Bradley Manning, Private First Class, US Army, is accused of leaking military secrets to the public. Manning is in the brig at USMC Base Quantico for allegedly disclosing a classified video depicting US troops shooting civilians from an Apache helicopter in Iraq in July 2007. The video collateral murder was released by WikiLeaks on April 5, 2010. Manning faces 52 years in prison. No charges have been filed against the soldiers in the video.
Peter MacKay, Canada's Minister of National Defence, has once again practiced deceit and mendacity with the Canadian people.
MacKay revealed on Sunday, 7 November 2010, that Canada would keep troops in Kabul as part of a plan to extend the country's mission in Afghanistan and convert it into a non-combat role after 2011.
MacKay said the government was contemplating transitioning from a combat role to a non-combat training role, but he did not offer exact numbers about troops to be involved.
Speculation is that up to 750 trainers and at least 200 support staff would work outside the combat zone at a training academy or large training facility for Afghan soldiers and police officers.
Canada's combat mission, which involves up to 3,000 troops, is due to expire in July 2011 in accordance with a motion passed in Parliament. But allies, including the United States, have pressured Canada to remain. There has been intense pressure from other allied nations, in NATO in particular, to see Canada extend its combat mission. NATO has said it will leave Afghanistan in 2014 and hand over all security to Afghan forces.
This statement of policy contradicts what MacKay claimed in April 2010.
SPERWAN GHAR, Afghanistan -- Canada will continue to train the Afghan police force after the military mission in the war-torn country officially ends next year, says the federal defence minister. Peter MacKay said Saturday that despite U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s urging that Canada keep soldiers in Afghanistan past 2011, the military mission will end. “We will work within the parameters of the parliamentary motion, which states very clearly that the military mission will come to an end in 2011,” Mr. MacKay said from Kandahar while visiting Afghanistan with Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose.
Note in the statement attributed to MacKay in April that the parliamentary motion refers to military mission, not combat mission. MacKay is attempting to deceive Canadians about what Parliament has approved so that he can sneak through support for the continuing imperialist aggression by the US war criminal regime and its NATO flunkies.
The Guardian newspaper reports that Russia has decided not to supply the S-300 air defense system to Iran.
General Nikolai Makarov, the armed forces chief of staff, told Russian media today that delivery of the S-300 high-precision weapons system would violate the UN sanctions imposed on Iran because of concerns about its nuclear programme. "A decision was taken not to supply S-300s to Iran," Makarov was quoted as saying by the state-run RIA. "They definitely fall under sanctions. There has been an instruction from the leadership to stop the shipment, and we are obeying it."
US State Department has already conceded that the UN sanctions resolution does not prohibit the S-300 sale to Iran.
RIA Novosti reported in June that Russia's Foreign Ministry said the sale of the S-300 would proceed.
Since both the US and Russia know that the S-300 is not included in the sanctions regime--and each knows that the other knows--there must be some secret agreement operative in the cancellation of the S-300 deal.
Potential responses by Iran should perhaps include certain inconveniences for Russia in its Caspian dealings
Pakistan was due to receive a $1.3 billion tranche from an IMF loan of $11.3 billion as part of an aid package following the massive flooding of that country. However, the IMF delayed release of the funds after Pakistan failed to meet various IMF performance targets. The disastrous flooding conditions have so damanged the country that the credit rating agency Moody’s Investor Service changed its outlook for Pakistan’s five biggest banks from stable to negative, due to concerns that the banks will be vulnerable because of nonperforming loans. Pakistani officials hoped the IMF could be convinced to relax its criteria for extending the sixth tranche of the 2008 loan, considering the scale of damage inflicted on the country. But when they met with IMF leaders in Washington for ten days at the end of August and the beginning of September they were curtly rebuffed. According to an account published in the September 8 issue of Dawn, IMF authorities took “a very strong position” during the talks, affirming “that the IMF executive board would not be interested in considering Pakistan’s request for more funds unless it made tangible progress” on implementing the IMF-dictated economic restructuring program. The World Bank, which like the IMF is a US-dominated organization, added to the pressure. Speaking on 1 September 2010, following a meeting with Finance Minister Shaikh, World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick emphasized the need for Islamabad to implement pro-market reforms before all else. “We need,” said Zoellick, “to respond strongly to the crisis at hand, but we need to do it without losing sight of important economic reforms.” Zoellick then went on to threaten the Pakistani government and the people of Pakistan, declaring “the response of donors to the floods will also depend on the government’s ability to deliver in this area.”
A disaster of the magnitude of the Pakistan flooding is too good an opportunity for exploiters to squander. Relief for the flooded millions of Pakistan constitutes for the imperialist financial institutions a bludgeon which they can wield brutally in order to impose the market reforms that will facilitate profit-making by domestic and especially international capital.
The reforms that the IMF and World Bank are demanding include:
•The transformation of a General Sales Tax into a 15 percent Value Added Tax or VAT. The new tax will shift the burden of taxation from business to working people.
•The complete elimination of energy price subsidies. Previously the government had committed to increase the cost of electricity by at least 25 percent in three phrases over 6 months beginning this October 1. (The World Bank and Asian Development Back estimated earlier this year that a 49 percent increase would be required to meet the government’s pledge to end all electricity subsidies.)
•Full autonomy for the country’s central bank and the cessation of loans from the State Bank of Pakistan to the government
In the LA Times, Paul Richter reports on the rush by Russia, China and Turkey to trade with Iran after the US and EU decided to punish themselves with sanctions extended beyond those imposed by the UN.
Meanwhile, the Iranian Oil Ministry reports that Iraq has consented to the transit of Iran's natural gas across Iraqi territory to Syria and the Mediterranean regions. The agreement was made after a recent meeting between ranking Iranian and Iraqi officials over the transfer of Iran's natural gas to Iraq's power plants, ISNA reported Iran's Deputy Oil Minister and Managing Director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Javad Owji as saying on Sunday. The Iranian official also said that the plan for natural gas delivery would take at least three years, requiring the construction of a major pipeline capable of transporting around 60 million cubic meters of gas per day. The Deputy Managing Director of NIGC, Mostafa Kashkouli, has recently said that Iran is negotiating to pump its gas to Iraq via two pipelines that cross the border at Dehloran and Khorramshar. Iran possesses the world's second largest gas reserves after Russia, which compose almost 16 percent of the world's total. The country is eager to expand its consumer base for energy resources.
The natural gas transfer will counter US imperialistic moves to control the resources of Central Asia.
Reuters reported that several pistols belonging to bodyguards of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took an unexplained cross-country US detour this week before four of them went missing. According to the news agency, a spokesman for Israel's Shin Bet security service confirmed that the four handguns "were part of the equipment sent ahead (of Netanyahu) to Washington, and got lost," adding that Israeli and US authorities were investigating. A US source familiar with the matter told Reuters that two suitcases bearing seven handguns in all -- four in one bag, three in the other -- arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York with Israel's security detail and were rechecked for a flight to Washington. But neither bag made it there.
Later the guns were recovered.
One might well think that this was a quick lesson about how the US can demilitarize Israel, like snapping fingers.
United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the United States Yousef al-Otaiba openly advocated a US military attack on Iran, saying he was willing to “live with” damage such an attack would do to the security of the tiny country.
The United Arab Emirates ambassador to the United States said Tuesday that the benefits of bombing Iran's nuclear program outweigh the short-term costs such an attack would impose. In unusually blunt remarks, Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba publicly endorsed the use of the military option for countering Iran's nuclear program, if sanctions fail to stop the country's quest for nuclear weapons.
However, the UAE’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tareq al-Haidan suggested that the comments by Ambassador Otaiba may have been “taken out of context” and that at any rate the tiny collection of monarchies flatly opposes any military attacks on Iran.
Assuming the statement is accurately reported, it would be an odd way for the UAE to announce policy that would have damaging diplomatic and economic effects on its relationship with Iran. It is more probable that the CIA sacrificed an asset in an attempt at further US imperialist war-mongering.
General Stanley McChrystal should be court-martialed.
UCMJ Article 88 states:
"Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct."
In time of war . . . perhaps death by firing squad would be the appropriate sentence.
The UN Resolution applying sanctions to Iran does not prohibit the sale by Russia of the S-300 anti-aircraft system.
In the text of text of resolution 1929 (2010):
Paragraph 8 8. Decides that all States shall prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to Iran, from or through their territories or by their nationals or individuals subject to their jurisdiction, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, and whether or not originating in their territories, of any battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems as defined for the purpose of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, or related materiel, including spare parts, or items as determined by the Security Council or the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006) (“the Committee”), decides further that all States shall prevent the provision to Iran by their nationals or from or through their territories of technical training, financial resources or services, advice, other services or assistance related to the supply, sale, transfer, provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of such arms and related materiel, and, in this context, calls upon all States to exercise vigilance and restraint over the supply, sale, transfer, provision, manufacture and use of all other arms and related materiel;
Note the reference to the Register of Conventional Arms
VII. Missiles and missile launchers (in the Register Categories)
Guided or unguided rockets, ballistic or cruise missiles capable of delivering a warhead or weapon of destruction to a range of at least 25 kilometres, and means designed or modified specifically for launching such missiles or rockets, if not covered by categories I through VI. For the purpose of the Register, this category:
(a) Also includes remotely piloted vehicles with the characteristics for missiles as defined above;
(b) Does not include ground-to-air missiles.
Read that again. The resolution does not include ground-to-air missiles.
The UN Security Council voted on Wednesday, 9 June 2010, to impose a fourth round of sanctions on Iran for failing to halt its nuclear enrichment program. The sanctions are less rigorous than the US had advocated.
By going along with the sanctions proposed by the US, Russia and China have removed the possibility of an attack by Israel and the US for the immediate future. The US must be seen to give the new sanctions time to work. Iran is safe from attack for months, if not years.
By going along with the new sanctions, Russia and China have created a situation where President Obama certainly cannot justify an attack on Iran until after the November elections, and so he will not be able to use Iran as a campaign issue to keep Democrats in control of Congress. Nor will the US administration be able to Iran as a distraction from its failure to fix the economy, plug the BP Deepwater Horizon oil leak, or hide from the Gaza blockade issue.
Further, US businesses are complaining that the new sanctions will harm them more than they will harm Iran.
Russia has stated that it will retaliate if sanctions hurt Russian interests.
As well, Russia has said that its long-standing contract to supply surface-to-air missiles to Iran will not be affected by new UN sanctions. Russia agreed to supply Iran with S-300 systems several years ago but has not delivered them. The US and Israel are concerned the S-300 missiles, designed to counter both aircraft and cruise missiles, might be used to protect Iran's nuclear facilities from attack. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed the missiles were not subject to the limits set by the UN on cooperation with Iran. Lavrov also said Moscow was in talks on building further nuclear reactors in Iran.
The US secretary of state said on 6 June 2010 that world powers have the required number of votes to pass the sanctions resolution against Iran for what the US characterizes as continuing to enrich uranium in defiance of repeated Security Council ultimatums.
Clinton said she expected Iran would "pull some stunt in the next couple of days" to try to divert the resolution vote.
Iran's President Ahmadinejad will visit China later this week to discuss the threat of new UN sanctions over Iran's nuclear program. Ahmadinejad will be attending Expo Shanghai 2010, but will also meet top Chinese officials to discuss Iran's nuclear program, the threat of sanctions and a fuel swap deal for a Tehran research reactor brokered by Brazil and Turkey last month, Iranian state television reported on Monday. China, which has emerged in recent years as Iran's main trading partner, continues to insist on diplomacy to resolve the standoff over Tehran's nuclear program but US officials say they have Beijing's support for the sanctions resolution.
Before heading to China, Iran's President Ahmadinejad was due to hold a round of meetings in Istanbul where he was attending a regional security and confidence building conference on June 6. He was expected to meet Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of Russia, another Security Council permanent member, media reports said. He was also due to meet Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the nuclear fuel swap deal.
On May 17, Turkey and Brazil brokered a deal with under which Iran agreed to ship 1,200 kilograms (2,640 pounds) of its low-enriched uranium (LEU) to Turkey in return for high-enriched uranium fuel for the Tehran reactor which would be supplied later by Russia and France.
The deal was scorned immediately by the US which has ratcheted up diplomatic pressure for a fourth set of UN sanctions. US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said world powers have the necessary votes at the Security Council. Sooner or later, it's time for Hilary Clinton to put up or shut up.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should be arrested and tried with war crimes while he's in the United States, Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said Monday.
Ahmadinejad is in New York for the United Nations nuclear summit, and Israel wants to use the opportunity to have the Iranian president taken into custody.
"Ahmadinejad shouldn't just be protested in NYC, he should be arrested and tried for incitement to commit genocide," Israel said on his Twitter feed.
Check the name of the Congressman foaming at the mouth. It's obvious who is paying him to rant like a maniac.
US has explicitly threatened to nuke Iran. (President Barack Obama, on Tuesday, April 6, 2010, threatened to launch a nuclear attack against Iran and North Korea if these countries refuse to toe Washington's line.) It is the US that is the rogue state, the war-monger, the war-criminal regime.
Iran is a member of the NNPT. All of Iran's nuclear work is inspected by the IAEA. To date, IAEA inspections have found no diversion of any nuclear materials and Iranian nuclear materials have not been enriched beyond the level necessary to fuel a nuclear power plant.
Iran has no nuclear weapons.
Israel is believed to be the sole nuclear power in the Middle East with more than 200 nuclear heads and is not even a signatory for the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).
US disclosed for the first time on 3 May 2010 the overall size of its nuclear arsenal, saying it had a total of 5,113 warheads operationally deployed, kept in active reserve and held in inactive storage. US nuclear arsenal has been reduced by 84% from its maximum level of 31,225 warheads at the end of fiscal year 1967.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on 3 May 2010, however, said that Iran's nuclear program puts the world at risk.
Hillary Clinton: stupid or malevolently mendacious.
The political problems between Cuba and the United States will be resolved in 50 years when the island disappears under water because of climate change, said Carlos Pascual, the U.S. ambassador in Mexico City. Mr. Pascual, born in Havana in 1959, was introduced as an “expert in climate change and renewable energy” at a Forum called Green Business Expo held at a private university in Mexico City. In his talk he referred to the effect of global warming and rising sea levels in areas such as Florida and Cuba, according to CNN [Spanish language].
If that's the case, Florida and much of the US east coast will also be submerged. Cuba, even after another fifty years wasted by the US, would be the least of problems for the US. US State Department should demand bigger bribes from the dummies made ambassadors.
The White House has reportedly called on Congress to provide waivers in the Iran sanction bill that would allow Chinese and Russian companies to do business with Iran.
The Obama administration is pressing Congress to provide an exemption from sanctions against Iran for certain companies of "cooperating countries," Fox News reported on April 29.
Congressmen believe the decision is aimed at relieving concerns about possible penalties for Chinese and Russian companies and garnering Moscow and Beijing's support for a fourth round of sanctions against Iran in the UN Security Council.
On this same day . . .
Italy's Eni says it will not extend its contracts to develop an Iranian oil field as it may lead to US sanctions against the oil firm.
State-controlled Eni, Italy's biggest oil and gas company, signed contracts in 2001 with the Iranian government to develop Darkhovin oil field.
In an annual report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Eni said it would not extend its contracts for the third phase of the project because of the government pressures and fear of US sanctions against the company, Reuters reported.
"Our activities in Iran could lead to sanctions under relevant US legislation," the report said.
"Specifically, activities are progressing to hand over operatorship of the Darkhovin oilfield to the local partners as development activities were concluded at this field in 2009."
Eni's Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni also said on Thursday that the company intends to sell off its shares in the oil field.
Italy has been one of Iran's major European partners and Eni has been doing business with Iran since 1957. However, Italy's close ties with Israel and the US, which is pushing for a fourth round of sanctions against Iran in the UN Security Council, have reduced Rome's commercial dealings with the Islamic Republic.
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini had earlier said that Rome has suspended export credit guarantees for firms investing in Iran, adding that Italy intends to block new investments in Iranian oil and gas industry.
Under the US Iran Sanction Act, sanctions might be imposed on any person or company that invests more than $20 million a year in Iran's energy sector.
So this is how the deal appears to be shaking out: the closer US ally, Italy, must take an economic hit while the nominal "bad guys," China and Russia get exemptions from the sanctions that the US is trying to rig against Iran.
Pressure on US is intensifying. US must slap down the State of "Israel" or bow down. The whole world is watching. Other entities, state and non-state, will be emboldened to make their moves if the US looks weak. The State of "Israel" has become an existential threat to the US.
As Mark Perry has reported on the Foreign Policy magazine website, a team dispatched by Gen. David Petraeus of Central Command briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff on January 16 to the effect that the conduct of Israel with respect to the Palestinians has now caused the Islamic forces cooperating with the United States, as well as those fighting it, to conclude that the US is weak, and its military posture is subverted by American complicity with Israel’s intransigence on the Palestinian issue. When this was conveyed to the White House, the shock was great. The message itself was not so much a surprise as the emphasis and urgency with which senior American commanders now regard the problem.
Iraq invasion was not about WMDs. It was about incorporating the world for the controller class and punishing defiance.
Chilcot Inquiry, 5 March 2010, UK PM Gordon Brown: "Our position was to support action so that the will of the international community, that Saddam Hussein disclose and dispose of weapons, be reinforced, and at the back of my mind was this sense that, if the international community did not act here, then the international community would find it difficult to gain credibility for acting in other areas, and this new world order that we were trying to create was being put at risk. So I go back to what I say is the wider argument about defying the will of the international community."
The same impulse governs the attempt to extort from Iceland because of bank failure.
The entities employing odious debt devices and propaganda don't care about peace, love and good vibrations. They lust for power. They want to grind your face into the dirt.
Pajhwok News Agency reports that on Tuesday, the Afghanistan senate deplored the foreign airstrikes that killed 21 innocent civilians in the province of Daikundi on Sunday, and demanded that NATO avoid any repetition of this sort of error.
But some senators went farther, demanding that NATO or US military men responsible for the deaths be executed. Senator Hamidullah Tokhi of Uuzgan complained to Pajhwok that the foreign forces had killed civilians in such incidents time and again, and kept apologizing but then repeating the fatal mistake: "Anyone killing an ordinary Afghan should be executed in public."
Lawmaker Fatima Aziz of Qunduz concurred, observing, "We saw foreign troops time and again that they killed innocent people, something unbearable for the already war-weary Afghans."
Maulvi Abdul Wali Raji, a senator from Baghlan Province, called for the Muslim law of an 'eye for an eye' to be applied to foreign troops for civilian deaths. Pajhwok concludes, "Mohammad Alam Izdiyar said civilian deaths were the major reason behind the widening gap between the people and Afghan government."
Apartheid is an ugly word that just shouldn’t be used, Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP Peter Shurman said Thursday.
Shurman, the member from Thornhill, moved a resolution to condemn the now annual event on Canadian campuses known as Israeli Apartheid Week,
“I want to be clear about what it is I’m trying to do,” Shurman said. “I want the name changed. It’s that simple. It’s just wrong.”
Shurman said he had no objection to people criticizing Israel, or debating the thorny issues of Palestinians and the occupied territories.
“My problem is the name,” he said. “Israeli Apartheid Week is not dialogue, it’s a monologue. The name is hateful, it is odious and that’s not how things should be in my Ontario. It’s a term that frankly I’m sick of hearing. Get rid of this word apartheid.”
The resolution passed with unanimous support from both the Liberals and the New Democratic Party.
But there were only thirty MPs present for the vote.
NATO members Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway are expected to request "in the coming weeks" that the US remove all its nuclear weapons, mostly deployed during the Cold War, from Europe.
Will the US comply? Or will the US defy the international community?
China's holding of US Treasury bonds has dropped, according to US Treasury data released 16 February 2010, after Beijing expressed concern over the swelling US deficit and amid new US-China tensions. The Treasury Department said foreign holdings of US Treasury bills fell by a record $53 billion in December. The record drop delivered notice that the government might have to pay higher interest rates on its debt to continue to attract investors. Foreigners, especially the Chinese, have begun to worry about record-high US budget deficits and are looking to diversify their holdings. A sustained drop in foreign demand for dollar-denominated assets could lead to higher US interest rates and falling stock prices. Economists claim that they see no evidence of such a shift yet.
Economists "see" what they're paid to "see." Most economics is politically driven voodoo economics. Most universities should close their Economics Departments.
More than 6,000 Canadian Forces members and discharged veterans who are receiving physical or psychiatric disability benefits from Veterans Affairs Canada have either served in Afghanistan or have a disability that has been related to their service in Afghanistan, the department says.
If this had been a genuine attempt to smash the strongly entrenched "Taliban," there would have been no advertisement. But this "operation" is more propaganda, trying to make it look like the invaders are winning while trying to dupe the domestic populations of NATO countries into accepting more such "winning" for 20 or 50 more years of the corporate-socialist war-profiteering.
Prove me wrong: pump up the body count. Russians have recently killed twenty in the Caucasus . . . without the media noise of the Moshtarak operation which so far has only claimed about twenty enemy dead.
Maybe the translation of Moshtarak is: more crap from Uncle Scam.
The banksters did not try to make everyone a homeowner. They tried to make everyone a mortgage holder. The objective was not to provide housing or raise the prosperity level of society. It was to suck people into loans they could never afford to repay in order to use debt as a social control mechanism.
The White House on Thursday, 11 February 2010, said Iran's declaration of producing the first stock of enriched uranium for a research reactor was based "on politics", and "not on physics." President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that Iran had produced the first stock of 20 percent enriched uranium at the Natanz enrichment facility. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs cast doubt on Ahmadinejad's announcement . . . but is still pushing the line that Iran has or soon will have nuclear weapons. Think about it. If Iran does not have the ability to enrich uranium to 20 percent, then Iran does not have the ability to enrich uranium to the 95 percent required for nuclear weapons. Besides that, the petulant US wants the world to ignore the fact that Iran can make its own medical isotopes without assistance from other countries.
The calls for broad retaliation over the planned US weapons sales to Taiwan came from officers at China's National Defence University and Academy of Military Sciences, interviewed by Outlook Weekly, a Chinese-language magazine published by the official Xinhua news agency. The interviews with Major Generals Zhu Chenghu and Luo Yuan and Senior Colonel Ke Chunqiao appeared in the issue published on Monday, 8 February 2010. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) plays no role in setting policy for China's foreign exchange holdings. Officials in charge of that area have given no sign of any moves to sell US Treasury bonds over the weapons sales, a move that could alarm markets and damage the value of China's own holdings. While far from representing fixed government policy, the open demands for retaliation by the PLA officers underscored the domestic pressures on Beijing to deliver on its threats to punish the Obama administration over the arms sales. "Our retaliation should not be restricted to merely military matters, and we should adopt a strategic package of counter-punches covering politics, military affairs, diplomacy and economics to treat both the symptoms and root cause of this disease," said Luo Yuan, a researcher at the Academy of Military Sciences. "For example, we could sanction them using economic means, such as dumping some US government bonds," Luo said. China has the world's biggest pile of foreign currency reserves, much of it held in US treasury debt. China held $798.9 billion in U.S. Treasuries at end-October. But any attempt to use that stake against Washington would probably maul the value of China's own dollar-denominated assets.
China should take the loss on the US dollar holdings sooner rather than later.
Tony Blair yesterday launched an extraordinary attack on the Iraq inquiry - as the chairman warned that he and others could be recalled over 'gaps' in their evidence.
In an outspoken interview in the U.S., the former prime minister dismissed the inquiry as part of a ' continual desire to sort of uncover some great conspiracy'.
Speaking on Fox News he said critics of the war were obsessed with conspiracy theories, and refused to accept that his motives were 'genuine'.
No, Tony, you're wrong yet again. You're the deluded idiot who believed, or professed to believe, the conspiracy theory that Saddam Hussein had WMDs. And critics of the war are quite willing to accept that your motives were genuine. They know that you are an insane mass murderer who saw nothing wrong in the slaughter of one million innocent Iraqis as part of an imperialist resources grab.
Everyone understands you quite well, Tony. They know you are evil.
Iran on Monday informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in an official letter that, starting from Tuesday, it will begin enriching higher-grade nuclear fuel.
"Today we handed over the letter," Iran's envoy to the IAEA, Ali-Asghar Soltanieh, told Press TV. He added that Tehran will use its nuclear stockpile to enrich uranium to up to 20 percent to supply the Tehran research reactor which produces medical isotopes.
The fuel will be be produced at the Natanz enrichment plant.
Iran says that, as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NNPT), it is entitled to enrich uranium for civilian purposes.
Iran is following the rules of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and has opened its enrichment facilities to UN inspection.
The United States, which has signed and ratified the NNPT, is not in compliance with the NNPT. And of course Israel, which is not a signer to the NNPT, is reported to have an arsenal of 200 atomic warheads itself. Israel accuses Iran of having the intention to develop nuclear weapons and routinely threatens to reduce the country's enrichment sites to rubble.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday ordered Iran's atomic chief to begin higher uranium enrichment, raising the stakes in a dispute with the West days after seeming to accept a UN-drafted proposal for a nuclear deal.
Ahmadinejad's declaration drew immediate fire from Britain, which said it was "clearly a matter of serious concern," while US Defence Secretary Robert Gates called for mounting "international pressure" on Iran.
Ahmadinejad in a speech at an exhibition on laser technology broadcast live on state television blamed world powers for the stalemate over the nuclear fuel deal, but left the door open for possible negotiation over the proposal.
"I had said let us give them (world powers) two to three months and if they don't agree, we would start ourselves," Ahmadinejad said.
Anyway, US could have had a deal, but now the stakes have been raised.
US can back up its bombastic rhetoric . . . or back down.
From an article by Greg Jaffe Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, February 5, 2010
The U.S. military has reprimanded an unusually large number of commanders for battlefield failures in Afghanistan in recent weeks, reflecting a new push by the top brass to hold commanders responsible for major incidents in which troops are killed or wounded, said senior military officials. The military does not release figures on disciplinary actions taken against field commanders. But officials familiar with recent investigations said letters of reprimand or other disciplinary action have been recommended for officers involved in three ambushes in which U.S. troops battled Taliban forces in remote villages in 2008 and 2009. Such administrative actions can scuttle chances for promotion and end a career if they are made part of an officer's permanent personnel file. The investigations are a departure for the U.S. military, which until recently has been reluctant to second-guess commanders whose decisions might have played a role in the deaths of soldiers in enemy action.
Russia is not likely to support the US agitation for sanctions.
TASS reported 4 February: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister has said that the country cannot agree with sanctions against Iran because sanctions do not work as a rule. "We do hope very much that Tehran will consider the sextet's proposals in a constructive manner and respond to them positively," Sergei Ryabkov.
On the same day, a Chinese diplomat in Paris was quoted as telling reporters, “To talk about sanctions at the moment will complicate the situation and might stand in the way of finding a diplomatic solution.”
His remarks, quoted by Reuters, seemed a direct rebuff of US efforts to secure broad international support for tougher penalties against Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, accused by US of running a covert nuclear arms program.
The Iranian government says the program is for peaceful civilian purposes.
“China firmly supports the international nuclear nonproliferation regime,” said Yang Jiechi, the Chinese Foreign Minister. “All countries, Iran included, if they obey I.A.E.A. rules, have a right to a peaceful use of nuclear energy.”
The I.A.E.A. — the International Atomic Energy Agency — is the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, based in Vienna.
If the US has any evidence of Iran violating IAEA rules, it should present it to the world. Otherwise, STFU.
In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told representatives that American citizens can be assassinated by the US government when they are overseas.
Blair said the comments were intended to “reassure” Americans that there was a “set of defined policy and legal procedures” in place and that such assassinations are always carried out by the book.
Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R – MI) inquired about the procedures involved, asking what the legal framework was under which Americans could be killed by the intelligence community.
Blair replied that under no circumstances would Americans be assassinated overseas for criticizing the government. "We don't target people for free speech," he said. "We target them for taking action that threatens Americans."
They are subject to assassination when the government decides they are a threat and when they “get specific permission,” Blair said. Exactly who would give that permission was unclear.
It is quite clear. US citizens will be targeted for termination by the US regime.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says the Russian field hospital which provided medical treatment to Haiti quake victims in Port-au-Prince proved to be the best. Up to 2,000 people were treated by a group of Russian medics during two weeks, 200 of them underwent surgeries. On Tuesday Russia sent another planeload of humanitarian supplies to Haiti.
According to a study from the nation's largest food bank operator, the number of Americans in need of food aid has jumped 46 percent in three years, including a 50 percent jump in the number of children needing food assistance, and a 64 percent increase in hunger in senior citizens' homes.
The study, Hunger in America 2010, found that 37 million people, or roughly one in eight US residents, received food aid in 2009. That's a 46 percent jump from a similar survey carried out in 2006.
But there is plenty of money for the military invasions and occupations of foreign countries.
Even before the 12 January 2010 earthquake, Haiti was the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, with 80% of its nine million people living below the poverty line. Jean-Max Bellerive, the Haitian Prime Minister, told delegates at an international conference in Montreal that it will take Haiti four to five years just to climb back to its pre-earthquake status.
The corporate media attempts to portray Haitians as looting, stealing, killing, pushing, fighting and rioting. Always the story is about how security is needed, never about the remarkable order that the Haitians have conducted themselves with for the most part. They have helped each other, shared food, policed themselves, and conducted themselves with remarkable dignity. Crime is less now than it was before the earthquake. The racist portrayal of violent, unruly Haitians, is, I would guess, necessary to justify all the foreign troops, US and Canadian landing there. I guess we're not about to let this peaceful behavior get out of hand. Wouldn't want to let the Haitian people get a better political and economic system out of this.
Meanwhile, the colonialist program aims to destabilize Haitian society.
The oligarchic oppressors and their colonialist cronies want to keep the men of Haiti in a weak condition in order to prevent uprising against the Occupation. That is why they only pay subsistence wages in the corporate-socialist sweatshops. They want to keep people down, keep people weak, keep people under control for exploitation. By constraining the supply of food and water, US colonialist Occupation forces want to provoke an uprising so they can massacre Haitians who refuse to be starved into submission File it all under standard imperialist operations.
Tony Blair had a lot to say at the Chilcot Inquiry on Iraq. But he stayed away from the truth and proffered his stock excuses and dissimulations. Blair said the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States changed everything because it showed that religious fanatics were determined to inflict mass casualties. It was too dangerous to leave Saddam in power, he said, because Saddam's Iraq – or other rogue states, like North Korea or Iran – could form links to terror groups and attack the West. Blair conceded there were no known ties between Saddam and the al-Qaida architects of the 9/11 attack, but said he feared such links could have developed if Saddam Hussein remained in power. Blair also insisted the US-led invasion would have been called off had Saddam changed course and proved to UN inspectors that he had destroyed his arsenal. One panel member, renowned historian Sir Lawrence Freedman, pointed out that it would have been difficult for Saddam to prove he had dismantled weapons he did not have in the first place.
In the past, Tony has twisted and turned with his grab bag of falsehoods. He joined Bush in war crimes . . . because Saddam was linked to 9/11. No, that story has been discarded as without substantiation and wrong. The US invaders of Iraq could find no WMDs and so Tony has to admit that he joined the Iraq war with the US because he believed their evidence of connection. Okay, Tony, so you were a fool. Admit it, and apologize for the mistake. It would be possible to accord Blair some respect if he conceded that he erred. Tony, however, never admits a mistake.
So now at the Chilcott Inquiry, Tony is trying to justify going to Iraq yet again by using 9/11, the pretext even he had abandoned. But to strengthen his stew he has added some obscure "calculus of risk." He does not explain the calculus but he implies that he and Bush and their dupes were so panicky about the calculus that they had to take action. His excuses are without merit. There was no justification for invasion. Not liking a country, not liking its leaders or what they do within their own nations is irrelevant in the calculus of international law. Sovereign nations do not have to answer to Bush, Blair or any other fanatical idiots. By the international system of law in which the US and UK supposedly operate, there is no justification for attacking another country except in defense. US and UK had no justifiable reason for invading Iraq except to depose the leadership and impose a puppet government. If Blair and Bush held any sense of dignity and respect for themselves and for everyone else in the world, they would come clean and admit that what they did was wrong and they would accept punishment for their actions. They will not, of course, because being honest is not what war criminals do. It is no wonder that so many people have no respect for politicians.
The "calculus of risk" sounds more like the title to a James Bond movie than a moral or legal argument to defend the murder of tens of thousands of people and the destruction of one of humanity's oldest cultures. The true "calculus" involves the prospect of stealing the wealth of other countries. The UK and US governments committed crimes against humanity, and perjured themselves in defending their actions. The evidence for these crimes is inescapable, and the reasons clear. First element in the "calculus," of course is the oil and US dollar hegemony that the usurpation of Iraq's oil enables. If Tony's excuse about rogue states were genuine, then why did the US and UK not attack North Korea? The NK regime has nuclear weapons and the US refuses to sign a peace treaty ending the war that began in 1951. North Korea, though, does not have oil. In addition, there is a factor in the "calculus" that the US make billions of $$$ selling weapons around the world, including countries that are "at risk." Going to war is just a way to support the industry! It's about billions of $$$!!!
The only "calculus" that changed for Tony Blair on 9/11 was that he figured it would be easier to drive the herd in panic by disseminating lies about Saddam Hussein and Iraq, by pretending that the US regime was not committing crimes against humanity, by covertly arranging that there would profitable loot for the US and UK corporate accomplices, and Tony calculated that the lives of one million innocent Iraqi civilians were worthless.
There is a butcher bill to pay, Tony. Count on it.
In a vote which had been widely anticipated, the US Senate today approved additional sanctions against companies that provide gasoline to Iran, as well as against some companies that provide communications technology to the nation. The sanctions are seen as doing particular harm to Swiss company Vitol, as well as France’s Total S.A. and Britain’s BP. Major cellphone company Nokia could also be affected if the communications clause is included in the compromise bill with the House. The vote was a companion bill to a House of Representatives bill which passed 412-12 in mid-December. The Senate vote was a voice vote, meaning individual Senators did not have to record their vote publicly. The sanctions in the Senate bill would extend to companies that build oil and gas pipelines in Iran and provide tankers to move Iran's petroleum. The measure also prohibits the US government from purchasing goods from foreign companies that do business in Iran's energy sector. In his State of the Union address on Wednesday, Obama warned Tehran faced "growing consequences" over its nuclear program. The administration has been working with several other major powers to build a consensus on new sanctions to be imposed jointly. US business groups have warned the White House that the lawmakers' approach threatens to undercut this joint strategy. The critics say broad-based sanctions sought by lawmakers would upset US allies whose companies would be affected, and frustrate joint action with other countries against Iran.
The self-destructive political spasms of the USA must not be allowed to disrupt world business.
Haitian President Rene Preval has remained hunkered inside the government's temporary headquarters, at a police station in the relatively affluent suburb of Petionville.
Mr. Preval's wife has become involved in her husband's image rehab. Addressing questions about why the president has been so invisible to the people in homeless camps, Elizabeth Preval said "he's constantly in meetings" with the US military.
The meetings probably involve Preval being told what to do.
The US newsweekly magazine Time described the real situation, referring to the top US military commander in the country, US Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, as "the de facto king of Haiti."
For the first week following the earthquake, the US military held Preval at the Port-au-Prince airport. No way he could be allowed the opportunity to actually govern. He might have got some ideas about independence. He had to be kept under control. And he will continue to be kept under control.
An international conference on Haiti scheduled for Monday in Montreal will lay the groundwork for the long-term reconstruction of the earthquake-ravaged nation,Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said Sunday.
Cannon will serve as host of the Ministerial Preparatory Conference of the Group of Friends of Haiti. The meeting was organized this past week and will occur less than two weeks after the 7.0-magnitude quake struck.
The confirmed death toll from Haiti's devastating earthquake has risen above 150,000 in the Port-au-Prince area alone, a government minister has said. The Haitian government estimates that hundreds of thousands more have been left homeless and in dire need of food, water and medical attention. Communications minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue said the count was based on bodies collected in and around the capital by state company CNE that has been collecting corpses from around the capital and burying them in a mass grave north of Port-au-Prince. Many more remain uncounted under rubble in the capital and elsewhere, including the towns of Jacmel and Leogane.
Cannon told reporters in Ottawa that the meeting "is an initial, albeit critical, step on the long road to recovery."
Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive is scheduled to attend Monday's meeting, along with representatives from the Group of Friends of Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the European Union, Spain and Japan.
"Together with the government of Haiti we need to roll up our sleeves and begin to lay the groundwork for the enormous task ahead," Cannon said.
Also attending are officials with Organization of American States, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the UN, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, among other organizations. Several non-governmental organizations will also have representatives in attendance.
Cannon said the meeting has two objectives: to establish a commitment from the attending nations and organizations on "responsibility, accountability and long-term engagement," and to identify key priorities for aid in the weeks and months ahead.
He said Monday's meeting will also lay the foundation for an international conference on Haitian reconstruction.
"I look forward to a successful outcome of the Montreal meeting," Cannon said. "I trust it will provide a clear sense of the next steps ahead, restoring the lives and livelihoods of the Haitian people and, as Prime Minister Bellerive put it, building a new Haiti will be foremost on our minds."
The real story will involve corporate disaster-profiteers grabbing the richest share of relief and reconstruction funding. The interests of US-based capitalists are far removed from the interests of the population of Haiti.
Participants at this meeting will include foreign ministers and delegates from the following countries and organizations: Group of Friends of Haiti: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Peru, United States, Uruguay. Other major donors and key regional and multilateral partners engaged in Haiti: Japan, Spain, European Union. Neighbouring Caribbean country: Dominican Republic. International organizations: United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Caribbean Development Bank, Organization of American States, CARICOM, International Monetary Fund, and Inter-American Development Bank.
And where is Cuba at this conference about Haiti? About 150 kilometers of sea separate the two countries, and Cuba has been the largest supplier of medical support for Haiti for the past two decades, with 400 doctors on the ground on the day of the quake. The fact that Cuba has not been invited shows that this conference is about politics, pure and simple.
And by the way, "Friends of Haiti"? Countries don't have friends, they have interests. Actions by the US, France, the UN, the World Bank and the IMF contributed to the pre-quake conditions in Haiti and now they are going to save it. They will allow the Haitian Prime Minister to attend even though he did not provide much leadership during the greatest disaster in the history of his country. The President of Haiti must still be sequestered at the Port-au-Prince airport under US military control.
A newspaper report says the Canadian diplomat praised for sheltering Americans during the Iranian Revolution was a CIA spy. The Globe and Mail quotes former ambassador Ken Taylor as telling the newspaper that he was made "de facto CIA station chief" in a secret deal between US President Jimmy Carter and Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark. The report says the move followed the seizure of the US Embassy by Iranian students November 4, 1979, when 63 Americans, including the four-member Central Intelligence Agency contingent, were taken hostage. The Globe and Mail newspaper says that Taylor, who was ambassador to Iran from 1977 to 1980, actively spied for the Americans and helped them plan an armed incursion into the country. It says that details of Taylor's role are revealed in a new book being released today, "Our Man in Tehran," by Trent University historian Robert Wright. The newspaper says the phrase "de facto CIA station chief" appears in Wright's book, the manuscript of which Taylor saw and approved in advance of publication.
Canadians should be interested to know if other Foreign Affairs staff are acting as agents of foreign powers. And to whom would those diplomats owe their loyalty? They might also wonder how much damage dual-loyalty diplomats have caused to Canada's foreign policy implementation and national standing in the world community.
Haitians are suspicious of the influx of US troops, claiming that the US has been looking for excuses, for a long-time, to regain US military control of their country. In 2004, the US Marines outed the democratically elected Haiti President Jean-Bertrand Aristide who was serving his second term. He was abducted by US forces and taken by a US military aircraft to Europe. President Boniface Alexandre was than installed by the US as President of Haiti.
Wednesday, 20 January 2010: Haiti's former secretary of state for national defence and human rights activists has warned against the militarization of quake relief efforts as Washington confirmed that it had 12,000 US troops deployed in or around Haiti. But ex-Haitian secretary of state for national defence Patrick Elie questioned whether the US military was the best organization to lead relief efforts. Mr Elie said: "There is no war here. We don't need soldiers as such."
Friday, 22 January 2010: The Wall Street Journal reported that thousands of injured, some grievously, wait outside virtually any hospital or clinic, pleading for treatment. CNN’s Karl Penhaul reported from Port-au-Prince General Hospital, where US paratroopers have taken up positions. He said that Haitians questioned why so many US troops were pouring into the country. "They say they need more food and water and fewer guys with guns," he reported. He also indicated that American doctors at the hospital seemed mystified by the military presence. "They say there has never been a security problem here at the hospital, but there is a problem of getting supplies in." He added, "They can get nine helicopters of troops in, but some of the doctors here say if they can do that, then why can’t they also bring with them IV fluids and other much needed supplies."
US command class exploiters do not want Haiti to prosper as an independent country. US will want minimal stability, just enough to insure economic viability for Haiti to continue serving as a cheap-labor resource for US corporations.
There are reports of growing anger at the US puppet regime led by President René Préval, who was installed by a coup against elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004. The Times of London wrote: “Haitians complain that their government has been silent. President Préval is himself camped out at the airport ... and aid distribution has been either totally absent or at best haphazard.” It noted that water bottles sell for $6 on the black market in Port-au-Prince.
Peter Hallward's column at the Guardian is worth reading. It explains how Haiti has been damaged by more than natural disasters in the last two hundred years.
US military occupation forces are constraining relief efforts by other nations and aid groups. They claim that security must be established. Cuban doctors have traveled to Haiti and are treating earthquake victims without armed guards.
Fidel Castro, on his website, explains what Cuba has been doing for Haiti.
Fidel Castro writes: "Haiti was the first country in which 400,000 Africans, enslaved and trafficked by Europeans, rose up against 30,000 white slave masters on the sugar and coffee plantations, thus undertaking the first great social revolution in our hemisphere. Pages of insurmountable glory were written there. Napoleon's most eminent general was defeated there. Haiti is the net product of colonialism and imperialism, of more than one century of the employment of its human resources in the toughest forms of work, of military interventions and the extraction of its natural resources." Further, Castro reminds the world: "In the field of healthcare and other areas, Cuba - despite being a poor and blockaded country - has been cooperating with the Haitian people for many years. Around 400 doctors and healthcare experts are offering their services free of charge to the Haitian people. Our doctors are working every day in 227 of the country's 337 communes. On the other hand, at least 400 young Haitians have trained as doctors in our homeland. They will now work with the reinforcement brigade which traveled there yesterday to save lives in this critical situation. Thus, without any special effort being made, up to 1,000 doctors and health-care experts can be mobilized, almost all of whom are already there willing to cooperate with any other state that wishes to save the lives of the Haitian people and rehabilitate the injured."
Other countries complain that their efforts to assist Haiti have been hampered.
It's been eight days since the earthquake that measured 7.0 on the Richter scale of magnitude struck Haiti.
The number of the dead is still unknown. Haitian officials estimate the death toll between 100,000 and 200,000 people.
Eight days since Haiti suffered the worst earthquake in over 200 years.
A strong aftershock hit on the morning of January 20. Initial reports said it measured 6.1 on the Richter scale.
While tens of thousands of the wounded await medical help, the survivors are burying the dead. Some three million Haitians—a third of the country’s population—have been directly affected by the earthquake, with one-and-a-half million now homeless.
It's been eight days.
US officials, who had previously refused to make airdrops in case they led to fighting for food on the ground, have changed policy due to congestion at airports hampering food deliveries.
"Parachuting bundles of food and water into Haiti became viable for the first time Monday in part because there are enough troops there to identify a safe place to drop them, according to Air Force officers involved in planning the mission." — 'U.S. airdrops 14,000 meals into Haiti’, USA Today, 19 January, 2010
The excuse for delaying EIGHT DAYS is that the US, having twisted mandate authority from the UN, could not manage to find a flat field in which to drop relief supplies.
Of course, as usual, the corporate media push the line that dropping emergency supplies was not safe. That is what they would like you to believe. Dying of thirst or starvation or untended wounds was not safe either.
It is an emergency. They could have dropped supplies anywhere and everywhere. Maybe some would have been lost, damaged, or snatched by unscrupulous profiteers. But plenty would have got to the people in need.
There was no need to wait for 11,000 US troops to hit the beach. UN has troops in Haiti. Brazil was in charge of the UN forces in Haiti and could have continued doing a good job of distributing aid. The emergency supplies could have been dropped to those UN forces. But the UN surrendered to US demands for mandate authority, probably to avoid more delays due to US playing vicious political games.
The US games have the usual profit motive determining objectives.
Naomi Klein reported that within 24 hours of the earthquake, the influential right-wing think tank the Heritage Foundation was already seeking to use the disaster as an attempt at further privatization of the country's economy.
It is the neo-liberal pillaging of Haiti that established conditions making the disaster even worse than it would have been. There would not have been so many impoverished people living in Port-au-Prince if they had not been driven from their agricultural communities into the urban concentrations.
The real looting in Haiti is not the desperate people scavenging for food and water to survive.
The real looting of Haiti is the economic policies of the US, as well as institutions such as the IMF and World Bank, that use disaster-profiteering capitalism to exploit and exacerbate suffering.
Canadian soldiers in Haiti number about 2,000, and are deploying in the devastated towns of Leogane and Jacmel, close to the epicenter of the earthquake southwest of Port-au-Prince. Canada has sent two warships, which will be joined by naval vessels from Italy, Spain, and Venezuela in the coming days.
Unless, that is, the US military has orders to interfere as part of the corporate exploitation of disaster.