Archive for the ‘US policy’ Category

Maidhc Ó Cathail: The United States fights and pays for Israel’s wars

October 22, 2010

By Kourosh Ziabari, Foreign Policy Journal, Oct 21, 2010

Maidhc Ó Cathail is a widely published Irish author and journalist. He has been living in Japan since 1999. Ó Cathail’s articles and commentaries have appeared on a number of media outlets and newspapers including Antiwar.com, Arab News, Foreign Policy Journal, Khaleej Times, Information Clearing House, Palestine Chronicle, Tehran Times and the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

Maidhc joined me in an exclusive interview and responded to my questions about the 9/11 attacks, the influence of the Israeli lobby over the U.S. administration, the prospect of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the prolonged controversy over Iran’s nuclear program, and the freedom of press in the United States.

The U.S. recently agreed to sell Israel 20 F-35 jet fighters. (AP)The U.S. recently agreed to sell Israel 20 F-35 jet fighters. (AP) 

Kourosh Ziabari: The Iranian President’s recent proposal for the establishment of a fact-finding group to probe into the 9/11 attacks stirred up widespread controversy in the United States. American politicians reacted to Mr. Ahmadinejad’s plan with frustration. Is it because they are aware of some evidence which suggests that Israel was behind the attacks?

Maidhc Ó Cathail: I would say that most American politicians are totally unaware of the Israeli “art students,” the so-called “dancing Israelis,” the Odigo warnings and other facts that point to Israeli involvement in the 9/11 attacks. Therefore, they probably considered Ahmadinejad’s questioning of the official 9/11 narrative to be yet another unwarranted provocation of the United States by the Iranian leader.

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US Helicopters Attack Pakistan, Killing More Than 50

September 27, 2010

NATO Confirms Apache Helicopters Launched Attacks Against Pakistani Territory

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com,  September 26, 2010

NATO spokesmen are confirming tonight that a pair of US Apache helicopters crossed the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan, launching an attack against tribesmen in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) which killed over 50.

NATO says that the tribesmen they attacked were believed to be the same ones responsible for an attack against a NATO base in the Khost Province of Afghanistan. The Khost Province borders FATA’s North Waziristan Agency, a regular target for US drone strikes.

Though it is not the first time US forces have crossed the border and launched attacks into Pakistan, such attacks have been exceedingly rare (and followed by angry reactions from Pakistan’s military and civilian government). NATO has also repeatedly tried to distance itself from previous attacks, insisting there is no basis for crossing the border.

NATO depends on Pakistani territory as a supply route for its troops in land-locked Afghanistan, and following a pair of 2008 raids by US troops into Pakistan the nation’s government briefly blocked the supplies. With many, many more NATO troops in Afghanistan now than in 2008 the supply route is all the more vital, though simultaneously all the more fragile.

Two Wars Don’t Make a Right

September 1, 2010

By Robert Scheer, truthdig.com, Sept 1, 2010

AP Photo/Karim Kadim
An Iraqi man and his wife watch U.S. President Barack Obama’s televised speech in Baghdad, Iraq, on Wednesday.

The carnage is not yet complete, and President Barack Obama’s attempt to put the best face on the ignominious U.S. occupation of Iraq will not hide what he and the rest of the world well know. The lies that empowered George W. Bush to invade Iraq represent an enduring stain on the reputation of American democracy. Our much-vaunted system of checks and balances failed to temper the mendacity of the president who acted like a king and got away with it.

It is utter nonsense for Obama, who in the past has made clear his belief that the Bush administration’s case for this war was a tissue of lies, to now state: “The United States has paid a huge price to put the future of Iraq in the hands of its people.” We paid a huge price simply to assuage the arrogance of a president that was unfettered by the restraints of common sense expected in a functioning democracy. Particularly shameful was the betrayal by the Congress and the mass media of the obligations to challenge a president who exploited post-9/11 fears to go to war with a nation that had nothing whatsoever to do with that attack.

With hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Americans dead and maimed and at a cost of $3 trillion to American taxpayers, the U.S. imperial adventure in Iraq has left that country in a horrible mess, controlled by a corrupt and deeply divided elite that shows no serious inclination to effectively govern. Nor can there be a claim of enhanced U.S. security when the real victors are the ayatollahs of Iran, whose influence in once bitterly hostile Iraq is now immense. The price in shattered lives and dollars will continue, as Iraq remains haunted by ethnic and religious conflict that we did so much to provoke.

Remember when most of the once respected mass media, and not just the obvious lunatics on cable, bought the Bush propaganda that democracy in Iraq, a harbinger of a new Middle East, was just around the corner? They based that absurd expectation on the fact that an Iraqi ayatollah disciple of the ones ruining Iran could order millions of his followers to hold up purple fingers. What a joke we have made of the ideal of representative democracy when Iraq is operating under an incomprehensible constitution, which our proconsul ordered, and is still without a functioning government six months after an election that our media once again dutifully celebrated.

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Afghanistan bomb attacks kill twenty-one US soldiers in 48 hours

August 31, 2010

Twenty-one American troops have been killed in Afghanistan since Friday in one of the bloodiest periods of the summer.

By Ben Farmer, in Kabul, Telegraph co.uk, August 31, 2010

Afghanistan bomb attacks kill twenty-one US soldiers in 48 hours

A U.S. army medic runs to the scene of a road side bomb explosion in Kandahar province Photo: REUTERS

A series of bomb attacks have badly hit US troops in eastern and southern Afghanistan in the past 48 hours.

The death toll among in the Nato-led coalition has reached 484 this year and is predicted to far surpass 2009’s total of 521.

Deaths have risen consistently each year since 2001. Afghan police and civilians have suffered far higher casualties.

The coalition blames the rise in troop deaths partly on the influx of reinforcements, which is allowing commanders to target previously untouched insurgent safe havens where rebels are mounting stiff resistance.

Gen David Petraeus, senior US and Nato commander in the country, warned last week fighting would “get harder before it gets easier”.

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Turning Back From the Point of No Return – Implications of the Threat to Bomb Iran

August 26, 2010
Jeremy R. Hammond, Foreign Policy Journal, August 26, 2010

The drums for war on Iran have been banging louder than ever lately, with a spate of articles by political commentators either directly encouraging the bombing of the Islamic Republic or otherwise offering a narrative in which this is effectively portrayed as the only option to prevent Iran from waging a nuclear holocaust against Israel. A prominent example of the latter is Jeffrey Goldberg’s article last month in the Atlantic magazine, “The Point of No Return”.[1] Goldberg’s lengthy piece essentially boils down to this: Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons poses an existential threat to Israel’s existence comparable to the Nazi Holocaust, and although the U.S. recognizes this threat, the Obama administration is weak, so Israel will have no choice but to act alone in bombing Iran to ensure its own survival.

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Focus U.S.A. / Will Israel really attack Iran within a year?

August 11, 2010

After interviewing dozens of Israeli, American and Arab officials, Atlantic Magazine correspondent concludes Israel may not even ask for American ‘green light’ to attack Iran nuclear sites.

By Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz/Israel, August 10, 2010

Israel might attack Iranian nuclear sites within a year, if Iran stays the current course and the U.S. administration doesn’t succeed in persuading Israel’s leadership that U.S. President Barack Obama is ready to stop Iran by force if necessary, so argues Jeffrey Goldberg in Atlantic magazine’s September cover story, obtained by Haaretz ahead of publication.

A nuclear reactor in Bushehr A nuclear reactor in Bushehr, Iran.
Photo by: Bloomberg

Based on dozens of interviews the Atlantic correspondent conducted in recent months with Israeli, American and Arab officials, Goldberg came to the conclusion that the likelihood of an Israeli strike has crossed the 50 percent mark. And Israel might not even ask for the famous “green light” from the U.S. – or even give couple of false pre-attack alerts, so that Washington won’t try to stop the unilateral operation.

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Nuclear Carriers on the Move

August 10, 2010

An Open Letter to President Barack Obama

By Arno J. Mayer, Counterpunch, August 9, 2010

Dear Mr. President:

As Commander-in-Chief you have ordered the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier U.S.S. George Washington to carry out major naval exercises off the coast of Japan and the Korean Peninsula before proceeding, most likely, to other exercises in the Yellow Sea, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula to the east. One of the world’s largest warships, the George Washington is accompanied by some 20 armed vessels and submarines, scores of aircraft and helicopters along with thousands of naval, ground, and air personnel.

You have also ordered the deployment of the nuclear-powered U.S.S. Dwight Eisenhower and U.S.S. Harry Truman to cruise or patrol in an open-ended theater of naval operations in the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf. Both these carriers likewise are hubs of large strike forces consisting of numerous warships, military aircraft, units of the armed services, including special commandos and amphibious landing craft.

