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Falk reprimands Ban Ki-Moon over truth about Israel’s crimes

‘The politics of deflection’ (shoot the messenger, ignore the message) exposed

By Stuart Littlewood | American Herald Tribune | February 8, 2016

With obvious relish Richard Falk, former professor of international law at Princeton and UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Occupied Palestine, has issued a well deserved slap on the wrist to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for his naivety. It follows Israel’s furious reaction to Ban’s remark to the Security Council that “Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half-century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process”.

The usually timid Ban, suddenly emboldened, also called Israel’s illegal settlement building “an affront to the Palestinian people and to the international community”. He added: “Security measures alone will not stop the violence. They cannot address the profound sense of alienation and despair driving some Palestinians – especially young people.” Whereupon Israel’s prime minister Netanyahu, fresh from approving another 150 squatter homes on stolen Palestinian land, accused the Secretary General of giving a “tailwind to terror”.

Falk penned an open letter to Ban reminding him of his earlier attempts to get Falk dismissed from his UN job for speaking the same truths. “Having read of the vicious attacks on you for venturing some moderate, incontestable criticisms of Israel’s behaviour, I understand well the discomfort you clearly feel. What intrigues and appals me is that while I was Special Rapporteur for Occupied Palestine during the period 2008-2014, you chose to attack me personally in public on several occasions, joining with US and Israel diplomats calling for my dismissal and doing the utmost to undermine my credibility while discharging this unpaid UN job under difficult conditions.

“At the time, I was doing my best to bear witness to some of the same truths about Israel’s unlawful and immoral behavior that recently got you in similar hot water. My UN mandate was to report upon the reality of Israeli violations of international law while sustaining their apartheid regime of oppressive control over the Palestinian people.”

Referring to Ban’s concern that we are reaching “a point of no return” for the two-state solution and his reminder to the Security Council that the UN will “continue to uphold the right of Palestinians to self-determination”, Falk warns that, given present realities, self-determination must be understood as something more than just “another delusionary embrace of a diplomatically negotiated two-state solution”.

He points out that Israel’s leaders want the idea of a Palestinian state abandoned altogether and that reliance on such a discredited diplomatic path [a two-state solution] has resulted over and over again in severe encroachments on occupied Palestine and intense suffering for its people. “Clinging to the two-state mantra is not neutral. Delay benefits Israel, harms Palestine. There is every reason to believe that this pattern will continue as long as Israel is not seriously challenged diplomatically and by the sorts of growing pressures mounted by the international solidarity movement and the BDS campaign.”

February 9, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 2 Comments

UN spurns Palestinian children

Palestinian-youth-arrested-by-Israeli-soldiers-in-Beit-Hanina

Hemaya Center for Human Rights |June 8, 2015

Gaza, Occupied Palestine – Ban Ki-moon’s decision not to include Israel on the list of violators of children’s rights twists the knife in the heart of every Palestinian parent, making it very clear that in the eyes of the United Nations, Palestinian children’s lives don’t count.

When a military with the most sophisticated and accurate weaponry on the planet can kill more than 500 children in cold blood with complete impunity, as Israel’s absence from the list shows, it reveals more than just the complete disregard for Palestinian lives that has become so commonplace in the halls of power. It also makes it abundantly clear that the UN, the single most important international organisation charged with protecting the lives of the most vulnerable, is failing spectacularly.

Children are the lifeblood of the future. How can any world citizen look at the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Palestinian child death toll from the 2014 Israeli aggression, and this decision, and not be appalled?

At best it reflects the paucity of  responsible leadership evident in the UN under Ban Ki-moon’s secretaryship, which has seen public faith in the international organisation reach an all-time low.

At worst it underlines the gross politicisation of an organisation purporting to uphold the rights of ALL humans – and failing.
The only way Ban Ki-moon’s decision – if not his entire leadership in relation to the Palestinian issue – can be called a success is if the intention is to ‘grow’ a generation of increasingly angry cynics with no respect for the abject hypocrisy emanating from Geneva and New York.

Hemaya expresses its utmost disappointment in the attitude to Palestinian children that the decision represents, and calls on human rights bodies and concerned citizens everywhere to roundly reject it by supporting and valuing those Palestinian children who survived, and who continue to suffer under illegal occupation, repression and siege.

June 8, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , | 7 Comments

Crimea vote in line with UN charter: Putin to Ban

BRICS Post | March 15, 2014

Ahead of the upcoming referendum in Crimea, Russian President Vladimir Putin told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a phone conversation on Friday the move was in line with the UN Charter.

Putin and Ban discussed “the situation in Ukraine, including the referendum to be held on March 16,” said a Kremlin statement.

“Putin emphasized that the decision to hold the referendum is in line with the provisions of international law and with the UN Charter,” says the statement.

