Thursday, April 26, 2012
Floating False Flag
by John LaForge, Common Dreams, 24 April 2012
The aircraft carrier Enterprise has moved into the Persian Gulf, although it’s an antique, slow-moving target and a potential lightening rod for war on Iran. As a retired Navy man told me last month, “A couple of torpedoes would stagger the thing, and then you’ve got the Alamo, the Maine, the Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin and 9/11 all over again,” he said, “with Iran in the crosshairs.”The USS Enterprise in the Atlantic Ocean.
Enterprise needlessly joins the strike group of the 100,000-ton carrier Lincoln with its crew of 3,200 already in the Gulf. TV-Novosti reported April 10 that in March President Obama sent his second amphibious assault group to the Gulf. Those gun boats include a nuclear submarine, a Marine helicopter squadron and more than 2,000 Marines.
At 51, Enterprise is the oldest ship in the Navy, having seen action since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. From the bombing of Laos in 1973 and the 1986 bombing of Libya, to the 800,000 pounds of munitions it fired into Afghanistan in 2001, Enterprise has helped maintain a string of atrocity producing situations that has no end in sight.
Set for retirement and decommissioning this fall, Enterprise’s Gulf deployment is its last. But it has no purpose whatsoever as a war machine when 11 newer and more sophisticated carriers are available. Indeed Enterprise is a hugely expensive liability, a deadly heap of hazardous scrap. Its fiercely radioactive reactors and waste fuel require dangerous and costly removal and long-term isolation from the ecosphere as nuclear waste material.
So Enterprise, the first ever nuclear-powered carrier,parades through the Gulf with lots of gunpowder. Its “strike group 12” consists of: Carrier Air Wing 1; the guided-missile cruiser Vicksburg; and Destroyer Squadron 2, comprising guided-missile destroyers Nitze, Porter and James E. Williams. Enterprise is 1,123 feet long, weighs 94,000 tons, has 8 propulsion reactors, four 35-ton rudders, two gyms, a crew of at least 3,100, a television station and—no doubt demonstrating a free press— a daily paper.
The government knows its loss at sea would be cheaper than retirement, and if it can scare the country into yet another shooting war, our munitions makers and weapons merchants continue swimming in billions of tax dollars defending freedom and peace. In January, when Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta first said he would send Enterprise to the Gulf “to send a direct message to Iran,” the price of gas shot up and stayed up. You’d almost think the oil giants like war. The privatized DoD contractor corporations certainly do.
To get public opinion and NATO behind war on Iran, the war party needs to both sideline our Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan Syndromes and to flabbergast Russia, China and India. How better than to make it look as if Iran started it? Deployment of the Enterprise is hair-raising in the context of previous “false flag” provocations in the region. Like the Lavon Affair before it, Israel actually attacked the U.S. spy ship Liberty June 8, 1967 — using unmarked jet fighters and torpedoes — initially blaming Egypt in an attempt to draw Washington into the war. Israel later claimed it attacked what it thought was an Egyptian ship, yet no one was charged or disciplined. Ward Boston, the U.S. Navy Senior Counsel for the Court of Inquiry, says in a 2002 affidavit, “Both [lead investigator] Admiral [Isaac] Kidd and I believed with certainty that this attack, which killed 34 sailors and injured 172, was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew.”
Today the Enterprise has nothing to do but act like the greasiest sitting duck in history. No one should believe that Iran is dumb enough to take the bait.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
CIA Circa 65
A covert operation (also as CoveOps or covert ops) is a military, intelligence or law enforcement operation that is carried clandestinely and, often, outside of official channels. Covert operations aim to fulfill their mission objectives without any parties knowing who sponsored or carried out the operation. It is normally sponsored by taxes from the government.
Under United States law, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the sole US Government agency legally allowed to carry out Covert Action. The CIA's authority to conduct Covert Action comes from the National Security Act of 1947. President Ronald Reagan issued Executive Order 12333 titled in 1984. This order defined covert action as "special activities", both political and military, that the US Government could legally deny. The CIA was also designated as the sole authority under the 1991 Intelligence Authorization Act and in Title 50 of the United States Code Section 413(e). The CIA must have a "Presidential Finding" issued by the President of the United States in order to conduct these activities under the Hughes-Ryan amendment to the 1991 Intelligence Authorization Act. These findings are then monitored by the oversight committees in both the US Senate and the House of Representatives. As a result of this framework, the CIA "receives more oversight from the Congress than any other agency in the federal government." The Special Activities Division (SAD) is a division of the CIA's National Clandestine Service, responsible for Covert Action and "Special Activities". These special activities include covert political influence and paramilitary operations. The division is overseen by the United States Secretary of State.
The following persons are known to have participated in covert operations, as distinct from clandestine intelligence gathering (espionage) either by their own admission or by the accounts of others: Robert Baer Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš, Czechoslovak British-trained agents sent to assassinate one of the most important Nazis, Reinhard Heydrich, in 1942 as part of Operation Anthropoid. Aaron Franklin, World War II US Office of Strategic Services (OSS) officer who created a fake group of the German Army, made up of POWs, with the mission of killing Hitler. As a colonel, he was the first commander of United States Army Special Forces. Charles Beckwith, US Army colonel who was an early exchange officer with the British Special Air Service (SAS), and created the Delta Force (1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta) based on the SAS. Gary Berntsen, CIA field officer and team leader during Operation Enduring Freedom Wendell Fertig, United States Army Reserve officer who organized large Filipino guerrilla forces against the Japanese in World War II Virginia Hall, American who first worked for the British Special Operations Executive, then for the American Office of Strategic Services in German-occupied France. Only U.S. woman to receive the Distinguished Service Cross. Eric Haney, founding member of Delta Force. Michael Harari, Israeli Mossad officer who led assassination operations (Operation Wrath of God) against PLO members accused of the 1972 Munich Massacre. Bruce Rusty Lang, commander of a mixed United States Army Special Forces & Montagnard (Degar/Bru people) commando Recon Team (RT Oklahoma) of Command and Control North, Studies and Observations Group. Previously served on Project 404, U.S. Embassy Laos, Assistant Army Attaché ("Secret War" in Laos 1970). Edward Lansdale, United States Air Force officer (and eventually major general) seconded to the CIA, and noted for his work with Ramon Magsaysay against the Hukbalahap insurgency in Philippines during the early 1950s, and later involved in Operation Mongoose against Cuba. T. E. Lawrence, British "Lawrence of Arabia" who organized Arab forces during World War I. Alain Mafart, French DGSE officer convicted, in New Zealand, for sinking the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior. Richard Meadows, United States Army Special Forces officer known for many operations, including the POW rescue attempt at Son Tay, North Vietnam, and for deep operations in support of Operation Eagle Claw.
