war

America and Axis of Evil to be Allies

There is no doubt in my mind that one referred to as Axis of Evil Iran will be, either direct or indirect, ally of America (and the west).  With growing concern with ISIS and their progress in Iraq – the tone of war towards Iran by America has calmed down.  This may seem like a wise choice by America, to let another dirty neighbor do the dirty work, but on the long run – what role will Iraq play in Shia controlled Iraq?  The problem with America is they simply can’t do a good job of anything.  Iraq is a oil producing nation and so naturally America (and the West) will remain engaged in its politics – but it far easier to control Iraq if a) it is divided and b) if security remains a problem between Shia, Sunni and Kurds – in other words, if they continue to fight themselves then they’ll have no energy or resources to pose a threat to US allies such as Israel.

Makes sense?

 

 

Israel army shoots 2 Lebanese after Israeli soldier killed

The facts remain unclear at this stage, but recent news on this matter seems to suggest Israel army have retaliated after one of their soldiers was killed hours earlier.

In the past, and I recall similar incidents and escalations in 2010, when Israel army crossed and infiltrated into Lebanon, and of course the exact details were never confirmed or denied but ignored by Israel – the usual “no comment” policy.

After reading a news articles, one interesting piece of information which draws my attention is:

Israeli army spokeswoman Lt. Libby Weiss said Israeli forces identified “suspicious movement” along the border just after midnight, and shot two members of Lebanon’s armed forces. The shooting occurred near where Cohen was killed, she said but had no details on the condition of the Lebanese. [source]

Don’t you find it strange that Israel in one paragraph echo confusion or a contradiction?  First “suspicious movement” is identified.  Shots are then fired, and then that suspicious movement becomes Lebanese Forces.  No exact location is specified and no direct link to indicate if the “suspicious movement” was indeed Lebanese Forces or just couple of cats playing near the border.

Despite the confusion and disinformation surrounding this recent incident, it will be interesting to see how both sides handle this.  We have seen how the situation can deteriorate between both sides in the past and are these recent events a trigger to descend the region into turmoil, again?

 

Rabbi Shalom Rav speaks out about Israeli crimes in Palestine-Gaza Strip

The following is what Rabbi Shalom Rav writes – I must admit, although simple language is used it is inspiring and heart warming.

Israel’s military assault on Gaza in 2008-09 represented an important turning point in my own relationship with Israel. I recall experiencing a new and previously unfamiliar feeling of anguish as Israel bombarded the people living in that tiny, besieged strip of land over and over, day after day after day. While I certainly felt a sense of tribal loyalty to the Israelis who withstood Qassam rocket fire from Gaza, I felt a newfound sense of concern and solidarity with Gazans who I believed were experiencing nothing short of oppression during this massive military onslaught.

And now it’s happening again. Only this time I don’t think the term “anguish” quite fits my mindset. Now it’s something much closer to rage.

It’s happening again. Once again 1.7 million people, mostly refugees, who have been living in what amounts to the world’s largest open air prison, are being subjected to a massive military assault at the hands of the world’s most militarized nation, using mostly US-made weapons. And our President is not only looking on – he is defending Israel’s war crimes by saying that Israel had a right to “self-defense in light of the barrage of rocket attacks being launched from Gaza against Israeli civilians.”

Let’s be clear: this tragedy didn’t start with the Qassams.  It didn’t start with the election of Hamas. And it didn’t start with the “instability” that followed Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza.

No, this is just the latest chapter of a much longer saga that began in 1947-48, when scores of Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their cities and villages in the coastal plain and lower Galilee and warehoused in a tiny strip of land on the edge of the Mediterranean. By all accounts, most were simply too overwhelmed to realize what was happening. Some tried to return to their homes and were killed on sight. Others resisted by staging raids in the newly declared state of Israel. Sometimes they succeeded, more often they did not. Either way, Israel decided early on that it would respond to each of these reprisals with a overwhelming military show of force.  And those reprisals and that show of force have essentially been ongoing until this very day.

I realize, of course, there is plenty of political subtext to this latest go-around.  I’ve read the timelines and have formed my own opinions on the latest “who started it?” debate. I’ve also read plenty of analyses by Israeli observers who believe that this was not a response to Qassam fire at all but was very much a “war of choice” waged by an Israeli administration looking to shore up political support in an election season.

I’ve also read a widely circulated article from Ha’aretz about Israel’s recent execution of Ahmed Jabari (the head of Hamas’ military wing). I learned that up until now, Jabari was “Israel’s subcontractor” for security in the Gaza Strip, that Israel has been literally funding Hamas through intermediaries in exchange for peace and quiet on their southern border, and that when Jabari failed to deliver of late, the decision came down to take him out. Another article, written by the Israeli who negotiated with Jabari for the release of Gilad Shalit, revealed that negotiations were still ongoing between Jabari and Israeli officials when Israel assassinated him with a drone strike.

Yes, the wonky side of me has been avidly reading all these analyses. And while I do believe they provide an important counterbalance to the mythic statements by Israel’s Foreign Ministry and the US State Department, the more I read the cynical political subtext for this war, the sicker I get. No, this isn’t about Qassams, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s about elections either. It’s really just the most recent chapter in a much longer litany of injustice – the latest attempt by Israel bring the Palestinian to their knees through the sheer force of their formidable military might.

Of all the analyses I’ve yet read, one of the very few that truly seemed to grasp this truth came from Yousef Munayyer, of The Jerusalem Fund/Palestine Center:

The problem Gaza presents for Israel is that it won’t go away—though Israel would love it if it would. It is a constant reminder of the depopulation of Palestine in 1948, the folly of the 1967 occupation, and the many massacres which have happened since them. It also places the Israelis in an uncomfortable position because it presents a problem (in the form of projectiles) which cannot be solved by force…

Israel has tried assassinating Palestinian leaders for decades but the resistance persists. Israel launched a devastating and brutal war on Gaza from 2008 to 2009 killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, but the resistance persists.

Why, then, would Israel choose to revert to a failed strategy that will undoubtedly only escalate the situation? Because it is far easier for politicians to lie to voters, vilify their adversaries, and tell them ‘we will hit them hard’ than to come clean and say instead, ‘we’ve failed and there is no military solution to this problem.’

Like last time, I know many in the Jewish community will say it is unseemly of me to criticize Israel this way while Israelis live in fear of Qassam fire out of Gaza. I know there are those who believe that by writing these words, I’m turning my back on my own people in their time of need. But I know in my heart that my outrage at Israel’s actions goes hand in hand with compassion for Israelis – particularly those who know that their leaders’ devotion to the sword is leading them into the abyss.

Additionally, as I wrote under tragically similar circumstances in 2009:

I believe Israel’s response to Hamas’ missile attacks have been disproportionate and outrageous. I believe their actions only further endanger the security of  Israelis while inflicting collective punishment and a severe humanitarian crisis upon Gazans. Indeed, just as I cannot understand what it must be like to be a citizen of Sderot, I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like to be a Gazan citizen at the moment, living under constant air attack, with no running water or electricity and dwindling food, as hospitals fill up with wounded and corpses lie rotting in the streets because relief workers are unable to reach them.

When will we be ready to accept that this is not a “balanced” conflict or even a “war” by any reasonable definition – and it never was.  When will we face the painful truth that this is not a story about one side versus the other but about one side oppressing the other?  Frankly, all the well-meaning liberal comments about “praying for peace on both sides” and leave me cold. Worse, I find them insidious because they simply serve to support the myth that this is a conflict between two equal parties. It is not. And peace will not come until we admit this – until we admit that there is an essential injustice at the heart of this tragedy and that try as it might, Israel will never be able to make it go away through the sheer force of its increasingly massive military might.

