You are hereBlogs
Viktor Bout: Victimized by US Injustice
by Stephen Lendman
Render to Caesar, Extraordinarily
Exclusive Consortiumnews.com Editor's Note: On Good Friday, Christians observe the brutal torture and crucifixion of Jesus at the hands of Roman occupiers, but many modern Christians don’t mind when it’s “their” side doing the extraordinary renditions of alleged subversives to be tortured and sometimes killed, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern notes.
By Ray McGovern
Some of us pause on Good Friday to mark the torture and death of a high-value detainee rendered, extraordinarily, to Roman occupiers.
Although the charges against Jesus of Nazareth were trumped up, the Romans decided to err on the safe side by going to the “dark side.” They applied enhanced torture techniques with the ultimate hanging.
By Dave Lindorff
Back in the early 1980s, I had the extraordinary good fortune to get to meet one of my literary heroes, Kurt Vonnegut, up close and personal. We shared a police wagon, sitting next to each other for a ride to the station to be booked for blocking the door to the South African consulate in a demonstration against that country’s then policy of white rule and apartheid.
I can’t say I got to know the author very well, but he was quite friendly and interesting to talk to, and after our arrest and booking was over, and we were released, I shared a cab as far as his house.
Draconian Cybersecurity Bills
by Stephen Lendman
Bipartisan complicity's involved in hyping cyber threats. At issue is promoting draconian cybersecurity legislation.
Obama supports congressional effects. Internet freedom's at stake. So are other civil liberties.
The Pain in Spain
by Stephen Lendman
Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, are Spain replicate Greece in slow motion, gain speed, and head toward a similar train wreck. France, the Netherlands, and other troubled EU economies follow close behind.
By John Grant
Founded and preserved by acts of aggression, characterized by a continuing tradition of self-righteous violence against suspected subversion and by a vigorous sense of personal freedom, usually involving the widespread possession of firearms, the United States has evidenced a unique tolerance for homicide.
-David Brion Davis
Homicide in American Fiction 1798-1860
The Trayvon Martin story is not going to go away. It was a narrative event waiting to happen, and the story only gets richer with meaning as time goes on. There are the obvious racial aspects, but the most important elements are about police power versus citizen power -- and who can get away with shooting whom?
US Belligerency Risks Global War
by Stephen Lendman
The business of America is war. Since WW II, permanent war for unchallenged global dominance became policy.
The Pentagon calls it a "long war." Dick Cheney said it won't end in our lifetime. GHW Bush called it a "New World Order." Nations are ravaged one at a time or in multiples.
Gunter Grass Addresses Israel's Nuclear Threat
by Stephen Lendman
Writer, poet, playwright, sculptor, artist, and Nobel laureate Grass is regarded as Germany's most celebrated author.
Awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy said his "frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history."
Shutting Down a Military Recruiting Office Near Little Kabul: Afghans for Peace Protest US War on Afghanistan
by Stephanie Tang
Friday, March 30, Fremont CA: Outraged by the March 11 massacre of 17 villagers in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province, people took to the streets of Fremont, California in a bold anti-war march and direct action that shut down the local Armed Forces Career Center (recruitment office) for the afternoon.
NO to NATO & U.S. Wars!
May 20-21 the NATO military alliance will meet in Chicago. Is this a sign of international cooperation and diplomacy at work in Obama's hometown, as NATO claims?
No. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a military alliance through which the U.S. and its European allies dominate through military aggression, keeping the globe safe for Western imperialism. The greatest crimes of the US "war on terror," the massive death of civilians, the network of secret prisons and rendition, and the "humanitarian" interventions have all been done with NATO's forces and sometime, with its hand-wringing for appearance' sake. Bill Ayers writes in We Say NO to NATO:
- Please join with us from April 12-14 in Brooklyn to speak to our neighbors while a model drone is displayed and informational materials are distributed. This is being done in the Congressional district of Edolphus Towns, who is on the Drone Caucus. For more information, visit KnowDrones. An informative panal on Drones is happening on April 14.
- April 12
10 am – 2pm, Borough Hall Farmers Market, Joralemon and Court.
- April 13
10 am – 2 pm, Trader Joe’s, Atlantic and Court.
- April 14
John Yoo is speaking at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council at the Lowes Santa Monica Beach Hotel in Santa Monicom. We will picket on sidewalk outside hotel at 6 p.m.. Bring signs stating what you think about John Yoo and Torture. Wear orange jumpsuits and/or black hoods (black t-shirt works well) to represent the thousands that are tortured and still held in prison. The protest is called by World Can't Wait.
By Michael Collins
There was something tawdry and disgusting about the phone hacking by Rupert Murdoch's News of the World. The News Corporation owned tabloid hacked the phone mails of several thousand citizens of Great Britain. Victims included celebrities, politicians, and even a murdered eleven year old kidnap victim.
But that wasn't enough to generate type of criminal investigation of News Corporation that would topple Rupert Murdoch and his clan from the throne of the $30 billion News Corporation.
The current revelations of cable television hacking, laid out in detail by Australia's Financial Review and the BBC, provide a more concrete connection between outright criminality and the Murdoch run media giant. This alleged criminal behavior involves hackers on the payroll of a former Murdoch controlled Israel based company, NDS, and the demise of cable television competitors in Great Britain, the United States, and Australia due to that activity.
These allegations are reinvigorating the institutional shareholders revolt that may be the end of the Murdoch clan's control of News Corporation.
ICC Absolves Israeli Lawlessness
by Stephen Lendman
Established by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on July 1, 2002, it's mandated to prosecute individuals for genocide and aggression, as well as crimes or war and against humanity.
Rocky Anderson is the Justice Party candidate for U.S. president. He explains why he's running and what he thinks we need to do to get our country headed in a more just and peaceful direction. Rocky's website is VoteRocky.org.
Total run time: 29:00
Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Engineer: Christiane Brown.
Music by Duke Ellington.
Syndicated by Pacifica Network.
Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!
Embed on your own site with this code:
<object autostart="false" data="http://davidswanson.org/sites/davidswanson.org/files/talknationradio/talknationradio_20120404b.mp3" height="100px" width="400px"></object>
Israel Plans Theft of 10% More West Bank Land
by Stephen Lendman
Israel occupies Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank illegally. Its settlements, closed military zones, tourist sites, and commercial areas control over 40% of the West Bank, including its most valued resource rich parts - notably water.
Palestinian Hunger Strikers for Justice
by Stephen Lendman
Hana Shalabi's ordeal highlights what many others endured previously and dozens do now. Only they know the physical and emotional toll.
Who else understands the willingness to die for justice? Who'll suffer and risk it? Who'll challenge an implacable foe unconcerned if they live or die?
April 1, 2012
The just-concluded meeting of “Friends of Syria” appears to have ended without agreeing to any interventionist measures, whether arming the resistance fighters, creating a “buffer zone” or “humanitarian corridor,” or recognizing the Syria National Council as the sole representative of the nonviolent Opposition. Instead, the Conference reaffirmed Kofi Annan’s peace plan, which is given lip service by the Syrian government and rejected by the SNC as failing to call for regime change. We can assume that unpublicized negotiations on the sidelines of the conference addressed military and economic (sanctions) issues re: Iran (not at the Conference), in preparation for a new round of negotiations with Iran scheduled for two weeks from now. The Conference will undoubtedly be analyzed in depth on Aljazeera News [www.aljazeera.com].
Prior to the Conference, US Secretary of State Clinton met with leaders of Saudi Arabia to discuss, among other things, the Saudis’ willingness to increase their production of oil, seen as necessary to stabilize oil/gasoline prices as President Obama announced a tightening of sanctions against Iranian-produced oil. As noted below, the increased price of gasoline makes this an election-year risk for Obama.
Also below are links to interesting articles by the New York Times’ James Risen about the effects of the CIA etc. intelligence disasters re: Iraq’s WMDs on the intelligence agencies’ evaluations of Iran; by Gareth Porter on the unacknowledged vulnerability of Israel to weapons that Iran might use in retaliation to an Israeli attack; and the (disputed) news that Israel has gained access to military facilities in Azerbaijan that would be useful/necessary if it were to attack Iran. The short video talk by Flynt Leverett (Race for Iran) about the uselessness of economic sanctions is also very good; though NB the myth that sanctions might force Iran to comply with US and UN orders re: its nuclear program is a major deterrent (along with direct US orders) to an Israeli military attack on Iran’s nuclear sites.
