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Showing posts from October 16, 2014

Panetta reveals US nuke strike plans on N. Korea, spurs controversy

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (Reuters / Jonathan Erns)



US war plans against North Korea recently included the option of a nuclear strike, former CIA Director and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta revealed in his memoirs, triggering major controversy.

Panetta described a 2010 briefing in Seoul by General Walter L. ‘Skip’ Sharp, the commander of US forces in South Korea, where it was made clear that the nuclear option was on the table if North Korean forces crossed into the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the North and the South.

“If North Korea moved across the border, our war plans called for the senior American general on the peninsula to take command of all US and South Korea forces and defend South Korea— including by the use of nuclear weapons, if necessary,” Panetta wrote in ‘Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace’.

Panetta added that he left the briefing with “the powerful sense that war in that region was neither hypothetical nor remote.”

Panetta’s …

Iraq's 'hidden' chemical weapons: US 'covered up' discovery of chemical weapons after 2003 invasion – with many are now in Isis’s hands

The US military has reportedly covered up the discovery of huge numbers of chemical weapons in Iraq – stocks which now lie in the occupied lands controlled by Isis.
According to an exposé published today by the New York Times, American soldiers reported finding around 5,000 chemical warheads or bombs after the invasion of Iraq and deposition of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Between 2004 and 2011 at least 17 US soldiers and seven Iraqi police officers were exposed to nerve agents or mustard gas chemicals, but were encouraged by the Pentagon to downplay or under-report any injuries, the Times reported.

The details of Iraq’s chemical weapons stores have only emerged now from Iraqi and US officials, redacted intelligence documents and interviews with soldiers because, the paper claimed, because of potential embarrassment for the government.

George W Bush and Tony Blair

President George W Bush led the US into war in Iraq on the back of assertions that Saddam Hussein had recently-built weapons of ma…

Iraq Descends Into Anarchy Shia Militias 'Abducting and Killing Sunni Civilians In Revenge For Isis Attacks'

By Patrick Cockburn

Iraq is descending into savage sectarian warfare as government-backed Shia militias kill, torture and hold for ransom any Sunni whom they detain. Isis is notorious for its mass killings of Shia, but retaliation by Shia militiamen means that Iraq is returning to the levels of sectarian slaughter last seen in the Sunni-Shia civil war of 2006-07 when tens of thousands were murdered.

The Shia militias have become the main fighting force of the Baghdad government since the Iraqi army was defeated by Isis when it took northern Iraq in June. According to a detailed Amnesty International report published today, the militias enjoy total immunity in committing war crimes against the Sunni community, often demanding large ransoms but killing their victims even when the money is paid.

The re-emergence of the Shia militias and the failure to rebuild the Iraqi army is torpedoing the US and British policy of supporting a more inclusive and less sectarian government in Baghdad. The …