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‘West wants end of Syria as a functioning independent state’

RT | September 30, 2012

The Syrian insurgency will never win its war because its means are unsupported even among the opposition, political analyst Dan Glazebrook told RT. But thanks to a flood of weapons from the West, they will continue to destabilize the country.

­Syria, Glazebrook says, is the only link keeping Western powers from dominating the region, which is why the anti-Assad coalition is sending weapons and funding the “proxy war” through Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Western governments, he says, support the rebels because once Syria falls, they hope to “roll out the program of a final solution” for the Palestinians, Southern Lebanon and Iran.

RT: Russia has reiterated calls for what it calls a balanced solution to the Syrian conflict – why aren’t more countries supporting Moscow’s proposals?

Dan Glazebrook: Well, it is a good question. In fact it is not only Moscow that is making these proposals. A week ago in Damascus, the National Coordination Committee, which is the main organization behind the initial outbreak of peaceful protests in Syria, actually had their own conference where they also called for a cease fire on both sides. They’ve criticized the militarization of the conflict. They’ve criticized the countries that have been arming the rebels.

We see how the Western-trained and sponsored militia on the ground in Syria has responded. They’ve responded with a wave of bomb attacks over two days in Damascus. The crucial point is that the West does not want to see a peaceful resolution to this conflict. It wants to destabilize, that is the name of the game. They do not want a peaceful resolution.

They don’t want any compromise, because what are their main strategic aims? Remember, their main strategic aim is to destroy Syria as a functioning independent state, because at the moment Syria is part of the alliance with Iran and Hezbollah. Now, Hezbollah’s independent existence, which was shown by Hezbollah’s defeat of Israel in 2006, that is the one thing protecting the Palestinians from Israel just unilaterally imposing some kind of once-and-for-all ‘peace deals’ on the Palestinians that would condemn them forever to living in little cantons in a sea of Israeli settlements – the one thing preventing Israel from doing that is the existence of Hezbollah, the arming of Hezbollah by Iran and Syria. Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah himself, said that Syria was crucial in the 2006 victory by Hezbollah against Israel.

So the West is determined to keep this war going, to destabilize Syria, to make sure that they cannot any longer play the role that it has been playing in supporting the Palestinians and preventing a successful Israeli attack on the Palestinians, on Lebanon and on Iran. Once Syria falls, the hope is for the West and for the Zionists that they will then have a free hand to go and implement, to go ahead and roll out, that program of a final solution for the Palestinians, destruction of Southern Lebanon, destruction of Iran. Syria is a kind of link that so far is preventing that. They do not want a peaceful solution.

RT: With Washington now pledging $45 million worth of extra support to the rebels, how much longer can the opposition keep up the fight without direct foreign intervention?

DZ: We have to get over the idea that there is no foreign direct intervention. There is a foreign direct intervention already now – and there has been for many, many months. There were groups on the ground calling themselves part of the Free Syrian Army, but there are entire units made up of Libyans, of Lebanese, of people from Jordan, of people from Saudi Arabia. They have been armed and also equipped and trained by the SAS and by the CIA, at camps in Turkey.

In fact if the situation in Libya – the war in Libya last year – is anything to go on, from what we know happened there, they were probably under the direct command of British and US Army officers. So I do not think it’s true to say that the current situation is one without direct foreign intervention.

The other thing to bear in mind, the $45 million of aid from the US is just the tip of the iceberg. Most of the weapons and the funding for the West’s proxy war against Syria is being channeled through Saudi Arabia and through Qatar. Now, just Britain alone for example, last year provided £1.75 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, and much of it is now ending up in the hands of these proxy militias. So that $45 million figure is actually just the tip of the iceberg.

And it is very tricky that the US and Britain, and Britain in particular, often says it is just providing non-lethal equipment: communications equipment, night vision goggles, this kind of thing. But it is providing weapons, but it’s just doing it through third parties.

The question of how long this war can go on is a good question. It is not clear. They can’t really win these rebel groups, because they don’t have the support of even most of the anti-Assad forces. As I have mentioned, the main peaceful opposition group does not really support the strategy of the Free Syrian Army, does not support the Syrian National Council and in the key cities of Aleppo and Damascus, which is where more than half of the Syrian population live. Most of the population is behind the government, supports the government. A couple of weeks ago, a Free Syrian Army Officer admitted it himself, saying that ‘the problem for us here in Aleppo is that 70 per cent of the population supports Assad,’ and it has always been that way. So they can’t win with that lack of popular support.

Unfortunately, because they’re getting this huge flood of weapons from the outside, they can continue to destabilize. That is, unfortunately, they may be able to keep the war going for some time. It does not mean that they’re actually going to be able to win.

September 30, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tehran court finds Reuters guilty over defamation of character

Press TV – September 30, 2012

A court in Tehran finds London-based Reuters news agency guilty over a report describing a group of female Iranian martial artists as “assassins,” Press TV reports.

A jury member at a Tehran penal court told Press TV on Sunday that the news agency was found guilty of propagating against the Islamic Republic and disseminating false information to disturb public opinion.

The court is supposed to issue its ruling in October. Reuters can appeal the verdict.

Reuters appeared in a court hearing in Tehran on Sunday after young Iranian girls training in Ninjutsu filed defamation charges against Reuters in February for describing them as killers-for-hire.

Reuters showed a number of Iranian girls training in martial arts in a city near Tehran, claiming Iran was training more than 3,000 female ninjas to kill any possible foreign invaders. The distorted Reuters report was picked up by other British media outlets.

The news agency also accused the Iranian government of training assassins.

The martial artists filed a lawsuit against Reuters shortly after the report became viral on the Internet.

The Iranian girls, accused by Reuters of being assassins, say the damage has already been done and they are now taking legal action against the agency for defamation of character.

Following the strong reaction of Iranian media to the report, Reuters made changes to parts of the report after a long delay. It refused to apologize for slander.

September 30, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 2 Comments

New Report Revives Speculation On Azerbaijan-Israel Cooperation Against Iran

By Joshua Kucera | EURASIANET | September 30, 2012

When Foreign Policy magazine reported this spring that Israel was in talks with Azerbaijan over the use of the latter’s airfields in order to carry out an attack on Iran, the bombshell report was vociferously denied by officials in Baku and derided by regional analysts. Azerbaijan would seem to not have any interest in such cooperation, and the Foreign Policy report was correctly described as “Washington-centric.”

But now Reuters has come out with the same story, but their sources are Azerbaijani and Russian:

[T]wo Azeri former military officers with links to serving personnel and two Russian intelligence sources all told Reuters that Azerbaijan and Israel have been looking at how Azeri bases and intelligence could serve in a possible strike on Iran.

“Where planes would fly from – from here, from there, to where? – that’s what’s being planned now,” a security consultant with contacts at Azeri defense headquarters in Baku said. “The Israelis … would like to gain access to bases in Azerbaijan.”

….

Rasim Musabayov, an independent Azeri lawmaker and a member of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said that, while he had no definitive information, he understood that Azerbaijan would probably feature in any Israeli plans against Iran, at least as a contingency for refueling its attack force:

“Israel has a problem in that if it is going to bomb Iran, its nuclear sites, it lacks refueling,” Musabayov told Reuters.

“I think their plan includes some use of Azerbaijan access.

“We have (bases) fully equipped with modern navigation, anti-aircraft defenses and personnel trained by Americans and if necessary they can be used without any preparations,” he added.

The same skepticism applies now as applied with the Foreign Policy piece: it’s very hard to imagine what Azerbaijan would gain from participating in an Israeli strike on Iran. Azerbaijan has its own serious problems with Iran, but they’re pretty separate from Israel’s and have little to do with the nuclear program. And participating in an Israeli attack would just open Azerbaijan up for retaliation, for which Baku is not at all prepared.

What could be worth it to Baku? This is 100 percent speculation, but what if Israel were able to provide something totally game-changing vis-a-vis Nagorno Karabakh? Taking Karabakh back from the Armenians who control it now is Azerbaijan’s top priority by far, and Baku may find it worthwhile to risk Iranian retaliation if it could get Karabakh. I have no idea what that game-changing something Israel might be able to provide, but it’s the only way I can see this making any sense. No doubt we’ll hear a lot more about this.

September 30, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Egypt may join Arab intervention in Syria

Al Akhbar | September 30, 2012

Egypt may take part in an Arab military intervention in Syria, provided this does not open the door to Western intervention, a political adviser to Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi told Turkey’s Anadolu news agency Saturday.

“We are in principle ready for an Arab intervention in Syria after the limits, goals and features of that intervention are made clear,” said Saif Abdel Fattah.

In a speech before the UN General Assembly Tuesday, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani called on Arab states to intervene militarily in Syria, citing an Arab-league backed intervention during Lebanon’s civil war as an “effective and useful” precedent.

Analysts have since warned that such a move could trigger a counter-intervention from Iran, sparking an even wider regional conflict.

Abdel Fattah went on to say that Egypt may pressure Turkey to put the Qatari proposal into effect. He added that Mursi would be discussing the issue with Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his visit to Turkey Sunday.

Turkey is an ardent supporter of military intervention in Syria, and has pushed the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over the country. The proposals have been repeatedly shot down by China and Russia.

September 30, 2012 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Collaboration Loans

By Rami Zurayk | Al Akhbar | September 30, 2012

A while ago, caricatures began to appear on the internet showing the Egyptian president, Mohammed Mursi, prostrating before the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The artists were inspired by his request for a $4.8 billion loan to revive the Egyptian economy, which has been in recession since the beginning of the revolution. More recently, the media has been discussing “news” of an offer by the European Union of a $1.29 billion loan, if Egypt secures the IMF loan.

These loans are usually conditional and are intrinsically tied to a series of economic policies, such as lifting state subsidies on some basic commodities and liberating the markets. In the past, implementing these policies has led to the outbreak of popular protests in Egypt as well as in other poor countries. This is why some activists in the field of social justice call the IMF the poverty, deprivation and debt makers, keeping Third World countries under the hegemony of rich countries.

The loans also come with political conditions to do with the government’s position on “Israel” and good neighborliness. Observers in the field of development are wondering whether Egypt under the Muslim Brotherhood will take the same economic path as Hosni Mubarak’s regime despite their talk of social justice and combating poverty in the latest elections.

Resorting to conditional loans may be dictated by the reality of the Egyptian economy in a world which is suffering from consecutive financial crises. It may even be marketed as political realism. But some are wondering about the limits of this realism, particularly when the Egyptian prime minister, Hisham Qandil, announced that Egypt will not cease economic and industrial cooperation with “Israel,” in reference to the qualifying industrial zones that make Israeli-Egyptian products in every corner of Egypt.

September 30, 2012 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli Occupation seizes land from Bab al-Rahma Cemetery in Jerusalem

Palestine Information Center – 30/09/2012

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — A Palestinian committee in occupied Jerusalem warned against the decision by the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem to confiscate 1,800 meters of the southern land of the Bab al-Rahma Cemetery in Jerusalem, and considered it a new aggression on Waqf and holy sites.

The Committee of Bab al-Rahma Cemetery in Silwan in occupied Jerusalem stated in a press statement that the Israeli occupation is violating the sanctity of Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem through attacking mosques, churches and other places of worship, as well as through attacking the dead in their graves.

It said the confiscation of the cemetery’s land is an attempt to Judiaze it and establish tourist pathways and “Talmudic landmarks”, aiming to establish their alleged temple, preventing the Palestinian residents from burying their dead in this historic cemetery.

The committee warned against the danger on the holy city and towns and Al Aqsa Mosque especially after the escalating Israeli Judaization plans that aim to erase its Islamic and Christian Arab character.

The Committee criticized the passive attitude of Arabs and Muslims toward the Israeli Judaization’s systematic plans that could encourage Israeli greed in the area.

September 30, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Israeli Occupation seizes land from Bab al-Rahma Cemetery in Jerusalem

Israeli occupation forces arrest Palestinian Football player in West Bank, deport him to Gaza

Palestine Information Center – 30/09/2012

BETHLEHEM — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested at dawn on Saturday, a Palestinian football player from the Gaza Strip, who plays with Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus.

The occupation arrested the football player Ibrahim Wadi at Container checkpoint near Bethlehem in the southern West Bank while returning from a Football match in the city of Jenin northern West Bank, Amjad Jaffal, an official in the Mount Scopus club told Quds Press.

Jaffal stated that the Israeli soldiers detained a number of Football players and administrators, early Saturday morning, before being released and arrested the player Wadi, informing him that he will be deported to the Gaza Strip, noting that it was not known yet if he is already deported or still detained.

It is noted that the occupation prevents Palestinian players from the Gaza Strip from joining sports teams in the West Bank, where many of them were arrested and deported to Gaza, such as Mahmoud Sarsak, who tried to travel to the West Bank to join the national football team, and was detained administratively without charge or trial, and fought a hunger strike which lasted more than three months to be released to the Gaza Strip.

September 30, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Comments Off on Israeli occupation forces arrest Palestinian Football player in West Bank, deport him to Gaza

NAM demands that Israel join the NPT without further delay

Mehr News Agency | September 29, 2012

TEHRAN – The 120-nation Non-Aligned Movement on Friday demanded that Israel join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty without precondition and further delay.

The demand was made during the United Nations High Level Meeting on Countering Nuclear Terrorism in New York. The demand was read out by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on behalf of the NAM bloc.

Iran assumed the rotating presidency of NAM for a three-year term on August 30.

Following is the text of Salehi’s speech:

Messrs. Co-chairs,

1. I am honored to speak on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

2. The Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism reflects the success of multilateralism to which NAM attaches great importance. The movement values this opportunity to express its views on this subject of cotemporary interest.

3. NAM strongly and unequivocally condemns as criminal and rejects terrorism in all its forms and manifestations as well as all acts, methods, and practices of terrorism wherever, by whomever, against whomsoever committed, including those in which states are directly or indirectly involved, which are unjustifiable (no matter what) considerations or factors… may be invoked to justify them.

4. NAM expresses its satisfaction with the consensus among states on measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. NAM welcomes the adoption by consensus of the General Assembly Resolution 66/50 entitled “Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction” and underlines the need for this threat to humanity to be addressed within the UN framework and through international cooperation.

5. While stressing that the most effective way of preventing terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction is through the total elimination of such weapons, NAM emphasizes that progress is urgently needed in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation in order to help maintain international peace and security and to contribute to the global efforts against terrorism.

6. NAM calls upon all UN member states to support international efforts to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. It also urges all member states to take and strengthen national measures, as appropriate, to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and materials and technologies related to their manufacture.

7. While noting the adoption of resolution 1540 (2004), resolution 1673 (2006), resolution 1810 (2008) and resolution 1977 (2011) by the Security Council, NAM underlines the need to ensure that any action by the Security Council does not undermine the UN Charter and existing multilateral treaties on weapons of mass destruction and of international Organizations established in this regard as well as the role of the General Assembly.

8. NAM further cautions against the continuing practice of the Security Council to utilize its authority to define the legislative requirements for member states in implementing Security Council decisions. In this regard, NAM stresses the importance of the issue of non-state actors acquiring weapons of mass destruction to be addressed in an inclusive manner by the General Assembly, taking into account the views of all member states.

Messrs. Co-chairs,

9. The NAM emphasizes the need to improve national, regional, and international preparedness and response to nuclear accidents and calls for a strengthened role of the IAEA in emergency preparedness and response, including through assisting member states, upon their request, on emergency preparedness and response to nuclear accidents, promoting capacity building, including education and training in the field of crisis management.

10. The NAM underlines that measures and initiatives aimed at strengthening nuclear safety and nuclear security must not be used as a pretext or leverage to violate, deny, or restrict the inalienable right of developing countries to develop research, production, and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination.

11. NAM affirms the need to strengthen the radiological safety and protection systems at facilities utilizing radioactive materials as well as at radioactive waste management facilities, including the safe transportation of these materials. The movement reaffirms the need to strengthen existing international regulations relating to safety and security of transportation of such materials.

12. The primary responsibility for nuclear safety and nuclear security rests with the individual states. In that sense, NAM underlines that the states with nuclear power programs have a central role in their own countries in ensuring the application of the highest standards. NAM also emphasizes that the IAEA is the sole intergovernmental organization within the UN system with the mandate and expertise to deal with the technical subjects of nuclear safety and nuclear security.

13. NAM reaffirms the inviolability of peaceful nuclear activities and that any attack or threat of attack against peaceful nuclear facilities – operational or under construction- constitutes a grave violation of international law, principles and purposes of the UN Charter and regulations of the IAEA. NAM recognizes the urgent need for a comprehensive multilaterally negotiated instrument prohibiting attacks or threat of attacks on nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Messrs. Co-chairs,

14. NAM stresses its concern at the threat to humanity posed by the continued existence of nuclear weapons and of their possible use or threat of use. NAM reaffirms that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.

15. NAM reaffirms its principled positions on nuclear disarmament, which remains its highest priority, and on the related issue of nuclear non-proliferation in all its aspects. NAM stresses the importance that efforts aiming at nuclear non-proliferation should be parallel to simultaneous efforts aiming at nuclear disarmament.

16. NAM emphasizes that progress in nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation in all its aspects is essential to strengthening international peace and security.

17. NAM reiterates deep concern over the slow pace of progress towards nuclear disarmament and the lack of progress by the Nuclear-Weapon States (NWS) to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals in accordance with their relevant multilateral legal obligations. The movement reaffirms the importance of the unanimous conclusion of the ICJ (International Court of Justice) that there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and to bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control. In this regard, NAM underscores the urgent need to commence and to bring to a conclusion negotiations on comprehensive and complete nuclear disarmament without delay.

18. NAM reaffirms the importance of the application of the principles of transparency, irreversibility, and verifiability by the NWS in all measures related to the fulfillment of their nuclear disarmament obligations.

19. Pending the total elimination of nuclear weapons, NAM reaffirms the need for the conclusion of a universal, unconditional, and legally binding instrument on negative security assurances to all NNWS as a matter of high priority.

Messrs. Co-chairs,

20. NAM urges the UN Secretary General and the co-sponsors of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East, in consultation with the states of the region, to exert utmost efforts in ensuring the success of the Conference to be convened in 2012, to be attended by all states of the Middle East on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction. NAM stresses the need to avoid any further delay in convening this Conference.

21. NAM also demands (that) Israel, the only country in the region that has not joined the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) nor declared its intention to do so, to renounce possession of nuclear weapons, to accede to the NPT without precondition and further delay, and to place promptly all its nuclear facilities under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) full-scope safeguards.

22. NAM reiterates that the issues related to proliferation should be resolved through political and diplomatic means, and that measures and initiatives taken in this regard should be within the framework of international law, relevant conventions, and the UN Charter, and should contribute to the promotion of international peace, security, and stability.

23. Mindful of the threat posed to humankind by the existing weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons and underlining the need for the total elimination of such weapons, the movement reaffirms the need to prevent the emergence of new types of weapons of mass destruction, and therefore supports the necessity of monitoring the situation and triggering international action as required.

24. Finally, on behalf of the movement, I express the hope that the secretary general will duly reflect these views in his summary of today’s proceedings as well as the views of member states. Any possible follow-up should be inclusive and member state driven.

Thank you, Messrs. Co-chairs.

September 29, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , , , , | 11 Comments

Iran calls on UN to prevent nuclear terrorism

Mehr News Agency | September 29, 2012

TEHRAN – The Iranian foreign minister says a potential Israeli strike on its facilities would be “nuclear terrorism” and called on the United Nations to take action against those countries that have been carrying out acts of sabotage at Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Ali Akbar Salehi made the remarks in a speech during the United Nations High-level Meeting on Countering Nuclear Terrorism, which was held at the UN Headquarters in New York on Friday.

Salehi said the UN “should stick to its charter-based responsibilities and utilize its authority to act against those states undertaking cyber attacks and sabotage in the peaceful nuclear facilities, and (who) kill nuclear scientists of other countries.”

He added, “As a country (where) not only (its) nationals have been targeted by terrorist groups, but also its nuclear facilities have been subject to cyber attacks and foreign-backed sabotage, we attach special importance to the need to prevent nuclear terrorism.”

September 29, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , , | Comments Off on Iran calls on UN to prevent nuclear terrorism

Egypt officially rejects proposals for free trade zone with Gaza

MEMO | September 28, 2012

Official Palestinian sources have confirmed that Egypt has formally rejected proposals for the establishment of a free trade zone on its border with the Gaza Strip as a means of solving Gaza’s economic problems. The sources state that during Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh’s visit to Cairo last week, he was informed by the Egyptian authorities that their decision was based on the fact that such a move would isolate the Gaza Strip from the rest of the Palestinian territories as an independent entity.

The sources also pointed to Egyptian fears that a Gaza Strip made economically independent through the establishment of a free trade zone with Egypt would be exploited by Israel. It would be forcibly annexed to Egypt as a means of solving the demographic problem in the sector, at Egypt’s expense. Gaza would then be used to accommodate Palestinians returning from abroad, such as Palestinians fleeing the Syrian conflict and those returning from Lebanon.

September 29, 2012 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Professor Obama Lectures the Muslim World

Contradictions and Hypocrisy

By ESAM AL-AMIN | CounterPunch | September 29, 2012

On Sept. 25, Professor-turned President Barack Obama lectured the Muslim World and world leaders during his annual address before the United Nations.

The beautifully crafted speech of the Nobel peace laureate would have been believed – and better received—had it simply been genuine. The president’s appeal for rejecting violence, spreading peace among nations, while emphasizing the vital use of diplomacy in international relations, as well as his call for respecting the rule of law, due process, and cultural understanding were remarkable. But unfortunately, they were simply not credible.

In his speech, the president admonished the Muslim World by underscoring the important belief that people must “resolve their differences peacefully” and that “diplomacy” should take “the place of war.” Laudable words, but only if America practiced what it preaches.

In his seminal work “A Century of U.S. Interventions,” based on the Congressional Records and the Library of Congress’ Congressional Research Services, Zoltan Grossman chronicled 133 U.S. military interventions by the most active military in the history of the world, between 1890 and 2001. Similarly, William Blum’s study “A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower,” covered 67 interventions between 1945 and 2000 that, according to him, resulted in the deaths of 13-17 million people. In his book “The Fall of the U.S. Empire – And Then What?,” European intellectual Johan Galtung listed 161 incidents of American overt political violence between 1945 and 2001, including 67 military interventions, 25 bombings, 35 political assassinations (or attempted ones), 11 foreign countries that were assisted with torture, and 23 interferences with elections or the political process abroad. And all that was before the 9/11 attacks.

Since then, the U.S. military has been extremely busy, invading Iraq in 2003 under false pretenses and causing hundreds of thousands of casualties while creating millions of refugees. Before that, it invaded Afghanistan in 2001, causing tens of thousands of casualties in the longest war in U.S. history while still maintaining to this date over 70,000 soldiers on the ground. The U.S. has also been waging open warfare with the whole world as its theater of operations in the so-called “war on terror.” This endless war allowed the U.S. military to engage in undeclared military operations, violating the sovereignty of many countries in Asia and Africa including Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Djibouti, and numerous Sub-Saharan and West African countries. So much for peaceful conflict resolution and mutual respect between nations.

During that period, the Bush administration allowed (and the Obama administration has since refused to prosecute) the CIA to violate the sovereignty of allied countries including in Europe by authorizing the use of prison black sites, rendition, and torture. In one case, Italy tried and convicted in absentia twenty-three CIA operatives who violated its sovereignty when they kidnapped and rendered an Egyptian cleric to be tortured by the former Egyptian regime. Likewise, Germany condemned the U.S. intelligence agency for kidnapping and torturing one of its citizens of Lebanese descent. While Canada regretted and apologized for its role in rendering one of its citizens of Syrian descent, the U.S. – the country that actually carried out the rendition knowing that the subject would be tortured by the Syrian regime that it now enthusiastically condemns- still refuses to acknowledge its role, let alone apologize for the gross violation of its human rights obligations under international treaties.

Moreover, no American senior officials were ever held accountable for the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and torture in Iraq, or for waterboarding and other “harsh interrogation techniques” (read: torture) used against Muslim prisoners (the overwhelming number of whom were innocent bystanders according to legal and human rights organizations) at Guantanamo, Bagram, or elsewhere.

President Obama further stated in his scolding of Muslim world leaders that they needed to emulate the behavior of civilized nations that respect “the rule of law and due process that guarantees the rights of all people.” But such lofty rhetoric from the president might be very difficult to accept since he himself acted as prosecutor, judge, and executioner when he ordered the murder of several American citizens, including a cleric of Yemini descent and a magazine editor of Pakistani descent with a drone attack in Yemen. People across the Muslim world wondered why the rule of law was absent in these cases and why their due process rights did not apply. Even two weeks after their death, the cleric’s sixteen-year old son, also an American citizen with supposedly constitutional protections, and a child by international standards, was also assassinated in a separate drone attack. So much for due process or respect for human rights.

In fact, since Obama became president in 2009, dozens of innocent civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and else where have been killed each year. But rarely does the civilized nation apologize for killing innocent Muslim civilians because “America does not apologize” as many American politicians repeatedly love to say.

Furthermore, Obama’s commendable call for mutual respect among nations may have fallen on deaf ears because it was considered by many as disingenuous. As noted above, for years the U.S. has disrespected the sovereignty of Pakistan and Yemen as it assassinated many individuals, including U.S. citizens, on their soil without any regard for the national sovereignty of the host countries, which are not at war with the U.S. But Obama could not have dared to use a drone attack in the U.K. to kill a cleric of Egyptian descent, who the U.S. has been after for years. In the U.K., the U.S. simply asked the British to extradite him so that he could be tried on U.S. soil. So the U.K. gets every consideration while the administration only shows contempt for Yemen or Pakistan.

In his speech, the president lauded the “enshrined” American values of constitutional protections and freedom of speech, as he reminded his world audience that “citizens cannot be thrown in jail because of what they believe,” and that they should be allowed to “speak their minds and assemble without fear.” He then emphatically stated that in the U.S. “our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech.”

Yet Muslims around the world wondered where were these protections of freedom of  speech when several American Muslims were indicted and sentenced to as much as life in prison in the U.S. for exercising First Amendment activities, including an American Muslim pharmacist of Egyptian descent in Boston who was sentenced to seventeen years in 2012 for translating passages and uploading videos to the internet, and a cable operator of Pakistani descent who was sentenced to almost six years in 2004 for connecting his New York customers to Hezbollah’s satellite channel.

In many of these cases, government prosecutors speculated that the speech of the Muslim defendants was not protected because it could have led to violence even though no evidence was ever presented to support such a theory. Contrast that with the proven record of hate speech spewed by numerous American Islamophobes, many of whom were quoted extensively by anti-Muslim extremist Anders Breivik, who deliberately killed in cold blood 77 people in Norway in July 2011. In his 1500-page manifesto, Breivik cited many American anti-Muslim haters such as Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, Pamela Geller, Martin Kramer, and others. They apparently inspired him to commit the atrocious killings, though none were ever held, even morally, accountable, or subsequently condemned for their hateful inciting anti-Muslim speech.

Moreover, President Obama proudly affirmed his belief in “freedom and self-determination” and expounded that such concepts are “not unique to one culture,” since they are “not simply American values or Western values; they are universal values.” But these words ring hollow as the American president failed to explain to peoples around the world why the U.S. and its Western allies while steadfastly declaring that they “believe in these values” have continuously blocked freedom and self-determination, even symbolically at the United Nations, to the Palestinian people who have been suffering for over six decades either under brutal military occupation or in squalid refugee camps.

He further failed to justify why America has continued to fully arm and finance the tools that maintain and sustain the Israeli military occupation for decades, while shielding Israel’s atrocious policies against the unarmed Palestinian civilian population. Or why it protects Israel from any accountability for its illegal settlement activities and occupation in flagrant violations of international law and the Geneva conventions.

Towards the end of the speech, President Obama accused the Iranian government of supporting “terrorist groups” in the Middle East (none of which is known to have targeted the U.S.), while his administration has just delisted the Iranian terrorist group MEK, which has a bloody history and in recent years has been responsible for many terrorist attacks and assassinations inside Iran including the targeting of government officials, scientists, and academics.

Overlooking the fact that he started his speech by emphasizing peace and diplomacy, the president ended it by implicitly threatening Iran with war unless it accepts the dictates of the West as he stated that “the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon” since “it has failed to take the opportunity to demonstrate that its nuclear program is peaceful.”

Most Americans might simply be deceived by Israeli propaganda in regard to the Iranian nuclear program, but most of the citizens of the world are not oblivious to the facts or the double standard applied to this issue by the American administration and its Israeli ally. So here are the facts that the president is fully aware of but conveniently decided to totally ignore.

Israel is the only country in the Middle East that actually possesses nuclear weapons- over 300 nuclear warheads along with their delivery systems. Israel is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), while Iran is. Under the NPT, Iran not only has the right to have a robust civilian nuclear program, but the five recognized nuclear power countries have the obligation to help Iran develop one.

Moreover, Iran’s nuclear facilities have been fully and are currently under the IAEA inspection regime. Iran has repeatedly disavowed the use of nuclear arms and has only enriched its uranium stockpile to the civilian use level of twenty percent- not the ninety eight percent needed for weaponization. Moreover, since at least 2007 the consensus of the sixteen U.S. intelligence agencies has been that Iran abandoned any steps towards building a nuclear arms program. Finally, it was Iran that accepted the conditions set by President Obama in 2010 in his communication with the president of Brazil and prime minister of Turkey for Iran to prove its civilian use intentions. But it was Obama who subsequently backed away from the diplomatic solution as soon as Iran agreed to it, the same plan that he himself outlined to the world leaders.

When Obama arrived on the world stage in 2009, people the world over including many in the Muslim World had high hopes for real and genuine change. People were ready to turn the page on the painful years of the arrogant behavior of George W. Bush. But apparently the empire’s inertia overpowers the raised hopes of any false prophets.

Regrettably, with such self-aggrandizing posture, Obama’s tenure, whether it ends in four months or four years, will not conclude in celebration or optimism.  Rather, in all likelihood its ending may follow T. S. Eliot’s words: “This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.”

Esam Al-Amin can be contacted at alamin1919@gmail.com

September 29, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Militarism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Comments Off on Professor Obama Lectures the Muslim World

Police Provocateurs During Spanish Austerity Protests

Police Provocateurs being used in Spanish Austerity protests incite violence and dress like anarchists in order to facilitate the protests being shut down.

Police provocateurs were seen in the London riots, during the SPP protets in Montbello, Quebec, even during the Occupy LA protests.

Funny how the news media never seems to report on this.

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September 29, 2012 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Video | , , | 1 Comment