Concerned Families of Westchester (NY)
(Video)Left Forum Panel on Peace and War
From David Swanson [March 22, 2012] – 90 minutes
---- Panelists include David Swanson, Medea Benjamin, and Glen Ford
US POLICY & POLITICS
Hard Line on Iran Places White House in a Bind
By Mark Landler, et al., New YorkTimes [March 30, 2012]
---- As American and European diplomats prepare for crucial negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, the White House finds itself caught in a bind: for the diplomatic effort to work, American officials say, the Iranian government must believe that President Obama is ready and willing to take military action. Yet tough talk, necessary as it might be for successful diplomacy, contributes to a sense that war may be unavoidable. And it masks the fact that Mr. Obama, and his military commanders, remain deeply worried about the consequence of an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, either by Israel alone or a strike that could draw in the United States. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/30/world/middleeast/hard-line-on-iran-places-white-house-in-a-bind.html?_r=1&ref=world
Obama Finds Oil in Markets Is Sufficient to Sideline Iran
By Annie Lowrey, New YorkTimes [March 30, 2012]
---- After careful analysis of oil prices and months of negotiations, President Obama on Friday determined that there was sufficient oil in world markets to allow countries to significantly reduce their Iranian imports, clearing the way for Washington to impose severe new sanctions intended to slash Iran’s oil revenue and press Tehran to abandon its nuclear ambitions. The sanctions pose a serious challenge for the United States. Already, concerns over a confrontation with Iran and the loss of its oil — Iran was the third-biggest exporter of crude in 2010 — have driven oil prices up about 20 percent this year… By certifying that there is enough supply available, the administration is also trying to gain some leverage over Iran before a resumption of negotiations, expected on April 14. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/31/business/global/obama-to-clear-way-to-expand-iranian-oil-sanctions.html?pagewanted=1&hpw
US seeks coordinated Gulf strategy on Iran, Syria
By Bradley Klapper, Associated Press [March 29, 2012]
---- The Obama administration is seeking to advance talks among Saudi Arabia and its neighbors on a missile defense system against Iran, while slowing any plans among ArabGulf states to intervene militarily in Syria. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met for almost two hours with Saudi King Abdullah on Friday, conferring on regional military strategy and how to increase oil sanctions against Iran while ensuring ample global petroleum supplies. Governments are under pressure to reduce purchases of Iranian crude, and the U.S. hopes Saudi supplies can ease the transition. http://news.yahoo.com/us-seeks-coordinated-gulf-strategy-iran-syria-235840866.html;_ylt=Al6veh8IJL1vTj9.5BvWXmtvaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTNmZ2x0cW80BG1pdAMEcGtnAzdiYWFlOWJmLTRkMDItMzM5My04MjZkLTUwNjg1YjQxYzE0YwRwb3MDMQRzZWMDbG5fTWlkRWFzdF9nYWwEdmVyA2MyM2Y0MmQwLTdhYzQtMTFlMS1iZWRiLWViNDVhOWI5ODMyYw--;_ylv=3
IraqCasts a Pall Over U.S. Effort to Fathom Iran
By James Risen, New YorkTimes [March 31, 2012]
---- Analysts and others at the C.I.A. who are struggling to understand the nuclear ambitions of Iran are keenly aware that the agency’s credibility is again on the line, amid threats of new military interventions. The intelligence debacle on Iraq has deeply influenced the way they do their work, with new safeguards intended to force analysts to be more skeptical in evaluating evidence and more cautious in drawing conclusions. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/world/middleeast/assessing-iran-but-thinking-about-iraq.html?_r=1&hp
ISRAELI POLICY & POLITICS
Israel’s Plan to Attack Iran On Hold for 2012
By John Glaser, Antiwar.com [March 29, 2012]
---- After viewing the results of a Pentagon war simulation and securing more military funding from the U.S., Israel has decided to put off any plans for a unilateral strike on Iran until at least next year, according to reports. The so-called war game was classified but details have been reported about its revealing implications after a preventive Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. It forecasted that a “strike would lead to a wider regional war, which could draw in the United States” and would immediately get at least 200 Americans killed in Iran’s retaliation. Amir Oren, writing for Ha’aretz, reported that “the meaning of this U.S. scenario is that the blood of these 200 would be on Israel’s hands,” and therefore any Israeli attack in 2012 has been called off. http://news.antiwar.com/2012/03/29/israels-plan-to-attack-iran-on-hold-for-2012/
IsraelShields Public from Risks of War with Iran
By Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service [March 30, 2012]
---- The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been telling Israelis that Israel can attack Iran with minimal civilian Israeli casualties as a result of retaliation, and that reassuring message appears to have headed off any widespread Israeli fear of war with Iran and other adversaries. But the message that Iran is too weak to threaten an effective counterattack is contradicted by one of Israel’s leading experts on Iranian missiles and the head of its missile defense program for nearly a decade, who says Iranian missiles are capable of doing significant damage to Israeli targets. http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2012/03/29/israel-shields-public-from-risks-of-war-with-iran/
Israel's Secret Staging Ground
By Mark Perry, Foreign Policy [March 28, 2012]
---- Senior diplomats and military intelligence officers say that the United States has concluded that Israel has recently been granted access to airbases on Iran's northern border. To do what, exactly, is not clear. "The Israelis have bought an airfield," a senior administration official told me in early February, "and the airfield is called Azerbaijan." Senior U.S. intelligence officials are increasingly concerned that Israel's military expansion into Azerbaijan complicates U.S. efforts to dampen Israeli-Iranian tensions, according to the sources. … Israel's deepening relationship with the Baku government was cemented in February by a $1.6 billion arms agreement that provides Azerbaijan with sophisticated drones and missile-defense systems. At the same time, Baku's ties with Tehran have frayed. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/03/28/israel_s_secret_staging_ground
Also: From Haaretz [Israel] [March 29, 2012] “Azerbaijan denies granting Israel access to air bases on Iran border,” http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/azerbaijan-denies-granting-israel-access-to-air-bases-on-iran-border-1.421562?trailingPath=2.169%2C2.216%2C2.217%2C; and Philip Giraldi, “Israel Encircles Iran,” American Conservative [March 27, 2012]http://www.theamericanconservative.com/blog/israel-encircles-iran/
Turkeyvoices support for Iran nuclear programme
From Agence France Presse [March 29, 2012]
---- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday voiced his country's unwavering support for Tehran's nuclear ambitions in a meeting with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to an official statement. ,,, Turkey relies on Iran for 30 percent of its oil imports, and has refused to go along with sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe, saying it will observe only UN-mandated restrictions on Iran. However, Turkey is also a NATO member, and it has agreed to deploy parts of an anti-missile shield that could be used against Iran, a point that has generated friction in the past with its neighbour. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jn2SasjxH4BFhQmtmdcHUw_ijDFA?docId=CNG.5bba548bbefdc22a21bbb7b6c36d505a.a01
(Video)Flynt Leverett (Race for Iran) on Effects of Sanctions- 5 minutes
What if Israel bombs Iran?
