23/01/2014

The United States needs a regime change

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Over 3,000 US prisoners serving life without parole for non-violent crimes

ACLU report chronicles thousands of lives ruined by life sentences for crimes such as shoplifting or possession of a crack pipe

13 November 2013

At about 12.40pm on 2 January 1996, Timothy Jackson took a jacket from the Maison Blanche department store in New Orleans, draped it over his arm, and walked out of the store without paying for it. When he was accosted by a security guard, Jackson said: “I just needed another jacket, man.”

A few months later Jackson was convicted of shoplifting and sent to Angola prison in Louisiana. That was 16 years ago. Today he is still incarcerated in Angola, and will stay there for the rest of his natural life having been condemned to die in jail. All for the theft of a jacket, worth $159.

Jackson, 53, is one of 3,281 prisoners in America serving life sentences with no chance of parole for non-violent crimes. Some, like him, were given the most extreme punishment short of execution for shoplifting; one was condemned to die in prison for siphoning petrol from a truck; another for stealing tools from a tool shed; yet another for attempting to cash a stolen cheque.

“It has been very hard for me,” Jackson wrote to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as part of its new report on life without parole for non-violent offenders. “I know that for my crime I had to do some time, but a life sentence for a jacket value at $159. I have met people here whose crimes are a lot badder with way less time.”

Senior officials at Angola prison refused to allow the Guardian to speak to Jackson, on grounds that it might upset his victims – even though his crime was victim-less. But his sister Loretta Lumar did speak to the Guardian. She said that the last time she talked by phone with her brother he had expressed despair. “He told me, 'Sister, this has really broke my back. I'm ready to come out.'”

Lumar said that she found her brother's sentence incomprehensible. “This doesn't make sense to me. I know people who have killed people, and they get a lesser sentence. That doesn't make sense to me right there. You can take a life and get 15 or 16 years. He takes a jacket worth $159 and will stay in jail forever. He didn't kill the jacket!”

The ACLU's report, A Living Death, chronicles the thousands of lives ruined and families destroyed by the modern phenomenon of sentencing people to die behind bars for non-violent offences. It notes that contrary to the expectation that such a harsh penalty would be meted out only to the most serious offenders, people have been caught in this brutal trap for sometimes the most petty causes.

Ronald Washington, 48, is also serving life without parole in Angola, in his case for shoplifting two Michael Jordan jerseys from a Foot Action sportswear store in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 2004. Washington insisted at trial that the jerseys were reduced in a sale to $45 each – which meant that their combined value was below the $100 needed to classify the theft as a felony; the prosecution disagreed, claiming they were on sale for $60 each, thus surpassing the $100 felony minimum and opening him up to a sentence of life without parole.

“I felt as though somebody had just taken the life out of my body,” Washington wrote to the ACLU about the moment he learnt his fate. “I seriously felt rejected, neglected, stabbed right through my heart.”

He added: “It's a very lonely world, seems that nobody cares. You're never ever returning back into society. And whatever you had or established, its now useless, because you're being buried alive at slow pace.”

Louisiana, where both Washington and Jackson are held, is one of nine states where prisoners are serving life without parole sentences for non-violent offences (other states with high numbers are Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Carolina). An overwhelming proportion of those sentences – as many as 98% in Louisiana – were mandatory: in other words judges had no discretion but to impose the swingeing penalties.

The warden of Angola prison, Burl Cain, has spoken out in forthright terms against a system that mandates punishment without any chance of rehabilitation. He told the ACLU: “It's ridiculous, because the name of our business is 'corrections' – to correct deviant behaviour. If I'm a successful warden and I do my job and we correct the deviant behaviour, then we should have a parole hearing. I need to keep predators in these big old prisons, not dying old men.”

The toll is not confined to the state level: most of those non-violent inmates held on life without parole sentences were given their punishments by the federal government. More than 2,000 of the 3,281 individuals tracked down on these sentences by the ACLU are being held in the federal system. Overall, the ACLU has calculated that taxpayers pay an additional $1.8bn to keep the prisoners locked up for the rest of their lives.

Read more at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/13/us-prisoners-sentences-life-non-violent-crimes

21/12/2013

War on Syria: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, U.S.

The British Times published an article in January 2012 that said Saudi Arabia and Qatar joined in a covert deal to fund weapons acquisitions by the Syrian opposition to topple the regime of Bashar Assad. A secret accord between the governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Syrian opposition was reached after the Arab League of Nations foreign ministers Cairo meeting in January 2012. A representative of the Syria opposition told the British newspaper that Saudi Arabia offered any assistance. He added Turkey also took an active part in supporting the opposition by delivering arms across the Syria-Turkey border. 

Mehmet Ali Ediboglu, a deputy from the province of Hatay, said to a United Arab Emirates outlet the National there were great quantities of Turkey-made fire arms in Syria. Ediboglu was part of the Turkish Republican People's Party team coming to Syria in September 2011. The Syrian officials showed the delegation truckloads of weapons unloaded in deserted buffer zone between Syrian and Turkish checkpoints. According to the Turkish deputy’s interview the weapons were delivered by the Muslim Brothers.

Pro-Israeli Debka internet-outlet close to the Israeli Intelligence Mossad reported as far back as August 2011 that NATO delivered shoulder-fired air defense systems, anti-tank weapons, grenade launchers and heavy machine guns to the opposition forces across the territory of Turkey. “Syrian rebels have been receiving training inside Turkey” Debka reported. NATO and the USA organized a campaign to recruit thousands of Muslim volunteers from different countries to boost the might of Syrian “rebels”. The Turkish army provided them with training and safe passage across the Turkey-Syrian border. 

Syria now views Saudi Arabia as its number one enemy and accuses it of trying to destroy the country by arming jihadists and other rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

Sources: 

http://www.strategic-culture.org/pview/2012/07/17/usa-and-al-qaeda-holy-alliance.html

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/syria-views-saudi-arabia-as-number-one-enemy/article1-1164945.aspx

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January 27, 2012 - Gulf States to arm Syrian opposition?
http://rt.com/news/arming-syria-rebels-saudi-913/

In 2012 Qatar bought 200 “Leopard 2″ battle tanks and the German government responded positively to the Saudis request to buy up to 270 of the Leopard 2 tanks. In a new request, the sheikhs petitioned the German government for its approval of the purchase of a few hundred “Boxer” armed transport vehicles.
http://latestnewssyria.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/peace-talks-syria-german-weapons-business/

June 25, 2013 – Saudi Arabia: ‘Syrian rebels must be armed’
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/25/saudi-arabia...

November 7, 2013 – Syria: Saudi Arabia to spend millions to train new rebel force
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/07/syria-crisis...

December 12, 2013 – Why Is Saudi Arabia Buying 15,000 U.S. Anti-Tank Missiles for a War It Will Never Fight?
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/12/12/why_is_s...

December 18, 2013 – Ambassador: Saudi Ready to Act ‘With or Without’ West
http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/110367-ambassador-saud...

December 21, 2013 - U.S. blocking Iranian role in Syrian peace talks next month - Thirty countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kuwait, have been invited to participate in the opening session of the peace conference... http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.564633

Photo: Picture of a U.S. military base in Qatar, thousands of warplanes. A part of it is used to bombard Afghanistan.

26/08/2013

Chemical weapons U.S.: Iraq used Nerve Agent

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http://fr.scribd.com/doc/163048832/CIA-Confirms-Iraq-Used-Nerve-Agent

08/07/2013

U.S. National Security Agency - German intelligence service

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Snowden reveals NSA partnership with German intelligence service: report

BERLIN, July 8, 2013 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) worked closely with the German intelligence service, whistleblower Edward Snowden told German magazine Der Spiegel in a recent interview.

He alleged that German intelligence knew more about NSA activities in the country than previously known.

Snowden said NSA was "in bed together with the Germans" as well as most other western states, adding that NSA's "foreign affairs' directorate" was responsible for partnerships with other countries.

The interview, published on Sunday, was carried out before he fled to Hong Kong in May.

Germany's foreign intelligence service (BND) confirmed a partnership with the NSA in providing "analysis tools" for the BND's monitoring of foreign data in Germany.

Snowden said government decision-makers were protected by these cooperation programs which are organized in a way so that authorities in other countries can "insulate their political leaders from the backlash" if it becomes public "how grievously they're violating global privacy."

A recent report by Der Spiegel, citing classified documents disclosed by fugitive Snowden, said Washington was monitoring phone calls and Internet data connections in Germany as well as spying on the headquarters of the European Union and its offices in Washington and the United Nations in New York.

The report sparked widespread outcry in privacy-sensitive Germany. The German government has said that Berlin felt surprised and "alienated" by media reports of cold-war-style U.S. spying on European nations. "We are no longer in the Cold War," a government spokesman said.

U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed last Wednesday to hold a high-level bilateral meeting over U.S. surveillance programs.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-07/08/c_132522774.htm

27/06/2013

Latest News: U.S. calls to NATO to interfere in Syria

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April fools' jokes 2013 - the best on the web: John Kerry

Doha (Qatar) April 24, 2013 : The US secretary of state has said that NATO needs to consider its role in the Syrian crisis, including how prepared it is to respond to a potential chemical weapons threat.

John Kerry told a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels on Tuesday that the planning that the alliance had already done was appropriate.

“We should also carefully and collectively consider how NATO is prepared to respond to protect its members from a Syrian threat, including any potential chemical weapons threat,” he said.

NATO, a US-led military alliance of 28 countries, has said repeatedly it has no intention of intervening militarily in the Syrian war.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Israeli military’s top intelligence analyst said Syrian government forces had used chemical weapons – probably nerve gas – in their fight against rebels trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad

Brigadier General Itai Brun made the comments at a Tel Aviv security conference a day after US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said, at the end of a visit to Israel, that US intelligence agencies were still assessing whether such weapons had been employed.

According to Kerry, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, could not confirm Brun’s comments about Syrian chemical arms.

Jay Carney, the White House spokesperson, said on Tuesday that the US has not concluded that chemical weapons had been used and that it was difficult to determine if they were.

‘Regional threat’

US President Barack Obama has called the use of chemical weapons a red line for the United States that would trigger unspecified US action.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the secretary-general of NATO, said the organisation was “extremely concerned about the use of ballistic missiles in Syria and the possible use of chemical weapons”.

Rasmussen also said that NATO was concerned about the risk of the conflict spilling over Syria’s borders.

“I can assure you that we stand ready to defend, protect our allies, in this case Turkey, as a neighbour of Syria. We have all plans ready to ensure effective defence and protection of Turkey,” he added.

“The situation in Syria has dramatically deteriorated,” Rasmussen said. “This continues to pose a threat to regional stability.”

NATO has previously sent Patriot missile batteries to neighbouring Turkey to help defend the NATO member against possible missile attack from Syria.

Nerve-gas

Brun said that evidence of the usage of chemical weapons could be seen in the physical symptoms suffered by those who had apparently been exposed to chemical agents.

“The reduced pupils, the foam coming out of the mouth and other additional signs provide evidence that deadly chemical weapons have been used,” he said adding that the chemical used is most likely Sarin, a deadly, colourless and odourless nerve agent.

Sarin, which was developed as a pesticide in Germany in 1938, in high doses, paralyses the muscles around the lungs and prevents chemicals from “switching off” the body’s secretions, so victims suffocate or drown as their lungs fill with mucus and saliva.

There were more than a thousand tonnes of chemical agents in Syria and “a lot” of warheads and missiles that could be armed with the deadly substance, reported Haaretz newspaper quoting Brun.

http://www.qatarchronicle.com/world/americas/22133/us-calls-to-nato-to-interfere-in-syria/

16-6-13 - Israeli ‘chemical weapons’ campaign:
http://brusselbruxellesbrussels.skynetblogs.be/archive/2013/06/16/latest-news-syria-israeli-chemical-weapons-campaign.html

Get up, stand up, Don’t give up the fight

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March 12, 2013 - Bradley Manning Speaks: In Leaked Court Recording, Army Whistleblower Tells His Story for First Time:
http://www.democracynow.org/2013/3/12/bradley_manning_speaks_in_leaked_court

June 25, 2013 - Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that US whistleblower Edward Snowden remains in the transit zone of a Moscow airport. Putin denied allegations that Russian intelligence agencies had worked with Snowden:
http://www.dw.de/putin-us-whistleblower-free-to-leave-russia/a-16904274

June 26, 2013 13:41 - Snowden may have got transit Russian visa - Voice of Russia:
http://english.ruvr.ru/news/2013_06_26/Snowden-may-get-Russian-transit-visa-source-0878/

June 26, 2013 - Germany Criticizes U.K. 'Project Tempora' Cyber Spy Program:
http://www.informationweek.com/security/privacy/germany-criticizes-uk-project-tempora-cy/240157371

June 26, 2013 - PRISM: Tim Berners-Lee urges web freedom in wake of spying scandal:
http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2277576/prism-tim-bernerslee-urges-web-freedom-in-wake-of-spying-scandal

Syrian rebels’ backers, meeting in Qatar, agree to send weapons

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Kerry says 11 nations meeting in Qatar made firm new pledge because of changes “on the ground.”

June 22, 2013

DOHA, Qatar — The Syrian opposition’s major international backers agreed here Saturday to provide “urgently all the necessary materiel and equipment” to rebels fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

The agreement did not specify what kind of weapons would be sent or which supporters would provide what. But officials attending the Doha conference said that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are prepared to quickly supply shoulder-launched antiaircraft missiles and armor-piercing shells to be used against Assad’s air force and tanks.

Despite offering a series of pledges of coordination and increased aid in recent months, the rebels’ backers have been divided and inconsistent in acting on them. But officials insisted the new pledge was firm and specific in terms of both quality and quantity of supplies.

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-06-22/world/40129779_1_syrian-rebels-chemical-weapons-qatar

Google: ‘Anti-war protester John Kerry’: About 189 results (0.26 seconds ago)

Taliban talks in Qatar

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CIA,MI6,MIT, DGSE, Mossad and any other alphabet intelligence agency are transporting foreign fighters to regional borders of Syria.

“Afghans affiliated to the al-Qaeda constitute over 65% of the Jihadi Salafi groups in (the Syrian province of) Deir Ezzor and they have come to Syria from Iraq,” the military source told FNA on the condition of anonymity.

Reports had also earlier revealed that Turkey’s national air carrier, Turkish Air, has been transiting Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants from North Waziristan in Pakistan to the Turkish borders with Syria.

“The Turkish intelligence agency sent 93 Al-Qaeda terrorists and Talibans from Waziristan to Hatay province near the border with Syria on a Turkish Air Airbus flight No. 709 on September 10, 2012 and via the Karachi-Istanbul flight route,” the source told FNA in September, adding that the flight had a short stop in Istanbul.

19/06/2013

White House: Chemical weapons

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Some 12 million gallons of Agent Orange (Monsanto) were sprayed over South Vietnam at up to 50 times the concentration recommended for killing weeds. About 5 million acres of forests and crops were destroyed and an estimated 4.5 million Vietnamese and hundreds of thousands of American soldiers were exposed.

http://english.cntv.cn/program/asiatoday/20130502/106842.shtml

http://directaction.org.au/issue35/victims_of_agent_orangedioxin_agent_orange_in_vietnam_was_a_crime_against_humanity

http://www.ffrd.org/Lawsuit/Lawsuit.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/10/world/asia/us-moves-to-address-agent-orange-contamination-in-vietnam.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/vietnam/100330/agent-orange

http://www.globalresearch.ca/agent-orange-continues-to-poison-vietnam/13974

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Barack Obama filled key posts with Monsanto people, in federal agencies that wield tremendous force in food issues, the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) and the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration):
- At the USDA, as the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto Danforth Center.
- As deputy commissioner of the FDA, the new food-safety-issues czar, the infamous Michael Taylor, former vice-president for public policy for Monsanto. Taylor had been instrumental in getting approval for Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone.
- As commissioner of the USDA, Iowa governor, Tom Vilsack. Vilsack had set up a national group, the Governors’ Biotechnology Partnership, and had been given a Governor of the Year Award by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, whose members include Monsanto.
- As the new Agriculture Trade Representative, who would push GMOs for export, Islam Siddiqui, a former Monsanto lobbyist.

On March 26, 2013, Obama signed bill H.R. 933 into law which had the biotech rider known as the “Monsanto Protection Act” in it.
The Monsanto Protection Act, part of the HR 933 continuing resolution, allows Monsanto to override U.S. federal courts on the issue of planting experimental genetically engineered crops all across the country. Even if those experimental crops are found to be extremely dangerous or to cause a runaway crop plague, the U.S. government now has no judicial power to stop them from being planted and harvested.

As ibtimes.com reports, the bill “effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of GMO or GE crops and seeds, no matter what health consequences from the consumption of these products may come to light in the future.”

http://therealnewsjournal.com/?p=15495
http://beforeitsnews.com/obama/2013/03/obama-sells-out-u-s-citizens-by-signing-monsanto-protection-act-into-law-2449128.html
http://www.ibtimes.com/furor-growing-against-obama-over-monsanto-protection-act-1156459

15/06/2013

Latest News Syria: France, US armed terrorists with heavy weapons

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'France, US arming Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles – report'
 
February 29, 2012 
 
A general in the opposition militia known as the Free Syria Army has told journalists that the rebels have received French and American military assistance, amid reports of worsening violence in the stricken nation.
 
In Homs on Tuesday, a general claiming to be from the rebel group appeared on camera and told a journalist from Reuters news agency that “French and American assistance has reached us and is with us.” When asked to elaborate on the nature of the assistance he added, "We now have weapons and anti-aircraft missiles and, God willing, with all of that we will defeat Bashar [President Assad]."
 
The international community maintains it is committed to finding a political solution to the conflict and had rejected the idea of military intervention. However, there are growing suspicions that it has been supplying the opposition with weapons indirectly.   
 
This is not the first report of the US covertly supplying the opposition with arms. In December, FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds said she believed the US had been training the Syrian opposition in neighboring Turkey and supplying arms to the country from Incirlik military base close to the Turkish-Syrian border.
 
In addition, Qatar and Saudi Arabia reportedly held secret meetings to offer financial support to the Syrian rebels to buy weapons.
 
Political foot-dragging
 
Thus far the international community has been unable to reach agreement on a resolution to the Syrian conflict. At an emergency meeting called by the UN in Brussels on Tuesday, the Syrian ambassador accused the UN Security Council of purposely stalling and fueling the flames of terrorism in the country.
 
The UN has shown consistent support for the opposition movement, with both the Security Council and General Assembly repeatedly calling for the ouster of President Assad.
 

13/06/2013

'US seeks evidence on use of chemical weapons in Syria’

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'US Begins Agent Orange Cleanup in Vietnam'

August 9, 2012

DANANG, Vietnam—Vo Duoc fights back tears while sharing the news that broke his heart: A few days ago he received test results confirming he and 11 family members have elevated levels of dioxin lingering in their blood.

The family lives in a two-story house near a former US military base in Danang where the defoliant Agent Orange was stored during the Vietnam War, which ended nearly four decades ago. Duoc, 58, sells steel for a living and has diabetes, while his wife battles breast cancer and their daughter has remained childless after suffering repeated miscarriages.

For years, Duoc thought the ailments were unrelated, but after seeing the blood tests he now suspects his family unwittingly ingested dioxin from Agent Orange-contaminated fish, vegetables and well water.

Dioxin, a persistent chemical linked to cancer, birth defects and other disabilities, has seeped into Vietnam’s soils and watersheds, creating a lasting war legacy that remains a thorny issue between the former foes. Washington has been slow to respond, but on Thursday the US for the first time will begin cleaning up dioxin from Agent Orange that was stored at the former military base, now part of Danang’s airport.

“It’s better late than never that the US government is cleaning up the environment for our children,” Duoc said in Danang, surrounded by family members sitting on plastic stools. “They have to do as much as possible and as quickly as possible.”

The US $43 million project begins as Vietnam and the US forge closer ties to boost trade and counter China’s rising influence in the disputed South China Sea.

Although the countries’ economic and military ties are blossoming, progress on addressing the dioxin legacy has been slow. Washington still disputes a claim by Hanoi that from three million to four million Vietnamese were affected by toxic chemicals sprayed by US planes during the war to eliminate jungle cover for guerrilla fighters, arguing that the actual number is far lower and other environmental factors are to blame for the health issues.

That position irks the Vietnamese, who say the United States maintains a double standard in acknowledging the consequences of Agent Orange. The US has given billions of dollars in disability payments to American servicemen who developed illnesses associated with dioxin after exposure to the defoliant during the Vietnam War.

In 2004, a group of Vietnamese citizens filed suit in a US court against companies that produced the chemical, but the case was dismissed and the Supreme Court declined to take it up.

Until a few years ago, Washington took a defensive position whenever Agent Orange was raised because no one had determined how much dioxin remained in Vietnam’s soil and watersheds, and the US worried about potential liabilities, said Susan Hammond, director of the War Legacies Project, a US nonprofit organization that mainly focuses on the Agent Orange legacy from the Vietnam War.

“There was a lot of the blame game going on, and it led nowhere,” Hammond said by telephone from Vermont. “But now at least progress is being made.”

Over the past five years, Congress has appropriated about US $49 million for environmental remediation and about $11 million to help people living with disabilities in Vietnam regardless of cause. Experts have identified three former US air bases—in Danang in central Vietnam and the southern locations of Bien Hoa and Phu Cat—as hotspots where Agent Orange was mixed, stored and loaded onto planes.

The US military dumped some 20 million gallons (75 million liters) of Agent Orange and other herbicides on about a quarter of former South Vietnam between 1962 and 1971.

The defoliant decimated about five million acres (two million hectares) of forest—roughly the size of Massachusetts—and another 500,000 acres (202,000 hectares) of crops.

The war ended on April 30, 1975, when northern communist forces seized control of Saigon, the US-backed former capital of South Vietnam. The country was then reunified under a one-party communist government. Following years of poverty and isolation, Vietnam shook hands with the US in 1995 and normalized diplomatic relations.

Since then, the relationship has flourished and the two countries have become important trading partners. Military ties have also strengthened, with Vietnam looking to the US amid rising tensions with China in the disputed South China Sea, which is believed to be rich in oil and gas reserves and is crossed by vital shipping lanes.

Although Washington remains a vocal critic of Vietnam’s human rights record, it also views the country as a key ally in its push to re-engage militarily in the Asia-Pacific region. The US says maintaining peace and freedom of navigation in the sea is in its national interest.

The Agent Orange issue has continued to blight the US-Vietnam relationship because dioxin can linger in soils and at the bottom of lakes and rivers for generations, entering the food supply through the fat of fish and other animals.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Defense and the US now plan to excavate 73,000 cubic meters (2.5 million cubic feet) of soil from the airport and heat it to a high temperature in storage tanks until the dioxin is removed. The project is expected to be completed in four years.

Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Washington-based Aspen Institute, said Thursday’s start “marks the coming together of our two countries to achieve a practical solution to dioxin contamination.”

His organization coordinates the US-Vietnam Dialogue Group on Agent Orange/Dioxin, which connects prominent American and Vietnamese scientists, health experts and former officials.

The group in May said that $450 million is needed to clean up dioxin hot spots, provide services to people with disabilities, and repair damaged landscapes across Vietnam over the next five years.

The US is rolling out a $9 million project to address disabilities in Vietnam through 2015, but it continues to dispute Vietnam’s claim that dioxin has caused health problems there. It remains unclear whether the US will clean up all of Vietnam’s dioxin, and how much it will allocate in the long term for people who claim to be Agent Orange victims.

A national action plan that Vietnam’s government released in June lays out goals for dealing with Agent Orange, but does not give a price tag.

Every penny counts for Nguyen Thi Hien, who directs three rehabilitation and vocational training centers for 150 children and young adults with disabilities in Danang on a budget of roughly 100 million dong ($5,000) per month.

The children, busy drawing and making plastic flowers that are sold to raise funds, suffer from a range of physical and mental ailments that Hien says are linked to dioxin.

Vo Duoc, the steel salesman, will travel to the capital, Hanoi, next month to receive treatment for his diabetes. But he says he’s more concerned about what will happen to his six grandchildren, who haven’t yet been tested for dioxin.

“They had nothing to do with the war,” Duoc said. “But I live in fear that they’ll test positive like me.”

Photo: Professor Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, at Tu Du Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, is pictured with a group of handicapped children, most of them victims of Agent Orange

http://www.irrawaddy.org/archives/11178

08/06/2013

Latest News Syria: US leader’s top-secret daily intelligence briefing

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'The freedoms we all cherish'

Jun 8, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO: Google chief Larry Page and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg condemned online spying and called for governments to be more revealing about snooping on the internet.

“We understand that the US and other governments need to take action to protect their citizens’ safety — including sometimes by using surveillance,” Google chief and co-founder Larry Page said in a blog post.

“But the level of secrecy around the current legal procedures undermines the freedoms we all cherish.”

Page put his personal stamp on the California-based internet giant’s denial that it allowed US intelligence agencies to mine data from its servers.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg did likewise in a statement posted online later in the day.

“Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers,” he said.

“We have never received a blanket request or court order from any government agency asking for information or metadata in bulk… And if we did, we would fight it aggressively.”

Google, Facebook and other technology firms have vehemently denied that they knowingly took part in a secret program called PRISM that gave the National Security Agency (NSA) and the FBI backdoors into servers.

“We have not joined any program that would give the US government or any other government direct access to our servers,” Page said.

“Indeed, the US government does not have direct access or a ‘backdoor’ to the information stored in our data centers… We had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday.”

The program was reportedly set up in 2007 and has grown to become the most prolific contributor to President Barack Obama’s Daily Brief, the US leader’s top-secret daily intelligence briefing.

Some of the biggest firms in Silicon Valley were involved in the program, including Apple, AOL, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, PalTalk, Skype, Yahoo and YouTube, reports said.

Internet titans contacted by AFP denied providing intelligence agencies with backdoors to networks and held firm that they only cooperated with legal “frontdoor” requests for information.

“This episode confirms what we have long believed — there needs to be a more transparent approach,” Page said.

Google routinely publishes transparency reports listing numbers of requests for user data by governments and how they were handled.

“We strongly encourage all governments to be much more transparent about all programs aimed at keeping the public safe,” Zuckerberg said, speaking on behalf of the leading social network.

“It’s the only way to protect everyone’s civil liberties and create the safe and free society we all want over the long term.”

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/internet/Google-Facebook-condemn-online-spying/articleshow/20489190.cms

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Photo: February 17, 2011 – President Barack Obama joins a toast with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and other technology executives at a dinner in Woodside, California.
The “Day of Rage” in Libya and by Libyans in exile was planned for February 17, 2011...

06/06/2013

Latest News Syria: The U.N. wants a military intervention in Syria

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Google: ‘Latest News Syria: United Nations Human Rights Council’

U.N. rights team believes chemical weapons used in Syria | Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/…/us-syria-crisis-warcrimes-idUSBRE95308K2013060…‎
2 days ago– GENEVA (Reuters) – United Nations human rights investigators said on Tuesday … In their latest report, they said they had received allegations that Syrian … the U.N. commission of inquiry, told a news conference in Geneva.

UN rights team believes chemical weapons used in Syria
Reuters‎ – 2 days ago

Report of Commission of Inquiry on Syria – A/HRC/23/58
4 June 2013 – English | Arabic (Advance Unedited Version)
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/HRCIndex.aspx

‘Independent’ UN panel calls for diplomatic surge to end ‘daily reality’ of war crimes in Syria
UN News Centre ‎- 2 days ago
With Syria engulfed in an escalating and increasingly brutal civil war, a panel of United Nations human rights experts today issued its latest …

Syria: Chemical weapons have been used by both sides, says UN …
http://www.independent.co.uk › News › World › Middle East‎
2 days ago – Human Rights Council says both sides are guilty of war crimes with reports of … who chairs the UN commission of inquiry, told a news conference in Geneva. … an embargo on the sale of munitions to Syria was lifted last week.

UN Human Rights Council: Interactive Dialogue with the …
http://www.hrw.org/news/…/un-human-rights-council-interactive-dialogue-co…‎
2 days ago – Human Rights Watch is deeply concerned by the escalating level of violence in Syria. … Latest News …. the Commission of inquiry and call on the United Nations Security Council to refer the Syria situation to the International …

UN, France Allege Chemical Weapons Use in Syria
http://www.voanews.com/content/un-says…grounds…syria/1674727.html‎
2 days ago – Findings of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry o… … Latest Newscast … of Inquiry on Syria for the United Nations Human Rights Council talks to … before a news conference on the presentation of their latest report at the U.N. …

US Army Chief Suggests Military Intervention in Syria Before End of …
http://www.infowars.com/us-army-chief-suggests-military-intervention-in-syria-before-end-of-summer/
May 8, 2013 – A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found that only 10 per cent supported military intervention in Syria while 61 per cent opposed getting involved.

John McCain Urges US Military Intervention in Syria
www.policymic.com/.../bashar-al-assad-john-mccain-urges-u-s-military-i...?
1 day ago – Senator John McCain's backing of U.S. military intervention in Syria excuses war crimes and ignores history.

needed for Syria intervention - Yahoo! News
news.yahoo.com/us-intervention-syria-must-legitimate-eyes-international...?
May 6, 2013 – News: Everyone seems to agree that the situation in Syria is ... with whether US intervention in Syria would be “legal” under the UN Charter ... If Mr. Obama and other international leaders pursue military intervention in Syria, .... Bashar Al-Assad Breaking News: Kerry: US, Allies Ready to Aid Syria Rebels ...

===

Photo: UN Chief Ban Ki-moon visits the Pentagon. It is a public secret that Ban Ki-moon, who has been posted twice to the Republic of Korea embassy in Washington, D.C. and served as Director-General for American Affairs in 1990–1992, is a very good personal friend of president Obama.

28/05/2013

War on Syria: Israel and the U.S.

ImageImageIsrael. Patriot anti-missile battery west of Jerusalem.jpg

Talking about 'Peace', Israel and the U.S. are preparing an open war with Syria...

November. 2, 2010

‘IDF intelligence chief: Israel’s next war will see heavy casualties’

In farewell meeting at the Knesset, Gen. Amos Yadlin says next conflict will hit Israel far harder than recent wars in Lebanon and Gaza – and hints for first the time at Israeli involvement in a 2007 strike on a nuclear plant in Syria…

In a final meeting at the Knesset, outgoing Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin warned on Tuesday that Israel’s next war would be fought on several fronts – causing far heavier damage and casualties than other recent conflicts. A new war would be far deadlier than Israel’s last two, relatively short, conficts in Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2008-9. Syria, particularly, posed a greated military obstacle to Israel than at any time in the past three decades, Yadlin said, having amassed advanced Russian-built antiaircraft missiles that seriously limited the operational freedom of the Israel Air Force. Yadlin also hinted at Israel’s involvement in attacking a Syrian nuclear facility in September 2007. That strike has been widely attributed to Israel, but the government has never officially taken responsibility for the operation. The veteran soldier, who turns 60 next year, told the committee that during his position as MI chief he had contended with two enemy nuclear programs – apparently a reference to Iran and Syria. Yadlin also warned of a growing threat from the Iranian nuclear program, saying Iran now had enough highly enriched uranium to build a bomb.

Source: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/idf-intelligence-chief-israel-s-next-war-will-see-heavy-casualties-1.322484

===

Israel, Syria and the United States
http://truth-out.org/news/item/16341-israel-syria-and-the-united-states

09/05/2013

Middle East ‘Peace Process’

US.Obama.Middle East Peace Process

As a reminder:

Nov 16, 2012

'Three More Palestinians Martyred on the Third Day of Israeli Aggression on Gaza'

GAZA, (SANA) – The death toll of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip raised to more than 23 martyrs, more than 248, including 148 children and women, were injured as Israel carried out hundreds of raids on several areas in the Strip in the third day of its aggression.

The Israeli raids targeted the areas of al-Zaytoon, al-Shate', al-Nassr, al-Sheikh Zayed, Rafah, Khan Younes and Jabalia.

The Israeli media said that 2 Israeli settlers were killed and more than 40 others were injured by the missiles of the Palestinian resistance, adding that explosions were heard in Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Resistance also downed an Israeli war plane after targeting it with an anti-air missile and shelled the occupied al-Quds city with the advanced missile M 75.

In an indicator of escalating its aggression on the Strip, the Israeli occupation army announced the call-up of 16,000 reservists.

The Israeli aggression has so far focused on air strikes, but Israeli officials threatened to launch a land aggression.

In response to teh Israeli raids, the Palestinian Resistance fired tens of missiles on several Israeli sites south of the occupied Palestine.

The Palestinian Press Agency reported that a number of missiles hit al-Naqab, Asdoud, Asqalan, causing material damage and spreading panic.

Al-Manar TV correspondent in Gaza said that the Resistance targeted an Israeli military vehicle in al-Breij Camp in the Strip, adding that the Resistance's missiles hit a ten-story building and a parking in Asdoud settlement.

Izz-Eddin al-Qassam and al-Nasser Salaheddin Brigades announced shelling a number of Israeli sites and settlements with missiles.

In the same context, an explosion was heard this afternoon in Tel Aviv following sirens and five injuries in the ranks of Israeli settlers were reported due to shelling by the Resistance's rockets.

The Israeli media admitted, according to al-Manar correspondent, that the Israeli War Minister Ehud Barak and member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee at the Israeli Knesset rushed down to shelters after rockets were fired towards the Knesset in occupied Jerusalem.

Israeli media also admitted that three Israeli settlers were injured, one with a serious injury, due to the fall of the Palestinian Resistance's rockets on Asqalan in the south of occupied Palestine.

It also announced the cut-off of internet and mobile phone network and the collapse of the Zionist stock market, indicating a state of panic and shock among the Israeli settlers over the Resistance's shelling of Israeli sites.

English Bulletin

http://sana.sy/eng/22/2012/11/16/452770.htm


Middle East Peace Process - US Department of State
http://www.state.gov/www/regions/nea/peace_process.html‎
A description for this result is not available because of this site's robots.txt

08/05/2013

Syria: Does Washington seeking a 'peaceful' solution ?

Image

May 8, 2013

The United States and Russia have agreed to push both sides in Syria to find an end to the bloodshed, offering to hold an international conference in search of peace.

UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi on Wednesday "warmly welcomed" the agreement, a statement from his office said.

"This is the first hopeful news concerning that unhappy country in a very long time," it said. "The statements made in Moscow constitute a very significant first step forward. It is nevertheless only a first step."

"We agreed that Russia and the United States will encourage both the Syria government and opposition groups to find a political solution," Lavrov told reporters at a concluding news conference that ended after midnight.

Hopefully by the end of May the two ministers working together could convene an international conference to build on the Geneva accord agreed by world powers last June for a peaceful solution in Syria, they said.

Al Jazeera's James Bays, reporting from the UN headquarters in New York, said that the meeting between Kerry and Lavrov was 'significant because for the first time both countries were on the same page with regards to the political solution for Syria'.

Image

A peaceful solution ?

On May 5, 2013, Israeli airstrikes hit Syrian key military installations and were the second by Israel in as many days...

04/05/2013

Washington and Tel Aviv want the full control over the Middle East

Israel.obama-israel-netanyahu.jpg

April 20, 2013

The so called ‘Syria’s opposition forces’ and their main international allies met in Istanbul where the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, announced that the US will double its non-lethal military aid (US$123 million). Meanwhile the ‘Syrian opposition’ called on it’s international supporters to deploy drones in Syria and carry out “surgical strikes” on launch sites used by government forces.

April 23, 2013
Israeli general: Syrian ‘regime has used and is using chemical weapons’
Military intelligence chief’s assertion puts pressure on US over its pledge to intervene…
Israel’s top intelligence analyst on Tuesday accused the Syrian regime of using lethal chemical weapons in an assertion that puts pressure on the US over its pledge to intervene should Damascus cross what it has described as a “red line”.
Brigadier-General Itai Brun, head of military intelligence research at the Israeli Defence Forces, told a security conference in Tel Aviv that the lack of international response to the use of a chemical suspected to be the nerve gas sarin was a “very worrying development”.
He said: “There’s a huge arsenal of chemical weapons in Syria. Our assessment is that the [Assad] regime has used and is using chemical weapons.”
Although the Pentagon and state department insisted on Tuesday there was no appetite for intervention in Syria, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, speaking at a Nato meeting in Brussels, called on the alliance to make preparations to respond in the event of chemical weapons endangering one of its members, Turkey.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/apr/23/syrian-regime...

April 29, 2013
‘World’s intelligence agencies know full well that Assad used chemical weapons’Top Israeli official says the evidence is indisputable; former Israeli defense minister claims weapons of mass destruction are already leaking to Hezbollah…
Israeli and foreign intelligence agencies have hard and definitive evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons against rebel forces, a senior Israeli official said Monday amid rampant speculation about the West’s next move.
The senior official, speaking on condition of anonymity, added that international intelligence agencies possessed hard evidence of the charges against Assad and that Israel’s information to this effect was shared with “all the intelligence agencies.”
http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-has-proof-assad-used-...

May 1, 2013
Former Israeli IDF Chief Gabi Ashkenazi said that ‘Syria chemical weapons must be met with response’. Ashkenazi said ‘it would be’It would be wrong message not to respond if Assad regime is indeed using chemical weapons, suggests aiding opposition in more ‘concrete’ ways such as weapons provision.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/former-idf-...

May 3, 2013
US officials: Israelis launch airstrikes into Syria…
Israeli warplanes launched airstrikes against targets inside Syria on Friday, U.S. officials told NBC News.
It’s believed the primary target was a shipment of weapons headed for Hezbollah in Lebanon, they said. A senior U.S. official said the airstrikes were believed to be related to delivery systems for chemical weapons.
An Israeli spokesman in Washington said that Israel would not comment specifically on the reports but said that “Israel is determined to prevent the transfer of chemical weapons or other game-changing weaponry by the Syrian regime to terrorists, especially to Hezbollah in Lebanon.”
It wasn’t clear whether the Israelis alerted the U.S. before the attack. White House officials referred all questions to the Israelis.
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/03/18043900-us...

May 4, 2013
Israel launches air strike on Syria…
The early morning strike on Friday targeted “game-changing” weapons believed to be long-range missiles, an Israeli official told the Associated Press.
This is the second Israeli strike on a Syrian arms target this year. After the bombing of weapons convoy carrying long-range missiles to the Lebanese border in January, Israel warned it would not hesitate to act again to prevent the transfer of chemical or any other advanced weaponry from Bashar al-Assad’s massive arsenal to terror groups in Lebanon.
The Israeli government has called on the United States to take steps to safe guard the Assad regime’s chemical weapons store, which is believed to be among the largest in the world.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/isra...

On 3.14.2012, America’s Defense Department’s best-known geek announced that she was leaving the Pentagon for a job at Google

02/05/2013

US, Israel and Saudi Arabia propping up al-Qaeda in Syria

NATO.parade.summertime.jpg

May 2, 2013

From the beginning, it was clear to geopolitical analysts that the conflict in Syria was not "pro-democracy" protesters rising up, but rather the fruition of a well-documented conspiracy between the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia to arm and direct sectarian extremists affiliated with Al Qaeda against the Syrian government. 

This was documented as early as 2007 - a full 4 years before the 2011 "Arab Spring" would begin - by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his New Yorker article titled, ""The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?" which stated specifically (emphasis added): 

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda. 

For the past two years the US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and Turkey have sent billions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into Syria along side known-terrorists from Libya, Chechnya, neighboring Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq... 

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/04/28/300707/us-israel-...

Photo: NATO parade

====

Buying oil from al-Qaeda, deep scar on EU, US:

America’s unspoken civil war:

Lest we forget, Muslims had no role in 9/11:

West WMD lies fray as Syrian Army overruns terrorist proxies:

Stupidities of US government about Iran:

Pappe's discomfort with history of Zionism:

U.S.: More weapons to terrorists 'because of they are effective'

Syria.terror.attack.Feb 21, 2013.11.jpg

Image

Image

Brussels, May 2th, 2013

U.S. officials said intelligence agencies are seeing signs that Syrian 'opposition forces may be distancing themselves from the al-Qaida-linked group there' - chipping away at one of the key arguments against giving lethal aid to terrorists and extremists.

Yet, at the same time, the terrorist groups are among the most effective against the regime. 

Officials insisted Wednesday that no decisions have been made but said arming the terrorists is seen as more likely and preferable than any other military option. One U.S. official described a new "reconsideration" within the administration of the military options. The officials, who all spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss publicly the options under consideration, said most U.S. leaders prefer that the 'Syrians determine their own fate', so arming opposition groups and terrorists is more palatable than direct U.S. intervention.

The administration announced last week that it 'believes' Assad has used chemical weapons but said the intelligence wasn't clear enough to be certain that the regime has crossed President Barack Obama's announced "red line" of definite chemical weapons use that he said would have "enormous consequences" for Assad's government.

Some senior leaders, including Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are skeptical about the wisdom of providing arms to terrorist groups and (foreign) extremists. But officials say there is a growing realization that, 'under increasing pressure from Congress and other allied nations, the U.S. might soon have to do more'...

Photos: terror attacks in Boston and Damascus

===

Israeli pressure to arm terrorists in Syria:

'Former IDF Chief: Syria chemical weapons must be met with response'

Gabi Ashkenazi says it would be 'wrong message' not to respond if Assad regime is indeed using chemical weapons, suggests aiding opposition in more 'concrete' ways such as weapons provision.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/former-idf-...

01/05/2013

Syria, Iran, Lebanon: Israel puts U.S. under constant pressure

Image

The rumours about the 'use of chemical arms' by the Syrian army came from the Israel’s top military intelligence last week. The service claimed that ‘elements of the Syrian Army loyal to President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against rebels and to murder civilians in Aleppo’...
 
April 23, 2013  - 'Israeli intel: Damascus used chemical weapons against rebels'
 
April 26, 2013  - U.S.-Israel sign new arms deal, but Obama team refuses to sell bunker buster bombs.
 
April 26, 2013 - 'Close confidante of Netanyahu warns “it’s now or never” for military strike on Iran'
 
April 26, 2013  - 'U.S. says Syria used chemical weapons: Countdown to military action against Damascus?'
http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/u-s-says-syria-used-chemical-weapons-countdown-to-military-action-against-damascus/

=====

For News of the Syrian News Agency Sana: http://sana.sy/eng/21/index.htm

On 3.14.2012, America’s Defense Department’s best-known geek announced that she was leaving the Pentagon for a job at Google

27/04/2013

US. gave weapons and chemicals to Saddam Hussein

Image

United States support for Iraq during the Iran–Iraq War, against post-revolutionary Iran, included several billion dollars worth of economic aid, the sale of dual-use technology, non-U.S. origin weaponry, military intelligence, Special Operations training, and direct involvement in warfare against Iran.

Support from the U.S. for Iraq was not a secret and was frequently discussed in open session of the Senate and House of Representatives. On June 9, 1992, Ted Koppel reported on ABC's Nightline, "It is becoming increasingly clear that George Bush, operating largely behind the scenes throughout the 1980s, initiated and supported much of the financing, intelligence, and military help that built Saddam's Iraq into the power it became", and "Reagan/Bush administrations permitted—and frequently encouraged—the flow of money, agricultural credits, dual-use technology, chemicals, and weapons to Iraq."

Photo: 1980s. Carlos Cardoen, arms dealer to Iraq and former friend of the U.S. government, meets with former Iraqi Leader Saddam Hussein.

===

Apr 27, 2013 - 'Dutch Iran-Iraq war profiteer guilty of war crimes'
Iraq used chemical weapons against Iranians and the Kurdish population of Halabja. A Dutch businessman who sold chemicals for weapons production to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has pleaded guilty to war crime charges.
The Dutch Supreme Court found Frans van Anraat guilty of providing Saddam Hussein with US and Japanese chemicals, which were used to produce poison gas.
http://edition.presstv.ir/detail/100008.html

June 17, 2004 - 'How Reagan Armed Saddam with Chemical Weapons'
On August 18, 2002, the New York Times carried a front-page story headlined, "Officers say U.S. aided Iraq despite the use of gas". Quoting anonymous US "senior military officers", the NYT "revealed" that in the 1980s, the administration of US President Ronald Reagan covertly provided "critical battle planning assistance at a time when American intelligence knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons in waging the decisive battles of the Iran-Iraq war". The story made a brief splash in the international media, then died.
http://www.counterpunch.org/2004/06/17/how-reagan-armed-saddam-with-chemical-weapons/

January 1st, 2012 - Financial Times: UK secretly supplied Saddam: http://www.kavehfarrokh.com/news/12873/

Iran-Iraq War 1980 to 1988 - Part 2 of 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6s-Fs4RnFY
http://youtu.be/H6s-Fs4RnFY

25/04/2013

US: ‘some confidence’ of Syria chemical weapons use

Image

April 25th, 2013

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has said American intelligence believes “to some degree of varying confidence” that Syria has used chemical weapons.

During a visit to the United Arab Emirates, he said it was suspected that sarin gas had been used against rebels.

Mr Hagel said the use was “small scale” and did not specify where or when…

Photo: Vietnam Agent orange victims 

====

US war strategy: the trick with the chemical weapons

IRAQ

February 13, 1998 - Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs
http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/whitepap.htm

May 2002 - 'A satellite image of Iraqi chemical weapons labs'
http://abcnews.go.com/widgets/mediaViewer/image?id=2948762

June 2, 2003 - 'Why Didn’t Iraq Use Chemical and Biological Weapons Against U.S. Troops?'
http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/why-didnt-ira...

2004 - 'Iraq’s Chemical Warfare Program'
https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/ira...

'Events Leading Up to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq'
http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=compl...

===

LiBYA

March 7th, 2011 - 'US Intelligence believes Libya has Chemical Weapons'
http://securityandconflict.umwblogs.org/2011/03/07/us-int...

22 Mar 2011 - 'Global Insights: Coalition Must Act on Libyan Chemical Weapons'
http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/8262/global-i...

19 MAY 2011 - 'Destroying Libya's Chemical Weapons: Deadlines and Delays'
http://wmdjunction.com/110519_destroying_libya_cw.htm

23rd August, 2011 - 'US keeping guard of Libyan chemical weapons'
http://dawn.com/2011/08/23/us-keeping-guard-of-libyan-che...

22 September 2011 - 'Libyan rebels discover Gaddafi's chemical weapons'
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/22/libyan-rebels...

Oct 3, 2011 - 'Inspectors investigate claim of missing chemical weapons in Libya'
http://digitaljournal.com/article/312220

1 March 2012 - 'Libya and Syria top talks on chemical weapons between Ban and key official'
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=41424&#....

 

04/04/2013

USA'S LOSING ITS WAY OVER SYRIA!

Vietnam.Vietnam War napalm attack.9-year-old+Kim+Phuc,+center,+run+down+Route+1+near+Trang+Bang,+Vietnam+after+an+aerial+napalm+attack+on+suspected+Viet+Cong+hiding+places+as+South+Vietnamese+forces+from+the+25th+Division+walk+behind+them.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1cX9p03MDw

http://youtu.be/c1cX9p03MDw

Photo: Vietnam War napalm attack

09/03/2013

US effort to pull Syria out of Iran’s orbit…

Image

January 20th, 2012

Spain’s Syrian efforts received US backing

Wikileaks cables show that Spain’s Socialist government made substantial diplomatic attempts to calm tensions in the Middle East. Spain's foreign minister said Syria had promised to exert its influence on Hizballah to help resolve the Lebanon crisis.

In 2006, the United States was optimistic about the Spanish government’s initiative to act as a mediator between the Syrian government of Bashar Assad and Hizballah over the latter’s disarmament. Then-Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos made a series of trips to Damascus, which the United States saw as a positive sign to try to defuse the volatile situation in the Middle East. In a series of cables sent by the US Embassy in Madrid and released by the Wikileaks website, American diplomats advised Washington that Spain could play a constructive role in the region.

On August 3, 2006, the US Ambassador in Madrid at the time, Eduardo Aguirre, reported Moratinos as saying that Syria had promised to exert its influence with Hizballah to help resolve the conflict in Lebanon.

“Asked whether his visit was an effort to ease Syria’s diplomatic isolation, Moratinos responded that ‘it would be good to reestablish dialogue with Syria,’” Aguirre wrote.

Earlier that year, Moratinos, telling the ambassador about his trip to Syria, said it was worth “making one last effort to pull Syria out of Iran’s orbit.”

Describing the situation in Syria as “very complex,” Moratinos said that a high-ranking member of the Syrian leadership, whom he did not name, “had raised with him the possibility of Damascus recognizing Israel as a sign of responsible intentions.”

Spain had sent about 1,200 troops as part of an international brigade to patrol Lebanon following the tensions in the region ignited by the attacks by Hizballah and Syrian-backed forces.

In October 2006, Moratinos gave the US Embassy a written briefing about his renewed meetings with Assad. The foreign minister said that he got the impression that Assad was open to dialogue.

“My perception is that Assad has changed, not only in his general attitude or even body language, but also in the way he reacted to my questions and proposals,” Moratinos told the ambassador. “He confirmed his willingness to work efficiently and constructively towards regaining the trust of the international community. Without using the traditional Syrian rhetoric, he was clear and to-the-point. I saw him focused and aware of the need to seize the opportunity. He believes that it would be possible to reopen the Syria track where it was left before his father passed away.”

The Spanish minister said he also requested Assad’s help in helping win the release of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been captured during a cross-border raid by Gaza militants in June 2006.

“I insisted that a positive Syrian role in the Palestinian issues (kidnapped Israeli soldier and negotiations for a new Government) would be the best way to prove that Syria is part of the solution and no longer part of the problem. I think my point was well taken.”

Shalit wasn’t released until October 2011 in a prisoner swap.

The United States viewed Moratinos’ efforts in a positive light. “Moratinos has long sought to make Spain a more relevant player in the Middle East Peace Process, due in large part to his long-standing engagement in the region – as well as his desire to normalize relations with Syria,” the ambassador said in an October 18, 2006 cable.

“Moratinos’ visit is likely intended to send a signal to other EU governments that they should not shy away from direct contact with Syrian leaders, nor from travel to Damascus. At the same time, Moratinos’ approach on the Israeli prisoner may be a way for him to demonstrate his value to both sides.”

http://iberosphere.com/2012/01/spain-news-5240/5240

Photo: White House - President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama pose for a photo with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Zapatero (c.), his wife Sonsoles Espinosa and daughters Laura and Alba.

23/02/2013

Colonial war Syria: Army Continues Special Operations against Terrorists

Image

The Army Continues Special Operations against Terrorists

Feb 23, 2013

Units of the Armed Forces on Saturday inflicted heavy losses upon terrorist groups in a series of operations targeting their dens in Douma FARMS, Harasta, Zamalka and Erbin in Damascus Countryside.

SANA reporter quoted an official source in the province as saying that a terrorists' den was destroyed in the farms between Douma and Harasta with all the ammunition and weapons inside.

A number of terrorists were killed in the operation, while others were injured, added the source, noting that among the dead were terrorists Bilal Ghbeis, Mohammad al-Talla, Mohamad Arafeh and Mohammad al-Habboul, leader of an armed terrorist group.

Army units also targeted gatherings of terrorists in Zamalka and Erbin, destroying their vehicles which they used in their movement and transfer of weapons.

The operations resulted in killing a number of terrorists among whom Ahmad Hjeiko, Qarhaman Mashel and Omar Abdul-Rahman were identified.

Terrorists Targeted in Special Operations in Idleb

A unit of the armed forces carried out several accurate, special operations, destroying dens and hideouts of terrorists in Idleb countryside.

SANA reporter quoted a source in the province as saying that the army unit confronted the armed terrorist groups in the surroundings of Wadi al-Daif and other towns, inflicting heavy losses upon the terrorists and destroying their vehicles.

The source added that another army unit targeted gatherings of terrorists who were blocking roads, attacking citizens and looting private and public properties on Sarakeb-Idleb highway and Sarmin, killing a number of them and wounding many others.

A second army unit targeted hideouts of terrorists in al-Nairab, Khan al-Subul and Banesh, inflicting heavy losses upon them.

Army units Kill Terrorists in Homs Countryside

Units of the armed forces today carried out several qualitative operations against armed terrorist groups in al-Rastan, al-Zaafaran, Akrab, Tal Dahab and al-Houleh in Homs countryside.

A military source in Homs told SANA reporter that the operations led to the killing of many terrorists, among them Abdullah al-Hussein, Shamel al-Ahmad, Shuaib al-Qasem, Ridwan Snu, Naser Azouz in addition to destroying a mortar and two vehicles equipped with heavy machineguns.

Other army units destroyed seven missiles, a mortar, two missiles' launching-pads in Akrab, killing a number of terrorists. Malik al-Kurdi, Rashid Kokag, Abdul-Kareem Saad al-Din, Obeida al-Qatebi who was expert in bombing cars, were identified among the killed terrorists.

Mazen /H. Said

http://www.sana-syria.com/eng/337/2013/02/23/468805.htm

===

As a reminder: Obama signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for Syrian terrorists seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government. Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the terrorists oust Assad. C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey. The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The United States is setting up joint military, intelligence and medical working teams with Israel, Turkey and Jordan.

20/12/2012

War on Iraq, War on Syria - America's drive for world domination

Although completely unreported by the western media and the U.S. government, the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 by U.S.-led coalition forces was in large part an oil currency war which has been responsible for the death of at least 150,000 civilians.

2003.war.victims1.Iraq.JPG

=========

'The war against Iraq and America's drive for world domination':
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2002/10/iraq-o04.html

'The American Drive for World Domination':
http://www.serendipity.li/wtc14.htm

'World Domination By the US: An Economic Disaster in the Making':
http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/felkins9.html

Photo:  Iraqi victims of American bombings (2003)

War on Syria: US drive for world domination

netanyahu_and_mubarak_checking_their_watches-1.jpg

'America's imperial delusion'

The US drive for world domination has no historical precedent

Eric Hobsbawm
The Guardian, 14 June 2003   

The present world situation is unprecedented. The great global empires of the past - such as the Spanish and notably the British - bear little comparison with what we see today in the United States empire. A key novelty of the US imperial project is that all other empires knew that they were not the only ones, and none aimed at global domination. None believed themselves invulnerable, even if they believed themselves to be central to the world - as China did, or the Roman empire. Regional domination was the maximum danger envisaged until the end of the cold war. A global reach, which became possible after 1492, should not be confused with global domination.

The British empire was the only one that really was global in a sense that it operated across the entire planet. But the differences are stark. The British empire at its peak administered one quarter of the globe's surface. The US has never actually practised colonialism, except briefly at the beginning of the 20th century. It operated instead with dependent and satellite states and developed a policy of armed intervention in these.

The British empire had a British, not a universal, purpose, although naturally its propagandists also found more altruistic motives. So the abolition of the slave trade was used to justify British naval power, as human rights today are often used to justify US military power. On the other hand the US, like revolutionary France and revolutionary Russia, is a great power based on a universalist revolution - and therefore on the belief that the rest of the world should follow its example, or even that it should help liberate the rest of the world. Few things are more dangerous than empires pursuing their own interest in the belief that they are doing humanity a favour.

The cold war turned the US into the hegemon of the western world. However, this was as the head of an alliance. In a way, Europe then recognised the logic of a US world empire, whereas today the US government is reacting to the fact that the US empire and its goals are no longer genuinely accepted. In fact the present US policy is more unpopular than the policy of any other US government has ever been, and probably than that of any other great power has ever been.

The collapse of the Soviet Union left the US as the only superpower. The sudden emergence of a ruthless, antagonistic flaunting of US power is hard to understand, all the more so since it fits neither with long-tested imperial policies nor the interests of the US economy. But patently a public assertion of global supremacy by military force is what is in the minds of the people at present dominating policymaking in Washington.

Is it likely to be successful? The world is too complicated for any single state to dominate it. And with the exception of its superiority in hi-tech weaponry, the US is relying on diminishing assets. Its economy forms a diminishing share of the global economy, vulnerable in the short as well as long term. The US empire is beyond competition on the military side. That does not mean that it will be absolutely decisive, just because it is decisive in localised wars.

Of course the Americans theoretically do not aim to occupy the whole world. What they aim to do is to go to war, leave friendly governments behind them and go home again. This will not work. In military terms, the Iraq war was successful. But it neglected the necessities of running the country, maintaining it, as the British did in the classic colonial model of India. The belief that the US does not need genuine allies among other states or genuine popular support in the countries its military can now conquer (but not effectively administer) is fantasy.

Iraq was a country that had been defeated by the Americans and refused to lie down. It happened to have oil, but the war was really an exercise in showing international power. The emptiness of administration policy is clear from the way the aims have been put forward in public relations terms. Phrases like "axis of evil" or "the road map" are not policy statements, but merely soundbites. Officials such as Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz talk like Rambo in public, as in private. All that counts is the overwhelming power of the US. In real terms they mean that the US can invade anybody small enough and where they can win quickly enough. The consequences of this for the US are going to be very dangerous.

Domestically, the real danger for a country that aims at world control is militarisation. Internationally, the danger is the destabilising of the world. The Middle East is far more unstable now than it was five years ago. US policy weakens all the alternative arrangements, formal and informal, for keeping order. In Europe it has wrecked Nato - not much of a loss, but trying to turn it into a world military police force for the US is a travesty. It has deliberately sabotaged the EU, and also aims at ruining another of the great world achievements since 1945: prosperous democratic social welfare states. The crisis over the United Nations is less of a drama than it appears since the UN has never been able to do more than operate marginally because of its dependence on the security council and the US veto.

H ow is the world to confront - contain - the US? Some people, believing that they have not the power to confront the US, prefer to join it. More dangerous are those who hate the ideology behind the Pentagon, but support the US project on the grounds that it will eliminate some local and regional injustices. This may be called an imperialism of human rights. It has been encouraged by the failure of Europe in the Balkans in the 1990s. The division of opinion over the Iraq war showed there to be a minority of influential intellectuals who were prepared to back US intervention because they believed it necessary to have a force for ordering the world's ills. There is a genuine case to be made that there are governments so bad that their disappearance will be a net gain for the world. But this can never justify the danger of creating a world power that is not interested in a world it does not understand, but is capable of intervening decisively with armed force whenever anybody does anything that Washington does not like.

How long the present superiority of the Americans lasts is impossible to say. The only thing of which we can be absolutely certain is that historically it will be a temporary phenomenon, as all other empires have been. In the course of a lifetime we have seen the end of all the colonial empires, the end of the so-called thousand-year empire of the Germans, which lasted a mere 12 years, the end of the Soviet Union's dream of world revolution.

There are internal reasons, the most immediate being that most Americans are not interested in running the world. What they are interested in is what happens to them in the US. The weakness of the US economy is such that at some stage both the US government and electors will decide that it is much more important to concentrate on the economy than to carry on with foreign military adventures. Even by local business standards Bush does not have an adequate economic policy for the US. And Bush's existing international policy is not a particularly rational one for US imperial interests - and certainly not for the interests of US capitalism. Hence the divisions of opinion within the US government.

The key questions now are: what will the Americans do next, and how will other countries react? Will some countries, like Britain, back anything the US plans? Their governments must indicate that there are limits. The most positive contribution has been made by the Turks, simply by saying there are things they are not prepared to do, even though they know it would pay. But the major preoccupation is that of - if not containing - educating or re-educating the US. There was a time when the US empire recognised limitations, or at least the desirability of behaving as though it had limitations. This was largely because the US was afraid of somebody else: the Soviet Union. In the absence of this kind of fear, enlightened self-interest and education have to take over.

This is an extract of an article edited by Victoria Brittain and published in Le Monde diplomatique's June English language edition. Eric Hobsbawm is the author of Interesting Times, The Age of Extremes and The Age of Empire

www.mondediplo.com

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/jun/14/usa.comment

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Obama signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for Syrian terrorists seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government.  Obama’s order, known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the terrorists oust Assad.  C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey. Weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The United States is setting up joint military, intelligence and medical working teams with Israel, Turkey and Jordan.

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'The war against Iraq and America's drive for world domination':
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2002/10/iraq-o04.html

'The American Drive for World Domination':
http://www.serendipity.li/wtc14.htm

'World Domination By the US: An Economic Disaster in the Making':
http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/felkins9.html

Israel is 'deeply grateful to the United States'

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In March 2012, President Barack Obama reportedly offered Israel bunker-buster bombs and other advanced weapons in exchange for postponing an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities until 2013.

At the time the White House denied that any such agreement was proposed or reached. 

Bunker-busters are essential for an attack on Iran’s underground nuclear facilities since they can penetrate Tehran’s world renowned reinforced concrete.

This week the U.S. Department of Defense notified Congress of a $647 million agreement to provide the Israel Air Force with 10,000 bombs — more than half of which are bunker-busters — along with 6,900 joint direct attack munitions (JDAM) tail kits, which convert unguided free-fall bombs into satellite-guided “smart” weapons.

Haaretz reported that the deal would serve to “renew the inventory of the Israel Defense Forces following the massive bombings in Gaza during Operation Pillar of Defense,” and no doubt it will, but this is a pretty spectacular array of ordnance well beyond what Israel against Gaza last month.

Israel flew about 1,500 aerial bomb attacks in Operation Pillar of Defense, and reports on Twitter of bunker-busters came only sporadically in the latter half of the eight-day campaign. (Israel dropped Israeli-made bunker-busters on Gaza in ’08 as well.)

And the last time the U.S. sent Israel bunker-busters, in 2009, the sale included 55 GBU-28 Hard Target Penetrators. This time around the U.S. is providing 1,725 BLU-109 and 3,450 GBU-39 bunker-buster bombs.

Last year The New York Times reported the U.S. refrained from sending the massive munitions before 2009 because “there were deep concerns that if the United States supplied bunker-busting bombs to Israel, it might be viewed as having tacitly endorsed an attack on Iran.”

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 Israel is 'deeply grateful to the United States'

card.Palestine.jpg

1) On November 15, 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for urging his cabinet to accept a U.S. proposal to extend a freeze on West Bank settlement building for 90 days. Under the plan, Washington would block UN resolutions critical of Israel, and supply Israel with fighter jets worth $3 billion. The US government also promised Israel that after the 90-day moratorium, they would not seek an extension, and settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (all of which is illegal under international law) could continue unabated.

2) In February 2011, more than 100 nations voted for a U.N. resolution that would have condemned illegal Israeli settlements and halted any new construction. The United States vetoed it.

3) On February 19, 2011, Israel said it was 'deeply grateful to the United States' after it vetoed a United Nations resolution put forward by the Palestinian leadership condemning Israeli settlement activity.

4) On Oct 27, 2011, Israeli jetfighters engaged in aerial bombing of the Palestinian city of Khan Yunes in the Gaza Strip.

5) Israel plans now to build unspecified thousands of new settler units in the strip of land known as E1 around Al Quds...

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'Israel Is Set To Receive 5,000 US Bunker Buster Bombs After Delaying Its Attack On Iran':
http://www.businessinsider.com/the-us-sale-of-5000-bunker-buster-bombs-to-israel-israel-bunker-busters-in-exchange-for-not-striking-iran-2012-12?0=defense

'Continued US Support for Israeli Bombing of Gaza Bodes Ill for Obama’s Second Term':
http://www.lobelog.com/continued-us-support-for-israeli-bombing-of-gaza-bodes-ill-for-obamas-second-term/

'Israel v Iran (Part II): The Israeli 'dream strike' on Iran's nuke sites':
http://wartard.blogspot.be/2010_11_07_archive.htmlhttp://wartard.blogspot.be/2010_11_07_archive.html

16/12/2012

Palestinian people is deeply grateful to the United States

card.Palestine.jpg

1) On November 15, 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for urging his cabinet to accept a U.S. proposal to extend a freeze on West Bank settlement building for 90 days. Under the plan, Washington would block UN resolutions critical of Israel, and supply Israel with fighter jets worth $3 billion. The US government also promised Israel that after the 90-day moratorium, they would not seek an extension, and settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (all of which is illegal under international law) could continue unabated.

2) In February 2011, more than 100 nations voted for a U.N. resolution that would have condemned illegal Israeli settlements and halted any new construction. The United States vetoed it.

3) On February 19, 2011, Israel said it was 'deeply grateful to the United States' after it vetoed a United Nations resolution put forward by the Palestinian leadership condemning Israeli settlement activity.

4) On  Oct 27, 2011, Israeli jetfighters engaged in aerial bombing of the Palestinian city of Khan Yunes in the Gaza Strip.

5) Israel plans now to build unspecified thousands of new settler units in the controversial strip of land known as E1 around Al Quds...

15/12/2012

U.S. Human Rights: farmers in India

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Over the past 15 years, a scourge of suicides has claimed the lives of an estimated 250,000 farmers in India. And the death count is still climbing, according to a new report by the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) at New York University.

“On average, one farmer commits suicide every 30 minutes in India,” said Smita Narula, director of the CHRGJ and co-author of the report, “Every Thirty Minutes: Farmer Suicides, Human Rights, and the Agrarian Crisis in India.”

The report, which focuses primarily on small cotton farmers in India, identifies several likely sources and potential solutions to the suicide epidemic in India. In my view, it gets both of these at least partially wrong.

Generally speaking, the report suggests multinational agribusiness, market reforms and a ludicrously inadequate policy response to the crisis on the part of the Indian government are among the culprits contributing to the tragedy.

While structural market reforms and ineffective government policy clearly has contributed to the suicide epidemic, the claim that multinational companies bear at least part of the blame for these tragedies not only flies in the face of the evidence but is also likely to have perverse consequences.

The analysis suggests that foreign multinational corporations promoting genetically modified cottonseed in India are impinging on the rights of small farmers in India.

The opening of Indian agriculture to the global market and the increasing role of multinational agribusiness giants in cotton production have increased costs, while reducing yields and profits for many farmers, to the point of great financial and emotional distress.

The report singles out Monsanto, a biotechnology and life sciences company based in St. Louis, Mo., as an example of multinational misconduct.

Bt cotton seeds are genetically modified to produce an insecticide that kills Bollworm, a common cotton pest in India. In 2002, the government of India allowed Monsanto to start selling Bt cotton to farmers in India. In the years since, Bt cotton has pervaded cotton farming in India.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2011/05/18/every-30-minutes-an-indian-farmer-commits-suicide-biotech-is-not-to-blame/