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Russia slams UN move on Syria as one-sided

Press TV – February 11, 2014

Russia has lashed out at the UN Security Council over a draft resolution that would impose more sanctions on Syria unless the government gives unrestricted access to aid delivery.

“Indeed, our Western partners in the [UN] Security Council addressed us and offered to work together to draft this resolution. However, the ideas that they shared with us are absolutely one-sided and divorced from fact,” Russian Foreign Ministry Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow on Tuesday.

The top Russian diplomat went on to say that the draft resolution also disregards the measures already taken to deliver humanitarian supplies, and international agencies’ assessments of the humanitarian situation in Syria.

He further noted that the resolution needs to be issued in a way that would condemn terrorist activities in Syria.

Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin has pledged to veto the proposed measure if necessary, saying the resolution would increase tension in Syria.

“This text would not have any positive impact on the situation,” Churkin said, “If anything, it would create disruption of humanitarian efforts.”

The Russian ambassador added that the measure would endanger the Geneva talks being held in Switzerland.

The comments come as the Syrian government delegation, led by Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, and foreign-backed opposition hold a second day of talks in Geneva.

The first round of the talks aimed at containing the deadly violence ended inconclusively on January 31, amid sharp differences between representatives from the Syrian government and the so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC).

February 11, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

BICOM and the peace process façade: On the views of the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre

By Hilary Aked, Tom Mills, David Miller and Tom Griffin | MEMO | November 4, 2013

Renewed ‘peace talks’ between Israeli and the Palestinian Authority officials have quietly been going on behind closed doors and a U.S.-imposed media blackout for three months now. Like all previous such exercises they will almost certainly break down without delivering justice or bringing peace.

Even though the Palestine Papers made it clear that the leaders of the PA, a creation of the Oslo process, have offered huge concessions in past rounds of talks, pro-Israel commentators are nonetheless pre-emptively rehearsing their arguments to blame the Palestinian side and obfuscate the fundamental longstanding issue: Israeli intransigence. A key – though little known – organisation engaged in this activity in British political circles is BICOM, the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre.

‘BICOM: Giving peace a chance?’, a new report published by Spinwatch, subjects this organisation to detailed scrutiny for the first time. It concludes that BICOM, like Israel itself, seeks to maintain the façade of progress towards peace, but in practice exhibits deep disdain for international law.

BICOM was established in 2001 in the wake of the Second Intifada and increasing international exasperation with Israel. Looking back a decade later, its primary funder, the billionaire businessman Poju Zabludowicz, neatly articulated its raison d’etre: ‘We have learnt over the last 10 years… that the key to creating a more supportive environment for Israel in Britain is convincing people in this country that Israel seeks a lasting peace… As long as this argument remains credible then people will generally forgive mistakes and difficulties even if peace continues to be elusive’, he wrote.

So BICOM’s aim is not to contribute to peace, but to convince people that peace is what Israel wants. The professions of support for a two state solution BICOM issues seem to be little more than a rhetorical device to foster, in Zabludowicz’s words, a ‘supportive environment’ in which people will ‘forgive’ Israel for its ‘mistakes’.

The existence of a broad international consensus in support of Palestinian statehood is enough to explain why BICOM judges it must pay lip service to the abstract idea of a Palestinian state. But the devil is in the detail. Though BICOM poses as the voice of sensible centrism, its political positions, when subjected to scrutiny, are far from moderate. In practice BICOM opposes key tenets of international law that serve as the framework for implementing the recognised prerequisites of a Palestinian state. It echoes Israeli exceptionalism on the four key issues of the conflict: borders, settlements, Jerusalem and refugees. The following is based on an analysis of BICOM’s own statements.

After the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the UN Security Council passed resolution 242 which called for Israel to end its occupation of territories captured during the war. Following the Israeli government’s unique interpretation, however, BICOM argues that the absence of either the word ‘the’ or ‘all’ from the English language version of resolution 242 when referring to ‘territories captured’, means that Israel need not withdraw to pre-67 borders. This, despite the resolution’s preamble clearly asserting the ‘inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war’.

On settlements too, despite international consensus on their illegality as articulated in UN Security Council resolutions and reiterated in 2004 by the International Court of Justice, BICOM stands by the Israeli government’s position which is, again, at odds with the international community. Israel disputes the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention which outlaws the transfer of civilians into the occupied territories. Indeed, whilst engaging in talks supposedly intended to demonstrate its commitment to achieving peace, Israel yet again announced more settlement construction and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a letter of solidarity to Israeli settlers in Hebron.

While BICOM, for obvious reasons, generally tries to avoid spelling out the extent to which its positions contradict with the requirements of international law, Luke Akehurst, who manages the BICOM spin-off group We Believe in Israel, has explicitly challenged the internationally accepted interpretation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. But more frequently, since Israel is in violation of so many laws and UN resolutions, BICOM simply dispenses with international legal principles as an explanatory framework. Instead its stances are frequently premised upon – and justified by way of reference to – what Israelis are ‘willing to contemplate’ or the ‘broad consensus in Israel’.

On Jerusalem, for example, BICOM asserts that ‘most Israelis would not be willing to contemplate’ Israeli ‘loss of Israeli sovereignty’ over the city. Thus it endorses the Israeli government’s unilateral rejection of the international political and legal consensus. BICOM’s attitude is illustrated in its use of language too. It euphemistically refers to settlements as ‘communities’ or ‘neighbourhoods’, to the West Bank as ‘disputed’ rather than occupied territory and calls the Jerusalem ‘the capital of Israel’ – though even the United States does not recognise this and therefore maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv.

On the thorny issue of the Palestinian refugees BICOM claims that in the 1948 war ‘there was no deliberate, co-ordinated Jewish policy to expel the Arabs’. This Zionist myth has long been disproved by Israel’s so-called New Historians, such as Ilan Pappe, who have shown convincingly that the contrary is in fact true. At any rate, the right of the approximately 700,000 refugees – and their descendants – to return to their homes is upheld in UN resolution 194. Yet BICOM’s take on the refugee issue appears, once more to ignore international law and UN resolutions. Instead it offers the legally insubstantial argument that ‘Israel does not believe it is responsible for resettling the refugees, believing their plight to be the responsibility of the Arab states that rejected the 1947 Partition Plan [and] started the war’.

Cutting to the heart of the situation is BICOM’s statement (again couched in terms of Israeli desires, not legality) that ‘no Israeli government will accept a solution that would allow millions of Palestinians to settle in Israel [as] this would effectively spell the end of the Jewish majority’. Even without reference to the return of refugees, BICOM’s research director, Toby Greene, writing in BICOM’s recently launched glossy publication ‘Fathom‘, speaks of a ‘demographic threat’ posed to Israel – and its self-definition as a Jewish state – by natural Palestinian population growth alone. This illuminates the underlying ethnic exclusivism in BICOM’s vision of ‘two states for two peoples’.

Just as the ‘peace process’ functions as a fig leaf for continuation of the status quo, BICOM’s lobbying activities – which focus on encouraging the British media to take what it paradoxically refers to as ‘the most objectively favourable line‘ – serve to ward off condemnation of Israel. This seems to be true amongst the strategically vital political elite at least, though grassroots trends show increasing pro-Palestinian feeling.

Ultimately it is symptomatic of the tenuous nature of democracy in the UK that by maintaining close relationships at the top – with the likes of the influential Labour and Conservative Friends of Israel groups – BICOM is able to inculcate in the political class the idea that Israel is a benign and reasonable actor in search of peace, while its underlying arguments and Israel’s actions, belie this narrative.

The report BICOM: Giving peace a chance? will be launched on the 7th of November. Register to attend the launch event here.

November 4, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Latin America’s Anti-Intervention Bloc

In Latin America, opposition to military intervention in Syria reflects the wariness of a region long beset with U.S. interventions of its own

By W. Alex Sanchez | Foreign Policy In Focus | October 4, 2013

kirchner-correa-syria-intervention-latin-america

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner with Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa. (Presidencia de la República del Ecuador / Flickr)

As political attention has shifted from a potential U.S. military strike against Syria to a potential agreement on the dismantling of Syria’s chemical weapons arbitrated by Russia, all eyes are on the United States, the Middle East, and key actors in Europe.

But what has been the reaction in other parts of the world?

In Latin America at least, which holds two rotating seats on the UN Security Council, the reaction reflects the wariness of a region long beset with U.S. interventions of its own.

By and large, Latin American nations have opposed a military operation against Damascus. Regional blocs like the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have passed resolutions calling for negotiations and a cessation of hostilities.

A leading opponent of the “military option” is Argentina, which along with Guatemala currently represents the region at the Security Council.

Throughout the years of conflict in Syria, Argentina has maintained an anti-intervention and anti-military approach regarding the international community’s involvement. Specifically, the Argentine government has pushed for dialogue between the warring parties within Syria. Hector Timerman, the Argentine minister of foreign affairs, notes that his country has proposed initiatives such as “a weapons embargo, humanitarian assistance, and an emergency meeting of the General Assembly” to address the ongoing violence.

Allegations that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against civilians did not sway Buenos Aires’ stance. In August, Timerman declared that “Argentina will never propose or support a foreign military intervention. The Argentine people will not be complicit in new deaths.” An August communiqué released by his ministry emphasized that “for the Republic of Argentina, the conditions are not present for a foreign military intervention since in spite of the time that has passed and the hundreds of thousands of victims, all the mechanisms established by international law have not been utilized.”

In early September, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon during the G-20 summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia. She reportedly proposed to the UN leader that the chancellors of the 15 member states on the Security Council travel to Syria to see if a ceasefire could be achieved. At the time of this writing, no further development has been reported on this proposal.

Argentina’s opposition to military intervention in Syria fits with its previous history of keeping out of foreign conflicts. Ariel Gonzalez Levaggi, executive director of the Centro Argentino de Estudios Internacionales (CAEI), a foreign policy think tank in Buenos Aires, explained that “Argentina has a tradition of neutrality that was modified in the 1990s but has continued during the era of Kirchner rule. The Argentine government was against the invasion of Iraq, the attack against Libya, and now Syria.”

It is worth noting that some Syrian expatriates in Argentina occupy positions in governmental offices. The extent to which this Syrian community is influential enough to affect Argentine foreign policy is under debate. In early September around 50 members of the Syrian community in Buenos Aires protested against U.S. military intervention outside the Syrian embassy.

Some Argentine analysts have declared that escalating the war in Syria could have detrimental effects for Argentina, particularly in terms of energy. In a September 7 article published in the Argentine daily La Nación, experts explained that an expanded war could increase the price of oil, which would hurt the South American state’s already dire economy. One analyst explained how, since 2009, Argentine exports to the Arab world have grown by 20 percent, and prolonged warfare could hurt Arab countries’ demand for Argentine exports.

Argentina’s anti-intervention stance is in line with the positions of most other South American governments. At a UNASUR summit in Suriname on August 30, they signed a declaration condemning “external interventions” in Syria and calling for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. CARICOM’s Secretariat passed a similar resolution in early September, condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria but also urging the international community not to engage in military actions against the Assad regime.

Not all Latin American nations share this view, however. Guatemala, which holds the region’s other Security Council seat, has openly expressed its support for U.S. intervention in Syria. “We clearly and definitely support the decision that the U.S. president has taken so that chemical weapons, which cause mass deaths, will not be utilized again,” said President Otto Perez Molina on September 1. “That is Guatemala’s position.”

It is unsurprising that Guatemala is siding with Washington, as the country’s government has long had close relations with the United States. Guatemala receives significant amounts of aid from Washington ($110 million in 2011 and an estimated $95 million in 2012) and wants to see this kind of assistance continue. Agreeing with Washington’s foreign policy decisions is an easy way for the country’s right-wing government to maintain ties based on security initiatives (like Operación Martillo) and trade (CAFTA).

As a representative on the UNSC, therefore, Argentina has been accurately reflecting the stance against military intervention held by other South American and Caribbean governments. This fits with the country’s drive to forge a regional politics more independent of Washington. Guatemala’s stance, by contrast, harkens back to an earlier era when Washington’s dictates largely set the tone for the hemisphere.

Nevertheless, the final point that needs to be addressed is whether Argentina, or even a united South America and Caribbean, have had any relevance in the decision making process in Washington, Beijing, London, Paris, or Moscow regarding intervention in Syria. The short answer is no.

In Syria, Buenos Aires, Lima, Montevideo, and Kingston have had little influence (or none at all) in what the powers-that-be have decided. While the aversion of Western military strikes on Syria may be considered a relief, the way it was achieved exemplifies how little weight agencies like the United Nations—and particularly the non-permanent members of the Security Council and the Global South in general—continue to have in global security affairs.

W. Alejandro Sanchez is a Senior Research Fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. Follow Alejandro via Twitter.

October 10, 2013 Posted by | Militarism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Asking Amnesty International to Oppose War

By David Swanson | War Is A Crime | May 7, 2013

Some human rights groups, especially Amnesty International, seem to have forgotten an important human right: peace.  A petition has been launched to remind them.

These organizations are not the warmongers. They do tremendously great work addressing some of the symptoms of warmaking, including imprisonment and torture.  But, because they avoid taking any position on war, and because of an apparent bias in favor of U.S. military intervention, they sometimes find themselves effectively promoting war and all the horrors that come with it.  At Nuremberg to initiate a war of aggression was called the supreme international crime “encompassing the evil of the whole.”  Yet human rights groups are often on the wrong side of the fundamental question of war.

Amnesty International (AI) promoted the babies-taken-from-incubators hoax that helped launch the 1991 war on Iraq.  AI has upheld the pretense that the US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan is about women’s rights.  And now Amnesty International is highlighting warmaking in Syria’s civil war by one side only:

“Our team of researchers on the ground found evidence that government forces bombed entire neighborhoods and targeted residential areas with long-range surface-to-surface missiles,” said an AI fundraising email on April 29th that made no mention of abuses committed by Syrian rebels supported by the U.S. and its allies.

This one-sided treatment by a group supposedly dedicated to all humans fuels the fires of a wider war from which the people of Syria can only suffer.

The email continued: “Amnesty has a strong track record of using our on-the-ground findings to pressure governments and the United Nations Security Council to hold those responsible for the slaughter of civilians accountable.”

Does it?  When the United States kills civilians in Iraq or Afghanistan or Libya, AI’s silence has often been deafening.  Shouldn’t a human rights group press for an end to the killing of all humans by all parties?

While many good individuals who work for human rights groups like AI oppose wars, these organizations officially ignore President Eisenhower’s warning and a half-century of evidence regarding the power of the military industrial complex — and they ignore the criminality of war under the U.S. Constitution, the U.N. Charter, the Kellogg-Briand Pact and other laws.

These groups accept the existence of war (when not encouraging it) and then focus on specific crimes and abuses within the larger war-making enterprise. They promote the idea that human rights are governed by two sets of laws, one in peace and another weaker set in war. Voices for the human right to peace are missing and badly needed, as “humanitarianism” and “the right to protect” are used as excuses for war and intervention.

Amnesty International opposes imprisonment without trial and other abuses unless they adhere to the “laws of war,” which is why AI is not opposing the outrageous charges leveled against Bradley Manning. Killing is opposed unless it adheres to the “laws of war.”  Under this standard, we pretend not to know whether blowing families up with drones is legal or not as long as the memos purporting to legalize it are kept hidden.

Groups like Amnesty oppose particular weapons, including the development of fully autonomous weapons (drones that fly themselves).  No one in their right mind would oppose that step.  But surely the human right not to be blown up does not vanish if the button is pushed by a person instead of an autonomous robot.  Other organizations are pushing to ban all weaponized drones from the world.

Human rights groups should join the peace movement in targeting war and militarism itself, rather than just some of its symptoms.  Amnesty International and all groups favoring human rights should be asked to oppose a U.S. escalation of war on Syria.

May 13, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Syria Criticizes Brahimi: He Lacks Neutrality

Al-Manar | April 25, 2013

The Syrian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Wednesday criticizing UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, saying he lacks neutrality.

The statement said Damascus would stop cooperating with Brahimi unless he severs his ties with the Arab League. “Brahimi’s report (on April 19) to the United Nations Security Council was marked by (a tone of) interference in Syria’s internal affairs and a lack of the neutrality required by his mission as international mediator,” the statement said.

Brahimi said at a closed-door session of the Security Council that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad does not have the right to run for president in the upcoming election scheduled for next year.

“Syria has cooperated and will cooperate with Brahimi only as UN envoy, because the Arab League is complicit in the conspiracy against Syria,” the statement read.

“If Brahimi wants his mission to succeed, we expect him to start working to stop the violence and terrorism along with the parties concerned, and to expose the roles played by France, Britain, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which finance and arm Al-Nusra Front’s terrorists,” it added.

April 25, 2013 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pakistan’s “Red Lines” That America Crosses Everyday

By Peter Chamberlin | There Are No Sunglasses | February 6, 2013

The government of Pakistan claims that there are “red lines” which drones and ground soldiers dare not cross (US urged not to cross ‘red line’ in Fata). This is another lie. In reality, US drones (and possibly “private contractors”) cross those lines everyday. Just another day in the multi-faceted psychological war games, that are fought-out in FATA everyday.

This new public relations ploy, to allow the families of drone victims to prosecute American Predator war crimes builds a new line of defense for the Pak Army, while enhancing its credibility.  This is part of Pakistan’s new “Plan B” for Waziristan, where the civilian administration attempts to use Western courts to stop daily drone attacks upon the Wazir tribes in both North and South Waziristan, since military persuasion has failed miserably in that respect.  Military reluctance to interfere with US plans for Pakistan’s militants has derived not from a common desire to see the CIA … Pakistanis, but from a desire NOT to piss-off the paymaster, which is interpreted by the people as complicity in the attacks (SEE:  US embassy cables: Pakistan backs US drone attacks on tribal areas (23 Aug. 2008, 14:12)). Even the targeted militant leaders are aware of Army complicity in drone targetting.  I am referring here to the testimony of the recently assassinated Waziri leader Nazir (SEE: As-Sahab: English transcript of the interview with Mulla Nazeer Ahmad, the amir of the mujahideen in the South Waziristan).

The outrageous death of Nazir and his friends clarified for the other militants, along with the entire Wazir tribe, that the Pak Army is obviously complicit in the drone attacks, otherwise actions would have been taken to put an end to the air incursions (SEE: India/Pakistani Detente’ Went Into the Ground with Mullah Nazir).  As long as the Army continued to maintain its duplicitous drone acceptance/rejection strategy, denying involvement in the drone targeting (which consistently hit the pro-Army Wazirs and not the anti-Pakistan Mehsuds in both North and South Waziristan), the Wazirs continued to participate in the Pak/US development strategy of infrastructural bribery, based on building ”Quick Impact Projects” in areas previously cleared of Mehsud terrorists.

Since the UAV murder of Mullah Nazir near Wana, working in tandem with the development strategy, the Army is allowing lawsuits (Case No: CO/2599/2012) to go forward on one of the most heinous drone attacks upon the Wazirs, the March 17th, 2011 attack upon a Waziri Jirga in Datta Khel, N. Waziristan, which killed 50 (SEE: Waziristan tribesmen to move ICJ against drone hits).  This move may be a compromise between the government and the Wazir tribe, to avoid a companion lawsuit (which is coming-up for a hearing on Feb. 13) that has been filed in Peshawar High Court, which forces the government of Pakistan’s hand.  The Peshawar suit makes the following demands:

  1. Confirm the Pakistani government’s complete opposition to US drone strikes in the tribal areas as a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty under Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter.
  2. Approach the United Nations Security Council and demand adoption of a resolution condemning drone strikes and requiring the US to end the strikes in Pakistan.
  3. Issue a formal complaint to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and with the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions as the fundamental right to life is being breached by US drone strikes. 
  4. Publicly encourage victims of drone stacks to file complaints to the UNHRC so that the UN Secretary General can list this issue on the Council agenda for discussion. 
  5. Notify the US government of Pakistan’s intention to seek relief in the International Court of Justice for the US’s illegal operation of drones in Pakistan.
  6. Sign the Rome Treaty so that the International Criminal Court can have jurisdiction to prosecute the drone attacks as international law crimes.

The Wazir experiment was intended to reinforce existing agreements that have been made between the Army and the Tribal Authorities, which have previously delegated the policing function to the Tribes.  Under those peace deals, Tribal Leaders had agreed to keep “terrorists” and foreigners out of their territory, referring to Taliban and the Uzbek and “al-CIA-da” forces.  The Wazir Tribe has been held responsible for the terrorist attacks within their neighborhoods since this agreement was signed in 2007.  Under the agreement, the Mehsuds were to have been run-out of Wana.  The Wazirs resisted taking this extreme step for the Army, because they were forced to travel roads through Mehsud territory and obviously didn’t want to start a Tribal feud (SEE:  Pak Army Uses US Money To Build Road for Ahmadzai Wazirs To Run Mehsuds Out of Wana On).

View Map

The Wazir were expected to run the remaining 1,000 or so Mehsud out of Wana, just as soon as the new Kaur-Gomal-Tanai-Wana road was inagurated.  Mullah Nazir led a tribal jirga, which voted to run them out on December 5 (SEE:  1000 Mehsud Refugees Run-Out of Wana ).  Three weeks later, Nazir was killed in a flurry of Hellfire missiles which were fired by three or four drones (SEE:  They Had A Funeral In Wana for Mullah Nazir and 10,000 People Showed-Up–where were the drones then?).  After years of trying and  countless near-misses, the CIA finally killed the lynchpin of Pak Army plans for peace through development, by gifting him with a Quran containing a drone tracking chip.  The man who was the most feared, as well as the most effective anti-Taliban tribal leader/fighter, was the centerpiece of Pakistani peace efforts, who hopefully would inspire all of the tribes to build their own effective anti-Taliban “Lashkars.”

The S. Waziristan development projects were a type of reward for supporting govt. efforts.  The Army officials took their peace efforts so seriously that they rolled-up their sleeves and helped to build homes for the returnees, teach gardening skills, classes in fish farming, poultry and livestock handling.  They have even organized an off-road rally in South Waziristan, hoping to draw people into an entertainment venue and thereby possibly enhance their communal feelings.  The Army is whole-heartedly into the idea of “winning hearts and minds” in South Waziristan, following American counter-insurgency tactics to the letter.  But they are finding-out the hard way that it might be impossible to smooth relations with people whose homes and schools you have just flattened, not to mention overcoming those hard feelings harbored over family members who were killed by the Army’s zealous pulverizing of parts of South Waziristan.

rehabilitation zone

As you can see from this WSJ article clip, the rehabilitation effort, centered on Kotkai village (Hakeemullah Mehsud’s hometown), is not having the desired effect or speed of development.  With the killing of the Wazir leader, how much further will the Tribal elders be willing to go in trusting the Army to deal fairly?

The lawsuit in British courts against the UK Govt., for their participation in the American drone strike of the Wazir jirga will serve as a largely symbolic test which could possibly enable judicial interference to handicap further drone strikes.  The suit filed in Peshawar could prove to be a very significant test of govt. loyalty, to document whether Pakistan supports its own citizens (who are being systematically deprived of their inalienable rights to Life), or the rights of the Imperial powers to murder them at will.  A wrong choice on the Army’s part could cost them all of their remaining friends in the Tribal Regions.  It would force the govt. hand, requiring public opposition to drone strikes, as well as taking the people’s case to the UN and filing formal Human Rights violations.  In addition to this, it would force govt.  to allow charges to be filed in the ICJ (International Court of Justice).  If any of these actions are taken, they would be sufficient to suspend all further American payments to Pakistan.

therearenosunglasses@hotmail.com

February 6, 2013 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran, P5+1 to meet on Feb. 25 in Kazakhstan: Salehi

Press TV – February 3, 2013

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says the next round of comprehensive talks between Iran and six world powers will be held in Kazakhstan on February 25, 2013.

Salehi made the announcement in his Sunday speech on the third day of the 49th annual Munich Security Conference in Germany.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany — known as the P5+1 group — have held several rounds of talks with main focus on Iranian nuclear energy program. The last round of negotiations between the two sides was held in Moscow in June 2012.

The United States, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is entitled to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that the Iranian nuclear program has been diverted towards weapons production.

February 3, 2013 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pentagon considering Air Force support for intervention in Mali

By Julian Pecquet – The Hill – 12/05/12

The Obama administration hasn’t ruled out having the Air Force play a lead role in transporting troops and equipment for an African-led intervention to dislodge militant Islamists in Mali, the Pentagon’s top Africa official said Wednesday.

The United Nations Security Council is weighing whether to approve a West African force of about 3,300 troops to take over the desert expanses of the country’s northern half, which broke away following a March coup. Mali’s neighbors and western countries are worried that the Texas-sized area has become the world’s largest safe haven for militant Islamists, but U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has raised questions about the plan’s viability, and the Obama administration favors a cautious approach.

“The logistical planning is still nascent,” the Pentagon’s deputy assistant secretary for Africa, Amanda Dory, told reporters in a short hallway interview after testifying at a Senate hearing on Mali.

“Part of it is related to maneuver and how the force would actually move, and that defines what the logistics would need to be. At this point we haven’t ruled out — or in — what it is that the [Department of Defense] and [U.S. government] support would be.”

Mali and its neighbors oppose any intervention by non-African troops. The United States, however, is involved in advising the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), which is putting the intervention force together.

Dory said the Pentagon is envisioning training, equipping, advising and supporting the international military force, “but whether it would entail logistics or not, we haven’t determined yet.” … Full article

December 6, 2012 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mali: Target of UN’s Sovereignty-stealing “Responsibility to Protect” Doctrine

By  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D. | The New American | October 13, 2012

In a recent article, The New American’s foreign correspondent Alex Newman reported on the United Nations’ plot to invade the West African nation of Mali. Wrote Newman:

After having recently left thousands dead from overthrowing the governments ruling Libya and the Ivory Coast, the United Nations is already plotting its next invasion to deal with the fallout. This time, Mali is in the UN’s crosshairs.

Mali attracted UN attention when the northern part of the country was taken over by Islamists and nomadic rebels amid a military coup d’état that ousted the government in the South. The UN Security Council is currently considering two resolutions related to the country, a former colony of France. The first one calls for negotiations between armed rebels in the North and the supposed “interim” government operating in the capital. That measure is expected to be approved soon, according to officials involved in the negotiations.

The second resolution would purport to authorize international military intervention, a move being sought by the coalition of regimes making up the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the struggling “interim” government in Southern Mali. The French government is circulating a draft of the resolution this week.

Supporting Newman’s report is the “crisis alert” issued by the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP). The notice says: “The humanitarian situation in northern Mali has worsened considerably since a coup in late March, with reports of human rights violations including murder, rape, robbery and forced displacement.”

After rehearsing the calls for intervention made by various human rights groups and other “civil society organizations,” ICRtoP closes its memo with a demand that the UN’s Responsibility to Protect doctrine be applied to the “rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation” in Mali.

A key to understanding the cause of the crescendo of clamors for international intervention in Mali is a familiarity with the Right to Protect doctrine as defined by the United Nations.

In an address given in September, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reaffirmed the commitment of the global shadow government’s ultimate goal of eradicating national sovereignty. The preferred weapon in this war on self-determination is the principle known as Responsibility to Protect (R2P).

Agreed to by the UN General Assembly at a summit of world leaders in 2005, R2P purports to grant the global government power to decide whether individual nations are properly exercising their sovereignty.

UN literature describes R2P as the concept that holds “States responsible for shielding their own populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and related crimes against humanity and requires the international community to step in if this obligation is not met.”

That is to say, if the UN determines that a national government is not voluntarily conforming to the UN’s idea of safety, then the “international community” will impose its will by force, all for the protection of that nation’s citizens.

Lest anyone believe that the globalists at the UN are simply pacifists whose desire is to meekly encourage regimes to treat their people kindly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took a more forceful posture at the conference held at the UN headquarters in New York.

“We all agree that sovereignty must not be a shield behind which States commit grave crimes against their people. But achieving prevention and protection can be difficult,” said Ban. “In recent years, we have shown how good offices, preventive diplomacy, mediation, commissions of inquiry and other peaceful means can help pull countries back from the brink of mass violence.”

“However, when non-coercive measures fail or are considered inadequate, enforcement under Chapter VII will need to be considered by the appropriate intergovernmental bodies,” he added. “This includes carefully crafted sanctions and, in extreme circumstances, the use of force.”

Chapter VII of the UN Charter authorizes the Security Council to use force in the face of a threat to peace or aggression, taking “such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security.” As there is currently no UN military, all such interventions are carried out by the national armed forces of member nations.

Faithfully, the United States, as the chief financial engine of the international body, has not only signed on to promote the Responsibility to Protect scheme, but President Obama has created a federal agency to ensure that it is executed effectively.

The bureau is called the White House Atrocities Prevention Board (APB) and it will be headed by President Obama’s National Security Advisor, Samantha Power.

Exercising the powers he created for himself in Executive Order 13606, President Barack Obama demonstrated his support for the R2P program when he established the Atrocities Prevention Board.

The stated goal of the APB is to first formally recognize that genocide and other mass atrocities committed by foreign powers are a “core national security interest and core moral responsibility.”

Apart from the unconstitutionality of this use of the executive order, there is something sinister in the selection of Samantha Power to spearhead the search for atrocities.

One source claims that the very existence of the APB is due to Power’s own persistence in convincing the White House that discovering atrocities should be a “core national-security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States.” The statement released at the time of the signing of the executive order demonstrates Power’s remarkable power of persuasion.

Samantha Power rose to prominence in government circles as part of her campaign to promote the Responsibility to Protect scheme.

Responsibility to Protect is predicated on the proposition that sovereignty is a privilege not a right and that if any regime in any nation violates the UN-approved code of conduct, then the international community is morally obligated to revoke that nation’s sovereignty and assume command and control of the offending country.

The three pillars of this UN sovereignty grab explain the provenance of this presumed prerogative:

1. A state has a responsibility to protect its population from mass atrocities

2. The international community has a responsibility to assist the state if it is unable to protect its population on its own, and

3. If the state fails to protect its citizens from mass atrocities and peaceful measures have failed, the international community has the responsibility to intervene through coercive measures such as economic sanctions. Military intervention is considered the last resort.

It is the habitual recourse to this purported “last resort” that has cost countless American lives and has propelled our Republic closer to becoming a mere regional administrative unit of the global government of the United Nations. As Alex Newman wrote in his article on the situation in Mali:

As history shows, armed UN intervention often leads to mass slaughter and complete chaos that is later used to justify more international military intervention — Libya and the Ivory Coast being just two recent examples among many. There is little reason to suspect that invading Mali would turn out any better.

Indeed it won’t. But using history as a guide, Americans know that the pseudo-pacifists running the United Nations believe that if the social contract fails, there’s always the option of deploying blue-helmeted soldiers to impose “peace” at the point of a gun.

To that end, the newly appointed Special Advisor of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, recommended delegates work in their individual governments to contribute to an armed UN force under the command of the global government. Reciting the third point of R2P, Dieng pushed for more powerful tools to carry out the third pillar.

“It is our collective responsibility to study the implications of the use of each of them, and to understand the conditions under which the potential of each tool can be maximized,” Dieng said. “It is also our responsibility to establish and strengthen the structures that will make third-pillar tools actionable and effective.”

No matter the frequency or ferocity of the moral outrage spewed by internationalists, the government of the United States does not have a constitutional responsibility to protect the citizens of the world from atrocities.

And nowhere in the Constitution is the president or Congress authorized to place the armed forces of the United States under the command of international bodies, regardless of treaty obligations or sovereignty-stealing “responsibilities” to the contrary.

Related article:

UN Plotting Invasion of Northern Mali

October 14, 2012 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Syria opposes escalation of violence with Turkey

TREND | October 5, 2012

Syria’s UN envoy said Thursday his government is not seeking any escalation of violence with Turkey and wants to maintain good neighborly relations, Today’s Zaman reported.

Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari said the government hasn’t apologized for the shelling from Syria that killed five Turkish civilians because it is waiting for the outcome of an investigation on the source of the firing.

He read reporters a letter he delivered to the deeply divided UN Security Council that sent Syria’s “deepest condolences” to the families of the victims “and to the friendly and brotherly people of Turkey.”

It urged Turkey and its other neighbors to “act wisely, rationally and responsibly” and to prevent cross-border infiltration of “terrorists and insurgents” and the smuggling of arms.

The Security Council has so far failed to respond to Wednesday’s deadly attack from Syria.

The US and its Western allies are seeking a strong statement condemning the attack on Turkey but Russia, Syria’s most important ally, is opposed and is seeking much weaker language that the West says is unacceptable, UN diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because talks have been private.

US Ambassador Susan Rice said the original draft, proposed by Azerbaijan and backed by the Turkish government, “adequately reflected the key points that need to be made.” But diplomats said many council members objected to Russia’s proposed amendments watering down the text. So council experts were meeting to see if they could bridge the differences.

“This sort of cross-border military activity is very destabilizing and must be stopped,” Rice said. “While I think it’s too early to say what will be the result of those negotiations, we think it’s very important that the council speak clearly and swiftly to condemn this shelling.”

The border violence has added a dangerous new dimension to Syria’s civil war, dragging Syria’s neighbors deeper into a conflict that activists say has already killed 30,000 people since an uprising against President Bashar Assad’s regime began in March 2011.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm Thursday at the escalating border tensions and warned that the risks of regional conflict and the threat to international peace is increasing, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

The UN chief called on all parties “to abandon the use of violence, exercise maximum restraint and exert all efforts to move toward a political solution,” he said.

Nesirky said Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab League envoy, has been in contact with Turkish and Syrian officials “in order to encourage an easing of tensions.”

Syria’s Ja’afari said the “Syrian government is keenly interested in maintaining good neighborly relations with Turkey.”

“The Syrian government is not seeking any escalation with any of its neighbors, including Turkey,” he stressed.

But he said Syria wants to explain to the Turkish people that their government’s policies supporting the opposition “are wrong and have been wrong since the beginning of the crisis.”

Ja’afari said Turkey responded to the incident by launching artillery shells into Syria starting at 7 p.m. local time Wednesday and stopping at midnight. Turkish troops then resumed artillery shelling Thursday morning until 7 a.m., injuring two Syrian army officers, he said.

“Our forces practiced self-restraint and did not respond to this Turkish artillery shelling,” Ja’afari said.

The Syrian ambassador said he delivered another letter to the Security Council seeking its condemnation for four suicide bombings in the country’s largest city and commercial capital, Aleppo, which killed scores of innocent civilians and took place about the same time Wednesday as the cross-border shelling.

But he said the council once again has been unable to condemn “these suicide terrorist attacks.”

Ja’afari urged the Turkish government to show “the same kind of sympathy” to the hundreds of innocent Syrian civilians killed in the suicide bombings as the Syrian government showed to the Turkish victims.

October 5, 2012 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | , , , | Leave a comment

Egypt may join Arab intervention in Syria

Al Akhbar | September 30, 2012

Egypt may take part in an Arab military intervention in Syria, provided this does not open the door to Western intervention, a political adviser to Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi told Turkey’s Anadolu news agency Saturday.

“We are in principle ready for an Arab intervention in Syria after the limits, goals and features of that intervention are made clear,” said Saif Abdel Fattah.

In a speech before the UN General Assembly Tuesday, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani called on Arab states to intervene militarily in Syria, citing an Arab-league backed intervention during Lebanon’s civil war as an “effective and useful” precedent.

Analysts have since warned that such a move could trigger a counter-intervention from Iran, sparking an even wider regional conflict.

Abdel Fattah went on to say that Egypt may pressure Turkey to put the Qatari proposal into effect. He added that Mursi would be discussing the issue with Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his visit to Turkey Sunday.

Turkey is an ardent supporter of military intervention in Syria, and has pushed the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over the country. The proposals have been repeatedly shot down by China and Russia.

September 30, 2012 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

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