Posts tagged Israel
By Ron Paul
The Real Meaning of President Obama’s National Security Speeches
The president will continue and even expand drone attacks overseas because they are “less deadly” than ground invasions. He promises to be more careful in the future.
He is entertaining the introduction of “kill courts” which will meet in secret to decide who is to be executed without trial or charge. He promises these will have sufficient oversight.
He will seek a new and updated Authorization for the Use of Military Force to expand his legal authority to wage war wherever and whenever he wants. He promises it will one day be repealed.
He will continue to indefinitely detain at Guantanamo individuals who have been neither charged nor convicted of any crime, and who cannot even be tried because they were tortured and thus the evidence is tainted. He promises to “commit to a process of closing GTMO.”The speech speaks of more war and more killing and more interventionism all masked in the language of withdrawal.
The president warns of the threats of the new al-Qaeda affiliates that have sprung up in places like Iraq without explaining that it was the US invasion of Iraq that opened the door to their entry in the first place. There was no al-Qaeda in Iraq before the US overthrow of Saddam Hussein, just as there was little extremism in Libya before the US attack on that country in 2011.
The president claims that “unrest in the Arab world has also allowed extremists to gain a foothold in countries like Libya and Syria.” However, it was the US-led attack on Libya that resulted in extremists gaining power there, with many fighters afterward spreading unrest and destruction by joining the wars against the Syrian and Malian regimes. The extremists brought to de facto power in places like Benghazi were responsible for the murder of the US ambassador, yet the president says nothing about that unintended consequence of his interventionist policies.
He calls for even more interventionism in the future, but he promises that it will be a different kind of interventionism. He wants the US to shape democratic transitions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya while actively supporting those seeking to overthrow the government in Syria.
He wants to take nation-building to a whole new level, urging that the US “help countries modernize economies, upgrade education, and encourage entrepreneurship.” He promises to battle extremism overseas by “training security forces in Libya, maintaining peace agreements between Israel and its neighbors, feeding the hungry in Yemen, building schools in Pakistan, and creating reservoirs of goodwill that marginalize extremists.”
What the president does not seem to understand is that we do not have the money to build schools, upgrade education, modernize economies, and encourage entrepreneurship overseas at a time when our national debt is $16 trillion. And besides, isn’t it a deeply flawed idea that the US government can achieve all of these remarkable results overseas when we know what a disaster these big government undertakings have produced at home? What we reject at home as Soviet-style central planning is fully embraced as effective foreign policy overseas. Should it really be the US government’s role to “modernize economies” or “encourage entrepreneurs” anywhere? Those are activities best left to the private sector, whether here at home or in far off lands.
President Obama’s speech is not at all what it seems. It is a call for more empire and more power to the executive branch. The president promises that “this war, like all wars, must end.” Unfortunately the war on the American taxpayer never seems to end. But end it will, as we are running out of money.
Written by Ron Paul
Posted by NextNewsNetwork
Headline news covering topics regarding the CIA confirmation hearing of Brennan, drone actions, the lose of Canadian citizenship and much more.
Gary Franchi and Next News Network interview Trends forecaster Gerald Celente covering our current condition and future paths. Topics discussed cover the economy, the power play behind ever expanding wars and the natural resources involved, Wall Street and the government blessing to the “too big to fail” organizations plus the recent gun control moves by the administration and the history behind it all.
By Neil Macdonald, CBC News
Posted: Feb 6, 2013
Some say U.S. president is waging a ‘war on whistleblowers’
In 2001, when Israel started killing militant Palestinian enemies (and, often, innocent bystanders) with missiles fired from helicopters hovering so high you could barely see them, foreign reporters were urged by the Israeli government to call the practice “targeted killing.”
Most of us, including many of my American colleagues, preferred the term “extrajudicial assassination.” We felt we were in the news business, not the euphemism business.
Today, 12 years later, the Washington Post carries a front-page headline about the U.S. drone program titled, “Targeted killings face new scrutiny.”
Yet another government document has been leaked, this time a so-called “white paper” in which the U.S. Department of Justice lays out the administration’s justification for killing American citizens it suspects of belonging to Al-Qaeda.
U.S. media outlets, it seems, are perfectly comfortable with the term “targeted killing,” now that it is a major tool for the Pentagon and CIA.
It’s also clear American media outlets are comfortable suppressing news the government does not want published. Today’s story reveals not just that the Americans have operated a secret drone base for years in Saudi Arabia, but that the Post, along with various other news organizations, have been keeping that fact to themselves at the government’s request.
History of suppressing sensitive information
It isn’t the first time such information has been suppressed. In 2005, bowing to the White House, the New York Times for months kept confidential the fact that the Bush administration had been carrying out warrantless wiretapping. The revelations eventually provoked Congress to pass a new law.
Reports on the U.S. drone program, also based on leaks, have described how Barack Obama’s administration has become ever more dependent on remote-controlled killing. Obama himself reportedly signs off personally on each target.
The American public has been largely unconcerned with the program, except when the person killed has been an American citizen. (The U.S., unlike many other countries, accords its citizens special protections from government intrusions.)
That is the focus of the latest leak. The “white paper” in today’s story appears under the arid title “Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen Who Is a Senior Operational Leader of Al Qaeda or an Associated Force.”
The term “senior operational leader” appears to be key. An American citizen who is a low-level fighter would appear to enjoy a legal immunity that does not extend to foreign nationals suspected of planning or involvement in attacks on Americans.
As the Post story rather dryly notes, “The number of attacks on Americans is minuscule compared with the broader toll of the drone campaign, which has killed more than 3,000 militants and civilians in hundreds of strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.”
There is an accompanying article today on the astonishing fact that 54 countries, including Canada, have participated in or enabled the CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” program of sending suspected militants to be interrogated, sometimes under torture, in secret prisons and by totalitarian regimes worldwide.
Twelve years ago, reporters had a different term for that sort of thing, too: kidnapping.
Obama’s ‘war on whistleblowers’
All these hardened security measures were begun under the Bush administration. President Obama, who once denounced them and even, as president, ordered Bush legal memos be made public, has not just amplified Bush’s programs, but has begun vigorously hunting down and prosecuting officials who leak details.
And that is one initiative the American media is not so comfortable with.
Some are calling it Obama’s “war on whistleblowers.” Current Attorney-General Eric Holder has prosecuted more officials for leaking information to reporters than any of his predecessors since the Second World War.
The government has hunted down intelligence officials who leaked details of expensive programs to spy on internet traffic, wiretaps placed in the Israeli embassy in Washington and of Obama’s personal involvement in selecting drone targets.
The lawyer for one of those officials said Holder’s prosecutors “don’t distinguish between bad people – people who spy for other governments, people who sell secrets for money – and people who are accused of having conversations and discussions.”
Several news outlets have noted, rather acidly, that the administration seems fairly expert at leaking classified material that makes the government look good.
None of this makes Obama different from any previous president. It just demonstrates his ability to keep the nation’s media on board, and mete out punishment when they publish the wrong sorts of secrets.
Republished with permission
A UN human rights inquiry has called on Israel to remove all Jewish settlers from the West Bank and cease expansion. The report said the settlements violate international law, and are an attempt to drive out Palestinians through intimidation.
“Israel must, in compliance with article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, cease all settlement activities without preconditions,” the report read, adding that Israel must immediately begin to withdraw all settlers from the occupied Palestinian territories (OPT).
The 1949 Geneva Convention prohibits the transfer of a civilian population into an occupied area – such an act could constitute war crimes if brought before the International Criminal Court. Following the UN’s de facto recognition of Palestine last December, Israel announced plans to build thousands of homes in the OPT.
“The mission believes that the motivation behind this violence and the intimidation against the Palestinians as well as their properties is to drive the local populations away from their lands and allow the settlements to expand,” said the report.
In response, Palestine wrote to the UN warning that Israel planned to commit more war crimes by expanding its settlements further into the occupied territories.
The UN investigators interviewed over 50 people who were driven from their homes. They described how their livelihoods were destroyed and their land was confiscated, and how they were subjected to continuous violence from Jewish settlers.
The report has the potential to significantly worsen the UN’s already-strained relationship with Israel, particularly after Israeli representatives failed to appear at a UN human rights review two days ago.
The Israeli government has repeatedly ignored international condemnations of its settlements in the occupied territories, and continues to bar the entry of a Human Rights Council probe to assess the impact of the settlements. Israel has insisted that the organization is biased in favor of the Palestinians, and claimed that historic and biblical ties justify its claim to the territories.
STAY TUNED TO http://rt.com FOR UPDATES TO THIS BREAKING STORY.
The Pentagon has approved a deal to supply 6,900 precision bomb kits to replenish Israel’s weapons stockpiles, diminished by the recent war against Hamas in Gaza. The contract is valued at $647 million.
“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability,” the Pentagon said in a statement. The deal is expected to sail through formal approval by legislators.
The Boeing-made Joint Direct Attack Munitions are complex electronic guidance devices fitted onto missiles to make them vastly more accurate. Precision air-strikes were the main tactic employed by Israel during the 8-day attack on Gaza last month.
10,000 explosive charges are also part of the contract. Of these, 3,450 are one ton bombs, 1725 bombs weighing 250 kilograms with the rest being BLU-109 and GBU-39 bunker busters.
The Gaza bombardment, which Israel says it started in response to more than 2,000 Palestinian rockets launched this year, has been costly for both sides.
Palestinian authorities said that the cost of 120 buildings destroyed and 8,000 damaged buildings amounted to $1.2 billion.
Meanwhile, military operation Pillar of Defense cost Israel around $760 million. Officials estimate the conflict also indirectly cost the country $1.8 billion in lost tourist revenues.
More than 180 Palestinians were killed in the conflict and six Israelis.
Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, points to a red line he drew on a graphic of a bomb while addressing the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, 2012 in New York City. (Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP)
Israel may be behind a series of leaks implicating Iran in nuclear weapons experiments, Western diplomats say, stressing that in doing so Tel Aviv could have compromised the ongoing UN investigation into Tehran’s nuclear activities and ambitions.
In its efforts to raise international pressure on Tehran, Israel supposedly carried out leaks of several documents from an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) investigation, The Guardian reported on Monday citing Western diplomats.
The latest leak, published by the Associated Press last month, showed a diagram representing the results of a computer modeling of a 50-kiloton nuclear device. The chart was leaked by an unnamed official from “a country critical of Iran’s atomic program,” AP said.
However, the report came under fire shortly afterwards, with critics pointing out that the diagram was not only flawed but based on unclassified information. “This diagram does nothing more than indicate either slipshod analysis or an amateurish hoax,” nuclear scientists Yousaf Butt and Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress declared on the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists website.
Published on Nov 29, 2012 by breakingtheset
Abby Martin returns from her trip to Haiti and goes over her interview with former US President Jimmy Carter and their discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the erosion of the rule of law in the US.
It seems I have recently heard some of these same sentiments spoken by the only honest and non warmongering presidential candidate the last two election cycles, Dr. Ron Paul!
By Kurt Nimmo
In a move revealing the hostilities in Gaza may be far from over, Russia has sent a detachment of ships from the Black Sea Fleet to the coast of the Gaza Strip to evacuate Russians if the conflict escalates.
“The detachment of combat ships of the Black Sea Fleet, including the Guards missile cruiser Moskva, the patrol ship Smetliviy, large landing ships Novocherkassk and Saratov, the sea tug MB-304 and the big sea tanker Ivan Bubnov, got the order to remain in the designated area of the Eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea for a possible evacuation of Russian citizens from the area of the Gaza strip in case of escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” the main command of the Black Sea Fleet told The Voice of Russia early today.
The radio station quoted the Russian Navy as stating “the crews of the ships will continue their routine combat training, maintenance of equipment and weapons.”
Israel has imposed a maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip and it is unclear how the Russians would evacuate their nationals if they decided to do so.
On Thursday, the Russian government praised a ceasefire agreement between the Palestinians and Israel and called for an end to a blockade of the Palestinian territories.
“We believe it is necessary to proceed further to achieve stable and lasting settlement, which guarantees security of Israel and peaceful life of Gaza residents as a part of Palestinian territories, without any blockade and isolation,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters.