The worst of "dark, dictatorial regimes"

Israel is a rogue terror state. It's a serial abuser. It spurns rule of law principles. It mocks democratic values.

It tolerates no criticism. It targets anyone challenging its authority. It does so against anyone considered threatening. Disappearing prisoners is one of many Israeli high crimes. They're longstanding, shocking, and monstrous.

Prisoner X reveals more about Israel's dark side. Australian Broadcasting Corporation  broke the story. Correspondent Trevor Bormann covered it.

In early 2010, an unidentified man was incarcerated in Israel's "most secure prison cell."

"The guards taking him there had no idea who he was or what he'd done. What they did know was that the cell had been purpose designed and built for one previous occupant -- the assassin of former PM Yitzhak Rabin," Yigal Amir.

An unidentified prison service officer said:

The individual "is simply a person without a name and without an identity who is placed in complete and absolute isolation from the outside world."

"We don't know if he gets visits, or if anyone even knows he's even in jail. There is confidentiality surrounding the detainee in every respect."

Information leaked. Media reports followed. Australian-Israeli Mossad agent Ben Zygier was Prisoner X. He was Victoria Jewish Community Council executive director Geoffrey Zygier's son.

His Australian passport identified him as Ben Allen. What did Australia's government know about him and when?

Why was it silent about his secret indictment, trial and imprisonment? Why did it do nothing to help? Why did it suppress information about his death? Why did it do nothing to save him?

According to its Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bob Carr, Israeli authorities informed its ambassador about an Australian national in their custody."

Allegedly he didn't tell Canberra. Saying so doesn't wash. He's obligated to keep his government fully informed.

"(Israeli) coverage was shut down by one of the most comprehensive suppression orders conceivable."

"One more blip of information" emerged. "Prisoner X - held in a video-monitored, regularly checked, suicide proof cell - had killed himself."

It begs the question. Did he or didn't he? Israel is security-obsessed. Mossad buries its secrets. Dead men tell no tales. Zygier was a Mossad agent.

Did he kill himself or was he murdered? Perhaps we'll never know. Targeted killing is longstanding Mossad policy.

Zygier was held in Israel's Ayalon maximum security prison. Bormann said it conceals many secrets.

"In early-to-mid 2010, an inmate in his early thirties arrived here under great secrecy and security."

Guards were given strict orders. Don't ask questions. They called him Prisoner X. Other prisoners knew nothing about him. Disappearing him was a state secret.

Zygier became a nonperson. He had no name or identity. He was completely isolated from the outside world.

In December 2010, Australia's Jewish media said he died in Israel. He'd be buried in Melbourne's Jewish cemetery. Cause of death wasn't explained. Little more was said.

Australia's ABC television changed things. It revealed some of what Israel wanted kept secret. Prisoner X was 34-year old Ben Zygier. He was imprisoned for allegedly endangering Israeli security. How isn't known.

Did he blow his cover? Was he selling state secrets? Did he expose or endanger other agents? Did he commit other treasonous acts? Whatever it was, Israel wanted suppressed. Perhaps new information will explain.

Some reports suggest he was acting on behalf of Australian intelligence. Perhaps he planned supplying its Security Intelligence Organization or media sources information on Mossad activities in Australia. Whether true or not may surface later.

On February 14, YNet News headlined "Israel acknowledges 'Prisoner X' existence," saying:

After two years of coverup, the gag order on Zygier was "partially lifted."

Israel's Justice Ministry left him unnamed. For the first time, it said "a man held in maximum security prison died while in Israel's custody, and that the death was ruled a suicide."

"For security reasons, the prisoner was held under a pseudonym."

"The prisoner in question was found dead in his cell two years ago."

In accordance with Israel's Inquest of Death Law, an inquiry into his death was ordered. A writ followed. It ordered information about him "held behind closed doors. The order still stands."

"National security prevents the release of any other details in this case."

"These aspects of national security have been reviewed by the Central District Court, which decided to impose a comprehensive gag order on the case."

"The order was given at the request of the defense establishment, and was approved by the Justice Ministry."

All possible measures were taken to keep information about him suppressed. Official records were sealed.

On March 4, 2010, Zygier was secretly indicted. Israel's Central District Court ruled his case "highly classified (top) secret."

Hearings were held behind closed doors. Minutes on proceedings "were immediately deposited in the court's vault."

Everything about his case remains classified. Nothing was revealed publicly. It's not known if the court ruled on his case or closed it on a technicality.

Zygier's defense attorneys and family members had to sign confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements. Doing so prevents them from confirming or denying anything.

Information released excluded what's most important to know. Details didn't compromise state security.

Israel's top civil and human rights lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, last saw him alive. "They asked me to see him, and a day after that he was gone," he said.

"When I saw him, I saw no signs that he was going to kill himself. He sounded rational, and he asked pertinent legal questions that I can't expand on."

In 2011, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) petitioned to have Israel's gag order lifted. Israel's Central District denied it. A Supreme Court appeal followed.