International observers have arrived in Crimea on Saturday ahead of the controversial referendum.

The Crimean parliament declared independence Tuesday ahead of a popular vote Sunday on seceding from Ukraine and becoming part of Russia.

Authorities in Kiev and international leaders have condemned the referendum as illegitimate and accused Moscow of fomenting unrest in order to annex Crimea.

Ban told reporters in New York later in the day that the situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate and there was “a great risk of dangerous, downward spiral.”

He also urged Russia and Ukraine not to take “hasty measures” that “may impact the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine.” The UN chief said that peaceful solution was still an option.

Russia and the West have reached a standoff over the fate of Crimea, which has refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new central government in Kiev following last month’s revolution.

Russia has no plans of a military action in southeastern Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday after talks with his US counterpart John Kerry in London.

“Russia does not and cannot have any plans to invade southeastern Ukraine. There are no reasons that prevent us from showing transparency [on the Ukrainian issue],” he said.

In spite of extensive talks between Kerry and Lavrov, disagreements between Moscow and Washington persist.

“As far as prospective sanctions are concerned… I assure you that our partners are fully aware that sanctions are a counter-productive measure. They will not benefit our mutual business interests or the development of our partnership in general,” Lavrov said.

Writing for The BRICS Post, Alexander Nekrassov, a former Kremlin and government advisor, said too much is at stake to make drastic changes in Russia-US ties, and “too much money is involved in deals and trade to simply ignore everything and turn back on years of tough negotiating and compromise”.

“Despite what is happening in Ukraine, relations between the US and Russia will continue; Exxon Mobile and others will keep on signing deals with the Russian oil giant Rosneft and trade between the two countries will not suffer,” writes Nekrassov.

TBP and Agencies

March 15, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Geneva II talks on Syria not aimed at regime change: Russia

PressTV Videos | January 21, 2014

As the Geneva Two conference on Syria is drawing closer, the gap is widening among participants.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says that based on the Russian-US initiative, the conference is NOT aimed at bringing about regime change in Syria, but it seeks to launch an inter-Syrian dialog. The US, however, is pushing ahead with its own interpretation, saying that the Syrian government should give up power. Meanwhile, tensions are running high among Syrian opposition groups. After the UN excluded the main regional player, Iran, from the talks, the Syrian National Coalition confirmed that it will take part in the conference. But the largest bloc within the coalition has boycotted the negotiations. Meanwhile, Lavrov has described the one-day event as largely ceremonial, raising doubts about any tangible results.

January 21, 2014 Posted by | Video | , , | Leave a comment

Syria Calls on UN to Stop US Strike, “Prevent Absurd Use of Force”

Al-Manar | September 2, 2013

Syria asked the UN to prevent “any aggression” against Syria following a call over the weekend by US President Barack Obama for punitive strikes against the Syrian military for last month’s chemical weapons attack.

US military action will be put to a vote in Congress, which ends its summer recess on September 9.

In a letter to UN chief Ban Ki-moon and President of the Security Council Maria Cristina Perceval, Syrian UN envoy Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari called on “the UN Secretary General to shoulder his responsibilities for preventing any aggression on Syria and pushing forward reaching a political solution to the crisis in Syria”, state news agency SANA said on Monday.

He called on the Security Council to “maintain its role as a safety valve to prevent the absurd use of force out of the frame of international legitimacy”.

Ja’afari said the United States should “play its role, as a peace sponsor and as a partner to Russia in the preparation for the international conference on Syria and not as a state that uses force against whoever opposes its policies”.

September 2, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

UN Arms Trade Treaty’s Deadly Loophole

By Nile Bowie | Press TV | April 7, 2013

Foundation fellows and diplomats have lauded the overwhelming approval of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) by the General Assembly of the United Nations, with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon describing it as a means to obstruct the illicit arms flow to warlords, pirates, terrorists, criminals and the like. Many who have critically monitored the situation in Syria and the ramifications of foreign intervention in Libya may have difficulty swallowing Ban’s words, as some would argue that the UN has itself been complicit in these crises for turning a blind eye to arms and funding going to al-Qaeda-linked rebels in various countries. Twenty-three countries abstained from the vote (representing half the world’s population), including Russia, China, India, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Egypt, while three – Syria, Iran, and North Korea – voted no. Iran’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Gholam-Hossein Dehqani called the treaty a political document disguised as an Arms Trade Treaty, and with highly legitimate reasons for doing so.

“The right to acquire and import arms for their (importer states’) security needs is subject to the discretionary judgment and extremely subjective assessment of the exporting states. That is why this text is highly abusable and susceptible to politicization, manipulation and discrimination,” said Dehghani, referring to conditions that arms exporting states would be able to impose on importing states. The pact prohibits the export of conventional arms to countries deemed guilty of violating international human rights laws and committing crimes against humanity – sure, this appears to be ethical and just at first glance, but more careful reflection is required. If we assume that the United Nations makes the call on which states qualify as human rights abusers and which states do not, then Israel would not be hindered from purchasing conventional weapons, but a country like Syria would be barred from purchasing arms to defend itself and its territorial sovereignty.

What makes the treaty not only toothless, but also particularly dangerous, is the fact that it lacks any explicit prohibitions regarding arms proliferation to terrorists and unlawful non-state actors. “Without such provisions, the ATT would in fact lower the bar on obligations of all states not to support terrorists and/or terrorists acts. We cannot allow such a loophole in the ATT,” said Sujata Mehta, India’s lead negotiator for the ATT in a statement. What this means is that NATO and Gulf states that supply arms to opposition groups in Syria will retain the flexibility to continue to do so, while at the same time having a greater say over whether individual importing states can arm themselves in accordance with their legitimate defense and national security interests. There is no doubt that certain states would take advantage of this loophole’s vast potential for misuse.

The treaty does not recognize the rights of all states to acquire, produce, export, import and possess conventional weapons for their own legitimate security purposes. In theory, this treaty gives the United States, the world’s largest arms exporter with heavy sway over the UN, much greater ability to influence whether or not an individual country is allowed to obtain weapons for its own defense. The treaty, in its glaring bias and predictability, completely fails to prohibit the transfer of arms to countries engaged in military aggression against other nations, such as Israel. “Somebody probably wants to have free rein to send arms to anti-government groups in countries ruled by regimes they consider inconvenient… When we started work on the document, the General Assembly set the task of establishing the highest possible international standards in the area of arms transfers. In reality though, the treaty has established minimally acceptable standards,” said Russian treaty negotiator Mikhail Ulyanov in a recent interview.

The treaty applies to the transfer of conventional weapons such as battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers, small and light weapons, while the proliferation of UAV drones and other modern military technology is not addressed or scrutinized. While feel-good rhetoric prevails and politicians pat themselves on the back, the United Nations by its own admission concedes that the treaty does not ban or prohibit the export of any type of weapon. It is clear that the countries that rely most on the illicit trafficking of arms to execute their foreign policy objectives have had noticeable influence over the contents of this treaty. The treaty depends on how stringently individual countries implement it, and international arms transfers that involve barter deals or leases are also not scrutinized.

While many call it a welcomed development and the first step in regulating the $70 billion global conventional arms trade, there is little evidence that it will accomplish anything more than increase the frequency of illicit transfers under different guises and further legitimize the ‘Good Terrorist-Bad Terrorist’ dichotomy – it also contains no language concerning the right to self-determination by people who are under occupation, as is the case in Palestine. The treaty contains some reasonable common-sense measures, such as introducing national systems that monitor arms circulation in countries that lack such systems, but the absence of progressive processes lends credence to accusations that the text is highly industry-friendly and serves to reinforce the status quo.

Most importantly, the treaty pays no focus to actually reducing the sale of arms by limiting global production, which should rightfully be the objective of a treaty that uses global mass causality figures to legitimize itself. According to the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, armed violence kills more than half a million people each year, a figure that should rightfully strengthen calls to regulate and decrease global production rather than solely focusing simply on trade. Rather, the treaty institutionalizes and legalizes the arming of good terrorists while denying arms to unfriendly governments. Until the UN can cease being an appendage of a handful of the most powerful arms exporting states, there is little hope that any international arms trade treaty can reduce human suffering and have a meaningful impact on the lives of the most vulnerable in conflict zones around the world and elsewhere.

Nile Bowie can be reached at nilebowie@gmail.com

April 8, 2013 Posted by | Deception | , , , , | Leave a comment

North Korea hails rocket launch as a success

Press TV – December 12, 2012

North Korea says it has test-fired a long-range rocket and has successfully placed a satellite into orbit.

“The launch of the second version of our Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite from the Sohae Space Center… on December 12 was successful,” the official Korean Central News Agency said on Wednesday.

The agency added that the satellite has entered the orbit “as planned.”

The (North) Korean Committee of Space Technology had originally announced that Pyongyang would launch its Unha-3 rocket between December 10 and 22, but on Monday, it extended the date by a week due to a “technical deficiency.”

A previous launch in April failed when the rocket disintegrated in the air soon after blastoff and fell into the ocean.

Meanwhile according to an unnamed Western diplomat, the UN Security Council is scheduled to meet at the request of the US and Japan later on Wednesday to discuss the launch of the rocket.

“The Japanese and the Americans have requested a Security Council meeting, which will take place late Wednesday morning” around 11:00 a.m. (1700 GMT), the diplomat stated.

Reports say Tokyo, Washington and Seoul have agreed to request the UN Security Council to reinforce Pyongyang’s embargoes.

On December 3, Russia and China urged North Korea not to go ahead with the plan.

Russia said North Korea had been warned not to ignore a UN Security Council resolution which “unambiguously prohibits (it) from launching rockets using ballistic technology.”

On December 4, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was “seriously concerned” about the launch and asked North Korea to “reconsider its decision and to suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program.”

December 12, 2012 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

Mali: Target of UN’s Sovereignty-stealing “Responsibility to Protect” Doctrine

By  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D. | The New American | October 13, 2012

In a recent article, The New American’s foreign correspondent Alex Newman reported on the United Nations’ plot to invade the West African nation of Mali. Wrote Newman:

After having recently left thousands dead from overthrowing the governments ruling Libya and the Ivory Coast, the United Nations is already plotting its next invasion to deal with the fallout. This time, Mali is in the UN’s crosshairs.

Mali attracted UN attention when the northern part of the country was taken over by Islamists and nomadic rebels amid a military coup d’état that ousted the government in the South. The UN Security Council is currently considering two resolutions related to the country, a former colony of France. The first one calls for negotiations between armed rebels in the North and the supposed “interim” government operating in the capital. That measure is expected to be approved soon, according to officials involved in the negotiations.

The second resolution would purport to authorize international military intervention, a move being sought by the coalition of regimes making up the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the struggling “interim” government in Southern Mali. The French government is circulating a draft of the resolution this week.

Supporting Newman’s report is the “crisis alert” issued by the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP). The notice says: “The humanitarian situation in northern Mali has worsened considerably since a coup in late March, with reports of human rights violations including murder, rape, robbery and forced displacement.”

After rehearsing the calls for intervention made by various human rights groups and other “civil society organizations,” ICRtoP closes its memo with a demand that the UN’s Responsibility to Protect doctrine be applied to the “rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation” in Mali.

A key to understanding the cause of the crescendo of clamors for international intervention in Mali is a familiarity with the Right to Protect doctrine as defined by the United Nations.

In an address given in September, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reaffirmed the commitment of the global shadow government’s ultimate goal of eradicating national sovereignty. The preferred weapon in this war on self-determination is the principle known as Responsibility to Protect (R2P).

Agreed to by the UN General Assembly at a summit of world leaders in 2005, R2P purports to grant the global government power to decide whether individual nations are properly exercising their sovereignty.

UN literature describes R2P as the concept that holds “States responsible for shielding their own populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and related crimes against humanity and requires the international community to step in if this obligation is not met.”

That is to say, if the UN determines that a national government is not voluntarily conforming to the UN’s idea of safety, then the “international community” will impose its will by force, all for the protection of that nation’s citizens.

Lest anyone believe that the globalists at the UN are simply pacifists whose desire is to meekly encourage regimes to treat their people kindly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took a more forceful posture at the conference held at the UN headquarters in New York.

“We all agree that sovereignty must not be a shield behind which States commit grave crimes against their people. But achieving prevention and protection can be difficult,” said Ban. “In recent years, we have shown how good offices, preventive diplomacy, mediation, commissions of inquiry and other peaceful means can help pull countries back from the brink of mass violence.”

“However, when non-coercive measures fail or are considered inadequate, enforcement under Chapter VII will need to be considered by the appropriate intergovernmental bodies,” he added. “This includes carefully crafted sanctions and, in extreme circumstances, the use of force.”

Chapter VII of the UN Charter authorizes the Security Council to use force in the face of a threat to peace or aggression, taking “such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security.” As there is currently no UN military, all such interventions are carried out by the national armed forces of member nations.

Faithfully, the United States, as the chief financial engine of the international body, has not only signed on to promote the Responsibility to Protect scheme, but President Obama has created a federal agency to ensure that it is executed effectively.

The bureau is called the White House Atrocities Prevention Board (APB) and it will be headed by President Obama’s National Security Advisor, Samantha Power.

Exercising the powers he created for himself in Executive Order 13606, President Barack Obama demonstrated his support for the R2P program when he established the Atrocities Prevention Board.

The stated goal of the APB is to first formally recognize that genocide and other mass atrocities committed by foreign powers are a “core national security interest and core moral responsibility.”

Apart from the unconstitutionality of this use of the executive order, there is something sinister in the selection of Samantha Power to spearhead the search for atrocities.

One source claims that the very existence of the APB is due to Power’s own persistence in convincing the White House that discovering atrocities should be a “core national-security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States.” The statement released at the time of the signing of the executive order demonstrates Power’s remarkable power of persuasion.

Samantha Power rose to prominence in government circles as part of her campaign to promote the Responsibility to Protect scheme.

Responsibility to Protect is predicated on the proposition that sovereignty is a privilege not a right and that if any regime in any nation violates the UN-approved code of conduct, then the international community is morally obligated to revoke that nation’s sovereignty and assume command and control of the offending country.

The three pillars of this UN sovereignty grab explain the provenance of this presumed prerogative:

1. A state has a responsibility to protect its population from mass atrocities

2. The international community has a responsibility to assist the state if it is unable to protect its population on its own, and

3. If the state fails to protect its citizens from mass atrocities and peaceful measures have failed, the international community has the responsibility to intervene through coercive measures such as economic sanctions. Military intervention is considered the last resort.

It is the habitual recourse to this purported “last resort” that has cost countless American lives and has propelled our Republic closer to becoming a mere regional administrative unit of the global government of the United Nations. As Alex Newman wrote in his article on the situation in Mali:

As history shows, armed UN intervention often leads to mass slaughter and complete chaos that is later used to justify more international military intervention — Libya and the Ivory Coast being just two recent examples among many. There is little reason to suspect that invading Mali would turn out any better.

Indeed it won’t. But using history as a guide, Americans know that the pseudo-pacifists running the United Nations believe that if the social contract fails, there’s always the option of deploying blue-helmeted soldiers to impose “peace” at the point of a gun.

To that end, the newly appointed Special Advisor of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, recommended delegates work in their individual governments to contribute to an armed UN force under the command of the global government. Reciting the third point of R2P, Dieng pushed for more powerful tools to carry out the third pillar.

“It is our collective responsibility to study the implications of the use of each of them, and to understand the conditions under which the potential of each tool can be maximized,” Dieng said. “It is also our responsibility to establish and strengthen the structures that will make third-pillar tools actionable and effective.”

No matter the frequency or ferocity of the moral outrage spewed by internationalists, the government of the United States does not have a constitutional responsibility to protect the citizens of the world from atrocities.

And nowhere in the Constitution is the president or Congress authorized to place the armed forces of the United States under the command of international bodies, regardless of treaty obligations or sovereignty-stealing “responsibilities” to the contrary.

Related article:

UN Plotting Invasion of Northern Mali

October 14, 2012 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

NATO mortar ‘gift’ from Turkey to Syrian rebels – Turkish newspaper

RT | October 9, 2012

The mortar used to attack the Turkish town of Akcakale is a design specific to NATO and was given to Syrian rebels by Ankara, according to Turkey’s Yurt newspaper. The mortar killed one adult and four children from the same family on Wednesday.

An article by the paper’s Editor-in-Chief, Merdan Yanardag, states that the newspaper received information from a reliable source, which claimed that Turkey itself sent the mortars to rebels in the so-called “free army.”

“Turkey is a longtime member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and they’re going to act in conjunction with other NATO powers, so it’s unsurprising that this has happened,” editor of the Pan-African news wire, Abayomi Azikiwe, told RT.

NATO has so far shunned any military involvement in the conflict, but Azikiwe says the alliance is deeply involved in every decision that Turkey makes.

“Ankara isn’t taking any military actions or contemplating any type of military strategy without being in full cooperation with NATO forces,” he said.

Turkey retaliated at Syria for a sixth consecutive day on Monday, after a mortar from Syria landed in Turkey’s Hatay province.

And as Turkey fights to defend its border towns, the country’s president says the country’s military will take any action necessary.

“The worst-case scenarios are taking place right now in Syria … Our government is in constant consultation with the Turkish military. Whatever is needed is being done immediately as you see, and it will continue to be done,” President Abdullah Gul said in a statement on Monday.

But it’s not only leaders within Turkey that are stating their opinions on the conflict.

Earlier on Monday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned of the consequences that the conflict could bring to the region.

“The escalation of the conflict along the Syrian-Turkish border and the impact of the crisis on Lebanon are extremely dangerous,” Ban said at the opening of the World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg, France.

The exchange of fire began last Wednesday, when Syrian mortar shells killed a woman and four children from the same family in Akcakale.

Many fear the situation will lead to regional conflict, with political analyst Dan Glazebrook, saying that Ankara aims to drag NATO into a war with Syria.

“On the one hand the [Turks] are trying to give cover to the rebels to continue their fight, as they know that the rebels are getting defeated on the ground so they are bombarding Syria as a way to help the rebels not lose too many of their positions,” Glazebrook told RT. “But I think also they may be hoping that they can somehow nudge, provoke NATO into taking action as well, into prompting a kind of blitzkrieg that is actually the only thing really that would enable the rebels to win now at this state.”

October 9, 2012 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Iran’s Strategic Diplomatic Victory over the Washington-Israeli Axis: Its Larger Political Consequences

By James Petras :: 09.04.2012

Introduction

Iran chaired, hosted and led the recently rejuvenated Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) meeting in Teheran, attended by delegates from 120 countries, including 31 heads of state and 29 foreign secretaries of state. Even the United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon, notorious mouthpiece of Washington, felt obligated to address, a forum attended by two-thirds of the member countries of the UN, despite State Department and Israeli objections.

Any objective evaluation of the meeting, its venue, the attendance, resolutions and political impact leads to one paramount conclusion: the NAM meeting was a strategic diplomatic victory for Iran and a major defeat for the US, Israel and the European Union. The entire US-Israeli-EU diplomatic and propaganda effort to isolate and stigmatize Iran, especially over the past decade, was shredded.

The Politics of Attendance

Attendance by representatives of 120 countries demonstrates that Iran is not a ‘pariah state’; it is an accepted member of the international community.The presence of 60 heads of state and foreign secretaries demonstrates that Iran is considered a noteworthy and significant political actor, not a “terrorist state” to be isolated and shunned. The proceedings, debates and discussions among and between the delegates and Iranian leaders convinced those attending that Teheran gives primacy to reasonable dialogue in resolving international conflicts.

Both in terms of form and content the NAM meeting highlighted the superiority of Iran’s diplomacy over and against Washington’s bellicose posturing and improvised diversionary tactics. The fact that the meeting took place in Teheran, that Iran was elected chair, that a major part of the NAM agenda and subsequent resolutions coincided with Iran’s democratic foreign policy, highlights Washington’s policy failures and its isolation on issues of major concern to the larger international community. Pandering to the domestic Zionist power configuration has a high cost in the sphere of international politics.

NAM Resolutions: Iran versus Washington – Israel

The centerpiece of US and Israeli strategic policy has been to claim that Iran’s nuclear program including the enrichment of uranium, are a threat to world peace and in particular to Israel and the Gulf states. The NAM meeting repudiated that position, affirming Iran’s right to develop a peaceful nuclear program including the enrichment of uranium. NAM rejected western sanctions against Iran and other countries. In fact many of the leading members, including India, brought delegations of business executives in pursuit of new economic contracts.

NAM declared its support for a nuclear free Middle East and called for an independent Palestinian state based on 1969 borders with Jerusalem as its capital, in total repudiation of Washington’s unconditional support of the nuclear armed Jewish state.

NAM rejected Egyptian Prime Minister Morsi’s proposal to support the Western backed armed mercenaries invading Syria, major blow to Washington’s effort to secure international support for regime change. NAM unanimously approved several resolutions which affirmed its anti-imperialist principles in direct opposition to US imperial positions: it rejected the US blockade of Cuba; it affirmed Argentine sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands (dubbed the ‘Falklands’ by Anglo-American pundits); it opposed the Paraguayan coup; it supported Ecuador in its dispute with Great Britain on asylum for Assange; it selected Venezuela as the site for the next NAM meeting; it rejected terrorism in all of its forms and modalities, including the state sponsored variant.

Western Propaganda Media: Self Serving Diversions

The resounding diplomatic successes of the Iranian hosts of the NAM meeting were countered by a mass media blitz directed at diverting attention to relatively marginal events. The Financial and New York Times, the BBC and the Washington Post featured a speech by Egyptian Prime Minister Morsi calling for NAM support for the Western backed armed mercenaries invading Syria. The media omitted mentioning that no delegation took up his proposal. NAM not only ignored Morsi but unanimously approved a resolution opposing western intervention and affirming the right of self-determination, clearly applicable to the case of Syria.

While NAM defended Iran’s right to develop its peaceful nuclear program, the mass media publicized a dubious “report” authored by US favorite, Yukiya Amano of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) questioning Iran’s compliance with his directives. Not surprisingly the report by Amano carried no weight in the deliberations of the 130 delegates, given his notoriety as a front-man for Israeli and US pro-war propaganda.

Overall the mass media deliberately ignored or underplayed the resolutions, dialogue and democratic procedures of the NAM meeting in an effort to cover up the enormous political gulf between the US, Israel, the EU and the vast majority of the international community.

Political Impact of the NAM Conference

NAM seriously undermined the images of the Mid-East conflicts which US policymakers and their acolytes in the EU and Gulf States project: the political reality, which came out of the meetings emphasized that it is the US. Israel and the EU who are outside the mainstream international community. It is the US and EU who lack political allies in the pursuit of colonial wars. It is the Israeli occupation of Palestine and Washington’s policies of ‘regime change’ in Syria and Iran which lack allies. Its Iran’s peaceful nuclear program which has legitimacy not Israel’s nuclear arsenal. The Iranian leadership gained prestige via its openness to international dialogue. In contrast its regional Gulf adversaries, who rely on multi-billion dollar US arms purchases and military bases were denigrated and discredited.

The Iranian proposals to reform the United Nations to make it more democratic and responsive to emerging countries and less a tool of US-EU policymakers resonated throughout the conference. The emphasis on free trade, was manifest in the large economic delegations who attended eager to sign agreements in defiance of US-Israel-EU sanctions.

Conclusion

Temporarily the NAM conference may have lessened the threat of a military attack against Iran, at least by the US and the EU – by demonstrating the political cost of alienating two thirds of the UN Assembly. Nevertheless by demonstrating Israel’s total isolation, (and truly pariah status in the international community), NAM may have heightened the pathological paranoia of the Israeli leadership and hastened its move toward a catastrophic war.

The follow-up of the NAM resolutions requires a permanent organization, a minimum coordinating secretariat to ensure compliance and rapid responses to crises. Otherwise the good intentions and positive moves toward peace via dialogue will be inconsequential.

The mobilization of the NAM members in the UN General Assembly is crucial to withstand the blackmail, bribes, threats and corruption which are used by the Western powers to secure majorities on crucial votes regarding US sanctions, coups and military intervention. Trade, investment and cultural boycotts of Israel should be promoted and enforced, until the Jewish State ends its occupation of Palestine. Clearly Iran, as the newly elected leader of NAM, has a major role to play in ensuring that the Tehran meeting of 2012 becomes the basis for a revitalization of the Movement. Iran can play a constructive leadership role providing it continues to promote a plural collective format based on common anti-imperialist principles.

September 6, 2012 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NAM Summit: Ban Ki-Moon in disgraceful show of US puppetry

By Finian Cunningham | Global Research | August 30, 2012

Seated alongside Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the day that Iran took over presidency of the NAM of 120 nations, the presence of Ban could be seen as a blow to the diplomatic machinations of the United States and its Western allies, including Israel.

But, rather than making a forthright statement of support for Iran, the veteran South Korean diplomat showed his true colours as a servile puppet of American imperialism.

In the weeks leading up to the 16th summit of the NAM, Washington had been calling on the UN top official to decline attending the conference in Tehran. When Ban announced last week that he was going ahead, the US government was evidently peeved, calling his decision “a bit strange”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was predictably more strident, denouncing Ban’s visit to Iran as “a big mistake”. In typical vulgar and provocative language, Netanyahu subsequently attacked the NAM summit as “a stain on humanity”.

What the United States and its Western allies feared most from the NAM summit was a global display of goodwill and solidarity towards Iran. For more than three decades now, Washington has invested huge political capital in a global campaign of vilification against Iran, denouncing the Islamic Republic as a “rogue state”, a sponsor of “international terrorism” and, over the last 10 years, as “a threat to world peace” from alleged nuclear weapons development.

The Western powers of the US, Britain and France in particular continually arrogate the mantle of “international community” to browbeat Iran, claiming that the nation is in “breach of its obligations”.

In attempting to portray Iran as a “pariah state” these powers, along with Israel, have partly succeeded in turning reality on its head and to assume the outrageous right to threaten Iran with pre-emptive military strikes and enforce crippling economic sanctions.

However, the attendance of some 120 nations in Tehran this week – two-thirds of the UN General Assembly – is a clear statement by the international community that resoundingly rejects this Western campaign of vilification.

Clearly, the majority of the world’s people do not see Iran as a rogue state or a threat to world peace. Indeed, the endorsement of Iran’s presidency of the NAM for the next three years is vindication of the country’s right to develop on its own terms, including the pursuit of peaceful nuclear technology.

In one fell swoop, the NAM summit liquidated Washington’s political capital for denigrating and isolating Iran as worthless. Seated at the top of the summit’s gathering in Tehran, the mere presence of the UN General Secretary to witness the appointment of Iran as the new leader of the Non-Aligned Movement was partially a symbolic vote of confidence.

But then, in his speech on this historic day, Ban engaged in a disgraceful diplomatic offensive. He pointedly denounced those who “deny the [Nazi] holocaust” and who call for the Zionist state’s destruction. Ban championed “Israel’s right to exist” without a word of condemnation of Israel’s decades-long crimes against humanity on the Palestinian people and its violation of countless UN resolutions. In that way, the UN chief was peddling the spurious Western propaganda that seeks to besmirch Iran’s principled opposition to the Zionist state’s record of criminality.

Ban went on to cast bankrupt Western aspersions on Iran’s nuclear rights. He said that Iran needed to use its presidency of the NAM to demonstrate peaceful intent, allay fears that it was developing nuclear weapons and to engage positively with the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Western-dominated P5+1 group – the group that has used every step in bad faith to hobble and hamper a negotiated agreement with Iran.

The question is: what planet has Ban Ki-Moon been living on? The fact is that Iran has done everything to comply with the IAEA and its obligations to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran has consistently demonstrated its peaceful nuclear ambitions and its responsibility to the NPT – unlike the Western powers and their illegal nuclear-powered Zionist rogue state. Just this week, Iran even invited the member states of the NAM to visit its nuclear facility at Natanz – an unprecedented show of openness.

For Ban to reiterate such unfounded, scurrilous suspicions against Iran on the day that it assumes the presidency of the NAM is a reflection more of his abject servility to Western powers – and it underscores the urgent need for a total structural reformation of the UN to make it more democratically accountable.

What was even more telling was what Ban omitted to say in his speech at the NAM summit. Unlike his pointed jibes at Iran, he only used the vaguest language to condemn the violence raging in Syria whenever the evidence is glaring that the US, Britain, France and their Turkish, Israeli and Persian Gulf Arab allies are now openly flouting international law by fueling a covert war of aggression in that country.

Just this week, a US Congressional report revealed that the United States is responsible for nearly 80 per cent of all global arms sales in 2011 – some $66 billion worth – a figure that has tripled on previous years. Half of this trade in weapons and death has been plied by the US to the Persian Gulf monarchies who are in turn laundering the arms to Syria. No words of condemnation from Ban on that.

Nor did the UN chief speak out to condemn the illegal economic sanctions that Washington and its coterie of imperialist allies have slapped on Iran – sanctions that are, in effect, an act of war and are viciously imposing hardship on Iranian civilians, including thousands of infirm people in need of vital medicines.

Nor did Ban condemn the Western powers’ covert war of sabotage and assassination of Iranian scientists, some of whose bereaved families were attending the NAM summit as he spoke.

In a further reprehensible omission, the UN General Secretary lauded the Arab Spring pro-democracy movements. He mentioned several countries by name, but significantly did not include Bahrain even though the people of that country are being butchered and incarcerated daily since their uprising in February 2011. The Western powers and their corporate media do not mention the depredations of their despotic ally in Bahrain against women and children. And neither does Ban Ki-Moon.

No, he would rather engage in pejorative, baseless innuendos against Iran, while disgracefully covering up Western crimes of aggression in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran and the ongoing slaughter of innocents with US drones in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

NAM stands for solidarity against imperial aggression. In his address to the NAM, Ban Ki-Moon was acting like an ambassadorial puppet for his Western masters. Maybe in reforming the UN, the Non-Aligned Movement should from now on seek to ensure that any future head of the United Nations be truly representative of the concerns and anguish of the world’s majority, and not a diplomatic salesman for imperialist powers.

Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism.

September 2, 2012 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | 5 Comments

NAM Agrees on 688 Articles of Draft Statement: Sanctions, Palestine on Top

Al-Manar | August 28, 2012

As preliminary meetings of the 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) continue in Tehran, participants reached an early agreement on 688 articles of the Summit’s draft closing statement.

Condemnation of “unilateral” actions — particularly sanctions on Iran and other nations — and a demand for a greater say in UN decision-making dominated NAM talks on Tuesday preparing for a Non-Aligned summit later this week.

Foreign ministers from NAM states were holding two days of discussions to prepare the ground for the summit, which will gather dozens of heads of state and government on Thursday and Friday.

According to the Agence France Presse, other issues to be covered included a call for the creation of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, and an appeal for nuclear disarmament, particularly in the Middle East, as a path to world peace, according to draft documents before the ministers.

Combating terrorism, and upholding human rights and development were also included.

A working document made available on Iran’s official NAM website said one of the general principles being upheld was strengthening solidarity with NAM members “living under colonial or alien domination or foreign occupation, and with those experiencing external threats of use of force, acts of aggression or unilateral coercive measures.”

Elsewhere, it called on members to refuse to follow “unilateral economic sanctions” on NAM states.

More than 50 foreign ministers were involved in the discussions, according to Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast. They were building on work done in the two preceding days by lower-ranking officials and experts.

Tehran’s summit is seen as a blow to US-led efforts to isolate it internationally.

The NAM is a 120-member organization founded in 1961, at the height of the Cold War, by nations considering themselves independent of the US-led Western bloc or the then-Soviet Union. It represents nearly two-thirds of the UN’s 193 member states, accounting for much of the developing world.

Overall, the NAM seeks greater accountability from the UN Security Council and a greater weight for the UN General Assembly — where it is strongly represented — in making global decisions.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon will be attending the Tehran summit, in a customary observer role, despite criticism from the United States and the Zionist entity.

August 28, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 2 Comments