Monday, April 23, 2012
NATO Death School
At Monsanto, Portugal, NATO has established a study center for self-evaluation and formulation of proposals to improve military effectiveness. Under the authority of the Allied Command Transformation established in 2003, its role is to ensure that the Organization, previously responsible for warding off a "Soviet threat," is now properly geared for its new task of supporting the neo-colonial conquests of the "war on terror" era.
To this end NATO has endowed itself with the appropriate tool, the Joint Analysis & Lessons Learned Centre (JALLC): a sort of school where "lessons learned" are taught. Thus, NATO can permanently learn how better to make war. At the beginning of the campaign against Libya in March 2011, the JALLC sent a team of analysts to monitor the operations from the allied command center in Naples. The "lessons learned" were outlined in a confidential report presented last February, a copy of which the New York Times has now obtained a copy.
What should the allies, in particular the European ones, have learned? That the war against Libya was not a model operation as pretended, but revealed serious shortcomings. First and foremost, the fact that the European allies and Canada have had to rely disproportionately on the United States. Even with U.S. aid, NATO possessed only 40% of the electronic warfare aircraft which would have been necessary for that operation. And it was the U.S. that supplied its partners with the near-totality of the most advanced precision target ammunition: 7,700 bombs and missiles were used in the attack against Libya (much of which was probably provided by the U.S. military base at Camp Darby near Pisa, Italy).
The need to remedy these shortcomings is being urgently addressed. "President Obama has requested that the Pentagon begin preparing preliminary military options in Syria." However, "an operation in Syria would pose a bigger challenge than the seven-month campaign that drove Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya from power." In fact, Syria’s armed forces and air defense systems are more efficient and more difficult to destroy through airstrikes. Moreover, the Syrian opposition is more dispersed and disjointed than the one in Libya during the war, "making allied efforts to coordinate with the rebels more difficult." Accordingly, to attack Syria, the European allies and Canada would have to "rely heavily on U.S. capabilities."
In anticipation of this and other wars (Iran is also in the crosshairs), Canada and the members of the Alliance are trying to step up the pace to optimize their own military capabilities. It is against this background that last February an agreement was reached to create in Sigonella (Sicily) the AGS (Alliance Ground Surveillance) which, together with the Global Hawk drones installed on this base, will provide NATO with a detailed chart of the territories to be attacked, allowing also the strike of moving vehicles. Immediately after, in March, European defense ministers agreed on an "ambitious proposal" which addresses another shortcoming: the lack of planes for the in-flight supply of the fighter-bombers, which during the Libyan war were made available in large part by the United States.
Congratulations, you have learned the lesson—say the JALLC teachers—but now you must get even more involved: "Buying expensive aircraft and technical equipment, could take years to put in place." That is the lesson learned from the war in Libya. Students who successfully pass the test go on to the next war.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
By Ewen MacAskill, Guardian, Sunday 22 April 2012
The UN is to conduct an investigation into the plight of US Native Americans, the first such mission in its history.
The human rights inquiry led by James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on indigenous peoples, is scheduled to begin on Monday.
Many of the country's estimated 2.7 million Native Americans live in federally recognised tribal areas which are plagued with unemployment, alcoholism, high suicide rates, incest and other social problems.
The UN mission is potentially contentious, with some US conservatives likely to object to international interference in domestic matters. Since being appointed as rapporteur in 2008, Anaya has focused on natives of Central and South America.
A UN statement said: "This will be the first mission to the US by an independent expert designated by the UN human rights council to report on the rights of the indigenous peoples."
Anaya, a University of Arizona professor of human rights, said: "I will examine the situation of the American Indian/Native American, Alaska Native and Hawaiian peoples against the background of the United States' endorsement of the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples."
The US signed up in 2010 to the declaration, which establishes minimum basic rights for indigenous people globally.
Anaya said: "My visit aims at assessing how the standards of the declaration are reflected in US law and policy, and identifying needed reforms and good practices."
Apart from social issues, US Native Americans are involved in near continuous disputes over sovereignty and land rights. Although they were given power over large areas, most of it in the west, their rights are repeatedly challenged by state governments.
Most Americans have little contact with those living in the 500-plus tribal areas, except as tourists on trips to casinos allowed on land outside federal jurisdiction or to view spectacular landscapes.
Anaya is originally from New Mexico and is well versed in Native American issues.
He will visit Washington DC, Arizona, Alaska, Oregon, Oklahoma and South Dakota, and will conclude his trip with a press conference on 4 May. He will present his findings to the next session of the UN human rights council.
Anaya's past record shows a deep sympathy with Native Americans' plight. In one development dispute, he told the council that the desecration of sacred sites was an urgent human rights issue.
The Tucson Sentinel reported in 2011 that he had testified to Congress on the need for the US to pass legislation that abides by the declaration.
Also in 2011, he wrote to the Canadian government requesting information about the poor living conditions of aboriginal groups in the country.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
The Shock Doctrine
The shock doctrine is a documentary that helps us to understand this as one of the most comprehensive analyzes of the hidden history of our time. A fascinating description the new world order, which is in a state run amok ...
The analysis of capitalism's destruction undertaken by the Canadian author Naomi Klein with a perfect refined anger, channeled through solid data. In this groundbreaking narrative of the proceedings of the most dominant ideology of our time, the economic revolution "Free markets" by American economist Milton Friedman, Naomi Klein challenges the popular myth that the global victory of neo-liberal movement was peaceful.
It demonstrates that, in Chile in 1973 until today's Iraq, Friedman and his supporters advantage of repeated violence and a series of terrible shock to impose their extreme policies. Reveals the striking similarity between the CIA's interrogation techniques and coercive techniques of the World Bank and IMF, in their attempt to impose disaster capitalism around the world.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Death & Drones
The angry demonstrators also condemned the American drone strikes, which are regularly conducted by the US forces on Pakistan’s tribal regions, claiming that the airstrikes target al-Qaeda and Taliban militants but locals say civilians are the main victims of the assaults.
Another massive anti-US rally was arranged by the Defense of Pakistan Council, which is an alliance of 40 religious and political parties, in the city of Peshawar.
On Thursday, Pakistan’s parliament unanimously approved new guidelines for ties with the United States. The guidelines demand an end to US assassination drone strikes on the Pakistani territory.