Classified information was revealed in court. Justices advised ACRI to strike its appeal. It did so to avoid a detrimental legal ruling.

ACRI's chief legal counsel, Dan Yakir, said he first learned about an inquest into Zygier's death in court. Few details were revealed.

"As for the question of negligence," he asked, "how can it be that prisoner held in (Israel's) most secure (prison) committed suicide?"

Saying so doesn't pass the smell test. He was closely monitored 24-hours a day. He was never out of sight.

Haaretz provided extensive coverage. News of Zygier's death shocked his parents, it said. On February 13, the Australian Age newspaper said he "was under investigation by Australian intelligence months before" Israel arrested him.

Allegedly it was for "fraudulent use of his Australian passport for espionage purposes."

Israel's gag order imposed censorship. Doing so was a "pathetic attempt to turn back the clock" to pre-Internet days.

Prisoner X reflects a classic case of "Israeli failure." It shows "Israel's most sensitive government agencies are not functioning."

If information now known is right, Israel's Prison Service, Justice Ministry, attorney general, courts, Mossad, prime minister, and perhaps others share blame.

More may revealed after Israel partially lifted its gag order. Australia's ABC said Zygier emigrated to Israel in the late 1990s. He took the Hebrew name Ben Alon. He performed IDF service. He worked for Mossad before he died.

He was recruited in 2000. He served for a decade. He "undert(ook) assignments in enemy states using his Australian passport."

He was "one of three Jewish Australians who were working for a (European-based) front company set up by Mossad." It recruited agents and sold electronics to Iran.

He married an Israeli woman. He had two children. Before he died, he was negotiating a plea bargain. He expressed concern about spending years in prison. He denied charges against him.

"Israel can't just 'disappear' people," said Haaretz . "Forced disappearance," reflects the worst of "dark, dictatorial regimes." Israel replicates the worst of them. .claritypress

"Since the '50s, several Israelis suspected of espionage and other security breaches have been caught and locked up for many years, after being convicted in secret trials, attended by a handful of people who were in on the affair." 

"Most of these prisoners were intelligence and security people who had strayed, and exposing their acts would have put their operators in an embarrassing light."

Zygier's the latest. Israeli authorities justify forced disappearances "as a ploy." Haaretz they do so "to mislead the enemy and protect security secrets and the lives of active agents."

Mordechai Vanunu spent 18 years in prison. Israel incarcerated him for exposing its nuclear weapons program. At least 11 were in solitary confinement.

He endured cruel and barbaric treatment. He's still denied all rights. He's trapped and can't leave Israel. He's no traitor or spy. He broke no laws. He did the right thing. He wanted the world to know what was happening.

Protecting national security is one thing. Doing so doesn't justify lawlessness. Everyone's entitled to habeas rights and due process. Totalitarian methods deny them. Israel's dark side reflects them.

A Final Comment

On February 13, ACRI petitioned Israel's Attorney General Shai Nitzan. It requested more information on Zygier's death.

Chief legal counsel Dan Yakir said there's " considerable public interest in information about the investigation into the cause of death of the prisoner, and in answers to the following questions: 

Was this indeed a suicide? Was there negligence in the supervision of the detainee? Has any official body taken responsibility? What steps have been taken to prevent the recurrence of similar events in the future?"

He raised questions about Israel's gag order. Partial lifting falls short. He expressed concern about "a man held in detention under heavy secrecy, and nothing was published about the reason for his arrest or the circumstances surrounding his death."

Everyone has a right to know. Vital questions need answering. Accountability is fundamental. Transparency isn't Israel's long suit. Nor is respecting the law's letter and spirit. Rogue terror states operate that way.

by Stephen Lendman-claritypress

B.N

The US and Zionism are still considered, by far, to be the two greatest threats to peace.

In his first inaugural address, back in 2009, Barack Obama announced: "To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect." Improving how the US was perceived among the world's 1.6 billion Muslims was not about winning an international popularity contest but was deemed as vital to US national security. Even the Pentagon has long recognized that the primary cause of anti-American Terrorism is the "negative attitude" toward the US: obviously, the reason people in that part of the world want to attack the US -- as opposed to Peru or South Africa or China -- is because they perceive a reason to do so.

Obama's most devoted supporters have long hailed his supposedly unique ability to improve America's standing in that part of the world. In his first of what would be many paeans to Obama, Andrew Sullivan wrote back in 2007 that among Obama's countless assets, "first and foremost [is] his face," which would provide "the most effective potential re-branding of the United States since Reagan." Sullivan specifically imagined a "young Pakistani Muslim" seeing Obama as "the new face of America"; instantly, proclaimed Sullivan, "America's soft power has been ratcheted up not a notch, but a logarithm." Obama would be "the crudest but most effective weapon against the demonization of America that fuels Islamist ideology" because it "proves them wrong about what America is in ways no words can." Sullivan made clear why this matters so much: "such a re-branding is not trivial -- it's central to an effective war strategy."

