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What the Public Now Deserves to Know About the Mass Murder Incident by Passenger Jet

By Doug E. Steil | Aletho News | March 28, 2015

Andreas-Lubitz-CLO_3247460bAdverse side effects related to taking anti-depressant pharmaceutical drugs are well known. Numerous mass murders in conjunction with suicides were attributable to people who were under the influence of these drugs, which are being over-prescribed due to industry marketing pressure. (At least one in four women in the US are purportedly taking psychiatric medication.)

Nonetheless, according to Federal Aviation Authority regulations, pilots are not permitted to fly under the influence of such medication due to the harmful and potentially dangerous effects they can cause, including abnormal, self destructive, and violent behavior. This is simply a basic issue of public safety.

Today information has emerged that the co-pilot of Lufthansa’s German Wings subsidiary, Andreas Günther Lubitz, who had intentionally caused this crash in an act of mass murder, thereby killing 149 people in addition to himself, was suffering from severe depression and had prescriptions for various medications. He was under treatment and had been seen by neurologists and psychiatrists. They had written sickness notes that were subsequently found, according to which he was to have been on sick leave during the past week.

According to German law confidentiality between doctor and patient is not absolute but subject to exceptions, in which case there is a mandatory duty to inform authorities, including in instances when there is an overriding public interest, such as potentially impending danger of inflicted harm to others by the patient.

It ought to be assumed that they were aware of Lubitz’s occupation as an airline pilot. They had an obligation to notify appropriate authorities to ensure that Lubitz would not be permitted to fly and thereby pose a threat to passengers due to his mental condition and the effects of any medication they prescribed. Though the matter is still under investigation, it appears that the University Clinic in Dusseldorf, where he was undergoing “treatment”, may have acted as an accessory to mass murder by having willfully neglected their notification duty.

If it turns out that this was the case the physicians may be subject to criminal prosecution, and in any case the Dusseldorf University Clinic would need to prepare for a substantial class action civil suit for negligence, as will Lufthansa, for its own negligent behavior, namely having hired Lubitz while knowing of his past mental instability and then continuing to employ him under the special conditions of seeking continual medical supervision. In a press conference two days ago Lufthansa’s CEO thus misled the public in claiming that the co-pilot had been “100% fit to fly”.

The German media, many of which have protected the perpetrator’s privacy by refusing to publish his surname or obscuring the details of his face in published images, have been stalling on seeking answers to the key question: “How could this have happened?” Other media have also been stalling on getting to the heart of the matter, namely causes and proximate culpability. However, the general public does have a right to know the answers to these four questions now:

*  Were the treating physicians, including at the Dusseldorf University Clinic, aware that Lubitz was working as an airline pilot?

*  Did he ever suggest to physicians, however cryptically, to carry out some spectacular event for the sake of infamy, as he confided to a stewardess?

*  Exactly which medications did the physicians prescribe to him in what doses and ingestion frequency during his “treatments”, especially most recently?

*  Are pilots in Europe (and specifically at Lufthansa and affiliate airlines) strictly forbidden to fly under the influence of anti-depressant medication?

March 28, 2015 Posted by | Aletho News | 4 Comments

Child Rapes and “Sex Parties” by US Forces are Latest to Tarnish Plan Colombia’s Image

By Eileen O’Grady | CEPR Americas Blog | March 27, 2015

Plan Colombia has been on the lips of many U.S. officials lately, who tout the 15-year-old plan as a model to stabilize the country and promote human rights and transparency. This week, two new reports alleged sexual exploitation by U.S. security forces in Colombia, underscoring the detrimental (and hypocritical) role of Plan Colombia and U.S. military and police presence in the region.

A report [PDF]released Thursday by the U.S. Inspector General (IG) investigating the DEA found that DEA agents stationed in Colombia allegedly had “sex parties” with prostitutes bankrolled by drug cartels. This follows last month’s even more alarming report, commissioned to inform peace talk negotiations, that revealed sexual abuse of more than 54 young Colombian children at the hands of U.S. security forces between 2003 and 2007.

According to the IG report, Colombian police officers reportedly provided “protection for the DEA agents’ weapons and property during the parties.” It also states that “the DEA, ATF, and Marshals Service repeatedly failed to report all risky or improper sexual behavior to security personnel at those agencies” and expressed concern at the DEA’s general delay and unwillingness to comply with the investigation.

While the sex party report has garnered a fair amount of media attention, the Colombian report of sexual abuse has gone largely unmentioned. (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting points out that, although the claims in have received some international attention, there has been almost no coverage of the claims in the U.S. media.) That report was commissioned by the Colombian government and the FARC in an attempt to determine responsibility for the more than 7 million victims of Colombia’s armed conflict. It reported that U.S. military personnel sexually abused 53 young girls, filmed the assaults, and sold the footage as pornographic material. In another instance, a U.S. sergeant and a security contractor reportedly drugged and raped a 12-year-old girl inside a military base. The alleged rapists, U.S. sergeant Michael J. Coen and defense contractor Cesar Ruiz, were later flown safely out of the country, while the girl and her family were forced from their home after receiving threats from “forces loyal to the suspects,” as Colombia Reports described them.

So far, the abuse cases documented in last month’s report have been met with impunity, as Colombian prosecutors’ hands are tied by U.S.-Colombian agreements giving the U.S. security forces in Colombia immunity. (Many such instances have been reported previously to be met with similar impunity.) Similarly, in the “sex party” case, some of the 10 DEA agents that admitted to participating received between two and 10 days of suspension but no further discipline. William Brownfield, currently Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, was U.S. Ambassador to Colombia at the time, with oversight of the DEA.

Commenting on the IG report, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said, “Let there be no mistake, this is a national security threat. While the vast majority of employees do quality work, the bad apples highlighted in the report taint their service.’’ However, this isn’t the first time U.S. security forces in Colombia have been linked to such abuses, and the problem is not confined to these “bad apples.” They may take the blame for this particular case, but this is ultimately a systemic problem that must not be covered up.

Sex-crimes and gender-based violence are far from the only abuses perpetrated during the U.S.-led “War on Drugs,” of which Plan Colombia is a part, and represent deeper problems endemic to the U.S.’ heightened military presence in the region. While supporters of Plan Colombia tout its dedication to upholding transparency and security, reports of human rights violations committed by U.S.-trained-and-funded personnel continue to surface. Amnesty International has called the initiative a “failure in every respect,” and several reports show that extrajudicial killings have in fact increased since Plan Colombia went into effect in 2000. In a congressional briefing with CEPR last year, coordinator of the Human Rights Observatory of the Colombia-Europe-U.S. Coordination, Alberto Yepes, noted that between 2000 and 2010 there were 5,763 documented “false positive” extrajudicial civilian killings. This was over the same time period that the U.S. gave $6 billion in military assistance, supplying military advisors and training Colombian troops.

Amid such incriminating evidence of abuses by U.S. personnel and testimony of its flawed training programs, it seems clear that U.S. military and drug war “assistance” should be scaled back– or at the very least reassessed. These revelations should worry policy makers, considering perceptions of such actions condition how U.S. agents are received by other governments. The U.S. has been kicked out of Bolivia for using DEA agents to spy, and DEA agents are under investigation for an incident in which four Afro-indigenous civilians in Honduras were shot and killed from a helicopter, including a 14-year-old boy and a pregnant woman. Something is wrong with this picture.

However, not only does the State Department insist that Plan Colombia is a success, but Vice President Joseph Biden’s recently announced foreign assistance plan hopes to export the Plan Colombia model to Central America. As my colleague Alex Main has noted, proposed military assistance to Colombia under the Biden plan would remain at the same levels as in FY 2014, while funding for International Narcotics Control Law Enforcement assistance to Central America would more than double, from $100 million to $205 million. Such an increase seems to ignore the human rights implications foreshadowed by its model.

If the State Department hopes to avoid future sex party scandals and prevent its military from committing any more sex and abuse crimes, it should reevaluate its militarized approach to the drug war and the endemic impunity that this fosters.

March 28, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Militarism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 3 Comments

Spanish Congress Approves Draconian Laws Essentially Sending Spain Back to the Dark Ages

By Erin Gallagher | Revolution News | March 27, 2015

Yesterday three laws widely criticized by the opposition and human rights groups were approved in Spanish Congress. The Penal Code, the new Anti-Terror Law and the Law on Citizen Safety. The three new texts challenge freedom of expression in the streets and on the Internet. All three laws are scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2015.

Law on Citizen Safety (Gag Law)

“The gag law is revenge against social movements that emerged after 15M” – Patricia Martin, Avaaz

Under the new Citizen Safety Law or Ley Mordaza (Gag Law) as human rights defenders have renamed it, public protests, freedoms of speech and the press and documenting police abuses will become crimes punishable by heavy fines and/or jail. Some key points on the Ley Mordaza:

  • Photographing or recording police – 600 to 30.000€ fine.
  • Peaceful disobedience to authority – 600 to 30.000€ fine.
  • Occupying banks as means of protest – 600 to 30.000€ fine.
  • Not formalizing a protest – 600 to 30.000€ fine.
  • For carrying out assemblies or meetings in public spaces – 100 to 600€ fine.
  • For impeding or stopping an eviction – 600 to 30.000€ fine.
  • For presence at an occupied space (not only social centers but also houses occupied by evicted families) – 100 to 600€ fine.
  • Police black lists for protesters, activists and alternative press have been legalized.
  • Meeting or gathering in front of Congress – 600 to 30.000€ fine.
  • Appealing the fines in court requires the payment of judicial costs, whose amount depends on the fine.
  • It allows random identity checks, allowing for racial profiling of immigrants and minorities.
  • Police can now carry out raids at their discretion, without the need for “order” to have been disrupted.
  • External bodily searches are also now allowed at police discretion.
  • The government can prohibit any protest at will, if it feels “order” will be disrupted.
  • Any ill-defined “critical infrastructure” is now considered a forbidden zone for public gatherings if it might affect their functioning.
  • There are also fines for people who climb buildings and monuments without permission. (This has been a common method of protest from organizations like Greenpeace.)

The Gag Law will also affect internet freedoms as tweets calling for demonstrations or protests may be subject to penalties and fines for organizers. While an individual user may not be considered “an organizer” it could also be construed to include anyone who disseminates a call to protest through any media, including social media.

“This is the worst cut of rights and freedoms since the Franco regime,” – Virginia Pérez Alonso, PDLI

As the Ley Mordaza makes it illegal to publish photos of the police or other authorities without permission, sharing those images on social media could also be considered a felony resulting in a fine up to 30,000 euros.

Reform of the Penal Code (Código Penal)

Reforms to the Código Penal include some vague and controversial wording that could have wider implications involving copyright, cyberactivism and online porn. Below we will outline some of the points in question.

Copyright and Downloads

Reform of the Copyright Act was already approved but the new Penal Code reform also covers cases of copyright infringement imposing a penalty of six months to four years in prison for those who, among other things, “facilitate access or localization” of works that are being shared without permission of the owners with the intention of obtaining a direct or indirect financial gain.

Another controversial section refers to those who “intentionally store copies of works” to be aimed at public communication which is a crime. Article 270 mentions imprisonment for those who provide methods or systems to remove anti-copy protection of specific content.

The new Penal Code imposes imprisonment from six months to three years those who, for commercial purposes, manufacture, import, put into circulation, design, produce, adapt or perform to facilitate the removal or circumvention of any technical device that was used to protect computer programs or any other works.

Revenge Porn & Child Pornography

The new Penal Code imposes penalties for revenge porn and child pornography. Under Article 197 terms of incarceration for revenge porn range from three months to one year. Article 189 contains new wording regarding the definition of child pornography referring to any material whether real or simulated whose protagonist “seems to be a minor” except in cases where they are proven to have been eighteen years or older at the time of depiction. It also explains that “accessing a sexually explicit website containing content that appears to be a minor may be grounds for arrest and trial.”

Cyberactivism

Together with the Citizen Safety Act, the new Penal Code will also criminalize online activism and organizing imposing sentences between three months to one year to those who “emit slogans or messages”, “incite any offense of disorderly conduct,” incuding “disturbing the public peace.”

Distribution or public dissemination through any medium, of messages or slogans that incite the commission of any offense of disorderly conduct under Article 557 of the Penal Code, or serve to reinforce the decision to carry them out shall be punished with a fine of three to twelve months or imprisonment from three months to a year.

Anti-Terrorism Law

After the Charlie Hebdo attacks in France, Partido Popular and PSOE reached an agreement to amend the criminal code on terrorism which was also approved yesterday in Congress. The law again contains some vague language which leaves room for interpretation.

The new law uses a broad definition of “terrorism”: Among other things, cybercrime is now considered a terrorist act if the goal is to disrupt and/or disturb the public peace or cause a state of terror. For example, an attack on a Ministry website will now be a terrorist attack.

Viewing web pages with content targeted for or deemed as “suitable for terrorists” in a habitual manner can carry a penalty of two to five years in prison, but the law does not specify what is “habitual” or which websites are being targeted.

By expanding the definition of terrorism, it also expands what can be considered “glorifying terrorism” which can include for example tweeting certain content.

Glorification and public justification of crimes under Articles 572-577 or those who participated in its execution or performance of acts involving disrepute, contempt or humiliation of victims of terrorist offenses or their families, shall be punished with imprisonment of one to three years and a fine of twelve to eighteen months.

Paying for technological services could now be considered collaborating with terrorists.

Shall be punished with imprisonment from five to ten years and fined eighteen to twenty four months which takes place, soliciting or facilitating any act of collaboration with the activities or purposes of an organization, group or terrorist element, or commit any of the offenses covered by this chapter. In particular acts of collaboration of information or surveillance of individuals, […] the provision of technology services, and any other equivalent form of cooperation or assistance to the activities of organizations or terrorist groups, groups or individuals for the preceding paragraph.

Blocking content: The judge may order any service provider (search engines, etc.) to remove links to illegal content related to terrorism.

If the facts were committed through services or content accessible through the Internet or electronic communications services, the judge or court may order the removal of content or illicit services. Alternatively, you can order the service providers to withdraw illegal content, the search engines to abolish links pointing to them and providers of electronic communications services to prevent access to illegal content or services provided if they fulfill the following assumptions: a) When the measure is proportionate to the gravity of the facts and relevant information and necessary to prevent its spread. b) When it exclusively or predominantly diffuses the contents to which are referred to in the previous paragraphs.

Essentially, Spanish citizens should throw their computers out the windows, smash their hard drives to bits and never log on to the internet ever again. Forget about public organizing and any press freedoms that previously existed will be sharply curtailed once the new trifecta of insanely repressive laws goes into effect this coming July.

Sources:
xataka
eldiario.es

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March 28, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment

Youth shot by Israel for waving flag and flashing V sign

Palestine Information Center – March 28, 2015

58101013Anas Qdeh, 21, had no idea that waving the Palestinian flag and flashing the V sign is a crime for which he will be shot by the Israeli Occupation forces (IOF) which fired explosive bullets directly at his legs while he was with scores of citizens about 10 meters away from the security fence separating Khan Younis from 1948 occupied lands.

We will never give up on our land

Qdeh told the PIC reporter: “On Friday March 20, I headed to our land east of al-Sanati in Greater Abasan where many youths gather every Friday to stress that this is our land and that we will never give up on it even if Israel isolated it.

The IOF imposed a buffer zone adjacent to the security fence along the borderline with the Gaza Strip stretching for distances ranging from 300-700 meters deep into the Strip and shoots whoever enters it.

Qdeh clarified the circumstances of his injury saying: “One of my friends wanted to take a picture of me waving the Palestinian flag with the V sign while we were in our land which the IOF is preventing us from reaching in Greater Abasan east of Khan Younis. However, the IOF soldiers started shooting at us and I was hit with an explosive bullet.”

Explosive bullet

The bullet hit one of the youth’s legs, and the shrapnel scattered to hit his other leg and his cousin Fawzi Qdeh who was nearby. Anas lied on the ground profusely bleeding before he was rushed to hospital to be urgently treated.

His cousin Fawzi Qdeh, 23, said with a smile drawn on his face that a piece of shrapnel is still lodged in his left shoulder and doctors told him that it is difficult to extract it at this stage.

He clarified that he was rearing his goats in al-Santai lush fields, and when he saw the youths gathering and chanting he joined them to see what was going on and to take photos.

Every Friday, scores of Palestinians spontaneously gather near the security fence waving flags and chanting anti-Israel slogans.

March 28, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 3 Comments

Israeli forces briefly hold, threaten Ramallah governor

Ma’an – 28/03/2015

RAMALLAH – Israeli forces briefly detained the governor of the Ramallah and al-Bireh district, Laila Ghannam, at the entrance of Nabi Saleh village in the northern Ramallah district on Saturday.

Soldiers reportedly threatened the governor of “direct targeting” if she continues to participate in the weekly march organized by the popular committee against settlements and the separation wall in Nabi Saleh.

Ghannam said “we will not be frightened of detention even if we are directly targeted; we will take part in the weekly march and will not be prevented from exercising our rights on our land.”

Ghannam was detained in a similar incident in February last year while travelling from Jericho to Ramallah.

She said then that her detention was a political message from the Israeli government to PA leaders that Israel wants to impose its authority in every way possible.

girl-faces-soldier-Nabi-560x600The people of Nabi Saleh have been protesting weekly for five years, demanding that land confiscated by Israeli authorities to build the separation wall be returned.

Earlier this month, a local activist committee reported that 11 Palestinians were injured during the weekly march when Israeli forces shot one Palestinian with live fire and beat ten others.

Three activists were also reportedly detained by Israeli forces during the march.

In 2004, the International Court of Justice called on Israel to stop construction of the separation wall within the occupied West Bank.

When completed, 85 percent of the wall will run inside the West Bank.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.

Photo of Nabi Saleh girl injured by Israeli occupation forces during weekly demonstration on March 21, 2015, by International Solidarity Movement.

March 28, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli forces conduct military training in Palestinian town

Ma’an – 28/03/2015

BETHLEHEM – Israeli forces conducted military training exercises in the Ramallah district earlier this week, according to Israeli media.

The Israeli force’s Territorial Brigade allegedly raided the town of Birzeit, just outside the central West Bank city of Ramallah, in what was reported by Israeli news source Haaretz as “preparation for a possible escalation on the ground.”

The forces engaged in a variety of potential scenarios including confronting violent mass demonstrations, shooting attacks, and use of live fire by members of Palestinian security forces.

While Haaretz reported the exercise was planned with the intention to cause “relatively little disruption to the routine of Palestinian life,” the account included a training exercise in the home of a Birzeit University college student, whose house was searched during the night while he stood in his pajamas with an Israeli soldier.

An Israeli army spokeswoman did not have any immediate information about the training, but told Ma’an she would look into recent military training activity in the area.

Birzeit is in Area A, falling under full control of the Palestinian Authority. Israeli forces repeatedly enter Area A despite their obligation by the Oslo Accords not to do so, most often in military raids launched on a near nightly basis to detain Palestinians.

Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din reported that Israeli forces have upheld the practice of using populated Palestinian areas for Israeli military drills since at least 2007.

The group filed a complaint against the Israeli Military Advocate General’s Corps in 2013, arguing that such military exercises “sow fear and panic and violate the security and dignity of the residents,” particularly because exercises are often not announced to Palestinian locals in advance, and thus it is not always clear to nearby residents that these are mere drills.

Legal Advisor for the West Bank declared in February 2014 that military training exercises were no longer authorized to be held in Palestinian villages without giving prior notification to the civilian population, however the rights group continues to criticize the practice.

March 28, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 2 Comments

Manipulating security narratives and the two-state paradigm

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By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | March 27, 2015

The US obsession with manipulating security narratives for political purposes has recently been manifested in Obama’s Executive Order dated 9 March, 2015 in which he declared Venezuela to be “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”. Alleged threats by socialist governments against the US have been regurgitated throughout the decades – a trend which, although within a different context, has also been absorbed within Israel’s colonial narrative against Palestinians.

