NYCLAW Antiwar Digest (11.18.08)

14 DAYS AFTER

Who Is Obama’s Brain Trust?
“The Obama Braintrust” included billionaires, major corporate CEO’s, high ranking government officials, but no one representing labor, social and human services, or the progressive organizations that supposedly gave Obama his biggest boost to the White House.
http://counterpunch.org/cramer11142008.html

Who is Obama Transition Team?
Jami Miscik, leading a review of American intelligence agencies, was the head of intelligence analysis at the Central Intelligence Agency during its biggest embarrassment: the botched assessments about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Then she moved on to become a senior official managing risks in emerging markets for the investment bank Lehman Brothers, until its collapse this fall.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/15/us/politics/15transition.html?_r=1&hp=&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1226761222-clvVaquPNLKaZ42zFj2lYQ

Where is the Antiwar Movement?
[I]t will be interesting to see how antiwar activists react to this. Are they antiwar or just anti-Republican?
http://www.spectator.org/blog/2008/11/18/iraq-war-supporters

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AFGHANISTAN & PAKISTAN

Pakistan is Next US Target
Right on cue, presidential candidate Barack Obama took the baton from Bush in his speech on July 15, in which he argued that more focus and resource were required on both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
http://www.daily.pk/local/other-local/8161-pakistan-the-next-us-target.html

Pakistan and U.S. Have Tacit Deal On Airstrikes
“[M]aybe with a new administration, public opinion will be more pro-American and we can start acknowledging” more cooperation.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/15/AR2008111502656_pf.html

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IRAQ

SOFA With the Devil
[T]he pact does make a mockery of Iraq’s “sovereignty”. For the first time, occupying US troops will have a clear mandate straight from Iraq’s elected leadership, instead of a United Nations Security Council resolution enacted after Bush invaded Iraq in 2003.
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JK18Ak01.html

Obama Applauds Extension of Occupation
Mr. Obama’s transition office . . . welcomed an extension of the legal authorization for American troops in Iraq beyond the end of the year, when the United Nations Security Council resolution covering the American-led military operation expires.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/18/world/middleeast/18iraq.html?ref=world

SOFA Gives Obama Breathing Room
“It greatly eases the pressure on [Obama] to meet a fixed abstract schedule for U.S. withdrawals.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/17/AR2008111703097.html

Top Brass Warns Withdrawal May Take 2 or 3 Years
In his first press conference since the election, Admiral Michael G. Mullen said he believes that the soonest all US forces could be safely withdrawn from Iraq is “two to three years.”
http://www.boston.com/news/politics/2008/articles/2008/11/18/top_brass_warns_iraq_withdrawal_may_take_2_or_3_years/

Muslim Scholars Reject SOFA
[U]pon the completion of the liberation there will have no value of such so-called agreements which this nation declared their rejection as one word and comprehensively.
http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m48852&hd=&size=1&l=e

Sadr Rejects SOFA
“I repeat my demand to the occupier to leave our land without keeping bases or signing agreements. If they keep bases, then I would support honorable resistance”. . . . Without an extension of the [UN] resolution or a separate agreement with the Iraqis, American troops would have to cease operations.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/15/world/middleeast/15iraq.html?ref=world

What Would SOFA’s Defeat Mean?
If it fails, U.S. forces will have to halt operations in Iraq at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 1, unless the U.N. mandate could be extended beforehand.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iraqqa18-2008nov18,0,4929149.story

What Will Happen When the Occupation Really Ends?
If the occupier leaves, I won’t exaggerate and say there will be peace from one day to the next, no. There will still be problems. But we will be able to contain our problems. We, the Iraqis, will be able to work towards solving them one by one, together, without another power creating problems for us.
http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/922/re9.htm

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PALESTINE

Israel Escalates Crisis in Gaza
“This is an illegal collective punishment. There is a shortage of medicines in the hospitals, and the cutting of electricity is further pushing the situation deeper toward a crisis.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/14/AR2008111401112.html

Olmert Threatens Gaza With Another All-Out Attack
In the view of Ehud Olmert, the outgoing Israeli prime minister, it is not a matter of whether full-scale hostilities resume, but when.
http://www.economist.com/world/mideast-africa/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12609936

Why Gaza?
[T]he growing catastrophe being unleashed on Gaza is only indirectly related to Hamas’s rise to power and the rocket attacks. Of more concern to Israel is what each of these developments represents: a refusal on the part of Gazans to abandon their resistance to Israel’s continuing occupation.
http://www.thenational.ae/article/20081116/FOREIGN/696678962/1011/SPORT

How Long Can Obama Charm the Arab World?
This is where Obama’s lyrical prose meets the gruff calculus of the police state.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-essay16-2008nov16,0,3750642.story

P.A. is Israel’s Second Fiddle
Many ordinary Palestinians have begun calling the PA security forces omala, or Israeli collaborators.
http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m48781&hd=&size=1&l=e

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VETS

Newest Veterans Hit Hard by Economic Crisis
“You fill out a job application and you can’t write ‘long-range reconnaissance and sniper skills.’ ”
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/18/us/18vets.html?hp

Report to Congress: Gulf War Syndrome is Real
Gulf War syndrome is real and still afflicts nearly a quarter of the 700,000 U.S. troops who served in the 1991 conflict.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-sci-gulfwar18-2008nov18,0,7557540.story

Audio Documentary: Major General Smedley Butler, USMC
Major General Smedley Butler served his country for 34 years, yet he spoke against American armed intervention into the affairs of sovereign nations.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4377.htm

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DOMESTIC REPRESSION & INJUSTICE

Who Would Obama pick for the Supreme Court?
It is not clear that Obama hopes to put the kind of person on the court that Aron and other liberals are dreaming about.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-courtobama17-2008nov17,0,6924032.story

Obama Election Spurs Race Crimes Around Country
Cross burnings. Schoolchildren chanting “Assassinate Obama.” Black figures hung from nooses. Racial epithets scrawled on homes and cars.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iEyLuiVkdd-f1RM5wnoR0kF4WbvgD94FQJKG0

Post-Guantanamo: A New Detention Law?
Even some liberals are arguing that to deal realistically with terrorism, the new administration should seek Congressional authority for preventive detention of terrorism suspects deemed too dangerous to release even if they cannot be successfully prosecuted.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/15/washington/15gitmo.html?hp

Early Test for Obama on Domestic Spying
Obama, as president, may be more willing to accept the broadened presidential powers that he once condemned as a candidate, particularly since Congress has approved expanded surveillance powers for the government.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/18/washington/18nsa.html?hp

Obama v. Immigrants
[G]iven that Obama has supported the building of the border fence and a strong employee verification policy, immigration enforcement may actually deepen.
http://counterpunch.org/barry11142008.html

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