None of that has happened. In fact, the opposite has taken place: although it seemed impossible to achieve, Obama has presided over an America that, in many respects, is now even more unpopular in the Muslim world than it was under George Bush and Dick Cheney.

That is simply a fact. Poll after poll has proven it. In July, 2011, the Washington Post reported: "The hope that the Arab world had not long ago put in the United States and President Obama has all but evaporated." Citing a poll of numerous Middle East countries that had just been released, the Post explained: "In most countries surveyed, favorable attitudes toward the United States dropped to levels lower than they were during the last year of the Bush administration."

A 2011 Arab American Institute poll found that "US favorable ratings across the Arab world have plummeted. In most countries they are lower than at the end of the Bush Administration, and lower than Iran's favorable ratings." The same year, a poll of public opinion in Egypt -- arguably the most strategically important nation in the region and the site of Obama's 2009 Cairo speech -- found pervasively unfavorable views of the US at or even below the levels of the Bush years. A 2012 Pew poll of six predominantly Muslim nations found not only similar or worse perceptions of the US as compared to the Bush years, but also documented that China is vastly more popular in that part of the world than the US. In that region, the US and Israel are still considered, by far, to be the two greatest threats to peace.

In sum, while Europeans still adore Obama, the US is more unpopular than ever in the Muslim world. A newly released Gallup poll from Thursday, this one surveying public opinion in Pakistan, provides yet more powerful evidence of this dangerous trend. As Gallup summarized: "more than nine in 10 Pakistanis (92%) disapprove of US leadership and 4% approve, the lowest approval rating Pakistanis have ever given." Worse, "a majority (55%) say interaction between Muslim and Western societies is 'more of a threat' [than a benefit], up significantly from 39% in 2011." Disapproval of the US in this nuclear-armed nation has exploded under Obama to record highs:

It is not hard to understand why this is happening. Indeed, the slightest capacity for empathy makes it easy. It is not -- as self-loving westerners like to tell themselves -- because there is some engrained, inherent, primitive anti-Americanism in these cultures. To the contrary, there is substantial affection for US culture and "the American people" in these same countries, especially among the young.

What accounts for this pervasive hostility toward the US is clear: US actions in their country. As a Rumsfeld-era Pentagon study concluded: "Muslims do not 'hate our freedom,' but rather, they hate our policies." In particular, it is "American direct intervention in the Muslim world" -- justified in the name of stopping Terrorism -- that "paradoxically elevate[s] the stature of and support for Islamic radicals."

Just consider how Americans view their relentless bombing attacks via drone versus how the rest of the world perceives them. It is not hyperbole to say that America is a rogue nation when it comes to its drone wars, standing almost alone in supporting it. The Pew poll from last June documented that "i n nearly all countries, there is considerable opposition to a major component of the Obama administration's anti-terrorism policy: drone strikes." The finding was stark: "in 17 of 20 countries, more than half disapprove of U.S. drone attacks targeting extremist leaders and groups in nations such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia." That means that "Americans are the clear outliers on this issue".

In sum, if you continually bomb another country and kill their civilians, not only the people of that country but the part of the world that identifies with it will increasingly despise the country doing it. That's the ultimate irony, the most warped paradox, of US discourse on these issues: the very policies that Americans constantly justify by spouting the Terrorism slogan are exactly what causes anti-American hatred and anti-American Terrorism in the first place. The most basic understanding of human nature renders that self-evident, but this polling data indisputably confirms it.

Last month, the Atlantic's Robert Wright announced that he would cease regularly writing for that magazine in order to finish his book on Buddhism. When doing so, he wrote an extraordinarily (though typically) great essay containing all sorts of thought-provoking observations. Yesterday, the blogger Digby flagged the key passage relating to the issue I'm raising today; please read this:

"[1] The world's biggest single problem is the failure of people or groups to look at things from the point of view of other people or groups -- i.e., to put themselves in the shoes of 'the other.' I'm not talking about empathy in the sense of literally sharing people's emotions -- feeling their pain, etc. I'm just talking about the ability to comprehend and appreciate the perspective of the other. So, for Americans, that might mean grasping that if you lived in a country occupied by American troops, or visited by American drone strikes, you might not share the assumption of many Americans that these deployments of force are well-intentioned and for the greater good. You might even get bitterly resentful. You might even start hating America.

"[2] Grass-roots hatred is a much greater threat to the United States -- and to nations in general, and hence to world peace and stability -- than it used to be. The reasons are in large part technological, and there are two main manifestations: (1) technology has made it easier for grass-roots hatred to morph into the organized deployment (by non-state actors) of massively lethal force; (2) technology has eroded authoritarian power, rendering governments more responsive to popular will, hence making their policies more reflective of grass roots sentiment in their countries. The upshot of these two factors is that public sentiment toward America abroad matters much more (to America's national security) than it did a few decades ago.

"[3] If the United States doesn't use its inevitably fading dominance to build a world in which the rule of law is respected, and in which global norms are strong, the United States (and the world) will suffer for it. So when, for example, we do things to other nations that we ourselves have defined as acts of war (like cybersabotage), that is not, in the long run, making us or our allies safer. The same goes for when we invade countries, or bomb them, in clear violation of international law. And at some point we have to get serious about building a truly comprehensive nuclear nonproliferation regime -- one that we expect our friends, not just our enemies, to be members-in-good-standing of."

Whenever I write about how the US is so deeply unpopular in the Muslim world (and getting more unpopular), it invariably prompts tough-talking, swaggering, pseudo-warriors who dismiss the concern as irrelevant: who cares what They think of Us? The reason to care is exactly what Wright explained: even if you dismiss as irrelevant the morality of constantly bombing and killing other people, nothing undermines US interests and security more than spreading anti-US hatred in the world. Put another way, it is precisely those people who support US aggression by invoking the fear-mongering The Terrorists! cliche who do the most to ensure that this threat is maintained and inexorably worsens. And, as Wright says, it is only a complete lack of empathy for other people's perspectives that can explain this failure to make that connection.

Glenn Greenwald-the guardian

B.N

The Absurdity Of The War On Terror Is Becoming Clear

 

 

 

As France realizes the difficulty of a "short" campaign in Mali, one can't ignore the pattern of impotence and unintended consequences at the heart of the war on terror.

In the days following French President Francois Hollande's victory lap around the country, the U.N. declared Mali a humanitarian disaster. Literally weeks after Hollande said his own troops would leave in weeks, the U.N. said it is sending 6,000 of its own troops.

"As the situation evolves, attacks and reprisals risk driving Mali into a catastrophic spiral of violence,"  said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay during a Security Council meeting Tuesday.

Meanwhile, undeterred by America's flying robots, Yemen's super-potent Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula put out a call for global jihadis to pilgrimage to Mali to wage Holy War on infidel occupiers (— exactly like Iraq, circa 2006, where Libyan fighters learned their craft).

Current reports are that the toughened Malian insurgents are chilling out in the mountains of Gao, where they plan and stage attacks with near impugnity — a scenario right out of Afghanistan in 2002. With an influx of weapons from Libya, and global jihadists joining the battle, the fighting could last for ...

That's just it, no one knows for how long. The two most recent counterinsurgency fights started a decade ago and are still going.

While Mali is Iraq-like, actual Iraq still suffers suicide bombers. Thailand just killed 19 militants fending off a truly ballsy assault. Syria has devolved into a stalemate because of the narrowly less-than preferable extremist element Jadhat al-Nusra. Lebanon is getting sucked into Syria's war, and al Shabaab in Somalia is still strong.

Folks are already pointing to an imminent fight with the Islamic Boko Haram and others in Mali's neighboring Niger, and fighting in Mali isn't even finished yet. Neither is fighting in Libya, according to the website SOFREP, whose recently published e-book claims that the Benghazi attacks were in part a reprisal for the U.S.'s continued targeted raids in the green mountains.

As Obama expands and equips the Pentagon's Africa Command with more operators, ramps up the African drone program and its secret strikes, and France's coalition fights to regain control in Mali, while the world considers a possible pivot toward Niger, instability seems to be increasing in several other places at once.

Indeed, the Global War on Terror (GWOT), if it wasn't at the start, has become a game of Global Whack-A-Mole — with SEALs, drones, and now French Legionnaires as hammers.

And let's hope the West's arm doesn't get tired. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al Shabaab, and North Africa's Al Qaeda in the Islamic Meghrib didn't even exist until the insurgency in Iraq was at its most pitched — in 2006. Not to suggest causality, but the correlation is undeniable.

Now they seem to get stronger by the day.

Furthermore, Mali wouldn't be getting arms and fighters if Libya hadn't been "liberated" — and some of its prominent groups ignored by the American government. Not to mention Yemen: the more it's groups get whacked with that hammer, the more concerted their efforts become

Geoffrey Ingersoll-businessinsider

 

B.N 

 

 

 

The re-colonization of Africa Condemnation of Mali war and denunciation of Western neo-colonial plot

On January 11, 2013, France launched a military intervention in Mali, an African country where nearly half the population lives on less than $ 1.25 per day. Paris’ reasons for justifying this operation come straight out of the "war on terror" rhetoric, so dear to the Bush Jr. administration. On January 17, independent MP Laurent Louis denounced before the Belgian Parliament the real goals of this intervention. The only legislator to oppose Belgium’s backing of the French operation, Laurent Louis points out that Western countries - including France - have supported and continue to support, in Syria, the same "jihadists" that Paris claims it wants to fight in Mali

Explanation of vote by independent Belgian MP Laurent Louis at the Belgian Parliament, January 17

Belgium is indeed the land of surrealism. This morning we learned from the media that the Belgian army is incapable of subduing some extremist soldiers with radical Islamist beliefs embedded within its own ranks and who cannot be dismissed for lack of legal means. However, at the same time, we decide to help France in its war against “terror” by providing logistical support for its operation in Mali.

What wouldn’t we do to fight terrorism outside our borders? I just hope we took care not to send these much talked-about Belgian Islamist soldiers to take part in this anti-terrorist operation in Mali! I might be joking, but what is going on in the world today does not make me laugh at all. It doesn’t make me laugh because without any doubt the leaders of Western countries are taking their people for fools, with the help and support of the press, which today is nothing more than the propaganda organ of the powers that be.

Everywhere in the world, military operations and regime destabilization are becoming more and more frequent. Preventive war has become the rule. Nowadays in the name of democracy or the war on terrorism our states feel entitled to violate the sovereignty of independent countries and to overthrow legitimate leaders.

There was Iraq, Afghanistan, the wars of American lies, followed by Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, and thanks to your decisions, our country was in the front line participating in crimes against humanity in order to overthrow, each time, progressive and moderate regimes and to replace them with Islamist regimes, whose first desire was to impose Sharia law - how ironic is that?

It is the same now in Syria where Belgium is shamefully funding the weapons of the Islamist rebels who are trying to overthrow President Bashar Al Assad. In the midst of an economic crisis, as more and more Belgians can no longer house themselves, eat, keep warm or look after their health ... oh yes, I can already hear you calling me a filthy populist! ... Our Foreign Minister decides to offer 9 million Euros to the Syrian rebels! Of course, they’ll try to make us believe that this money will be used for humanitarian purposes … one more lie!

As you can see, for months our country has actually been involved in installing Islamic regimes in North Africa and the Middle East. So, when they pretend to go to war in order to combat terrorism in Mali, well … it makes me laugh.

It’s false! Under the appearance of good actions, we only intervene to defend financial interests with a clearly neo-colonialist mindset.

It is totally absurd to go and help France in Mali for the sake of fighting Islamic terrorism when at the same time, in Syria, we support the overthrow of president Bashar al-Assad by Islamist rebels who want to impose Sharia law, as was done in Tunisia and in Libya.

The time has come to stop lying to us and treating people like imbeciles. The time has come to tell the truth. By arming the Islamist rebels, as they had armed Bin Laden—that friend of the Americans before they turned against him—western countries are seizing the opportunity to set up military bases in the "new countries", as they say, while favoring the interests of their national companies. Therefore, everything is strategic.

In Iraq, our American allies have got their hands on the country’s oil wealth. In Afghanistan, it was its opium and drugs – always useful when it comes to making lots of money fast. In Libya, in Tunisia, in Egypt or then again in Syria, the aim was and still is today to overthrow moderate regimes, to replace them by Islamist powers that invariably become troublesome very quickly and that we will shamelessly attack, pretending once again to be fighting terrorism or protecting Israel. Thus the next targets are already known. Within a few months I bet that our eyes will turn to Algeria and ultimately to Iran.

To go to war, to free people from an outside aggressor is noble. But to go to war to defend the interests of the USA … To go to war to defend the interests of big corporations such as AREVA … To go to war to get hold of the gold mines ... there is nothing noble in that and it makes our countries aggressors and thugs!

No one dares to speak, but I will not shut up! And if my battle makes me look like an enemy of this system which flaunts Human Rights in the name of financial, geo-strategic and neo-colonialist interests, so be it!

Flaunting and exposing this regime is a duty and it makes me proud. And honestly, I apologize for my low class vocabulary, but I say f*ck you to all the so-called do-gooders whether they are on the left, the centre or the right who are at the heart of this corrupt power and who will get a kick out of ridiculing me.

F*ck you all, the leaders who are playing with your bombs as kids do in a playground! F*ck you too! Those who pretend to be democrats while you are nothing more than third-rate criminals.

I don’t have much respect either for the journalists who have the audacity to label opponents as mentally retarded while, basically, they know very well that these opponents are right.

Finally, I despise to the highest degree those who believe they are the masters of the world and who are dictating their laws because, me, I am on the side of the truth, the side of justice, the side of the innocent victims of unbridled looting.

It is for this reason that I have decided to firmly oppose this resolution that is pushing our country to side with France in this neocolonialist operation.

Since the beginning of the French operation, the lie has been organized.

We are told that France is only answering the call for help of a Malian president. We are almost forgetting that this president has no legitimacy and that he was put in place to ensure the transition following the coup of March 2012. Who supported this coup d’état? Who started it? Who is this "transition president" actually working for? So much for the first lie!

The French president, François Hollande dares to claim that he is waging this war to fight against jihadists who threaten (Yes, threaten! Just think!!) the French and European territory! What a vile lie! By endorsing the official discourse, while taking the opportunity to frighten the population, increase the terror alert level, implement the Plan Vigipirate, our leaders and media show they are capable of the most outrageous cheek!

How dare they use such an argument when France and Belgium have not hesitated to arm and support Jihadists in Libya and that these same countries continue to support these Jihadists in Syria. The pretext only serves to hide strategic and economic purposes.

Our countries no longer even worry about inconsistency because everything is being done to hide it. But the inconsistency nevertheless exists. It is not tomorrow that you’ll see a Malian citizen commit an act of terrorism in Europe. No, not unless we’ll suddenly create one so that we can justify this military operation. After all, haven’t we created September 11th to justify the invasions, arbitrary detention, torture and massacre of innocent populations? Thus, creating a Malian terrorist should be no big deal for our bloodthirsty leaders!

Another pretext used these recent months to justify military operations is the protection of Human Rights. Ah! This pretext is again used today to justify the war in Mali. But, of course! We must act, otherwise the evil Islamists will impose Sharia law in Mali, stone women and cut off the hands of thieves. Oh! The intention is truly noble. Noble and life saving for sure. But then why is it, good God, why is that our countries have contributed in Tunisia and Libya to the accession to power of Islamists who have decided to apply this Sharia Law in countries which were still not so long ago, "modern and progressive"? I invite you to ask the young Tunisians who have sparked the revolution in Tunisia, if they are happy with their current situation? This is all hypocrisy.

The purpose of this war in Mali is very clear. And since nobody will talk about it, I WILL.

The purpose is to fight against China and allow our American ally to maintain its presence in Africa and the Middle East. This is what drives these new-colonialist operations. And you will see when the military operation is over, France will, of course, keep its military bases in Mali. These bases will be an advantage for the Americans as well. At the same time, as is usually the case, Western corporations will get their hands on juicy contracts that will once again deprive the re-colonized countries of their wealth and raw materials.

So let’s be clear, the primary beneficiaries of this military operation will be the owners and shareholders of the French giant AREVA who has been trying for years to obtain a uranium mine in Falea, a town of 17,000 inhabitants located at 350 km from Bamako. And I don’t know why but my little finger tells me that it won’t take long before AREVA will eventually exploit that mine. I don’t know, it’s just an impression I have.

It is therefore out of the question that I will take part in this colonialist mining adventure, in this modern-day colonialization. And for those who have any misgivings about my arguments, I sincerely invite them to learn about the wealth of Mali.

Mali is a major producer of gold, but recently it has been designated ... recently as being a country that offers a world class environment ... world class! ... for the exploitation of uranium. How strange! One step closer to a war against Iran, it is obvious.

For all these reasons and in order to not fall into the trap of lies they have set for us, I’ve decided not to give my support to this intervention in Mali, and will therefore vote against it.

And in doing so, I’m being consistent since I never supported in the past our criminal interventions in Libya or in Syria, thereby standing out as the only MP in this country to defend the principle of non-interference and the fight against obscure interests.

I really think it is about time to put an end to our participation in the UN or NATO and get out of the EU if Europe instead of providing peace becomes an agent of aggression and destabilization of sovereign countries in the hands of financial rather than human interests.

Finally, I can only urge our government to remind President Hollande of the obligations resulting from the Geneva Conventions regarding the respect of all prisoners of war. Indeed, I was shocked to hear on television from the mouth of the French President that his intention was to “destroy” – I say “destroy” – Islamist terrorists. So, I wouldn’t want the qualification used to designate the opponents to the Malian regime – it is always convenient today to talk about Islamic terrorists – to be used to circumvent the obligations of any democratic state in terms of respecting the rights of prisoners of war. We expect such respect from the Fatherland of Human Rights.

In conclusion, let me emphasize how lightly our decisions to go to war are made.

First, the government acts without any consent from the Parliament. It appears as though it has the right to do so. It ships equipment, men to Mali. The Parliament subsequently reacts and when it finally does, as today, this institution is normally composed of only 1/3 of its members and much less when it comes to the French-speaking MPs. It is therefore a guilty lightness, which does not really surprise me coming from a Parliament of puppies, submitted to the dictates of political parties.

Voltair Network


HM

How warrior-king Barack Obama redefined war to make it perpetual

During his second inaugural address on 21 January 2013, President Obama offered two aspirational statements that struck many observers as incongruous with administration policies: "A decade of war is now ending" and "We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war."

We should question these observations, not least because of the string of US government plans and activities that increasingly blur the conventional definition of war.

My own list of war-like activities since Obama's inaugural would include:

•             four drone strikes that killed 16 people (all in Yemen);

•             the acknowledgement by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta regarding drones, "We've done that in Pakistan. We're doing it in Yemen and elsewhere. I think the reality is its going to be a continuing tool of national defense in the future";

•             the announcement that the US military would provide intelligence, transportation, and refueling support for the French intervention in Mali;

•             the signing of a US-Niger status of forces agreement that will likely include a drone base for surveillance missions, although US officials "have not ruled out conducting missile strikes at some point";

•             the forthcoming expansion (perhaps quintupling) of US Cyber Command, including "combat mission forces" for offensive cyberattacks;

•             the executive branch's secret legal review determining that Obama "has the broad power to order a pre-emptive strike if the United States detects credible evidence of a major digital attack looming from abroad";

•             the Marine commandant's announcement of a new "crisis response unit" that would be "rapidly employable" to "address crises";

•             the revelation that the United States is negotiating to purchase the Sheraton Hotel in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, to house the growing number of embassy staff, troops, and contractors who implement US security force assistance and counterterrorism operations in that country.