While the political scenario is different, both Venezuela and Palestine have faced the application of human rights discourse in an attempt to divert attention away from resistance struggles. As Venezuela battles the US-funded opposition and violence against the Bolivarian Revolution established by Hugo Chavez, Palestine is relegated to oblivion through the US’s and Israel’s collective efforts to raise security concerns above the reality of colonial surveillance and the usurpation of territory.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal discussed US foreign policy with regard to Israel and Netanyahu’s refusal to consider a hypothetical Palestinian state. The article quoted US President Barack Obama as stating that: “We [the US] can’t continue to premise our public diplomacy based on something that everybody knows is not going to happen at least in the next several years.”

Once again, Obama hailed the two-state “solution” as “the best path forward for Israel’s security, for Palestinian aspirations and for regional stability.” Prioritising Israel’s security was also amalgamated into the prospect of a possible nuclear deal with Iran: “I have confidence that if there’s an agreement, it’s going to be a good agreement that’s good for American security, and Israel’s security and the region’s security.”

Despite the alleged political differences between Obama and Netanyahu that have been cited in mainstream media, the agreement to consolidate Israel’s colonial presence in the region remains evident. The issue of “security” as narrated by both Israel and the US remains a global issue, while Palestinians struggle to make their own articulations of independence and resistance heard as their narrative is suffocated by the prioritisation of Israel’s alleged concerns; not to mention the PA’s willingness to collaborate in this endeavour.

Whatever differences might emerge between Obama and Netanyahu, it is clear that US support for a diminished Palestinian state will not veer away from the farcical Oslo Accords. Hence Obama’s insistence upon supporting an illusion of statehood that is based upon flawed notions of Palestinian independence and the further colonial entrenchment of Israel.

According to Haaretz, UN Middle East Envoy Robert Serry urged the Security Council to work upon a framework that would address Israel’s settlement expansion, as it “may kill the very possibility of reaching peace on the paradigm of two states for two peoples.”

The paradigm, however, is already flawed. Without decolonisation, Palestinians will be unable to achieve their self-determination and independence – issues that the international community is unwilling to collaborate upon due to intrinsic complicity in aiding Israel’s oppressive policies against Palestinians. It should be remembered that the PA’s repetitive efforts in presenting draft resolutions based upon compromise have been rejected by the UN Security Council. Therefore, it is unlikely that – beyond fuelling further futile rhetoric – the two-state hypothesis will serve any purpose other than providing a constant clause for Israel’s perpetual lament regarding “security concerns”.

March 28, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Leave a comment

America’s Anti-ISIS Gambit Falling Apart

By Brandon Martinez | Non-Aligned Media | March 27, 2015

When the United States began its so-called ‘war on ISIS’ back in August of 2014, I immediately inferred that the campaign was completely fraudulent.

In an August 2014 article titled “ISIS, Israel and US duplicity,” I posited that US airstrikes against the terrorist outfit in Iraq and Syria would be deliberately ineffective. I even opined that Washington would aim some of its bombs at Iraqi government and aligned forces fighting against ISIS and then claim these incidents are accidental – a duplicitous but prototypical US strategy of playing both sides against the middle. I asked:

How do we really know what the US is doing in Iraq at the moment? How do we know that they really are carrying out strikes against ISIS? How do US forces know who is ISIS and who isn’t? Do ISIS members wear bright pink uniforms so that they stand out in a crowd and can thus be precision targeted by American fighter jets? For all we know, these air strikes could be targeting Iraqi army and police forces that are fighting against ISIS militants. Maybe the plan is to covertly help ISIS fragment and destabilize Iraq and exacerbate the country’s misery.

Recent occurrences prove me right.

In the middle of this month, 22 Iraqi soldiers were killed by a US airstrike in the western province of Anbar. Russia Today reported: “The soldiers were killed … when an airplane bombed the HQ of an army company near Ramadi, a city in central Iraq, about 110 kilometers west of Baghdad.”

Middle East expert Kevork Almassian told RT that the US is deliberately targeting Iraqi forces to slow their advance against ISIS. “If the Iraqi forces succeeded in crushing and eliminat[ing] these terrorist elements from that area, the Iraqi government will empower its position and the Iranians will empower their position in the Middle East,” Almassian said, suggesting that the US seeks to undermine the burgeoning Iraqi-Iranian alliance.

The Americans killed another nine Shiite militiamen in a recent airstrike in Tikrit, prompting a boycott of continued US involvement in the campaign by thousands of Iraqi fighters. The New York Times reported: “Thousands of Shiite militiamen boycotted the fight, others threatened to attack any Americans they found, and Iraqi officials said nine of their fighters had been accidentally killed in an airstrike.”

The NYT quoted Nujabaa Brigade Commander Akram al-Kabi who said “we are going to target the American-led coalition in Tikrit and their creation, ISIS.” NYT also quoted Moktada al-Sadr, the leader of a powerful Shiite militia, who similarly observed that, “The participation of the so-called international alliance is to protect ISIS on the one hand, and to confiscate the achievements of the Iraqis on the other hand.” Another militia leader Naeem al-Uboudi told the Times that the Americans could not be trusted because “[i]n the past, they have targeted our security forces and dropped aid to ISIS by mistake.”

Many are doubting that these US airstikes that have killed Shiite militiamen and Iraqi soldiers, as well as airdrops of weapons that have been picked up by ISIS, were a “mistake” at all. In fact, Iraqi political and military leaders have been saying all along that the Americans and their coalition partners are not seriously trying to combat ISIS, but are clandestinely supporting the group against the Iran-aligned regime in Baghdad.

A March 18 Fars News Agency report unveiled that the Iraqis had wiretapped ISIS communications, and discovered direct contact between ISIS and the Americans. The intercepted correspondences proved previous reports that the US has been purposely airdropping weapons and food supplies to ISIS fighters in many Iraqi provinces.

“The wiretapped ISIL communications by Iraqi popular forces have revealed that the US planes have been dropping weapons and foodstuff for the Takfiri terrorist group,” the Commander of Iraq’s Ali Akbar Battalion told FNA. The FNA report noted that Hakem al-Zameli, the head of Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee, “also disclosed that the anti-ISIL coalition’s planes have dropped weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL in Salahuddin, Al-Anbar and Diyala provinces.” Numerous other Iraqi officials are on-the-record accusing US and coalition forces of aiding and abetting ISIS, and are quoted at length in the FNA report.

Washington’s overarching game-plan seems to be to contain the Shiite ascendancy in the region, which recently spread to Yemen where Shiite Houthi militias deposed the American/Saudi puppet regime in Sanaa in February. In response to that small victory, America’s Gulf puppets led by Saudi Arabia have launched an air offensive against the Houthis, proving once again that the US and its regional stooges are the principal problem, and must be completely ejected from power if justice is to prevail.

Copyright 2015 Non-Aligned Media

March 28, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

UN staff, diplomats evacuated from Yemen as 24 killed in airstrikes

RT | March 28, 2015

Some 100 UN staff and more than 80 foreign diplomats have been evacuated from Yemen, following the night of intensive airstrikes by Saudi-led forces. Twenty-four people were killed and 43 injured over the last 24 hours, the Yemeni Interior Ministry said.

Among those killed and injured were Yemeni troops, police, security forces and civilians, the ministry said in a statement, cited by the state news agency Saba. Fourteen buildings were destroyed, it added.

The deteriorating security situation has led to the United Nations evacuating its estimated 100 staff from the capital, Sanaa, a source within the UN told Reuters.

Saudi Arabian Defense Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman Saud said earlier on Saturday that three Saudi aircraft were sent to evacuate a UN mission in Sanaa, according to Al Arabiya.

The same news outlet reported that 86 Arab and Western diplomats were evacuated by Saudi Arabia’s navy from Yemen’s southern city of Aden. The evacuation mission involved two navy ships, as well as planes and commandos.

The diplomats were reportedly taken to Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea port of Jeddah.

Massive evacuations were preceded by a night of airstrikes on the capital of Sanaa, described as “unprecedentedly strong” by a witness, who spoke to Sputnik news agency. The strikes were reported to have targeted military bases in Sanaa, including the base of the Yemeni Republican Guard and a missile depot.

The airstrikes lasted “all through the night and stopped at dawn,” a resident told Reuters.

Early Saturday morning Saudi-led air forces attacked a convoy of Houthi armored vehicles, tanks and military trucks that were on their way to the port city of Aden in southern Yemen. Aden had served as a refuge to ousted President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who fled Yemen on Thursday.

Shiite Houthi forces shot down a Saudi Arabia-led coalition jet in the north of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, Al Mayadeen TV channel reported, adding that a Sudanese pilot was arrested.

Two Saudi pilots, who ejected over the Red Sea late on Friday, after their fighter plane suffered a “technical problem” were rescued with US assistance, Reuters reported citing the Saudi Press Agency.

The Yemeni Interior Ministry has in its Saturday statement described the Saudi-led airstrikes as a “flagrant violation of Yemen’s sovereignty”. All military units have been ordered to “intensify their combat readiness to counter aggression,” the statement said.

Saudi King Salman meanwhile addressed the summit of Arab leaders in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh, saying that the military campaign in Yemen against Houthi fighters would continue until its targets are achieved. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi has called for the creation of a joint Arab army and said the military campaign in Yemen should last until Houthis capitulate.

March 28, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, Video, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

US has to climb down on sanctions to reach Iran deal: Gareth Porter

Press TV – March 28, 2015

The United States has to make an “extraordinary climb-down” on the issue of sanctions in order to reach a comprehensive agreement with Iran over its nuclear energy program, an American investigative journalist says.

Gareth Porter, a historian, journalist, author and policy analyst specializing in US national security policy, made the remarks in his article, titled “Sanctions and the Fate of the Nuclear Talks,” published on Friday by Middle East Eye, an online news portal covering events in the Middle East.

“The Obama administration won’t get the signed agreement that it is seeking with the quantitative limits to which Iran has agreed if a detailed agreement on lifting sanctions is not reached as well,” said the author of the Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare.

“And that won’t happen unless the P5+1 makes an extraordinary climb-down from its starting position on the issue,” he added.

Iran and the P5+1 –  the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany – are engaged in intense negotiations to work out a comprehensive agreement aimed at ending the longstanding dispute over the Islamic Republic’s civilian nuclear work as a July 1 deadline draws closer.

Sources close to the Iranian negotiating team say the main stumbling block to resolving the Western dispute over Iran’s nuclear issue is the timetable for the lifting of anti-Iran sanctions.

Iran and the US have reported progress in the negotiations but have said that they are not rushing to reach the deal just for the sake of beating the self-imposed end-March deadline for a framework agreement.

Porter said that the fate of the talks hangs on closing the gap between the two sides on removing sanctions imposed against Iran.

He stated that the issues related to Iran’s civilian nuclear program have now been more or less resolved, but the issue of sanctions relief is still very much there.

Porter wrote that “all the evidence indicates that the two sides have not advanced beyond where they were last November, when they were very far apart.”

He said that the Obama administration wrongly believes that Iran is negotiating with the P5+1 because sanctions are seriously hurting its economy.

Porter wrote that Washington “fails to grasp the depth of Iranian commitment to removing the sanctions as a matter of national pride as well as to be able to achieve a higher level of economic development.”

He said the “myopic perspective” of the US and its allies is part of the problem, adding that they “intend to maintain the ‘sanctions architecture’ in place for many years after the implementation of the agreement has begun.”

In adopting such a policy, the investigative journalist said, “the Obama administration is following precisely the course outlined by Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), the neoconservative think tank whose outputs align completely with Israeli interests.”

Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

He revealed that Dubowitz designed the anti-Iran sanctions which were approved by Congress in late 2011 and he “strongly influenced the administration’s sanctions policy for the entire Joint Plan of Action period.”

March 28, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment