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Obama Campaign Displays Democratic Dysfunction and Warnings of Future Betrayal

 

By Dave Lindorff


We know that there isn't much "Hope" for "Change" -- at least for progressive change -- should President Obama win a second term as president.

Even when he had the chance, with Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress during the first two years of his presidency, and with a solid mandate from the voters to act on restoring civil liberties, taking significant action against climate change, ending the wars and defending Social Security and Medicare, he did nothing.

Obama Aides Launch Preemptive Attack on New Iran Plan

By Gareth Porter, IPS

WASHINGTON, Oct 16 2012 (IPS) - Although the place and time of the next round of talks on Iran’s nuclear programme have not yet been announced, the manoeuvring by Iran and the United States to influence the outcome has already begun.

Iran sought support for a revised proposal to the talks during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last month, according to a New York Times report Oct. 4. Then, only a few days later, the Barack Obama administration launched a preemptive attack on the proposal through New York Times reporter David Sanger.

The officials suggested the Iranian proposal would give Iran an easier route to a “breakout” to weapons grade uranium enrichment. But that claim flies in the face of some obvious realities.

IRAN, SYRIA AND THE U.S. - Event in Charlottesville, Va

Propaganda in the U.S. media is very real. In an attempt to counteract its effects and to offer the Charlottesville public a deeper understanding of the situation in the Middle East, Random Row Books has invited several local experts to give their take on the continuing volatility in that region.

Wednesday, October 24th beginning at 7 PM

at Random Row Books

Helena Cobban is a British-American writer and researcher on international relations, with special interests in the Middle East, the international system, and transitional justice. In March 2010, she founded Just World Publishing.

W. Scott Harrop currently teaches in the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Culture at UVA, with Iran as his area of expertise.

David Swanson is a local author and activist at the forefront of the peace movement in America. During Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent visit to New York for the U.N. talks, David was one of several activists who had dinner with the Iranian president. His most recent books are War is a Lie and When the World Outlawed War. He also hosts Talk Nation Radio.

Roy Hange pastors Charlottesville Mennonite Church and has worked with Mennonite Central Committee in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East. He has taught faith-based peacebuilding courses at EMU and UVA.

The Sanctions Game

 

The Sanctions Game

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

A previous article said the following:

 

Washington bears full responsibility for imposing illegitimate sanctions on Iran. Other countries are pressured to go along. Doing so harms their own interests.

 

Iran War Weekly - October 14, 2012

Iran War Weekly

October 14, 2012

 

Hello All – With the end of the endless presidential campaign finally in sight, all parties to the dispute about Iran’s nuclear program have signaled their interest in re-starting negotiations, which have been suspended since last summer.  As indicated in some of the articles linked below, while Iran has proposed a plan to end medium-enriched uranium (20 percent) in exchange for a guaranteed supply of that fuel, the United States and its allies (the “P5+1”) have not budged from their more inclusive demands.  During the negotiations in the fall of 2009, such an offer might have settled the conflict, but the “West” has raised its sights and is putting forth demands that everyone agrees are non-starters.

 

Homer Simpson and the WMDs in Iraq...(doh)...I mean Iran

"Saddam Hussein and his regime have made no effort to disarm as required by the international community...

War or No War on Iran?

 

War or No War on Iran?

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

In Shakespearean terms, indeed that's the question. Longstanding regime change plans are known. Means to achieve them have been ongoing for years. 

 

A previous article put it this way:

 

ClearingTheFog Radio on Afghanistan and Iran with Gareth Porter of IPS News and David Swanson, WarIsACrime.org

This show was pre-taped to play on the day after the 11th anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan. The US recently achieved the milestone of 2,000 military killed in Afghanistan as insider attacks increase. Gareth Porter who has been writing about US policy in Iraq and Iran for InterPress Service News since 2000 talks about what is happening in Afghanistan now (see his article: http://ipsnorthamerica.net/news.php?i...) and the major myths about Afghanistan. He also speaks about US policy towards Iran. Read http://original.antiwar.com/porter/20... to learn more. Then David Swanson, author of "War is a Lie," joins us to talk about his recent meeting with Iranian President Ahmedinejad who was visiting the United Nations. David discusses the way American media portrays Iran, President Obama's war policies, the concept of "humanitarian" war and what it will take to end war. David writes at WarIsACrime.org.

Assange Labeled an 'Enemy' of the US in Secret Pentagon Documents

 

By Dave Lindorff


An investigative arm of the Pentagon has termed Wikileaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange, currently holed up and claiming asylum in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London for fear he will be deported to Sweden and thence to the US, and his organization, both “enemies” of the United States.

Assange Labeled an 'Enemy' of the US in Secret Pentagon Documents

 

By Dave Lindorff


An investigative arm of the Pentagon has termed Wikileaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange, currently holed up and claiming asylum in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London for fear he will be deported to Sweden and thence to the US, and his organization, both “enemies” of the United States.

Assange Labeled an 'Enemy' of the US in Secret Pentagon Documents

 

By Dave Lindorff


An investigative arm of the Pentagon has termed Wikileaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange, currently holed up and claiming asylum in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London for fear he will be deported to Sweden and thence to the US, and his organization, both “enemies” of the United States.

Naming the Dead - Afghanistan 11 years on - Sunday 7th

Inline images 1

    Stop the War Coalition 2 October 2012
    Email: office@stopwar.org.uk
    Tel: 020 7561 9311
    Web: http://stopwar.org.uk
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stopthewarcoalition
Twitter: https://twitter.com/STWuk


Naming the Dead - Afghanistan 11 years on - Sunday 7th
Syria & Iran - No to Western Intervention - Tuesday 9th

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This Sunday is the 11th anniversary of the Afghan war. We will be organising a number of local events, and in London a Naming of the Dead in Trafalgar Square at 1pm on Sunday 7th October.
 
The event will be attended by those who have lost loved ones in Afghanistan, and among others Mitra Quayoom from Afghans for Peace, MPs Paul Flynn and Jeremy Corbyn, actor Miriam Margolyes, and musician Dave Randall.

We are asking our London supporters to mobilise widely for this. There is growing opposition to the disastrous war and we need to be on the streets. On the day we will also be handing in a letter to David Cameron from Military Families which will be launched as a national petition on the weekend.
 
Let us know you are coming by joining the Facebook event and please share with your contacts: on.fb.me/SjcRFQ

On Tuesday 9th October Tariq Ali will be the main speaker in a public meeting on Syria and Iran. The 'No the Western Intervention' meeting will discuss the situation 11-years on from the start of the war on terror. Please come along and support. 7pm University of London Union, Malet St, London WC1. You can join the Facebook event here: on.fb.me/NxElex
 
**************

Neocon Uber-Hawks Want War on Iran

 

Neocon Uber-Hawks Want War on Iran

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

In January 2009, Obama succeeded Bush. Neocons stuck around. They infest Washington. War gets their juices flowing. They urge it on Syria and Iran.

 

Potential catastrophic consequences don't matter. Uber-hawks don't worry about them. It's someone else's problem.

 

Iran War Weekly - September 30, 2012

Iran War Weekly

September 30, 2012

 

“Campaign for Peace and Freedom” Launched in Iran

http://vfp-iwg.org/?p=391

Dear Peace-Loving Citizens of Iran,

WAR has once again cast its unbearably heavy shadow over our country! This time, a war far more destructive, far more horrifying than the 8-year-war [Iran-Iraq], the wounds of which are still tormenting our bodies and souls, the financial and emotional tolls of which are still carried by our shoulders.

The war that left us hundreds of thousands killed and wounded; millions homeless; hundreds of cities and villages demolished; one trillion Dollars of financial and ten times more emotional damage!

Today our beloved country is grappling with so much despair, poverty, prostitution, corruption, drug addiction, theft and a class-divided society; all of which are direct results of that war.

So, we shudder when we hear the beating of new war drums …

We want and we must – at all costs – drive the life threatening evil of another diabolic war away from our country.

We want peace and friendship, NOT war and violence. We consider war a curse and not a blessing in any way.

And thus, we intend to launch a “Campaign for Peace and Freedom” as a venue to express our disdain for killing and violence.

We want to tell our government: Enough with actions that foster tension and conflict, violence and destruction; Stop the policies that have resulted in back-breaking sanctions against this nation; Stop the behaviors that are being used as pretext for at least three UN declarations against our people, crushing us under increasing pressures. So that warmongers lose hope, we ask the rulers of Iran to neutralize, suspend, or stop all pretexts for economic sanctions, pressures, and war.

We want to tell the world that Peace, Freedom and Human Rights are our Inalienable Rights.

Our dear compatriots, join this campaign and let us save our country from an irreversible tragedy.

This initiative was started by the following activists who reside in Iran:

Babak Ahmadi; philosopher, writer and translator

Mah-Lagha Ardalan; university professor and political activist

Alireza Jabbari; writer, translator, former political prisoner, member of the Iranian Writers’ Association, and winner of the Hillman-Hammett human rights award

Ahmad Sadr Haj-Seyed-Javadi; political activist, former political prisoner, former Minister of Justice and Member of Parliament

Peyman Aref; student activist and former political prisoner

Mohammad Ali Amooee; political activist and former political prisoner

Esmaeel Moftizadeh; civil activist

Mohammad Maleki; political activist and former political prisoner, retired university professor and former president of Tehran University

Mohammad Nourizad; journalist, filmmaker and former political prisoner

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.

Here's Open Advocacy of Manufacturing a "Defensive" War With a False Flag

Thanks for FDL for transcribing and posting video:

I frankly find that crisis initiation is really tough. And it’s very hard for me to see how the United States President can get us into war with Iran. Which leads me to conclude that if in fact compromise is not coming that the traditional way that America gets into war is what would be best for U.S. interests.

Some people might think that Mr. Roosevelt wanted to get us into World War II, as David mentioned, you may recall we had to wait for Pearl Harbor. Some people think Mr. Wilson wanted to get us into World War I, you may recall we had to wait for the Lusitania episode. Some people might think that Mr. Johnson wanted to send troops to Vietnam, you may recall we had to wait for the Gulf of Tonkin episode. We didn’t go to war with Spain until the USS Maine exploded. And may I point out that Mr. Lincoln did not feel he could call out the Federal Army until Fort Sumter was attacked which is why he ordered the commander of Fort Sumter to do exactly that thing which the South Carolineans had said would cause an attack.

So if in fact the Iranians aren’t going to compromise, it would be best if somebody else started the war. One can combine other means of pressure with sanctions. I mentioned that explosion on August 17th. We could step up the pressure.

I mean look people, Iranian submarines periodically go down, some day one of them might not come up, who would know why? We could do a variety of things if we wish to to increase the pressure. I’m not advocating that, but I’m just suggesting that this is not an either or proposition, you know it’s just sanctions have to succeed or it’s other things.

We are in the games of using covert means against the Iranians. We could get nastier.

Iran, Israel, and Existential Threats

I had dinner with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday night in New York, along with dozens of other peace activists.  This is an annual event, and I've taken part in it more than once. 

There's some divergence of opinion on Ahmadinejad.  The New York Daily News on Tuesday called Ahmadinejad "a pure evil crackpot Holocaust denier who wants to see Israel obliterated from planet Earth." 

In contrast, a Jewish lawyer addressing the dinner gathering said that a friend had told him not to come on Yom Kippur when he should be home atoning for his sins.  "I'm going to go," he said he told his friend, "and atone for the sins of Israel."

The media tells us that Ahmadinejad is "an existential threat to Israel."  Let's consider that.

I start from the assumption that an existential threat to a human being is a greater concern than an existential threat to a government.  Denying a past existential threat to millions of human beings is offensive and dangerous.  Creating a new existential threat to millions of human beings is worse -- is, in fact, the danger we try to avoid by properly remembering the past.

President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that no speech, not even a video attacking Islam, should be censored, and no speech can justify violence.  But the absence of speech, in Obama's view, can justify war.  The Democratic Party Platform calls for war on Iran if Iran does not cease violating the nonproliferation treaty.  Obama declared on Tuesday that if Iran were to develop nuclear weapons it would destroy the nonproliferation treaty.  It would start a nuclear arms race.  Iran would be, or rather it already is, a threat to Israel's existence.

But how exactly can Iran stop violating a treaty that it is not violating?  What can it say to prove it does not have what even the U.S. National Intelligence Estimates say it does not have and is not working to produce?  How can Iran prove a negative?  Many of us still recall that impossible task being assigned to Iraq in 2003.

As Ramsey Clark, the U.S. attorney general at the time the nonproliferation treaty was created, argued at the meeting with Ahmadinejad, the United States is itself violating the treaty -- a treaty that would be better called the nonproliferation and elimination treaty, as it requires the elimination of nuclear weapons.  Iran is a party to the treaty and in compliance with it.  Israel has refused to sign the treaty or to allow inspections.  Iran received its nuclear power technology from the United States, which also gave it the plans to build a bomb -- this through a CIA project that might fairly be characterized as pure evil crackpotism.  The United States has also spread that technology to India and Pakistan.  The nukes in Western Asia are in Israel and on U.S. ships off the coast of Iran. 

U.S. and Israeli forces have Iran surrounded, and are threatening war in violation of the U.N. Charter.  Israel and the United States have attacked Iranian computers, assassinated Iranian scientists, flown drones over Iran, imposed sanctions on the Iranian people (including cutting off oil supplies and clean energy technologies).  The United States has organized a massive military exercise off the coast of Iran, and has just taken the terrorist label off an Iranian terrorist group, opening the door to funding its operations.  The very real threat of war on Iran is an existential threat to millions of human beings, a threat -- in other words -- of mass murder.

What kind of threat is Iran to Israel?  According to Ahmadinejad, his religious and political leaders have made the possession or use of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons a terrible sin.  When attacked by Iraq with chemical weapons -- some of them supplied by the United States -- Iran refused to use such weapons in response.  Iran, which remembers chemical weapons as an argument for peace in the way that Japan remembers nuclear weapons, makes a distinction between defensive weapons and weapons that indiscriminately kill the innocent.  The latter are forbidden.  Iran this month persuaded 120 nations of the world to back a plan to do exactly what the nonproliferation and elimination treaty requires: eliminating nuclear weapons. 

Talking about the nuclear question, Ahmadinejad told us, has grown tiresome and repetitive.  Iran is in compliance with the law and has put the IAEA in charge of inspections.  The root cause of U.S. aggression toward Iran, he said, has nothing to do with nuclear weapons.  Why did the United States back Saddam Hussein in a war against Iran?  Because the Iranian people had overthrown a U.S.-backed dictatorship.  Why has the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran in the past, he asked, when nuclear enrichment was not an issue?  In the past year, he noted, the United States has sold over $70 billion in weapons to nations in the Persian Gulf, while Iran spends less one-fifth that amount.  How, he asked, is Iran the aggressor?

When U.S. headlines tell us that Ahmadinejad will destroy Israel, we picture Hiroshima, or Dresden, or Fallujah.  That's how we think of a nation ceasing to exist.  We think of its people destroyed from above.  But Ahmadinejad says he wants to end killing and injustice.  He speaks of peace and love, fairness and kindness.  How does this make sense?  Well, look at what he says on Israel:

"During a historical phase, they [the Israelis] represent minimal disturbances that come into the picture and are then eliminated."

The Wall Street Journal follows that paragraph with this: "Note that word -- 'eliminated.' When Iranians talk about Israel, this intention of a final solution keeps coming up. In October 2005, Mr. Ahmadinejad, quoting the Ayatollah Khomeini, said Israel 'must be wiped off the map.' Lest anyone miss the point, the Iranian President said in June 2008 that Israel 'has reached the end of its function and will soon disappear off the geographical domain.'"

But in fact, when pressed on this, what Ahmadinejad has said is: "Our proposal is for everyone to allow people to freely hold elections and choose their governors. It's been 6 ½ to 7 decades during which the people of Palestine have been dislodged from their homes. And their territories are under occupation, and an occupying regime has been bullying them and forcing them into the current conditions. If such a fate would have come into the lives of ordinary Americans, what proposal would you have had for them? I am sure you would propose for their elimination of international bullying and occupation. Imagine in your mind that the occupation of Palestine has come to an end. What would there remain? So this is the essence of what we are saying."

In other words, were Palestine freed of apartheid and occupation, were all of its people permitted to freely determine their future, that future would not include a government that gives superior status to Jews.  Such a future could be horrible, or it could be more democratic and respectful of individual rights than Israel is, or than Iran is, or than the United States is.

"If there are other inhabitants there," Menachem Usshiskin said of Jewish plans for Palestine in 1930, "they must be transferred to some other place.  We must take over the land."  The occupation of Palestine is not so much an existential threat as an existential fait accompli.  The state of Israel was created through ethnic cleansing.  It was created as a state to privilege one religious group, something that states should not be. 

But two wrongs cannot make a right.  Evicting Israelis from their homes, inside or outside the Green Line, is not a solution.  Much less is killing them a solution or anything that Ahmadinejad is proposing.

Yehouda Shenhav's new book, "Beyond the Two State Solution: A Jewish Political Essay" tells the story of Israel's creation.  The language of the Green Line, Shenhav writes, is "a language through which Israel is described as a liberal democracy, while the Arabs (and Mizrahi and religious Jews to boot) are described as inferior and undemocratic.  This is the language of someone who came to the Middle East for a short while, not to integrate but to exist here as a guest.  The position it expresses is not only immoral with regard to the Palestinians, but also potentially disastrous for the Jews.  It commits them to life in a ghetto with a limited idea of democracy based on racial laws and a perpetual state of emergency."

This is an Israeli suggesting that the worldview of Israel agrees with Ahmadinejad's prediction for Israel.  Israel is not behaving as if it means to settle down and become part of the region it inhabits.  Shenhav wants to restore awareness of 1948, but not to try to reconstruct the world of 1948.  He does not propose eliminating Israel.  He does not propose uniting the people of Israel and Palestine into a single nation.  He does propose allowing Palestinians to return to their homes in a manner least disturbing to Israelis already living in those villages or buildings, including with compensation paid to residents evicted by an agreement with returning refugees.  He proposes a bilingual society, with a fragmented political federation.  He expects this to be very difficult, while preferable to any other approach.  And he rightly sees the first step as recovering honesty with regards to not-so-distant history.

Another book just released by Brant Rosen, a Rabbi in the United States, is called "Wrestling in Daylight: A Rabbi's Path to Palestinian Solidarity."  Here we have a brand new genre: the transformation of a website, including blog posts and the comments under them, into a work of literature on the printed page.  Here we have an example of civil discourse, of diplomacy, of people with the views of the New York Daily News and the views of the Iranian government ceasing to speak past each other, coming to understand each other, realizing that neither wants to destroy the other.  I highly recommend reading it and emulating it.

A Mennonite speaking at Tuesday's meeting with Ahmadinejad said he wished others could travel to Iran, and that more Iranians could visit the United States.  He said that after decades of visiting Iran frequently, he not only viewed Iranians as friends but understood the source of tension to be the Iranian government's insistence on remaining independent of U.S. control.  As if to prove the value of his recommendation for personal interaction, the next person to speak, an evangelical pastor from Texas named Bob Roberts said that he used to be afraid of Muslims.  Then he met some in Afghanistan, and they became his friends.

Exiled critic of the Iranian government Shirin Ebadi released a message on Tuesday worth reading and signing on in support of.

I discussed these matters on New York's WBAI on Tuesday.  Here's that audio.

Iran War Weekly - September 24, 2012

Iran War Weekly

September 24, 2012

 

Hello All – The Iran/US/Israel conflict will take center stage this week, as the United Nations opens its new session.  While Presidents Ahmadinejad, Netanyahu, and Obama will be in the spotlight, much of the actual business among the contending players and their allies will take place off-stage, in the wings. For the Obama administration, the dramatic tension will be focused on keeping their re-election script undisturbed.  Presidents Ahmadinejad and Netanyahu, of course, have different roles.

 

Iranian Diplomat Says Iran Offered Deal to Halt 20-Percent Enrichment

By Gareth Porter, IPS

WASHINGTON, Sep 24 2012 (IPS) - Iran has again offered to halt its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent, which the United States has identified as its highest priority in the nuclear talks, in return for easing sanctions against Iran, according to Iran’s permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Ali Asghar Soltanieh, who has conducted Iran’s negotiations with the IAEA in Tehran and Vienna, revealed in an interview with IPS that Iran had made the offer at the meeting between EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton and Iran’s leading nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in Istanbul Sep. 19.

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.”


Long Knives Target Iran

 

Long Knives Target Iran

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Some background:

 

February 11, 2012 marked the 33rd anniversary of Iran's 1979 revolution. It ended a generation of repressive rule under Washington's installed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.

 

Stop Last Minute Senate Vote to Adopt Netanyahu's War Red Line

By: NIAC Action Alert

NetanyahuThe Senate is poised to commit the U.S. to a red line for war demanded by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposed by the Obama Administration.  The resolution by Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and Bob Casey (D-PA) expresses support for Netanyahu’s red line for military action against Iran and may come up for a vote TODAY.
 
Please call your Senators to tell them you oppose the Iran red line resolution.  Call 1-855-68 NO WAR to be directed to your Senators offices and tell them to oppose S.J. Res 41.

Learn More & Take Action>>
READ: New Senate Push for Iran War Red Lines as Netanyahu Ups Pressure>> 

A Sea Change in US-Israeli Relations?

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

The situation in the Middle East has reached a dangerous point, to be sure, but there are also signs that a sea change may be taking place here in the US which could herald a whole new relationship between the US, Israel and the rest of the Arab and Islamic world.


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