Nick Turse
It was a battalion operation. They spread out over the whole village, took over the school, smashed the locks, the classrooms. One was used as the investigation room for the Shin Bet, one room for detainees, one for the soldiers to rest. We went in house by house, banging on the door at two in the morning. The family’s dying of fear, the girls are peeing in their pants with fear. We go into the house and turn everything upside down.
An Israeli soldier from the Kfir Brigade talks about a 2009 military operation in Nablus district in the West Bank, from Oded Na’aman, Is Gaza Outside Israel? | TomDispatch (via civiliansuffering)
It was a battalion operation. They spread out over the whole village, took over the school, smashed the locks, the classrooms. One was used as the investigation room for the Shin Bet, one room for detainees, one for the soldiers to rest. We went in house by house, banging on the door at two in the morning. The family’s dying of fear, the girls are peeing in their pants with fear. We go into the house and turn everything upside down.
An Israeli soldier from the Kfir Brigade talks about a 2009 military operation in Nablus district in the West Bank, from Oded Na’aman, Is Gaza Outside Israel? | TomDispatch
fotojournalismus:

A swan swims near the flooded home of a family on November 21, 2012 in Mantoloking, New Jersey. Mantoloking was one of the hardest hit areas by Superstorm Sandy.
[Credit : Mario Tama/Getty Images]

fotojournalismus:

A swan swims near the flooded home of a family on November 21, 2012 in Mantoloking, New Jersey. Mantoloking was one of the hardest hit areas by Superstorm Sandy.

[Credit : Mario Tama/Getty Images]

fotojournalismus:

Smoke rises from the Hamas government building known as Abu Khadra that was destroyed in an Israeli air strike two days ago in Gaza City, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. In Israel, a poll showed that about half of Israelis think their government should have continued its military offensive against Hamas. Israeli troops fired on Gazans surging toward Israel’s border fence Friday, a 20-year-old man was killed and 19 people were wounded by Israeli fire near the border.
[Credit : Hatem Moussa/AP]
thepoliticalnotebook:

AP photographer Bernat Armangué, who took some of the most widely seen and poignant photographs of Gaza during the recent eight day conflict between Hamas and Israel, wrote in The Guardian about his experiences taking these pictures.
He said of the above photo, of a man kissing the hand of a dead relative in the morgue at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City:

This was the last picture I took that day. I spent most of the day taking photographs of Palestinian rescue workers recovering people under the rubble of homes – some of them alive, some of them dead. That day 11 members of the al-Dallu family were killed when an Israeli missile struck the two-storey home of the family in a residential area of Gaza City. Some bodies were recovered and brought to the morgue, so I went there to take some pictures. While I was there, another family came to check if it was true that one of their relatives had been killed. They cried, held his body and one of them kissed his hand while saying goodbye. It was a rare tender moment there.

Read the whole piece at The Guardian.

thepoliticalnotebook:

AP photographer Bernat Armangué, who took some of the most widely seen and poignant photographs of Gaza during the recent eight day conflict between Hamas and Israel, wrote in The Guardian about his experiences taking these pictures.

He said of the above photo, of a man kissing the hand of a dead relative in the morgue at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City:

This was the last picture I took that day. I spent most of the day taking photographs of Palestinian rescue workers recovering people under the rubble of homes – some of them alive, some of them dead. That day 11 members of the al-Dallu family were killed when an Israeli missile struck the two-storey home of the family in a residential area of Gaza City. Some bodies were recovered and brought to the morgue, so I went there to take some pictures. While I was there, another family came to check if it was true that one of their relatives had been killed. They cried, held his body and one of them kissed his hand while saying goodbye. It was a rare tender moment there.

Read the whole piece at The Guardian.

newshour:

Hamas official: “There is no more peace process”
Hamas representative Usamah Hamdan agreed to come on the NewsHour’s broadcast to be interviewed by correspondent Ray Suarez by phone. But Hamdan cancelled the interview shortly before it was expected to happen. 
We were intending to run the interview following Suarez’s interview with Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren.
During an off-camera conversation with the NewsHour earlier in the day, Hamdan blamed the Israel’s military offensive in Gaza on Israeli politics:

“I think the Israelis are trying to gain some votes in the upcoming election,” he said, referring to the Israeli Parliamentary elections scheduled for Jan. 2013. “They are trying to improve their chances with the voters.”
Hamdan also defended rocket attacks launched from Gaza into Israeli population centers as the only possible response to the Israel’s technological advantage. “I think when you are facing an occupation, an armed occupation with air support and the best weapons made in the U.S.A., what do you do? You must do the best you can.” He allowed that from a military standpoint, the Gazans’ “weapons will not be equal to what the Israelis have, but we must resist until we are liberated.”
Hamdan also said the lack of a peace process as a reason to continue rocket attacks into Israel. “There is no more peace process,” he said. “Abu Mazen [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] is considered an obstacle by Israel and Netanyahu is not interested…So what are we to do? We must liberate our own.”
More

newshour:

Hamas official: “There is no more peace process”

Hamas representative Usamah Hamdan agreed to come on the NewsHour’s broadcast to be interviewed by correspondent Ray Suarez by phone. But Hamdan cancelled the interview shortly before it was expected to happen. 

We were intending to run the interview following Suarez’s interview with Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren.

During an off-camera conversation with the NewsHour earlier in the day, Hamdan blamed the Israel’s military offensive in Gaza on Israeli politics:

“I think the Israelis are trying to gain some votes in the upcoming election,” he said, referring to the Israeli Parliamentary elections scheduled for Jan. 2013. “They are trying to improve their chances with the voters.”

