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    The US, Israel, and the War on Iran: Don’t Let Them Fool Us Again! Rami El-Amine February 10, 2012

    The end of 2011 saw the beginnings of a shift to a more overt and aggressive policy by the US and its allies towards Iran. This shift was not the result of any new threat being posed by Iran but by the need for the US to maintain a sizeable military presence in the oil rich region after withdrawing from Iraq. The Arab revolutions are also a major factor in this shift, particularly for the US’s Gulf Arab allies and Israel. Saber rattling around Iran heightens sectarian tensions in the region and, therefore, weakens the revolutionary wave which threatens the Gulf Arab monarchies. Israel, on the other hand, is leading the push for an attack because it deflects attention away from its continued denial of land and rights to Palestinians at a time when it is coming under increased international criticism.

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    Dangerous Uncertainty in Pakistan Junaid S. Ahmad January 28, 2012

    With relations between Pakistan’s civilian government and military incredibly tense, speculation is ripe in the local and international media that the threat of a military takeover looms large. The military is allegedly buoyed by the support of the Supreme Court and the country’s business and political elite. It seems that the days of Asif Ali Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led coalition government are numbered.

    The tensions reached their tipping point on January 11th when Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani alleged that the Pakistan Army and its intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), were unlawfully interfering in a controversial court case involving the government. This essentially amounted to accusing the heads of the army of defying the constitution and the democratically elected government. The military was quick to retort that there would be “very serious ramifications” and “grievous consequences” if the government continued its confrontational posturing.

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    The End of a War for Who? Sarah Lazare January 2, 2012

    Eric Ruin (justseeds.org)Eric Ruin (justseeds.org)On the day I heard that President Obama had officially declared the Iraq war over, I was at the Danville Veterans’ Administration hospital (VA) with my partner S, an Iraq War veteran. S is six months into a disability application, a request for benefits and compensation for disabilities sustained during military service, which will likely take another year to process.

    We found ourselves navigating through a maze of yellowed walkways and drab interiors, shuttled from admissions offices to mental health clinics. While we were not the only ones moving through that system, we were perhaps moving faster than the others. Many veterans of previous wars—the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, World War II—lined the route, being pushed in wheelchairs, walking on canes, some perhaps visiting for the day with their families, some completely alone. S was one of the only young people I saw in this wing of the VA, and based on the way people looked at us, they clearly knew that he was a “hero” of the war that President Obama had just declared “completed.”

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    “America, your 9/11...is our 24/7”*, Ten Years of Fighting State Violence Arab Resource and Organizing Center September 9, 2011

    Imagine one day, you oversleep your alarm clock by a few hours. You wake up, and the world is a different place. You leave your house and your neighbors look at you with suspicion. You walk down the street and racial slurs are shouted in your direction. Your sister is harassed at her workplace. Your brother, a lawful resident, is forced to give his fingerprints to immigration. Your cousins are made refugees in their homeland (again). Confused, you turn on the news and see two planes have hit the World Trade Center. Your world has changed forever.  

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    Bin Laden Assassination Emboldens Empire Junaid Ahmad May 23, 2011

    Even though weeks have passed since the US raid which killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, details surrounding his death remain murky. The most curious question remains how was he able to “hide” in Abbottabad, a militarized garrison town, eluding Pakistani and US intelligence for so long.

    Apparently, the raid entailed US forces entering bin Laden’s compound, half a mile from the Pakistan Military Academy, and shooting him in the head and chest. The fact that the US altered its initial claim that bin Laden was killed in a fierce firefight to admitting that the Al Qaeda leader was unarmed tends to challenge the jingoistic superman narrative used to describe the assassination.

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    Childhood lost and found: Ten years gone Francesca Fiorentini September 11, 2011

    It always seemed like an absurd exercise to recount where one was on 9/11. Some way to personalize the moment or get closer to the action. Maybe it’s just a way to make something that has been so filtered and retold, so shadowy yet simultaneously sensationalized, feel real. Sadly, the task of remembering is difficult without images of some patriotic red, white, and blue CNN graphic coming to mind. We have been told how to feel about the event (and those that followed) for so long, we rarely get a moment to do so. I choose to remember the day, and the horrors that have happened since, with this brief recollection of the moment that I became an adult.

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    Accountability and Palestinian Right of Return Adam Horowitz November 1, 2002

    On April 15, 2002 an estimated 100,000 American Jews, and their right-wing Christian allies, descended on the U.S. capitol to “stand in solidarity” with Israel in the largest Washington rally in support of Israel in U.S. history.  Five days later, an estimated 100,000 diverse protesters took to the streets of Washington DC to demand an end to the U.S. war on communities of color at home and abroad. The crowd overwhelmingly demanded justice for Palestine from Israel’s brutal occupation in what was the largest demonstration for Palestine in U.S. history.

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    The War on Pakistanis Qalandar Bux Memon April 1, 2010

    When empires move in on a country, they do not aim to salvage people from oppressive power structures of the native country, but to further their own interests. Pakistan, like other recently decolonized countries, suffers from a long history of colonial rule and oppressive power struggles. We can trace such structures to the Mughals and see their solidity under the British. The British managed to create in Pakistan a ruling elite linked to empire in desire and interest, as they did in other Third World countries.

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    The Shi'a Rise Up Rami El-Amine June 1, 2004

    "What is striking is how much has changed in a week. No one can talk about the Sunni Triangle anymore. No one can seriously talk about Sunni-Shia fragmentation or civil war. The occupation cannot talk about small bands of resistance. Now it is a popular rebellion and it has spread."
    -- Wamid Nadhmi, a political science professor at Baghdad University

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    Imperialisms in South Asia Sahar Shafqat April 1, 2010

    In November 2009, the Pakistani Army began a major assault in South Waziristan, believed to be the stronghold of the largest of the Pakistani Taliban factions. In a stroke of genius, the Army dumped thousands of leaflets one day ahead of its assault as part of a public relations effort. The leaflets bore a letter directly from the head of the Pakistani Army, General Kayani, to the Mehsud tribe which lives in South Waziristan. The letter said: “The [military] operation is not meant to target the valiant and patriotic Mehsud tribes but [is] aimed at ridding them of the elements who have destroyed peace in the region.” In order to clear up any confusion as to whom the letter was from, the Army helpfully included a picture of General Kayani on the leaflets.

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