Wednesday, February 29, 2012


If a bunch of street toughs decided to gang up and beat the crap out of some guy in the neighborhood because they feared he might be planning to buy a gun to protect his family, I think we’d all agree that the police would be right to bust that crew and charge them with conspiracy to commit the crime of assault and battery. 

If they went forward with their plan and actually did attack the guy, injuring or killing him in the process, we’d also all agree they should all be charged with assault and battery, attempted murder, or even first-degree murder if he died.

In international relations and international law, the same applies. 

Under the Nuremberg Principles, later incorporated into the United Nations Charter, to which the United States is a signatory, the planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, which is defined as a war started against another nation that does not pose an imminent threat of attack on the aggressor nation or nations, is the highest of war crimes, for which the perpetrators are liable for the death penalty. 

Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of those above acts is an equally serious capital crime.

How then to explain the casual way that civilian and military leaders of the US and Israel are talking openly about plans and threats to attack Iran?

The supposed casus belli or justification for such an attack is that Iran, which has a uranium enrichment program underway which it claims is to produce nuclear fuel for its new nuclear reactor (a completely legal activity for any nation under international law), secretly plans to further enrich uranium to make an atomic bomb. 

Yet that is a process which, even if it were to be implemented, would not lead to an actual bomb suitable for testing for at least a year, and which would not give Iran a functioning, useable weapon for even longer. (US intelligence sources say that Iran at this point is not even trying to make a bomb!).

That alleged threat, even if it were real, doesn’t even come close to constituting an “imminent” threat of attack of the kind which might justify a pre-emptive strike on Iran, as is being publicly contemplated and threatened by the US and Israel.

The simple fact is that the president of the United States, Barack Obama, and his top generals and cabinet officers, are committing a war crime every time they threaten Iran with attack. 

The president is also committing a crime of conspiracy when he sends his generals to Israel, which is also committing the crime of threatening to attack Iran and planning to attack Iran. 

This is because by discussing options for an attack, or by providing Israel with the weapons and delivery systems it would need for such an attack, as the US is doing by sending Israel super large bunker-buster bombs and bomb-capable aircraft, they are furthering that conspiracy.

What is absolutely stunning is that this massive criminality at the highest levels of the US government is going on totally unchallenged by the US mainstream media. 

In an editorial on Feb. 3, the New York Times acknowledged that there was “no proof” that Iran has “made the decision to move from producing fuel to building a bomb.” Yet even so, the paper went on to warn against an Israeli and/or US attack on Iran, saying only that, “The costs of an Israeli military strike — with or without American support — would be huge,” and that it could “backfire.”

There is not one word in the Times or anywhere else in the corporate media about the reality that such an attack would constitute the commission of a supreme war crime.

President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney have all publicly warned that “all options” are “on the table” in dealing with Iran’s supposed threat to construct a nuclear weapon -- a clear reference to their being ready to attack Iran if necessary. 

Both the president and Defense (sic) Secretary Leon E. Panetta have vowed that the US “will not allow” Iran to develop a nuclear bomb,” which comes almost as close in threatening war, since Commander in Chief Obama and Defense Secretary Panetta have already stationed the requisite three Navy aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Arabia which military experts say would be necessary for any attack on Iran.

But all the war talk and saber rattling, the only debate in the US media seems to be over whether the US is really planning to attack Iran, or whether it would join in attacking Iran if Israel were to launch an attack, not on whether such an attack by either nation on Iran would constitute a horrific war crime.

There are polls, some of which show a majority of Americans to favor an attack on Iran by the US, but again, there are no pollsters asking Americans whether they think such an attack would be a crime against humanity.

I suppose we should not be surprised at this sorry state of affairs. After all, the most brutal war that the US engaged in since World War II, when it became the only nation to ever use atomic weapons, incinerating two large cities in Japan in the waning days of that conflict, was the Indochina War, and North Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia never posed the slightest threat to the United States. 

Nobody was tried , much less hung for that atrocity, though a string of American civilian and military leaders should have been. 

The 2003 invasion of Iraq, which also posed no conceivable threat to the US, was also clearly a war crime which should have sent President Bush and his grim-visaged regent, Vice President Dick Cheney, to the gallows, but they were never even indicted.

Never have the US media suggested that these past horrors were war crimes deserving prosecution (though at least the House Impeachment Committee did consider charging President Richard Nixon with a war crime for invading Cambodia).

So why should we expect things to be any different now?

Well, perhaps because the consequences of this latest war crime in the making could have far more serious consequences, even, than the Vietnam War and the Iraq War, not just for American military personnel, and not even just for America, but for the entire world.


Iran is decidedly not Iraq. It is a country of 74 million, not 24 million. It is a country with a long history and a strong national identity, not a group of disparate, feuding tribes and regions cobbled together by a departing colonial power as was Iraq. 

It also has strong backers -- both Russia and China, as well as neighboring Turkey and Pakistan--all of whom could and probably would rally to its aid in the event of an attack. 

The whole Islamic world would also likely rise up in support of Iran if it were attacked by Israel and the US. The likelihood of such a war remaining confined to Iran is almost nil.

As well, an attack on Iran would shut down oil shipments not just from Iran but from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states of Kuwait and the UAE, all of which have to ship out their oil through the narrow Strait of Hormuz. 

Even if that strait were not successfully closed by Iran, which owns half the width of the waterway, no insurance company would cover the tankers that would have to traverse it under threat of Iranian attack, so shipments would simply cease, causing a huge spike in oil prices and a collapse of the global economy. 

That alone could be enough to lead China, heavily dependent upon Iranian oil, to act in Iran’s defense -- something it could do by simply ratcheting up the tension level in its standing conflict with the “renegade island province” of Taiwan, which country the US is bound by law to defend.

One would think that the magnitude of the unknown and dangerous potential consequences of a criminal attack on Iran by the US and its client state Israel would lead at least some news organizations to look into the very legality of such an attack.

But no. Apparently calling the leaders of this nation criminals is beyond the imagining of the so-called chattering class and its paymasters.

I’ll do it here though:

President Obama and his key advisors, as well as Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Panetta, are all currently war criminals for threatening Iran with attack. And if the US does attack Iran, either on its own or in support of an Israeli attack, they will be even worse war criminals, and will be deserving of the same fate met by Japan’s Imperial Army General and Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, and by Nazi Germany’s Foreign Minister Joachim Von Ribbentrop and Field Marshall Wilhelm Keitel.
 

Dave Lindorff is an investigative reporter. He received two Project Censored awards in 2004 and 2011. www.thiscantbehappening.net


 
10 Ways AIPAC Undermines Democracy at Home and in the Middle East

"AIPAC has tremendous clout but its influence has been disastrous for U.S. foreign policy and U.S. democracy. 
Here are ten reasons why AIPAC is so dangerous. . .  "

By Medea Benjamin

February 29, 2012 "Information Clearing House" --- 
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is one of the most powerful lobby organizations in the country. 

On March 4-6, AIPAC will be holding its annual policy conference in Washington DC. The speakers include Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Republican candidate Newt Gingrich and a host of other powerful politicians.

AIPAC has tremendous clout but its influence has been disastrous for U.S. foreign policy and U.S. democracy. Here are ten reasons why AIPAC is so dangerous.

1. AIPAC is lobbying Congress to promote a military confrontation with Iran. AIPAC – like the Israeli government – is demanding that the U.S. attack Iran militarily to prevent Iran from having the technological capacity to produce nuclear weapons, even though U.S. officials say Iran isn’t trying to build a weapon (and even though Israel has hundreds of undeclared nuclear weapons). AIPAC has successfully lobbied the U.S. government to adopt crippling economic sanctions on Iran, including trying to cut off Iran’s oil exports, despite the fact that these sanctions raise the price of gas and threaten the U.S. economy.

2. AIPAC promotes Israeli policies that are in direct opposition to international law. These include the establishment of colonies (settlements) in the Occupied West Bank and the confiscation of Palestinian land in its construction of the 26-foot high concrete “separation barrier” running through the West Bank. The support of these illegal practices makes to impossible to achieve a solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict.

3. AIPAC’s call for unconditional support for the Israeli government threatens our national security. The United States’ one-sided support of Israel, demanded by AIPAC, has significantly increased anti-American sentiment throughout the Middle East, thus endangering our troops and sowing the seeds of more possible terrorist attacks against us. Gen. David Petraeus on March 16, 2010 admitted that the U.S./Palestine conflict “foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel.” He also said that “Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the [region] and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support.”

4. AIPAC undermines American support for democracy movements in the Arab world. AIPAC looks at the entire Arab world through the lens of Israeli government interests, not the democratic aspirations of the Arab people. It has therefore supported corrupt, repressive regimes that are friendly to the Israeli government, such as Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. Events now unfolding in the Middle East should convince U.S. policy-makers of the need to break from AIPAC’s grip and instead support democratic forces in the Arab world.

5. AIPAC makes the U.S. a pariah at the UN. AIPAC describes the UN as a body hostile to the State of Israel and has pressured the U.S. government to oppose resolutions calling Israel to account. Since 1972, the US has vetoed 44 UN Security Council resolutions condemning Israel’s actions against the Palestinians. President Obama continues that policy. Under Obama, the US vetoed UN censure of the savage Israeli assault on Gaza in January 2009 in which about 1400 Palestinians were killed; a 2011 resolution calling for a halt to the illegal Israeli West Bank settlements even though this was  stated U.S. policy; a 2011 resolution calling for Israel to cease obstructing the work of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees; and another resolution calling for an end to illegal Israeli settlement building in East Jerusalem and the occupied Golan Heights.

6. AIPAC attacks politicians who question unconditional support of Israel. AIPAC demands that Congress to rubber stamp legislation drafted by AIPAC staff. It keeps a record of how members of Congress vote and this record is used by donors to make contributions to the politicians who score well. Members of Congress who fail to support AIPAC legislation have been targeted for defeat in re-election bids. These include Senators Adlai Stevenson III and Charles H. Percy, and Representatives Paul Findley, Pete McCloskey, Cynthia McKinney, and Earl F. Hilliard. AIPAC’s overwhelmingly disproportionate influence on Congress subverts our democratic system.

7.  AIPAC attempts to silence all criticism of Israel by labeling critics as “anti-Semitic,” “de-legitimizers” or “self-hating Jews.” Journalists, think tanks, students and professors have been accused of anti-Semitism for merely taking stands critical of Israeli government policies. These attacks stifle the critical discussions and debates that are at the heart of democratic policy-making. The recent attacks on staffers at the Center for American Progress is but one example of AIPAC efforts to crush all dissent.

8. AIPAC feeds U.S. government officials a distorted view of the Israel/Palestine conflict. AIPAC takes U.S. representatives on sugar-coated trips to Israel. In 2011, AIPAC took one out of very five members of Congress—and many of  their spouses—on a free junket to Israel to see precisely what the Israeli government wanted them to see. It is illegal for lobby groups to take Congresspeople on trips, but AIPAC gets around the law by creating a bogus educational group, AIEF, to “organize” the trips for them. AIEF has the same office address as AIPAC and the same staff. These trips help cement the ties between AIPAC and Congress, furthering their undue influence.

9. AIPAC lobbies for billions of U.S. taxdollars to go to Israel instead of rebuilding America. While our country is reeling from a prolonged financial crisis, AIPAC is pushing for no cuts in military funds for Israel, a wealthy nation. With communities across the nation slashing budgets for teachers, firefighters and police, AIPAC pushes for over $3 billion a year to Israel.

10. Money to Israel takes funds from world’s poor. Israel has the 24th largest economy in the world, but thanks to AIPAC, it gets more U.S. taxdollars than any other country. At a time when the foreign aid budget is being slashed, keeping the lion’s share of foreign assistance for Israel meaning taking funds from critical programs to feed, provide shelter and offer emergency assistance to the world’s poorest people.

The bottom line is that AIPAC, which is a de facto agent for a foreign government, has influence on U.S. policy out of all proportion to the number of Americans who support its policies. When a small group like this has disproportionate power, that hurts everyone—including Israelis and American Jews.

From stopping a catastrophic war with Iran to finally solving the Israel/Palestine conflict, an essential starting point is breaking AIPAC’s grip on U.S. policy.








Deconstructing Lieberman’s Iran Resolution

By Muhammad Sahimi

Once again, warmonger wolves in sheep’s clothes are trying to bring about an unnecessary war against a nation that has not attacked any other country for hundreds of years, a nation that poses no threat against anyone, least of all Israel and the United States. Continue
 

Iran Moves Further To End Petrodollar

By Tyler Durden

Iran, with the complicity of major trading partners like China, India and Russia is preparing to phase out the petrodollar.
Continue


US Has Secret Charges Against Assange: Hacked Emails

By Philip Dorling

UNITED States prosecutors have drawn up secret charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to a confidential internal email obtained from a private US intelligence company, Stratfor. Continue


Just Say No To Corporate Greed:
The Case Of Iceland


By Ellen Russell

All of us owe a debt of gratitude to the people of Iceland. They took a stand and held their ground when all of the forces of international capital were allied against them.
Continue


Deaths in Syria: Counting Them (politically) Correctly

By RT

The British-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR) is one of the most widely-quoted sources of Syrian casualty figures. However the group is currently experiencing an ownership row, which has left media outlets wondering how reliable this source is. Continue


Exploding the Myth of the Iranian Bomb

By Tim Black

How much evidence is there that Iran is developing deadly WMDs, as Western leaders constantly claim? Not much at all. None, in fact.
Continue


Missing Foundations

By Linh Dinh

Don’t kid yourself that the fiery anger burning through Greece, Spain and elsewhere won’t be but a tame prelude to what will happen here.
Continued


Inside Job

Must Watch Documentary

Narrated by Matt Damon, The first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. Inside Job traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia.
Continue


Syria: Seeking a Convenient Casus Belli

By Tony Cartalucci

Quite clearly there is something wrong with this narrative being given to us by the West, who have established themselves by a comfortable margin as serial liars. Iraq lost a million sons and daughters to these lies.
Continue


Bradley Manning, Solitary Confinement and Occupy 4 Prisoners

By Bill Quigley

Stand in solidarity with Bradley Manning and fight against his prosecution. Continue



Rise of the National Security State
The CIA’s links to Wall Street

By Mark Gaffney

One of the most successful frauds ever perpetrated upon the American people is the notion that the CIA exists to provide intelligence to the president. Continue


 
Made in Jordan:
Thousands of Gunmen Preparing to Fight In Syria?

By RT

Over 10,000 Libyans are reportedly being trained in a closed-off zone in Jordan, before being snuck into Syria to fight for the opposition. These men are allegedly paid around US$1,000 a month, funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Continue


Arab League As An Anti-Arab Weapon

By Elena PUSTOVOITOVA

The Arab League lauded the West's new onslaught on the Middle East and volunteered a blessing to unspecified “peacekeeping forces” that would be dispatched to Syria to dislodge Assad. Who, under the scenario, would take his place? Continue


Hypnotized Into an Endless Dirty War

By Gary Kamiya

America has decided it has the right to kill whoever it wants, whenever it wants. Continue
 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

‘Al-Qaeda’s Air Force’?


 

Canadian fighter pilots “flew 946 sorties and dropped almost 700 bombs” in last year’s NATO intervention in Libya. [1] But rather than enforcing a no-fly zone to protect civilians, the Canadian pilots—and their counterparts from other NATO countries—took sides in the conflict, intervening directly on behalf of anti-Gaddafi rebels.

But who exactly were the rebels that NATO sided with?

Private remarks by Canadian military officers, reported by the Ottawa Citizen’s David Pugliese, suggest the rebels weren’t everyday people thirsting for democracy, as NATO officials and mainline media made them out to be.

Gaddafi had claimed that “the rebellion had been organized by” Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb “and his old enemies the LIFG (Libyan Islamic Fighting Group), who had vowed to overthrow the colonel and return the country to traditional Muslim values, including Sharia law.” [2]     But this was dismissed by the West as propaganda.

Still, a “Canadian intelligence report written in late 2009…described the anti-Gadhafi stronghold of eastern Libya” where the rebellion began, “as an ‘epicentre of Islamist extremism’ and said ‘extremist cells’ operated in the region.” [3]

And Canadian military intelligence noted “in 2004 (that) Libyan troops found a training camp in the country’s southern desert that had been used by an Algerian terrorist group that would later change its name to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb or AQIM.” [4]

Abdel Hakim Belhaj, who had “joined the U.S.-backed resistance to the Soviet (intervention in) Afghanistan, fighting alongside militants who would go on to form al-Qaeda,” was emblematic of the militant Islamic character of the uprising.

“Mr. Belhaj returned to Libya in the 1990s and led the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group in fierce confrontations with Col. Gadhafi’s” government. The LIFG was aligned with al-Qaeda. [5]
Belhaj was “the rebellion’s most powerful military leader.” [6]

This should have aroused suspicions about the true nature of the uprising, but there was an earlier clue that the Benghazi revolt was inspired by something other than a thirst for democracy.

“On Feb. 15, 2011, citizens in Benghazi organized what they called a Day of Anger march. The demonstration soon turned into a full-scale battle with police.

“At first, security forces used tear gas and water cannons. But as several hundred protesters armed with rocks and Molotov cocktails attacked government buildings, the violence spiralled out of control. Demonstrators chanted, ‘No God but Allah, Moammar is the enemy of Allah’.” [7]

Today, Libya is a warzone of competing militias.  

The Transitional National Council, anointed by the West as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people, has no authority.

And now, one year after the uprising began, some NATO officials are admitting that NATO aligned itself with militant Islamic rebels to oust Gaddafi, who US officials had complained was engaging in “resource nationalism,” while oil companies denounced him for trying to “Libyanize” the economy. [8]

According to the Ottawa Citizen’s David Pugliese, some Canadian military officers in private refer “to the NATO jets bombing Gadhafi’s troops as ‘al-Qaeda’s air force’.” [9]

The parallels with Syria are obvious.  

As Gaddafi’s government struggled with a number of militant Islamic uprisings over the years, so too has the secular government of Bashar Assad in Syria. [10] Calls have been made for NATO countries to intervene there too, either as the rebels’ air force or arms supplier or both.

But it’s clear that a NATO intervention in Syria will be a repeat of Libya, with NATO forces backing militant Islamists with the sole goal of sweeping a government from power that the West’s economic interests are not wholly comfortable with. Syria too practices economic nationalism.

The Assad government has drafted a new constitution , to be put to a referendum later this month, which promises the multi-party democracy and democratic reforms the West demanded—but now, on the eve of their being delivered, dismisses as “meaningless.” [11]

Apart from allowing multiple parties to contest elections and multiple candidates to run for president, the new constitution mandates that the country’s resources be publicly owned (which is to say that the country will practice the “resource nationalism” that got Gaddafi in trouble), that taxation will be progressive, and that the economy will be directed, rather than laissez-faire. [12]

Democratic reforms are largely irrelevant to the West. Otherwise, it would do more to press Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and other petro-despotisms—from which Western oil companies derive billions of dollars in profits—to change their ways. Instead, Bahrain, site of a renewed uprising that is being violently suppressed–as one there was last year–continues to receive US-backing and arms.

Calls for democratic reforms—in some countries, not others—are simply pretexts for intervention. The West’s real motivation for backing uprisings in Libya and Syria are economic: turning the countries away from resource nationalism and a measure of independent, self-directed economic development into profit-disgorging spheres of exploitation for Western banks, corporations and investors.

In pursuit of these goals, NATO countries are willing to ally with anyone. Even al-Qaeda.


1. David Pugliese, “The Libya mission one year later: A victory, but at what price?” The Ottawa Citizen, February 20, 2012. http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Libya+Mission+Year+Later+victory+what+price/6178518/story.html
2. David Pugliese, “The Libya mission one year later: Into the unknown”, The Ottawa Citizen, February 18, 2012. http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Libya+mission+year+later+Into+unknown/6172099/story.html
3. David Pugliese, “DND report reveals Canada’s ties with Gadhafi”, The Ottawa Citizen, April 23, 2011.
4. David Pugliese, “DND report reveals Canada’s ties with Gadhafi”, The Ottawa Citizen, April 23, 2011.
5. Hadeel Al-Shalchi and Maggie Michael, “Libyan rebel hero plays down Islamist past”, The Associated Press, September 2, 2011.
6. Rod Nordland and David D. Kirkpatrick, “Islamists’ growing sway raises questions for Libya”, The New York Times, September 14, 2011.
7. David Pugliese, “The Libya mission one year later: Into the unknown”, The Ottawa Citizen, February 18, 2012.
8. Steven Mufson, “Conflict in Libya: U.S. oil companies sit on sidelines as Gaddafi maintains hold”, The Washington Post, June 10, 2011
9. David Pugliese, “The Libya mission one year later: Into the unknown”, The Ottawa Citizen, February 18, 2012.
10. Stephen Gowans, “Syria’s uprising in context,” what’s left, February 10, 2012. http://gowans.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/syrias-uprising-in-context/
11. David M. Herszenhorn, “For Syria, reliant on Russia for weapons and food, old bonds run deep”, The New York Times, February 18, 2012.
12. SANA, February 18, 2012



 
Stop the Machine!!!!!
 
This Is A Must Watch Short Video
Posted February 23, 2012 -


Let Your Life Be a Friction to Stop the Machine
A brief and crucial history of the United States
Please send this video to your contact list and tweet often, so that we send it viral. Let us remember "Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people" - John Adams, Second US President (1797 - 1801).      Continue



Behind the Deepening Crisis with Iran:
The Real Story Versus the Cover Story


By Mark H Gaffney

The American people need to know the truth. This is a phony crisis.   Continue



 
Greece: The Epicenter of Global Pillage

By Stephen Lendman
Predatory bankers make serial killers look good by comparison. Their business model creates crises to facilitate grand theft, financial terrorism, and debt entrapment.    Continue




 
Another View - Reality In Syria?
Syrian Girl - What Syria Should Do
Video
What is happening in Syria, and what Syria should be doing.   Continue





What Does The Civil War in Syria Really Mean for Iran, Russia and China?

By The Saker

...This is what all this nonsense about the "terrorist Mullahs" and the "Shia threat" really is designed to conceal: that the Shia, inspired by Iran and Hezbollah, are engaged in a national liberation struggle which threatens all those billionaires which have been in bed with the British, the USA and the Israelis since day one...
   
...And Israel in all that?  The fact that I did not mention it at all in this analysis should not be taken as meaning that it is irrelevant to these processes.  Israel is crucial to it all since it is on Israel's behalf that the entire US policy in the Middle-East is conducted.  

Let me repeat this: the grand purpose of the entire Imperial operation against the Shia is to help Israel deal with Iran and Hezbollah.  The question remains, of course, whether the Israeli leadership is willing to listen to reason and stay put while the Americans are doing their bidding, or whether they will commit yet another folly and strike at Iran with no possible hope to achieve anything tangible (other than feeling good about themselves).

I would say that the past record clearly shows that the Israelis have never missed an opportunity to do something stupid, and that this time, pushed by, on one hand, their own rhetoric and, on the other, their belief that they can get Uncle Sam to rescue them from even a self-created disaster, they will end up attacking Iran probably sooner, than later.
 

 


Friday, February 17, 2012


“Human Rights” Warriors for Empire

By Glen Ford
"
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are swigging the ale with their fellow buccaneers..."
February 17, 2012 "BAR" -- 

The largest imperial offensive since the Iraq invasion of March, 2003, is in full swing, under the banner of “humanitarian” intervention – Barack Obama’s fiendishly clever upgrade of George Bush’s “dumb” wars.

 Having failed to obtain a Libyan-style United Nations Security Council fig leaf for a “humanitarian” military strike against Syria, the United States shifts effortlessly to a global campaign “outside the U.N. system” to expand its NATO/Persian Gulf royalty/Jihadi coalition. 

Next stop: Tunisia, where Washington’s allies will assemble on February 24 to sharpen their knives as “Friends of Syria.” The U.S. State Department has mobilized to shape the “Friends” membership and their “mandate” – which is warlord-speak for refining an ad hoc alliance for    the piratical assault on Syria’s sovereignty.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are swigging the ale with their fellow buccaneers. These “human rights” warriors, headquartered in the bellies of empires past and present, their chests shiny with medals of propagandistic service to superpower aggression in Libya, contribute “left” legitimacy to the imperial project

London-based Amnesty International held a global “day of action” to rail against Syria for “crimes against humanity” and to accuse Russia and China of using their Security Council vetoes to “betray” the Syrian people – echoing the war hysteria out of Washington, Paris, London and the royal pigsties of Riyadh and Doha. 

New York-based Human Rights Watch denounced Moscow and Beijing’s actions as “incendiary” – as if it were not the empire and its allies who were setting the Middle East and Africa on fire, arming and financing jihadis – including hundreds of veteran Libyan Salafists now operating in Syria.

Under Obama’s “intelligent” (as opposed to “dumb”) imperial tutelage, colonial genocidaires like France now propose creation of “humanitarian corridors” inside Syria “to allow NGOs to reach the zones where there are scandalous massacres.” NATO flatly rejected such a corridor in Libya when sub-Saharan Africans and black Libyans were being massacred by militias armed and financed by the same “Friends” that now besiege Syria.

Turkey claims it has rejected, for now, the idea of setting up humanitarian “buffer zones” along its border with Syria – inside Syrian territory – while giving arms, training and sanctuary to Syrian military deserters. In reality, it is Syrian Army troop and armor concentrations on the border that have thwarted the establishment of such a “buffer” – a bald euphemism for creating a “liberated zone” that must be “protected” by NATO or some agglomeration of U.S.-backed forces.

NATO, which bombed Libya non-stop for six months, inflicting tens of thousands of casualties while refusing to count a single body, wants desperately to identify some sliver of Syrian soil on which to plant the “humanitarian” flag of intervention. 
 
They are transparently searching for a Benghazi, to justify a replay of the Libyan operation – the transparent fact that prompted the Russian and Chinese vetoes.

Faced with the certainty of superpower-backed attack under the guise of “protecting” civilians in “liberated” territory, Syria cannot afford to cede even one neighborhood of a single city – not one block! – or of any rural or border enclave, to armed rebels and foreign jihadis. 

That road leads directly to loss of sovereignty and possible dissection of Syria – which western pundits are already calling a “hodge-podge” nation that could be a “failed state.” 

Certainly, the French and British are experts at carving up other people’s territories, having drawn the national boundaries of the region after World War One. It is an understatement to say that Israel would be pleased.

With the Syrian military’s apparent successes in securing most of Homs and other centers of rebellion, the armed opposition has stepped up its terror tactics – a campaign noted with great alarm by the Arab League’s own Observer Mission to Syria, leading Saudi Arabia and Qatar to suppress the Mission’s report. 

Instead, the Gulf States are pressing the Arab League to openly “provide all kinds of political and material support” to the opposition, meaning arms and, undoubtedly, more Salafist fighters. 

