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Middle East

Kathy Kelly: Preparing to Sail to Gaza | CounterPunch

Last week, newly-arrived in Athens as part of the US Boat to Gaza project, our team of activists gathered for nonviolence training. We are here to sail to Gaza, in defiance of an Israeli naval blockade, in our ship, “The Audacity of Hope.” Our team, and nine other ships’ crews from countries around the world, want Israel to end its ...

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Peter Lee: Imperial Rounding Error in Iraq | CounterPunch

For students of the IMF vs. Chinese theories of economic development, I think the details of the Chinese struggle to keep its Congo copper project going in the teeth of Western disapproval strikingly illustrates some conspicuous and interesting differences. Read more here: Peter Lee: Imperial Rounding Error in Iraq.

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‘We Are Eager to Get to Gaza’: Exclusive Report from U.S. Ship in Flotilla Bringing Aid to Palestine | Democracy Now via Common Dreams

Up to 50 Americans are set to sail from a Greek port on a U.S.-flagged ship that is part of an international flotilla carrying humanitarian aid and letters of support for Gaza’s 1.5 million Palestinian residents. Its fate is now in limbo under the weight of U.S.-Israeli pressure and Greece’s economic turmoil. Israel insists it will enforce its blockade on ...

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Phyllis Bennis: Token Withdrawals | CounterPunch

President Obama’s speech violated one of his most important campaign promises: to “end the mind-set that leads to war.” To the contrary, his announcement of a token shift of 10,000 soldiers leaving by the end of 2011, and maybe another 23,000 in another year, makes clear that his claim tonight that “the tide of war is receding” remains untrue. The ...

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Gareth Porter: The Open Door in Afghanistan | CounterPunch

President Barack Obama’s speech announcing that the 33,000 “surge” troops in Afghanistan will be withdrawn by “summer” 2012 indicates that he has given priority to the interests of the military and the Pentagon over concerns by key officials in his administration over the impact of the war’s costs on domestic socioeconomic needs. And in a section of the speech that ...

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Story of a raid: US night operations anger Afghans | guardian.co.uk

The U.S. will likely rely more and more on night raids as it shifts to a strategy of using special operators and drones to track down and kill Taliban leaders following President Barack Obama’s announcement Wednesday that 30,000 U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan by next summer. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly condemned night operations as unnecessary and humiliating. Read ...

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Reviving Resistance in Palestine | COLORLINES via CommonDreams

Palestine, long the real and symbolic focal point of the Arab people’s freedom struggles, is stirring with the winds of change wafting in from the uprisings among its neighbors. But even in an increasingly interconnected and globalized Arab world, peace still looks perilously distant from the occupied territories, and even youth activism feels fatigued. Read more here: Reviving Resistance in ...

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Bahrain rights activists jailed for life | The Guardian

Hopes of dialogue between Bahrain’s Sunni leaders and the country’s restive Shia majority have been dashed when 21 civilian activists were given lengthy prison sentences as a crackdown against protesters continues unabated. The verdicts, handed down by a military court, were roundly criticised by human rights groups as clear examples of “political and summary justice”. The sentences were imposed under ...

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Abbas: Palestinians will not turn to UN if given alternative solution | Haaretz

If Israel, the United States and Europe do not want the Palestinians to seek unilateral recognition in the United Nations then they must present an alternative, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview to the Lebanese television network LBC. Abbas stressed that in the absence of peace talks with Israel, the Palestinian leadership will turn to the United Nations ...

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