By GarySick, CNN [March 30, 2012]
---- If sustained over more than a few weeks, the scramble to replace large volumes of Persian Gulf and Caspian oil would drive up the price of oil, and gasoline, to unprecedented heights. That would constitute a huge tax on the world's economies, just at the moment when they were showing signs of recovery from the Great Recession. Extremely vulnerable economies, such as the southern European states, could be tipped into bankruptcy, but all states would face significant challenges as a surge in transportation and manufacturing costs rippled through all aspects of their industries. This is Iran's true weapon of mass destruction. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/30/opinion/sick-israel-iran/index.html?hpt=hp_bn7
Iran’s Centrifuge ‘Workshops’ Complicate Raid Planning
By Viola Gienger and Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg News [March 28, 2012]
---- Iran’s “workshops” for making nuclear centrifuges and components for the devices are widely dispersed and hidden, adding to the difficulties of a potential military strike by Israel, according to a new report by U.S. congressional researchers. Neither Israel nor the U.S. is certain of the locations of all such facilities, analysts at the Congressional Research Service wrote in the report obtained today. The analysts cited interviews with current and former U.S. government officials familiar with the issue who weren’t identified. Israel’s capability to halt or set back Iran’s nuclear program through a military strike has been central to the debate over whether Israel should undertake such a mission alone. http://www.businessweek.com/printer/articles/30854?type=bloomberg
SYRIAAND THE REGION
Top 5 Dangers that the Syria Conflict could Destabilize its Neighbors
By Juan Cole, Informed Comment [March 2012] http://www.juancole.com/2012/03/top-5-dangers-that-the-syria-conflict-could-destabilize-its-neighbors.html
Military Intervention in Syria is a Bad Idea
By Stephen Zunes, Antiwar.com [March 30, 2012]
---- Although the impulse to try to end the ongoing repression by the Syrian regime against its own people through foreign military intervention is understandable, it would be a very bad idea. Empirical studies have repeatedly demonstrated that international military interventions in cases of severe repression actually exacerbate violence in the short term and can only reduce violence in the longer term if the intervention is impartial or neutral. Even putting aside the recent historical record, however, virtually anyone familiar with Syrian politics and history can recognize the fallacy of such foreign support for the armed struggle. Many nonviolent protesters have tragically been killed as will many more. However, proportionately a far greater number of armed resisters have been killed and will continue to be killed. The question is not whether thousands will continue to die but what is the best way for the Syrian people to overthrow the hated regime, end the violence, and bring democracy and social justice. http://original.antiwar.com/zunes/2012/03/30/military-intervention-in-syria-is-a-bad-idea/
Why Syria’s Peace Process is a Continuation of War By Other Means
By Tony Karon, Time [March 29, 2012]
---- Annan’s plan does not claim to be a program to reconcile the regime and its opponents or to resolve their differences. Instead, it’s a plan to demilitarize Syria’s power struggle and restrict it to political means. The regime’s goals, and those of its opponents, remain fundamentally irreconcilable: Assad is determined to remain in power, while the opposition finds a consensus that eludes it on so many other issues when it comes to demanding his immediate ouster. http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2012/03/29/why-syrias-peace-process-is-a-continuation-of-war-by-other-means/
Resources on Syria
Aljazeera – “Syria: The War Within” http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/syria/
The Guardian [UK] on Syria - http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/syria?INTCMP=SRCH
SyriaComment – Joshua Landis - http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/
War in Context – Paul Woodward – www.warincontext.org
War is a Crime – Steve Lendman & David Swanson - http://warisacrime.org/
People who know better gave Rachel Maddow's new book unqualified praise in blurbs on the dust jacket. Maybe they see more good than bad in the book, which is called "Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power." That's a fair assessment. I'd love for a hundred million Americans or so who never read books to read this one. It wouldn't be the first book I'd pick, but it would probably do a lot more good than harm.
Friends of Syria Declare War on Assad
by Stephen Lendman
On April 1 in Istanbul, Washington-led rogue leaders discussed ways to destabilize and topple Assad.
Republican Paul Ryan's Budget: Cruel and Unusual Punishment
by Stephen Lendman
What Democrats endorse isn't much better. Timing mostly differs to get past November elections.
For starters, Obama and Democrats agreed to the following cuts over the next decade:
Hana Shalabi: Not Quite Free at Last
by Stephen Lendman
After ignoring her entire hunger striking ordeal, her lawless detention, and weeks of Israeli ruthlessness, The New York Times finally acknowledged she exists, but little more.
The View from Istanbul
by Stephen Lendman
So-called "Friends of Syria" aren't at all friendly to most Syrians. Syrian National Council/Free Syrian Army hostility is visible in daily violence they commit.
Obama's War on Iran
by Stephen Lendman
Washington's war on Iran includes cyber attacks, other sabotage, targeted assassinations, deadly explosions, sophisticated satellite, drone, and other type spying, bogus accusations, a virtual blockade, hostile saber rattling, multiple rounds of sanctions, and attempts to cripple its central bank and oil industry.
Obama Plans Regime Change in Syria
by Stephen Lendman
International law prohibits interfering in the internal affairs of other states. For Washington, it's official policy. Post-9/11, multiples countries were targeted, including Iran and Syria.