Saddam's Death, Page10
aanval op holistisch eenheidsdenken
Babel, stad van Marduk (de rechtvaardige)
herbouwd door de Pan-Arabist Saddam Hussein
An ancient Semitic city in the Euphrates valley, which after 2250 B.C., as the capital of Babylonia, became a center of world commerce and of the arts and sciences, its life marked by luxury and magnificence. The city in which they built the Tower of Babel, its location coincides approximately with that of the modern city of Baghdad - now the center of a vast agricultural community. The Babylonians attached great importance to the motions of the planets, accurately fixed their orbits and worked out tables of the phases of the Moon, whereby eclipses could be correctly predicted. Their great astrological work, "The Illumination of Bel," was compiled within the period of 2100-1900 B.C.. Babylon is generally conceded to have been the cradle of astrology. It was overthrown in 539 A.D., by Xerxes, the Persian. (www.astrologyweekly.com/)
Amerika: de vrijheid om hypocriet te mogen zijn
Dat principes in het Westen geen rol spelen bewijzen de foto's waarop de Amerikaanse (ex) minister van defensie DONALD RUMSFIELD te zien is met twee Irakese leiders die elkaars tegenpolen zijn. Saddam Hussein (foto hiernaast) was de man van de op geestelijke en materiele vernieuwing gerichte Arabische eenheidsgedachte (het Baathisme, een aan traditionele Arabische waarden gekoppelde sociaal-democratische vernieuwingsbeweging met holistische trekjes).
In de jaren 80 voerde hij een door het Westen gesteunde oorlog die als een van de door ons al belangrijk ervaren doelen had de uitbreiding van de door KHOMEINI in gang gezette Islamitische Revolutie tegen te gaan.
De voorstanders van die Islamitische revolutie zochten hun toevlucht in IRAN, van waaruit zij via guerilla-acties probeerden het seculiere bewind van Saddam Hussein te ondermijnen.
Ondanks het feit dat IRAN werd uitgeroepen tot een van 'de machten van het kwaad' besloot de regering BUSH vriendschappelijke banden aan te knopen met de religieuze partijen die men in de jaren 80 wilde bestrijden met de bedoeling het nieuwe kwaad dat Saddam Hussein geworden was te vervangen door het mindere kwaad van het religieuze fundamentalisme, waarschijnlijk vanuit de neoliberale grondgedachte dat diegene die de economie en de geldhandel controleert de echte baas is in een land.
Op de foto hieronder zien we hoe RUMSFIELD zich kameraadschappelijk opstelt naast Al-Jafaari - die in de jaren zeventig en tachtig als lid van de fundamentalistische AL-DAWAD-partij Khomeinist was.
Nu we in Irak onze 'vrijheid' gebracht hebben is Al-Jafaari plotsklaps onze grote vriend die 'een dam vormt tegen het gevaarlijke Baathisme van Saddam Hussein', dat met wortel en tak uitgeroeid dient te worden, en het spreekt dan ook vanzelf dat op een Stalinistische wijze de geschiedenis herschreven wordt om ons duidelijk te maken dat de religieuze Islamisten de goeden zijn en de seculier-socialistische Saddammisten de slechten.
Kern van het leugenverhaal is dat Saddam Hussein de vijand van 'de sjiieten' was en dat hij alles deed om ze te onderdrukken, een vorm van bedrog die je als eerlijk mens behoort te bestrijden - hetgeen dus nooit zal gebeuren in een wereld waarin de RUMSFIELDS van deze wereld ons voortdurend inprenten dat alleen hij overleeft die vroom, schijnheilig en principeloos is. (23-6-2005)
The Al-DAWAD-movement in Iraq had until the early 1980's been civil in nature. After the Revolution in Iran, it also adopted a militant strategy, which carried out acts of defiance and guerrilla actions against key government targets. Famously, there was an assassination attempt on Saddam Hussein in August 1979 and Tariq Aziz, deputy minister, April 1980. The government responded with increased repression and started to expel large numbers of Shi'ites - over 53,000 between 1980 and 1982 alone- into the Bakhtiar region of Iran. Al-Dawa members were persecuted and many voluntarily left Iraq. The Dawa leadership settled in Teheran.
Saddam Hussein also offered his usual carrot. Many Shi'ites were offered access to good government posts as well as the Party structure itself. By 1987 over 33% of the Ba'ath leadership was Shi'ite. The principal areas of Shi'ite revolt such as Najaf, Karbala and Saddam City (now Sadr City) were the object of renovations and infrastructural improvements in the form of greater access to running water, electricity and paved roads for their population... (newnations.com)
Over politiek holisme
Political holism is based on the recognition that "we" are all members of a single whole. There's no "they," even though "we" are not all alike. Because "we" are all part of the whole, and therefore interdependent, we benefit from cooperating with each other. Political holism is a way of thinking about human cultures and nations as interdependent.
Political holists search for solutions other than war to settle international disagreements. Their model of the world is one in which cooperation and negotiation, even with the enemy, even with the weak, promotes political stability more than warfare. In an overpopulated world with planet-wide environmental problems, the development of weapons of mass destruction has rendered war obsolete as an effective means to resolve disputes. (Veterans for peace 1997)
President Mubarak treedt af
Aan het bewind van de Egyptische president Hosni Mubarak is na bijna dertig jaar een einde gekomen. Vicepresident Omar Suleiman maakte het aftreden van het staatshoofd bekend in een korte verklaring voor de staatstelevisie.
Mubaraks vertrek volgt op achttien dagen van massale protesten in de hoofdstad Caïro en andere steden. De betogers dachten donderdag eindelijk hun zin te krijgen, maar in een toespraak voor de staatstelevisie weigerde de president tegen de verwachtingen in opnieuw halsstarrig zijn functie neer te leggen.
In de straten van de Egyptische hoofdstad Caïro is een enorm feest losgebarsten nadat vicepresident Omar Suleiman het aftreden van president Hosni Mubarak had bekendgemaakt. Mensen zwaaien met vlaggen en juichen. Ze schreeuwen ,,de mensen hebben het regime ten val gebracht''.
De reacties op de omwenteling in Egypte lopen uiteen.
IRAN ziet het gebeuren in het licht van het Messianistische (Islamitische) bevrijdingsproces dat met de komst van Khomeini in gang zou zijn gezet.
AMERIKA probeert met alle macht de afgesleten woordjes DEMOCRATIE en VRIJHEID VAN MENINGSUITING tot hoogste waarden uit te roepen, daarbij het feit negerend dat de meeste Arabieren de vrijheid willen hebben NEE te zeggen tegen zionisme en Amerikaans-Westers imperialisme.
En de PALESTIJNEN (zoals blijkt uit de hieronder weergegeven reactie van Robin Yassin-Kassab) hopen op een wederopstanding van het Arabische Nationalisme, waar met name YASSER ARAFAT een fervent verdediger van was. Het begrip ARABISCHE NATIE werd door hem in zekere zin vergoddelijkt, tot grote ergernis van de Israelis die elke eenheidsbeweging in de Arabische wereld met wantrouwen bekijken. Het vernederingsproces waaraan zowel de Arabische nationalist ARAFAT als de Arabische nationalist SADDAM HUSSEIN werden onderworpen kan gezien worden als een ordinaire poging het Arabische Nationalisme radicaal te vernietigen. In IRAK werd doelbewust gekozen voor ultraconservatieve (wraakzuchtige) ayatollahs in een poging het BAATHISME uit te schakelen.
Op de foto hierboven is Saddam Hussein te zien in de rol van 'vader van de Arabische natie', een rol die de vijandig tegenover Iran staande MUBARAK - zonder enig succes - probeerde te spelen in een poging zijn presidentschap te redden.
Arab Earthquake: The Arab Nation is Back
By Robin Yassin-Kassab, PALESTINE CHRONICLE 11-2-2011
What is happening now will boost the hopes of strugglers everywhere, not least throughout the Muslim world. But it has a special consequence for Arabs. For all their diversity, the Arabs are in many respects one people, linked by language, history and culture. Today they are more linked than ever, by their news station al-Jazeera, by Lebanese and Egyptian pop music, Egyptian comedy, Syrian period dramas, by the same tele-evangelists and TV presenters, by itinerant labour and the common police-state heritage. And by the same political passions.
The idea of Arabism was abused and grievously wounded by the ascent of police states which stoked petty nationalisms, retreated from pan-Arab causes (primarily Palestine), and promoted backward, mythical thinking. Arabism was stale state rhetoric, its official heroes the warlords of past and present. The people seemed to play no role, except in the quasi-fascistic evoking of their ‘blood’, their ‘eternal message’. Too many people stopped believing in themselves. (Palestine Chronicle)
Werd hierboven nog hoopvol gesproken over de terugkeer van de Arabische Natie, met de beslissing van Amerika, Engeland en Frankrijk de Arabische staat LIBIE aan te vallen is de kans op herstel van het Arabische zelfbewustzijn een ernstige slag toegebracht. Israelisch-Amerikaans eigenbelang ('We're not defending international law, but 'the interests of the USA') wordt voor de zoveelste keer boven Arabisch belang geplaatst.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Obama Starts Another Illegal War, Rangel Calls For Draft
Eric Blair - Activist Post
What balls! What hubris! What hypocrisy! What happened to America?
Once again, America has preemptively attacked a sovereign nation that posed no threat to her without a declaration of war from the people's representatives. Apparently the U.S. president now gets permission from the U.N. to spend U.S. taxpayer dollars on unprovoked wars and outright murder. Isn't it still called murder when killing is not done in self-defense? Okay, just checking to make sure I haven't lost my mind.
Nobel Peace prince Obama launched his liberation of the good people of Libya with his own shock-and-awe bombing campaign appropriately on the eighth anniversary of Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq. This tyrannical intervention is so naked, so brazen in its hubris that whatever shred of goodwill America had left is completely gone. America is officially the most murderous, anti-democratic, terrorist nation the world has ever known. (Bronlink)
Moussa’s declaration suggested some of the 22 Arab League members were taken aback by what they have seen and wanted to modify their approval lest they be perceived as accepting outright Western military intervention in Libya. Although the eccentric Gaddafi is widely looked down on in the Arab world, Middle Eastern leaders and their peoples traditionally have risen up in emotional protest at the first sign of Western intervention.
A shift away from the Arab League endorsement, even partial, would constitute an important setback to the U.S.-European campaign. Western leaders brandished the Arab League decision as a justification for their decision to move militarily and as a weapon in the debate to obtain a U.N. Security Council resolution two days before the bombing began.
In the Middle East, the abiding power of popular distrust against Western intervention was evident despite the March 12 Arab League decision.
