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Israel, US Mulling Training Syria Terrorists with Saudi Arabia

Al-Manar | April 1, 2014

Top Israeli and US military officials discussed on Monday the possibility of “security cooperation” between the Zionist entity and some Arab states in the Persian Gulf.

The New York Times reported that a meeting took place on Monday between Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and Gen. Martin Dempsey, visiting chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff in al-Quds.

Prior to the meeting, Gantz hinted that even in the current period of instability there could be opportunities, Israeli daily, Haaretz reported.

Those opportunities became clearer when Dempsey said after the meeting that the discussions included “an outreach to other partners who may not have been willing to be partners in the past,” the Israeli daily said according to NYT.

“What I mean is the Gulf States in particular, who heretofore may not have been as open-minded to the potential for cooperation with Israel, in any way.” Dempsey said.

Haaretz noted that while Dempsey did not go into specifics, other American military officials said that possibilities include “intelligence-sharing, joint counterterrorism exercises and perhaps looking for how Israeli and Saudi troops could jointly work on the training of Syrian opposition fighters.”

Remarking that “world jihadists are not fighting only against Israel,” Gantz added that it would be in the interests of both Israel and neighboring states to “look for ways to combat common enemies.”

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. Over 140,000 people have been reportedly killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by the foreign-backed militants.

Western powers and some of their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – are reportedly supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

April 1, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel, US Mulling Training Syria Terrorists with Saudi Arabia

Al-Manar | April 1, 2014

Top Israeli and US military officials discussed on Monday the possibility of “security cooperation” between the Zionist entity and some Arab states in the Persian Gulf.

The New York Times reported that a meeting took place on Monday between Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and Gen. Martin Dempsey, visiting chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff in al-Quds.

Prior to the meeting, Gantz hinted that even in the current period of instability there could be opportunities, Israeli daily, Haaretz reported.

Those opportunities became clearer when Dempsey said after the meeting that the discussions included “an outreach to other partners who may not have been willing to be partners in the past,” the Israeli daily said according to NYT.

“What I mean is the Gulf States in particular, who heretofore may not have been as open-minded to the potential for cooperation with Israel, in any way.” Dempsey said.

Haaretz noted that while Dempsey did not go into specifics, other American military officials said that possibilities include “intelligence-sharing, joint counterterrorism exercises and perhaps looking for how Israeli and Saudi troops could jointly work on the training of Syrian opposition fighters.”

Remarking that “world jihadists are not fighting only against Israel,” Gantz added that it would be in the interests of both Israel and neighboring states to “look for ways to combat common enemies.”

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. Over 140,000 people have been reportedly killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by the foreign-backed militants.

Western powers and some of their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – are reportedly supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

March 1, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

NSA spied on 125bn phone calls in one month

Press TV – October 24, 2013

The US National Security Agency monitored nearly 125 billion phone calls from around the world in just one month, including around 3 billion calls from US soil, according to documents released by whistleblower Edward J. Snowden.

The sheer extent of the NSA’s data collection effort was compiled from multiple sources and organized on Wednesday by members of intelligence website Cryptome, which regularly publishes government documents and other information.

The majority of calls monitored by the NSA originated from Afghanistan and Pakistan, where 13.76 billion and 21.98 billion calls were respectively collected during January 2013, according to the Boundless Informant “heat map” revealed by the Guardian.

Billions of phone calls were also recorded from countries in the Middle East, including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran and Jordan.

Additionally, some 6.28 billion calls from India were collected. An estimated 3 billion US phone communications were also tapped by the NSA.

Perhaps the most controversial element of the NSA spying program is the effort to collect phone data from Western nations that have friendly relations with the US.

Germany, France and several other countries have expressed concerns about US spying after Snowden, former NSA contractor, revealed classified information about US surveillance programs.

The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, admitted in July that Snowden’s exposés have seriously damaged US ties with other countries. “There has been damage. I don’t think we actually have been able to determine the depth of that damage.”

October 24, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | Leave a comment

Will Congress Endorse Obama’s War Plans? Does it Matter?

By Ron Paul | September 1, 2013

President Obama announced this weekend that he has decided to use military force against Syria and would seek authorization from Congress when it returned from its August break. Every Member ought to vote against this reckless and immoral use of the US military. But even if every single Member and Senator votes for another war, it will not make this terrible idea any better because some sort of nod is given to the Constitution along the way.

Besides, the president made it clear that Congressional authorization is superfluous, asserting falsely that he has the authority to act on his own with or without Congress. That Congress allows itself to be treated as window dressing by the imperial president is just astonishing.

The President on Saturday claimed that the alleged chemical attack in Syria on August 21 presented “a serious danger to our national security.” I disagree with the idea that every conflict, every dictator, and every insurgency everywhere in the world is somehow critical to our national security. That is the thinking of an empire, not a republic. It is the kind of thinking that this president shares with his predecessor and it is bankrupting us and destroying our liberties here at home.

According to recent media reports, the military does not have enough money to attack Syria and would have to go to Congress for a supplemental appropriation to carry out the strikes. It seems our empire is at the end of its financial rope. The limited strikes that the president has called for in Syria would cost the US in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey wrote to Congress last month that just the training of Syrian rebels and “limited” missile and air strikes would cost “in the billions” of dollars. We should clearly understand what another war will do to the US economy, not to mention the effects of additional unknown costs such as a spike in fuel costs as oil skyrockets.

I agree that any chemical attack, particularly one that kills civilians, is horrible and horrendous. All deaths in war and violence are terrible and should be condemned. But why are a few hundred killed by chemical attack any worse or more deserving of US bombs than the 100,000 already killed in the conflict? Why do these few hundred allegedly killed by Assad count any more than the estimated 1,000 Christians in Syria killed by US allies on the other side? Why is it any worse to be killed by poison gas than to have your head chopped off by the US allied radical Islamists, as has happened to a number of Christian priests and bishops in Syria?

For that matter, why are the few hundred civilians killed in Syria by a chemical weapon any worse than the 2000-3000 who have been killed by Obama’s drone strikes in Pakistan? Does it really make a difference whether a civilian is killed by poison gas or by drone missile or dull knife?

In “The Sociology of Imperialism,” Joseph Schumpeter wrote of the Roman Empire’s suicidal interventionism:

“There was no corner of the known world where some interest was not alleged to be in danger or under actual attack. If the interests were not Roman, they were those of Rome’s allies; and if Rome had no allies, then allies would be invented. When it was utterly impossible to contrive an interest – why, then it was the national honour that had been insulted.”

Sadly, this sounds like a summary of Obama’s speech over the weekend. We are rapidly headed for the same collapse as the Roman Empire if we continue down the president’s war path. What we desperately need is an overwhelming Congressional rejection of the president’s war authorization. Even a favorable vote, however, cannot change the fact that this is a self-destructive and immoral policy.

September 1, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | 4 Comments

Tel Aviv: “Axis of Evil” Cannot Be Allowed to Win in Syria

By Yahya Dbouk | Al-Akhbar | August 16, 2013

It is perhaps one of those rare times that Israel openly clarifies its position regarding the Syrian crisis, and from the mouths of high-ranking officials: the Resistance cannot be allowed to win.

Tel Aviv is increasingly worried about the developments taking place in Syria. They want the West to be more involved, particularly as Washington seems less certain about how far it should go in supporting the opposition there.

This prompted Israel’s minister of war Moshe Yaalon to make his concerns known to his visitor from Washington, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, for all the media to hear: “The axis of evil, which extends from Tehran to Damascus and Beirut, cannot be allowed to win in the ongoing war in Syria.”

After explaining that the most important thing happening in the region is the change sweeping through many Arab countries, he asked Dempsey to consider Iran’s role and the threat it poses to Israel’s security.

“The lack of stability in the region,” Yaalon insisted, “is due to many reasons, at the top of which is the Iranian regime and its involvement in all the crises taking place in the Middle East.”

According to Israel Defense magazine, the minister said that he believed the Syrian crisis would continue for a long time and would not end even if Bashar al-Assad falls, noting that “there are bloody accounts to be settled between the Alawis and Sunnis, in addition to other minorities engaged in the fighting.”
Yaalon repeated statements he had made after the Syrian opposition’s defeat in Qusayr, that Syria is going through a period in which the state is breaking up, suggesting that the Assad regime, contrary to what recent developments suggest, is weakening.

“I don’t see a change [in the regime’s favor],” the minister maintained, “because in Syria there are many places where the opposition is hitting the regime hard, as in Aleppo and the Latakia area, in addition to the Golan. This suggests that the opposition controls more territory than before.”

In the same vein, a high-ranking Israeli official criticized the US administration’s policy, and the weakness it has shown in handling a number of files in the region. On the occasion of Dempsey’s visit to Israel, the official told Yedioth Ahronot that Washington’s hesitation “will only increase Russia’s influence in the area.”

“Israel is very worried about America’s position regarding the region,” the same source added. “The Russians are taking advantage of America’s weakness, and they are waging their battles like a superpower, therefore proving to the countries of the region and President Assad that they can be relied on, while the Americans abandon their allies and partners.”

Of more concern to the source is that the US’ weak stand extend to its confrontation with Iran, asking Washington not to fall into the trap of the country’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, and “to squeeze Iran until it surrenders.”

The source explained that Israelis are generally comfortable with what is going on around them, despite the upheaval taking place in Egypt: “We can work with the Egyptians, Jordanians and other countries, for we have common interests with many parties in the region, and Israel is the one holding up the tent these days.”

August 16, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chair of US Joint Chiefs of Staff arrives in Israel for talks

MEMO | August 13, 2013

General Martin Dempsey will meet with a number of senior IDF leaders to review ‘mutual security challenges’
The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff arrived in Israel on Monday where he will be a guest of his Israeli counterpart, Israel Defence Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. During his stay, General Martin Dempsey will meet with a number of senior IDF leaders to discuss means of cooperation between Israel and the US, and to review “mutual security challenges”. Dempsey will also meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

According to an article in Yedioth Ahronoth written by Nahum Barnea, the Israelis will use the opportunity to present to the US their vision of a solution for the dilemma that America is facing regarding the crisis in Syria. They will also address the debate between those who call for supporting the Assad regime to prevent the rise of extremist Islamists, like Al Qaeda and Jabhat Al Nusra, and those who believe in the need to topple Assad’s regime first, through reinforcing the Free Syrian Army.

Barnea said that Israel’s plan depends on two distinct phases. The first includes providing more assistance to the Free Syrian Army, especially weapons and equipment, along with a no-fly zone. Israel believes that the US is capable of imposing a no-fly zone on the Syrian Air Force at little cost.

The second phase would be implemented after Assad’s ouster. Israel wants the Americans to support Syria’s secularists in expelling jihadi movements out of the country. Although this is a theoretical solution with no guarantees, Barnea believes that Israel is convinced that it is possible.

August 13, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Syrian Regime Change A-La-Carte

By JASON HIRTHLER | July 24, 2013

After committing a half dozen acts of war across the Middle East in recent years, we’re now treated to the absurd spectacle of an American general warning us of the dangers of committing an act of war. On Monday, U.S. General Martin Dempsey starkly outlined options for military action in Syria in a letter to the Senate, ruefully adding a few caveats about costs and collateral damage that triggered some chest-thumping histrionics in the Senate. Dempsey’s menu of warmongering druthers included training and advising the opposition (the term ‘nonlethal’ is always excitedly appended to advisory activities); conducting limited missile strikes; establishing a no-fly zone; creating buffer zones; and controlling chemical weapons. These additional options come even as Congress approves arms shipments to Syrian ‘rebels’.

Importantly, though, Dempsey did emphasize that the use of force in any form would be “no less than an act of war”. This may appear to be a given, but it is not within the Washington bubble, hence the need to overstate the obvious. Outraged by this show of good sense, senior Senator John McCain threatened to block General Dempsey’s re-election as America’s top military appointment. McCain has been clamoring for a ‘no-fly zone’ for months, and finds the General insufficiently hostile to Syrian sovereignty. This is itself absurd, since Dempsey had just laid out five ‘acts of war’ for the White House to consider. While the various approaches appear quite different prima facie, they share a common objective—the end of the Bashar al-Assad government. As employed in Libya, a nominal no-fly zone bears little distinction from Dempsey’s “stand-off strikes,” the former providing rhetorical cover for a brutal aerial assault on a country’s military infrastructure, usefully evading Congressional interference and erecting a posture of last-resort humanitarian action.

Much to McCain’s continuing chagrin, Dempsey also usefully detailed some of the exorbitant costs of any of these actions, including the eye-popping $500 million upfront costs for a no-fly zone, followed by a mere billion dollars a month for maintenance. Controlling chemical weapons would run a billion a month, too. (Training unhinged Islamic jihadists came in comparatively cheaper, at just $500 million a year.) After laying out these costs, Dempsey couldn’t resist noting with dutiful trepidation that these expenditures arise even as we “lose readiness due to budget cuts and fiscal uncertainty”. This must have caused some discomfiture even among the most stalwart deficit hawks.

Dempsey also performed the tiresome hand-wringing pantomime, noting grave concerns that weapons or intelligence could fall into the hands of Al-Qaeda affiliates (such as those we are backing), as well as reminding us how heavily these decisions weigh upon our noble civilian leaders. (Perhaps we are meant to conjure Obama’s discerning visage, a gentle Caesarean wreath of laurels cresting his pate.) Any of the items on the a-la-carte menu, Dempsey noted, might produce “retaliatory attacks” and “collateral damage”, might inadvertently create “operational zones for extremists” or “unleash the very chemical weapons we seek to control,” among a number of other regrettable forms of chaos. One has to wonder whether Dempsey is late arriving to the Syrian conflict, considering it is common knowledge that arming extremist is the cornerstone of our Syrian strategy, or that it is quite possible that the extremists in our employ have already deployed chemical weapons in service to their discredited rebellion. Perhaps Dempsey ought to look back to Libya again for a better sense of what “unintended consequences” really entail—namely, destabilizing delicately balanced communities inside neighboring nations (see Mali) and the indiscriminate diffusion of both weaponry and stateless jihad across the region. It might also behoove McCain to ponder the internal effect of the Libyan no-fly zone, which precipitated not only the aforementioned regional phenomenon, but also left Libya itself reduced to a confection of simmering sectarian strongholds with a cowering and nominally federated government in Tripoli. The only question that remains is whether these consequences are “unintended” or not.

It’s hardly absurd to suggest the possibility that the Pentagon sometimes likes to “trigger” failed states. Once achieved, several fortuitous opportunities emerge: large lending regimes move in, conditioning aid on the chaining of renascent economies to structural reforms designed to refashion the country as an unfettered market for Western multinationals; and also the use of the country as a staging hub for military actions across the region; and other surreptitious designs.

But nothing feels more disingenuous than Dempsey’s pronounced concern over committing an “act of war”. Is funneling cash, weapons, and intelligence to mercenary forces in an effort to unseat a sovereign government not itself an act of war? Are not the pernicious and unsanctioned drone bombings of civilians in Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan not acts of war? Is conducting clandestine cyber warfare within Iran an act of war? What about funneling millions to opposition candidates in last year’s Venezuelan election—surely a serious provocation at least?

You’d be hard-pressed to imagine any of the above acts being taken against the United States that didn’t induce an instantaneous and vicious military reply—and a deluge of indignant rhetoric from the White House. Imagine an Iranian computer virus taking down half our Internet servers. Or a Pakistani drone liquidating a ‘threat’ in Iowa. Or Syria funneling arms to Islamist cells in Delaware.

Dempsey should at least be cognizant of the fact that we’ve been launching acts of war on a regular and unrepentant basis. And perhaps that’s why his modestly alarmist message—albeit couched in a freshet of regime-change mechanisms—will likely fall on deaf ears in our effete and enervated Senate.

Jason Hirthler can be reached at jasonhirthler@gmail.com.
Source

July 24, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

How the Israel Lobby Trained a Diplomat

By Paul R. Pillar | Consortium News | July 22, 2013

David Rieff’s commentary on Samantha Power’s confirmation hearing is a trenchant account of some of the worst in what we see in the process of confirming nominees for senior positions. Even by the standards of such hearings, Power’s performance was notably obsequious.

This was an abuse of the process by the nominee, in the sense that in a proceeding ostensibly intended to learn more about the nominee we did not learn much at all except that she really, really wants the job of ambassador to the United Nations and is willing to shape her testimony in whatever way it takes to get the job.

Rieff cites the experience of Robert Bork as the master lesson for all subsequent nominees on the need to trim their views if they expect to get confirmed. That history is no doubt a factor, but to understand the pathologies of the confirmation process we should take note of the variety of ways in which that process gets abused. Many of those ways are not the work of nominees, but in at least one respect, as Power’s case illustrates, they induce from nominees’ behavior that only adds to the dysfunction.

A conspicuous and recent abuse was the attempt to cripple the work of the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by refusing to bring any nominees for those bodies to a vote in the Senate. Threats from the Senate majority leader about exercising a so-called nuclear option won a temporary reprieve from that tactic, although there is no assurance we won’t see it revived, and the chances are it will be.

One of the participants in that tactic, Senator Lindsey Graham, later acknowledged that the nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “was being filibustered because we don’t like the law. That’s not a reason to deny someone their appointment. We were wrong.”

Even when the objective is not to cripple an agency or effectively vacate the law that created it, it has become commonplace for the confirmation process to be the vehicle for pursuing policy agendas that have nothing to do with the nominee. This is at best an irrelevance and a drag on the process. It becomes abuse when confirmation votes may be determined by it.

The same Sen. Graham started crossing this line last week when he used questioning of Admiral James Winnefeld, nominated for another term as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to push the idea that the Iranian regime is still an awful and extreme beast despite the election to the Iranian presidency of Hassan Rouhani.

At one point Graham said “this will determine how I vote for you” before asking whether Winnefeld thought Rouhani is a “moderate.” Even setting aside the issue of the substantive validity of what Graham was harping on, why should a military officer’s view on this question determine his fitness to serve as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs?

Nominees, especially those already serving in the Executive Branch, have somehow to make their responsiveness to questions not run afoul of policies that have already been set by the president, and not to make it seem that they are getting ahead of the president, forcing his hand, or openly criticizing him. And yet senators repeatedly and knowingly put nominees in that difficult position.

At the same hearing last week of the Senate Armed Services Committee, John McCain did so with General Martin Dempsey, nominated for another term as chairman of the Joint Chiefs. McCain tenaciously tried to get Dempsey to say that the administration’s policy on Syria was one of “inaction.”

We should hope that the nation’s senior military officer is giving his best advice in private to the president on military aspects of an important problem such as Syria, and we should expect that officer not to offer discordant characterizations of the president’s policy in public. We should also hope that senior members of the Senate Armed Services Committee see the job of chairman of the Joint Chiefs in similar terms, regardless of their views about Syria or any other substantive issue.

The inherent vulnerability of nominees makes the confirmation process a vehicle for showing who’s boss. This is a form of abuse that goes beyond senators who do the voting, and it gets back to how Power conducted herself. Specifically, it gets to her comments about Israel, which as Rieff puts it were “so stridently one-sided as to be almost wholly indistinguishable from the talking points of Israeli diplomats.”

The now well-known background to this is an interview more than a decade ago, in which Power suggested that to quell Israeli-Palestinian violence at that time the United States should consider deploying a large protective force even though this might mean “alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import.” The constituency in question, as is its custom, denounced Power as anti-Israeli.

Power’s later means of retaining her confirmability in the face of such accusations was to disavow, totally and tearfully, her own observations. A key event was a meeting with American Jewish leaders at which, according to the meeting’s organizer, she “became deeply emotional and struggled to complete her presentation as she expressed how deeply such accusations had affected her.”

This sequence has made Samantha Power a more valuable commodity to the Israel lobby than if she had never made any comments to offend the lobby in the first place. Sustaining the lobby’s power depends on repeated demonstrations of submission to that power. The lobby could not have gotten a better demonstration of submission than to have the nominated chief U.S. diplomat at the United Nations abandon all evidence of any independent thought on the issues concerned and to make herself indistinguishable from Israeli diplomats.

Besides making for more dysfunction in the confirmation process, this kind of response from a nominee, as when Power said at her hearing that the United States has “no greater friend in the world” than Israel, badly distorts the larger public discourse on important issues. To appreciate how much it is distorted, we have to listen to distinguished and experienced people who are not up for a confirmation vote, do not expect to be in the future, and thus can voice their observations in an honest and untrimmed manner.

One such person is retired Marine Corps General and former Central Command head James Mattis, who last weekend explained some of the cost to the United States of the festering Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “I paid a military security price every day as a commander of CENTCOM because the Americans were seen as biased in support of Israel,” said Mattis.

Moderate Arabs “who want to be with us,” he said, restrict their support for the United States because they “can’t come out publicly in support of people who don’t want to show respect for the Arab Palestinians.”

July 24, 2013 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

War Drums for Syria?

By Ron Paul | June 4, 2012

War drums are beating again in Washington. This time Syria is in the crosshairs after a massacre there last week left more than 100 dead. As might be expected from an administration with an announced policy of “regime change” in Syria, the reaction was to blame only the Syrian government for the tragedy, expel Syrian diplomats from Washington, and announce that the US may attack Syria even without UN approval. Of course, the idea that the administration should follow the Constitution and seek a Declaration of War from Congress is considered even more anachronistic now than under the previous administration.

It may be the case that the Syrian military was responsible for the events last week, but recent bombings and attacks have been carried out by armed rebels with reported al-Qaeda ties. With the stakes so high, it would make sense to wait for a full investigation — unless the truth is less important than stirring up emotions in favor of a US attack.

There is ample reason to be skeptical about US government claims amplified in mainstream media reports. How many times recently have lies and exaggerations been used to push for the use of force overseas? It was not long ago that we were told Gaddafi was planning genocide for the people of Libya, and the only way to stop it was a US attack. Those claims turned out to be false, but by then the US and NATO had already bombed Libya, destroying its infrastructure, killing untold numbers of civilians, and leaving a gang of violent thugs in charge.

Likewise, we were told numerous falsehoods to increase popular support for the 2003 war on Iraq, including salacious stories of trans-Atlantic drones and WMDs. Advocates of war did not understand the complexities of Iraqi society, including its tribal and religious differences. As a result, Iraq today is a chaotic mess, with its ancient Christian population eliminated and the economy set back decades. An unnecessary war brought about by lies and manipulation never ends well.

Earlier still, we were told lies about genocide and massacres in Kosovo to pave the way for President Clinton’s bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. More than 12 years later, that region is every bit as unstable and dangerous as before the US intervention – and American troops are still there.

The story about the Syrian massacre keeps changing, which should raise suspicions. First, we were told that the killings were caused by government shelling, but then it was discovered that most were killed at close range with handgun fire and knives. No one has explained why government forces would take the time to go house to house binding the hands of the victims before shooting them, and then retreat to allow the rebels in to record the gruesome details. No one wants to ask or answer the disturbing questions, but it would be wise to ask ourselves who benefits from these stories.

We have seen media reports over the past several weeks that the Obama administration is providing direct “non-lethal” assistance to the rebels in Syria while facilitating the transfer of weapons from other Gulf States. This semi-covert assistance to rebels we don’t know much about threatens to become overt intervention. Last week Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said about Syria, “I think the military option should be considered.” And here all along I thought it was up to Congress to decide when we go to war, not the generals.

We are on a fast track to war against Syria. It is time to put on the brakes.

June 6, 2012 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Comments Off on War Drums for Syria?

US Sends Combat Commanders to Colombia

By Susana Pimiento and John Lindsay-Poland | Fellowship of Reconciliation | May 21, 2012

U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff commander General Martin Dempsey visited Colombia on March 29 to announce that within weeks U.S. military personnel will operate from a military base there with the newly formed Vulcan Task Force.

The Vulcan Task Force, which was established in December 2011, has 10,000 soldiers, three mobile brigades and one fixed brigade, operating from a base in Tibú, in the Catatumbo region (North Santander), just two miles from the Venezuela border.

On April 15, presidents Obama and Santos met during the Americas Summit and agreed on a new military regional action plan that will include training police forces in Central America and beyond. The announcement cited Operation Martillo, by which U.S. and Colombian forces have participated in operations this year against criminal elements on the coasts and interior of Central America.

The presence of U.S. soldiers on the military base in Tibú was presented by General Dempsey as an effort by the United States to support Colombia in its fight against drug trafficking and the insurgency. According to Dempsey, the Pentagon plans by June to send U.S. brigade commanders with practical experience in Afghanistan and Iraq to work with police and army combat units that will be deployed in areas controlled by the rebels. Dempsey said that U.S. military personnel will not participate in combat operations in Colombia.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Colombia has established its own version of U.S. joint special operations commands that carry out hunt-and-kill missions – operations for selective killings that have included U.S. citizens accused of having ties to Al Qaeda. With these special commandos, Colombia hopes to reach its goal of reducing the FARC guerrillas by 50% in two years.

U.S. participation in such an aggressive military campaign would undercut prospective attempts to negotiate a settlement of the armed conflict, which has increasing support in Colombia. The campaign, which apparently does not target successor paramilitary groups, is also likely to benefit those groups, which continue to commit human rights abuses, engage in drug trafficking, and operate in more than 400 municipalities in 31 Colombian states, according to a report by the Institute for Study of Development and Peace, INDEPAZ.

The Journal also cited statements by Southern Command chief General Douglas Fraser at a March 12 hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee expressing concern about the strengthening of diplomatic relations between Iran and the governments of Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Cuba, and Nicaragua.

The expansion of counterinsurgency forces in Africa and Latin America is also part of a new national security strategy released by the White House in February. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that the new strategy introduces “innovative methods” for supporting counter-terrorist forces and expanding the United States’ influence on the two continents.

Joint Task Force Vulcan is led by Brigadier General Marcolino Tamayo Tamayo, who in 1985, when he was a lieutenant, participated in the operation to retake the Palace of Justice in Colombia. Similar joint task forces have been created in Tumaco, Nariño; Miranda, Cauca; and Tame, Arauca.

May 21, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on US Sends Combat Commanders to Colombia

US military school taught “total war” against Muslims

Al Akhbar | May 11, 2012

A senior US military official has been forced to condemn a class taught at a military college that advocated a “total war” against Muslims.

The course at the Joint Forces Staff College in Virginia also suggested possible nuclear attacks on holy Islamic cities such as Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

The story, originally published on Wired.com’s danger room blog, risks damaging America’s already tarnished image in the Islamic world, where it maintains a heavy military presence.

The head of the course Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley laid out a possible four-phase plan to carry out a forced transformation of Islam, with the aim of reducing it to “cult status.”

He added that it was possible to apply “the historical precedents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki” to Islam’s holiest cities, and bring about “Mecca and Medina[‘s] destruction.”

“We have now come to understand that there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam,’” Dooley noted in a July 2011 presentation, which concluded with a suggested manifesto to America’s enemies.

“It is therefore time for the United States to make our true intentions clear. This barbaric ideology will no longer be tolerated. Islam must change or we will facilitate its self-destruction.”

The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, said the course was “against our values.”

“It was just totally objectionable, against our values, and it wasn’t academically sound,” General Dempsey said.

He said he had ordered a full investigation when the course was suspended in April after one of the students objected to the material.

However Dempsey’s argument appeared to be undermined after it emerged that Dooley has not been fired from his job.

US forces continue to occupy Afghanistan, as well as maintaining bases inside friendly regimes in the Middle East.

There was widespread fury earlier this year when dozens of Afghans were killed in protests following the burning of Qurans at a US-run military prison in southern Afghanistan.

May 11, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Islamophobia, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | Comments Off on US military school taught “total war” against Muslims

U.S.’s Post-Afghanistan Counterinsurgency War: Colombia

By Rick Rozoff | Stop NATO | April 23, 2012

The Pentagon announced on April 23 that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has begun a trip to South America, arriving in Colombia as part of a three-nation tour that will also take him to Brazil and Chile.

It is his first visit to the continent as Pentagon chief, though he has visited often in other capacities, including as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Panetta’s meetings with top government and military officials in the three nations will follow those of America’s top military officer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, to Colombia and Brazil late last month.

Panetta’s mission also occurs two weeks after U.S. and Brazilian presidents Barack Obama and Dilma Rousseff met in the White House on April 9 and agreed on the establishment of the U.S.-Brazil Defense Cooperation Dialogue, announcing that Defense Secretary Panetta and Brazil’s Defence Minister Celso Amorim will hold the first meeting in that format on April 24.

Colombia is the largest recipient of U.S. military aid in Latin America, though its population is less than a quarter of Brazil’s, and the third largest in the world after Israel and Egypt.

After the passage by Congress of the Clinton administration’s Plan Colombia in 2000, the military in Bogota has received approximately $7 billion in U.S. assistance, up from $50 million in 1998 when it was already the biggest beneficiary of American military aid in Latin America.

On October 30, 2009 the Obama administration and that of then-Colombian President Alvaro Uribe agreed on the U.S.-Colombia Defense Cooperation Agreement, which opened up three Colombian air bases, two naval bases, two army installations “and other Colombian military facilities if mutually agreed” to the Pentagon.

One of the bases obtained by the United States, the Larandia Military Fort in Florencia, is within easy striking distance of Ecuador, as the Alberto Pawells Rodriguez Air Base in Malambo is of Venezuela.

Colombia launched a deadly attack against rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) inside neighboring Ecuador in 2008, which the Ecuadorian government accused U.S. special forces personnel inside its country of having assisted. The following year the Colombian armed forces conducted an incursion inside Venezuela, seizing four border guards.

Panetta is in Colombia to coordinate a final offensive against FARC fighters, who have been battling the country’s narco-autocracy and its political minions in Bogota since 1964.

According to Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs and Pentagon Press Secretary George Little, the defense secretary is to meet with Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon Bueno and General Alejandro Navas, General Commander of the Military Forces of Colombia.

On April 23 Panetta praised his military ally, stating, “Colombia, to its credit, has done a tremendous job in going after the FARC.” He failed to mention with, in addition to $7 billion dollars of Washington aid, U.S. helicopter gunships, planes, trainers and special forces troops.

Pentagon spokesman Little added, “Clearly we still have plenty to talk about in continuing to support the Colombians in their efforts against [the FARC]…”

When chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Dempsey was in Colombia on March 27-28, the Defense Department website reported that he visited Joint Task Force Vulcano, “a new interagency force aimed at defeating the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia…The strategy calls for Colombia to cut the FARC forces in half in two years.”

In Dempsey’s words, “They selected 2014 as a key moment for them, They want to accelerate their effects against the FARC.” With the Pentagon’s active connivance and assistance, which why is Dempsey was and Panetta is in the country.

Dempsey was explicit about the American role in the “final solution” of the Colombian civil war: “We’re getting ready to send some brigade commanders who have been in Iraq and Afghanistan down here to partner with their Joint Task Force commanders in a leader developmental function. The challenges they face are not unlike the challenges we’ve faced in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

The Pentagon’s website reported the following on March 27, worth quoting in detail.

Dempsey “joined virtually the entire Colombian defense leadership to visit Joint Task Force Vulcano,” just outside the town of Tibu, only three kilometers from the Venezuela border.

“The Colombian government established the task force in December. It is the latest effort to defeat the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia…

“Dempsey arrived at the base in a Colombian Air Force Mi-17 helicopter along with Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon Bueno and Gen. Alejandro Navas, commander of the Colombian Armed Forces.

“Following his comments, Dempsey discussed strategy with the minister and the chief of defense and also Army chief Maj. Gen. Sergio Mantilla Sanmiguel, Navy chief Vice Adm. Roberto Garcia Marquez and Air Force chief Maj. Gen. Tito Saul Pinilla-Pinilla.

“Before Joint Task Force Vulcano stood up, there were a small number of troops in the region. Now there are more than 10,000, [spokesman for the task force, Colombian army Captain Jose Mojica] said. The forces are composed of three mobile brigades and a geographic brigade. A fourth brigade is getting ready to deploy to the area.

“This is all part of an ambitious Colombian strategy to cut the FARC by half in two years. U.S. Embassy officials said there are about 8,000 FARC members now. Colombian officials spoke of the plan as the end game for the rebellion against the government after 48 years of intermittent war.”

Immediately before Dempsey’s visit to Colombia, U.S. Army South held talks with the Colombian armed forces in Bogota from March 19-23.

Three years ago CBS News quoted an unnamed Pentagon official stating, “The more Afghanistan can look like Colombia, the better.” The equation is now being reversed.

Other top U.S. defense and military officials have for years spoken of “coming back home” to the Western Hemisphere as the war in Afghanistan winds down.

Panetta’s and Dempsey’s visits to Colombia and their statements regarding the purpose of them leave no doubt as to where America’s new, at any rate expanded, counterinsurgency war is occurring.

April 24, 2012 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on U.S.’s Post-Afghanistan Counterinsurgency War: Colombia