Using lethal force against other countries -- and developing and sustaining the capabilities to do so in perpetuity -- are the distinguishing features of a country at war.

As Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. James Winnefeld, Jr. remarked in November, "We remain a nation at war." In January, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, told Ted Koppel that even after 2014, "Our war in Afghanistan will be complete, but no one has ever suggested that that will end the war." Last week, Secretary Panetta reminded policymakers and the press, as he often does: "We are in a war. We're in a war on terrorism and we've been in that war since 9/11." Finally, during his grueling confirmation hearing to become the next secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel stated:  "We're at war in Afghanistan. We're at war around the world....The fact is we've been at war for 12 years."

Most analysts and journalists have focused on President Obama's expanded scope, intensity, and institutionalization of targeted killings against suspected terrorists and militants.

However, perhaps the enduring legacy of the Obama administration will be its sustained, rigorous effort to shape and define-down the idea of war. Consider in March 2011, during the NATO-led intervention in Libya, when a reporter asked White House spokesperson Jay Carney, "What is this military action?...Is it a war?" He replied, "It is a time-limited, scope-limited military action, in concert with our international partners." When pressed for more details, Carney added:

I'm not going to get into the terminology. I think what it is certainly not is, as others have said, a large-scale military -- open-ended military action -- the kind of which might otherwise be described as a war. There's no ground troops, as the president said. There's no land invasion.

After the war in Libya ended with the extrajudicial killing of Muammar Qaddafi, Obama bragged that US involvement "only cost us $1 billion as opposed to $1 trillion," and "not a single US troop [was] on the ground...not a single US troop was killed. That, I think, is a recipe for success in the future." Thus, the strategic objective of military intervention is to minimize the quantifiable costs, not to develop a plausible strategy that achieves some desired outcome.

Similarly, White House senior counterterrorism adviser John Brennan defended drone strikes in April 2012 by comparing them to "deploying large armies abroad" and "large, intrusive military deployments." Soon afterward, when Carney was asked if the Obama administration relied on the same "loose definition of the declaration of war that President Bush did" in its use of drone strikes, he noted: "Using some of these tools is preferable when you are concerned about civilian casualties than, say, launching a full-scale invasion by land." (Perhaps unconsciously, senior administration officials always antiseptically refer to drone strikes as "targeted strikes" by "tools of national power" and not targeted killings of people by drones.)

This is all part of a systematic effort to remind Americans about the strategic error of invading Iraq, and to create the impression that counterterrorism strategies must incorporate kinetic force. Given the false dichotomy between 170,000 troops in Iraq and drone strikes, who would oppose the latter? Moreover, this implies that military operations involving less than a full-scale invasion or ground troops (which conveniently omits US special operators or private military contractors required) is not considered a "war."

This characterization also assumes that war can only occur when it reaches some predetermined threshold of immediate human or financial costs. The president's "recipe for success in the future" is for military operations that are low-cost and low-risk (in the short-term, as it turned out in Libya) for Americans.

Not factored into the equation are the impact on the people living in the affected countries (and the global hatred for drone strikes) and "secondary and tertiary effects out here that one day you have to live with," as former CIA director Michael Hayden recently said (most notably the growth of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula over the last two years from "several hundred" to a "few thousand" members). The bottom line: if Americans are detached from the repercussions, or shielded by executive branch secrecy and a disinterested Congress, it is not war.

Developments have only further confirmed my November prediction that America will never again have a peacetime president. If America is not engaged in a perpetual war, how else could the White House believe it has the legal authority to authorize an "informed, high-level" government official to order the targeted killing of a US citizen who is not provided the due process protections mandated by the Constitution?

Given how US policymakers describe national security threats, and privilege military responses to them, it should not be surprising that the United States finds itself in a state of perpetual war. Isn't this why we spend $633 billion on defense and $75.4 billion on national and military intelligence, not to mention the 134,508 US service members deployed around the world (not including 68,000 in Afghanistan)?

War is not only the D-Day invasion of Normandy or Operation Desert Storm. Don't let anyone -- even a Nobel Peace Prize laureate -- tell you otherwise

Foreign Policy-By Micah Zenko

 

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The malicious plan to destroy Syria has so far Failed

I know this is old news, but it needs to be stated over and over again: there is no such thing as a “Syrian rebellion.” There are no “Syrian rebels.” It is a US-Israeli created myth. The fighters who are taking on the government in Syria are mercenaries, Saudi-funded Jihadist terrorists, Al-Qaeda groups, and drugged up idiots who have nothing better to do than kill innocent people.

Have people forgotten what a revolution is? What is going on in Syria is pure chaos, terrorism, and destruction, not a revolution. There is no revolutionary leader. There is no revolutionary movement. There are no revolutionary ideas. There is nothing but mayhem, funded and supported by the United States, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, and Turkey. Supporting the anti-Assad fighters means spreading chaos, terrorism and destruction in Syria.

Let’s put aside the rhetoric and look at the facts. Washington wants to export chaos, terrorism, and destruction to the Arab world and the Middle East. It did so in Iraq. It did so in Afghanistan by ordering its Al-Qaeda cells to assassinate national hero Ahmad Shah Massoud two days before 9/11. And it is doing the same in Syria.

The malicious US- Israeli plan to destroy and subjugate Syria has so far failed because of the steadfastness of the Syrian army and people. But Washington’s enthusiastic support for the Jihadist terrorists who are killing Syrians night and day has not waned in the least.

There is a perception that President Barack Obama blocked aid for the terrorists but nothing could be further from the truth. Obama has backed the unpopular Islamist uprising in Syria from day one. He has also put pressure on Turkey’s Erdogan to contribute to the diabolical effort and sacrifice its national interests for US-Israel's benefit.

The White House wants to cultivate an image of a reserved, cautious, and hesitant commander in chief, but the reality is completely different. Just ask any relative of a dead Yemeni, Pakistani, Libyan, Syrian, etc., go down the list. The President is a ruthless killer who has no conscience.

In a boxing match between Obama and Assad I’m in Assad’s corner strictly from a humanitarian and moral perspective. Assad is more moral and humanitarian than Obama. Call me a hopeless idealist, but morality and honesty still matter in my worldview. I want moral and honest leaders to triumph over immoral liars. Of course, that’s not how the world works, but let’s not pretend that Assad is a brute and an oppressor. He is not.

II. USrael Is For The Savages In Syria, Not Against Them

Have you seen this Israeli ad that says, “In any war between the civilised man and the savage, support the civilised man”?

Believe it or not, but Assad is the civilized man, and the rebels are the savages. So Israel is going against its own doctrine by supporting the Jihadist savages in Syria against Assad.

Where is the consistency? How can you be for the civilized man one day and against him the next day when it benefits you?

USrael, by being inconsistent in its actions and unjust towards its neighbours, has opened the gateway for its own fall.

Source: disquietreservations.blogspot.com-By:Saman Mohammadi

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No one is responsible for the Syrian fiasco

As she bowed out, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defended her record in an interview granted to the New York Times. Incidentally, “off the record”, she shared a few secrets with journalists who slipped them into a separate article

Concerned with keeping her options open for the presidential election of 2016, she sought to shift the blame for failure in Syria to President Barack Obama. After two years of secret war, the armed groups charged with justifying a NATO intervention and then failing to overthrow the regime themselves, have lost their "revolutionary" appeal and now look like fanatics. Still alive and in place, President Bashar al-Assad is more than ever impossible to outmaneuver. U.S. diplomacy.

All this comes, according to the outgoing Secretary of State, because no one listened to her. With her former enemy, now turned ally, CIA director David Petraeus, she had submitted to the White House, in late June 2012, a plan of military support for the combatant groups. But President Obama, solely concerned about his reelection, rejected this in favor of the Geneva Communiqué brokered by Kofi Annan.

The idea would have been to take things in hand because they had been badly outsourced by France, the United Kingdom and the Gulf States, who had leaned on repulsive jihadists. Instead, the Secretary of State was working to "create a legitimate opposition which would have served, through negotiations, to delegitimize President al-Assad." To repair the subcontractors’ errors, she had proposed that the United States arm and manage combatant groups directly.

During his hearing before the Armed Services Committee of the Senate, Chief of Staff Martin Dempsey confirmed the existence of this plan. He added that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and himself were in favor.

The truth is less elegant. By admitting that she worked to overthrow the regime by creating a "legitimate opposition", that is to say "democratic and multi-faith", Mrs. Clinton admits that there was no such opposition and that there still is none. Plus, she admits that legitimacy was and remains on the side of President al-Assad.

By publishing the fact that she presented an action plan to President Obama in June, she admits she has always been opposed to the Geneva declaration. And all indications are that it is she and David Petraeus who sabotaged it at the time. Contrary to what she declares, concerns about reelection did not push Barack Obama to reject the plan, but rather to not immediately punish those who sabotaged Geneva. The White House waited until the day after the election victory to force General Petraeus to resign. Perhaps it had also taken the required steps to neutralize Hillary Clinton and keep her away from her office for a lengthy month.

General Dempsey’s revelations about his support and that of Leon Panetta also aim to open the umbrella. However, as their responsibilities are different, they do this in a different manner. For them, declaring that they were ready to intervene shows that they have not failed and are in no way responsible for the fiasco. In reality, it is they who, following the Russian and Chinese vetoes, validated the analysis according to which one could topple the Syrian regime using "contras" on a grand scale.

Be that as it may, the fact that the outgoing leaders in Washington seek to justify themselves confirms that the page is turned. Obama is changing his team and his policy.

Source: powerfullinfo- by:Thierry Meyssan

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