Saturday, November 1, 2008

Decoding SOFA | Is International Law Dead? | Iraqi Prisoners Face "Serious Risk of Torture"

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October 31st, 2008
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Getting to the Bottom of the Deceptive, Secretive and Artificial Iraq-U.S. Negotiations  

Getting to the Bottom of the Deceptive, Secretive and Artificial Iraq-U.S. Negotiations
By Phyllis Bennis, Foreign Policy in Focus
Whatever the U.S.-Iraqi "agreement" ends up looking like, it is unlikely to have much of an effect on the occupation. Read more »

 

News reports today of the latest U.S. raid into Pakistan, in which unmanned American drones killed some 27 people in the northwest of the country makes the latest from Robert Dreyfuss required reading. Coming on the heels of an unanticipated and deadly attack across the Syrian border, this kind of cross-border raid by the U.S. is an ominous sign about the direction of our so-called "War on Terror."

A parallel new Bush doctrine is emerging, in the last days of the soon-to-be-ancient regime, and it needs to be strangled in its crib. Like the original Bush doctrine -- the one that Sarah Palin couldn't name, which called for preventive military action against emerging threats -- this one also casts international law aside by insisting that the United States has an inherent right to cross international borders in "hot pursuit" of anyone it doesn't like.

They're already applying it to Pakistan, and this week Syria was the target. Is Iran next?

With the presidential election days away, the question is as pressing as ever. As Dreyfuss writes today in The Nation, "There's no doubt that the financial crisis, job insecurity, and fundamental economic worries are the No. 1 issue in Tuesday's vote. But that raises a critical question: If Barack Obama is elected, will he have an antiwar mandate?"

As with the 2006 midterms, the answer should be a resounding "yes." But, as we saw in the years since, this will not necessarily lead to an end to the war. Moreover, as recent weeks have shown all too clearly, when we talk about the "war," we are talking well beyond Iraq. The "War on Terror" puts any country the U.S. declares "criminal" in our crosshairs. While Obama no doubt represents a reassuring contrast to John McCain when it comes to military restraint, it will be up to the American people to stand up and demand an end to a policy of endless war, not on November 4th -- but on November 5th and beyond.

Happy voting,

Liliana Segura

Editor, War on Iraq Special Coverage

 

Did the Raid Into Syria Signal the Death of International Law?  

Did the Raid Into Syria Signal the Death of International Law?

If standard U.S. military doctrine claims any country can be declared "criminal" and lose its sovereignty, the answer is yes. Read more »

 

"Serious Risk of Torture" for Iraqi Prisoners Facing Transfer by U.S.

"We're getting out of the detention business," says a U.S. military spokesman. Read more »

Oil for Soil: Crisis Group Proposes  

Oil for Soil: Crisis Group Proposes "Grand Bargain" on Iraq Oil Land Dispute

The goal is to de-escalate tensions between Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government and the central government in Baghdad. Read more »

Red Cross: Millions of Iraqis at Risk from Contaminated Water  

Red Cross: Millions of Iraqis at Risk from Contaminated Water

Ten liters of bottled water costs 50 cents, but many Iraqis cannot afford it, drinking water from polluted rivers instead. Read more »

U.S. on Deadly Attack in Syria:  

U.S. on Deadly Attack in Syria: "We're Taking Matters Into Our Own Hands"

The attack, which killed eight, was labeled "terrorist aggression" by Syria and is an unexpected expansion of the Iraq war. Read more »

The Devastation in Iraq Is Systematic -- And It's About to Get Much Worse  

The Devastation in Iraq Is Systematic -- And It's About to Get Much Worse

Iraq's state of complete disrepair has created a population in steaming discontent. Read more »

  PEEK and Video: The hottest buzz and videos on the web  

Iraqi MP to UN: Investigate Iraq's Secret Prisons  

Iraqi MP to UN: Investigate Iraq's Secret Prisons

Sunni MP Mohammad Al-Dainy says there are over 400 prisons, controlled by the Iraqi government and the U.S. military. Read more »

Human Rights Watch Calls for Anti-Torture Clause in U.S.-Iraq Security Pact  

Human Rights Watch Calls for Anti-Torture Clause in U.S.-Iraq Security Pact

The measure is intended to protect some 17,000 Iraqi prisoners held by the U.S. military upon their transfer to Iraqi authorities. Read more »

Never Mind the Surge: Iraqis Still Leaving the Country in Droves  

Never Mind the Surge: Iraqis Still Leaving the Country in Droves

The number of Iraqis willing to leave their country for a safer haven is reflective of a state of desperation. Read more »

 

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