Islam Lutfy, a lawyer and Muslim Brotherhood leader in Egypt, said he opposed the military intervention because the real intention of the United States and its European allies was to get into position to benefit from Libya’s oil supplies. “The countries aligned against Libya are there not for humanitarian reasons but to further their own interests,” he added.(WP-2011)
Washington and the Civilians of Libya
Posted on 19. Mar, 2011 by Prof Lawrence Davidson
Whether you believe that the United Nations resolution authorizing extensive intervention in the Libyan civil war is justified or not, and whether you believe that the admittedly eccentric forty two year rule of Muammar Gadhafi over a complex and fractious tribal society has been cruel or not, there is one thing that all objective observers should be able to agree on. All should agree that the rationale put forth by the United States government for supporting the impending NATO intervention, that this action is to be taken to bring about an immediate end to attacks on civilians, is one of the biggest acts of hypocrisy in a modern era ridden with hypocrisy.
There is, of course, no arguing with the principle put forth. The protection of civilians in times of warfare, a moral good in itself, is a requirement of international law. Yet it is a requirement that is almost always ignored. And no great power has ignored it more than the United States. In Iraq the civilian death count due to the American invasion may well have approached one million. In Afghanistan, again directly due to the war initiated by U.S. intervention, civilian deaths between 2007 and 2010 are estimated at about 10,000. In Vietnam, United States military intervention managed to reduce the civilian population by about two million.
And then there is United States protection of the Israeli process of ethnic cleansing in Palestine. America’s hypocrisy as Washington consistently does nothting about the Israeli blockade of Gaza and the slow reduction of a million and half Gazans to poverty and malnutrition. And, finally, the unforgettable hypocrisy inherent in U.S. support for the 2009 Israeli invasion of that tiny and crowded enclave. The 2009 invasion was the most striking example of an outright attack on civilians and civilian infrastructure since the World War II. And the American government supported every single moment of it.
Thus, whenPresident Obama gets up before the TV cameras and tells us that Libyan civilians have to be protected, when UN ambassador Susan Rice tells us that the aim of the UN resolution is to safeguard Libya’s civilian population and bring those who attack civilians, including Gadhafi, before the International Criminal Court, a certain sense of nausea starts to gather in the pit of one’s stomach.
It was Oscar Wilde who once said that "the true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity." I think that politicians learn, some easier than others, to live their lives like this. (Opinionmaker.org 2011)
Cosmic Evil and the ‘Great Game’
By Kevin Boyle on March 20, 2011
It is difficult to make much sense of our latest war against Gaddafi.
The one thing we can know with absolute confidence is that ‘our’ motivation for embarking on this latest adventure is NOT humanitarian.
Listening to Cameron, Sarkozy and the deafening international chorus that has supported this action, one can well imagine Gaddafi and his supporters visualising Nato firepower and trembling in their bunkers. But if we are not too concerned for the well-being of a military dictator, let us spare a thought for the rest of the Islamic world. Let us pray they will not all die from laughing at the spectacle of Clinton/Sarkozy/Cameronian hearts theatrically bleeding for the suffering of the oppressed.
This is a humanitarian mission? The peoples of Palestine and all points east must shake their heads in bewilderment that western politicians can continue to sell this kind of nonsense to their supposedly well-educated citizens.
It’s the simple ‘divide and rule’ game that is as old as the hills.
As it is difficult (or perhaps impossible) to see a clear and coherent rationale behind the west’s assault on Gaddafi, perhaps it is just a matter of creating the division, throwing in a large measure of murderous chaos (great for corporate profits of course) and letting the chips fall where they may……in the confident expectation that whatever fall-out occurs it can be managed to ‘our’ advantage. (Truthseeker 2011)
Gadaffi en de Derde Weg
Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has used a landmark official visit to Europe to urge peace and disarmament. Europe's warm welcome for the colonel and his large entourage is a mark of his new status, correspondents say. In a break with convention, EU commissioner Romano Prodi personally met Colonel Gaddafi at the airport where he landed.
The colonel's noisy supporters thronged the route as he made his way to talks and a lunch date with EU dignitaries. The Libyan leader's crack team of female bodyguards accompanied his convoy into Brussels.
In a wordy 45-minute speech at EU headquarters, Colonel Gaddafi said he was ready to work for peace after years of advocating armed struggle.
"I would like to seize the opportunity today and declare before you... that Libya is determined and committed to play a leading role in achieving world peace," he said. "We do hope that we shall not be obliged or forced one day to go back to those days when we bomb our cars or put explosive belts around our beds and around our women..." he added. (Tehran Times 28-4-2004)
Ghadafi is een van de vele Arabisch/Islamitische denkers, filosofen en leiders die als reactie op Westers en communistisch imperialisme een 'derde weg' hebben gezocht. Dat derde weg denken lag ook ten grondslag aan het verzet tegen Zionistische overheersing (zelfs Osama bin Laden is er door beinvloed) en het blijft daarom een merkwaardig gegeven dat aan het Islamitische derde weg denken zo weinig aandacht wordt besteed door Westerlingen die zichzelf 'modern' en 'verlicht' noemen.
Zij realiseren zich niet dat het kapitalisme zoals het door conservatief Amerika wordt gepreekt de vijand is van de verlichting. Verlichting streefde namelijk naar het einde van een heersersmoraal, die gebaseerd is op de geestelijke en economische tweedeling van de maatschappij. Socialisme en liberalisme zijn bewegingen die samen de moderne verlichtingsgedachte vertegenwoordigen en het is daarom onbegrijpelijk dat Amerikanen momenteel in dienst van de ouderwetse, door de Verlichting afgewezen heersersmoraal (moraal gezien als bezit van de heersende klasse), de strijd aanbinden met ogenschijnlijk ouderwetse mensen, die een religie bezitten (de Islam) waarvan de progressief-socialistische kern ('alle mensen zijn gelijk') in moreel opzicht ver uitstijgt boven het joods-christelijke denken, zoals het wordt geinterpreteerd door conservatieve christenen, mensen die niet een spirituele Messias maar een machtige Messias aanbidden.
Wie het moderne gelijkheidsdenken accepteert zal nooit het geld en de macht boven het gezag scheppende rechtvaardigheidsprincipe kunnen plaatsen. Primitief machtsdenken bepaalt dat een rechtvaardig mens onbeduidend vuilnis is wanneer hij arm en zwak is. Dat machtsdenken bepaalt ook dat een simpele burger niet het recht bezit een persoonlijke band aan te gaan met God, omdat God nu eenmaal bezit is dat niet toegankelijk is voor mensen die geen wereldrijken willen of kunnen besturen.
Alleen diegenen mogen een band onderhouden met God die machtig zijn: de Ayatollahs, de Joodse Schriftgeleerden, de Rijke Ondernemers, de opschepperige blaaskaken die zichzelf 'kunstenaar' noemen - en ga zo maar door... Wanneer een Westerse democraat moet kiezen tussen een rijke PAUS en een arme CHRISTUS, dan zal hij NOOIT kiezen voor de arme donder - hoe Goddelijk de arme stumper ook mag zijn... Als ijdele torren verzamelen de democraten zich rond de HOOG geplaatste, ook al moeten daarbij miljoenen arme donders worden vertrapt.
Gelijkheidsdenken bestaat in feite niet in onze wereld. De enkeling die stelt dat christenen het begrip 'Christus' moeten ontgoddelijken, zoals de Bhagwan dat ooit deed met zijn stelling dat een christen 'Christus' moet worden (een provocerende daad die het absolute hoogtepunt van modern verlichtingsdenken genoemd zou moeten worden - het einde van de macht van de ayatollah) mag weinig meer zijn dan een rare, gemarginaliseerde zonderling, die door niemand serieus genomen wordt, omdat hij weigert de bluffers, de opscheppers, de warhoofden en de waanzinnigen te dienen.
Dat inzien, dat wij helemaal niet zo modern en verlicht zijn, is moeilijk en het is altijd de taak van de zonderling geweest (dus niet 'de kunstenaar') om mensen via zijn zonderlinge gedrag wat ontvankelijker te maken voor het licht van het moderne geestelijke denken...
Wat dat betreft is de foto van een Arabische leider die zich laat omringen door een groep stoere, in blauw-zwarte uniformen gehulde Arabische meisjes ('bodyguards') een 'verlichtingsdaad' en kunnen we Ghadafi zien als een echte derde weg denker: een man die ons laat zien dat het niet de taak van de vrouw is de man te onttronen, maar dat het haar taak is de man te beschermen en te verzorgen, een uitspraak die - dit ter verduidelijking voor de kille letterknechten onder ons - symbolisch is bedoeld ...
An Arab Revolution?
Ayatollah Khamenei & the popular movements in the region
Iran News Agency, 22-3-2011
Zoals hierboven aangegeven is datgene wat men 'de Arabische Revolutie' noemt in feite een beweging van goedwillende mensen die zich laten manipuleren door twee aan elkaar tegengestelde krachten: enerzijds het 'democratische' Westen met zijn door en door hypocriete machtspolitiek (democratie in handen van rechtse neoconservatieve krachten was en is weinig meer dan een mooie vlag op een immense modderschuit), anderzijds de Islamisten en de Iraanse hardliners, die alleen maar daarom Westerse inmening tolereren omdat zij in de politieke beweging van Gadaffi een gevaar zien voor de Islam. In hoeverre je in zo een situatie nog kunt spreken over 'een Arabische revolutie' is de vraag... Je krijgt veeleer de indruk dat over de hoofden van naieve mensen heen een wreed en cynisch machtspel wordt gespeeld.
His eminence said that these movements are very important and signs of a fundamental development in the Arabic-Islamic region and the Islamic awareness of the Ummah (nation), adding, “Two major elements in these movements are the presence of the people at the scene and their religious attitude.”
Ayatollah Khameneie referred to the conduct of the United States regarding the popular movements in the region and their claim on supporting the will of the nations, arguing that it is hypocritical, and referring to the US president’s claim regarding his support for the Iranian nation, said, “We do not know whether the current US president knows what he says, or he is ignorant and dizzy? He says the people at Tehran’s Azadi Square are the same as the people at (Egypt’s) Tahrir Square, while the people every year gather at Azadi Square and their main mottos is ‘Death to USA’.”
His eminence emphasized that the US claims on supporting the nations, too, have always been lies, as they not only have no mercy for the regional nations, but also have no mercy for their own nation, because the current US president under such conditions that his country is going through the most critical economic conditions of that country has sent billions of dollars of the American people’s money to the pockets of weapon builder factories and the oil cartels and is still doing so.” ...
Ayatollah Khameneie totally ruled out the truthfulness of the Americans and the west that their move is aimed at supporting the Libyan people... His eminence reiterated, “The United Sates and the west are merely after the Libyan oil and strengthening their footholds in that country so that they would be able to monitor the behavior of the future governments in Tunisia and in Egypt.”
The leader of the Islamic Revolution considered the UN behavior regarding Libya, too, a blot against the reputation of that intentional organization, adding, “Instead of being at the service of the nations, the UN has become a tool at the disposal of the United States and the west.” ...
Summing up the regional developments, Ayatollah Khameneie reiterated, “The new movement that has started in the region is the movement of the Islamic Ummah with Islamic objectives and orientation, and this movement would as God has promised be victorious with a chain of US defeats in the region.”
His eminence emphasized, “The stand of the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding the regional developments is defending the nations and the nations’ rights and opposing the dictators and the oppressor regimes.” (IRNA, 22-3-2011)
Deep divisions between allied forces currently bombing Libya worsened today as the German military announced it was pulling forces out of NATO over continued disagreement on who will lead the campaign. A German military spokesman said it was recalling two frigates and AWACS surveillance plane crews from the Mediterranean, after fears they would be drawn into the conflict if NATO takes over control from the U.S.
Yesterday a war of words erupted between the U.S. and Britain after the U.K. government claimed Muammar Gaddafi is a legitimate target for assassination.
U.K. government officials said killing the Libyan leader would be legal if it prevented civilian deaths as laid out in a U.N. resolution.
But U.S. defence secretary Robert Gates hit back at the suggestion, saying it would be 'unwise' to target the Libyan leader adding cryptically that the bombing campaign should stick to the 'U.N. mandate'.
President Barack Obama, seeking to avoid getting bogged down in a war in another Muslim country, said on Monday Washington would cede control of operations against Muammar Gaddafi's forces within days, handing the reins over to NATO.
But Germany and European allies remain unwilling to have NATO take on a military operation that theoretically has nothing to do with the defence of Europe.
France, which launched the initial air strikes on Libya on Saturday, has argued against giving the U.S.-led NATO political control over an operation in an Arab country, while Turkey has called for limits to any alliance involvement.
Meanwhile the head of the Italian Senate's defence affairs committee, Gianpiero Cantoni, said the original French anti-NATO stance was motivated by a desire to secure oil contracts with a future Libyan government.
In a shock admission, U.K. ministers have admitted the intervention in Libya could last for up to '30 years'. Asked for an estimate, British Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey said: 'How long is a piece of string? We don't know how long this is going to go on. 'We don't know if this is going to result in a stalemate. We don't know if his capabilities are going to be degraded quickly. Ask me again in a week.'
In the U.S., Obama has made it clear he wants no part of any leadership role in Libya.
Liberals March to War
by Justin Raimondo, March 23, 2011
Well, that didn’t take long.
Now that President Barack Obama has intervened in Libya, his army of apologists is mobilizing to defend his “humanitarianism,” declaring that his war isn’t at all like Bush’s wars. It’s something new, and different – and admirable.
I’m not at all surprised. Are you? The anti-interventionist veneer of most American liberals and assorted “progressives” peels off quite readily when a little “humanitarian” lotion is applied – especially if it’s poured on thick by a liberal Democratic President with a domestic agenda they can endorse. ....
Now that the United States has bankrupted itself by spending more on “defense” than the rest of the world combined, the “multilateralists” take up the task of convincing the American people they’ve got to pursue the dream of empire to the very end. Oh no, they say, we’re good “liberals,” we don’t dream of empire – only of “international law” and a “global order.” Top dog? Not us! We’ll leave that onerous job to the UN Security Council.
Yes, and you’ll note the Obama-ites went to the Council, not the Congress, to ask permission to strike: and just to show we’re not the Top Dog, they let the Brits and the Frenchies take the lead. What generosity.
The “argument” presented here is the one progressives have salved their perpetually guilty consciences with ever since this manifestly unqualified ex-“community organizer” took up residence in the White House: he’s not Bush! ....
As for the “humanitarian” nature of this intervention, I have my doubts. Obama’s rationale for military action is that “Left unchecked, we have every reason to believe that Qaddafi would commit atrocities against his people. Many thousands could die. A humanitarian crisis would ensue. The entire region could be destabilized, endangering many of our allies and partners. The calls of the Libyan people for help would go unanswered. The democratic values that we stand for would be overrun. Moreover, the words of the international community would be rendered hollow.”
The emphasis is mine, and it illustrates just how completely enslaved to the Bush Doctrine the current administration really is. For the essence of the Bush Doctrine was and is the principle of preemption: for the first time, the United States was saying to the world that it would not only respond to actual threats but to any potential threat anywhere in the world. The Obama Doctrine takes this one step further, and says that we have a responsibility to protect not only our own alleged interests, but also the interests of peoples vulnerable to potential violence directed at them by their own governments. Bush told us Saddam was “killing his own people,” and now Obama is telling us Gadhafi could possibly kill “many thousands” of Libyans. ....
The capitulation of the “liberals” to the War Party comes as no surprise: we saw this during the Clinton years, and we’re seeing it again. This time around, however, the War Party is even stronger... The truth is that the “humanitarians” are in bed with the neocons on this one, just as they were in the run up to the Kosovo war. Back in the 1990s, the neocons lent their names to innumerable “open letters” urging Bill Clinton to strike at the Serbs, with prominent progressives such as Susan Sontag leading the charge. George Soros financed a “grassroots” pro-war campaign, and the neocons were more than happy to jump on board the bandwagon – just as they are today.
Pushed into war by a coven of relentlessly nagging neo-liberal Amazons, and a cabal of round-shouldered flabby-faced neocons, President Obama has been captured by ideologues just as surely as was his predecessor – and, I’ll predict right here and now, with equally disastrous results. (AntiWar.Com)
Vijay Prashad is the George and Martha Kellner Chair of South Asian History and Director of International Studies at Trinity College, Hartford
Libya, Oh What a Stupid War
By Alexander Cockburn, CounterPunch, 25-3-2011
The war on Libya now being waged by the US, Britain and France must surely rank as one of the stupidest martial enterprises, smaller in scale to be sure, since Napoleon took it into his head to invade Russia in 1812. ...
In France the intellectual author is the intellectual dandy and “new philosopher” Bernard-Henri Lévy, familiarly known to his admirers and detractors as BHL. As described by Larry Portis in our current CounterPunch newsletter, BHL arrived in Benghazi on March 3.
“Two days later BHL was interviewed on various television networks. He appeared before the camera in his habitual uniform – immaculate white shirt with upturned collar, black suit coat, and disheveled hair.
“His message was urgent but reassuring. “No,” he said, Qaddafi is not capable of launching an offensive against the opposition. He does not have the means to do so. However, he does have planes. This is the real danger.” BHL called for the scrambling of radio communications, the destruction of landing strips in all regions of Libya, and the bombardment of Qaddafi’s personal bunker. In brief, this would be a humanitarian intervention, the modalities of which he did not specify.
“Next step, as BHL explained: “I called him [Sarkozy] from Benghazi. And when I returned, I went to the Elysée Palace to see him and tell him that the people on the National Transition Council are good guys." Indeed, on March 6, BHL returned to France and met with Sarkozy. Four days later, on March 10, he saw Sarkozy again, this time with three Libyans whom he had encouraged to visit France, along with Sarkozy’s top advisors. On March 11, Sarkozy declared the Libyan National Transition Council the only legitimate representative of the Libyan people. Back in Benghazi, people screamed in relief and cheered Sarkozy’s name, popularity at last for Sarko, whose approval ratings in France have been hovering around the 20 per cent mark.”
So much for the circumstances in which intervention was conceived. It has nothing to do with oil; everything to do with ego and political self protection.
Liberale cultuur & Kuddegedrag
Democratie is meer dan een 'opstand der horden'. De horde heeft nooit belangstelling voor de mening van anderen. Onafhankelijke meningen worden niet op prijs gesteld. Als eenmaal de horde een collectieve mening heeft geaccepteerd dan valt daar niks meer aan te veranderen. Al ben je GOD zelf. De mening van de horde is de eeuwige onveranderlijke wet.
Het is precies die vorm van massagedrag die wordt aangevallen in het boek De opstand der horden van Ortega y Gasset. Ortega moet niets hebben van landen die primitief massagedrag aanmoedigen en stimuleren. De keuze van de Franse president voor een willekeurige groep rebellerende anti-intellectuelen die onder leiding van een groep Westerse zakenbonzen met de Koran in de hand de straat opgaan zou hem zeker niet aanspreken. Hij wilde juist het Europese beschavingsdenken benadrukken en sterker maken via een bundeling van intelllectuele krachten binnen Europa.
Sarkozy is het tegendeel van 'de beschaafde intellectueel' , 'de harde denker', 'de eerlijke mens' (Homme Honnete) en wat vooroorlogse denkers nog meer aan dure woorden hebben bedacht. Alleen al het feit dat hij op eigen houtje, in overleg met de uiterst felle en fanatieke zionist Bernard-Henri Lévy, een groep rebellen in een Arabisch land tot officiele regering uitroept zou aanleiding moeten zijn voor de zich beschaafd noemende Europese landen zich van hem af te wenden.
ZIonisme is per definitie ANTI-INTELLECTUALISME. Er is wel intellect, maar dat wordt in dienst gesteld van het joodse tribalisme, dat 'het volk' een collectieve goddelijke volksziel verschaft.
Levy ziet het als zijn taak alles wat antisemitisch is te vernietigen. Daarom moeten zionisten aansluiting zoeken bij niet-intelellectuele groeperingen die het geloof in de volksziel niet aan willen tasten: de christelijke zionisten in Amerika, de Conservatieve Roomse kerk in Europa en nu (blijkbaar) die conservatieve moslims in het Midden-Oosten die bereid zijn hun eigen God (ALLAH) in dienst te stellen van een zich 'liberaal' noemende massacultuur die zichzelf 'absoluut goed' waant.
Dit zegt LEVY: "Only good people, Jews and others, through their prayers and their deeds of compassion and moral strength, forestall the tides of destruction. Genuinely good people, Jews and allied others, will make Israel truly invincible. Then Israel will be truly a light unto the nations, even, perhaps, the herald of a new, universal Enlightenment." (American Interest)
Universele verlichting... uitgedragen door groeperingen die alles wat primitief zwart-wit-denken relativeert afwijzen....
Op zijn zachts gezegd: 'een vreemde zaak...'
Washington in Fierce Debate on Arming Libyan Rebels
By MARK LANDLER, ELISABETH BUMILLER and STEVEN LEE MYERS
Published: March 29, 2011
The Obama administration is engaged in a fierce debate over whether to supply weapons to the rebels in Libya, senior officials said on Tuesday, with some fearful that providing arms would deepen American involvement in a civil war and that some fighters may have links to Al Qaeda.
The debate has drawn in the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon, these officials said, and has prompted an urgent call for intelligence about a ragtag band of rebels who are waging a town-by-town battle against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, from a base in eastern Libya long suspected of supplying terrorist recruits.
“Al Qaeda in that part of the country is obviously an issue,” a senior official said.
On a day when Libyan forces counterattacked, fears about the rebels surfaced publicly on Capitol Hill on Tuesday when the military commander of NATO, Adm. James G. Stavridis, told a Senate hearing that there were “flickers” in intelligence reports about the presence of Qaeda and Hezbollah members among the anti-Qaddafi forces. No full picture of the opposition has emerged, Admiral Stavridis said. While eastern Libya was the center of Islamist protests in the late 1990s, it is unclear how many groups retain ties to Al Qaeda.
The French government, which has led the international charge against Colonel Qaddafi, has placed mounting pressure on the United States to provide greater assistance to the rebels. The question of how best to support the opposition dominated an international conference about Libya on Tuesday in London. (Washington Post 2011)
No UN mandate to attack Gaddafi forces: Russia
By Steve Gutterman, Mar 28, 2011
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Monday attacks on forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi amounted to intervention in a civil war and were not backed by the U.N. resolution authorising no-fly zones.
In the latest Russian criticism of military action by the Western-led coalition, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the resolution passed by the U.N. Security Council on March 17 had the sole aim of protecting Libyan civilians.
"And yet there are reports -- and nobody denies them -- of coalition strikes on columns of Gaddafi's forces, reports about support for actions by the armed insurgents," Lavrov said. "There are clear contradictions here."
"We consider that intervention by the coalition in what is essentially an internal civil war is not sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council resolution," Lavrov said when asked about Libya at a news conference with the Kyrgyz foreign minister. (Reuters 2011)
Obama and American exceptionalism
By Glenn Greenwald - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2011
Numerous commentators have observed that President Obama's Libya speech rested on an affirmation of American "exceptionalism." That conviction, they contend, was expressed by Obama's appeal to "America’s responsibility as a leader" and by this claim: "some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different." .....
Adam Serwer wrote: "After Obama's speech last night. . . anyone who alleges the president doesn't believe [in exceptionalism] deserves to be laughed out of town." And the most enthusiastic praise for Obama's speech came from Bill Kristol in The Weekly Standard, who gushed that with this speech, "President Obama had rejoined -- or joined -- the historical American foreign policy mainstream" and "the president was unapologetic, freedom-agenda-embracing, and didn’t shrink from defending the use of force or from appealing to American values and interests."
It's long been obvious that Obama deeply believes in American exceptionalism, and I agree entirely with these commentators who say that last night's speech left no doubt about that conviction (not because he says he believes it in a speech, but because his actions reflect that belief). But what none of them say -- other than Kristol -- is whether they believe this to be a good thing. Does the U.S. indeed occupy a special place in the world, entitling and even obligating us to undertake actions that no other country is entitled or obligated to undertake? ....
Declaring yourself special, superior and/or exceptional -- and believing that to be true, and, especially, acting on that belief -- has serious consequences. It can (and usually does) mean that the same standards of judgment aren't applied to your acts as are applied to everyone else's (when you do X, it's justified, but when they do, it isn't). It means that you're entitled (or obligated) to do things that nobody else is entitled or obligated to do (does anyone doubt that the self-perceived superiority and self-arrogated entitlements of Wall Street tycoons is what lead them to believe they can act without constraints?). It means that no matter how many bad things you do in the world, it doesn't ever reflect on who you are, because you're inherently exceptional and thus driven by good motives. And it probably means -- at least as it expresses itself in the American form -- that you'll find yourself in a posture of endless war, because your "unique power, responsibilities, and moral obligations" will always find causes and justifications for new conflicts.
It's a nice political point on the President's behalf to insist that he has proven his belief in American exceptionalism. That insulates him from a political vulnerability (i.e., from the perception that he rejects a widely held view), which is nice if politically defending the President is an important goal for you. But the harder -- and far more important -- question is whether this American exceptionalism that you attribute to him is actually true, whether it's well-grounded, and whether it should serve as a premise for our actions in the world. (Salon.com 2011)
Queen Hillary of Libya
By Pepe Escobar - Asia Times, 31-3-2011
The new Libyan government kingmaker is actually a queen: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Any doubts that the US State Department is now frantically setting up a new government peppered with English-speaking collaborators have been dismissed after the London conference on Libya.
The "official" Libyan opposition used to tautologically call itself "Interim Transitional National Council". Now it's Interim National Council (INC). Anyone running for cover to the sound of the acronym INC is excused; it does bring appalling memories of the Washington-propped Iraqi National Congress and its fabled "weapons of mass destruction" in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
And what about the INC's new military commander, Khalifa Hifter - a former Libyan army colonel who spent nearly 20 years in Vienna, Virginia, not far from the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley? Progressives will love to learn that the romantic "rebels" are now led by a CIA asset.
At the London conference, the INC launched in style its slick political manifesto - "A vision of democratic Libya" - which makes all the right noises; freedom of expression, presidential and parliamentary elections, and crucially, the promise of "a state that draws strength from our strong religious beliefs in peace, truth, justice and equality".
This is - extremely polite - code for Islam in post-Gaddafi Libya (so not to ruff Western feathers). Along with the impeccable English redaction, the whole thing screams, "slick Western PR stunt". The council swears the platform was originally drawn up in Arabic. It definitely doesn't feel like a Google Translate job.
So the INC says the gift to the West for the Tomahawks, Tornados and Rafales is going to be a secular democracy. Someone else might say a coalition of opportunists and military defectors climbed upon the wave of mass radicalization in northern Africa, profited from the absence of political leadership among the working class and middle class, and struck a military alliance with Western imperialism. Which is more plausible?
The INC now is being paraded for the whole world to see as a Western puppet - totally dependent on political and military support. Welcome to Libya as a Pentagon-style forward operating base (FOB) - to the benefit of the Pentagon itself (via Africom), Western oil majors, and all manner of shady Anglo-French-American business interests (see There's no business as war business Asia Times Online March 30 ). Welcome to a new Libya hosting a US military base and NATO exercises, and not spending oil money in sub-Saharan African development projects.
As major players - the BRIC countries and Germany – had already warned, United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 is being twisted like a pretzel. Queen Hillary now openly says that arming the "rebels" is legal. Another one of the queen's women combat squad, US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, said the US had "not ruled out" arming the rebels - mimicking the exact wording of President Barack Obama. Impressed, British Foreign Secretary William Hague agreed. So did Qatar.
Meanwhile, NATO is taking over. Literally. Starting this Thursday, NATO's air strikes will be conducted out of the Combined Air Operations Center at Poggio Renatico base in Italy, 40 kilometers north of Bologna. But that's just the start.
Admiral James Stavridis, NATO's supreme allied commander for Europe, told a US senate hearing in Washington NATO was not considering ground forces in post-Gaddafi Libya - at least not yet. But as NATO had installed peacekeepers in the Balkans, added Stavridis, "the possibility of a stabilization regime exists".
There you have it - the whole package; a Western puppet regime, Western boots on the ground, a squalid Western protectorate. Goodbye to Libya's sovereignty. And this only a few hours after Obama passionately told the world this was just a humanitarian mission.
Within a few days, the 'Silmiya' (peaceful) popular uprising against the 42-year old rule of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya had turned into an 'armed struggle' and in no time the U.S. administration was in full gear backing the Libyan armed violent revolt, which has turned into a full scale civil war...
Backing the armed struggle of the Libyan people came less than a month since President Barak Obama on February 11 hailed the Egyptians’ “shouting ‘Silmiya, Silmiya’” -- thus adding the Arabic word to the international language lexicon – because the “Egyptians have inspired us, and they’ve done so by putting the lie to the idea that justice is best gained by violence .. It was the moral force of nonviolence, .. that bent the arc of history toward justice,” he said.
When Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2009, he viewed the decision less as a recognition of his own accomplishments and more as “a call to action.” Within less than two years, he “surged” the U.S. – led war in Afghanistan, expanding it into Pakistan, stuck almost literary to his predecessor’s war agenda in Iraq, and now has opened a third war theater for the United States in Libya, where his administration ruled out any peaceful settlement of the conflict, insisting on its internationalization, ignored all efforts at mediation, especially by the African Union, and lent a deaf ear to calls for an immediate ceasefire as a prelude for dialogue in search for a way out of the bloody civil war, which were voiced recently in particular by the presidents of China, the world’s most populous country, and Indonesia, the largest Islamic country.
Libya is a “unique situation,” Obama says, where the U.S.-led military intervention and the backing of an armed revolt is the exception and not the rule in U.S. foreign policy. ...
In his 2006 book, “The Audacity of Hope," Obama wrote: "Instead of guiding principles, we have what appears to be a series of ad hoc decisions, with dubious results. Why invade Iraq and not North Korea or Burma? Why intervene in Bosnia and not Darfur?” Now, Obama seems to have no objection to an “ad hoc decision” on Libya. ...
A thinly – veiled Arab cover and the UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which was not supported by major powers like Russia, China, Germany, India and Brazil, could hardly give legitimacy to the U.S.-led military intervention in Libya; neither does distancing itself by transferring the leadership to NATO because, as former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, told Fox News recently, “Obama may be the only man in the whole world who does not know that we, the United States, run NATO.” (PC 4-4-2011)
Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist based in Bir Zeit, West Bank of the Israeli
French Fraud Behind Libya War Drive
Fake ‘intellectual’ with delusions of grandeur: Bernard Henri-Lévy
by Justin Raimondo, April 06, 2011
The Libyan war has the French, of all people, in the forefront, with President Nicolas Sarkozy’s smug, self-satisfied face mugging for the camera as French fighter jets scream in the skies over Tripoli. The French, who sat out the Iraq war with haughty disdain, are now even more eager than the Americans to get into the thick of it...
If the insufferable Sarkozy isn’t enough to make you vow never to eat French fries again, then the man behind Sarkozy’s grandstanding, Bernard Henri-Lévy, the French “public intellectual” and renowned phony, will push you over the edge into outright Francophobia. As the New York Times reports:
“It was Mr. Lévy, by his own still undisputed account, who brought top members of the Libyan opposition — the Interim Transitional National Council — from Benghazi to Paris to meet President Nicolas Sarkozy on March 10, who suggested the unprecedented French recognition of the council as the legitimate government of Libya and who warned Mr. Sarkozy that unless he acted, ‘there will be a massacre in Benghazi, a bloodbath, and the blood of the people of Benghazi will stain the flag of France.’”
Henri-Lévy is famous for … well, it’s not exactly clear. During the 1980s, he and a few of his French commie-socialist comrades excitedly announced that Marxism – which they had previously upheld as a glorious human experiment in idealism – was a Bad Thing. ...
Yes, the French have their neocons, too, with BHL—as he’s known – leading the pack. Like his American brethren, BHL combines political polemics with entrepreneurship and has wound up the world’s richest “philosopher,” with inherited assets of his own to which he greatly added to thanks to his political connections.
As questions are raised about the wisdom of Western intervention, the Pepe Le Pew of the War Party is perturbed, and he’s taken to the pages of the Huffington Post – home base for practically all the world’s phony “intellectuals” and empty-headed celebrities – to defend his baby:
“Ah yes. This war began less than a month ago, and already the Norpois, the leaden-footed proponents of salon diplomacy, well-versed in Munich-speak, have raised their heads again and, once over their initial astonishment, have taken up their favorite refrain: what are we doing, involved in this business?”
Notice how easily he reverts to the familiar lexicon of the neocons: “Munich-speak”? We’re not two weeks into this war, and already the War Party’s myrmidons are likening Gadhafi to Hitler! To the neocons, whatever their national origin, it’s always 1939: there’s always a Hitler somewhere in the world, and it’s our responsibility to stop him – which is why we need to spend more on the military than all other nations on earth combined. And if a target country just happens to be strategically located, or sits atop considerable oil reserves, well then who are we to look a gift horse in the mouth?
That’s a good point, however, about our “initial astonishment” at the Libyan intervention: I have to admit to being taken by surprise, because, as low as my opinion may be of President Obama, it was never that low. I never thought he would fall for Henri-Lévy’s line of guff...
I would add,” says BHL, that : “The best way of delivering Libya into the hands of chaos would be to abandon in mid-river those we have encouraged to ford it, giving in, at the last minute, to the sirens who would convince us to save what can be saved of the Gadhafi regime. He, really, is not only a butcher of civilians, a patent hater of the West and of democratic values, the declared enemy of the Arab – and, tomorrow, the African – spring, but a world class champion, all categories included, of terrorism...."
His arguments are oddly familiar: now that we’ve already gotten involved, the West can’t just leave. The neocons made – and continue to make – the same argument when it comes to Iraq and Afghanistan. Heck, they sang the same song as the Vietnam war came to a bloody and chaotic close: we can’t leave our heroic allies in the lurch! (antiwar.com)
Gadhafi OKs plan to end fighting
CNN, 11 april 2011
Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has agreed in principle to stop all hostilities in his North African nation and allow outside forces to help keep the peace, his government and African Union mediators said Monday in a joint statement.
Ramtane Lamara, the African Union's commissioner for peace and security, read off the agreement with Gadhafi early Monday, flanked by Libyan government spokesman Musa Ibrahim.
The agreement, which the statement said Gadhafi had signed off on, states that the final resolution must consider "the aspirations of the Libyan people for democracy, political reform, justice, peace and security, as well as social ... development."
No timetable was spelled out as to when and if a cease-fire might take effect or the political transition might take place. In the agreement, Gadhafi does voice support for the "deployment of an effective and credible monitoring mechanism."
"Leader Moammar Gadhafi expressed his full confidence in the African Union and its ability to successfully carry out the peace process in his country," the statement said.
Gadhafi has been a strong supporter of the African Union and has channeled large sums of money its way. Libya also holds a seat on the 15-member Peace and Security Council, which Lamara heads. (CNN, 11-4-2011)
Libya Rebels Reject Cease-Fire That Doesn’t Oust Qaddafi
By Maher Chmaytelli, 11 april 2011
Libya’s rebels rejected an African Union cease-fire proposal that wouldn’t immediately remove Muammar Qaddafi....
“Qaddafi must leave immediately if he wants to survive,” the head of Libya’s rebel council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, said at a televised news conference today in Benghazi.
“The initiative that was presented by the African Union doesn’t satisfy the aspirations of the Libyan people for freedom and doesn’t provide for the removal of Qaddafi,” Abdulhafid Ghoga, spokesman of the Interim Transitional National Council, said in Benghazi. “It speaks about reforming the system from within, and this is rejected.”
In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Qaddafi’s departure as a non-negotiable element. There “needs to be a transition that reflects the will of the Libyan people and the departure of Qaddafi from power and from Libya,” Clinton told reporters today. Asked about the African Union’s peace proposal, Clinton said she would wait for a ‘full briefing’’ before responding.
South African President Jacob Zuma, who led the first part of the delegation to Tripoli, yesterday called on NATO to end its bombardment and “give the cease-fire a chance,” the AP reported. (Businessweek 2011)
Nicolas Sarkozy is the new George W Bush
By Alex Spillius, 12 april 2011
It was Sarkozy who first recognised the Libyan rebels and France who fired first on Muammar Gaddafi’s forces. He took a tougher line on Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak than Britain or the United States. He has been aggressive against Iran’s nuclear weapons plans and personally intervened in the crisis in Georgia in 2008 as president of the European Union, helping ensure that Russia did not invade. ...
Sounding a great deal like George W Bush, the French president has spoken of asserting France’s role as a shaper of history and a protector of liberty and democracy. Who is running the freedom agenda now? Although as Arthur Goldhammer says here, Charles de Gaulle he is not.
But his search for grandeur has been conducted with an impatience, reactiveness and love of risk which has marked his career. ... In Libya he has wanted to erase the embarrassment of courting Gaddafi more than any other Western leader. It is tempting to wonder what would have happened if he, and not Jacques Chirac, had been in power when George W Bush and Tony Blair invaded Iraq. The answer is probably nothing, for France’s military is easily stretched. It will be interesting to see how strong is stomach is for an extended fight in Libya. The US, despite Barack Obama preferring to take a back stage role, is likely to do most of the heavy lifting in the long run. (telegraph.co.uk)
Iran and Egypt after Mubarak
By Mojtaba Sadeghian, 12 april 2011
As the widespread protests in Egypt calm down and people are ready to begin a new era by voting for constitutional reform, it is expected that Egypt will also regain its previous position as a major player in the region. Many pundits believe that by standing beside a regional power like Iran, Egypt can pursue much more sophisticated diplomacy, which would enhance and deepen regional convergence.
The main reason there have been no diplomatic relations between Tehran and Cairo for the past 32 years was the Tel Aviv factor, i.e., the tendency of Anwar Sadat and his successor Hosni Mubarak to have close relations with Israel and to protect the interests of the Western powers in the Middle East. ...
Mubarak always insisted on his anti-Iran policy, especially during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, during which he always supported Saddam Hussein and provided him with various kinds of weaponry to use against the Islamic Republic.
In addition, alongside Saudi Arabia, Egypt was always regarded as one of the pillars of Washington’s artificial security system in the Middle East. ... Mubarak turned Egypt -- once the standard-bearer of liberation, resistance, and anti-colonialism in the region -- into the backyard of the United States in the Middle East.
However, now that the Egyptian dictator has nothing to do but wait for his trial, and none of those historical factors, especially the convergence with Tel Aviv, can influence the future Egyptian foreign policy, it is expected that Iran and Egypt will begin the process of reestablishing diplomatic relations. (Teheran Times 2011)
A Policy Chasing Its Tail
Eternal recurrence in US foreign policy
by Justin Raimondo, April 13, 2011
Remember how we were supposed to leave Iraq in 2011?
And now, we have Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the Pentagon hinting very strongly that we’ve changed our minds and aren’t leaving after all. The Iraqis aren’t too happy about this, with some of them going out into the streets and demanding the US live up to its agreement and go already.
Obama’s much-heralded withdrawal announcement was, in short, a lie...
Oh, but never mind that – that’s old news! Here’s some new old news: the Egyptians are back in Tahrir Square, and the sainted Egyptian army is shooting at them. Not only that, but they’re arresting bloggers again – this time for failing to show sufficient respect for the armed forces. And it looks like the Libyan rebels are again on the defensive, with Gadhafi’s forces on the road to Benghazi and due to arrive at the city gates any minute….
All of which leads me to fear Nietzsche was right: that we do, indeed, live in a nightmare world of eternal recurrence, a universe where US troops are always “withdrawing” from Iraq, only to change course at the last moment. Where the Egyptian military invades Tahrir in perpetuity, and repeatedly drags bloggers away in chains. Where the Libyan rebels are in jeopardy unending, always on the cusp of defeat – and the US and its allies are permanently poised to plant boots on the ground to save them from certain annihilation.
Which means the neocons will be eternally calling for a US invasion of somewhere-or-other – and that there will always be neocons. This last is bad news indeed: it’s like a cancer diagnosis, except there’s no relief in the form of death. Just pain that goes on … forever.
If I’ve painted a dreary picture, well then there’s no sense blaming the messenger: this is our lot, and we just have to learn to live with it. It is, in short, the human condition, which seems mostly to be a condition of forgetfulness, a kind of historical Alzheimer’s in which we have no recollection of our past errors – and, indeed, no memory of historical events beyond the last presidential election. Americans wake up every day tabula rasa, with no more knowledge of the lessons of history – especially their own – than a newborn babe.
How else to explain the persistence – nay, immortality – of error? We keep doing the same thing – invading new territories in the name of spreading “democracy” even as our older satraps rise up in rebellion against the lack of … democracy.
US foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa – and, more generally – is a policy forever chasing its tail. Forever cleaning up its own messes and those of its allies, and undoing the unintended consequences of policies designed to benefit some domestic pressure group. At this point, the tangled web of failed initiatives and grandiose “visions” has become so complicated, and fragile, that the whole structure of the “international order” we’ve created is threatening to come down around our heads. And even then, we persist in making the same mistakes, like robots wired for self-destruction.
The public posture of the administration, a few days prior to the UN Security Council resolution, was to oppose a "no-fly zone." It argued that such a strategy would not effectively protect civilians and would require extensive bombing. ...
The Washington Post reported, that "some of the United States' partners have acknowledged that the initial descriptions of the intervention in Libya no longer apply. 'What is happening in Libya is not a no-fly zone,' a senior European diplomat told reporters, speaking on the customary condition of anonymity. 'The no-fly zone was a diplomatic thing, to get the Arabs on board. What we have in Libya is more than that.'"
When President Obama addressed the nation Monday, he said that "our military mission is narrowly focused on saving lives." But as The New York Times reported, "Even as President Obama on Monday described a narrower role for the United States in a NATO-led operation," the U.S. military has been carrying out an "expansive and increasingly potent air campaign," amounting to "an all-out assault on Libya's military."
According to the Times report, the real military mission is different: "The strategy for White House officials nervous that the Libya operation could drag on for weeks or months, even under a NATO banner, is to hit Libyan forces hard enough to force them to oust Colonel Qaddafi, a result that Mr. Obama has openly encouraged."
The UN Security Council never approved a military mission to overthrow the Libyan government. Neither did Congress or the American people. ... Minimum conditions for a war to be considered "just" include that alternatives to military force have been exhausted and that the minimum force necessary is used to achieve the stated objective. This has not been true in the Libya war.
The United States and allies summarily dismissed diplomatic initiatives by the African Union and the government of Venezuela for negotiations between the Libyan government and armed rebels. The early move to refer Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court limited space for a negotiated resolution, by limiting the possibility that Gaddafi could go into exile...
The Independent reported, "divisions over a plan - put forward by the Italian Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini, to provide a safe-haven for Gaddafi if he were to go into exile. This is supported by Turkey but is less enthusiastically backed by Britain and the US who would prefer him to face an investigation by the International Criminal Court in The Hague."
(Robert Naiman is the policy director at Just Foreign Policy )
"Much of what is said about the war from Washington is extremely one-sided"
The U.S.-NATO War Against Libya, by Jack A. Smith / April 14th, 2011
The U.S. mass media have long depicted conditions in Libya as brutal and harsh for all but the ruling elite, but that is not true. Libya is extremely high on the 2010 UN Human Development Index, the best international tool for obtaining a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education and standards of living for countries worldwide. It is a universal means of measuring well-being, especially child welfare.
The well being of Libya’s people measures 0.755, the highest in Africa and a bit higher that of the much wealthier oil kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which measures 0.752. Annual per capita income is about $15,000. Over the past 30 years, Libya has steadily increased its welfare programs and standards of living to graduate into the UN’s “High Human Development” category, another first in Africa. Urban areas are fairly modern. Education and healthcare are free. Agriculture is subsidized. For lower income families the government subsidizes food, electricity, water, and transportation.
The people have legitimate grievances, and it is right to rebel. At the same time, Libya is the victim of a massive military attack by USNATO that has nothing to do with protecting the people. It has everything to do with violating a sovereign country to topple a government and replace it with one more obedient to western interests, to take undeserved credit for upholding democratic values, and to minimize the importance of legitimate struggles against authoritarianism in other MENA countries supported by Washington.
Much of what is said about the war from Washington is extremely one-sided. This is made quite evident in these few paragraphs from a March 21 article by George Friedman, who leads Stratfor, an authoritative private company that provides intelligence reports for a fee that are often quite reliable, and hardly left or pro-Gaddafi:
“It would be an enormous mistake to see what has happened in Libya as a mass, liberal democratic uprising. The narrative has to be strained to work in most countries, but in Libya, it breaks down completely. As we have pointed out, the Libyan uprising consisted of a cluster of tribes and personalities, some within the Libyan government, some within the army and many others longtime opponents of the regime, all of whom saw an opportunity at this particular moment…. United perhaps only by their opposition to Gaddafi, these people hold no common ideology and certainly do not all advocate Western-style democracy. Rather, they saw an opportunity to take greater power, and they tried to seize it... (Dissident Voice 2011)
Glen Greenwald: With Liberty and Justice for Some
How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful
From the nation's beginnings, the law was to be the great equalizer in American life, the guarantor of a common set of rules for all. But over the past four decades, the principle of equality before the law has been effectively abolished. Instead, a two-tiered system of justice ensures that the country's political and financial class is virtually immune from prosecution, licensed to act without restraint, while the politically powerless are imprisoned with greater ease and in greater numbers than in any other country in the world.
Starting with Watergate, continuing on through the Iran-Contra scandal, and culminating with the crimes of the Bush era, Glenn Greenwald lays bare the mechanisms that have come to shield the elite from accountability. He shows how the media, both political parties, and the courts have abetted a process that has produced torture, war crimes, domestic spying, and financial fraud.
Cogent, sharp, and urgent, this is a no-holds-barred indictment of a profoundly un-American system that sanctions immunity at the top and mercilessness for everyone else. (MacMillan Books, 2011)
Glen Greenwald is the author of the New York Times bestsellers How Would a Patriot Act? and A Tragic Legacy. Recently proclaimed one of the "25 Most Influential Liberals in U.S. Media" by Forbes, Greenwald is a former constitutional law and civil rights attorney and a contributing writer at Salon. He lives in Brazil and New York City.
Nato strike kills Gaddafi's youngest son
Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, the youngest son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and three of his grandchildren have been killed in a NATO air strike, a Libyan government spokesman said. Gaddafi and his wife were in the Tripoli house of his 29-year-old son, Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, when it was hit by at least one missile fired by a NATO warplane late on Saturday, according to Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim.
"The house of Mr Saif al-Arab Gaddafi was attacked tonight with full power. The leader with his wife was there in the house with other friends and relatives. The leader himself is in good health, he wasn't harmed," the spokesman said, adding that Gaddafi's wife was also unharmed but other people in the house were injured
"This was a direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country. This is not permitted by international law. It is not permitted by any moral code or principle.
"What we have now is the law of the jungle," Ibrahim told a news conference. "We think now it is clear to everyone that what is happening in Libya has nothing to do with the protection of civilians."
He said the compound that was hit was in the Garghour neighborhood. "It seems there was intelligence that was leaked. They knew about something. They expected him for some reason. But the target was very clear, very, very clear. And the neighbourhood, yes of course, because the leader family has a place there, you could expect of course it would be guarded, but it is a normal neighbourhood. Normal Libyans live there," he said.
In a press release issued early on Sunday, NATO said it had staged air strikes in Tripoli's Bab al-Azizya neighbourhood but did not confirm Libyan claims that strongman Gaddafi's youngest son and three grandchildren were killed.
"NATO continued its precision strikes against Gaddafi regime military installations in Tripoli overnight, including striking a known command and control building in the Bab al-Azizya neighbourhood shortly after 1800 GMT Saturday evening," the statement said. (Al Jazeera)
Putin: "a medieval crusade"
by Lidia Okorokova at 28/04/2011
Russia toughened its opposition to Western military intervention in Libya this week as Prime Minister Vladimir Putin deployed his strongest criticism yet of NATO airstrikes in the country.
On Tuesday, speaking during a news conference in Copenhagen, Putin said the North African country was being illegally destroyed by “so-called civilised society” and that NATO was going beyond the UN mandate when it dropped guided bombs on embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s compound in Tripoli. “What kind of no-fly zone is this if they are striking palaces every night?” Putin said. “What do they need to bomb palaces for? To drive out the mice?”
Putin also suggested that Libya’s oil resources could be “the main object of interest to those operating there.” Libyans should resolve the conflict “themselves, without any external help,” Putin said.
The premier’s comments came after he earlier likened the UN Security Council resolution to enforce a no-fly zone in the country to a “call to a medieval crusade.”
On Wednesday, this time in Swedish capital Stockholm, Putin kept up his barrage of criticism, saying that he was “dumbfounded” over how easily decisions were being made to use force against countries. Putin said “this happens despite human rights and humanity concerns which the civilised world is believed to advocate."
"Don’t you think that there is a serious controversy between words and practice of international relations?” he said, adding that this “imbalance” should be eliminated. (Moscow News 2011)
McCain: It would have been 'fine'
if NATO bombing killed Gadhafi
U.S. Republican Senator John McCain said it would be "fine" if NATO air strikes killed Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi while targeting his command centers. "We should be taking out his command and control, and if he is killed or injured because of that, that's fine," McCain said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "But we ought to have a strategy to help the rebels succeed and overthrow Gadhafi and everybody associated with him."
McCain, who visited the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi last month, said he was not satisfied with President Barack Obama's handling of Libya because "we have taken a backseat role." The United States should contribute more air power to the NATO operation, said McCain, the top Republican on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. "We need to get back in the fight," he said. "A very bad outcome here would be a stalemate which would then open the door to al Qaida," he said.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Gadhafi was a "legitimate military target" because he was acting outside of international law and attacking civilians. "He's the command and control source. He's not the legitimate leader of Libya. And the way to get this to end is to go after the people around him and his support network," Graham said on "Fox News Sunday." "He's the source of the problem. He is not the legitimate leader of Libya. He should be brought to justice or killed," Graham said. (Haaretz-Reuters, 2-5-2011)
Before Osama bin Laden was killed, the president’s critics liked to portray Obama as a wimp.... A political Clark Kent, Barack Obama has emerged from the commando raid in Pakistan looking like an action hero.
There are hints of ruthless cold-bloodedness in those White House photos. The raid played out like a cowboy film starring John Wayne, where the hero is a man of few words but deadly action. ... Obama’s new tough-guy image has led to a surge in his popularity.
A quiet and peaceful life with his family
"No heavy weapons, explosives, hand grenades, ammunition belts, suicide jackets were found. Since the house was devoid of arsenal and he had not put up token resistance even with his personal weapon, it means Osama had given up militancy and was leading a quiet and peaceful life with his family." (Opinion maker 12-5-2011)
Weduwe Bin Laden: we woonden al sinds 2002 bij Abbottabad
Voordat Bin Laden in 2005 de villa in Abbottabad betrok, zou hij tweeënhalf jaar hebben gewoond in het naburige dorpje Chak ShahMuhammad Khan. De onthulling is pikant, omdat het dorp maar 250 huizen telt. De kans was veel groter dat Bin Laden zou worden ontdekt in dit plaatsje, aan de snelweg naar Abbottabad. (VK, 12-5-2011)
My Reaction to Osama bin Laden’s Death
May 6, 2011
We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic.
It’s increasingly clear that the operation was a planned assassination, multiply violating elementary norms of international law. There appears to have been no attempt to apprehend the unarmed victim, as presumably could have been done by 80 commandos facing virtually no opposition—except, they claim, from his wife, who lunged towards them. In societies that profess some respect for law, suspects are apprehended and brought to fair trial. I stress “suspects.”
In April 2002, the head of the FBI, Robert Mueller, informed the press that after the most intensive investigation in history, the FBI could say no more than that it “believed” that the plot was hatched in Afghanistan, though implemented in the UAE and Germany. What they only believed in April 2002, they obviously didn’t know 8 months earlier, when Washington dismissed tentative offers by the Taliban (how serious, we do not know, because they were instantly dismissed) to extradite bin Laden if they were presented with evidence—which, as we soon learned, Washington didn’t have.
Thus Obama was simply lying when he said, in his White House statement, that “we quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda.” (Guernica 2011)
Removing Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is the best way to protect Libya's civilians, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.
"We have made it abundantly clear that the best way to protect civilians is for Gaddafi to cease his ruthless, brutal attack on civilians from the west to the east, to withdraw from the cities that he is sieging and attacking and to leave power," Clinton said. "This is the outcome we are seeking."
TRIPOLI, Libya 12-5-2011 – NATO launched more airstrikes Friday in Tripoli... On Thursday, Gadhafi's fortified compound in the capital was among the targets as NATO carried out 52 strike missions across Libya.
"Since the start of the Libyan conflict, more than 23,500 migrants, mainly Chadians, have arrived in the northern Chadian towns of Faya and Kalait after a grueling journey across the Sahara in open trucks with minimal food and water, the IOM said."
"In all, the IOM said, about 770,000 migrants and Libyans have fled into Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Niger, Tunisia and Sudan or crossed the Mediterranean to reach Italy and Malta since mid-February." (YAHOO News)
MI6 plotted with No10 to oust Saddam
By Ian Drury - Daily Mail 13 mei 2011
MI6 plotted the toppling of Saddam Hussein nearly 18 months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, secret papers revealed. Spy chiefs discussed with Downing Street a plan that was layered ‘like an onion’, with ministers openly supporting ‘regime change’ while behind the scenes working closely with those carrying out a coup. The intelligence service also made clear in newly declassified papers that the ‘prize’ for removing the Iraqi dictator was ‘new security to oil supplies’.
The documents will add weight to critics’ claims that this was the real reason the U.S. and Britain went to war, and not because they feared Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction.
The Iraq Inquiry has heard that Tony Blair had signalled that he would be willing to back ‘regime change’ in Iraq when he met President George W Bush in Texas in 2002.
But the latest papers highlight how the prospect of removing Saddam had been discussed by the then Prime Minister’s inner circle months earlier.
Sir Richard Dearlove, the then head of the spy service, sent three documents to Mr Blair’s top foreign policy adviser Sir David Manning on the issue in December 2001.
Two discussed how Britain could ‘head off’ the U.S. from pursuing regime change in Baghdad. But the other set out ‘a route map for regime change very openly’.
Written by a Middle East expert at MI6 known only as ‘SIS4’, he told Sir David: ‘At our meeting on 30 November we discussed how we could combine an objective of regime change in Baghdad with the need to protect important regional interests which would be at grave risk.’
The MI6 agent raised the possibility of the U.S. and Britain covertly supporting a coup against Saddam by disgruntled Sunnis. He wrote: ‘The key idea is that it is possible to speak openly about support for regime change in Iraq, without compromising the actual project to support a coup. ‘The overall plan would need to be like an onion – each layer concealing the one below. ‘The whole is a policy statement: We want regime change in Baghdad and we are ready to provide air support to coup makers. The inmost part is knowledge of the coup makers with whom we are in touch and their operational plan.’ (Daily Mail 2011)
War Crimes and the Bombing of Libya
By CONN HALLINAN, 17-5-2011
Gen. Sir David Richards, "Britain's top military commander," is proposing that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)ganization (NATO) target Libyan "infrastructure," including electrical power grids and fuel dumps, in government held areas.
Frustrated by the two-month old stalemate, Gen. Richards told the New York Times that "The vice is closing on [Muammar el-] Qaddadi, but we need to increase the pressure further through more intense military activity." The British are playing a major role in the bombing campaign, and Gen. Richards was in Naples, the command center for the war in Libya, when he talked with the Times.
The Times went on to write, "The General suggested that NATO should be freed from restraints that precluded attacking infrastructure targets."
Let us be clear what "infrastructure" means: "The fundamental facilities and systems serving a country, city or area, as transportation and communication systems, power plants and schools" (Random House Dictionary, Second Edition). (CounterPunch 2011)
What We’re Up Against
The elites, the blacklist, and the “mainstream” media
by Justin Raimondo, May 18, 2011
The intellectual atmosphere of this country, especially when it comes to the question of war and peace, is absurdly narrow: we are faced with a “choice” between partisan brands of interventionism, between the unilateral belligerency of the neoconservative right and the self-righteous “multi-lateral” interventionism of the Obama crowd. The two factions, however, are variations on a single theme of American (or Western) global hegemony, a “world order” ruled from Washington, London, and Paris. A multinational “elite” which owes loyalty to nothing but its own power and privileged existence has detached itself from the common herd: while the rest of us struggle to survive at the bottom. The aristocrats of the global order, who live in state-supported- and-subsidized luxury, are concentrated in the Imperial City of Washington, D.C., where they hand the media their “talking points.” These pundits and “journalists” are little more than servitors of the royal court. ...
Without independent journalism – that is, journalism free of cant, of “elite” connections, of corporate control – there can be no democracy, no liberty, and certainly no peace. We won’t have a change in our crazed foreign policy until and unless we have a news media worthy of the name. (AntiWar.Com 2011)
Osama bin Laden killing could justify killing Col Gaddafi
By James Kirkup, 17 May 2011
Independent researchers from the House of Commons Library suggested that the arguments the United States has used to justify the death of the al-Qaedaleader could be also be applied to the killing of others. American officials have said that it was legal for US forces to kill bin Laden because he was in direct command of forces hostile to US national interests.
"Some of the arguments used to present Bin Laden's killing as lawful could also be applied if coalition forces kill Colonel Gaddafi," the researchers said. The library paper, 'Killing Osama bin Laden: has justice been done?', also predicted that the "targeted killing" of individuals may become more common as a consequence of his death. "The nature of Bin Laden's killing may be a sign the US is increasingly likely to kill rather than to capture al-Qaeda members," the paper said.
"A wider implication is that the killing may be seen as a precedent for targeted killings of individuals by any state, across international boundaries, at least where terrorism is involved. "The more states act in this way, the more likely it is to become accepted, at least politically if not as a matter of international law." (The Telegraph 2011)
The International Criminal Court - An Imperial Tool
By Stephen Lendman, 18 mei 2011
Established by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court on July 1, 2002, it's mandated to prosecute individuals for genocide and aggression, as well as crimes or war and against humanity.
Much earlier, the UN Charter was created "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our life time has brought untold sorrow to mankind." Its Chapter I states:
"To maintain international peace and security, (member states shall respect the) principle of the sovereign equality (of other members), settle their international disputes by peaceful means, (and) refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state."
In fact, since established in October 1945, its leadership did nothing to deter war, human rights abuses, or other high crimes of powerful member states, notably Western ones and Israel, repeatedly committing crimes of war and against humanity with impunity.
Neither has the ICC, functioning solely as an imperial tool, targeting outlier states Western powers designate, notably America whose leaders commit the worst of high crimes, acting lawlessly with impunity because no international body or court holds them accountable.
Like accusations against Yugoslavia/Serbia's Slobodan Milosevic, Liberia's Charles Taylor, Sudan's Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Saddam Hussein (by Washington's Iraqi Special Tribunal) and others, Muammar Gaddafi now faces similar charges.
On May 16, New York Times writer Marlise Simons headlined, "International Court Seeks Warrant for Qaddafi," saying: ICC chief prosecutor Jose Luis Moreno-Ocampo "sought arrest warrants" for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and brother-in-law intelligence chief, Abdullah Al-Sanous, on "charges of orchestrating systematic attacks against civilians (amounting to) crimes against humanity." ....
... Moreno-Ocampo is an imperial tool, following orders. Claiming ample evidence shows Gaddafi "personally ordered attacks on unarmed Libyan civilians" is gross hypocrisy with no credibility whatever. He's regurgitating lines given him to read. In fact, no humanitarian crisis existed until America and its imperial partners showed up lawlessly. (www.rense.com)
Netanyahu Says Obama Is Endangering Israel Before Oval Office Talks Begin
By Nicole Gaouette and Jonathan Ferziger - May 20, 2011
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Barack Obama’s call for a Palestinian state “based on the 1967 lines” risks endangering his country, just hours before the two are scheduled to meet in the Oval Office. Netanyahu responded to Obama’s speech on the Middle East yesterday by saying that such borders would be “indefensible” and could leave major Jewish population centers behind Palestinian lines.
Obama’s speech marked the first time a U.S. president has explicitly backed using the 1967 boundaries as the starting point for talks that would have Israel cede control of land to Palestinians in return for peace and security. The proposal may have little impact, as Obama offered no steps to restart the stalled peace talks.
“There are some things that cannot be swept under the carpet, especially fundamental principles that are important to the Israeli consensus,” Netanyahu told reporters on the plane to Washington. Earlier, he said Israel wants Obama to reaffirm “commitments” made to Israel in 2004 that the country would not have to withdraw to “indefensible” 1967 boundaries.
Netanyahu announced in his statement that when he meets with Obama, he “will make clear that the defense of Israel requires an Israeli military presence along the Jordan River.” Netanyahu wants to discuss Obama’s stance on Palestinian refugees after clashes last week at four points along Israel’s border, the government official said. He will also raise the issue of whether the U.S. will veto any United Nations Security Council resolution recognizing a Palestinian state in September. (www.bloomberg.com)
Netanyahu Tells Obama Israel Can’t Return to ‘Indefensible’ 1967 Borders
By Jonathan Ferziger - May 21, 2011
After a two-hour White House meeting yesterday, Netanyahu once again rejected Obama’s call to use the boundaries of the West Bank and Gaza Strip from before the 1967 Middle East war as a starting point for negotiations with the Palestinians, calling those lines “indefensible.”
“What I saw was an Israeli prime minister who was interested in paying back an American president for willfully giving a public speech on the eve of the meeting that all but ensured a significant difference of opinion,” said Aaron David Miller, a former U.S. Mideast peace negotiator who is now a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington.
Israel “can’t go back” to the boundaries that prevailed before the 1967 Middle East war, Netanyahu said at the White House, with the U.S. president sitting next to him. “A peace founded on illusions will crash eventually on the rocks of Middle Eastern reality.”
Obama told reporters that he and Netanyahu “discussed in depth” the principles he laid out May 19 in a speech on the upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa.
“Obviously there are some differences between us in the precise formulations and language, and that’s going to happen between friends,” Obama said.
Palestinian leaders, who have said they won’t renew peace negotiations with Israel unless Netanyahu stops construction in Jewish settlements, saw no reason for optimism after the meeting in Washington. Netanyahu “looked into Obama’s eyes at the White House and told him bluntly, ‘I will not accept your vision of the Palestinian state within the 1967 borders,’” the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erakat, said in a telephone interview from his home in the West Bank town of Jericho. (www.bloomberg.com)
Justin Raimondo, May 23, 2011
Fundamentalism is as much a problem in Israel as it is in, say, Egypt, or Jordan. Israel, in short, has returned to its Asian-Oriental roots, and is very far from the idealistic experiment its European founders envisioned at the beginning.
The fundamentalist leaders of today’s Israel are no more interested in peace than the leadership of al-Qaeda, or Hamas. The President may cite the demographic time bomb going off at present in the occupied territories, which he says makes the current situation “unsustainable,” but Israel’s fundies have an answer to that: deportation, ethnic cleansing, and a “Greater Israel” that extends its territory to include “Samaria” (the West Bank) and lands supposedly granted to Israel in the Bible. A debate about this is precluded by the fundamentalist mindset: we’re talking about religion, here, and not anything amenable to rational discussion or negotiation. The ruling Likud party was founded on this fundamentalist premise, and a “Greater Israel” is what the party of Netanyahu represents: it is foolish to think he will abandon this goal because of American pressure. (antiwar.com 2011)
The Israeli reality
By Merav Michaeli, Haaretz, 23-5-2011
President Obama, here is the reality: The reality is that in the prime minister's own reality show, he is "the leader of a persecuted people" and he likes being "the leader of a persecuted people." That is why no reality in the world has ever convinced our leaders to stop being a persecuted nation.
The reality, Mr. President, is that change - thanks to which you were elected - is the thing that Israel in general and Netanyahu in particular fear most. The reality is that the State of Israel has become accustomed to the present situation and does not recognize itself without it. Israel has existed longer with the occupation than without it; it has existed for most of its years with no border and is deathly afraid of change.
The reality is that Netanyahu never wanted or thought to initiate change. When he was elected two years ago, he understood that in order not to initiate change, he would have to play at negotiations that lead nowhere. But alas, there was nobody in the White House who would play this nice little game with him, and his true colors were exposed: He wants settlements, he wants occupation, he wants the situation as it is and sees no problem with it. And now, Netanyahu prefers confrontation. Confrontation with you, confrontation with the Palestinians, confrontation with anyone he sees as coming out against the persecuted people. (Haaretz 2011)
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts...
1967 Borders Didn’t Really Mean 1967 Borders
"...the reference to 1967 wasn’t new
and [.] he wasn’t really serious about it.."
The President Goes AIPACing
Posted on 23. May, 2011 by Lawrence Davidson
President Obama addressed the Zionist lobby AIPAC on 22 May 2011, just four days after his major televised 19 May address on the Middle East. .... In the earlier talk the president said that the 1967 border was an appropriate starting point for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Within the pro-Israeli environment of American domestic politics, many Zionists took offense. So, the speech on the 22 of May was diplomatically required to reassure them of the toothless nature of the original assertion.
There was something wearying about the President’s speech to AIPAC. The first half of it was all about how we are so solidly committed to Israel that whatever they do we will never abandon them. It was all about how we are going to go right on arming them so that, in effect, they will continue to have no incentive to negotiate justly with the Palestinians. In other words, the first half of the speech was all about why the Israelis and their supporters need pay no attention to the 1967 borders... (Opinionmaker 2011)
AIPAC conference confirms futility of negotiations
By Jody McIntyre - 24 May 2011
It was Nelson Mandela who once said, “Only free men can negotiate”. So-called negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian governments have often taken the form of slave and slave-master over the years. The rhetoric of the extreme right-wing current Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is only a confirmation of a wider truth; that negotiations with the apartheid state of Israel are futile. ... Netanyahu’s speech was so full of untruths that it surprises me that anyone takes him seriously. (Independent - Blogs)
Bibi and the Yo-Yos
Uri Avnery - 23 mei 20011
IT WAS all rather disgusting.
There they were, the members of the highest legislative bodies of the world’s only superpower, flying up and down like so many yo-yos, applauding wildly, every few minutes or seconds, the most outrageous lies and distortions of Binyamin Netanyahu. ... I
What the American Senators and Congressmen feared was a fate worse than death. Anyone remaining seated or not applauding wildly enough could have been caught on camera – and that amounts to political suicide. It was enough for one single congressman to rise and applaud, and all the others had to follow suit. Who would dare not to?
The sight of these hundreds of parliamentarians jumping up and clapping their hands, again and again and again and again, with the Leader graciously acknowledging with a movement of his hand, was reminiscent of other regimes. Only this time it was not the local dictator who compelled this adulation, but a foreign one.
The most depressing part of it was that there was not a single lawmaker – Republican or Democrat – who dared to resist. When I was a 9 year old boy in Germany, I dared to leave my right arm hanging by my side when all my schoolmates raised theirs in the Nazi salute and sang Hitler’s anthem. Is there no one in Washington DC who has that simple courage? Is it really Washington IOT – Israel Occupied Territory – as the anti-Semites assert? ...
Netanyahu, along with his associates and political bedfellows, is determined to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state by all and any means. That did not start with the present government – it is an aim deeply embedded in Zionist ideology and practice. The founders of the movement set the course, David Ben-Gurion acted to implement it in 1948, in collusion with King Abdallah of Jordan. Netanyahu is just adding his bit.
“No Palestinian state” means: no peace, not now, not ever. Everything else is, as the Americans say, baloney. All the pious phrases about happiness for our children, prosperity for the Palestinians, peace with the entire Arab world, a bright future for all, are just that – pure baloney.
Now, with all the roads blocked, there remains only one path remains open: the recognition of the State of Palestine by the United Nations coupled with nonviolent mass action by the Palestinian people against the occupation. ...
Sure, the US will try to obstruct, and Congress will jump up and down, But the Israeli-Palestinian spring is on its way. (avenery-news 2011)
Great American Patriots
Glen Greenwald, 24-5-2011
" The U.S. Congress humiliates itself by expressing greater admiration for and loyalty to this foreign leader than their own country's. And because this is all about Israel, few will find this spectacle strange, or at least will be willing to say so." (Greenwald 2011)
Editorial: Bibi's love-fest
Arab News Editorial, 24-5-2011
Israel will never embrace peace on its own; it will have to be forced on it
If you stand on your head, the world around you is bound to look upside down. This is what Israel's leaders have been doing all these years. And this is what Benjamin Netanyahu did in his speeches before a rapturous and almost acquiescent audience at AIPAC conference on Monday and a joint session of US Congress on Tuesday. The thunderous applause that greeted Netanyahu at AIPAC is understandable. But the love-fest in Congress must have come as a rude shock to the rest of the world.
The US lawmakers and leading members of the government, including Vice President Joe Biden, chose to ignore Netanyahu's contemptuous rejection of peace and endless, vitriolic harangue against Palestinians, Arabs and even Islam to endlessly applaud and cheer on the Israeli leader. No going back to the 1967 borders, Netanyahu thundered. No giving up or dividing of Jerusalem. No right of return for Palestinians refugees. No return of Palestinian land that Jewish settlements have been eating into for four decades. No peace talks if Hamas is part of the negotiations. Yet he claimed to make "painful compromises for peace!" Yet the congressmen clapped for him. Standing in the august body of the world's most powerful nation, Netanyahu demolished and derided Obama's “audacity of hope.” And the thunderous applause never stopped. (Arab News 2011)
Israeli opposition should recognize Netanyahu's U.S. victory
Netanyahu's opponents, who prayed that U.S. President Barack Obama would bring him to his knees, are full of frustration at his having succeeded in winning the heart of Congress and moderating the pressure from the White House.
By Israel Harel
Members of both the American Houses of Congress applaud the prime minister of the Jewish state, rising to their feet time after time to emphasize their agreement with what he says. ....
The peak of the fury came when Netanyahu declared, to the sounds of the most prolonged applause registered during the entire speech, that the Jewish people has an ancestral right to the land of its forefathers and it is not an occupier in Judea and Samaria (and he even dared speak aloud the ineffable names of these tracts of land ). And if Congress so sweepingly adopts the Jewish right to the land, where are all those Israelis coming from, who for years have been explaining to the world that this is occupied territory? (Haaretz 2011)
"Foreign Intervention is Turning Into an Old-Style Imperial Venture"
What NATO is Doing to Libya - By PATRICK COCKBURN
Flames billow up from the hulks of eight Libyan navy vessels destroyed by Nato air attacks as they lay in ports along the Libyan coast. Their destruction shows how Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is being squeezed militarily, but also the degree to which the US, France and Britain, and not the Libyan rebels, are now the main players in the struggle for power in Libya.
Probably Gaddafi will ultimately go down because he is too weak to withstand the forces arrayed against him. Failure to end his regime would be too humiliating and politically damaging for Nato after 2,700 air strikes. But, as with the capture of Baghdad in 2003, the fall of the regime may usher in a new round of a long-running Libyan crisis that continues for years to come. ...
As in Iraq and Afghanistan, the weakness of France and Britain is their lack of a local partner who is as powerful and representative as they pretend. In the rebel capital Benghazi there is little sign of the leaders of the transitional national council, which is scarcely surprising, because so much of their time is spent in Paris and London. In Washington, the White House was a little more cautious last week when Mahmoud Jibril, the interim Libyan prime minister, and other council members came to bolster their credibility and hopefully get some financial support. More circumspectly, the Libyan rebel leaders were there to allay American suspicions that the Libyan opposition is not quite as cuddly as it claims and includes al-Qa'ida sympathizers waiting their chance to seize power. ...
Could the war be ended earlier by negotiation? Here, again, the problem is the weakness of the organized opposition. If they have the backing of enhanced Nato military involvement they can take power. Without it, they can't. ....
The aim of Nato intervention was supposedly to limit civilian casualties, but its leaders have blundered into a political strategy that makes a prolonged conflict and heavy civilian loss of life inevitable. (CounterPunch 23-5-2011)
A regime-change operation
By William Pfaff - 24-5-2011
The Royal Air Force has just sunk the entire Libyan navy, such as it was. It posed a threat to allied naval operations along the Mediterranean coast, so they sank it. The residential and command complex of Col. Gadhafi in Tripoli has been under repeated bombardment.
The French, whose air and naval intervention saved Benghazi from the Libyan army’s attack after the uprising first began some three months ago, now have committed a command and intervention ship carrying a dozen ground-attack helicopters intended to fight. British and French special forces have been on the ground in Libya for some time now, as intelligence and tactical advisers to the rebels, and as forward observers and target markers for the air forces in action. The helicopters will deploy their own ground-cooperation personnel.
This now has become a serious military operation for Britain, France and those other European and Arab nations that have chosen to join an effort that has overtly become a regime-change operation. (truthdig.com 2011)
"Stop authentic democracy and reclaim control"
John Pilger - 26 May 2011
When Britain lost control of Egypt in 1956, Prime Minister Anthony Eden said he wanted the nationalist president Gamal Abdel Nasser "destroyed… murdered… I don’t give a damn if there’s anarchy and chaos in Egypt". Those insolent Arabs, Winston Churchill had urged in 1951, should be driven "into the gutter from which they should never have emerged".
The language of colonialism may have been modified; the spirit and the hypocrisy are unchanged. A new imperial phase is unfolding in direct response to the Arab uprising that began in January and has shocked Washington and Europe, causing an Eden-style panic. The loss of the Egyptian tyrant Mubarak was grievous, though not irretrievable; an American-backed counter-revolution is under way as the military regime in Cairo is seduced with new bribes and power shifting from the street to political groups that did not initiate the revolution. The western aim, as ever, is to stop authentic democracy and reclaim control.
Libya is the immediate opportunity. The Nato attack on Libya, with the UN Security Council assigned to mandate a bogus "no fly zone" to "protect civilians", is strikingly similar to the final destruction of Yugoslavia in 1999. There was no UN cover for the bombing of Serbia and the "rescue" of Kosovo, yet the propaganda echoes today. Like Slobodan Milosevic, Muammar Gaddafi is a "new Hitler", plotting "genocide" against his people. There is no evidence of this, as there was no genocide in Kosovo. ....
Like the attack on Yugoslavia and the charade of Milosevic’s trial, the International Criminal Court is being used by the US, France and Britain to prosecute Gaddafi while his repeated offers of a ceasefire are ignored. Gaddafi is a Bad Arab. David Cameron’s government and its verbose top general want to eliminate this Bad Arab, like the Obama administration killed a famously Bad Arab in Pakistan recently. ...
The assault on Libya, a crime under the Nuremberg standard, is Britain’s 46th military "intervention" in the Middle East since 1945. Like its imperial partners, Britain’s goal is to control Africa’s oil. Cameron is not Anthony Eden, but almost. Same school. Same values. ... (John Pilger website 2011)