excess deaths during the sanctions vary widely, use different methodologies and cover different time-frames.[31][38][39] Some estimates include (some of them include effects of the Gulf War in the estimate):

Mohamed M. Ali, John Blacker, and Gareth Jones estimate between 400,000 and 500,000 excess under-5 deaths.[40]
UNICEF: 500,000 children (including sanctions, collateral effects of war). "[As of 1999] [c]hildren under 5 years of age are dying at more than twice the rate they were ten years ago." (As is customary, this report was based on a survey conducted in cooperation with the Iraqi government and by local authorities in the provinces not controlled by the Iraqi government)[41]
Former U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq Denis Halliday: "Two hundred thirty-nine thousand children 5 years old and under" as of 1998.[42]
"Probably ... 170,000 children", Project on Defense Alternatives, "The Wages of War", 20 October 2003[43]
350,000 excess deaths among children "even using conservative estimates", Slate Explainer, "Are 1 Million Children Dying in Iraq?", 9. October 2001.[44]
Economist Michael Spagat: "very likely to be [less than] than half a million children" because estimation efforts are unable to isolate the effects of sanctions alone due to the lack of "anything resembling a controlled experiment",[45] and "one potential explanation" for the statistics showing an increase in child mortality was that "they were not real, but rather results of manipulations by the Iraqi government."[45]
"Richard Garfield, a Columbia University nursing professor ... cited the figures 345,000-530,000 for the entire 1990-2002 period"[46] for sanctions-related excess deaths.[47]
Zaidi, S. and Fawzi, M. C. S., (1995) The Lancet British medical journal: 567,000 children.[48] A co-author (Zaidi) did a follow-up study in 1996, finding "much lower ... mortality rates ... for unknown reasons."[49]
Amatzia Baram, Director of the Center for Iraq Studies at the University of Haifa, reported almost no difference in the rate of Iraq's population growth between 1977 and 1987 (35.8 percent) and between 1987 and 1997 (35.1 percent), suggesting that the sanctions-related death rate is lower than reported, while also stating "Every child who suffers from malnutrition as a result of the embargo is a tragedy".[50]
Reports made in 2004 and 2007 by Iraqi government do not show any increase but a stagnation.

Their actions are insignificant in comparison.


This is all you should need to understand.

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