Hamdan also defended rocket attacks launched from Gaza into Israeli population centers as the only possible response to the Israel’s technological advantage. “I think when you are facing an occupation, an armed occupation with air support and the best weapons made in the U.S.A., what do you do? You must do the best you can.” He allowed that from a military standpoint, the Gazans’ “weapons will not be equal to what the Israelis have, but we must resist until we are liberated.”

Hamdan also said the lack of a peace process as a reason to continue rocket attacks into Israel. “There is no more peace process,” he said. “Abu Mazen [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] is considered an obstacle by Israel and Netanyahu is not interested…So what are we to do? We must liberate our own.”

More

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.
Prominent Palestinian writer Salameh Kaileh spent three weeks in detention in various Syrian prisons over suspicion that he was handing out leaflets calling for Assad’s downfall. Kaileh described the prisons as a “human slaughterhouses” and “hell on earth.”
UN Sec’y General Ban Ki-Moon told Christiane Amanpour that there is “no Plan B” for Syria at this moment.
The violence in Syria spilled further over the border into Lebanon, igniting clashes throughout the week.
Rival Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah have agreed to a deal that will lead to elections and a unity government in the West Bank and Gaza.
A huge suicide bombing in Sana’a, Yemen, on Monday, killed more than 100 and was claimed by militants connected with Al Qaeda.
The Lockerbie bomber died in Libya on Sunday.
Pakistani Dr. Shakil Afridi, who assisted the CIA in ascertaining bin Laden’s whereabouts, has been sentenced in Pakistan to 33 years for treason.
It’s been another very bloody week in Karachi.
On Tuesday, the Senate appropriations subcommittee on foreign aid voted to cut aid to Pakistan by 58% and threatened further cuts if Pakistan doesn’t reopen supply lines. 
At the Chicago summit, NATO leaders decided on a permanent timetable in which Afghan forces will take over combat command in mid-2013 and NATO combat forces will leave by 2014. 
US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, will be leaving his post this summer.
Five kidnapped aid workers are apparently being held for ransom in Shahr-e Bozorg, Afghanistan. Negotiations are ongoing. 
The State Dept. spent $1800 per student per day in 2010 for its Anti-Terrorism Training program in North Africa, the Middle East and South and Central Asia. The total money spent on programs like this since 9/11 is $1.4b. The State Dept’s Inspector General released a report on these programs for public consumption this week.
Talks over the Iranian nuclear program resumed in Baghdad this week, hitting a snag on negotiations over sanctions.
The military junta in Guinea-Bissau has handed over power to a civilian government.
Dioncounda Traoré, the interim president of Mali, was beset by protesters on Monday, who stormed the presidential palace and beat him unconscious.
A yearlong probe identified 1800 cases of fake parts in US military equipment. A suspected million such fake parts are out there, and 70% of these parts can be traced back to China.
CNAS released a policy report outlining suggestions for reforming the structure and operation of the military.
A 2011 Army memo obtained by Danger Room shows that the Army has had extensive concerns about the long-term health risks associated with the combat burn pit operated at Bagram Airfield. Service-members have been coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan with puzzling health problems, most likely associated with exposure to these burn pits. A recent animal study also came to light showing that burn pits not only adversely affects lungs in the short term, but has serious long-term impacts on the immune system.
Two female Army reservists have filed suit in district court to remove the restriction on combat service in the military based “solely on sex,” saying the restriction violates their 5th amendment right to due process.
A new GAO report says that wounded service-members are now waiting an average of a year for their official disability evaluation. This is a big increase, and the wait time has been on the up for the last three years.
Congressional investigators want an explanation within 10 days from the Defense Logistics Agency as to why the military was double-billed and excessively charged to the tune of $750m for food supplies.
One of the owners of a firm involved in propaganda operations for the Pentagon has publicly admitted to creating a series of websites in a misinformation campaign attacking two USA Today journalists who had reported on the contracting company.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the ACLU’s challenge to the 2008 FISA Amendments, the warrantless wiretapping legislation which grants the NSA the power to tap the international phone calls and emails made by US citizens. Just this Tuesday, a Senate panel voted to extend these provisions, which the White House hopes to extend beyond its year-end expiration date.
Photo: Logar province, eastern Afghanistan. During a helicopter transport, US Army medic with the C Company 3/82 Dustoff medevac attends to an Afghan National Army soldier wounded by gunshot. Danish Siddiqui/Reuters.

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.

Photo: Logar province, eastern Afghanistan. During a helicopter transport, US Army medic with the C Company 3/82 Dustoff medevac attends to an Afghan National Army soldier wounded by gunshot. Danish Siddiqui/Reuters.
A demonstrator grimaces after she was pepper sprayed by Israeli troops during a protest calling for the release prisoners jailed in Israel outside the Ofer military prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday May 1, 2012. (Majdi Mohammed)

A demonstrator grimaces after she was pepper sprayed by Israeli troops during a protest calling for the release prisoners jailed in Israel outside the Ofer military prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday May 1, 2012. (Majdi Mohammed)

A demonstrator grimaces after she was pepper sprayed by Israeli troops during a protest calling for the release prisoners jailed in Israel outside the Ofer military prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday May 1, 2012. (Majdi Mohammed)

A demonstrator grimaces after she was pepper sprayed by Israeli troops during a protest calling for the release prisoners jailed in Israel outside the Ofer military prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday May 1, 2012. (Majdi Mohammed)

A masked Palestinian demonstrator (R) throws back a tear canister which  was fired by Israeli security forces  during clashes at a weekly protest  against a nearby Jewish settlement in the West Bank village of Nabi  Saleh, near Ramallah January 20, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

A masked Palestinian demonstrator (R) throws back a tear canister which was fired by Israeli security forces during clashes at a weekly protest against a nearby Jewish settlement in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah January 20, 2012.
REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman