Aletho News


Saudi Supreme Court approves Sheikh Nimr death penalty

Press TV – October 25, 2015

Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has approved the death penalty for prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, his brother says.

Mohammad al-Nimr, the prominent cleric’s brother, said in a message on social media on Sunday that the Saudi Supreme Court and an appellate court had approved the execution of the Shia cleric and authorized the Saudi Interior Ministry to carry out the sentence.

The execution warrant has been reportedly sent to Muhammad bin Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Saudi crown prince, who is also the first deputy prime minister and the minister of interior of Saudi Arabia.

The warrant will now be sent to Saudi Arabia’s ruler Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud after the approval of the Interior Ministry.

To be implemented, the warrant must be approved by the Saudi king.

The execution of the Shia cleric can be carried out by the Interior Ministry without any prior warning if the Saudi king signs the order.

Nimr was attacked and arrested in the Qatif region, east of Saudi Arabia, in July 2012, and has been charged with undermining the kingdom’s security, making anti-government speeches, and defending political prisoners. Nimr has denied the accusations.

In October 2014, a Saudi court sentenced Sheikh Nimr to death, provoking huge condemnations and criticism in the Middle East and the world.

Ali Mohammed Baqir al-Nimr, the nephew of the prominent Saudi Shia cleric, has also been also sentenced to death over his alleged role in anti-regime protests in 2012, when he was 17 years old.

“We don’t want anything to happen to him or to Ali or the other young men,” Mohammed al-Nimr said.

Ali Mohammad was arrested during an anti-government protest in Qatif and was later convicted of alleged criminal activities and handed down a death penalty by Saudi Arabia’s Specialized Criminal Court in May 2015.

Peaceful demonstrations erupted in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province in February 2011, with protesters demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners and an end to widespread discrimination against people of the oil-rich region. Several people have been killed and many others have been injured or arrested during the demonstrations.

International rights bodies, including Amnesty International, have criticized Saudi Arabia for its grim human rights record, arguing that widespread violations continue unabated in the oil-rich country even though a new ruler, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has taken the helm of the absolute monarchy.

October 25, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Trident trap: Replacement of UK’s nuclear subs ‘to cost £167 billion, exceeding all expectations’

RT | October 25, 2015

The overall cost of replacing and maintaining Britain’s nuclear submarine fleet will reach 167 billion pounds ($256 billion), far exceeding initial expectations, Cameron’s Conservative party lawmakers told Reuters.

The final decision on replacing the UK’s four aging nuclear subs is due to be made in 2016, with Prime Minister David Cameron being a strong backer of continuing the country’s at-sea nuclear deterrent.

The British government had said earlier that the purchase of new Vanguard-class vessels, which are capable of carrying Trident missiles, would require around 15-20 billion pounds, without specifying estimated maintenance costs.

However, Minister of State for Defense Procurement Philip Dunne said on Friday that the price tag for the state-of-the-art submarines will come in at around 25 billion pounds.

The new figures were revealed in Dunne’s written parliamentary response to fellow Conservative party lawmaker Crispin Blunt’s request.

According to the response, the in-service costs would amount to about 6 percent of the annual defense budget, which now stands at around 34 billion pounds, over the vessels’ lifetime.

Blunt used the data provided by the Defense Ministry to calculate the total cost of the project, which he said will be “167 billion pounds.”

“My office’s calculation based on an in-service date of 2028 and a missile extension until 2060,” the MP told Reuters.

“The successor Trident program is going to consume more than double the proportion of the defense budget of its predecessor… The price required, both from the UK taxpayer and our conventional forces, is now too high to be rational or sensible,” Blunt stressed.

The lawmaker’s figure was based on the presumption that the UK will spend 2 percent of its annual GDP on defense, as Cameron has promised, and a forecast that the country’s GDP will grow 2.48 percent on average every year between 2020 and 2060.

Reuters said that they had repeated the calculations using the same numbers and conditions and also come to the same result – 167 billion pounds.

The Defense Ministry defended the rise in cost, saying that there was no alternative to the Trident-based nuclear deterrent in terms of both price and capability.

“At around 6 percent of the annual defense budget, the in-service costs of the UK’s national deterrent … are affordable and represent an investment in a capability which plays an important role in ensuring the UK’s national security,” the ministry stressed.

However, there is strong opposition to prolonging the Trident program in Britain, with critics suggesting that the money would better spent on families facing austerity.

The main Labour Party remains split on the issue, as its new leader, Jeremy Corbyn, doesn’t share the majority’s support for replacing the nuclear subs.

In late-September, Corbyn said he was “opposed to using nuclear weapons” and wouldn’t use the Trident system even if it was at his disposal.

The leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), Nicola Sturgeon, has said that the renewal of Trident “is unjustified. It is unaffordable. It is immoral.”

READ MORE: ‘Get rid of Trident or back Tory WMD’: SNP calls on Scottish Labour ‘to be straight with people’

“Be in no doubt. The SNP will stand against Trident – today, tomorrow and always,” Sturgeon promised at the party’s conference earlier this month.

Last year, a poll by the Guardian newspaper revealed that 79 percent of British voters believe that UK shouldn’t renew its Trident program.

October 25, 2015 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | | Leave a comment

New nuclear: Finland’s cautionary tale for the UK

By Sophie Yeo | Carbon Brief | October 20, 2015

Finland has a 15-year-old problem called Olkiluoto 3. This nuclear plant was once the bright star of Finland’s energy future and Europe’s nuclear renaissance.

It was seen as a key component in Finland’s plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 and end reliance on foreign imports of electricity, even during its long, dark Arctic winters. It is supposed to provide Finland with a low-carbon source of electricity for at least 60 years.

A 2006 article in the Telegraph spoke of the rebirth of Finnish love for nuclear power, describing the Olkiluoto site in phrases that could have been lifted from a pastoral poem: a “Baltic island of foraging swans”, “pine-scented” air and “unusually large salmon.”

But this source of hope has turned sour. Olkiluoto 3 — almost unpronounceable to non-Finns — is now nine years behind schedule and three times over budget.

It has been subject to lawsuits, technology failure, construction errors and miscommunication. A rift between the companies behind the plant has been described as “one of the biggest conflicts in the history of the construction sector”.

At best, it has been a turbulent lift-off to the lauded rebirth of nuclear power in western Europe. For the UK, which hopes to be a part of this renaissance, the story of Olkiluoto 3 offers a cautionary tale.


The story of Olkiluoto 3 began in 2000, when Finnish utilities company TVO first applied to build a new nuclear power unit, in an attempt to wean the country off foreign imports of electricity and supply a new source of low-carbon energy.

In 2002, Finland’s parliament granted its permission, voting 107-92 in favour of the new unit. And in December 2003, Finland became the first country in Western Europe to order a new nuclear reactor in 15 years.

This was welcome news to nuclear supporters. Nuclear power stagnated in the 1990s, with accidents in Three Mile Island and Chernobyl in the ’70s and ’80s creating jitters about the risks of the industry, while the economic costs of building plants created nervousness among investors in newly liberalised energy markets. Olkiluoto 3 was seen as the sign that European nuclear was set for a revival.

With its new-and-improved Generation III+ technology, Olkiluoto 3 was meant to be safer and more efficient, as well as cheaper and faster to build than its predecessors — an ageing European fleet of Generation II plants built in the 1970s and 80s.

The 2014 World Nuclear Industry Status report points out that the former enthusiasm surrounding Generation III reactors has “dissolved”. Some proponents of nuclear power have argued that even these supposedly new-and-improved plants ought to be put aside for an even more modern round of Generation IV plants — technology that is still being developed, with China currently planning the world’s first in the province of Jiangxi.

It was decided that Olkiluoto Island in western Finland would host the new plant, where the Gulf of Bothnia could cool the steam used to turn the turbines and generate electricity. It would sit alongside two of Finland’s four existing nuclear plants (intuitively called Olkiluoto 1 and 2).

Olkiluoto 3 would use a new type of technology called a European Pressurised Reactor (EPR), which France has also since adopted for a new nuclear plant. China is building two EPRs, as well.

The plan was that Olkiluoto 3 should have a capacity of 1,600 megawatts. It would cost €3bn and come online in 2009.

Animation illustrating the operating principles of nuclear power plant units. Source: TVO.

Construction problems

It is now 2015, and Finland still does not have its new nuclear plant.

The companies behind the project are at loggerheads. TVO is seeking compensation from Areva in court, the company responsible for supplying the reactor and turbine, and Areva is pursuing a counterclaim.

Herkko Plit, the deputy director of Finland’s energy department, tells Carbon Brief:

“I don’t think there’s anybody who can say they are pleased with the project.”

Construction started in August 2005. The problems started early, with the incorrect laying of the concrete base slab — a structure that is supposed to be able to withstand the weight of the entire power plant collapsing on it.

This was accompanied by errors in the manufacture of the steel liner — the part of the unit that is responsible for preventing the release of radioactive materials into the environment, and is supposed to be able to withstand forces such as an aeroplane crash.

In 2006, the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) conducted an investigation into the construction of the plant, following concerns about its safety culture.

The resulting report gives a variety of reasons for the problems encountered. Top of that hefty list comes problems with subcontractors responsible for carrying out much of the manufacturing work.

Many of the organisations chosen to work on the different parts of the plant did not have any experience in nuclear, and little understanding of the safety requirements.

One of the people interviewed for that report said that, “as safety culture is a concept usually associated with plants that are in operation, it has been difficult for them to understand what it could mean at the construction stage”.

While such issues had not compromised the safety of the plant, the report concluded that they were responsible for some of the first delays to the plant.

The nervous system”

Later came problems with the instrumentation and control system, which is for monitoring and control. The International Atomic Energy Agency describes it as “the nervous system” of the plant.

This was finally approved in 2014, after four years of “exchanges” with TVO, as Areva put it. In August 2015, these cabinets were finally delivered to the site. Pasi Tuohimaa, TVO’s head of communications, tells Carbon Brief :

“Now we can see the trail towards the end. This autumn, we will have all this automation installed, and next year we apply to have it opened, and then we start testing it and loading the fuel.”

The good news precipitated a rare moment of harmony in the bitter feud between Areva and TVO. The rivals held their first joint press conference to mark the occasion. “It’s such a big milestone for both of us,” TVO’s Tuohimaa adds.

Who will suffer?

TVO signed a contract with Areva for the plant — a one-off payment of €3.2bn, covering the EPR and other costs. Such contracts are rare in nuclear power plants, due to the construction risks associated with the technology.

At the time, it was seen as an expression of confidence in the industry. For Areva, the opportunity to build an EPR in Finland offered a chance to show that nuclear could survive and become competitive in the liberalised Scandinavian energy market — a boost for the company, which has not managed to sell a reactor since 2007.

The turnkey contract meant spiralling costs of the Olkiluoto 3 plant have fallen at Areva’s door. This has been the subject of a bitter dispute between TVO and Areva.

Areva maintains that TVO’s “inappropriate behaviour” has been responsible for the delays, and that the utility company should, therefore, be liable for the multi-billion euro cost overruns. Meanwhile, TVO says Areva is responsible for failing to build the plant according to schedule. It has called the delays “hard to accept.”

The compensation claims, as well as the costs of the plant itself, keep spiralling upwards. In August 2015, TVO raised its claim against Areva to €2.6bn from its previous €2.3bn, and €1.8bn before that. In October 2014, Areva raised its own claim against TVO to €3.5bn from €2.6bn. The case is being dealt with in the International Chamber of Commerce‘s arbitration court.

Nonetheless, Areva has been forced to accept losses. The company, which hasn’t turned a profit since 2010, recorded net losses of €4.8bn in 2014, largely due to Olkiluoto. It has agreed to sell a majority stake in its nuclear reactor business to EDF.

If the lawsuit turns against TVO, it could be Finland’s industry that feels the pain. The utilities company is owned by shareholders that buy the right to use the electricity produced by the power station.

Its majority shareholder, for instance, is Pohjolan Voima Oy — a Finnish energy company that provides power to its shareholders, including two pulp and paper manufacturers, which pay for the production cost of the electricity.

Such industries could buckle under the inflated costs of electricity, which could end up more expensive than the electricity bought from the joint Nordic “pool”, says Stephen Thomas, professor of energy policy at the University of Greenwich. He tells Carbon Brief :

“It’s a big problem, because if you put up the price for householders, they will squeal and complain, but they’ll probably pay. If you’re an aluminium smelter and 60% of your costs is buying electricity, if that electricity is 50% too expensive, you’re out of business.”

Future of Finnish nuclear

Despite the trials and tribulations of Olkiluoto 3, Finland does not seem to have been swerved from its nuclear path.

Another nuclear power plant is planned for the north of Finland. Hanhikivi 1 will be the first nuclear power plant from another power consortium Fennovoima, and is due to come online in 2024.

The project is already facing controversy. Its reliance on Russian investment at a time when other countries have sought to isolate Moscow due to its invasion of Ukraine has raised eyebrows, while a Croatian investor was rejected by the government in Helsinki following suspicions that it was also being controlled from within Russia.

Construction work has also begun on a megaproject to store nuclear waste. Onkalo, which translates as “cavity”, is an underground tunnel built 520m into the Finnish bedrock. A project of Posiva, a company jointly owned by TVO and Fortum, it is located at the site of Olkiluoto.

Onkalo is designed to protect nuclear waste for 100,000 years. The timespan, almost impossible to conceptualise, caught the imagination of Danish director Michael Madsen, who made a documentary about the project, and the difficulty of communicating danger millennia down the line.

The possibility of a fourth reactor at the Olkiluoto site proved to be one too many, however. For now, TVO has given up on plans on Olkiluoto 4.

Plit, from Finland’s energy department, remains cheerful in the face of 15 years of difficulties and delays. He tells Carbon Brief:

“One has to remember that Olkiluoto 3 was the first western unit to be constructed in the nuclear sector for 20 years. Unfortunately, this know-how that used to exist in the 80s was no longer there, and you had to create everything from scratch, more or less. That has taken time.”

Prof Thomas at University of Greenwich is not so sure that the loss of knowledge since the last burst of nuclear construction can be entirely blamed. He points out that none of the four EPRs under construction have gone to plan so far, so to say that Olkiluoto is suffering only because of its novelty is oversimplistic. He tells Carbon Brief:

“Areva was so confident that they gave a fixed price, so they weren’t expecting first-of-a-kind problems.”

A cautionary tale

Some are already seeing Finland’s troubled relationship with new nuclear as a cautionary tale for the current UK government, which hopes to oversee its own nuclear renaissance.

The energy company EDF plans to build two new reactors at Hinkley Point. These will be the same design as Olkiluoto 3 — Areva’s EPR. The project will cost £24.5bn, and has already been subject to numerous delays.

The government has shown itself to be a devoted fan of the project, most recently offering a £2bn guarantee to smooth along the path to construction.

Despite this, it has been difficult to secure investors, who continue to be spooked by the ghosts of Flamanville in France and Olkiluoto, admitted the chief executive of EDF recently. Jean-Bernard Levy told French Financial daily Les Echos that, for those who have witnessed the spiralling costs and delays to date, it is “difficult to commit”.

The UK government hopes to confirm Chinese funding during a state visit by President Xi Jinping this week, which would prove instrumental in making the project happen.

EDF has insisted that it has learnt from the past, but Prof Thomas at the University of Greenwich is not so sure. The EPR is a “lousy design” that has not only tripped up the Finns, but also the French and Chinese. He tells Carbon Brief:

“If you look at the problems of Olkiluoto and Flamanville, they have been basic site work quality issues… It’s not as if there was a simple fault you could identify and make sure you didn’t do the same again. It’s not like they made a mess with this particular operation and this caused all the problems. There have been hundreds of different issues.

“That’s what’s most striking at the experience of Olkiluoto — just how many different things have gone wrong.”

October 25, 2015 Posted by | Economics, Nuclear Power | , , , | Leave a comment

Gaza journalists say Israeli forces ‘deliberately target’ media


Ma’an – October 25, 2015

GAZA CITY – Palestinian journalists across the Gaza Strip, who work for different Palestinian, Arab and international news agencies, are reporting that Israeli troops have “deliberately targeted” media while covering clashes between young Palestinian men and Israeli forces near the border fence between the coastal enclave and Israel.

Palestine TV reporter Sali al-Sakni told Ma’an on Sunday she and her crew had deliberately stayed away from the center of clashes near al-Bureij refugee camp, but that they were still “showered with tear gas” while covering the clashes.

She added that dozens of other reporters and photojournalists “wearing helmets and flak-jackets with ‘PRESS’ marked clearly,” were also attacked with tear gas in the area. Al-Sakni said three tear gas canisters were fired directly at her crew.


Similarly, cameraman of Palestine Today news agency Dawood Abu al-Kas was hit with a rubber-coated bullet in the foot while covering clashes near the border opposite to the Israeli Kibbutz of Nahal Oz in the northeast Gaza Strip.

“I was trying to capture photos while standing near an ambulance more than 300 meters away from the border fence when I was shot,” al-Kas told Ma’an.

Al-Kas highlighted that he was wearing a flak-jacket marked “PRESS” during the incident.


Al-Kas said that having been shot would not deter his efforts to “expose the crimes Israeli occupation commits against the Palestinian people.”

The deputy speaker of the Union of Gaza Journalists, Tahsin al-Astal, said Israeli assaults against journalists are consistent with Israeli violations of Palestinian rights in general.

“The Israeli occupation carries out systematic assaults against journalists who work in the field to prevent them from telling the truth about the crimes the occupation forces are committing against the Palestinian people,” al-Astal said.

“These serious breaches are classified war crimes and violations to international treaties and conventions,” he said.

Al-Astal added that the Union of Gaza Journalists, “has updated the International Federation of Journalists of the terrorism against Palestinian journalists at the hands of Israeli occupation forces.”

The IFJ, he said, is expected to issue a press release condemning “Israeli crimes and breaches against our people.”

October 25, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | Leave a comment

Settler shoots, critically injures Palestinian near Gush Etzion


Ma’an – October 25, 2015

BETHLEHEM – An Israeli settler shot and seriously injured a young Palestinian man on Sunday morning in the Wadi Sair area near the illegal Israeli settlement bloc of Gush Etzion and Sair village, east of Hebron, Palestinian security sources said.

Additionally, the mayor of nearby Sair village reported that seven Palestinians in the village had been shot and injured following the incident.

The settler who shot and critically injured the Palestinian man claimed, according to Israeli reports, that a Palestinian attacked him with a knife.

Palestinian security sources told Ma’an that an Israeli settler shot 20-year-old Azzam Azmi Shalalda four times while he was in his agricultural field, after the actual person suspected of carrying out the alleged attack had reportedly already fled the scene.

After the shooting, Shalalda was evacuated to al-Mamoon clinic in nearby Sair for first aid, before he was taken to al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron. Medics say he is in a critical condition. Shalalda is from the Sair village.

An Israeli army spokesperson said a Palestinian suspect attacked a 40-year-old Israeli after the Israeli man had stepped out of his car to confront Palestinians who were allegedly throwing stones at passing vehicles.

Israeli media outlets reported that the 40-year-old settler was evacuated to Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karem after he was stabbed. He reportedly sustained moderate wounds.

An Israeli army spokesperson said that the alleged Palestinian “assailant fled from the scene,” adding that the reports were initial. The spokesperson had no information of a Palestinian shot or detained during the incident.

Mayor of Sair village, Kayed Jradat, told Ma’an that following the incident, Israeli forces raided Sair village and shot and injured seven Palestinians during the raid.

Doctor Zuheir Jaradat, who works at the town’s al-Mamoon clinic, said one of the victims sustained serious wounds as he was shot in the eye, while another man was hit with a live round in his thigh and was taken to hospital as well.

During the raid, Israeli forces inspected cars and checked the identities of villagers.

Jradat added that Palestinians in the village closed their stores out of fear of attacks by Israeli forces.

An Israeli police spokesperson said the area had been closed off.

Palestinian witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli forces chased a Palestinian vehicle between the southern West Bank towns of Sair and al-Shuyoukh after the incident. They highlighted that the alleged stabber had fled the scene, and an Israeli settler shot another young Palestinian man who had been working in nearby fields.

October 25, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hamas: Kerry’s statements boost Israeli hegemony over al-Aqsa

Palestine Information Center – October 25, 2015

GAZA – Hamas has deemed remarks by U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, an attempt to quell the ongoing Palestinian intifada and consolidate Israeli domination over the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque.

On Saturday, the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, slammed Kerry’s remarks in which he signaled Netanyahu’s commitment to allow Muslims to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque while granting non-Muslims the right to visit the holy site.

The group said Kerry’s remarks come as an attempt on part of the United States to help the Israeli occupation find a way out of the crisis it faces as a result of the Palestinian uprising.

The Movement noted that the declaration equates Muslim prayer rights with visitation rights for non-Muslims and could be used to justify provocative and sacrilegious break-ins by Israeli extremist settlers.

Hamas added that the vague language of the declaration gives Netanyahu the opportunity to maneuver and renege on any commitments in an attempt to pave the way for grabbing hold of the holy Mosque.

Hamas urged the PA president Mahmoud Abbas and the Jordanian authorities to turn down any compromise that gives the occupation the opportunity to violate Palestinian rights at Al-Aqsa or that limits Palestinians’ ability to protect the Mosque.

Hamas called on all Palestinians to watch out for attempts to abort the Jerusalem Intifada and to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque no matter the prices that might have to be paid.

October 25, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | 1 Comment

Syria’s president ready to take part in new election: Russian MP

Press TV – October 25, 2015

A Russian legislator says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has expressed preparedness to run for another seven-year term in office in the future presidential election should the Arab nation support such a move.

“He is ready to conduct elections with the participation of all political forces who want Syria to prosper,” Russian lawmaker, Alexander Yushchenko, said following talks with Assad in Syria’s capital, Damascus, on Sunday.

Yushchenko added that the Syrian leader is ready to take part in the polls “if the people are not against it.”

“At our meeting, Mr. Assad announced his readiness to discuss changes to the Constitution of Syria, as well as hold free parliamentary elections with the participation of all political forces committed to the prosperity of the Syrian Republic,” the Russian parliamentarian pointed out.

He noted that Assad drew a parallel between the ongoing events in Ukraine, and the current situation in Syria, saying, “Although these countries are different, the architect behind what is happening today is the same. Nationalists in Ukraine and Daesh terrorists are receiving orders from one center.”

Assad secured a landslide victory in Syria’s last presidential elections on June 3, 2014. The poll was held in government-held areas, and amid high security.

Syria’s parliament speaker, Jihad al-Laham, said Assad had garnered 88.7 percent of the votes, while his two challengers, Hassan al-Nouri and Maher Hajjar, won 4.3 percent and 3.2 percent respectively. The supreme constitutional court put turnout at 73.42 percent.

The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people and left over one million injured, according to the United Nations.

The world body says 12.2 million people, including more than 5.6 million children, remain in need of humanitarian assistance. The foreign-sponsored militancy has displaced 7.6 million people.

October 25, 2015 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Veto Corleone Already in White House

By David Swanson | War Is A Crime | October 23, 2015

President Barack Obama has vetoed a military authorization bill. Why would he do such a thing?

Was it because dumping $612 billion into a criminal enterprise just finally struck him as too grotesque?


Was it because he grew ashamed of holding the record for highest average annual military spending since World War II, not even counting Homeland Security Department or military spending by the State Department, the Energy Department, the Veterans Administration, interest on debt, etc.?

Nope. That would be crazy in a world where pretense is everything and the media has got everyone believing that military spending has gone down.

Was it because the disastrous war on Afghanistan gets more funding?


The disastrous war on Iraq and Syria?


The monstrous drone wars murdering 1 vaguely identified person for every 9 innocents slaughtered?

You kidding?

Oh, I’ve got it. Was it because building newer, bigger, and smaller more “usable” nuclear weapons is just too insane?

Um, nope. Nice guess, though.

Well what was it?

One reason that the President provided in his veto statement was that the bill doesn’t allow him to “close” Guantanamo by moving it — remember that prison still full of people whom he, the President, chooses to keep there despite their having been cleared for release?

Another reason: Obama wants more money in the standard budget and less in his slush fund for the War on the Middle East, which he renamed Overseas Contingency Operations. Obama’s language suggests that he wants the base budget increased by more than he wants the slush fund reduced by. The slush fund got a piddley little $38 billion in the vetoed bill. Yet the standard budget is deemed so deficient by Obama that, according to him, it “threatens the readiness and capabilities of our military and fails to provide the support our men and women in uniform deserve.” For real? Can you name a man or woman in uniform who would receive a dime if you jumped the funding of the most expensive military in the history of the known universe by another $100 billion? The President also complains that the bill he’s vetoed did not allow him to “slow growth in compensation.”

Another reason: Obama is worried that if you leave limits in place on military spending in the “Defense” Department, that will mean too little military spending in other departments as well: “The decision reflected in this bill to circumvent rather than reverse sequestration further harms our national security by locking in unacceptable funding cuts for crucial national security activities carried out by non-defense agencies.”

Hope and Change, people! Here’s a full list of the areas in which Senator Bernie Sanders has expressed disagreement with President Obama’s preferences on military spending:







October 25, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment