Foreign Policy

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  Uzbekistan Kicks out USJuly 31, 2005 00:00 The US has been given an eviction notice, due in 6 months, from their temporary base in Uzbekistan. The base has been used as a staging area for the war in Afghanistan and the War on Terror since just after September 11, 2001.
 
  Increasing Chatter about Pullback from IraqJuly 29, 2005 00:00 Numerous news sources are reporting that the Bush administration is starting to pave the rhetoric highway toward a large troop withdrawal from Iraq. Coincidentally, the most ofent discussed timing coincides with the midterm elections to be held next year.
  Russia Upset with US Free PressJuly 29, 2005 00:00 Russian President Vladmir Putin is upset that ABC news aired an interview with the mastermind of the 2004 Beslan school attack in which 339 children and adults died.
  CAFTA PassedJuly 28, 2005 00:00 It looks like CAFTA passed a few minutes ago by about 5-10 votes. Too bad.
  Washington Did not Believe US to be Christian StateJuly 28, 2005 00:00 In a 1776 treaty between the US and Tripoli, forged by founding father George Washington, Article 11 of the treaty declares that the newly founded nation is not a Christian state. Amen.
  56 Members of Congress Betray Culture of LIfeJuly 28, 2005 00:00 56 members of congress, including senators and representatives, have betrayed their Catholic teachings by voting for CAFTA. You see... Religion and party politics are never perfectly aligned. View the list of pro-corporation Catholic reps here.
  US Puts CNOOC Unocal Deal into LimboJuly 27, 2005 00:00 In a rare smart protectionist move by modern US lawmakers, they have delayed the attempted purchase of US oil company Unocal Corp. by the China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) for four months, effectively shutting down the purchase. Why can't they see that jobs are valuable resources to keep in country, too?
 
  Another Catholic Press Release Opposing CAFTAJuly 27, 2005 00:00 Here's another release stating that Catholic politicians should not support CAFTA. While I oppose religions putting pressure on politicians, I am lying down with the Devil in the hopes that combined pressure from the left and the ultra-right will kill the treaty.
  US Less Aggressive with N KoreaJuly 26, 2005 00:00 In an attempt to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean penninsula, the US is taking a softer stance by recognizing North Korea's soverignity and reassuring the NK government that the US has no desire to invade. If played correctly, the penninsula could be nuclear free in a short time.
 
  US Gains Assurances for Kyrgyzstan BaseJuly 26, 2005 00:00 US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld visited Kyrgyzstan yesterday to secure the status of the US military base in the country. Rumsfeld has been assured that the base is available as long as the Afghan conflict is continuing. A similar base in Uzbekistan has an uncertain fate, in part because the US has questioned human rights abuses by the Uzbek government.
  Six More CIA Operatives Wanted in ItalyJuly 25, 2005 00:00 Six more arrest warrants have been issued for additional CIA operatives who were involved in the abduction of Hassan Osama Nasr, a suspected Al Quaeda operative. A total of 19 CIA agents are sought in the illegal abduction on Italian soil.
  Nullifying Judicial Review through Executive OrderJuly 25, 2005 00:00 Sadly, it's a Cuban newspaper who has to point out that Bush has used an executive order, 13303 of May 22, 2003, to prevent the US judicial process from being invoked when any Iraqi oil assets owned by any US citizen or corporation are involved. How many Iraqi oil interests are owned by his family and how can this be legal?
 
  Possible Recess Appointment for BoltonJuly 25, 2005 00:00 The Globe is reporting that the President may make a recess appointment of the embattled John Bolton as US Ambassador to the UN. Bolton, who has been recorded as a major foe of the UN, is not favorably looked upon by many Republican or Democrat senators.
  Target Iran: Nukes in ConsiderationJuly 25, 2005 00:00 Justin Logan's blog recounts an article from The American Conservative in which Dick Cheney has requested that the military draw up plans for preemptively invading Iran while using tactical nuclear missiles to destroy their assumed WMD development sites. Some of those sites are in the middle of Tehran. Here we go again.
  Saddam to be Executed Soon?July 23, 2005 00:00 According to Al Jazeera, an Iraqi government newspaper has indicated that Saddam Hussein will be convicted and executed within three weeks. The newspaper anticipated that Saddam will be found guilty of crimes against humanity and that he would be killed quickly thereafter.
  Bush Pushing Us to the BrinkJuly 22, 2005 00:00 This editorial suggests that the Bush administration's unthought-out strategy is pushing us to the brink of war with China and its Asian allies. The rapid establishment of US military bases around oil reserves in the Middle East and the Caspian region have caused nations that are certain to compete with us for resources to increase their state of militarization. Perhaps Bush hopes to bankrupt them, as did Reagan, but it's a different world.
  Pentagon Delivers Upbeat Assessment of WarJuly 22, 2005 00:00 In the first 90 evaluation of the Iraq war required by law, the pentagon has delivered an upbeat assessment of the war. The 23 page report glosses over many details. See the transcript of the DOD delivery of the report to Congress.
  New Saudi Ambassador to the USJuly 21, 2005 00:00 Former Saudi ambassador to the US, Bandar bin Sultan (also called "Bandar Bush" because of his close ties to the White House), has resigned. bin Sultan will be replaced by the former intelligence chief of Saudi Arabia and current ambassador to the UK, Prince Turki al-Faisal. al-Faisal is rumored to have had close ties to Osama bin Laden when bin Laden was working with the Afghani muhajadeen against the Russians.
  China on the Rise: What Did US Expect?July 20, 2005 00:00 China has become defensive against statements by members of the US defense complex that they are alarmed at China's rise as a modern military power. What did they expect when we send billions of dollars a month there?
  US Military Base Boon for UzbekistanJuly 19, 2005 00:00 According to NPR, the government of Uzbekistan may be able to use the presence of a US military base in their country not only as a carrot for more US money, but also as a get-out-of-the-heat-now card regarding human rights abuses at a recent demonstration. Hundreds of unarmed demonstrators were killed by government police during a recent protest.
  US to Help India Strengthen Nuclear ProgramJuly 19, 2005 00:00 The Bush administration is making overtures to India, proposing to allow them access to a broader set of US nuclear technology. The administration's goal is to promote India's development as a fully modern nuclear power as a counterbalance to the dominance of China in Asia.
  Bush Pressing China to Revalue YuanJuly 19, 2005 00:00 The Bush administration is making much handwaving over its 'pressure' on China to force the huge nation to revalue its currency against the US dollar. Currently the yuan is fixed against the dollar and many economic experts and labor groups suggest that this is artificially inflating the trade deficit. Other headlines seem to suggest that China is actually feeling no pressure.
 
  Tancredo Suggests Nuking Islamic Holy SitesJuly 19, 2005 00:00 On a Florida talk show last week, Tom Tancredo (R-CO) suggested that in the event of a nuclear attack on the US by Islamic fundamentalists, that we could retaliate by bombing Muslim holy sites. Clearly he does not know about the effort during WWII by American scholars to prevent Truman from bombing Kyoto, a site of numerous holy shrines for Japanese Shinto and Buddhism.
  US-India Free Trade Zone Next?July 19, 2005 00:00 President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have issued a joint statement that shows that the US and India plan to encourage the sharing of more civilian and defense technology (read 'tactical defensive nukes'), while maintaining the war on terror. Whoopee.
  Toll on Iraqi's Largely UncountedJuly 18, 2005 00:00 The Iraqi casualty toll stands around 25,000 dead and many more wounded by conservative efforts. Unfortunately, the scars inflicted on everyday Iraqi civilians like you and me remain largely unremarked by the commercial US and UK media.
  Iraq a Clear Cause for UK Domestic TerrorismJuly 18, 2005 00:00 A prominent UK research institute has concluded that Britain's involvement in the US instigated Iraq conflict has helped al-Qaeda with recruitment and propaganda.
  CAFTA Inhibits Environmental, Other LawJuly 18, 2005 00:00 In a revealing twist, it turns out that NAFTA, and now CAFTA, may inhibit States' rights to pass environmental and health and safety law because such laws may become an "indirect expropriation" of corporate property. It seems that the passage of laws that negatively impact a company's property is illegal under NAFTA, and will be under CAFTA. This means also that a US company can decimate land it owns in an ecologically sensitive area, and the local government is powerless to prevent it from doing so.
  At Least We're Not Exporting BaptistsJuly 15, 2005 00:00 The US Treasury Department has revoked the license of the Alliance of Baptists, an Alabama missionary group, that allowed them to visit Cuba for religious activities. The TD audited the group's last visit and discovered that there were not enough religious activites to justify the license. Tax payer money well spent. (Right.)
  Opium Flowing From AfghanistanJuly 15, 2005 00:00 Poor Afghanistani farmers are turning to the opium poppy as a source for income. Opium farming rose by about 2/3 from 2003 and 2004. Afghanistan now produces opium that is turned into approximately 90% of the worlds heroin, a devastatingly addictive drug that wrecks homes and lives.
  Bush Advisor Doing Double DutyJuly 12, 2005 00:00 James C. Langdon Jr., while acting as chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, helped his private law firm establish business ties with a major Chinese energy company that is lobbying to buy US Unocal Corp. Langdon, who is also a major Bush campaign fundraiser, has the highest security clearance and prepares briefs for the President.
  Kyrgyzstan May Reject US Military BaseJuly 11, 2005 00:00 The newly elected president of Kyrgyzstan has indicated that the US military base that has been there since the start of the campaign in Afghanistan may need to be removed. This would be another blow from the Neo-Conservative goal to dominate central Asia with US forces.
 
  Another British Memo: US Troop ReductionsJuly 11, 2005 00:00 Another leaked British memo suggests that the US plans a large troop withdrawal in 2006, conveniently in time for the 2006 electoral season. While the memo has not been denied by administration officials, they indicate that troop withdrawals will only happen if the conditions are right.
  South Korean's Protest US Military BasesJuly 10, 2005 00:00 Several hundred people were hurt by police during a 12,000 person protest in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. The South Koreans are protesting the maintenance and expansion of the US military presence in their country.
 
  Next on the List: UzbekistanJuly 08, 2005 00:00 Symptomatic of a recent chilling of relations between two authoritarian dictators, US President George W. Bush and Uzbek leader Islam Karimov, the Uzbekistan government has intimated that they may rescind their permission for the US to have an airbase in their country. The airbase was originally agreed to as support for the original Afghanistan invasion. Loss of the base would eliminate a significant American foothold in Central Asia.
  Bush on the London AttacksJuly 07, 2005 00:00 A sad response to the London attacks. George Bush said: "We will find them. We will bring them to justice. And at the same time we will spread an ideology of hope and compassion that will overwhelm their ideology of hate." Unfortunately, Mr. Bush seems unable to admit that his policies and the policies of Republican presidents before him are fostering terrorism and hatred in the world.
  More Afghan Civilians KilledJuly 05, 2005 00:00 Last week the US military killed 17 civilians in an anti-terrorism related airstrike. The civilians were killed when the military bombed a remote area while searching for lost soldiers.