Archive for August, 2007

History Will Not Absolve Us

August 31, 2007

The Village Voice, August 28, 2007

Leaked Red Cross report sets up Bush team for international war-crimes trial

by Nat Hentoff

If and when there’s the equivalent of an international Nuremberg trial for the American perpetrators of crimes against humanity in Guantánamo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the CIA’s secret prisons, there will be mounds of evidence available from documented international reports by human-rights organizations, including an arm of the European parliament—as well as such deeply footnoted books as Stephen Grey’s Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program (St. Martin’s Press) and Charlie Savage’s just-published Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy (Little, Brown).

While the Democratic Congress has yet to begin a serious investigation into what many European legislators already know about American war crimes, a particularly telling report by the International Committee of the Red Cross has been leaked that would surely figure prominently in such a potential Nuremberg trial. The Red Cross itself is bound to public silence concerning the results of its human-rights probes of prisons around the world—or else governments wouldn’t let them in.

Continued . . .

The War Criminal in the Living Room

August 31, 2007
Antiwar.com, August 31, 2007
By Paul Craig Roberts
The media is silent, Congress is absent, and Americans are distracted asGeorge W. Bush openly prepares aggression against Iran.US Navy aircraft carrier strike forces are deployed off Iran.US Air Force jets and missile systems are deployed in bases in countries bordering or near to Iran.

US B-2 stealth bombers have been refitted to carry 30,000 pound “bunker buster” bombs.

The US government is financing terrorist and separatist groups within Iran.

US Special Forces teams are conducting terrorist operations inside Iran.

US war doctrine has been altered to permit first strike nuclear attack on Iran and other non-nuclear countries.

Bush’s war threats against Iran have intensified during the course of this year. The American people are being fed a repeat of the lies used to justify naked aggression against Iraq.

Continued . . .

America preparing ‘massive’ military attack against Iran

August 30, 2007

Source: The Raw Story

Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane
Published: Tuesday August 28, 2007
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The United States has the capacity for and may be prepared to launch without warning a massive assault on Iranian uranium enrichment facilities, as well as government buildings and infrastructure, using long-range bombers and missiles, according to a new analysis.

The paper, “Considering a war with Iran: A discussion paper on WMD in the Middle East” – written by well-respected British scholar and arms expert Dr. Dan Plesch, Director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, and Martin Butcher, a former Director of the British American Security Information Council (BASIC) and former adviser to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament – was exclusively provided to RAW STORY late Friday under embargo.

Continued . . .

Attacking Iran Would be Madness, and a Capital Crime

August 30, 2007

Opednews.com, August 29, 2007

By Dave Lindorff

With the Bush administration clearly pushing for war with Iran, as crazy as that would be, not just for an already over-extended, burned out military, but because of the havoc it would wreak on the global economy, it is time to call attention to a few points that are being ignored.

First of all, even US intelligence experts were saying only last year that Iran was at least 10 years away from having a bomb, so the alarmist claims being made by Bush and his gang, echoing the nonsense we heard in the run-up to the Iraq invasion, about the threat of nuclear holocaust, are simply scare tactics and should fool nobody.

Secondly, we should be asking why Iran would be trying to build a nuclear bomb in the first place, and what kind of threat it would pose if they did build one, or even several. Certainly an Iranian bomb would pose no threat to the U.S., any more than a North Korean bomb poses a threat to the U.S. With tens of thousands of bombs, including huge city-vaporizing H-bombs, in the US arsenal, no country except for Russia has the ability to seriously threaten America. The same goes for U.S. allies, whether in Europe or the Middle East. If Iran were to threaten Kuwait or Israel with nuclear attack it would simply be committing suicide because of US retaliation.

Continue . . .

British Army deploys new weapon in Afghanistan based on mass-killing technology

August 30, 2007

Parliament not told, minister says

Global Research, August 26, 2007

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A new ‘super-weapon’ being supplied to British soldiers in Afghanistan employs technology based on the “thermobaric” principle which uses heat and pressure to kill people targeted across a wide air by sucking the air out of lungs and rupturing internal organs.

The so-called “enhanced blast” weapon uses similar technology used in the US “bunker busting” bombs and the devastating bombs dropped by the Russians to destroy the Chechen capital, Grozny.

Such weapons are brutally effective because they first disperse a gas or chemical agent which is lit at a second stage, allowing the blast to fill the spaces of a building or the crevices of a cave. When the US military deployed a version of these weapons in 2005, DefenseTech wrote an article titled, “Marines Quiet About Brutal New Weapon.”

According to the US Defense Intelligence Agency, which released a study on thermobaric weapons in 1993, “The [blast] kill mechanism against living targets is unique–and unpleasant…. What kills is the pressure wave, and more importantly, the subsequent rarefaction [vacuum], which ruptures the lungs. If the fuel deflagrates but does not detonate, victims will be severely burned and will probably also inhale the burning fuel. Since the most common FAE fuels, ethylene oxide and propylene oxide, are highly toxic, undetonated FAE should prove as lethal to personnel caught within the cloud as most chemical agents.”

A second DIA study said, “shock and pressure waves cause minimal damage to brain tissue… it is possible that victims of FAEs are not rendered unconscious by the blast, but instead suffer for several seconds or minutes while they suffocate.”

“The effect of an FAE explosion within confined spaces is immense,” said a CIA study of the weapons. “Those near the ignition point are obliterated. Those at the fringe are likely to suffer many internal, and thus invisible injuries, including burst eardrums and crushed inner ear organs, severe concussions, ruptured lungs and internal organs, and possibly blindness.”

British defense officials told the UK Guardian that British bombs were “different.”

“They are optimized to create blast [rather than heat]”, one said, speaking on the standard condition of anonymity in Britain. The official added that it would be misleading to call them “thermobaric.”

Officials told the Guardian the new weapon was classified as a soldier launched “light anti-structure munition” and that the bombs would be more effective because “even when they hit the damage is limited to a confined area.”

“The continuing issue of civilian casualties in Afghanistan has enormous importance in the battle for hearts and minds,” said Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell in the article. “If these weapons contribute to the deaths of civilians then a primary purpose of the British deployment is going to be made yet more difficult.”

According to Campbell, the deployment of the weapons was not announced to Parliament.

Global Research Articles by John Byrne

Why the US and Israel Should Lose Middle East Wars

August 29, 2007

CounterPunch, August 27, 2007

A Global Justice Movement

By BILL CHRISTISON
Former CIA Analyst

George W. Bush has once again thrown down the gauntlet. The Mideast wars of the United States, he announced to the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention on August 22, must end only with a U.S. victory. He has not wavered in this position since September 11, 2001. The unspoken but real purpose of his efforts has been and will be to concentrate increasing power over the Middle East in the hands of the small group of rich and greedy elites who rule the U.S. and Israel today, and perhaps he will achieve this goal. The more important result, however, will be the elimination of any movement toward greater global justice, stability, and peace in the world for decades to come.

Continued . . .

CIA said to step up operations against Iran as hawks seek to tie Iraq bombs to Tehran

August 29, 2007

War In Iraq

By Larisa Alexandrovna

Published: Friday August 24, 2007

‘They still need a trigger,’ former official says

In an effort to build congressional and Pentagon support for military options against Iran, the Bush administration has shifted from its earlier strategy of building a case based on an alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program to one invoking improvised explosive devices (IEDs) purportedly manufactured in Iran that are killing US soldiers in Iraq.

According to officials – including two former Central Intelligence Agency case officers with experience in the Middle East – the administration believes that by focusing on the alleged ties between IEDs and Iran, they can link the Iranian government directly to attacks on US forces in Iraq.

The US military has provided credible evidence that the specialized IEDs known as explosively formed penetrators (EFPs), which have been killing US troops in Iraq, appear to have been manufactured in Iran. Intelligence and military officials caution, however, that there is nothing tying the weapons directly to the Iranian government, nor is there a direct evidentiary chain of custody linking the IEDs to Iran.

Continued . . . 

Bush Gets Away with Lies, Lies and More Lies in History-Illiterate America

August 28, 2007

AlterNet

By Larry Beinhart, AlterNet. Posted August 27, 2007.

George Bush and other Iraq War supporters have argued that if we withdraw from Iraq the result will be like the killing fields of Cambodia — an odd comparison considering that the US has direct responsibility for that holocaust.

Here are the facts:

  • The killing fields were real. The genocide against their own people was committed by the Khmer Rouge.
  • The Vietnamese — the Communist Vietnamese — were the people who went in and put a stop to it.
  • The United States then supported the Khmer Rouge.

Here’s how that came to happen.

The United States got involved in the war in Vietnam in an attempt to keep South Vietnam from going communist. Which it would have if nationwide elections had been held as promised.

Cambodia is next to Vietnam. It was ruled by Prince Sihanouk. He attempted to be neutral. Both sides abused that neutrality.

The North Vietnamese send arms, support and men through Cambodia on the “Ho Chi Minh Trail” to go around South Vietnamese and American forces. They also used Cambodian ports.

The United States, which was not at war with Cambodia, officially or unofficially, secretly sent armed forces into Cambodia to interrupt North Vietnamese use of that route. In 1969, Nixon began a campaign of carpet bombing sections of Cambodia. Ultimately about 750,000 Cambodians were killed by the bombings (though the numbers are hard to verify.)

