Barack Obama’s nominee for United Nations Ambassador is a very aggressive woman – militarily speaking. Susan Rice is “more bellicose” than George Bush when it comes to threatening Sudan over the plight of the people of Darfur, “while simultaneously backing a savage U.S.-Ethiopian assault that causes an even larger humanitarian calamity in Somalia.” One is forced to conclude that “Susan Rice’s brand of ‘humanitarian intervention’ is a farce, a pretext to justify military aggression under the guise of preventing human suffering.”
If you believe that Barack Obama will pursue a policy in the Horn of Africa that is substantially different than that of George Bush, you are in for a deep disappointment. Only weeks after Ethiopia’s U.S.-instigated invasion of Somalia almost two years ago, Susan Rice, Obama’s choice for Ambassador to the United Nations, endorsed the aggression – an atrocity that has resulted in the displacement of 1.5 million Somalis and impending starvation of 3.5 million more.
Rice is a proponent of so-called “humanitarian military intervention” – but supports a U.S. Somalia policy that created “Africa’s worst humanitarian crisis,” according to the United Nations.
There is every reason to believe she will counsel the next president to continue George Bush’s policies in the Horn of Africa. In January, 2007, while Ethiopian troops attempted to crush Islamists who had brought a brief period of relative peace and stability to Somalia, and U.S. air and sea forces pounded the countryside with missiles and bombs, Rice revealed herself to be an apostle of George Bush’s War on Somalia (and the so-called War on Terror in general). Rice told the PBS News Hour that U.S. collaboration with the Ethiopian invaders was justified by what she called America’s “counterterrorism imperatives,” which she said “really are real in the context of Somalia.” In Rice’s words, “We have to go after the terrorist cells where we find them.”
The Bush regime gave no estimate of how many persons with ties to Al Qaida were operating on Somali soil, but the number appears to have been very small. The main goal of the Americans and their Ethiopian allies was to crush the government that had been created by Somali Islamists. The Islamic Courts regime, as Abukar Arman writes in the journal Global Politician, operated “schools, hospitals, and for six months before the occupation removed every checkpoint in Mogadishu and brought a semblance of peace.” Two years after the invasion, the Islamists have retaken much of southern and central Somalia, and the Ethiopians appear poised to withdraw – after killing, starving and displacing millions in partnership with the United States.
The “humanitarian” component of Susan Rice’s militarism is quite selective.
She has long been a super-hawk on punishing Sudan for its behavior in Darfur. Back in October, 2006, Rice declared, “It’s time to get tough” with the government in Khartoum.” In a Washington Post column, she advised the Bush regime to give Sudan “an ultimatum: accept unconditional deployment of the U.N. force within one week or face military consequences.”
On Darfur, Rice is more bellicose than Bush. She sees no contradiction in calling for military action against Sudan, supposedly to end a “humanitarian crisis” in Darfur, while simultaneously backing a savage U.S.-Ethiopian assault that causes an even larger humanitarian calamity in Somalia. Rice claims to seek safety for civilians in Darfur, while supporting a total absence of security for Somali civilians. Darfur is a military/political convenience for “real-politic” operatives like Susan Rice. As Bruce Dixon wrote in his November 2007 BAR article, “If stopping genocide in Africa really was on the agenda, why the focus on Sudan with 200,000 to 400,000 dead rather than Congo with five million dead?”
Rice’s behavior in Africa has always been morally inconsistent. She was a member of Bill Clinton’s National Security Council during the 1994 Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi minority. Later, she “swore” she would go “down in flames” if necessary to prevent future genocides. But after her promotion to Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, she failed to publicly advocate action against U.S. allies Uganda and by then Tutsi-ruled Rwanda – the main perpetrators in an ongoing war that his killed millions
Susan Rice’s brand of “humanitarian intervention” is a farce, a pretext to justify military aggression under the guise of preventing human suffering. She has amply demonstrated that her sole concern is projection of U.S. power by any means – or pretext – that is available.
Rice embraces a policy that causes mass death and starvation in Somalia and ongoing genocide in Congo. Although she’s no blood relative of Condoleezza Rice, on African issues she seems headed in the same direction as the current Secretary of State.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com
- Susan Rice and American Evil (alethonews.wordpress.com)
President Barack Obama should ditch the idea of nominating U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice to be the next Secretary of State on substantive grounds, not because she may have – knowingly or not – fudged the truth about the attack on the poorly guarded CIA installation in Benghazi, Libya.
Rice’s biggest disqualification is the fact that she has shown little willingness to challenge the frequently wrongheaded conventional wisdom of Official Washington, including on the critical question of invading Iraq in 2003. At that pivotal moment, Rice essentially went with the flow, rather than standing up for the principles of international law or exposing the pro-war deceptions.
In fall 2002, as President George W. Bush and his administration were pounding the drums for war, Rice wasn’t exactly a profile in courage. A senior fellow at the centrist Brookings Institution, she echoed the neoconservative demands for “regime change” in Iraq and doubted the “need [for] a further [U.N. Security] Council resolution before we can enforce this and previous resolutions” on Iraq, according a compilation of her Iraq War comments by the Institute for Public Accuracy.
In an NPR interview on Dec. 20, 2002, Rice joined the bellicose chorus, declaring: “It’s clear that Iraq poses a major threat. It’s clear that its weapons of mass destruction need to be dealt with forcefully, and that’s the path we’re on. I think the question becomes whether we can keep the diplomatic balls in the air and not drop any, even as we move forward, as we must, on the military side.”
Rice also was wowed by Secretary of State Colin Powell’s deceptive speech to the United Nations on Feb. 5, 2003. The next day, again on NPR, Rice said, “I think he has proved that Iraq has these weapons and is hiding them, and I don’t think many informed people doubted that.”
After the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, Rice foresaw an open-ended U.S. occupation of Iraq. In a Washington Post online forum, she declared, “To maximize our likelihood of success, the US is going to have to remain committed to and focused on reconstruction and rehabilitation of Iraq for many years to come. This administration and future ones will need to demonstrate a longer attention span than we have in Afghanistan, and we will have to embrace rather than evade the essential tasks of peacekeeping and nation building.”
Only later, when the Iraq War began going badly and especially after she became an adviser to Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, did Rice take a less hawkish position. She opposed President Bush’s troop “surge” in 2007, a stance in line with Obama’s anti-Iraq War posture. During Campaign 2008, she also mocked one of Sen. John McCain’s trips to Baghdad as “strolling around the market in a flak jacket.”
The Ambitious Staffer
In other words, Rice fits the mold more of an ambitious staffer – ever mindful of the safe boundaries for permissible thought in Official Washington and eager to serve one’s political patron – than of a courageous foreign policy thinker who can see around the corners to spot the actual threats looming for the United States and the world.
Though Rice’s defenders might say there is nothing unusual in an aspiring foreign policy operative following the consensus or the instructions of a superior, there are plenty of troubling examples of innocent people getting killed when careerism overwhelmed wisdom and judgment. For instance, in 2003, CIA Director George Tenet, a malleable former congressional staffer, helped pave the way for the disastrous Iraq War.
Ironically, Rice’s eagerness to play the Washington game also landed her in the middle of the current “scandal” over her statements regarding the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi which left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
On Sept. 16, Rice appeared on five (count them) Sunday TV shows, adhering closely to the CIA-provided “talking points,” which cited the likelihood of a spontaneous protest preceding the violent assault but which alluded to the tenuousness of the evidence available at the time.
Blinded by the limelight, Rice seems to have blundered into the controversy, giving little thought to the possibility that she was being put out front by then-CIA Director David Petraeus and Obama’s counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan, who is the usual administration spokesman regarding terrorist attacks. Brennan immediately flew off to Libya on a fact-finding trip, leaving Rice in the unaccustomed role of ‘splaining the attack in Benghazi.
Rice also wasn’t overly curious as to why Secretary of State Hillary Clinton begged off on grounds she was “not going to offer any hypothetical explanations.”
Was Ambassador Rice too ambitious and/or too naïve? For her it is a cruel irony that by letting her vision be blurred by the allure of five sets of klieg lights in one day, and the opportunity to embellish her persona for the top job at State, she has imperiled her own candidacy.
Loyal functionaries like Rice, with a penchant for doing whatever they are told do not expect to be mouse-trapped by their colleagues. But, if you can’t see that kind of thing coming – particularly when folks like Brennan and Petraeus are involved – you should not expect to become Secretary of State.
It also might have been smart for Rice to have taken the trouble to learn what U.S. officials were doing in Benghazi. Did she know that, as House minority leader Nancy Pelosi has revealed, the word “consulate” in the draft “talking points” was carefully changed to “mission”?
A prospective Secretary of State should know the difference. A “mission” is a group of officials abroad normally headed by a diplomat while a consulate is headed by a consul who normally handles commercial interests, serves the needs of citizens abroad and issues visas.
The difference between consulate and mission is more than semantic. Consulates, understandably, perform consular duties. Missions can do whatever. As my former CIA analyst colleague, Melvin A. Goodman pointed out in “The Why Behind the Benghazi Attack,” the hidden reality in Benghazi was not the alleged deception by Rice or the inadequate security measures.
The key secret was that the U.S. government had transformed the Benghazi “mission” into an operational CIA base spying on and seeking to neutralize extremist militias operating in eastern Libya. Thus, the “mission” was an inviting target for attack. In a limited sense, one could say the primary security failure was in not adequately anticipating this risk.
The more significant point is that, because of the anger resulting from U.S. policy in the area and the CIA role in implementing it, there is great doubt that “missions” like the one in Benghazi can ever be protected from the kind of organized assault launched on Sept. 11, 2012. And that probably includes gigantic, fortified installations like the U.S. embassies in Baghdad and Kabul.
A month before the U.S. presidential election, House Government Affairs Committee chair Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, conducted a public hearing, in an attempt to prove that with adequate security measures the attack on the Benghazi “mission” could have been thwarted and American lives saved.
Issa’s star witness, State Department Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom, joined others in bemoaning State’s refusal to provide additional security (partly due to congressional refusal to appropriate all the requested funds).
But Nordstrom shot a wide hole in the notion that more security could have saved the day. A 14-year veteran of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, Nordstrom said the kind of attack mounted in Benghazi could not have been prevented.
“Having an extra foot of wall, or an extra half-dozen guards or agents would not have enabled us to respond to that kind of assault,” Nordstrom said. “The ferocity and intensity of the attack was nothing that we had seen in Libya, or that I had seen in my time in the Diplomatic Security Service.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Real Blame for Deaths in Libya.”]
Whether media pundits are conscious of this or not, the interminable focus on what Susan Rice said and when she said it, as well as the inadequate security, divert attention from what the CIA was doing in Benghazi. No Establishment figure or media pundit wants to focus on that. And, as Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, recently conceded, no politician wants to risk appearing reluctant to support covert action against “terrorism.”
But a source with excellent access, so to speak, to former CIA Director David Petraeus, his biographer/mistress Paula Broadwell, said publicly on Oct. 26 that the CIA was interrogating prisoners in Benghazi and that this may have been the reason the CIA base was so brutally attacked. More bizarre still, her comments were corroborated by Fox News!
If Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham were genuinely interested in what happened in Benghazi and why, would they not wish to look into that?
A C-Minus on Substance
President Obama has defended Rice against those who would “besmirch” her reputation, saying she “has done exemplary work. She has represented the United States and our interests in the United Nations with skill, professionalism, and toughness, and grace.”
Obama also said she had “nothing to do with Benghazi.” However, this does not appear to be entirely accurate. It is an open secret that Susan Rice, together with Hillary Clinton and Samantha Power, now ensconced at Obama’s National Security Council, were big promoters of the so-called “responsibility to protect” and thus acted as prime movers behind the U.S. excellent adventure in Libya.
The charitable explanation is that last year, with a thoroughly naïve “Gaddafi-bad-guys-vs.-maybe-good-guys” approach, blissfully unaware of which elements they might be “protecting” or “liberating” in Benghazi, and with little planning regarding who might replace Gaddafi, they made their mark on Libya.
Are we to believe that they gave not a thought to the imperative felt by key NATO partners to exploit the fledgling “Libyan Arab spring” to ensure the continuing flow of high-grade crude? And did none of them take any lessons from the excellent adventure of going into Iraq with no serious plan for what might come next?
As for Ambassador Rice, as some have suggested, her judgment may be compromised by well-deserved guilt at having done nothing to stop the killing of 800,000 Rwandans in 1994 when she was White House referent for African affairs at the NSC under President Bill Clinton and acquiesced in his reluctance to call genocide “genocide.”
This presumably was why, when President Bill Clinton nominated Susan Rice to be Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in 1997, the Congressional Black Caucus objected to the nomination, citing her membership in “Washington’s assimilationist black elite.”
The caucus got that right. Susan Rice has moved up the ladder by demonstrating an uncanny ability to ignore the interests of the oppressed – black or brown – whether in Rwanda or in Gaza. Her selective judgment on when to intervene in a foreign crisis normally follows the conventional wisdom of Official Washington, such as with Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011.
Ignoring Palestine’s Plight
Thus, her empathy for the “good guys” (whoever they may be) in Libya does not extend to the Palestinians. Like other myopic policymakers and spokespersons, Rice ignores the misery in Gaza and the West Bank because to do otherwise would cast her outside Official Washington’s perceived wisdom, which holds that no smart politician or pundit confronts Israel too directly or too frequently.
However, the fact that last Thursday the United States could muster only eight votes (beside its own), from the 193 member states of the General Assembly, to oppose giving Palestine the status of non-member observer state is surely a harbinger of defeats to come on this key issue.
Rice’s one-sided defense of Israel as it pummeled the defenseless Gazans last month was not only unconscionable, but in the long run counterproductive – not only for the U.S. but for Israel. Granted, Rice was speaking for the Obama administration but there are no indications that she has used her influence with the President to reshape U.S. policy significantly.
Her failure to dissent, which would surely undo her careful construction of a Washington career, continues even as Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yashai has acknowledged that Israel’s goal was to “send Gaza back to the Middle Ages” and other Israeli officials casually liken their periodic bloodletting in Gaza to “mowing the grass.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Likening Palestinians to Blades of Grass.”]
Washington’s public support for the carnage no doubt has left Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a sense of invulnerability even in the face of the stinging vote in the U.N. Thus, he retaliated for the U.N.’s affront by authoring 3,000 new homes for Jewish settlers and plans for thousands more in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
On Friday, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor replied lamely, “We reiterate our longstanding opposition to settlement activity and East Jerusalem construction and announcements.”
As the Biblical advice states: By their fruits shall you know them. So look at the fruits of Rice’s policy making, including her one-sided defense of Israel before a world audience increasingly aware of U.S. hypocrisy, particularly on the key issue of Palestine.
It can surely be assumed that Susan Rice is intelligent enough to understand the moral depravity of U.S. policy on Palestine. Then why does she fall so easily in with extreme pro-Israel hawks and neocons on such issues? Presumably, she understands that such positioning is how to get ahead.
In playing for support from her fellow hawks, Rice remains the ambitious staffer more than the wise diplomat. And like an ambitious staffer, she senses that hawkishness is usually a safer career path than thoughtful diplomacy. This is not the kind of person anyone should want as Secretary of State.
Ray McGovern served as an Army officer and then a CIA analyst for a total of 30 years and now serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).
- Susan Rice and American Evil (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Why does it matter if Susan Rice serves as secretary of state?
That is a trick question, because in fact, it doesn’t matter at all. American foreign policy will be unchanged regardless of who the next secretary may be. The full force of imperialism will be brought to bear against the people of the world under the Obama administration. The democratic president has made real the goals of the neo-con Project for a New American Century, a 21st century version of Manifest Destiny, the belief that the United States should rule the world and do so with a vengeance.
Rice’s nomination is a non-issue but is treated as an important one for many black people because of the words of right wing racists. The sight of the embittered sore loser John McCain calling Rice “unqualified” and “not very smart” reminds black people of the slights they are personally subjected to in their lives every day. It is especially galling for the insult to come from McCain, the quintessential entitlement baby. He was admitted to the U.S. Naval Academy because his father and grandfather were admirals. The legacy leg up didn’t help much because the mediocre young McCain still graduated at the bottom of his class. McCain’s insistence that the obviously sub-par Sarah Palin was a qualified vice presidential candidate makes the racist slaps at Rice all the more offensive.
The yearning to see a black face in one of the highest and most rarefied places is a very deep one and not to be easily dismissed, but it is crucial to note that Rice is no different from John McCain in her beliefs of how the United States should conduct itself in the world. The facts against Rice and her predecessors are obscured by a corporate media which hides all the atrocities committed by the United States government, making the Rice story appear like nothing more than that of a high achieving black woman being slandered by evil racists.
The case against Rice or whomever is nominated by the president should be a case made against United States foreign policy and all of the people who now or ever were in charge of carrying it out. The presidents, secretaries of state, United Nations ambassadors, national security advisers and their ilk are held up as paragons of virtue, intelligence and moral rectitude. They emerge from elite institutions and are held up as the “best and the brightest” the country has to offer.
A secretary of state not only has a prestigious position, but is considered an elder statesman or woman for life. Of course, he or she also can walk into positions of great wealth after their public service has ended. Corporate speeches, book deals and lucrative board positions await every living secretary of state from Henry Kissinger to Condoleezza Rice.
The true horror is that the people who hold these supposedly august positions are in fact no better than criminal enforcers in organized crime families. American secretaries of state have plotted invasions and assassinations, occupied countries, destroyed economies, fomented coups and in a myriad of other ways laid waste to sovereign nations. Countries which try to bring about their own democracies are thwarted if their plans are seen as a threat to American interests.
No secretary of state should be lionized and there is nothing wonderful about black people having the right to perform the evil acts which were once the reserve of whites.The Dulleses and Kissingers and their predecessors and successors made wars on huge swaths of the planet and did in fact crush attempts at democracy so that American businesses might be able to harvest bananas at cheap prices.
The appearance of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice as part of the Bush administration foreign policy team ended the white monopoly on American state terror. Colin Powell went to the United Nations with his power point presentation full of lies in order to justify the invasion of Iraq. He also removed Jean Bertrand Aristide, Haiti’s democratically elected president, from office. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice covered up her own incompetence and the still murky facts which brought the September 11th terrorist attacks onto American soil.
It was during the Bush administration that the black face in the high place joined in committing the worst kinds of dirty work to be carried out by the United States around the globe. It was also the first time that black Americans began to look the other way and excuse their government’s inhumanity. Defending Colin and Condi became substitutes for analysis and the ideology that once made black Americans the group least supportive of their government’s acts of aggression.
The ascendancy of Barack Obama to the presidency accelerated this grotesque delusion of racial uplift. Not only are NDAA, kill lists, and naked imperialism to be overlooked, but the black man who destroyed Libya and Somalia and who is on the road to destroying Syria will have another terrorist of color by his side. In a perverse way this terrible duo will increase the joy of a people who a mere five years ago recoiled at the very behavior which Obama and Rice have exhibited toward the rest of the world.
America is and will continue to pose terrible threats to the rest of the world, whether the next secretary of state if Susan Rice or John Kerry or an unknown player to be named later. That should be the crux of any debates about who should serve in these positions. Anything else is just drama playing out while the world burns because the United States keeps lighting the match.
Margaret Kimberley can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.
- Susan “Genocide” Rice: Is Susan Rice “Bad for Congo” (disquietreservations.blogspot.com)
Russia accused the US on Wednesday of justifying terror in Syria, as it said that the West was spurring further bloodshed in the crisis-hit country.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters that Washington’s failure to condemn the July 18 blast that killed top security officials meant it was justifying terror.
“This is quite an awful position, I cannot even find the words to make clear how we feel,” Lavrov said, adding: “This is directly justifying terrorism. How can this be understood?
Lavrov expressed bewilderment at calls on Russia to clarify its position on Syria, saying Moscow’s policy was crystal-clear and it was the West whose actions were contradictory.
He criticized the US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, saying she had argued that the attacks in Damascus meant the UN Security Council had to agree to a sanctions resolution against Syria last week that Russia later vetoed.
“In other words, to say it in plain Russian, this means ‘we (the United States) will continue to support such terrorist acts for as long as the UN Security Council has not done what we want’,” Lavrov said.
WEST SURRING BLOODSHED IN SYRIA
For his part, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said statements made by some Western leaders urging to end the conflict in Syria outside the UN Security Council framework were wrong and “a step aside from our common positions.”
During an interview with Itar-Tass news agency, Gatilov said: “We agreed that all foreign players will act in one direction – in the work with the government and with the opposition. We believe that viable decisions backing political settlement can be taken only in the UN Security Council.”
The international community would exert “proper influence” on both sides of the Syrian conflict only if it spoke with one voice and acted in coordination, Gatilov said, adding some Western partners’ intention to circumvent the UN would make no progress in the current difficult situation.
Meanwhile, Gatilov slammed those Western countries trying to spur “further bloodshed” from the opposition. “This upset us greatly, we take this as a step aside from the consensus obtained by the Geneva agreements,” the diplomat said.
The US has hinted at taking actions against the Syrian regime bypassing the authority of the UN Security Council. This comes as pressure is piling up on Damascus following massacre in Houla that claimed over 100 lives.
US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice has said that if the council does not take swift action to pressure Syrian authorities to end 14-month crackdown on the anti-government uprising, the Security Council members may have no choice but to consider acting outside the UN.
“Members of the international community are left with the option only of having to consider whether they are prepared to take actions outside of the Annan plan and the authority of this council,” Rice said on Wednesday after the 15-member council met in a closed door session to discuss last week’s massacre.
The United Nations is conducting its own investigation of who exactly is responsible for the bloodshed in the town of Houla. However the US and its allies seem to have come to their own conclusion, saying that the Assad government is solely responsible for the violence.
Rice did not specify what “actions” she meant. However the US and European countries had earlier imposed their own sanction on Syria outside the UN. So there are fears that her words could mean the threat of military action.
The US envoy said the worst but most probable scenario in Syria is a failure of Annan’s peace plan and a spreading conflict that could create a major crisis not only in Syria but also in the entire region.
“The Syrian government has made commitments. It has blatantly violated those commitments, and, I think it’s quite clear, as we have said for many weeks if they continue to do so there should be consequences,” Rice said.
Meanwhile, Syria’s Ambassador to the UN Bashar Jaafari has stated Wednesday that the massacre in the town of Houla was carried out by “professional terrorists” who were seeking to ignite a sectarian conflict in the country.
“Many Syrian innocents got killed because of this misbehavior of these outsiders. The Syrian people need one clear-cut message that the international community, if there is an international community, is there to help settling the conflict in Syria,” he said referring to last Friday’s violence.
Russia’s envoy tot the UN Vitaly Churkin stated that both the authorities and opposition leaders should understand that the current situation in Syria is unacceptable.
Kosovo pattern in Syria?
Susan Rice’s comment became a disturbing reminder of what happened in 1999 when the US and NATO intervened in the former Yugoslavia without a UN Security Council mandate.
“The precedent is already there – we’ve mentioned Kosovo. It’s exactly what happened – you had an allegation of a massacre, which was the village of Racak; you had a UN decree that was severely bullied by the US ambassador who was leading the observation mission on the ground; you had claims that it was brutal unprovoked massacre of innocent civilians by government troops. Serbia was blamed, presented with the ultimatum and then bombed,” historian and author Nebojsa Malic told RT.
“We have the same pattern repeating itself in Syria.”
Blogger Rick Rozoff believes that the US has warned Russia and China that it will push forward military action no matter what.
“Ambassador Rice is basically telling Russia and China and other members of the Security Council that if they do not go along with Western plans for more stringent sanctions and other actions against Syria, the US and its NATO allies reserve a right to act outside the Security Council as they did with Yugoslavia 13 years ago and launch military actions against Syria,” Rozoff told RT.
KHARTOUM — Sudanese foreign minister, Ali Ahmed Karti, on Saturday rejected the involvement of United Nations Security Council in the resolution of outstanding issues with the South Sudan.
Following the recent clashes between the two countries over Heglig, the African Union Peace and Security council adopted a seven point road map demanding the two countries to resume talks and to reach a negotiated settlement to all the pending matters within three months.
As requested by the African Union, the UN Security Council is considering a text of a resolution prepared by the Council chief for April US Ambassador Susan Rice who is seen as hostile to Khartoum.
The draft resolution allows the 15-member Council to “take appropriate additional measures” under article 41 of Chapter VII that allows to impose sanctions to give effect to its decisions.
These sanctions “may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations,” as provided in the article 41.
“Sudan confirms that it rejects any efforts to disturb the African Union role and take the situation between Sudan and South Sudan to the UN Security Council,” Foreign Minister Ali Karti said.
The minister in a statement released Saturday renewed Sudan’s confidence in the African Union and its organs the Peace and Security Council and the high level mechanism headed by former South African president Thabo Mbeki.
“However, any action to abort this role, or skip it can not help us in laying the foundations of peace and security in Sudan, especially under the current situation,” the minister further emphasized.
Sudanese officials said recently that the settlement of security issues should be the first issue to discuss between the two countries before to tackle the other issues.
Presidential adviser Mustafa Osman Ismail said on Saturday that Sudan would resume the AU process on the outstanding issues with South Sudan only if Juba withdraw its militias from the Sudanese territory.
The official was referring to the combatants of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) who fight the Sudanese army in the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
The minister Karti said several days ago that Juba should stop its support to the rebel groups in the bordering areas.
The SPLM-N, and three Darfurian groups the Justice and Equality Movement, two factions of Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur and Minni Minnawi sealed an alliance last November aiming to bring down the Sudanese regime.
- World demands South Sudan pullout of Heglig, end to Khartoum’s air raids (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Cynthia McKinney: I had the great fortune to meet Gilad Atzmon IN PERSON in Atlanta! He came, he spoke, he played. It was marvelous.
I actually interviewed him for Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox radio program that will air some time in the coming few days. Be on the lookout for it.
The interview was a good follow-up to his remarks in Atlanta. I touched him. He’s human. He’s just a person. And he’s a thinker. He has deep philosophical underpinnings for his positions. He is actually engaging in a conversation with himself, but is allowing the world to hear his musings. His conversation is no different than the one some Black people are having now around the meaning of the Presidency of Barack Obama since his policies are the exact opposite of what was once the Black Political Consensus that was admired around the world as a result of the struggle for civil rights in this country. What are we to do when that consensus is betrayed by one of our own? If you read Glen Ford at BlackAgendaReport.com, you will see what I mean. When values that have been held for generations are suddenly betrayed, introspection for meaning is always appropriate.
I felt the same way with Madeleine Albright; it only intensified with Condoleeza Rice and Susan Rice. As I said at a town hall meeting last night, that Rice plantation must have been one messed-up place! But certainly women must have the same pangs of conscience when we see women personalize policies that result in mass murder.
At any rate, in the flesh, Gilad is charming and thought-provoking. He said nothing that was offensive to me and nothing that I heard him say resembles what I read about him.
Finally, I know what it is like to be maligned. For serious values to be twisted and chewed and mangled into distortions beyond recognition. And although he would never admit it, I’m sure these attacks hurt him immensely. I wish there were something I could do about that, but we all are so hurt. Don’t retreat. Hold my hand and we will walk with Gilad through this difficult time for us all.
- Why Hate Gilad Atzmon Pt. 2: “He’s WRONG!” (Or Is He?) (alethonews.wordpress.com)
The Infected Scalpel
A few days back I received an announcement from Rocky Anderson, announcing his presidential bid as the candidate of the newly formed Justice Party. Although social justice was mentioned prominently along with the desperate economic plight of many in the U.S., I was struck by the fact that the struggle against war was not prominently mentioned and the question of the U.S. Empire and overseas bases seemed to get no mention. “Human Rights,” an increasingly plastic category at least in the hands of the U.S. ruling elite, figures prominently in Anderson’s campaign literature and world view. I was further surprised that “High Road to Human Rights,” an organization founded by Anderson, counted on its board of advisers, Elie Wiesel, a defender of the Apartheid Israeli regime. On the other hand, Anderson was a staunch opponent of the war on Iraq and even the war on Libya, the latter because it lacked Congressional approval.
I wondered about Anderson’s commitment to anti-interventionism and his view on “humanitarian” interventions, something that should be crystal clear from someone running for president and appealing to progressives. The following email exchange resulted:
From JW to RA: Hello Rocky,
I wish that you would spell all this out a bit more clearly.
Are you for “humanitarian” interventions as in the Balkans? Have you read Jean Bricmont’s great (and short) book “Humanitarian Imperialism”?
Are you for getting rid of all our overseas bases and devoting a limited military to purely defensive purposes?
Many pwogs*, for example, Amy Goodman and CIA “consultant” Juan Cole, were cheerleaders for the Libyan intervention, despite Libya having had the highest Human Development Index in all of Africa before NATO destroyed its infrastructure and reduced it to rubble in the name of human rights.
We have two versions of imperialism – the “tough guy” Dick Cheney brand and the “humanitarian” Susan Rice version. Both are the same in reality whatever the words attached to them. We must break with them both and cease viewing the world solely through the very arbitrary lens of “human rights,” a good sell among the pwogwessives.
But what good are human rights to a starving illiterate woman in India, a category that Mao consigned to the dust heap of history in China?
From RA to JW: Yes, so long as we are in compliance with the War Power Clause of the Constitution and the U.N. Charter, I favor the U.S. working with the international community in putting to an end massive atrocities. I strongly believe in living up to the promise of “Never Again.” Given all my work in this area, I don’t know how you would have any doubt about my position. I don’t think political boundaries should control our moral obligations to our brothers and sisters elsewhere.
I recommend to you A Problem From Hell, by Samantha Power.
Your reference to Susan Rice was a curious one. She sat on her hands (as you apparently would have had her do) when she was with the NSC and failed to take any action to stop the genocide that led to the slaughter of 800,000 Rwandans in 100 days. According to an article in The Atlantic by Samantha Power, Susan Rice was apparently more concerned with the political implications in the mid-term elections in 1994 than she was about the horrendous fate of the Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda. Those who stood by when their action could have ended the atrocities are, in my view, complicit.
From JW to RA: I think the Samantha Powers of the world are a big part of the problem.
I recommend that you read Humanitarian Imperialism by Jean Bricmont.
From RA to JW: I think isolationist nationalists who don’t care about the suffering of other people who happen to be in other parts of the world are “the problem”. Sorry, John, we’re on completely different moral planets here.
I’ll try to read the book you referenced. Have you read A Problem From Hell? It’s heart-breaking — and a real indictment of the failure of the US to do what is required to stop the atrocities.
From JW to RA: I cannot agree, Rocky. The “international community” is a euphemism for NATO and the US. The UN foolishly went along with the destruction of Libya – and we can now see that Russia and China are finally drawing a line in the sand at Syria.
You fail to see that the US is the most ruthless Empire in the history of humankind, and it will cover up its atrocities with appeals to “human rights.” It is the biggest lie of all. Would you favor military intervention to end apartheid in Israel? Will you take that position on the campaign trail?
For those of us living in the heart of Empire there is no alternative to being principled anti-interventionists. The Empire is incapable of waging a “good war,” whatever that may be. An anti-interventionist is not an “isolationist nationalist.” That is simply a smear.
Samantha Power has not written a heart rending account of what has been done to Iraq, I notice.
Finally, the Empire has always cloaked its wars in virtue, from the White Man’s burden to “human rights,” and it always will. The path to hell is paved with naiveté.
From RA to JW: Samantha Power has not written that account of Iraq because we did not intervene on humanitarian grounds. It was an illegal war of aggression, at odds with the War Power Clause and with the UN Charter. You paint with a very misleading, broad brush. You can advocate abandoning people during genocides and other mass atrocities. I will always be on the other side. I share your anti-imperialistic views; I do not share your willingness to turn a blind eye to humanitarian disasters.
You will never convince me of what I perceive to be an extremely selfish, heartless isolationist position. I would always advocate doing what I would want the U.S. and international community to do if I were in the position of a victim of genocide. To advocate doing what is right is hardly naïve. And it is hardly countenancing wars of aggression. No one has a stronger record of opposition to the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq than I.
From JW to RA: You are well meaning as far as I can tell, but you hold very dangerous views IMHO.
If people want to help those in far off lands, let them form their Abraham Lincoln brigades, something the US Empire also opposed. Of course, that means putting one’s body on the line, not someone else’s body.
First do no harm.
From RA to JW: So you would advocate repeal of the Genocide Convention? We couldn’t be further apart in our views on this.
But, then, I recognize the concerns with US empire that drive your views on this. We need to strive to be better on all counts. That’s why I have worked so hard in all of these areas over the years — and a large part of why I’m doing what I am now.
From JW to RA: I never said that I wanted to repeal the Genocide Convention. Why do you conclude that?
But what is being done to the Palestinians is a slow genocide. Do you advocate military action against Israel to get rid of the Apartheid regime there? You should be explicit about that.
Noam Chomsky points out that the slaughter in the Balkans, greatly exaggerated, took place AFTER NATO’s bombs started falling. And that was not really a genocide either.
Nor is Darfur a genocide either – a brutal war on both sides apparently but not a genocide. In fact, only the US and that outrageous liar Susan Rice label it as such.
And then there is the slaughter in Libya a country that once had the highest Human Development Index in all of Africa. The concrete reality is that the US is always up to no good and will kill and kill to get its way. We should not be in the business of providing cover for that.
I do not think that you really appreciate that the formerly colonized peoples of the world do not want Western interventions. They have had quite enough of the benefits of such neocolonial acts.
From RA to JW: You are so incredibly wrong. The people (at least the Tutsis) of Rwanda, and of Kosovo, view the U.S. as heroically coming to their aid and stopping the massacres. You would have been content with sitting back after the massacre at Srebrenica. To me, that is the greatest moral cowardice.
And how can you maintain that you would not seek the repeal of the Genocide Convention? It creates a legal obligation to take action to stop genocides wherever they occur.
I cannot countenance the U.S. continuing to build its empire; neither can I countenance people — or our nation — turning a blind eye to mass atrocities when they can be stopped.
This will be my last email on this topic. I’m dismayed that any person can be so insensitive toward victims of genocide or other mass atrocities. (I’m curious. What have you done, if anything, to help stop wars of aggression or mass atrocities?)
Good luck -
At this point someone on the list of those cc’d to this exchange jumped in, J.A., an Israeli expat who as a young man was swept into the Yom Kippur war and saw many of his friends needlessly killed. He left Israel in part to save his son from future slaughters of this sort and has vowed never to return. He wrote:
From J.A. to RA and JW: Rocky, humanitarian intervention is a slippery slope argument, and is being used for imperialistic ambitions (The latest example is Libya, and still Afghanistan – freeing the Afghan women. I remember well, Samantha Power supported this view) and, in general, being used to justify our military power. (Humanitarian aid via aircraft carriers, being the good policeman of the world, etc).
BTW, you wrote “illegal invasion”; is there a legal invasion?
Here is a question: Since you support “humanitarian” intervention, do you support attacking Israel and freeing the Palestinians from the Israeli harsh occupation? You must know about the suffering of the Palestinians under the Israeli Apartheid and the stealth genocide by Israel, so should we invade Israel?
(It is a rhetorical question to demonstrate how absurd is the “humanitarian” intervention view).
From JW to RA: You did not answer whether you would advocate in your campaign a military expeditionary force led by the US to end Israeli apartheid and the slow genocide of the Palestinians? Why can you not answer that?
And will you launch another expedition to restore the Tibetan theocracy? It will probably take a few million persons under arms and a return to the draft. Or how about an occupation of India where the most dire poverty continues and the farmers driven from their agriculture by agribusiness commit suicide in huge numbers? Or is that OK because “democracy” reigns?
And a second point. The greatest stimulus to nuclear proliferation is the huge conventional military force which the US has. That is the force that you need to preserve in order to save the world. The only protection for a small nation is nukes.
Long ago when the US was trying to take down the Chinese revolution and waging a war on Vietnam, Mao Zedong opined that US imperialism is the number one enemy of the peoples of the world. I am afraid that remains true.
And you are proof positive that the progressive movement, so called, is no longer anti-interventionist or anti-Empire.
As they say, “You’ve come a long way, baby.”
At least you admit it outright – and that amount of honesty deserves credit. I suggest that you openly proclaim the new humanitarian interventionism as part of your platform. Now if only other progressives would also do that, we could separate wheat from chaff more readily.
P.S. As a medical student I learned that there are some things that are beyond one’s control and that when one tries to control them the only thing that results is harm — sometimes fatal harm.
John V. Walsh can be reached at email@example.com.
A derisive term for a political progressive. First appeared in the 1960s as a term for old guard leftists of Jewish background. Derived from the tendency of Jews of Eastern European heritage to pronounce ‘R’ as ‘W’, in keeping with Yiddish pronunciation. Now can be used as a term for all progressives, regardless of ethnicity.
- Retrenchment & Liberal Internationalism don’t really Fit Together (2): R2P (asiansecurityblog.wordpress.com)