Aleppo, Syria’s main commercial and industrial city, which had seen virtually no unrest, was struck by two deadly car bombs last week – signature work of the al-Qaida affiliate in neighboring Iraq.

The various “Friends of Syria,” all nestled in the U.S./NATO/Saudi/Qatar cocoon, now openly speak of all-out civil war in Syria – by which they mean stepped up armed conflict financed and directed by themselves – as the preferred alternative to the protracted struggle that the regime appears to be winning. There is one caveat: no “Western boots on the ground in any form,” as phrased by British Foreign Secretary William Hague. It is the Libya formula, and might as well have come straight from Barack Obama’s mouth.

Syria is fighting for its national existence against an umbrella of forces mobilized by the United States and NATO. 

Of the 6,000 or so people that have died in the past 11 months, about a third have been Syrian soldiers and police – statistical proof positive that this is an armed assault on the state. 

There is no question of massive foreign involvement, or that the aim of U.S. policy is regime change, as stated repeatedly by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (“Assad must go,” she told reporters in Bulgaria).

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have chosen sides in the Washington-backed belligerency – the side of Empire. 

As groups most often associated with (what passes for) the Left in their headquarters countries, they are invaluable allies of the current imperial offensive. They have many fellow travelers in (again, what passes for) anti-war circles in the colonizing and neo-colonizing nations. 

The French “Left” lifted hardly a finger while a million Algerians died in the struggle for independence, and have not proved effective allies of formerly colonized people in the 50 years, since. 

Among the European imperial powers, only Portugal’s so-called Carnation Revolution of 1974, a coup by young officers, resulted in substantial relief for the subjects of empire: the withdrawal of troops from Portugal’s African colonies.

The U.S. anti-war movement lost its mass character as soon as the threat of a draft was removed, in the early Seventies, while the United States continued to bomb Vietnam (and test new and exotic weapons on its people) until the fall of Saigon, in 1975. 

All that many U.S. lefties seemed to want was to get the Republicans off their backs, in 2008, and to Hell with the rest of the world. 

Democrat Barack Obama has cranked the imperial war machine back into high gear, with scarcely a peep from the “Left.”

There was great ambivalence – the most polite word I can muster – among purported leftists in the United States and Europe to NATO’s bombardment and subjugation of Libya. 

Here we are again, in the face of existential imperial threats to Syria and Iran, as leftists temporize about human rights while the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” blazes new warpaths.

There is no such thing as an anti-war activist who is not an anti-imperialist. 

And the only job of an anti-imperialist in the belly of the beast is to disarm the beast. Absent that, s/he is useless to humanity.

As we used to say: You are part of the solution – or you are part of the problem. 
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are part of the problem.


BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com





 *

Syria and the media: “Activists say…” 

By William Bowles 

17 February 2012 — – williambowles.info

Every time I read a BBC news piece about events in Syria it invariably includes the following phrase (emphasized):
“Troops are shelling intensively parts of the Syrian city of Homs, activists say, a day after the UN General Assembly called for an end to violence.” ‘Syrian city shelled after UN vote’, BBC News, 17 February 2012



 *

The Islamist Plot: The Untold Story of the Libyan Rebellion

By John Rosenthal

"The uprising in Libya was the realization not of democratic aspirations, but of the longstanding ambitions of Islamic extremists..."


Yes, even pictures can lie!  . . . 
BEWARE! 
The mainstream media is once again 
supporting the criminal warmongers, 
now targeting Syria and Iran 
with misinformation and deliberate lies.




By Sharmine Narwani

What was surely meant to be a clever display of media-friendly visuals to illustrate Syrian regime violence in Homs, has instead raised more questions than answers.
Continue




By Arshin Adib-Moghaddam

It is hard to imagine that the Iranian government would send Iranian operatives to friendly countries, completely equipped with Iranian money and passports – making the case against them as obvious as possible.
Continue




By Philip Giraldi

It is a sad commentary on the state of the United States that ignorant, blowhard warmongers such as the BPC receive money, political support, and press coverage while groups that want to restore sanity and balance to American foreign policy are forced to scramble to raise nickels and dimes. Continue

 


Israel and Proxy Terrorism

By Robert Wright

Should Israel be classified as a state sponsor of terrorism?
Continue





Are you afraid of getting nuked in your jammies?

Video



   

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Thank you to Russia and China for vetoing the draft UN Security Council resolution on Syria!

China and Russia have hopefully learned their lesson after failing to use their veto power to stop the imperialist attack on Libya.  They quite correctly understand that this proposed Syrian resolution was not about stopping the violence in Syria - it was simply another imperialist weapon for regime change, in support of a foreign-supported armed insurgency, which is part of a long term imperialist/Zionist strategy to control the Middle East, and demonize any country not under imperialist control. 

The mainstream media is once again playing the role of Ministry of Propaganda for the imperialist war machine.  Be very skeptical of the news reporting from Syria and Iran. 

Remember the official and media lies that fueled war crimes against Vietnam.  Remember the lies about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" that led us into the destruction of Iraq.  Remember the lies of "humanitarian intervention" that unleashed the US/NATO war crimes against Libya.

Here we go again with Syria and Iran. . .
Seek out alternative news! 
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/
 
(Bruce)



US Says Russia/China UN Veto 
"Disgusting", "Shameful", "Deplorable", "a Travesty" . . . Really?"

By Arab Studies Institute
A Quick Listing of The United States' Record of Veto Use at the United Nations (UN): 1972–2011.

1972 Condemns Israel for killing hundreds of people in Syria and Lebanon in air raids.
1973 Affirms the rights of the Palestinians and calls on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories.
1976 Condemns Israel for attacking Lebanese civilians.
1976 Condemns Israel for building settlements in the occupied territories.
1976 Calls for self determination for the Palestinians.
1976 Affirms the rights of the Palestinians.
1978 Urges the permanent members (USA, USSR, UK, France, China) to insure UN decisions on the maintenance of international peace and security.
1978 Criticises the living conditions of the Palestinians.
1978 Condemns the Israeli human rights record in occupied territories.
1978 Calls for developed countries to increase the quantity and quality of development assistance to underdeveloped countries.
1979 Calls for an end to all military and nuclear collaboration with the apartheid South Africa.
1979 Strengthens the arms embargo against South Africa.
1979 Offers assistance to all the oppressed people of South Africa and their liberation movement.
1979 Concerns negotiations on disarmament and cessation of the nuclear arms race.
1979 Calls for the return of all inhabitants expelled by Israel.
1979 Demands that Israel desist from human rights violations.
1979 Requests a report on the living conditions of Palestinians in occupied Arab countries.
1979 Offers assistance to the Palestinian people.
1979 Discusses sovereignty over national resources in occupied Arab territories.
1979 Calls for protection of developing counties' exports.
1979 Calls for alternative approaches within the United Nations system for improving the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
1979 Opposes support for intervention in the internal or external affairs ofstates.
1979 For a UN Conference on Women.
1979 To include Palestinian women in the UN Conference on Women.
1979 Safeguards rights of developing countries in multinational trade negotiations.
1980 Requests Israel to return displaced persons.
1980 Condemns Israeli policy regarding the living conditions of the Palestinian people.
1980 Condemns Israeli human rights practices in occupied territories: 3 resolutions.
1980 Affirms the right of self determination for the Palestinians.
1980 Offers assistance to the oppressed people of South Africa and their national liberation movement.
1980 Attempts to establish a New International Economic Order to promote the growth of underdeveloped countries and international economic co-operation.
1980 Endorses the Program of Action for Second Half of UN Decade for Women.
1980 Declaration of non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states.
1980 Emphasises that the development of nations and individuals is a human right.
1980 Calls for the cessation of all nuclear test explosions.
1980 Calls for the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.
1981 Promotes co-operative movements in developing countries.
1981 Affirms the right of every state to choose its economic and social system in accord with the will of its people, without outside interference in whatever form it takes.
1981 Condemns activities of foreign economic interests in colonial territories.
1981 Calls for the cessation of all test explosions of nuclear weapons.
1981 Calls for action in support of measures to prevent nuclear war, curb the arms race and promote disarmament.
1981 Urges negotiations on prohibition of chemical and biological weapons.
1981 Declares that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development, etc are human rights.
1981 Condemns South Africa for attacks on neighbouring states, condemns apartheid and attempts to strengthen sanctions: 7 resolutions.
1981 Condemns an attempted coup by South Africa on the Seychelles.
1981 Condemns Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, human rights policies, and the bombing of Iraq:
18 resolutions.
1982 Condemns the Israeli invasion of Lebanon:
6 resolutions (1982 to 1983).
1982 Condemns the shooting of 11 Muslims at a shrine in Jerusalem by an Israeli soldier.
1982 Calls on Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights occupied in 1967.
1982 Condemns apartheid and calls for the cessation of economic aid to South Africa: 4 resolutions.
1982 Calls for the setting up of a World Charter for the protection of the ecology.
1982 Sets up a United Nations conference on succession of states in respect to state property, archives, and debts.
1982 Nuclear test bans and negotiations and nuclear free outer space: 3 resolutions.
1982 Supports a new world information and communications order.
1982 Prohibition of chemical and bacteriological weapons.
1982 Development of international law.
1982 Protects against products harmful to health and the environment .
1982 Declares that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, and national development are human rights.
1982 Protects against products harmful to health and the environment.
1982 Development of the energy resources of developing countries.
1983 Resolutions about apartheid, nuclear arms, economics, and international law: 15 resolutions.
1984 Condemns support of South Africa in its Namibian and other policies.
1984 International action to eliminate apartheid.
1984 Condemns Israel for occupying and attacking southern Lebanon.
1984 Resolutions about apartheid, nuclear arms, economics, and international law. 18 resolutions.
1985 Condemns Israel for occupying and attacking southern Lebanon.
1985 Condemns Israel for using excessive force in the occupied territories.
1985 Resolutions about cooperation, human rights, trade and development. 3 resolutions.
1985 Measures to be taken against Nazi, Fascist, and neo-Fascist activities .
1986 Calls on all governments (including the United States) to observe international law.
1986 Imposes economic and military sanctions against South Africa.
1986 Condemns Israel for its actions against Lebanese civilians.
1986 Calls on Israel to respect Muslim holy places.
1986 Condemns Israel for sky-jacking a Libyan airliner.
1986 Resolutions about cooperation, security, human rights, trade, media bias, the environment, and development: 8 resolutions.
1987 Calls on Israel to abide by the Geneva Conventions in its treatment of the Palestinians.
1987 Calls on Israel to stop deporting Palestinians.
1987 Condemns Israel for its actions in Lebanon:
2 resolutions.
1987 Calls on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon.
1987 Cooperation between the UN and League of Arab States.
1987 Calls for compliance in the International Court of Justice concerning military and paramilitary activities against Nicaragua and a call to end the trade embargo against Nicaragua: 2 resolutions.
1987 Measures to prevent international terrorism, study the underlying political and economic causes of terrorism, convene a conference to define terrorism and to differentiate it from the struggle of people from national liberation.
1987 Resolutions concerning journalism, international debt, and trade: 3 resolutions.
1987 Opposition to the build up of weapons in space.
1987 Opposition to the development of new weapons of mass destruction.
1987 Opposition to nuclear testing. 2 resolutions.
1987 Proposal to set up South Atlantic "Zone of Peace".
1988 Condemns Israeli practices against Palestinians in the occupied territories: 5 resolutions (1988 and 1989).
1989 Condemns US invasion of Panama.
1989 Condemns US troops for ransacking the residence of the Nicaraguan ambassador in Panama.
1989 Condemns US support for the Contra army in Nicaragua.
1989 Condemns illegal US embargo of Nicaragua.
1989 Opposing the acquisition of territory by force.
1989 Calling for a resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict based on earlier UN resoltions.
1990 To send three UN Security Council observers to the occupied territories.
1995 Affirms that land in East Jerusalem annexed by Israel is occupied territory.
1997 Calls on Israel to cease building settlements in East Jerusalem and other occupied territories:
2 resolutions.
1999 Calls on the United States to end its trade embargo on Cuba:
8 resolutions (1992 to 1999).
2001 To send unarmed monitors to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
2001 To set up the International Criminal Court.
2002 To renew the peace keeping mission in Bosnia. 

[Chart above from http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/geoff/UNresolutions.htm]



[Chart below from: http://www.krysstal.com/democracy_whyusa03.html]2002 Condemns the killing of a UN worker from the United Kingdom by
Israeli forces. Condemns the destruction of the World Food Programme
warehouse.

2003 Condemns a decision by the Israeli parliament to "remove" the
elected Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat.

2003 Condemns the building of a wall by Israel on Palestinian land.

2003 To end the US's forty-year embargo of Cuba.

2004 Condemns the assassination of Hamas leader Sheik Ahmad Yassin.

2004 Condemns the Israeli incursion and killings in Gaza.

2004 Production and processing of weapon-usable material should be
under international control.

2006 Calls for an end to Israeli military incursions and attacks on Gaza.

2006 Calls for an end to the financial embargo against Cuba.

2007 Calls for peaceful uses for outer space.

2007 Calls for a convention against female descrimination.

2007 Concerning the rights of children.

2007 Concerning the right to food.

2007 On the applicability of the Geneva Convention to the protection
of civilians in time of war.

2007 Calls for the protection of the Global Climate.

2007 Calls for Indian Ocean to be declared a zone of peace. Calls for
a nuclear weapon-free South East Asia.


2007 Calls for the right of self determination for the Palestinian
people. Other resolutions regarding the Palestinians and their rights.

2008 Calls for progress towards an arms trade treaty.

2008 Banning the development of new weapons of mass destruction.

2008 Assuring non-nuclear states they will not be attacked or
threatened with nuclear weapons.

2008 Prevention of the development of an arms race in outer space and
transparency in outer space activities.

2008 Calls to decrease the operational readiness of nuclear weapons
systems and to ban nuclear weapons.

2008 Calls to end the use of depleted Uranium in weapons.

2008 Concerning the trade in illicit small arms.

2008 Calls for a nuclear free Central Asia and a nuclear free Southern
Hemisphere. Prevention of proliferation in the Middle East.

2008 Calls for a comprehensive (nuclear) test ban treaty. Calls for a
nuclear weapon free world.

2008 Calls for a treaty on children's rights.

2008 Condemns racial descrimination.

2008 Affirms the soverignty of Palestinians over the occupied
territories and their resources.

2008 Affirms the right of the Palestinians to self determination.

2008 Calls on Israel to pay the cost of cleaning up an oil slick off
the coast of Lebanon caused by its bombing.

2008 Calls for a new economic order.

2008 Calls for a right of development for nations.

2008 Calls for a right to food.

2008 Respect for the right to universal freedom of travel and the
vital importance of family reunification.

2008 Concerning developments in information technology for international security.

2008 Resolutions concerning Palestine, its people, their property, and
Israeli practices in Palestine, including settlements.

2009 Calls for an end to the twenty-two-day-long Israeli attack on Gaza.

2011 Calls for a halt to the illegal Israeli West Bank settlements.

2011 Calls for Israel to cease obstructing the movement and access of
the staff, vehicles and supplies of the United Nations Relief and
Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees.

2011 Calls for the immediate and complete cessation of all Israeli
settlement activities in all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory,
including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.


* This list will be revised and better documented shortly. Reading Sunday news necessitated quick referencing. Glitches that may be found above at this point do not diminish the larger claim.



British, Qatari Troops Already Waging Secret War in Syria?
  By RT

  Four centers of operation have been established in the city with the troops on the ground paving the way for an undercover Turkish military incursion into Syria. Continue



Nato Death Toll in Libya 'Cannot be Counted': Britain has no way of knowing how many civilians died in the Libyan conflict as a result of Nato bombing, a group of MPs has admitted.



Legal framework required to stop CIA drone carnage: CIA drones are attacking funeral processions and civilian and Taliban rescue teams in Pakistan. A staggering report exposing the practice has outraged NGOs and legal experts, who are demanding international laws to govern drone warfare.


Intervention in Syria will Escalate Not Stop the Killing
By Seumas Milne
For the US, Britain and their allies to indulge in moral posturing over Syria or pose as friends of its people is preposterous. Continue



US Will Continue to Arm Anti-government Rebels in Syria
By Pepe Escobar
"This is an insurrection funded by foreign governments" Continue