In 1970, while Sihanouk was out of the country, visiting Europe, the USSR and China, Lon Nol took over the country in a right wing coup.

There are two stories about American involvement. The first is that we supported the coup, the second (in Tom Weiner’s Legacy of Ashes, The History of the CIA) is that it took the CIA and the United States by surprise. Recently declassified documents support Weiner’s view.

In either case, once Lon Nol took power, the US supported him. In return, Lon Nol ended the neutrality, closed the ports to the communists and demanded that the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese leave the country, and let US forces openly, though secretly, operate in Cambodia.

There was resistance to Lon Nol. Some of it was certainly a spontaneous matter of national sentiment. Some of it was certainly fomented by various communist interests.

Sihanouk, in China, then allied himself with the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia communists, which conferred new legitimacy on them.

Civil War broke out. Lon Nol was both corrupt and inept. In spite of American financial and military support, he lost.

America left Vietnam in 1973.

The Khmer Rouge took the capital of Cambodia in 1975. They were one of the most horrendous regimes in history. They practiced a kind of class genocide, “re-educating” and murdering anyone who educated or Westernized, as well as minority groups.

In 1978, Vietnam, by then fully Communist, invaded Cambodia to put a stop to the Khmer Rouge and drive them out. They installed a more moderate and sane regime.

The United States, the UK, and China then supported the remnants of the Khmer Rouge. With their help the conflict continued for another ten years.

When George Bush, or anyone else, uses the Cambodian holocaust as a warning of what might happen if America withdraws from Iraq, remember the facts.

1. Part of the holocaust in Cambodia is directly attributable to American bombing. The 750,000 dead. (Comparable to the number of Iraqis killed by American forces in this war.)

2. The civil war that led to the victory of the Khmer Rouge came about, at least in part, because of America’s support of Lon Nol.

3. The “enemy,” the Vietnamese Communists, were the ones who put a stop to the Khmer Rouge.

4. The United States supported the Khmer Rouge — after their murders, after the genocide. That support helped a civil war continue for another decade. More death, more destruction.

Larry Beinhart is the author of Fog Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin. His novels include Wag the Dog, on which the film was based, and The Librarian which Rolling Stone described as “John Grisham meets Jon Stewart.”

Miko Peled: The Next Intifada

August 28, 2007

The Palestine Chronicle, August 25, 2007

It would be a serious mistake to think that cosmetic changes like the Oslo Accords could bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The era of cosmetic changes together with the Two State Solution is gone forever.

By Miko Peled
Special to PalestineChronicle.com

With his latest statements and unrestrained violence, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, has once again confirmed that the occupation, the oppression and the slow genocide of Palestinians by the Israeli war machine he heads will not stop. Any talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders are meaningless he says, and as far as he is concerned there will be no relief for the Palestinians, not even symbolic relief for people trying to cross the checkpoints. After all, even a short delay at the checkpoint can put an end to the life on an innocent Palestinian. Barak who has earned the dubious distinction of Israel’s most decorated soldier, by killing mostly unarmed Palestinian civilians, will do nothing that might hinder the liquidation of Palestinians, young or old. With Barak in control of Israel’s security apparatus Israelis and Palestinians can expect more violence and more losses of innocent lives.

Barak and his generals all have innocent blood on their hands and should be tried at Haag for violations of international law and crimes against humanity. But instead they direct Israeli soldiers, government trained assassins, secret police, and so-called border patrolmen to shoot and kill innocent Palestinians. Because in Israel all “security” personnel are all above the law neither the perpetrators of these crimes, their commanding officers or the government ministers in charge are brought to justice.

Continued . . .

Options on the table

August 28, 2007

Khaleej Times, August 27, 2007

By Noam Chomsky

In Washington a remarkable and ominous campaign is under way to “contain Iran,” which turns out to mean “containing Iranian influence,” in a confrontation that Washington Post correspondent Robin Wright calls “Cold War II.”

The sequel bears close scrutiny as it unfolds under the direction of former Kremlinologists Condoleezza Rice and Robert M Gates, according to Wright. Stalin had imposed an Iron Curtain to bar Western influence; Bush-Rice-Gates are imposing a Green Curtain to bar Iranian influence.

Washington’s concerns are understandable. In Iraq, Iranian support is welcomed by much of the majority Shia population. In Afghanistan, President Karzai describes Iran as “a helper and a solution.” In Palestine, Iranian-backed Hamas won a free election, eliciting savage punishment of the Palestinian population by the United States and Israel for voting “the wrong way.” In Lebanon, most Lebanese see Iranian-backed Hezbollah “as a legitimate force defending their country from Israel,” Wright reports. And the Bush administration, without irony, charges that Iran is “meddling” in Iraq, otherwise presumably free from foreign interference.

Continued . . .