Available options for U.S. policy in Iraq

Options for the US administration are so limited that one leading analyst has called them the "almost good, the bad and the ugly."

Americans say they  invaded Iraq with the intention of making that state a model for the Middle East, promising that success in Iraq would be followed by efforts to transform the political systems of Iraq's neighbors.

But their actions belie their claim. It can be judged from their actions that the  U.S. is carrying out a plan to destroy Iraq and colonise its people and national resources.

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The Coalition Of Reflexive Support For Israel Strikes Again

The United States, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau. Once again they have proved their unshakable loyalty to the Israeli occupation by voting againstall of the six UN General Assembly resolutions regarding the "Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine".

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Free West Papua

Today marks the 45th anniversary of the first raising of the Morning Star - the national flag of West Papua - on December 1 1961. Prior to 1961, West Papua was a Dutch colony, but in 1952 the Netherlands recognised the West Papuans' right to self-determination in accordance with Article 73 of the United Nations Charter. Indonesia felt differently and claimed the territory for itself. However, it declined the Netherlands' invitation to stake its claim before the International Court of Law. A West Papuan government was set up in May 1961, tasked with the preparation of the country for full independence in 1971.

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An American in Karachi

The New York Times reports that an American Al-Qaeda operative was arrested by Pakistani authorities with the assistance of US intelligence earlier this week in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city and commercial capital. Early reports suggested that Al Qaeda operative detained was Abu Yahya Mujahdeen Al-Adam, a Pennsylvania-born but low level militant. However, the Pakistani newspaper Dawn is reporting that a second American Al-Qaeda operative, the infamous Adam Yahiye Gadahn, was captured today also in Karachi.

An American Al Qaeda leader, Adam Yahiye Gadahn, was arrested in Karachi on Sunday, US and Pakistani diplomatic sources told journalists here.

Gadahn was likely detained in Sohrab Goth, a major Pashtun area in northern Karachi, which also has a large population of tribesmen from North and South Waziristan.

Also known as ‘Azzam the American’, Gadahn has long been on the US ‘Most Wanted List’. Officials in Washington described his capture as ‘a major victory’ in the war against Al Qaeda.

Gadahn is the first American to be charged with treason in his country since World War II. If convicted, he faces the death penalty.

The arrest of Adam Gadahn, 31, comes on the same day the Oregon-born, California-raised American with Jewish roots appeared in an Al Qaeda web video in which he called on American Muslims to launch attacks in the US. In the video released on Sunday Gadahn praised Nidal Malik Hassan, the Muslim-American Army psychiatrist of Palestinian descent who killed 13 soldiers at an army base in Texas in November, calling him a role model.

Gadahn, one of the FBI's top 10 most wanted terrorists, is the first American to be charged with treason since the 1940s. The United States had placed a $1 million bounty offered for information leading to his capture.

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START Vote Postponed by Senator Kerry

Senator John Kerry, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee delayed a vote on the new START arms control treaty (pdf) with Russia today after Republican Senators requested more time to review documents and hear comments from the Armed Services Committee.

The treaty was signed by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in April. Both the US Senate and Russian parliament must approved the treaty before it enters into force.

Under the new START treaty, the United States and Russia will be limited to significantly fewer strategic arms within seven years from the date the Treaty enters into force. Each Party has the flexibility to determine for itself the structure of its strategic forces within the aggregate limits set by the Treaty. These limits are based on a rigorous analysis conducted by Department of Defense planners in support of the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review.  
Aggregate limits:

  • 1,550 warheads.  Warheads on deployed ICBMs and deployed SLBMs count toward this limit and each deployed heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments counts as one warhead toward this limit. This limit is 74% lower than the limit of the 1991 START Treaty and 30% lower than the deployed strategic warhead limit of the 2002 Moscow Treaty.

  • A combined limit of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.

  • A separate limit of 700 deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.  This limit is less than half the corresponding strategic nuclear delivery vehicle limit of the START Treaty. 

Verification and Transparency:  The Treaty has a verification regime that combines the appropriate elements of the 1991 START Treaty with new elements tailored to the limitations of the Treaty.  Measures under the Treaty include on-site inspections and exhibitions, data exchanges and notifications related to strategic offensive arms and facilities covered by the Treaty, and provisions to facilitate the use of national technical means for treaty monitoring.  To increase confidence and transparency, the Treaty also provides for the exchange of telemetry.
Treaty Terms:  The Treaty’s duration will be ten years, unless superseded by a subsequent agreement.  The Parties may agree to extend the Treaty for a period of no more than five years.  The Treaty includes a withdrawal clause that is standard in arms control agreements.  The 2002 Moscow Treaty terminates upon entry into force of the New START Treaty.  

No Constraints on Missile Defense and Conventional Strike:  The Treaty does not contain any constraints on testing, development or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile defense programs or current or planned United States long-range conventional strike capabilities.



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