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Multiple Wars are Symptoms of the Need to Escape the Quagmire of Empire
By Kevin Zeese
I can't remember a time when the U.S. military has been stuck in so many war quagmires at once. Libya seems destined to fail unless the U.S. gets a lucky shot and kills Gaddafi. U.S. militarists are openly maneuvering to stay in Iraq -- the war Obama told us was over. Relations with nuclear-armed Pakistan are at their lowest levels ever. And, Afghanistan is getting worse with Obama’s minimal, slow withdrawal looking more like staying than leaving.
U.S. may act unilaterally vs Iran-armed Iraq militias
By Phil Stewart, Reuters
The United States will take unilateral action when needed to deal with the threat to American troops in Iraq from Shi'ite militias armed by Iran, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Monday.
Panetta's comments came during his first trip as defense secretary to Iraq, where he also vented frustration over Baghdad's failure to decide whether it wanted to keep some of the remaining 46,000 U.S. troops in the country beyond an end-year deadline for their withdrawal.
U.S. forces officially ended combat operations in Iraq last August but have come under increasing fire in recent weeks. A senior U.S. defense official described it as part of a campaign by militants to "bloody our noses on the way out."
Makes sense as we condemn them constantly for what is now very public the same practices against humanity we're ordering done as we joined them, and the others who do and some we used, in the toilet as to crimes against humanity while still condemning! We even use those issues as justified excuses to invade, destroy and occupy countries!
07 July 2011 - Iran will certainly put the 26 US officials on trial in absentia and will pursue their cases at international circles: MP
Iran to file lawsuits against 26 US nationals who committed crimes against humanity, FNA quoted Iranian parliament’s National and Foreign Policy Commission Seyyed Ali Aqazqdeh as saying.
In other words, Risen published a story about the US providing fabricated nuclear plans to Iran. He published it–in spite of the government’s earlier success at persuading the NYT not to publish it–because the US had since been proven to have used fabricated intelligence to trump up a war against Iraq, and the government was in the process of using probably-fabricated materials (which included fabricated blueprints) to trump up action against Iran.
Now, I think Leonie Brinkema will do what District Court judges tend to do when the government says judges are unqualified to measure the importance of secrecy: I think she’ll cede to the government’s argument, no matter what she does on the other legal arguments.
But that doesn’t mean the conflict shouldn’t be one of the primary topics of public discussion about this case.
The government is basically arguing that Risen shouldn’t have published information that helped us (so far) avoid a trumped-up war against Iran. It is quite possible he will end up spending time in jail–for protecting his sources–for having done so (as well as for having exposed illegal wiretapping that has never been punished). While the legal arguments may not work in Risen’s favor, that is what is at stake.
A 'Patriotic' U.S. company ripping off the Army and the American Tax Payers, and military procurement officers allowing it to happen, knowing many will go to work for these defense contractors after their service, especially with two long occupations still ongoing, say it ain't so!
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.
Bomb Iran? Sheer Madness! Send a Sane Voice to Congress.
By Marcy Winograd
I was stunned during a recent southern California debate when I heard my Democratic Party opponents say they would approve of Israel’s right to decide, should Israel decide to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. "Sheer madness," I said. Please contribute here to elect a sane voice to Congress on May 17th.
To know more about my peace platform, watch a video of another recent debate.
Bombing Iran's nuclear storage sites could spread radioactive fall out around the globe, kill tens of thousands of people, and start the next world war. Those who disagree might say, “Well, Israel bombed Iraq’s nuclear site, and that went okay.” Wait a minute -- that was a construction site, not a loaded reactor with tons of enriched uranium.
At a time when the issue of civilian casualties in Libya has been dominating the international agenda, our Recording Casualties of Armed Conflict programme has launched Every Casualty.org, a website aiming to raise the profile of casualty recording worldwide and the organisations that undertake it. The site is a one-stop shop for information on casualties of conflict worldwide. It engages 22 of the organisations that record them in the International Practitioner Network convened by ORG.
By Elliott Adams
The printed invitation was written in such flowery official diplomatic language – “... the Permanent Representative to the United Nations of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Khazaee invites...” – I had to reread it to understand it. It said go to the United Nations entrance by the towering Administrative Building. I am used to entering through the visitor’s entrance over by the General Assembly Building. Here we were treated with more decorum and courtesy than at the visitors’ center. As I entered I was thinking that the official policy of the Bush administration had been regime change in Iran. And under the Obama administration that had not changed substantively. But, it seems that has been the policy for almost 100 years.