Beyond the rage, I’m heartened that this time around there is a growing community of conscience that is speaking out publicly and in no uncertain terms to protest Israel’s latest outrage in Gaza. I am so deeply grateful for my friends and colleagues at Jewish Voice for Peace, who is alone in the Jewish world in condemning this latest assault.  I urge you to read JVP’s courageous statement, which I know gives voice to increasing numbers of Jews and non-Jews, young and old, religious and secular, who are coming together through the courage of their convictions.

At this point in my posts I would typically write “click here” to lend your voice to some kind of collective statement.  I’m going resist that temptation and urge you instead to take to the streets.

I’ll see you there.

Israeli tanks ‘hit Syrian units’ in Golan – all out war so it seems

Sometimes, its hard to connect the dots to complete a picture when the dots don’t exactly line up or make sense.

Few days ago, the media airways were enthusiastically glorifying reports that mortar rounds were fired into the state of Israel from Syria.  At the time, none of the reports suggested that these mortar rounds were fired by Syrian forces, or what their objectives were.  Today, still no evidence has come to light to suggest that these mortar rounds were fired by Syrian military or what could have been their motive ‘if’ fired intentionally?

So, Israel’s direct response immediately was to return ‘warning shots‘.  Warning shots in return, generally send the message not to do that again.

But, it turns out, that these warning shots from Israel, weren’t exactly ‘warning’ shot but rather provocation of war – since Israel tanks targeted and hit Syrian tanks in Golan Heights in response, thus deliberately exploiting the situation in Syria to their advantage.  It is the same Israel who chanted (in the US) that Middle East and Israel needs regional security and stability.  It wasn’t long ago, that Turkey was doing just that and firing into Syria.

So, now we have both Turkey and Israel along with US and UK (and the rest of the west) in orchestrating the situation in Syria to a clear regime change.

Some may question this and state –  well the shell fired into Israel, after all belonged to Syrian military.  That, if true, I cannot deny, but since rebels in Syria have already reported capturing Syrian forced along with equipment – wouldn’t it be perfect for insurgents fighting Syrian forces to fire a few into Israel in the hope of bringing Israel into this conflict?  You know, like Pearl Harbour and how Japanese brought US into war during the world war(s).

Lies, Damn Lies, and Humanitarian Intervention

Masquerading as “humanitarian intervention,” Washington launched full-force barbarism on six million Libyans, all endangered by America’s latest intervention. More on how below.

Beginning March 19, it was visible. However, months of planning preceded it, including US and UK special forces and intelligence operatives on the ground enlisting, inciting, funding, arming and supporting violent insurrection to oust Gaddafi and replace him with a Washington-controlled puppet like in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The scrip is familiar, playing out now in Libya – full-scale “imperial barbarism,” a term James Petras used in a September 2010 article titled, “Imperialism and Imperial Barbarism,” saying:

“The organizing principle of imperial barbarism is the idea of total war,” including:

— use of mass destruction weapons, unleashed on Libya as explained below;

— targeting the entire country and society; and

— dismantling “the entire civil and military apparatus of the state,” replacing it with “colonial officials, paid mercenaries and unscrupulous and corrupt satraps” – puppets, figures As’ad AbuKhalil calls “useful idiots.”

Moreover, as Petras explains:

“The entire modern professional class is targeted (and) replaced by retrograde religious-ethnic clans and gangs, susceptible to bribes and booty-shares. All existing modern civil society organizations are pulverized and replaced by crony-plunderers linked to the colonial regime. The entire economy is” disrupted by “shock and awe” bombings and ground attacks, affecting essential civilian infrastructure on the pretext of destroying military and “dual use” targets.

As a result, mass casualties follow, many post-conflict from disease, homelessness, starvation, depravation, and environmental contamination. All wars are ugly, especially modern ones Washington wages, unleashing full force human and overall destruction, mostly affecting noncombatant men, women and children – imperialism’s hidden victims.

Already, unknown hundreds of Libyans have been killed, wounded, or disabled, besides countless numbers affected overall. Expect much worse ahead, including violent, US-backed proxy insurgence, perhaps later joined by Pentagon troops if current air and ground attacks don’t accomplish “Operation Odyssey Dawn’s” objectives.

UN Resolution 1973

Claiming authority under the UN Charter’s Article VII, it, in fact, violates Article 51, stating:

“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defense shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

Effectively, UN Resolution 1973 authorized war, not peace. Moreover, it denied a sitting government, despotic or otherwise, the right of self-defense. A Western-backed insurgency initiated attacks, permitting a head of state to respond.

Further, the UN Charter explains under what conditions intervention, violence and coercion are justified. None exist in Libya.

In addition, Article 2(3) and Article 33(1) require peaceful settlement of international disputes, not “shock and awe” attacks. Article 2(4), in fact, prohibits force or its threatened use, including no-fly zones that are acts of war.

Further, Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33 absolutely prohibit any unilateral or other external threat or use of force not specifically allowed under Article 51 or otherwise authorized by the Security Council – that may not violate its own Charter. In fact, Washington bullied enough members to do so, planning naked aggression in response.

Ostensibly to protect civilians, Resolution 1973’s paragraph 4 authorized Member States “to take all necessary measures….” As a result, a giant interventionist loophole was created they knew Washington would exploit.

Under paragraph 6, moreover, “establish(ing) a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians,” in fact, harms them by US “shock and awe” attacks.

Further, paragraph 7’s authorization for “flights whose sole purpose is humanitarian” denies them because Pentagon-controlled airspace will destroy any encountered Libyan aircraft, claiming it hostile, not delivering food, medical or other essential supplies or personnel.

In addition, supplying insurgents with weapons and munitions violates paragraph 13, “Call(ing) upon Member States, in particular States of the region, acting nationally or through regional organisations or arrangements, in order to ensure strict implementation of the arms embargo established by paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1970 (2011), to inspect in their territory, including seaports and airports, and on the high seas, vessels and aircraft bound to or from” Libya.

In fact, besides covertly supplying its own weapons, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and perhaps other regional and/or NATO countries are arming insurgents, at the behest of Washington – violating Resolution 1973.

As a result, Libyans are at the mercy of US imperial aggression, disdaining all international laws, principles and standards. At war, Washington causes mass casualties and destruction. Now begun, expect much more ahead.

In addition, “coalition” participation is fig leaf cover for US aggression. AFRICOM’s General Carter Ham has full command authority, directing UK, French and other belligerent partners, besides America’s full air, sea and ground might.

Expect protracted conflict, perhaps “boots on the ground,” putting a lie to Obama’s promise for “humanitarian intervention” to end in “a matter of days, not weeks.” Already, insurgency has been ongoing for weeks, perhaps months covertly, the worst yet to come, but already conditions are bad. They always are when Washington arrives.

Weapons of Mass Destruction Used

Since the 1991 Gulf War, Washington used nuclear weapons covertly – in depleted uranium (DU) form. Contaminating exposure is deadly. All US missiles, bombs, and shells have solid DU projectiles or warheads in them. Even bullets because in all forms, DU-tipped munitions easily penetrate armor, irradiating air, ground and water when used. DU, in fact, painfully kills from later contracted illnesses and diseases, including cancer and many others.

When weaponized DU strikes, it penetrates deeply, aerosolizing into a fine spray which then contaminates wide areas. Moreover, its residue is permanent. Its microscopic/submicroscopic particles remain suspended in air or swept into it from contaminated soil.

Atmospheric winds then carry it far distances as a radioactive component of atmospheric dust, falling indiscriminately to earth and water. Virtually every known illness and disease may result from severe headaches, muscle pain and general fatigue, to major birth defects, infection, depression, cardiovascular disease, many types of cancer and brain tumors. As a result, permanent disability or death may follow.

Moreover, DU use is illegal under international law. Although no specific convention or treaty bans radioactive weapons, including DU, they’re, in fact, illegal de facto and de jure under the Hague Convention of 1907, prohibiting use of any “poison or poisoned weapons.”

In all forms, DU is radioactive and chemically toxic, thus fitting the definition of poisonous weapons Hague banned. America is a signatory. As a result, DU weapons use for any purpose violates international law. Moreover, all DU weapons meet the U.S. federal code WMD definition in 2 out of 3 categories:

The US CODE, TITLE 50, CHAPTER 40, SECTION 2302 defines a Weapon of Mass Destruction as follows:

“The term ‘weapon of mass destruction’ means any weapon or device that is intended, or has the capability, to cause death or serious bodily injury to a significant number of people through the release, dissemination, or impact of (A) toxic or poisonous chemicals or their precursors, (B) a disease organism, or (C) radiation or radioactivity.”

As a result, commanders up the chain of command, including civilian ones to the highest level, authorizing DU weapons use for any purpose are war criminals.

Moreover, under various UN Conventions and Covenants, weapons causing post-battle environmental or human harm are banned. Nonetheless, Washington uses them indiscriminately, including DU. As a result, millions of Iraqi, Serbian/Kosovar, and Afghan nationals, as well as belligerent US troops have been gravely harmed, yet Pentagon and administration authorities deny all responsibility.

Libyans will now be victimized by DU poisoning. Wherever it strikes and spreads, it’s unforgiving, disabling and deadly. If enough is used, a future cancer epidemic will follow, too late to help those harmed.

Helen Caldicott calls radiation a “Destroyer of Worlds,” doing it by killing people silently, painfully, illegally, and at times genocidally.

In 2005, before his death, no wonder Nobel laureate Harold Pinter condemned US aggression saying:

“(T)he United States no longer bothers about low intensity conflict. It no longer sees any point in being reticent or even devious……It quite simply doesn’t give a damn about the United Nations, international law or critical dissent, which it regards as impotent and irrelevant.”

Under Bush, Obama or anyone else, it does what it pleases – the law, human welfare, and environmental considerations be damned.

A Final Comment

On March 21, Reuters said missile and air attacks on Libya continue. The New York Times headlined, “Allies Target Qaddafi’s Ground Forces, but Resistance Continues (unconfirmed) Reports Say.” The Washington Post said, “Libyan rebels launch offensive; coalition pounds Gaddafi forces,” that may be observing a ceasefire. Al Jazeera reported “Rejoicing in Libya’s Benghazi,” continuing its biased war reporting, siding with anti-Gaddafi forces.

In contrast, independent web sites, analysts, and on-air programming offer detailed, truthful information, including the Progressive Radio News Hour this writer hosts on the Progressive Radio Network.com, featuring distinguished guests, dominant media sources spurn.

Middle East/Central Asian analyst Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is one of many reliable sources. On March 20, his Global Research.ca article headlined, “BREAKING NEWS: Libyan Sources Report Italian POWs Captured. Additional Coalition Jets Downed. Qatar has joined the War,” saying:

— unconfirmed “(i)nternal Libyan sources reported….the capture of an Italian vessel and military personnel, who were detained;”

— Gaddafi’s government “started supplying (Libyans) with food rations, medicine, and weapons to defend themselves;”

— unconfirmed “Libyan sources reported” downing two more “coalition” jets, “identified as Qatari military planes;” and

— unconfirmed Libyan sources claim five “coalition” jets downed, three attacking Tripoli, two others over Sirt.

March 22 marks day four of a protracted conflict. It’s certain to cause widespread deaths, injuries, disabilities and destruction. It’s assured when America arrives – on cruise missiles, bombs and shells, not white horses promoting peace and democratic values, what all US administrations disdain.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

[by Stephen Lendman]