Thursday, August 22, 2013
In court papers filed today (PDF), the United States Department of Justice requested that George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz be granted procedural immunity in a case alleging that they planned and waged the Iraq War in violation of international law.
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:
1. Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.
"Rupert Murdoch's newspapers and TV channels have supported all the US-UK wars over the past 30 years, from Margaret Thatcher and the Falklands war in 1982, through George Bush Senior and the first Gulf War in 1990-91, Bill Clinton's war in Yugoslavia in 1999 and his undeclared war on Iraq in 1998, George W. Bush's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, with Tony Blair on his coat tails, and up to the present, with Barack Obama continuing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and now adding Libya to his tally of seven wars."
"The week before the world's largest anti-war protests ever and the United Nation's rejection of the Iraq War in mid-February 2003, Murdoch told a reporter that in launching a war Bush was acting "morally" and "correctly" while Blair was "full of guts" and "extraordinarily courageous." Murdoch promoted the looming war as a path to cheap oil and a healthy economy. He said he had no doubt that Bush would be "reelected" if he "won" the war and the U.S. economy stayed healthy. That's not an idle statement from the owner of the television network responsible for baselessly prompting all of the other networks to call the 2000 election in Bush's favor during a tight race in Florida that Bush actually lost."
"When the war in Iraq began, the three international leaders who were most ardently committed to the project were US President Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Australian Prime Minister John Howard. On paper, they seemed like three very different political players: Bush was a bumbling and inexperienced son of a former president who mixed unwarranted bravado with born-again moralizing to hold together an increasingly conservative Republican Party; Blair was the urbane 'modernizer' who had transformed a once proudly socialist party into the centrist 'New Labour' project; Howard was the veteran political fixer who came up through the ranks of a coalition that mingled traditional conservatives and swashbuckling corporatists.
"But they had one thing in common. They were all favorites of Rupert Murdoch and his sprawling media empire, which began in Australia, extended to the 'mother country' of Britain and finally conquered the United States. Murdoch's media outlets had helped all three secure electoral victories. And the Murdoch empire gave the Bush-Blair-Howard troika courage and coverage as preparations were made for the Iraq invasion.
And so it was."Murdoch-owned media outlets in the United States, Britain and Australia enthusiastically cheered on the rush to war and the news that it was a 'Mission Accomplished.'"
Thursday, December 15, 2011
The New York Times, the newspaper that helped start the War On Iraq, announces it has come to an end on its online front page :
There is no mention on the front page of the New York Times, at all, of the estimated half-million or more Iraqis who lost their lives during nine years of American Occupation.
That's got to please the Pentagon.
Considering the amount of coverage the Iraq War has been given here, on and off, over the years, I should have a lot to say about this historic day.
But I don't.
We saw what happened when a strand of the American war industry elite decided Iraq had to be destroyed, nothing could stop them, and nothing didn't. They got nine years of war and destruction and world-poverty lifting military budgets.
Do you think it will be any different next time?
Is it, when it comes to War On Iran?
Of course not.
They get the wars they want.
And it's always been this way.
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Former Director of Nation Intelligence Dennis Blair has announced the War on Terror, including drone attacks in Pakistan, Waziristan and Afghanistan are not worth the expense involved. Most of the alleged 'terrorists' and 'senior terrorist leaders' are nobodies.
Blair said between the US intelligence community and its homeland security offshoots and sub-contractors, more than $80 billion a year is being spent.
He calculates a figure of America spending some $20 million to capture and kill every one of the 4000 or so members of Al Qaeda he believes are still alive in the world today.
More From Wired Here
But are there even 4000 die-hard, sucicide-bomb ready Al Qaeada anything left? Other intellience experts have put the total number of Al Qaeada who pose a threat to the United Sstates, or United States' expansive interests, at less than a few hundred, all of whom are rapidly losing support in the wake of mostly non-violent Arab Spring movement.
So maybe not $20 million being spent to catch each one of these terrorists.
Perhaps, $100 million each, or more.
Somebody's getting rich.
It ain't you, and it sure ain't 'Al Qaeda'.
Saturday, July 02, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
NATO's War On Libya is not everything it seems, far from it.
Susan Lindauer at Intel Hub :
It’s a story CNN won’t report. Late at night there’s a pounding on the door in Misurata. Armed soldiers force young Libyan women out of their beds at gun-point.
Hustling the women and teenagers into trucks, the soldiers rush the women to gang bang parties for NATO rebels—or else rape them in front of their husbands or fathers. When NATO rebels finish their rape sport, the soldiers cut the women’s throats.
Rapes are now ongoing acts of war in rebel-held cities, like an organized military strategy, according to refugees. Joanna Moriarty, who’s part of a global fact-finding delegation visiting Tripoli this week, also reports that NATO rebels have gone house to house through Misurata, asking families if they support NATO. If the families say no, they are killed on the spot.
If families say they want to stay out of the fighting, NATO rebels take a different approach to scare other families. The doors of “neutral homes” are welded shut, Moriarty says, trapping families inside.
In Libyan homes, windows are typically barred. So when the doors to a family compound get welded shut, Libyans are entombed in their own houses, where NATO forces can be sure large families will slowly starve to death.
These are daily occurrences, not isolated events. And Gadhaffi’s soldiers are not responsible. In fact, pro-Gadhaffi and “neutral” families are targeted as the victims of the attacks.
From the UK Independent :
Secret meetings between Palestinian intermediaries, Egyptian intelligence officials, the Turkish foreign minister, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal – the latter requiring a covert journey to Damascus with a detour round the rebellious city of Deraa – brought about the Palestinian unity which has so disturbed both Israelis and the American government. Fatah and Hamas ended four years of conflict in May with an agreement that is crucial to the Paslestinian demand for a state.The Full Story Is Here
A series of detailed letters, accepted by all sides, of which The Independent has copies, show just how complex the negotiations were; Hamas also sought – and received – the support of Syrian President Bachar al-Assad, the country’s vice president Farouk al-Sharaa and its foreign minister, Walid Moallem. Among the results was an agreement by Meshaal to end Hamas rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza – since resistance would be the right only of the state – and agreement that a future Palestinian state be based on Israel’s 1967 borders.
“Without the goodwill of all sides, the help of the Egyptians and the acceptance of the Syrians – and the desire of the Palestinians to unite after the start of the Arab Spring, we could not have done this,” one of the principal intermediaries, 75-year old Munib Masri, told me. It was Masri who helped to set up a ‘Palestinian Forum’ of independents after the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority and Hamas originally split after Hamas won an extraordinary election victory in 2006. “I thought the divisions that had opened up could be a catastrophe and we went for four years back and forth between the various parties,” Masri said. “Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) asked me several times to mediate. We opened meetings in the West Bank. We had people from Gaza. Everyone participated. We had a lot of capability.”In three years, members of the Palestinian Forum made more than 12 trips to Damascus, Cairo, Gaza and Europe and a lot of initiatives were rejected. Masri and his colleagues dealt directly with Hamas’ Prime Minister Hanniyeh in Gaza. They took up the so-called ‘prisoner swap initiative’ of Marwan Barghouti, a senior Fatah leader in an Israeli jail; then in the winds of the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, the youth of Palestine on 15 March demanded unity and an end to the rivalry of Fatah and Hamas. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had always refused to talk to Abbas on the grounds that the Palestinians were not united. On the 16th, he made a speech saying that he was “thinking of going to Gaza”. Masri, who was present, stood on a chair and clapped.
“I thought Hamas would answer in a positive way,” he recalls. “But in the first two or three days after Abbas’ speech, it gave a rather negative response. He had wanted an immediate election and no dialogue. Hamas did not appreciate this.” Abbas went off to Paris and Moscow – to sulk, in the eyes of some of his associates. But the Forum did not give up.
“We wrote a document – we said we would go to see the Egyptians, to congratulate them upon their revolution. So we had two meetings with the Egyptian head of intelligence, Khaled Orabi – Orabi’s father was an army general at the time of King Farouk – and we met Mohamed Ibrahim, an officer in the intelligence department.” Ibrahim’s father had won renown in the 1973 war when he captured the highest ranking Israeli officer in Sinai. The delegation also met Ibrahim’s deputies, Nadr Aser and Yassir Azawi.
Seven people from each part of Palestine were to represent the team in Cairo. These are the names which will be in future Palestinian history books. From the West Bank, came Dr Hanna Nasser (head of Bir Zeit University and of the Palestinian central election committee); Dr Mamdouh Aker (the head of the human rights society); Mahdi Abdul-Hadi (chairman of a political society in Jerusalem); Hanni Masri (a political analyst); Iyad Masrouji (businessman in pharmacuticals); Hazem Quasmeh (runs an NGO) and Munib Masri himself.
The Gaza ‘side’ were represented by Eyad Sarraj (who in the event could not go to Cairo because he was ill); Maamoun Abu Shahla (member of the board of Palestine Bank); Faysal Shawa (businessman and landowner); Mohsen Abu Ramadan (writer); Rajah Sourani (head of Arab human rights, who did not go to Cairo); ‘Abu Hassan’ (Islamic Jihad member who was sent by Sarraj); and Sharhabil Al-Zaim (a Gaza lawyer).
“These men spent time with the top brass of the Egyptian ‘mukhabarat’ intelligence service,” Masri recalls. “We met them on 10 April but we sent a document before we arrived in Cairo. This is what made it important. In Gaza, there were two different ‘sides’. So we talked about the micro-situation, about Gazans in the ‘jail’ of Gaza, we talked about human rights, the Egyptian blockade, about dignity. Shawa was saying ‘we feel we do not have dignity – and we feel it’s your fault.’ Nadr Asr of the intelligence department said: ‘We’re going to change all that.’
“At 7.0 pm, we came back and saw Khaled Orabi again. I told him: ‘Look, I need these things from you. Do you like the new initiative, a package that’s a win-win situation for everyone? Is the Palestinian file still ‘warm’ in Cairo? He said ‘It’s a bit long – but we like it. Can you pressure both Fatah and Hamas, to bring them in? But we will work with you. Go and see Fatah and Hamas – and treat this as confidential.’ We agreed, and went to see Amr Moussa (now a post-revolution Egyptian presidential candidate) at the Arab League. He was at first very cautious – but the next day, Amr Moussa’s team was very positive. We said: ‘Give it a chance – we said that the Arab League was created for Palestine, that the Arab League has a big role in Jerusalem’.”
The delegation went to see Nabil al-Arabi at the Egyptian foreign ministry. “Al-Arabi said: ‘Can I bring in the foreign minister of Turkey, who happens to be in Egypt?’ So we all talkled about the initiative together. We noticed the close relationship between the foreign ministry and the intelligence ministry. That’s how I found out that ‘new’ Egypt had a lot of confidence – they were talking in front of Turkey; they wanted (italics: wanted) to talk in front of Turkey. So we agreed we would all talk together and then I returned with the others to Amman at 9.0 pm.”
The team went to the West Bank to report – “we were happy, we never had this feeling before” – and tell Azzam Ahmed (Fatah’s head of reconciliation) that they intended to support Mahmoud Abbas’s initiative over Gaza. “We had seven big meetings in Palestine to put all the groups there and the independents in the picture. Abbas had already given us a presidential decree. I spoke to Khaled Meshaal (head of Hamas, living in Damascus) by phone. He said: ‘Does Abu Mazzen (Abbas) agree to this?’ I said that wasn’t the point. I went to Damascus next day with Hanna Nasser, Mahdi Abdul Hadi and Hanni Masri. Because of all the trouble in Syria, we had to make a detour around Deraa. I had a good rapport with Meshaal. He said he had read our document – and that it was worth looking at.”
It was a sign of the mutual distrust between Hamas and Abbas that they both seemed intent on knowing the other’s reaction to the initiative before making up their own minds. “Meshaal said to me: ‘What did Abu Mazzen (Abbas) say?’ I laughed and replied: ‘You always ask me this – but what do you (italics: you) want? We met with Meshaal’s colleagues, Abu Marzouk, Izzat Rishiq and Abu Abdu Rahman. We reviewed the document for six and a half hours. The only thing we didn’t get from Meshaal was that the government has to be by agreement. We told him the government has to be of natiuonal unity -- on the agreement that we would be able to carry out elections and lift the embargo on Gaza and reconstruct Gaza, that we have to abide by international law, by the UN Charter and UN resolutions. He asked for three or four days. He agreed that resistance must only be ‘in the national interest of the country’ – it would have to be ‘aqlaqi’ – ethical. There would be no more rocket attacks on civilians. In other words, no more rocket attacks from Gaza.”
Palestinian protesters on the Syrian frontier on Sunday as they tried to breach the border for the second time in three weeks, reflecting a new mode of popular struggle and deadly confrontation fueled by turmoil in the Arab world and the vacuum of stalled peace talks.
Demonstrators attempted to evacuate a protester who was wounded by Israeli forces on Sunday.
Wave after wave of protesters, mainly Palestinians from refugee camps in Syria, approached the frontier with the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. Israeli soldiers opened fire on those who crossed a new trench and tried to attack the border fence near the towns of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights and Quneitra in Syria.
By nightfall, the Syrian news agency SANA reported that 22 protesters had been killed and more than 350 had been wounded. Israeli officials said that they had no information on casualties but suggested that the Syrian figures were exaggerated.
Even so, it was the worst bloodshed in the Golan Heights since Israel and Syria fought a war there in 1973.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Well, War Industry Profits. Mostly
If the United States cut their war industry budget by even 10 percent, hundreds of thousands of jobs would be lost, some towns would shut up for good, congressmen and congresswomen would lose their jobs.
War is American Industry. Now more than ever.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
From the Financial Times :
The violence underscores the political fragility of the country, which is a hub for strategic oil and gas pipelines carrying Caspian oil and gas to the west.
The protests, launched last Saturday were led by Nino Burdjanadze, a former speaker of parliament and one of the architects of the 2003 Rose Revolution that swept Mr Saakashvili to power.
Support for Mr Saakashvili has waned since he led Georgia into a disastrous war with Russia in 2008 that ended when Georgia lost control of two fifths of its territory.
Georgia’s fragmented opposition say Mr Saakashvili has monopolised power and repressed independent voices, breaking his promise to promote democracy in Georgia. Russia has kept up relentless pressure on the president to resign since the war, describing him as a madman unfit to rule.
A civil war in Yemen seems a possibility now. Much to the horror of Saudi Arabia.
The revolutions in North Africa, the Middle East and Europe continue to spread.
The UK Telegraph takes from an interview with Michael Scheur, the former head of the Bin Laden unit inside the CIA, that "he was repeatedly ordered not to stop the al-Qaeda chief".
The story is interesting, not only for its potted history of Osama Bin Laden, but for some fascinating revelations, besides the fact the CIA apparently did not want Bin Laden dead for most of the 2000s.
From the UK Telegraph :
In August 1998 al-Qaeda killed 12 Americans and 200 others in bombings at two American embassies in east Africa. President Clinton ordered the CIA to dismantle al-Qaeda and, in Scheuer’s words, “take care” of bin Laden. The Pentagon launched cruise missile attacks on bin Laden’s training camps, but he had left the compound hours earlier. Scheuer estimates they had at least eight further opportunities to assassinate bin Laden in the following months.
“I’m not saying it would have been simple to take care of the problem, but it got progressively harder when we didn’t take those opportunities. One 50 cent round could have put us all out of our agony.”
In June 1999, he sent off an angry memo to senior officers asking why his men were risking their lives on someone America apparently had no interest in stopping. “I don’t know what you are doing when you talk to the President but he will not get a better opportunity than this,” he told them.
Scheuer was dismissed from his job and spent the next two years running counter-heroin operations in Pakistan and the Middle East. On September 11, 2001, he was back at CIA headquarters in Langley.
Arriving home exhausted at 11.30pm, he took a shower and crawled into bed when his phone went. It was his successor at the bin Laden unit. “We need you back,” he said.
Three months later British and American special forces were at Tora Bora, bin Laden’s heavily defended cave complex in Afghanistan, when they heard his voice over a captured radio.
It was the last time they had a fix on him for nine years. The Afghans let bin Laden walk out of Tora Bora and head for Pakistan during a ceasefire.
Scheuer continued to act as an adviser to the bin Laden unit until 2004 when he resigned in disgust at the way in which the public was being lied to over the opportunities to capture the terrorist leader.
His books have pointed out the many failings of American policy in the Middle East, not least their inability to address the other causes of western unpopularity in the region while portraying a myopic image of bin Laden as a lunatic.
He retains a sneaking regard for the quarry he hunted in vain for so long. “I respect his piety, integrity and skills,” he says. And the next generation of al-Qaeda? “They will be even more cruel and bloody-minded.”
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Wikileaks is now pumping the new reality of a European Revolution, promoting Twitter hashtags, locations for protests and dates of marches and gatherings on its heavy-traffic website :
2011-05-25 #Europeanrevolution ignites after #spanishrevolution leads the way: massive protests happening now in France, Italy and Greece
As the main camps in Puerta del Sol (Madrid) and Plaza Catalunya (Barcelona) prepare to pack their tents and leave on Sunday, organizers have started to spread their message to the rest of Europe. From the beginning the Internet was abuzz with proposals of a European revolution or a #globalcamp, and for that purpose thousands of blogs and independent websites have been opening, planting the roots of the protests happening now in over twenty cities in France and Italy. Greece has also taken the streets and an estimated 30 thousand people are protesting outside of Athen's Parliament...Wikileaks is not just releasing classified files and government records once kept hidden anymore, or rattling the doors of the establishment with a war of information.
Now Julian Assange is positioning himself at the centre of a European Uprising, and is purposely creating a new reality where what happened during the Arab Spring unfolds in the capitals of Europe.
More on The European Revolution from the UK Guardian :
The Full Story Is Here
A youth-led rebellion is spreading across southern Europe as a new generation of protesters takes possession of squares and parks in cities around Spain, united by a rejection of mainstream politicians and fury over spending cuts.
Protests are also planned in Italy, where the tag #italianrevolution is a trend on Twitter. Plans have been announced for a piazza occupation in Florenceon Thursday night, and for further protests in Italian cities, including Rome and Milan, on Friday.
In Madrid demonstrators have refused to budge from the central Puerta del Sol despite a police charge that dislodged them temporarily on Tuesday night.
Now they have occupied a quarter of the square, covering it with tarpaulins and tents, setting up kitchens, tapping at laptops and settling down to sleep on sofas and armchairs.
Similar scenes were being played out in Barcelona, where protesters held a midday Argentinian-style pan-bashing protest in the Plaza de Catalunya, and in numerous other cities where protesters raised the banner of what they call "the Spanish revolution".All age groups were present in the protests but the emerging leaders were mostly under 30, part of a generation suffering 45% unemployment. Protesters said they were inspired more by the protests that followed the recent banking crisis in Iceland than by those that have swept through north Africa.
"Spain is not a business. We are not slaves," read one of the hundreds of protest posters glued to the Pueta del Sol's metro station walls.
More On The Yemen Revolution At The Atlantic
The revolutions of the Arab Spring begin with the exchange of information, the defiance of authority and rocks :
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
China's interests in Libya, which supplies 3-5% of its oil, also act as a gateway to its tens of billions of dollars worth of investments across Africa in mining, infrastructure development and oil & gas.
Asia Time's Pepe Escobar :
"The Muslim Brotherhood is a weaponised, ideological arm of Saudi Arabia."
"The problem is there are different Washington agendas, White House, national security agencies, the CIA, the Pentagon."
"The next domino to fall, if we follow the agenda established by the Pentagon is Syria....The Pentagon is basically the Africa agenda, they want to win the war in Libya, install a Africa base in Africa....then there are the dominoes, Libya, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Zimbawbe, Somalia. So these are the next dominoes to fall, according to the Africa Pentagon agenda. Then later on the big dominoes would the countries where China has substantial interests. Example, Angola, Algeria, Nigera, Equitorial Guinea...."
"China...their counter strategy, if they see they're foundering in Africa....they would renew their ties with South America and Central Asia..."