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“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.
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!
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.
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.”
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.”
- “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.
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
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
by Stephen Lendman
In their book titled "Demonstration Elections," Edward Herman and Frank Broadhead described US-staged 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.
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.
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;
By John Grant
Vietnam, a story of virtually unmitigated disasters that we have inflicted on ourselves and even more on others.
-Bernard Brodie, 1973
Baghdadi Mahmoudi Faces Torture and Death in Libya
by Stephen Lendman
Mahmoudi is a physician. He also served as Deputy Prime Minister before becoming Prime Minister and General Secretary of the General People's Congress of the Libyan Jamahiriya. He assumed that post in March 2006.
There's a new Atrocity Prevention Board in town, and its chief tool for preventing atrocities will be . . . wait for it . . . atrocities!
What a breakthrough! And this clown is forming a tentative life partnership with an unbelievably beautiful model from Libya. The key word is "unbelievably."
The Atrocity Prevention Board is rumored to still be married to World War II, but the primary reason to doubt the latest gossip is the grotesque hideousness of the Libyan Model with no makeup in the light of day.
By Dave Lindorff
As we slog towards another vapid, largely meaningless exercise in pretend democracy with the selection of a new president and Congress this November, it is time to make it clear that the current president, elected four years ago by so many people with such inflated expectations four years ago (myself included, as I had hoped, vainly it turned out, that those who elected him would then press him to act in progressive ways), is not only a betrayer of those hopes, but is a serial violator of his oath of office. He is, in truth, a war criminal easily the equal of his predecessor, George W. Bush, and perhaps even of Bush’s regent, former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Let me count the ways:
What's Next for Libya?
NATO's "responsibility to protect" (R2P) was subterfuge to wage war. Months of terror bombing left Libya a charnel house.
Africa's most developed country was ravaged, not liberated. Protracted struggle continues. Expect it to persist for years.
Jack Straw Faces Legal Action for Playing Bit Part in U.S. Torture Program, the Architects of Which Have Books to Sell You
A Libyan military commander is taking legal action against Jack Straw, to find out if the ex-foreign secretary signed papers allowing his rendition.
Abdel Hakim Belhadj claims CIA agents took him from Thailand to Gaddafi-led Libya, via UK-controlled Diego Garcia.
His lawyers have served papers on Mr Straw after the Sunday Times reported claims that he allowed this to happen.
UK ministers have denied any complicity in rendition or torture and Mr Straw did not comment further.
He said he could not do so because of the ongoing police investigation into the UK's alleged role in illegal rendition.
Earlier this month, the BBC revealed that the UK government had approved the rendition of Mr Belhadj and his wife - Fatima Bouchar - to Col Muammar Gaddafi's regime, though it was unclear at what level.
On 15 April, the Sunday Times published an article, which quoted sources as alleging Mr Straw had personally authorised Mr Belhadj's rendition to Libya.
On Tuesday, Mr Belhadj's lawyers - Leigh Day & Co - served papers on Mr Straw, referencing the article and seeking his response to allegations that he was complicit in torture and misfeasance in public office.
The civil action is against Mr Straw personally - Mr Belhadj's lawyers believe it is the first time legal action of this kind has been taken against a former foreign secretary.
Mr Belhadj and his wife allege Mr Straw was complicit in the "torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, batteries and assaults" which they say were perpetrated on them by Thai and US agents, as well as the Libyan authorities.
They are seeking damages from Mr Straw for the trauma involved.
By Michael Collins
From New York Times:
SOMETIME late last Aug. 8, NATO warplanes flying from Europe arrived over the Libyan farming village of Majer, where forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi were withdrawing and anti-Qaddafi forces were claiming ground. Civilians were in motion, too — seeking pockets of safety away from the roaming sides, neither of which fought with precision or clear rules. This is the type of situation in which air support can be especially risky and in which, even with a careful calculus of modern target planning, mistakes are likely.
The aircraft that night have never been publicly identified by NATO, which has treated their origins and nationalities as strict military secrets.
From the standpoint of public accountability and civilian control of the military, this position serves as a kind of case study in the costs of withholding unpleasant facts, effectively denying civilians and taxpayers of NATO’s member nations their responsibility to assess their military services’ performance — a task that is difficult enough in an allied operation, under which the roles and responsibilities of each nation’s forces can be hard to map.
Shortly before midnight, those as yet unidentified aviators released several laser-guided 500-pound bombs. The first bombs destroyed a house crowded with families. The next bombs destroyed two more. Then the aircraft struck again, survivors and local doctors say, dropping high-explosive ordnance on Libyans who had rushed to the victims’ aid.
The results, by the available evidence, were a horror. By the time NATO’s planes departed, at least 34 people had been killed, many of them women and small children, according to investigations by journalists, human-rights organizations and the United Nations. At least three dozen more people were wounded.
IN a report quietly made public early this month, a United Nations commission pointedly noted that after examining the destruction in Majer, interviewing survivors, reviewing documents and conducting an analysis of satellite imagery from before and after the attack, it found no evidence that “the site had a military purpose.”
It added that “it seems clear that those killed were all civilians.”
The commission recommended that NATO investigate this bloody occurrence (and several others that have been ferreted out in the face of repeated official denials) and follow its own practices in Afghanistan for taking responsibility for civilian casualties and making compensation payments.
Then a well-established pattern repeated itself. NATO’s secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said the alliance had examined the allegations of civilian casualties and, essentially, had nothing to account for. “This review process has confirmed that the targets we struck were legitimate military targets,” he said.
NATO presented no evidence supporting this claim. Instead, it has declined repeated requests — including from survivors — to release weapons-systems video or other material demonstrating that anyone but civilians was present where and when the bombs struck.
Virginia's Fifth Congressional District had been long disgraced by the racist buffoon Democrat turned Republican Virgil Goode when Tom Perriello was elected as a non-racist buffoon Democrat in 2008. For partisans, just getting elected and doing what President Obama told him was all Perriello needed to do. For national "progressives" he was a star, which was usually explained to me in terms of how awful his district was relative to how limitedly awful he was.
Out of Control Violence in Libya
by Stephen Lendman
Wherever NATO intervenes, massacres, mass destruction, and unspeakable horrors and human misery follow.
Once Africa's most developed country, Libya today's a ravaged, out-of-control charnel house. Tens of thousands died. Multiples more were injured, made homeless, and forcibly displaced.
By Dave Lindorff
The attacks and attempted attacks this week on Israeli embassy personnel in Georgia, India and Thailand should serve as a serious warning to the people of both Israel and the US that there will be an increasingly heavy price to pay for the kind of government-sponsored terror that both countries have long practiced, and that too many Americans and Israelis have mindlessly cheered on.
The technology of terror has become so wide-spread, and the materials needed to construct magnetically-attached car bombs, cell-phone detonators, armor-piercing IEDs, diesel/fertilizer bombs and the like, so accessable at consumer shops, hardware stores and local junkyards, that any government, and even any relatively savvy non-government group, can assemble and employ them.
Torture and Abuse in Libya - by Stephen Lendman
NATO's alleged "responsibility to protect" was subterfuge. Months of terror bombings left Libya a charnel house.
Africa's most developed country was ravaged. Tens of thousands were killed, multiples more injured, and millions left on their own sink or swim.