Europe, Canada and US,

UNITED States General David Petraeus's report 13 September to Congress was greeted on the streets of Washington by a 100,00 strong demonstration led by Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). Two-hundred were arrested, including the iconic Cindy Sheehan, in a Political climate change is heating up American minds, observes Eric Walberg

20/9/7 -- As the presidential primaries began to dominate the headlines in 2007, it started to look like 1968, when the dark horse Democrat, Senator Eugene McCarthy, stunned political analysts by leaping ahead of the pack with his promise to pull the troops out of Vietnam immediately. Interestingly this time round, the good news was in the Republican camp, where McCarthy's unlikely clone is the libertarian Ron Paul.

As the White House lame duck's Inferno in Iraq and Afghanistan drags on, the wars on the home front continue to fester, though with some red light at the end of the tunnel, observes Eric Walberg
15/11/7 -- New enemies in United States President George W Bush's wars are popping up in unexpected places. The latest one is peaceful Europe, where determined demonstrators and human rights lawyers recently ambushed former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld at a breakfast meeting in Paris organised by Foreign Policy magazine. He fled, fearing arrest over charges of ordering and authorising torture of detainees at both Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Recent media hysteria about those damned Russians diverts attention from the emperor's old new clothes, laments Eric Walberg
23/8/7 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said 17 August that the Russian Air Force would resume regular, long-range patrols by nuclear- capable strategic bombers after a 15-year break following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The bombers were flying over the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the North Pole, and were being escorted by NATO fighter jets, recalling Cold War-era standoffs. He suggested that the decision was a response to military threats to Russia. "Russia stopped this practice in 1992. Unfortunately not everybody followed suit. This creates a strategic risk for Russia.

The question now swirling around political corridors is whether Obama will fight the monsters or let them off the hook, says Eric Walberg

30/4/9-- In response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), United States President Barack Obama authorised the release by the US Justice Department of four detailed memos describing and justifying torture techniques used by the CIA to gather information from prisoners. Bush's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) framed 14 techniques, such as waterboarding, forced nudity, and prolonged sleep deprivation, to appear legal despite the prohibition in international law against "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment.

One of the infamous photos of torture by US forces in Iraq which Obama tried to block but have nonetheless reached the Internet Pornography, the feminisation of the enemy? Confused over Obama's view on Guantanamo and the backlog of torture images from Abu Ghraib? Join the club, laments Eric Walberg

21/5/9 -- The centrepiece of United States President Barack Obama's PR campaign to show the world the US is the nice cop was to end the military tribunals, which he called "an enormous failure" during last year's presidential campaign, and close the infamous Guantanamo prison. This was Obama's first major "achievement" upon assuming office.

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Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s.

He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio.

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Eric's latest book The Canada Israel Nexus is available here