War: Lies and Consequences

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WAR

WAR (Photo credit: WeMeantDemocracy)

They tell lies, to excuse wars that are in any case against all conventions and constitutions. Then we call them out on their lies, but we get punished or silenced or ignored or fed new lies while the war mechanics do all in their power keep their machinery going. But where does their power come from? They represents us. We need a new system, a way to monitor use of our delegated power to prevent abuse of our mandate.

From war we have acquired taxes and debt.  Expenses on war and war preparation in the United States are now over half of federal discretionary spending, more than all other nations of the world combined, and more than at any time during the Cold War.  Military spending increases, not with the need for military defense, but with the level of corruption in U.S. elections.

Decreasing in proportion to the rise in military spending are our civil liberties; our representative government; the balance of powers within the government; resistance to policies of warrantless spying, imprisonment without charge, torture, and assassination; and the health of our news media.  The war machine has become the greatest destroyer of the natural environment we have.  And the shifting of funding from all other areas to the military has had disastrous results in as many fields as we might choose to name.

via OP-ED: Lies and Consequences in Our Past 15 Wars | Huntington News.


BY DAVID SWANSON

David Swanson

David Swanson

Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their peoples in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was their object.  This, our Convention understood to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions; and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us.”–Abraham Lincoln

AFGHANISTAN

Prior to 2001, the Taliban was willing to turn Osama bin Laden over to a third country if he was promised a fair trial and no death penalty, and if some evidence of his guilt of crimes were offered.  In 2001, the Taliban warned the United States that bin Laden was planning an attack on American soil.  In July 2001 the United States was known to have plans to take military action against the Taliban by mid-October.

When the United States attacked Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, the Taliban again offered to negotiate for the handing over of bin Laden. When President George W. Bush refused, the Taliban dropped its demand for evidence of guilt and offered simply to turn bin Laden over to a third country.  Bush rejected this offer and continued bombing.  At a March 13, 2002, press conference, Bush said of bin Laden “I truly am not that concerned about him.”[i] When President Barack Obama announced, in May 2011, that he had killed bin Laden, the war didn’t even slow down.

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News and Comments 7 Feb 2012

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Syria crisis: Gulf Arab states expel Syrian ambassadors

Gulf Arab states say they are expelling Syrian ambassadors in their countries and recalling their envoys from Syria.

The Gulf Cooperation Council said Syria had rejected Arab attempts to solve the crisis and end 11 months of bloodshed.

The US closed its embassy in Syria on Monday, and several European countries have recalled their ambassadors.

The moves came as Syrian government forces continued their fierce assault on the restive city of Homs, and Russian officials visited Damascus.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for a solution to the crisis based on Arab League initiatives, days after Russia and China vetoed a UN resolution on Syria.

After meeting Mr Lavrov, Syrian media quoted President Bashar al-Assad as saying he was willing to co-operate with “any efforts towards stability”.

Separately Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, denied reports that he had threatened Qatar’s prime minister during talks at the UN last week. Someone was trying to drive a wedge between Russia and the Arab world, he said.
The GCC said it would urge all other Arab states to adopt “decisive measures” when the Arab League meets next week. The UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy have also recalled their ambassadors

Ambassadors recalled from Syria

  • United States (embassy closed)
  • Europe

  • France
  • UK
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Gulf Arab states

  • Saudi Arabia
  • Qatar
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Bahrain
  • Oman
  • Kuwait

via BBC

Prop. 8: Gay-marriage ban unconstitutional, court rules – latimes.com

Court strikes down gay marriage ban in LA County

A federal appeals court Tuesday struck down California’s ban on same-sex marriage, clearing the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on gay marriage as early as next year.

The 2-1 decision by a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that limited marriage to one man and one woman, violated the U.S. Constitution. The architects of Prop. 8 have vowed to appeal.

The ruling was narrow and likely to be limited to California.

via latimes.com.


Another President Quits – Mohamed Nasheed Steps Down after Maldives Protests

President Nasheed of the Maldives briefs repor...

Mohamed Nasheed

Rather sad that the former human rights and environmental activist didn’t last the course. He was replaced by his vice president after the police and army clashed in the streets of the island nation amid protests after Nasheed ordered the military to arrest Abdulla Mohamed, the chief judge of the Criminal Court. The judge had ordered the release of a government critic he said had been illegally detained.

The crisis came to a head today when hundreds of police demonstrated in the capital, Male, after officials ordered them to withdraw protection for government and opposition supporters protesting close to each other. The withdrawal resulted in a clash that injured at least three people.

Later, troops fired rubber bullets and clashed with the police. When Nasheed visited the police and urged them to end the protest, they refused and instead chanted for his resignation. Mohamed was released after Hassan took power.

Nasheed resigned on TV this morning, and Mohammed Waheed Hassan, who previously worked as a top UNICEF official, was sworn in as the new Maldivian president this afternoon. Soon after, the judge was released.


New Bruce Lee Film


‘I Am Bruce Lee’ tells the amazing story of one of the most iconic human beings ever to enter the public consciousness. Voted as one of the most important people of the 20th century in Time Magazine’s Time 100, as well as one of the Greatest Pop Culture Icons by People Magazine, Bruce Lee continues to be honoured and remembered for his enduring legacy.

In Hong Kong, teams visited the memorial statu...

Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend

~ Bruce Lee


Scotland Yard has recovered over 300,000,000 emails News of the World said were deleted

They doubled resources on the team and are analysing and are identifying hundreds, perhaps thousands, of possible victims going back over 30 years. Daily Record


Violence in northern Mali forces over 20,000 into exile

UNHCR report on Mali upheaval:

Malian Refugees in Mauritania

Malian Refugees in Mauritania

UNHCR has deployed emergency teams to countries surrounding Mali to help meet the needs of some 20,000 people who have been forced to flee fighting in northern Mali. Most of the displaced are in Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.

Fighting between rebel Tuareg groups and governmental forces in the Azawad region of northern Mali began in mid-January.

In the past three weeks, at least 10,000 people are reported to have crossed to Niger, 9,000 have found refuge in Mauritania and 3,000 in Burkina Faso.

Local communities along the border, affected by the food crisis themselves in the Sahel, are sharing their resources with the new arrivals. The authorities have also distributed food. Four additional UNHCR staff are already in Niger and more are on their way. We plan to send aid for 10,000 people from our stockpiles in the region.

Our office in Ouagadougou, in Burkina Faso also reported the arrival of some 3,000 Malian Tuaregs following attacks on their homes and businesses in the Malian capital Bamako and in the nearby town of Kati last week. Many of the new arrivals are staying with host families in Ouagadougou and Bobo Dioulasso, 320 kilometres south-west of the capital. Other new arrivals have been reported in the north west of the country, especially near Djibo, in Soum province. An inter-agency mission, including UNHCR, is scheduled to go there by the end of the week to assess the needs of the people.

Meanwhile in Mauritania UNHCR has sent several missions to the village of Fassala, in the region of Hodh el Chargi 3km from the border with Mali, where over 9,000 people have arrived since 25th January. The mainly ethnic Tuareg Malian refugees come from the region of Léré on the other side of the border. They told UNHCR that they fled fighting between Government forces and rebel Tuareg fighters, fearing retaliation by army troops.


Human Rights Watch Warns of Lead Poisoning Crisis in Nigeria

Thousands of children in northern Nigeria need immediate medical treatment and dozens of villages remain contaminated two years into the worst lead poisoning epidemic in modern history, Human Rights Watch said today while releasing a video on the issue. Four hundred children have died, according to official estimates, yet environmental cleanup efforts have not even begun in numerous affected villages.

Artisanal gold mines are found throughout Zamfara State in northwestern Nigeria, and high levels of lead in the earth and the use of rudimentary mining methods have resulted in an epidemic of lead poisoning among children, Human Rights Watch said. Research by Human Rights Watch in Zamfara in late 2011 found that children are exposed to this lead dust when they process ore in the mines, when their mine worker relatives return home covered with lead dust, and when the lead-filled ore is manually or mechanically crushed at home. Children can also be exposed to toxic lead in contaminated water and food. Healthcare workers in Zamfara State told Human Rights Watch that there have also been high rates of infertility and miscarriage among affected adults.


Politics, Religion, Media – an Unholy Trinity

You might enjoy reading this exclusive article in the Daily Beast about the head of the Washington Times and his roles as unofficial envoy to North Korea for former US President and war criminal at large, George W. Bush. I think it’s great when journalists research and publish this information. But I find myself asking constantly why no action ever ensues. It’s as though ‘publish and be damned’ turned into ‘print and be done’.


Behind The News: Yemen Times

Good, informative story from SourceFabric about the trials, tribulations and revival of Yemen Times, an essential and important source of news from this remarkable country, still dealing with the aftermath of former president’ Saleh’s barbaric regime.


Historian: “ArabSpring” & “Twitter revolutions” planned by US. Ironically funded by China

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RT talks to author and historian William Engdahl on what – or who – is behind the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. My comments at the end of the report.

StateDept_Spring.mp4 Watch on Posterous


William Engdahl says the US does not want to admit its inevitable demise and current conflicts in the Middle East represent the existing plans “to keep this sole superpower not only intact and to spread its influence over the rest of the planet”.

He states that the Arab Spring and the Twitter revolutions “have been planned years back … by the US State Department”.

Also, Engdahl reveals that the Chinese, by buying the US Treasury bonds, ironically finance the wars “directed against Chinese national interest for energy security”.

Would you say that these conflicts that we are seeing today in terms of euro and the dollar situation and what is happening in Northern Africa and Middle East, do these conflicts feed off each other? Are they somehow related?

“Well what I see in all of these conflicts, the decision to bomb Libya, the crisis with the dollar, the crisis with the American economy and the conduct of American foreign policy in the last period is all part of a breakdown of entire superpower structure that was built up after the end of WWII and nobody in Washington wants to admit, just as nobody in Britain 100 years ago wanted to admit that the British empire was in terminal decline. So they push fast-forward with existing plans and they see that in one part of the world and another these agendas no longer have the effect they did 10 or 20 years ago. But very definitely, all of this is related to the attempt to keep this sole superpower not only intact, but to spread its influence over the rest of the planet and that, not surprising, much of the world is not too eager to see that.”

So would you say that what is happening in Middle East or Northern Africa is an attempt on behalf of the US to keep its game up? 

“Very much so, the plan was first announced by George W. Bush when he was President, just after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 at a G8 meeting and it was called the ‘Greater Middle East Project’ and that project, they published a map of what they had in mind, was the control and the democratization, as they called it, of the entire Islamic world from Afghanistan, Pakistan, down through Iran, Syria, the Persian Gulf area, the oil producing states there and across North Africa, all the way to Morocco. And the events, the so-called Arab Spring, have been planned years back and the instigators of those so-called spontaneous protests, those Twitter revolts, and Cairo, and Tunisia, and so forth over the last months have all been pre-organized assiduously. Some of the people, leaders of the protests, have been trained in Belgrade, in Serbia by activists financed by the US State Department. This thing has State Department and US intelligence all over it.”

On the US agenda:

Militarily, the places such as Libya and South Sudan, the so-called Republic of South Sudan, to militarize those oil sources that are directly strategic to China’s future economic growth. So this is all about controlling Eurasia, some things Zbigniew Brzezinski talked about back in 1997 in his famous book the ‘Grand Chess Game’ [The Grand Chessboard] and controlling especially Russia and China and any potential cohesion of the Eurasian countries economically and politically.”

Who would you say pays for wars waged by the US? 

“You have to go back to the role in the last 20 or 30 years, actually it began in the ‘80s, with the role of the dollar as world reserve currency. What that means, to strip away all the complicated economic jargon, is world trade, central banks and China or Japan or Russia and so, they have to have dollars because other nations only accept dollars as a universal currency. They shouldn’t anymore because US economy is on its knees, but they do. And China has an enormous trade surplus; Wall-Mart is essentially an outpost of Chinese manufacturing in America today. So the 300 billion plus of surplus dollars that the Central Bank of China amasses every year, what do you do with that? Well, there is few markets big enough to invest in. Supposedly they could buy gold for their central bank reserves, which they are doing by the way, but the place they could invest it, as they see it right now until very recently, is either in dollars or in the euro. They’ve got something like three trillion dollars of US dollar Treasury bonds or bills as their reserves today. So in effect, the US would not be able to finance the deficits that they are running to wage those wars in Afghanistan, or wage those wars in Iraq, or in Libya unless the Chinese were buying the US Treasury bonds. So ironically the Chinese [fund] wars directed against Chinese national interest for energy security.”

Comment:

After the protests in Iran in 2009, there was considerable commentary posted about them being the result of deliberate action and part of a strategy designed to create social unrest and gather widedspread support on social media sites, especially Twitter. Many of us were aware and yet we made the choice to continue to support the protesters. That is not the same as being a part of some conspiracy. The two things are easily confused, and the genuine supporters, like genuine news reports, videos, images etc, are often hard to identfy or verify. But I have found that very little of this matters if you remain focussed on the humanitarian issues, rather than the politics. If you stick to the issues, you are less at risk of being sidetracked by petty disagreements.

One important thing that I have not seen written about, is that these theories, accusations, etc are not unknown to actual dissidents. There are real dissidents in Iran, just as there are in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Bahrain, Algeria, Morocco, Yemen, Mauritania, and so on across the Middle East, across the Arab world, across the world. They are there in South America, in Asia, in Europe, China, Australia. You get the picture? There are genuine dissidents all over the world. They might well be getting a gentle or even a brutal push from the US or any other global agency or state actor. But they are still genuine dissidents with genuine grievances, and very real desire for change of some sort. I’ve met a few of these people, I have personally communicated with hundreds of them. Some of them have told me they are aware of external meddling and interference, but they don’t care. They have a cause, a reason to resist and they continue to resist, because they must: they see no alternative. Therefore, I continue to support them: I see no alternative.

Report via RT