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Remarks from a plenary at the Stop the War Coalition's June 11, 2011, conference in London on "Afghanistan and the War on Terror: 10 Years On."
I want to thank the Stop the War Coalition and Lindsey German in particular for having invited me here, and for having invited me to a similar conference five years ago. Maybe in 2016 we can meet under better circumstances. I'm especially glad to have come back to Europe because George W. Bush can no longer do so. He recently canceled a trip to Switzerland because an indictment for torture awaited him there.
It is an honor to speak together with Tony Benn, Lindsey German, Sanasino Al-Yemen, Mohammed Kozbar, and George Galloway, whose wonderful TV show I was on yesterday.
Remarks from a session at the Stop the War Coalition's June 11, 2011, conference in London on "Afghanistan and the War on Terror: 10 Years On."
I want to thank the Stop the War Coalition and Lindsey German in particular for having invited me here. And it is an honor to speak together with Steve Bell and Kevin Ovenden, and I'm sorry Joe Glenton was unable to be here. Kevin and I will be on "The Real Deal" with George Galloway tomorrow, so please watch.
Afghanistan was supposed to be the campaign promise that President Barack Obama actually kept. He said he would escalate that war and enlarge the military and strike into Pakistan, and sure enough he did. But he made another promise since the election that we actually want him to keep, and he's going to violate it before the next election. Clearly we need an activist force apart from elections to address this.
Sens. Webb, Corker Introduce Joint Resolution on Libya Operations
Requires Administration to justify actions, prohibits troops on ground, calls for Congressional authorization of continued operations
Washington, DC—Senators Jim Webb (D-VA) and Bob Corker (R-TN) today introduced a joint resolution requiring the Administration to provide a detailed justification of U.S. operations in Libya and prohibiting the deployment of U.S. troops on the ground there. It further calls on the President to request authorization for the continuation of U.S. involvement in NATO activities and states that Congress should fully debate such a request expediently. Nearly 90 days after the initiation of force in Libya, such debate has not occurred.
Libyan Peace Must be Based on National Unity, Not Domination
Washington D.C. (June 7, 2011) -- Congressman Dennis Kucinich, whose pivotal involvement in the House of Representatives has resulted in bi-partisan efforts to impose Constitutional restraints upon the President’s exercise of war power in Libya, today put forth an 10 point plan for peace with the intention of beginning a discussion among the diplomatic community and interested parties. The plan, a result of more than a month of consultations, would provide the principles for a blueprint that includes an immediate cease-fire and transition to a stable, democratic Libya.
See the Kucinich Plan here.
UPDATE: HRes292 passed. HCR51 failed.
The U.S. House of Representatives today will vote on two resolutions.
H.C.R. 51 sponsored by Dennis Kucinich would -- if also passed by the Senate -- have the force of law and end the Libya War. If this does not pass, Rep. Jerrold Nadler said on the floor this morning, there are no circumstances in which a president will not be able to go to war at his/her whim.
Fearing that Kucinich's resolution might pass, Speaker John Boehner has introduced H.Res. 292, a toothless resolution that would not carry any force and not even go to the Senate for a vote. This resolution admits that the war is unauthorized but does not end it or even suggest ending it.
Congress members are speaking in support of congressional power but bowing to partisan power and presidential power. They need to hear from you.
Call (202) 224-3121
Tell your representative you want a lawmaker, not a court jester.
A Vote to Permit the Continuation of an Illegal War is a Vote Against the Constitution
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 2, 2011) -- Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today sent the following letter to colleagues encouraging them to support his legislation to end the war in Libya:
You will be asked to vote on two resolutions; H.Con.Res. 51 and a resolution offered by Speaker Boehner, H.Res. 292, both of which address U.S. military involvement in Libya. While H.Res. 292 is not at odds with H.Con.Res.51, it is not a substitute for my resolution and does not have anywhere near the same impact. There are clear differences and it is imperative that members clearly understand them because a consequence of voting for one (H.Res. 292) and not the other (H.Con.Res. 51) is an endorsement of the illegal and unconstitutional action that has been taken by the White House.
NATO Does Not Declare U.S. War, Determine U.S. Policy
Washington D.C. (June 2, 2011) – As Congress sits poised to consider H. Con. Res. 51, Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s (D-OH) bill to end the war in Libya, Kucinich today sent the following letter to Members of Congress:
Yesterday, NATO announced it would continue combat operations in Libya for at least another 90 days. NATO. The President went to NATO on Libya, not the U.S. Congress, as the Constitution requires. The U.S. has thus far provided 93% of the cruise missiles, 66% of the personnel, 50% of the ships and 50% of the planes at an estimated cost of up to $700 million and now NATO says the war will go another 90 days. Since when does NATO trump the Constitution of the United States? It is time, in the name of the people of the United States, that Congress insist that the President obey the Constitution and the statutes concerning war powers.
It is a crime to learn about a crime and not report it.
The Libya War is a crime.
The White House / Pentagon has pressured Congress to delay voting on ending the Libya War and to instead sit through a secret briefing about that crime.
Those who do so and stay silent become accomplices.
Washington D.C. (June 1, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement after the announcement of an Administration-sponsored classified briefing for Members of Congress regarding the war in Libya. The announcement of the briefing follows within hours of House Leadership postponing a debate on ending the war.
“Washington has become a cynical place, but rarely do we see manipulation for war as nakedly as we do today.
“The House of Representatives had been scheduled to debate and vote on a resolution to end the war in Libya this week. At the last moment, the debate was pulled and delayed, ostensibly to gather more information from the Administration.
The Royal Air Force is to get 2,000lb "bunker busting" bombs to boost its mission in Libya.
The Ministry of Defence said the Enhanced Paveway III bombs were capable of penetrating the roofs of reinforced buildings.
The MoD said this would enable the RAF to attack command centres and communications nodes in Libya.
TRIPOLI — Two French lawyers said they planned to initiate legal proceedings against French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday for crimes against humanity over the NATO-led military campaign in Libya.
A Libyan justice ministry official Ibrahim Boukhzam told reporters in Tripoli that Jacques Verges and Roland Dumas had offered to represent families he said were victims of the NATO bombing campaign.
"The two lawyers are going to file a complaint in the French courts in the name of the Libyan families," Boukhzam said, at a press conference on Sunday attended by 30 representatives of the families.
Verges, whose past clients include Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie and Carlos the Jackal, denounced a "French state led by hoodlums and killers.
"We are going to break the wall of silence," he added.
Dumas, a former socialist minister, said the NATO mission, which was meant to protect civilians, was in fact killing them.
Posted on May 30, 2011 by kathleenkirwin
On this Memorial Day, 2011, Joni Mitchell’s Fiddle and the Drum is sadly all too relevant. As a Canadian, Joni composed the song in 1969 to tell the United States how “we have all come to fear the beating of your drum.” I have been singing this song ever since. It is a piece of my soul. I share it today in memory of the untold numbers who Amercia has killed while beating the drums of war.
And so once again
My dear Johnny my dear friend
And so once again you are fightin’ us all
And when I ask you why
You raise your sticks and cry, and I fall
Oh, my friend
How did you come
To trade the fiddle for the drum
You say I have turned
Like the enemies you’ve earned
But I can remember
All the good things you are
And so I ask you please
Can I help you find the peace and the star
Oh, my friend
What time is this
To trade the handshake for the fist
By Cynthia McKinney
How many times must a parent bury a child?
Well, in the case of Muammar Qaddafi it's not only twice: once for his daughter,
murdered by the United States bombing on his home in 1986, and again on 30 April 2011 when his youngest son, Saif al Arab, but yet again for three young children, grandbabies of Muammar Qaddafi killed along with Saif at the family home.
Now, I watched Cindy Sheehan as she bared her soul before us in her grief; I cried when Cindy cried. Now, how must Qaddafi and his wife feel? And the people of Libya, parents of all the nation's children gone too soon. I don't even want to imagine.
All my mother could say in astonishment was, "They killed the babies, they killed his grandbabies."
The news reports, however, didn't last more than one half of a news cycle because on 1 May, at a hastily assembled press conference, President Obama announced the murder of Osama bin Laden.
By Moeen Raoof
You may recall, on Monday, 16 May 2011, right after our visit to the mother of the 19-year old Army recruit, a few hours after leaving the district outside Tripoli (estimate 20-30 Miles or so), when we returned to Tripoli for our meeting with the Fact Finding Commission, NATO Planes circled this location outside of Tripoli and let behind a layered trail of smoke circles. You may also recall it was a cloudy day as the photos attached show clearly. Shortly afterwards Drones launched missiles on a target that was almost dead centre of the smoke circles during the afternoon of the day.
While the significance of this is not immediately apparent, it begs the question why would NATO send in Four Manned Aircraft at considerable cost to its budget for the attack to take place about half an hour after the smoke circles are placed to indicate the location of the target, by unmanned Drones (UAV's). Note that the smoke circles are layered one on top of the other in 4-rings. This means manned aircraft which presumably were fully armed with two making the rings while two kept watch and in support of the ring-makers, then left presumably returning to base in Southern Italy (most likely or a carrier off Libyan International waters), without firing any missiles at any target on the day.
The only conclusion to reach in this case is that there is a very serious flaw with the operation of the unmanned Drones and the ability of the Operator sitting thousands of miles away to identify a target and to carry-out a successful attack without a "X" marks the spot indicator most at approximately 10,000 feet above. This means that Drones are a redundant asset in warfare and NATO is trying to justify it by ensuring targets are being identified prior to the Drone reaching the targeted area.
Congress Rebukes Administration on Libyan War; Sets the Stage for the Kucinich War Powers Act Vote Next Week
Washington D.C. (May 26, 2011) – Today, the House of Representatives passed two amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act that strongly signaled growing Congressional discontent with the war on Libya. The two votes set the stage for the upcoming vote on Kucinich’s resolution to direct the President to withdraw U.S. Armed Forces from military operations in Libya.
“Congress is not satisfied with the blank check that this administration has written for itself to conduct the Libyan war,” said Kucinich. “Congress has made it clear that the Libyan war has not been authorized as required by the Constitution and the War Powers Act.”
Battered Libya sues for peace
As President Obama vows 'We will not relent until the shadow of tyranny is lifted', Gaddafi's Prime Minister offers Nato a ceasefire, amnesty for rebels, reconciliation, constitutional government – and an exit strategy
By Kim Sengupta and Solomon Hughes, The Independent
The Libyan regime is preparing to make a fresh overture to the international community, offering concessions designed to end the bloodshed of the three-month-long civil war.
The Independent has obtained a copy of a letter from the country's Prime Minister, Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, being sent to a number of foreign governments. It proposes an immediate ceasefire to be monitored by the United Nations and the African Union, unconditional talks with the opposition, amnesty for both sides in the conflict, and the drafting of a new constitution.
The Daily Telegraph has learned that Apache helicopters will fly into Libya from a Royal Navy warship, in a joint operation with the French.
As many as 18 British and French helicopters will be deployed to support rebels trying to consolidate gains against Gaddafi’s forces.
The helicopter operation – expected to be supported by Special Forces troops – will take the allies closer still to a full ground operation in Libya.
The "Defense Authorization" bill now before Congress, HR
1750 1540, is arguably the worst bill ever considered likely to pass into law. It includes $118 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, wars a majority of Americans wants ended. But that's not why it's the worst bill ever.
This bill also includes $553 billion for other military waste. That's enough money to save and improve a lot of lives if it weren't being dumped into the war machine. But that's not why this is the worst bill ever.
The bill limits the President’s ability to implement the New START agreement unless there is full funding for the nuclear weapons complex, bars the retirement of nuclear weapons until two new nuclear facilities are completed, and bars further nuclear weapons reductions below New START levels unless approved by Congress. But that's not why this is the worst bill ever.
The bill invests heavily in a National Missile "Defense" system based in California and Alaska.
This bill revives a second engine for the F-35 that the Pentagon has no use for.
This bill bars any transfer of prisoners from Guantanamo.
But none of that is why this is the worst bill ever.
This is the worst bill ever because it gives presidents the power to single-handedly launch wars and to lock people up without trial.
This legislation, Section 1034 of the worst bill ever, undoes the limitations on one-man rule put in place by the U.S. Constitution over two centuries ago. This is the biggest formal shift of power in our government since we've had a government.
We have military operations now in some 75 countries, and a significant war in Libya, all illegal under the U.S. Constitution and the War Powers Act. But the worst bill ever will erase the War Powers Act, and the Constitution will simply be ignored.
Meanwhile the significant withdrawal that President Obama promised to begin in Afghanistan has been scaled back to a withdrawal of 2.5 percent of U.S. forces
Call Congress today and tell your Representative and your two Senators:
Enough is enough!
End the wars!
Bring the troops home!
Convert the economy to peace!
And do not pass the worst bill ever!
Call toll-free 1-888-231-9276.
Bill Based on War Powers to Reassert Congressional Authority, End War Within 15 Days
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 23, 2011) -- Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is introducing this evening a Concurrent Resolution, directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove United States Armed Forces from Libya.
Kucinich’s bill directs the President to remove the United States Armed Forces from Libya within 15 days of the adoption of this concurrent resolution.
War Powers Legislation Being Readied
Washington D.C. (May 18, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who will introduce a bill to end the war in Libya based on the War Powers Resolution when Congress returns on May 23, 2011, today made the following statement about the war. Kucinich made the statement ahead of a speech tomorrow by President Obama.
“The President’s speech tomorrow concerning U.S. policy in the Middle East is yet another attempt to stem the loss of support for our role in the war in Libya. He is up against the 60-day War Powers Act countdown from the beginning of U.S. military involvement in Libya.
With prince having a U.S. flag stamped on his forehead, done in our names, al Qaeda move over, new kid, same as the old, on the block!!
18 May 2011 - You can buy a war for half a billion dollars. But get in quick. That's at current market prices.
Costs may rise following last Saturday's New York Times story revealing that the United Arab Emirates has paid $529m to a company set up by Blackwater boss Eric Prince to recruit and train a mercenary army to undertake 'special missions' against the oil state's enemies, defend oil pipelines, crush internal opposition and so forth.
The International Criminal Court: An Imperial Tool - by Stephen Lendman
Established by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court on July 1, 2002, it's mandated to prosecute individuals for genocide and aggression, as well as crimes or war and against humanity.
Much earlier, the UN Charter was created "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our life time has brought untold sorrow to mankind." Its Chapter I states:
"To maintain international peace and security, (member states shall respect the) principle of the sovereign equality (of other members), settle their international disputes by peaceful means, (and) refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state."
Former US diplomat George Kenney says indicting Gaddafi would render any peace talks impossible.
“Having an indictment in the International Criminal Court means that it is more difficult to have negotiations, and if Gaddafi were ever taken out of the picture, it would be more difficult still to have negotiations between the people in Benghazi and the people in Tripoli,” Kenney said.
The former diplomat also suggested that the legal move against the Libyan leader was not only about human rights.
“As a diplomat, I would say that it is not an accident that the prosecutor is seeking an indictment, because that would make the path for the military action easier,” Kenney declared. “It is not about justice, it is about the political program we have…. I think that the indictment mainly serves to make Western leaders feel like they have accomplished something, more than it does for the end of the fighting.”