CALL FOR AN END TO U.S. WAR THREATS AND SANCTIONS PROGRAM
AND FOR AN END TO REPRESSION WITHIN IRAN
NEW YORK, N.Y., February 23, 2011 - A delegation of 12 U.S. peace and human rights activists will visit the U.S. and Iranian missions to the United Nations Friday, February 25, to deliver a statement drafted by the Campaign for Peace and Democracy (CPD), "End the War Threats and Sanctions Program against Iran, Support the Struggle for Democracy inside Iran," and the list of more than 1,150 statement signers including Noam Chomsky, Hamid Dabashi, Frances Fox Piven, Cindy Sheehan and Cornel West.
Hillary Hypocrisy? Secretary Calls for Free Speech, while Vet Arrested, Abused Before Her Eyes for Exercising Free Speech
By Kevin Zeese
On Tuesday, February 15th Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech on the importance of Freedom of Speech in the Internet age. She focused her attention on foreign countries and chided them for curtailing the speech of their citizens.
During that speech Ray McGovern, a veteran who also served for 27 years as a CIA analyst, exercised his freedom of speech by standing and silently turning his back on Secretary Clinton. He was protesting the ongoing wars, the treatment of Bradley Manning and the militarism of U.S. foreign policy. He did not shout at the Secretary of State or interrupt her speech. He merely stood in silence. See the video here of the incident: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-Vy8fFnz18
By Dave Lindorff
I never expected to find myself agreeing with Sarah Palin, but I’ve got to admit that the woman nailed it regarding President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address. Asked to comment on it, she said it had a lot of “WTF moments.”
That’s exactly what I found myself thinking as I read through it!
We’ve “broken the back” of the recession? WTF? The official unemployment rate is still 9.4%, and even that is down slightly from a 9.8% high only because so many people have given up trying to find a job and have left the workforce, taking early retirement or just staying home. And the real unemployment rate--the one that counts those who have given up but would work if there were actually jobs to be had, and those who have grasped at part time work just to survive--is still at between 19% and 22%, depending on how you’re counting. Who’s Obama kidding: us or himself?
By Edward S. Herman and David Peterson
By an historical coincidence, both Julian Assange and Luis Posada Carriles were brought before Western courts around the same time in late 2010 and early 2011—Assange in Britain and Posada in the United States. The contrast in their treatment by the U.S.-Anglo system of justice and in their handling by the Western establishment media is enlightening.
Posada, now 82, is a self-confessed terrorist, Bay of Pigs veteran, School of the Americas graduate, and CIA operative who has been credibly placed at two meetings where the plan was hatched for the October 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed all 73 civilians aboard. He also has been implicated in numerous other terrorist acts in which people were killed or injured and property destroyed, and he played a role in the United States' arms-smuggling network in Central America that eventually came to light in the Iran-Contra investigations.
AMERICAN IRANIAN FRIENDSHIP COMMITTEE (AIFC)
The American Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC) regrets that the two-day multilateral talks between Iran and the P5+1 nations held in Istanbul on January 21-22 have been unfairly labeled as “disappointing” and “unsuccessful” by some western diplomats and aspects of western media.
Connecting the Crazy Dots: Assange, Recruiting Kids, the Tucson Massacre and General American Bloodthirstiness
By Dave Lindorff
There is, it cannot be denied, a tendency on the part of many Americans to grab for their guns, if not actually, then figuratively.
And let’s face it, we also have an awful lot of guns to reach for. The FBI estimates that it’s 200 million, not counting the guns owned by the military, and the National Rifle Assn. says that’s a number that rises by close to five million a year.
And we sure do use ‘em. NY Times columnist Bob Herbert says 150,000 people have been killed by guns in the US just in the first decade of this new century. Clearly it’s not just Tucson, capital of the Arizona county that also includes the gunslinger town of Tombstone, that is the Wild West. This whole country is gun-crazy.
Dec 27th, 2010 - Not since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 has the fear and loathing of Muslims been as virulent, as widespread among Americans, and as close to morphing from hateful rhetoric into life-threatening violence.
By Jean Casella and James Ridgeway
As Christmas is celebrated in Incarceration Nation, it’s worth remembering certain things about the two figures who dominate this holiday.
As more than 3,000 American sit on death row, we revere the birth of a godly man who was arrested, “tried,” sentenced, and put to death by the state. The Passion is the story of an execution, and the Stations of the Cross trace the path of a Dead Man Walking.
Less well know is the fact that Saint Nicholas, the early Christian saint who inspired Santa Claus, was once a prisoner, like one in every 100 Americans today. Though he was beloved for his kindness and generosity, Nicholas acquired sainthood not only by giving alms, but in part by performing a miracle that more or less amounted to a prison break.
24 December 2010 - The story that made the rounds of the world that a Muslim man was apprehended on an Air Malta plane when he persisted in praying out aloud in the aisle just as the plane was taxying to take off at London’s Heathrow Airport, now has to be revised.
It was a Caribbean Christian man, Maria Busuttil who was on the plane with him, told The Times. And the prayer he was chanting was the ‘Our Father’.
Yet even yesterday on In-Nazzjon, Brian Grech who had a hand in restraining the man, still insisted the man was an Arab Muslim.
Writing on The Times comment pages yesterday, Ahmed Sain wrote: “For all of you who made a comment yesterday on this subject, I think you got it all wrong regarding this man’s religion. Now you guys ask for forgiveness.”
Otto Reich /Elliott Abrams /John Poindexter/Edwin Meese George H.W. Bush/Casper Weinberger/Oliver North/Robert McFarlane
December 24, 1992 - President George Herbert Walker Bush pardoned six Reagan administration appointees in the Iran-Contra case, among them former Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger, and Robert McFarlane, the President’s former national security advisor.
He did so with less than one month to go in his presidency, and one week before Weinberger’s trial on four felony charges was to begin.
These people and others were responsible for selling arms to the revolutionary government of Iran in hope of the release of hostages held in Lebanon, despite then-Pres. Ronald Reagan’s repeated pledge not to negotiate with hostage-takers.
And how is the now not secret use of by the U.S. and other countries, especially those during the past decade and the CIA rendition program, any different then the charges pointed at Iran or any country we and others condemn! And how are the so called leaders of Nations who ordered the policies and than walk around freely bragging about the use of any less guilty then those other so called leaders widely condemned for doing same though not bragging about!
NYT Stokes Fear of Iran
December 2, 2010 (Updated December 3, 2010)
A November 29 New York Times article alleging that Iran possesses powerful missiles with "the capacity to strike at capitals in Western Europe" appears to rest on incredibly shaky evidence--amounting to a German newspaper article that did not fully corroborate the U.S. claims the Times was touting.
The piece relied on one of the cables published by the website WikiLeaks. The Times did not publish the cable on its website "at the request of the Obama administration." But the paper was willing to selectively use information from that cable to bolster the U.S. claims against Iran.
By Abbas Edalat and Phil Wilayto
Note: A shorter version of this article was published Dec. 1 by the Guardian newspaper.
The latest batch of Wikileaks revelations give the impression that, next to Israel, it's the Arab states that are most energetically pressuring the U.S. to attack Iran. In terms of the real threat to Iran, that's definitely putting the cart before the horse.
In the first place, the Arab governments mentioned as being hostile to Iran – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates – are all undemocratic, unpopular regimes that depend on U.S. support to stay in power. As such, they seem to have absorbed the unrelenting years of U.S. claims that Iran is the region's greatest threat to peace.
By Gareth Porter, IPS
WASHINGTON, Nov 30, 2010 (IPS) - A diplomatic cable from last February released by Wikileaks provides a detailed account of how Russian specialists on the Iranian ballistic missile programme refuted the U.S. suggestion that Iran has missiles that could target European capitals or intends to develop such a capability.
In fact, the Russians challenged the very existence of the mystery missile the U.S. claims Iran acquired from North Korea.
But readers of the two leading U.S. newspapers never learned those key facts about the document.
The New York Times and Washington Post reported only that the United States believed Iran had acquired such missiles - supposedly called the BM-25 - from North Korea. Neither newspaper reported the detailed Russian refutation of the U.S. view on the issue or the lack of hard evidence for the BM-25 from the U.S. side.
By Charles M. Young
Howard Zinn, probably the most influential American historian ever, had an amazing sense of humor when he lectured or met people in person. He could make fun of himself and the audience in a way that exploded the guilt and ambivalence that so often paralyzes liberals, progressives, greens, socialists, anarchists, communists and everyone else on the more-or-less left. Only occasionally, however, did Zinn use his sense of humor in print. His masterpiece, A People’s History of the United States, had no humor at all, as he himself pointed out, because he didn’t find anything funny about the Trail of Tears and all the other ghastly episodes he wove into a narrative that convinced millions of citizens the United States was something less than what they had believed.