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Libyan Door to Syrian Door to Iran

"Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin."

I do assess with varying degrees of horror (some of the varying degrees rather high even) that a lot of people are going to die.  And how dare they die from chemical weapons when they should be dying from hellfire missiles and cluster bombs and napalm and depleted uranium and white phosphorous.  We have a responsibility to protect these people from dying of the wrong type of weapon and in too small numbers.

I'm in Dallas protesting the rehabilitation of our last criminal president because of the precedents he set for our current criminal president.  So, precedents are on my mind.  One precedent for an illegal humanitarian NATO war on Syria is, of course, the illegal humanitarian war on Libya two years ago.  And the pair of precedents (Libya and Syria) will put the target of the neocon/neoliberal cooperative war project squarely on Iran.

Syria will suffer, of course.  There will be no more an example of a humanitarian war that actually benefitted humanity after Syria than before.  The precedent will not be one of having accomplished something, but of having gotten away with something.

For some truly illuminating background on what was done to Libya, and some relevant discussion of what awaits Syria (if we don't prevent it), I recommend Francis Boyle's new book, Destroying Libya and World Order. 

Boyle served as a lawyer for the government of Libya repeatedly, over a period of decades, more than once successfully preventing a military assault by the United States and the United Kingdom.  Boyle details the aggression toward Libya of the Reagan administration: the lies and false accusations, the sanctions, the provocations, the assassination attempts, the infiltration, the blatant disregard for international law.

Boyle's history brings us up to and through the 2011 assault, and traces its precedents to a very similar war over a decade earlier in Bosnia.  Boyle finds the unconstitutional and illegal assault on Libya a clear impeachable offense for President Obama.  And why would we think otherwise?  Only because we let Clinton and Bush get away with everything they got away with.  It would seem unfair now to impeach Obama for a crime his predecessors committed as well.

But past, as well as current, presidents can be impeached, censured, prosecuted, and/or publicly shamed.  Five of them came to Dallas today; there shouldn't be any trouble finding them.  And the criminal attack on Libya can be treated as the crime it was.  The excuse of protection was used to quite openly pursue the overthrow of a nation's government, bombing large numbers of civilians in the process, while arming brutal thugs and creating predictable blowback in neighboring nations as well.

In contrast, in Bahrain, nonviolent pro-democracy activists are left to their own devices as a U.S.-backed dictatorship jails, tortures, and murders them.

In Syria, the United States has worked against peace and for violence.  That violence is not a justification for further and heightened violence.  And every member of an intelligence "community" that announces that Syria might possibly have used a chemical weapon should be doing community service for the people of Fallujah and Basra and Baghdad, not prodding the world's only stupor power into another genocide.

 

Reaping the Whirlwind: A Violent Act Again in a Violent Nation

 

By Dave Lindorff


I ran the Boston Marathon back in 1968, and, my feet covered with blisters inside my Keds sneakers, dragged across the finish line to meet my waiting uncle at a time of about 3 hours and 40 minutes. It was close enough to the time that the current bombing happened in this year’s race -- about four hours from the starting gun -- that had I been running it this year, I might still been near enough to the finish line to have heard the blasts.

The Future's So Much More Fun than the Past: How to Avoid the Bummer Myth

 

By John Grant


“The elite always has a Plan B, while people have no escape.”
            - Ahmad Saadawi


True, He’s the First Black President But Obama’s the Worst President Ever

 

By Ron Ridenour


Yes, I mean it: the worst ever!


We’ve had James Monroe and his doctrine of supremacy over Latin America. We’ve had Theodore Roosevelt and his invasion of Cuba; Nixon, Reagan, Bush-Bush and their mass murder, and all the war crimes and genocide committed by most presidents. Yes, but we never had a black man sit on the white throne of imperialism committing war crimes.


Individual Honor versus Unpleasant History The Battle Still Rages Over What Vietnam Means

 

By John Grant


"The experience we have of our lives from within, the story we tell ourselves about ourselves in order to account for what we are doing, is thus a lie -- the truth lies rather outside, in what we do."

                -- Slavoj Zizek

Links? We Don’t Do No Stinkin’ Links: Cognitive Dissonance at the New York Times

 

By Dave Lindorff


For a masterpiece in cognitive dissonance, just look to the foreign editors and the  managing editor of the New York Times, who ran two stories in Saturday’s paper without referencing each other at all.


Hey, Hey, Barack! What Do You Say? How Many Kids Have You Killed Today?

 

By Dave Lindorff


I personally found the president’s inaugural speech not just insipid, but disgusting. It reached its gut-churning nadir near the end where he said:


US Intelligence Analysts: American Power is in Terminal Decline

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

The US is on the way out as a hegemonic power. 


That is the primary conclusion of a new report out of the National Intelligence Council -- a government organization that produces mid-term and long-range thinking for the US intelligence community.


A Case of Just Looking Stupid? The Not-So-Bright Bulbs at the White House and Pentagon

 

By Dave Lindorff


Let me see if I’ve got this right.


Remember Bani Walid

 

Remember Bani Walid

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

For courageous Jamahiriya fighters, it's their finest hour. Despite overwhelming force, use of chemical and other illegal weapons, and US-sponsored mass murder, they hang on valiantly.

 

Western major scoundrels shamelessly ignore the slaughter or misreport it. More on that below.

 

Genocide in Bani Walid

 

Genocide in Bani Walid

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Washington bears full responsibility for waging multiple wars on humanity. It planned, initiated and controls direct and proxy conflicts across North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

 

Bani Walid made headlines for three weeks. Genocide threatens its residents. Obama's dirty hands are all over this crime of war and against humanity. Media scoundrels ignore it. More on this below. 

The Sticky Wicket in Benghazi and Seal Team Imperialism

 

 

By John Grant


In the parlance of the classic British colonial era, President Obama is faced with a bit of a sticky wicket in Benghazi, Libya. That metaphor, of course, refers to a patch of rough grass making it hard to hit the ball through the wicket in the British sport of cricket. British colonials liked to bring a little of England to the warm climes they colonized and played cricket on native-tendered grass between dealing with unruly wogs and quaffing gin and tonics to fight boredom and malaria.

Besieged Gaddafi Stronghold Bani Walid Under Attack

 

Besieged Gaddafi Stronghold Bani Walid Under Attack

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Washington's war on Libya rages. Fighting didn't stop after NATO said its seven-month 2011 "mission" ended. Ravaging a nonbelligerent country wasn't good enough.

 

Building Bridges Instead of Imperial Wars

 

John Grant

 

“Blows that don’t break your back make it stronger.”
- Anthony Quinn in Omar Mukhtar, Lion of the Desert
 

 

For years, I’ve been working either in the journalism realm or as an antiwar veteran activist expressing the core idea that the United States of America is an “empire,” that its militarist foreign policy is “imperialistic” and that many of our perennial and current problems are rooted in the reality that, as an imperial nation, like many empires in history, we’re overextending ourselves and destroying something that is dear to all American citizens who love this country.

The US is the World's Biggest War-Monger

 

By Dave Lindorff


There is a massive deception campaign in the US, and in its global propaganda, which seeks to portray the United States as a poor set-upon nation that would like world peace but just has to keep a military stationed around the globe to “police” all the world’s “trouble spots.”


UNAC Statement on attacks on US Embassies in Libya and other Middle Eastern, North African and SW Asian Countries

Adding Insult to Injury

The massive, angry demonstrations and attacks on U.S. embassies sweeping through the Muslim world comes in the context of a campaign against Muslims carried out by the U.S. government in an attempt to justify their wars against Muslim countries. This campaign includes preemptive prosecutions where FBI agents create phony plots and encourage behavior that can be prosecuted and attacks on civil liberties at home; the Peter King hearings; NYPD spying on Muslims; raids and detentions; and states that have passed anti-Muslim laws. It includes the physical attacks on Muslims, on mosques and on people who racist whites think are Muslims, like Sikhs, and opposition to Muslim building projects like Park 51 and much more.

This atmosphere encourages the kind of hateful anti-Muslim video that was produced. At some point, it had to be expected that Muslims around the world would react. The U.S. will spin this by focusing on the film and implying that all Muslims are crazy and do not support freedom of speech. However, this is a self-serving lie and a diversion from the real root causes. Humiliation is a necessary component of the cycle of abuse. It should be noted that similar attacks on Judaism and the Holocaust are prosecuted as hate crimes and that artists and musicians who have created work offensive to many Christians have been vilified and threatened.

We need to put the blame squarely where it belongs -- on the U.S., which has been at war with the Muslim world in order to dominate and control resources and power. We have seen the utter destruction of Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan; drone attacks on Muslim countries we are not at war with, including Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia; and the persistent economic starvation and political suffocation of the Muslim people in Egypt, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and other countries by US backed dictators enforcing Western dominance in the region. So-called “targeted assassinations” kill many innocent non-combatants and are viewed simply as “collateral damage” rather than murders, demonstrating how little the U.S. government values non-Western lives.

The fact that these protests came as a surprise to the U.S. State Department is a reflection of the arrogance and stupidity of a government that claims it is bringing freedom and democracy to the region through drone missiles, sanctions, assassinations, and occupations and expects the people to be grateful.

The unfortunate deaths of the American Ambassador in Libya and members of his security team are the direct result of violent, hypocritical, internally conflicted US policies in the region, whether the unanticipated result of the rioting triggered by the film or blowback for longstanding U.S. atrocities rooted in the ongoing wars. It is long past time to reject those policies and begin a new era based on respect for the dignity and humanity of every individual and of all the various cultures and religions of the world.

We must stand in solidarity with all the victims of U.S.-sponsored violence and repression.

END THE WARS & OCCUPATIONS! BRING ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

NO DRONE ATTACKS! NO SANCTIONS! HANDS OFF SYRIA & IRAN!

END RACIST REPRESSION, RAIDS, FRAME-UPS & ISLAMOPHOBIA AT HOME!

Funding Teachers Doesn't Get Embassies Attacked

We're not out of money. We've stopped taxing billionaires and corporations, and we're funding war-preparation so generously that we're sparking a global arms race that will eventually generate some enemies with which to justify the war preparation . . .  which will make sense to students who were never taught to put events into chronological order.  They couldn't be taught that because their teachers had to be laid off so that greedy billionaires could stuff a little more cash into their fat "Job Creator" tote bags.

We Don’t Need No Bloody Treaties: Britain Blows a Fuse over Ecuador’s Asylum Grant to Wikileaks’ Assange

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

The concerted and orchestrated campaign to capture Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and ultimately to hand him over to the tender mercies of a kangaroo court in the US, where he would likely be tried for spying and other possibly capital offenses, continues as Britain threatens the Ecuadoran Embassy with a police assault.

 

Democracies Don't Start Wars, But Fake Democracies Sure Do!

 

 

By Dave Lindorff


We’ve all heard it said by our teachers when we were in school, we’ve all heard it said by politicians, including presidents: “Democracies don’t start wars.”


Militias Become Power Centers in Libya

By Reese Erlich, The Progressive

Dressed in military fatigues and carrying AK-47 assault rifles, the Zintan militia surrounded the building in Tripoli and entered without a fight. They weren’t seizing the last remaining Qaddafi stronghold; they were taking an oil company CEO hostage. The militiamen were demanding money for protecting the CEO’s oil fields during Libya’s civil war.

There was only one problem. The company had already paid $600,000 for those services and wasn’t about to pay again.

A month earlier, a different armed group seized the offices of the same company demanding protection money. Employees didn’t know which militia carried out that raid.

“The police are useless,” one middle-level company employee told me. “There’s a new Libyan mafia.”

Human Rights Worse After Gaddafi

TRIPOLI, Jul 14 2012 (IPS) - “The human rights situation in Libya now is far worse than under the late dictator Muammar Gaddafi,” Nasser al-Hawary, researcher with the Libyan Observatory for Human Rights tells IPS.

Hawary showed IPS testimonies from families whose loved ones have been beaten to death in the custody of the many militias that continue to control vast swathes of Libya.

“At least 20 people have been beaten to death in militia custody since the revolution, and this is a conservative figure. The real figure is probably far higher,” says Hawary, pointing to photos of bloodied bodies accompanying the testimonies.

Are Drones Moral Killing Machines? NY Times National Security Journalist Says Yes

 

By Dave Lindorff


Are weaponized drone aircraft more moral than the more traditional killing machines used in warfare? In an opinion published in Sunday’s New York Times, the paper’s national security reporter, Scott Shane, argues that they are.


Washington's Man in Tripoli

  Washington's Man in Tripoli

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Mahmoud Jabril takes over as Libya's new leader. He heads its puppet government. 

 

Sham elections installed him. The process was farcical. Illusion substituted for reality. Obama called his ascension "another milestone in the country's transition to democracy."

Media Scoundrels Endorse Sham Libyan Election

  Media Scoundrels Endorse Sham Libyan Election

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

In their book titled "Demonstration Elections," Edward Herman and Frank Broadhead described US-staged elections.  

 

Sham Libyan Elections

  Sham Libyan Elections

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

In 2011, Washington-led NATO forces destroyed Libya. It was ravaged, not liberated. 

 

Humanitarian intervention was cover to wage war. "Responsibility to protect (R2P)" was subterfuge to colonize and plunder another country.

One Nobel Laureate Blasts Another -- And They’re Both Americans

 

By Dave Lindorff


There are two US presidents who have won the Nobel Peace Prize. Now one of those Nobel laureate leaders is accusing the other, though without naming him, of actions that qualify as war crimes and impeachable crimes against the US Constitution.


Drones of Love

 

By Gary Lindorff

 

Let us bomb your neighborhood,

Let us target your neighbor

Out of our love and concern –

 

Not you, not your children.

Drones of love!

 

Won’t you love us

After the dust settles?

After the evil has been exploded?

After the crater in the market-place

Has been filled in and paved

We will explode our way into your hearts!

 

We might miss our intended target;

The Vietnam War and the Struggle For Truth

 

By John Grant


Vietnam, a story of virtually unmitigated disasters that we have inflicted on ourselves and even more on others.

           -Bernard Brodie, 1973
 

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