Given the scale and reach of this projection of raw military power—reminiscent of the comparatively paltry gunboat diplomacy of a not-so-distant past—I was wondering, Mr. President, whether it wouldn’t be wise for you to give the American people, the United Nations, and the rest of the world a reasoned statement of the need for such an oceanic display of America’s naval, air, soldierly, and electronic might at a time when the United States seems bent on continuing to act as a global policeman in the four corners of the world.

Should you clarify the objectives of American policy it might also be helpful if you could indicate how your policies are in harmony with the letter and spirit of the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded for your “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” which you humbly accepted. Such a reflection would stave off the question as to when and on which of America’s 12 nuclear-powered super-carriers you expect to declare “Mission Accomplished.”

Respectfully yours,
Arno J. Mayer

Arno J Mayer is emeritus professor of history at Princeton University. He is the author of The Furies: Violence and Terror in the French and Russian Revolutions.and Plowshares Into Swords: From Zionism to Israel (Verso).

Blum: USrael and Iran

August 5, 2010

William Blum, Foreign Policy Journal, August 5, 2010

If and when the United States and Israel bomb Iran (marking the sixth country so blessed by Barack Obama) and this sad old world has a new daily horror show to look at on their TV sets, and we then discover that Iran was not actually building nuclear weapons after all, the American mainstream media and the benighted American mind will ask: “Why didn’t they tell us that? Did they want us to bomb them?”

The same questions were asked about Iraq following the discovery that Saddam Hussein didn’t in fact have any weapons of mass destruction. However, in actuality, before the US invasion Iraqi officials had stated clearly on repeated occasions that they had no such weapons. I’m reminded of this by the recent news report about Hans Blix, former chief United Nations weapons inspector, who led a doomed hunt for WMD in Iraq. Last week he told the British inquiry into the March 2003 invasion that those who were “100 percent certain there were weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq turned out to have “less than zero percent knowledge” of where the purported hidden caches might be. He testified that he had warned British Prime Minister Tony Blair in a February 2003 meeting — as well as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in separate talks — that Hussein might have no weapons of mass destruction.[1]

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Roberts: US Treasury Running on Fumes

July 27, 2010

down to the last trillion in red ink

By Paul Craig Roberts, VDARE.com, July 26, 2010

The White House is screaming like a stuck pig. WikiLeaks’ release of the Afghan War Documents “puts the lives of our soldiers and our coalition partners at risk.”

What nonsense. Obama’s war puts the lives of American soldiers at risk, and the craven puppet state behavior of “our partners” in serving as US mercenaries is what puts their troops at risk.

Keep in mind that it was someone in the US military that leaked the documents to WikiLeaks.  This means that there is a spark of rebellion within the Empire itself.

And rightly so.  The leaked documents show that the US has committed numerous war crimes and that the US government and military have lied through their teeth in order to cover up the failure of their policies. These are the revelations that Washington wants to keep secret.

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The Unchallenged Power of the Israel Lobby in America

July 14, 2010

On Being Led By the Nose

By James  Abourezk, Counterpunch, July 12, 2010

I picked up a copy of a memoir written by the long-gone CIA Director, George Tenet.   On the first page of the book’s preface, Mr. Tenet described what it was like on the day after the World Trade Towers had exploded as a result of the terrorists’ actions on 9-11-01.

I quote Mr. Tenet here:

“All this weighed heavy on my mind as I walked beneath the awning that leads to the West Wing and saw Richard Perle exiting the building just as I was about to enter.  Perle is one of the godfathers of the neoconservative movement and, at the time, was head of the Defense Policy Board, an independent advisory group attached to the Secretary of Defense.  Ours was little more than a passing acquaintance.  As the doors closed behind him, we made eye contact and nodded.  I had just reached the door myself when Perle turned to me and said, ‘Iraq has to pay a price for what happened yesterday.  ‘They bear responsibility.’ (Italics added).

“I was stunned but said nothing.  Eighteen hours earlier, I had scanned passenger manifests for the four hijacked airplanes  that showed beyond a doubt that al-Qa’ida was behind the attacks.  Over the months and years to follow, we would carefully examine the potential of a collaborative role for state sponsors.  The intelligence then and now, however, showed no evidence of Iraqi complicity.”

The idea that George W. Bush’s neocon advisers–Perle included–convinced him that the U.S. should invade Iraq received some attention after the Iraqi war started.  But to my knowledge, no one, either in politics or the media, pressed the case too hard, lest they discover that those who wanted to invade Iraq had, not America’s interest, but Israel’s interest in mind.

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