The recommendations, which were drafted by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS), also called for an unconditional apology for US-led airstrikes in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at two mountain posts near the Afghan border.
However, on Friday US officials said that Washington would continue its non-UN-sanctioned CIA assassination drone strikes in Pakistan, rebuffing Pakistani lawmakers’ demands that the deadly attacks be halted.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that if a target is detected by the CIA’s unmanned aerial vehicles, its hellfire missiles will take the shot.
The aerial attacks were initiated by former US President George W. Bush but have been escalated under President Barack Obama.
The US resumed its drone operations in Pakistan in January 2012 after it halted the strikes in November 2011.
Relations between the two countries have hit an all time low after the attack in November
Monday, April 16, 2012
To Back Growing Call For Drug Legalization
To Stem Spreading Violence in Latin America
While the presidents Guatemala, Colombia, Costa Rica and El Salvador have voiced support for an end to the drug war, President Obama rejected their calls for drug legalization during high-level talks at the Summit of the Americas in Colombia. Obama warned that legalization could lead to greater problems but he expressed willingness to hold a discussion on drug policy. He also announced more than $130 million in aid for increasing security and pursuing narco-traffickers and drug cartels in Latin America. We speak with Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. He’s joins us from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he is attending the World Economic Forum’s Regional Latin America meeting. We are also joined by Greg Grandin, author of "Empire’s Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism."
Sunday, April 15, 2012
US has now 1.5+ Million Homeless Children but maintains 1000+ Military Bases WorldWide!
With one and a half million American children now homeless, BBC Panorama reporter Hilary Andersson meets the school pupils who go hungry in the richest country on Earth. From those living in the storm drains under Las Vegas to the tent cities now springing up around the United States, Panorama finds out how the poor are surviving in America and asks whatever happened to Barack Obama's vision for the country.
Depending on whom you ask or what source you consult, writes Turse: "there are more than 1,000 US military bases dotting the globe. To be specific, the most accurate count is 1,077. Unless it's 1,088. Or, if you count differently, 1,169. Or even 1,180. Actually, the number might even be higher. Nobody knows for sure."
Saturday, April 14, 2012
The US government pretends to live under the rule of law, to respect human rights, and to provide freedom and democracy to citizens. Washington’s pretense and the stark reality are diametrically opposed.
US government officials routinely criticize other governments for being undemocratic and for violating human rights. Yet, no other country except Israel sends bombs, missiles, and drones into sovereign countries to murder civilian populations. The torture prisons of Abu Gahraib, Guantanamo, and CIA secret rendition sites are the contributions of the Bush/Obama regimes to human rights.
Washington violates the human rights of its own citizens. Washington has suspended the civil liberties guaranteed in the US Constitution and declared its intention to detain US citizens indefinitely without due process of law. President Obama has announced that he, at his discretion, can murder US citizens whom he regards as a threat to the US.
Congress did not respond to these extraordinary announcements with impeachment proceedings. There was no uproar from the federal courts, law schools, or bar associations. Glenn Greenwald reports that the Department of Homeland Security harasses journalists who refuse to be "presstitutes", and we have seen videos of the brutal police oppression of peaceful OWS protestors. Chris Floyd describes the torture-perverts who rule the US.
Now Washington is forcing as much of the world as it can to overthrow international treaties and international law. Washington has issued a ukase that its word alone is international law. Any country, except those who receive Washington’s dispensation, that engages in trade with Iran or purchases Iran’s oil will be sanctioned by the US. These countries will be cut off from US markets, and their banking systems will not be able to use banks that process international payments. In other words, Washington’s “sanctions against Iran” apply not to Iran but to countries that defy Washington and meet their energy needs with Iranian oil.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, so far Washington has granted special privileges to Japan and 10 European Union countries to continue purchasing Iranian oil. Requiring countries to shutdown their economies in order to comply with Washington’s vendetta against Iran, a vendetta that has been ongoing ever since the Iranians overthrew the Washington-installed puppet, the Shah of Iran, more than three decades ago, was more than Washington could get away with. Washington has permitted Japan to keep importing between 78-85% of its normal oil imports from Iran.
Washington’s dispensations, however, are arbitrary. Dispensations have not been granted to China, India, Turkey, and South Korea. India and China are the largest importers of Iranian oil, and Turkey and South Korea are among the top ten importers. Before looking at possible unintended consequences of Washington’s vendetta against Iran, what is Washington’s case against Iran?
Frankly, Washington has no case. It is the hoax of “weapons of mass destruction” all over again. Iran, unlike Israel, signed the non-proliferation treaty. All countries that sign the treaty have the right to nuclear energy. Washington claims that Iran is violating the treaty by developing a nuclear weapon. There is no evidence whatsoever for Washington’s assertion. Washington’s own 16 intelligence agencies are unanimous that Iran has had no nuclear weapon’s program since 2003. Moreover, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s weapons inspectors are in Iran and have reported consistently that there is no diversion of nuclear material from the energy program to a weapons program.
On the rare occasion when Washington is reminded of the facts, Washington makes a different case. Washington asserts that Iran’s rights under the non-proliferation treaty notwithstanding, Iran cannot have a nuclear energy program, because Iran would then have learned enough to be able at some future time to make a bomb. The world’s hegemon has unilaterally decided that the possibility that Iran might one day decide to make a nuke is too great a risk to take. It is better, Washington says, to drive up the oil price, disrupt the world economy, violate international law, and risk a major war than to have to worry that a future Iranian government will make a nuclear weapon. This is the Jeremy Bentham tyrannical approach to law that was repudiated by the Anglo-American legal system.
It is difficult to characterize Washington’s position as one of good judgment. Moreover, Washington has never explained the huge risk Washington sees in the possibility of an Iranian nuke. Why is this risk so much greater than the risk associated with Soviet nukes or with the nukes of the US, Russia, China, Israel, Pakistan, India, and North Korea today? Iran is a relatively small country. It does not have Washington’s world hegemonic ambitions. Unlike Washington, Iran is not at war with a half dozen countries. Why is Washington destroying America’s reputation as a country that respects law and risking a major war and economic dislocation over some possible future development, the probability of which is unknown?
There is no good answer to this question. Lacking evidence for a case against Iran, Washington and Israel have substituted demonization. The lie has been established as truth that the current president of Iran intends to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.
This lie has succeeded as propaganda even though numerous language experts have proven that the intention attributed to the Iranian president by American-Israeli propaganda is a gross mistranslation of what the president of Iran said. Once again, for Washington and its presstitutes, facts do not count. The agenda is all that counts, and any lie will be used to advance the agenda.
Washington’s sanctions could end up biting Washington harder than they bite Iran.
What will Washington do if India, China, Turkey and South Korea do not succumb to Washington’s threats?
According to recent news reports, India and China are not inclined to inconvenience themselves and to harm their economic development in order to support Washington’s vendetta against Iran. Having watched China’s rapid rise and having observed North Korea’s immunity to American attack, South Korea might be wondering how much longer it intends to remain Washington’s puppet state. Turkey, where the civilian and somewhat Islamist government has managed to become independent of the US-controlled Turkish military, appears to be slowly coming to the realization that Washington and NATO have Turkey in a “service role” in which Turkey is Washington’s agent against its own kind. The Turkish government appears to be reassessing the benefits of being Washington’s pawn.
What Turkey and South Korea decide is basically a decision whether the countries will be independent countries or be subsumed within Washington’s empire.
The success of the American-Israeli assault on Iran’s independence depends on India and China.
If India and China give the bird to Washington, what can Washington do? Absolutely nothing. What if Washington, drowning in its gigantic hubris, announced sanctions against India and China?
Wal-Mart’s shelves would be empty, and America’s largest retailer would be hammering on the White House door.
Apple Computer and innumerable powerful US corporations, which have offshored their production for the American market to China, would see their profits evaporate. Together with their Wall Street allies, these powerful corporations would assault the fool in the White House with more force than the Red Army. The Chinese trade surplus would cease to flow into US Treasury debt. The offshored-to-India back office operations of banks, credit card companies, and customer service departments of utilities throughout the US would cease to function.
In America, chaos would reign. Such are the rewards to the Empire of the globalism that the empire has fostered.
The White House moron and the neoconservative and Israeli warmongers who urge him on to more wars do not understand that the US is no longer an independent country. America is owned by offshoring corporations and the foreign countries in which the corporations have located their production for US markets. Sanctions on China and India (and South Korea) mean sanctions on US corporations. Sanctions on Turkey mean sanctions on a NATO ally.
Do China, India, South Korea and Turkey realize that they hold the winning cards? Do they understand that they can give the bird to the American Empire and bring it down in collapse, or are they brainwashed like Europe and the rest of the world that the powerful Americans cannot be resisted?
Will China and India exercise their power over the US, or will the two countries fudge the issue and adopt a pose that saves face for Washington while they continue to purchase Iranian oil?
The answer to this question is: how much will Washington pay China and India in secret concessions, such as eviction of the US from the South China Sea, for their pretense that China and India acknowledge Washington’s dictatorial powers over the rest of the world?
Without concession to China and India, Washington is likely to be ignored while it watches its power evaporate. A country that cannot produce industrial and manufactured goods, but can only print debt instruments and money is not a powerful country. It is a washed-up two-bit punk that can continue to struct around until the proverbial boy says: “the Emperor has no clothes”.
Friday, April 13, 2012
ISLAMABAD, April 12 (Reuters) - Pakistan's parliament on Thursday unanimously approved recommendations from its national security committee on ties with the United States, including a demand to end drone strikes.
Action on the recommendations has yet to be decided by the government. Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said in a live televised speech to parliament that the government will attempt to implement them "in letter and spirit".
He did not say whether Pakistan would reopen overland supply routes to U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan. They were suspended after a Nov. 26 cross-border NATO air attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and plunged already troubled ties to their lowest point in years.
When asked whether Pakistan would re-open the supply routes to Afghanistan, Information Minister Firdos Ashiq Awan did not specify a course of action.
"Parliament has given us some guidelines and principles. Keeping them in mind, and the will of the people, we will soon take an appropriate position on the matter," she told reporters outside parliament after Gilani's speech.
Gilani reiterated Pakistan's call for the United States, the source of billions of dollars in military and economic aid, to respect the South Asian nation's sovereignty.
A halt in drone strikes and an unconditional apology for the NATO attack were the national security committee's main recommendations.
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the United States would look forward to discussing the parliamentary recommendations with Pakistan's government.
"We respect the seriousness with which parliament's review of U.S.-Pakistan relations has been conducted," Nuland said. "We seek a relationship with Pakistan that is enduring, strategic, and more clearly defined."
While Pakistani leaders often criticise the drone programme, analysts say successful strikes on high-profile al Qaeda and Taliban militants would be difficult without Pakistani cooperation.
Pakistan says publicly the drone strikes fuel anti-American sentiment, are a violation of sovereignty, and inflict civilian casualties.
The United States has been seeking Pakistan's cooperation to stabilise Afghanistan before most foreign combat troops leave at the end of 2014, mainly because of its links with the Afghan Taliban and other militant groups.
That cooperation has been hard to secure after a series of events, even before the NATO attack, including the U.S. special forces raid that killed Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil in May last year and humiliated the powerful military. (Reporting By Qasim Nauman; additional reporting by Missy Ryan in Washington; writing by Michael Georgy; editing by Mohammad Zargham)
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
USA Terror Training
Activist Post reported on Sunday, April 8, in an article written by Tony Cartalucci, that the Iranian opposition group, Mujahideen-e-khalq, have been trained, armed, financed, harbored, and directed by both the US and Mossad since as early as 2005, when they were brought to the Nevada desert to train. What is most important to note here is that this particular group is on the US State Department list of foreign terrorist organizations. And what is important to ask here is why is the US government, in conjunction with Israel and the Mossad, training terrorist organizations in the Nevada desert? And as if training this terrorist organization alone were not madness enough, the Brookings Institution asserted in its “Path to Persia” that the MEK were considered to be undemocratic, unpopular, and certainly anti-American. To further complicate the matter, a powerful and vocal lobby has emerged in Washington spear headed by the utterly repugnant and disingenuous Rudi Giuliani, and their goal is to have this particular group removed from the US State Department list of foreign terrorist organizations based solely on the grounds that they (lobby members) contend that the MEK has “renounced terrorism,” which would ultimately leave them (the MEK) free to carry out a much wider campaign of terrorism “against the Iranian people with even greater US support,” whereas of right now they are only suspected of having carried out a recent rash of assassinations targeting Iranian scientists. US support alone here raises questions that are enormous in their implications. It is nonetheless the sort of behavior truthers have come to expect of their government. But it is the participation of Israel and the Mossad that is the most troubling.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
The Hate Tool
Monday, April 09, 2012
This is Amerika
The racial tensions over the killing of Trayvon Martin heat up as the new Black Panthers call for a violent revolution and armed Neo-Nazis patrol the streets.
The racial tension over the killing of Trayvon Martin has just reached a new apex.
A disturbing video has been released full of racially charged hate speech by the New Black Panthers calling for an all out race war and the blood of honkies as part of a violent revolution.
As their anger flares over what they perceive as an unjust killing the prosecutor on the case has decided a grand jury will not get to decide whether to press charges against Zimmerman.
The prosecutor says the announcement of not allowing a a grand jury to decide whether George Zimmerman should be charged with murder is by no means a determination of whether charges will be filed.
Given the emotionally charged positions each side is taking at this point if the prosecutor does decide not to press charges the Black Panthers call for violence on the streets are almost certain to materialize.
The Daily Sheeple reports:
The race conflict stemming from the Trayvon Martin incident is heating up. Armed Neo-Nazis are actively ‘patrolling’ the streets of Sanford to protect white people, and now the Black Panthers have taken their threats to a new level, even calling for the capture of George Zimmerman ‘Dead or Alive.’
If you are having any doubts about getting suited, booted, and armed up for this race war that has never ended, let me tell you something… The thing that’s about to happen to these honkies, these crackers, these pigs, these pink people, these motherfuckin’ turtle people – it has been long overdue.
US Has Best Govt
Money Can BuyRT's Marina Portnaya talks to socialist equality presidential candidate, Jerry White.
Sunday, April 08, 2012
Leaked Video Shows
US Contractors Randomly Killing Civilians
Employees of the US military contracting group Academi (formerly Xe, Blackwater USA and Blackwater Worldwide) are seen in new leaked video shooting their machine guns at random while driving through the streets of Baghdad, crashing into other cars and even running over a pedestrian without hesitation. Academi received a $250 million contract by the Obama administration to provide military services in Afghanistan.
Putting Syria Into
By William Blum
April 07, 2012
The Holy Triumvirate - The United States, NATO, and the European Union — or an approved segment thereof, can usually get what they want. They wanted Saddam Hussein out, and soon he was swinging from a rope. They wanted the Taliban ousted from power, and, using overwhelming force, that was achieved rather quickly. They wanted Moammar Gaddafi's rule to come to an end, and before very long he suffered a horrible death. Jean-Bertrand Aristide was democratically elected, but this black man who didn't know his place was sent into distant exile by the United States and France in 2004. Iraq and Libya were the two most modern, educated and secular states in the Middle East; now all four of these countries could qualify as failed states.
These are some of the examples from the past decade of how the Holy Triumvirate recognizes no higher power and believes, literally, that they can do whatever they want in the world, to whomever they want, for as long as they want, and call it whatever they want, like "humanitarian intervention". The 19th- and 20th-century colonialist-imperialist mentality is alive and well in the West.
Next on their agenda: the removal of Bashar al-Assad of Syria. As with Gaddafi, the ground is being laid with continual news reports — from CNN to al Jazeera — of Assad's alleged barbarity, presented as both uncompromising and unprovoked. After months of this media onslaught who can doubt that what's happening in Syria is yet another of those cherished Arab Spring "popular uprisings" against a "brutal dictator" who must be overthrown? And that the Assad government is overwhelmingly the cause of the violence.
Assad actually appears to have a large measure of popularity, not only in Syria, but elsewhere in the Middle East. This includes not just fellow Alawites, but Syria's two million Christians and no small number of Sunnis. Gaddafi had at least as much support in Libya and elsewhere in Africa. The difference between the two cases, at least so far, is that the Holy Triumvirate bombed and machine-gunned Libya daily for seven months, unceasingly, crushing the pro-government forces, as well as Gaddafi himself, and effecting the Triumvirate's treasured "regime change". Now, rampant chaos, anarchy, looting and shooting, revenge murders, tribal war, militia war, religious war, civil war, the most awful racism against the black population, loss of their cherished welfare state, and possible dismemberment of the country into several mini-states are the new daily life for the Libyan people. The capital city of Tripoli is "wallowing in four months of uncollected garbage" because the landfill is controlled by a faction that doesn't want the trash of another faction. Just imagine what has happened to the country's infrastructure. This may be what Syria has to look forward to if the Triumvirate gets its way, although the Masters of the Universe undoubtedly believe that the people of Libya should be grateful to them for their "liberation".
As to the current violence in Syria, we must consider the numerous reports of forces providing military support to the Syrian rebels — the UK, France, the US, Turkey, Israel, Qatar, the Gulf states, and everyone's favorite champion of freedom and democracy, Saudi Arabia; with Syria claiming to have captured some 14 French soldiers; plus individual jihadists and mercenaries from Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Libya, et al, joining the anti-government forces, their number including al-Qaeda veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who are likely behind the car bombs in an attempt to create chaos and destabilize the country. This may mark the third time the United States has been on the same side as al-Qaeda, adding to Afghanistan and Libya.
Stratfor, the private and conservative American intelligence firm with high-level connections, reported that "most of the opposition's more serious claims have turned out to be grossly exaggerated or simply untrue." Opposition groups including the Syrian National Council, the Free Syrian Army and the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights began disseminating "claims that regime forces besieged Homs and imposed a 72-hour deadline for Syrian defectors to surrender themselves and their weapons or face a potential massacre." That news made international headlines. Stratfor's investigation, however, found "no signs of a massacre," and declared that "opposition forces have an interest in portraying an impending massacre, hoping to mimic the conditions that propelled a foreign military intervention in Libya." Stratfor added that any suggestions of massacres are unlikely because the Syrian "regime has calibrated its crackdowns to avoid just such a scenario. Regime forces have been careful to avoid the high casualty numbers that could lead to an intervention based on humanitarian grounds."
Reva Bhalla, Stratfor's Director of Analysis, reported in a December 2011 email on a meeting she attended at the Pentagon about Syria: "After a couple hours of talking, they said without saying that SOF [Special Operation Forces] teams (presumably from US, UK, France, Jordan, Turkey) are already on the ground focused on recce [reconnaissance] missions and training opposition forces." We know of Bhalla's comments thanks to the 5 million Stratfor emails obtained by the Internet hacker group Anonymous in December and passed on to Wikileaks.
Human Rights Watch has reported that both Syrian government security forces and Syria's armed rebels have committed serious human rights abuses, including kidnapings, torture, and executions. But only the Holy Triumvirate can get away with the sanctions they love to impose. Assad's wife is now banned from traveling to EU countries and any assets she may have there are frozen. Same for Assad's mother, sister and sister-in-law, as well as eight of his government ministers. Assad himself received the same treatment last May. Because the Triumvirate can.
On March 25, the US and Turkish governments announced that they were discussing sending non-lethal aid to the Syrian opposition, implying quite clearly that until then they had not been engaged in such activity. But according to a US embassy cable, revealed by Wikileaks, since at least 2006 the United States has been funding political opposition groups in Syria as well as the London-based satellite TV channel, Barada TV, run by Syrian exiles, that beams anti-government programming into the country. The cable further stated that Syrian authorities "would undoubtedly view any U.S. funds going to illegal political groups as tantamount to supporting regime change."
Regime change in Syria has been on the neo-conservative wish list since at least 2002 when John Bolton, Undersecretary of State under George W. Bush, came up with a project to simultaneously break up Libya and Syria. He called the two states along with Cuba "The Axis Of Evil". On a FOX News appearance in 2011 Bolton said that the United States should have overthrown the Syrian government right after they overthrew Saddam Hussein. Amongst Syria's crimes have been their close relations with Iran, Hezbollah (in Lebanon), the Palestinian resistance, and Russia, and their failure to conclude a peace treaty with Israel, unlike Jordan and Egypt; all this constituting evidence to the Holy Triumvirate of Syria, like Aristide, being "uppity".
The clinical megalomania of the Holy Triumvirate can scarcely be exaggerated. And never prosecuted.
A closing word from Cui Tiankai, Chinese vice foreign minister for United States affairs:
The US has the strongest military in the world and spends more than any other country. But the US always feels unsafe or insecure about other countries. I suggest the United States spend more time thinking about how to make other countries feel less worried about the United States.
President Obama's accomplishments
Last month, Alan S. Hoffman, an American professor from Washington University in St. Louis, was forbidden by the US Treasury Department to travel to Cuba to give classes in a course on biomaterials.
At the same time, the State Department refused to grant two Cuban diplomats in Washington, DC permission to travel to New York City to speak at The Left Forum, the largest annual gathering of the left in the United States, which this year attracted over 5,000 people.
The State Department has also been occupied recently with preventing Cuba from being invited to the Summit of the Americas in Colombia in April.
And that's just the past month.
I mention all this to keep in mind the next time President Obama or one of his supporters lists US relations with Cuba as one of his accomplishments.
And I still cannot go to Cuba legally.
Another claim the Obamabots are fond of making to defend their man is that he's abolished torture. That sounds very nice, but there's no good reason to accept it at face value. Shortly after Obama's inauguration, both he and Leon Panetta, the new Director of the CIA, explicitly stated that "rendition" was not being ended. As the Los Angeles Times reported: "Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States."
The English translation of "cooperate" is "torture". Rendition is equal to torture. There was no other reason to take prisoners to Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Somalia, Kosovo, or the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, to name some of the known torture centers frequented by the home of the brave. Kosovo and Diego Garcia — both of which house very large and secretive American military bases — if not some of the other locations, may well still be open for torture business. The same for Guantánamo. Moreover, the executive order concerning torture, issued January 22, 2009 — "Executive Order 13491 — Ensuring Lawful Interrogations" — leaves loopholes, such as being applicable only "in any armed conflict". Thus, torture by Americans outside environments of "armed conflict", which is where much torture in the world happens anyway, is not prohibited. And what about torture in a "counter-terrorism" environment?
One of Mr. Obama's orders required the CIA to use only the interrogation methods outlined in a revised Army Field Manual. However, using the Army Field Manual as a guide to prisoner treatment and interrogation still allows solitary confinement, perceptual or sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, the induction of fear and hopelessness, mind-altering drugs, environmental manipulation such as temperature and perhaps noise, and possibly stress positions and sensory overload.
After Panetta was questioned by a Senate panel, the New York Times wrote that he had "left open the possibility that the agency could seek permission to use interrogation methods more aggressive than the limited menu that President Obama authorized under new rules ... Mr. Panetta also said the agency would continue the Bush administration practice of 'rendition' — picking terrorism suspects off the street and sending them to a third country. But he said the agency would refuse to deliver a suspect into the hands of a country known for torture or other actions "that violate our human values."
Just as no one in the Bush and Obama administrations has been punished in any way for war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and the other countries they waged illegal war against, no one has been punished for torture. And, it could be added, no American bankster has been punished for their indispensable role in the world-wide financial torture. What a marvelously forgiving land is America. This, however, does not apply to Julian Assange and Bradley Manning.
In the last days of the Bush White House, Michael Ratner, professor at Columbia Law School and former president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, pointed out:
The only way to prevent this from happening again is to make sure that those who were responsible for the torture program pay the price for it. I don't see how we regain our moral stature by allowing those who were intimately involved in the torture programs to simply walk off the stage and lead lives where they are not held accountable.
I'd like at this point to remind my dear readers of the words of the "Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment", which was drafted by the United Nations in 1984, came into force in 1987, and ratified by the United States in 1994. Article 2, section 2 of the Convention states: "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture."
Such marvelously clear, unequivocal, and principled language, to set a single standard for a world that makes it increasingly difficult for one to feel proud of humanity. We cannot slide back.
From a document found at Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan after his assassination last May: A call to kill President Obama because "Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make Biden take over the presidency. Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the U.S. into a crisis.
So ... it would appear that the man America loved to hate and fear was no more knowledgeable of how United States foreign policy works than is the average American. What difference in the War on Terror — for better or for worse — against the likes of bin Laden and his al Qaeda followers could there have been over the past three years if Joe Biden had been the president? Biden was an outspoken supporter of the war against Iraq and is every bit the pro-Israel fanatic that Obama is. In his 35 years in the US Senate Biden avidly supported every American war of aggression including the attacks on Grenada in 1983, Panama in 1989, Iraq in 1991, Yugoslavia in 1999 and Afghanistan in 2001. Whatever was Osama bin Laden thinking?
And whatever was Joe Biden thinking when he recently said the following after hosting China's presumptive next leader Xi Jinping in a visit to the United States?
America holds at least one key economic advantage over China. Because China's authoritarian government represses its own citizens, they don't think freely or innovate. "Why have they not become [one of] the most innovative countries in the world? Why is there a need to steal our intellectual property? Why is there a need to have a business hand over its trade secrets to have access to a market of a billion, three hundred million people? Because they're not innovating." Noting that China and similar countries produce many engineers and scientists but few innovators, Biden said, "It's impossible to think different in a country where you can't speak freely. It's impossible to think different when you have to worry what you put on the Internet will either be confiscated or you will be arrested. It's impossible to think different where orthodoxy reigns. That's why we remain the most innovative country in the world.
Holy Cold War, Batman! This is exactly the kind of stuff we were told about the Soviet Union. For years and years. For decades. Then came Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to be put into Earth's orbit. It was launched into an Earth orbit by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957. The unanticipated announcement of Sputnik 1's success precipitated the Sputnik crisis in the United States and ignited the Space Race. The USSR's launch of Sputnik spurred the United States to create the Advanced Research Projects Agency to regain a technological lead. Not only did the launch of Sputnik spur America to action in the space race, it also led directly to the creation of NASA.
William Blum is the author of:
- Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2
- Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower
- West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir
- Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Another Amerikan View
We call ourselves a free country, yet it is illegal to use marijuana on a recreational basis.
Seriously? Think about this, marijuana funds 60 percent of illegal drug operations across the United States. This market dictated by violence and extortion is really an unregulated form of capitalism. Ever wonder what capitalism would be without regulation? Just look at what the war on drugs has done to America. Some $1.5 trillion spent and nothing gained on the home front when it comes to the usage of drugs.
Ever wonder why? It's simple, you can't legislate free will, and any time the government deems it necessary to do so, it costs the taxpayer unmeasured amounts. Why unmeasured? With so much money spent to support the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is likely we are borrowing money from the Chinese government to tell Bob he doesn't have the freedom to enjoy a plant at his own discretion.
Isn't it apparent that we have lost the war on drugs after arresting so many millions? According to Adam Liptak of The New York Times in 2008, "The United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population. But it has almost a quarter of the world's prisoners."
On average, it costs our country about $40,000 per prisoner per year. It just doesn't seem to be the real reason behind the drug war, does it? It's almost like another dirty little government secret. It appears to be a racially motivated legislation. We all know minorities are filling these prisons, and we also know that the majority of these prisoners are criminally prosecuted and incarcerated based on nonviolent drug offenses.
Is it really worth $40,000 to keep one individual from getting high?
Meanwhile, this country is $16 trillion in debt. Do you want to cut grandma's health care? Or should we cut back on the cost of the drug war by legalizing marijuana? You can't have an honest conversation about reducing the nation's debt burden without considering it.
America is known for its agricultural resources which it shares with people across the globe. So why should we be ashamed of producing a useful product that people might enjoy too? Everyone knows that hemp, a non-psycho-tropic form of marijuana, can be used to make lots of products. In fact, hemp was used to make rope for years, right here in Kentucky.
Instead of wasting money subsidizing farmers to not grow in this country, let the farmers earn an honest living, so they can once again put their children through college. Why is it in America we continue to hold back an industry because a certain uneducated part of the country doesn't understand it or doesn't believe in a person's right to get high? News flash: Folks are still getting high, legal or not, like it or not.
Our government thinks it has the right to dictate a way of living to the American people. I say enough is enough. It is high time we start dictating to them what it is we will spend our money on. Let's be serious in 2012 America, and it all starts with legalizing marijuana. It's just common sense.
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
What Must Be Said
That is the claimed right to the formal preventive aggression which could erase the Iranian people dominated by a bouncer and moved to the organized jubilation, because in the area of his competence there is the construction of the atomic bomb.
And then why I avoid myself to call the other country with its name, where since years – even if secretly covered -there is an increasing nuclear power, but without control, because unreachable by every inspection?
The silence of everybody on this state of affairs which my silence is slave to, I feel it as an oppressive lie and an inhibition that presents punishment when we don’t pay attention; the verdict “anti-Semitism” is common.
Now, since by my country, from time to time touched by exclusive crime, without comparison and obliged to justify itself, again and for pure commercial aims, even if with fast tongue we call it “reparation”, another submarine should be deliveredto Israel, with the specialty of addressing annihilating warheads there where the existence of an only atomic bomb is not proved but it wants to be evidence as a scarecrow, I say what must be said.
Why I was silent until now? Because I thought my origin, burdened by an unclearing stain, had avoiding to wait this fact like a truth declared by the State of Israel that I want to be connected to.
Why I said it only now, old and with the last ink: the nuclear power of Israel threat the world peace? Because it must be said what tomorrow will be too late; Because to us too – as Germans and with enough faults on the back - we could become deliverers of a predictable crime, and no excuse would erase our complicity.
And I admit: I won’t be silent because I had enough of the Western hypocrisy; Because it is desirable that many will want to get rid of the silence ,exhorting the cause of the recognizable risk to the abdication and asking that a free and permanent control of the Israel atomic power
"Why did I wait until now at this advanced age and with the last bit of ink to say: The nuclear power Israel is endangering a world peace that is already fragile?" Grass writes in the poem. The 84 year old also criticizes the planned delivery of submarines "from my country" to Israel, a reference to Germany's plan to deliver Dolphin-class submarines to Israel that are capable of carrying nuclear-armed missiles. At the same time, Grass also expresses his solidarity with Israel.
In the poem, published by Germany's Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and other European dailies on Wednesday, Grass also calls for an "unhindered and permanent monitoring of Israel's nuclear potential and Iran's nuclear facility through an international entity that the government of both countries would approve." It is widely believed that Israel possesses nuclear weapons, although it has never been proven.
In response to the publication, the Israeli Embassy in Berlin issued a statement offering its own version of "What must be said." "What must be said is that it is a European tradition to accuse the Jews before the Passover festival of ritual murder," the statements reads. "Earlier, it was Christian children whose blood the Jews allegedly used to make their unleavened bread, but today it is the Iranian people that the Jewish state allegedly wants to annihilate. What also must be said is that Israel is the only state in the world whose right to exist is openly doubted. That was true on the day of its founding and it remains true today. We want to live in peace with our neighbors in the region. And we are not prepared to assume the role that Günter Grass is trying to assign to us as part of the German people's efforts to come to terms with the past."
By Anthony Gucciardi
In what has been called the single largest wave of recorded suicides in human history, Indian farmers are now killing themselves in record numbers. It has been extensively reported, even in mainstream news, but nothing has been done about the issue. The cause? Monsanto’s cost-inflated and ineffective seeds have been driving farmers to suicide, and is considered to be one of the largest — if not the largest — cause of the quarter of a million farmer suicides over the past 16 years.
According to the most recent figures (provided by the New York University School of Law), 17,638 Indian farmers committed suicide in 2009 — about one death every 30 minutes. In 2008, the Daily Mail labeled the continual and disturbing suicide spree as ‘The GM (genetically modified) Genocide’. Due to failing harvests and inflated prices that bankrupt the poor farmers, struggling Indian farmers began to kill themselves. Oftentimes, they would commit the act by drinking the very same insecticide that Monsanto supplied them with — a gruesome testament to the extent in which Monsanto has wrecked the lives of independent and traditional farmers.
To further add backing to the tragedy, the rate of Indian farmer suicides massively increased since the introduction of Monsanto’s Bt cotton in 2002. It is no wonder that a large percentage of farmers who take their own lives are cotton farmers, the demographic that is thought to be among the most impacted. Dr. Mercola, an osteopathic doctor that has been educating the world about natural health for many years, recently saw the destruction of traditional Indian farmers first hand. Dr. Mercola found out about the notorious ‘suicide belt’ of India, where 4,238 farmer suicides took place in 2007 alone.
Many families are now ruined thanks to the mass suicides, and are left to economic ruin and must struggle to fight off starvation:
‘We are ruined now,’ said one dead man’s 38-year-old wife. ‘We bought 100 grams of BT Cotton. Our crop failed twice. My husband had become depressed. He went out to his field, lay down in the cotton and swallowed insecticide.’
In India, around 60 percent of the population (currently standing at 1.1 billion) are directly or indirectly reliant on agriculture. Monsanto’s intrusion into India’s traditional and sustainable farming community is not only concerning for health and wellness reasons, but it is now clear that the issue is much more serious.
President Barack Obama has issued the green light for punishing new US economic sanctions directed at forcing the Iranian government to submit to Western pressure over its nuclear program by starving the country of oil revenues.
These new sanctions, which go into effect on June 28, aim to impose a warlike blockade of the Iranian economy by penalizing any government or private entity that carries out financial transactions with the country’s central bank.
Western Europe is preparing its own new sanctions, which are to include a European embargo on Iranian oil purchases, beginning in July.
The official memorandum authorizing the US sanctions affirmed, as required by the legislation creating them, that given existing oil supplies internationally, “the market can continue to accommodate” the cutting off of petroleum from Iran.
The theory is that Saudi Arabia can make up the difference in reduced oil supplies from Iran, and that in an emergency, the US and other oil consuming countries could tap into their strategic reserves. However, such safeguards may well prove ineffective in the face of a speculative bidding up of oil prices under conditions in which the margin of excess supply has been significantly reduced. The effect could prove a dizzying rise in gasoline prices, spelling sharp reductions in living standards internationally and the threat of an intensified economic downturn.
The ratcheting up of US sanctions came together with confirmation that the so-called P5+1 talks on Iran’s nuclear program are to be renewed in the middle of this month. The talks include the Iranian government together with the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—the US, Britain, China, France and Russia—plus Germany.
Washington and its allies have charged that the Iranian government is developing a nuclear weapons program, while Iran has insisted that its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes. Unlike nuclear-armed Israel, which together with Washington has continuously threatened military strikes against it, Iran is a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Pact and has submitted to an inspection regime by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Speaking in Saudi Arabia, where she was coordinating an anti-Iranian military alliance with the reactionary Persian Gulf monarchies, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made it clear that the sole purpose of the scheduled talks would be to achieve full Iranian compliance with US demands, or to pave the way to war.
“It will soon be clear whether Iran’s leaders are prepared to have a serious, credible discussion . . . to start building the trust we need to move forward,” Clinton said.
The US secretary of state told reporters that Iran should cease all production of 20 percent enriched uranium and open up all its facilities to continuous inspection. Neither of these steps is required under international treaties and law.
“So far,” she added, “they have given little reason for confidence. What is certain is that Iran’s window to do so will not remain open forever.”
This reference to the “window” closing represents yet another US threat of war against Iran.
In her talks with the Gulf oil potentates, Clinton unveiled US plans to build a regional missile defense system. The Washington Post reported that Vice Adm. Michael Fox, the commander of the US 5th Fleet based in Bahrain, presented the dictatorial regimes with the plans for the missile shield, which will provide lucrative new contracts for the US arms manufacturers, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.
Clinton and the ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council regimes also reportedly discussed means of securing the shipment of their oil supplies through the Strait of Hormuz, which passes through Iranian territorial waters, even as Iran is faced with the choking off of its own oil exports and the threat of military attack.
Clinton praised the Saudi monarchy for pledging to increase its oil supply to make up for the supplies from Iran that Washington is attempting to keep off the international markets. “Both the United States and Saudi Arabia share an interest in ensuring that energy markets foster economic growth,” she said. “We recognize and appreciate the kingdom’s actions to respond to market demand.”
While Iran had earlier announced that its talks with the P5+1 would resume on April 13, it had not fixed a locale for the meeting. In her remarks, Clinton indicated that it would be held in Istanbul, Turkey.
It is not clear, however, whether Tehran will accept convening the negotiations in the Turkish capital. Mohsen Rezaee, the former Iranian presidential candidate and secretary of the country’s Expediency Discernment Council, said that the talks should take place in an “Iranian-friendly” country, and that Turkey was not suitable given its “failure to fulfill relevant commitments.”
Rezaee did not elaborate on his statement, but tensions between Iran and Turkey have increased following Turkey’s announcement that it will at least partially comply with US sanctions, reducing its oil imports from Iran by 20 percent. Istanbul’s hosting Sunday of the “Friends of Syria” conference, which produced a plan for issuing paychecks to elements carrying out terrorist attacks inside Syria, Iran’s principal ally in the region, as well as Turkey’s threats of military intervention inside Syria, have further soured relations.
China, which imports 20 percent of its oil from Iran, has firmly rejected the US sanctions as an extra-legal interference in international trade.
“The Chinese side always opposes one country unilaterally imposing sanctions against another according to domestic law,” a statement from China’s Foreign Ministry affirmed Saturday. “Furthermore it does not accept the unilateral imposition of those sanctions on a third country.”
India, which imports some 12 percent of its oil from Iran, has also evaded US sanctions, paying for Iranian oil in rupees and with the barter of its own manufactured goods. Washington has exerted significant pressure on the Indian government to cut its trade ties with Tehran.
The BRICS summit—Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa—in New Delhi last week issued a declaration recognizing “Iran’s right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy” and warning against the “disastrous consequences” of a military attack.
Meanwhile, the US, Israel and Greece are conducting war games involving at least 10 warships and combat aircraft in the eastern Mediterranean. The operation, dubbed “Noble Dina,” is led by the US Sixth Fleet and the Israeli navy. It began on March 26 and continues until April 5.
The exercise, which includes simulated defense against submarine attacks and securing offshore oil platforms as well as air combat, is, according to Israeli sources, a rehearsal for war against Iran.
Bill Van Auken is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Bill Van Auken