Globalized Torture http://sjlendman.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/globalized-torture.html
Russia Today reports regularly on what’s happening. On April 12, it headlined “Day of Action to Close Guantanamo: US Cities protest Obama’s inaction.”
Globalized Torture http://sjlendman.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/globalized-torture.html
For decades, North Korea’s wanted normalized relations with Washington. It’s been repeatedly rebuffed. Promises made were broken. America needs enemies.
North Korea’s straight from central casting. Media scoundrels take full advantage. On April 2, Washington Post editors headlined “Answer North Korea with financial sanctions,” saying:
Kim Jong Un “managed to concoct a fresh provocative announcement aimed at Washington.” He declared both Koreas “were back to a ‘state of war.’ ”
“Could this untested, 30-year-old dictator be preparing to start a war with the United States or South Korea? The worrying reality is that it is virtually impossible for outsiders to know for sure.”
Most likely he’s “rally(ing) support behind the regime and to pressure the United States and its allies into opening negotiations.”
“As previous US administrations have learned the hard way, answering provocations with diplomacy will not lead to concessions by North Korea – only to another round of provocations.”
Hit ‘em again harder, urge Post editors. Pile new sanctions on current ones. Escalate tensions higher. Play the blame game. Denounce Pyongyang for Washington’s bellicosity and provocations. Point fingers the wrong way.
Wall Street Journal editors headlined “Calling Kim’s Bluff,” saying:
He’s “manufacturing a crisis to secure high-level talks with the US, as his father and grandfather did.”
“The Obama Administration has so far avoided the Bush-Clinton negotiations trap, and we hope that continues. While an accident or miscalculation could restart the Korean War, there are also reasons to think the North’s acting up is all a bluff.”
Washington “efforts pressure Kim into better behavior will come to nothing if it caves now and grants formal talks. (It’s) no time to go wobbly.”
Journal editors omitted demands for more sanctions. Otherwise, they marched in lockstep with Post ones. Blame North Korea for Washington’s imperial aims.
Hold it responsible for acting in response to justifiable fears. Increase America’s regional presence. Prioritize gunboat diplomacy. Intensify saber rattling. Escalate tensions. Avoid dialogue. Show Pyongyang Washington won’t be bullied. It’s standard media scoundrel policy.
North Korea poses no threat. It wants normalized relations. America needs enemies. Pyongyang’s used for that purpose.
“It’s North Korea, Again,” headlined The New York Times.
“Recent weeks of saber-rattling and military escalation have affirmed a harsh truth: North Korea – which is much closer to putting a nuclear warhead on a missile than Iran and has threatened to strike the United States and its allies – is the more urgent challenge. The major powers still haven’t figured out how to solve it.”
“The Obama administration was prudent to bolster its forces in the region.”
“….Washington has an obligation (to) defend the homeland (and) reassure South Korea and Japan that America’s defense commitments remain firm.”
As usual, Times editors twisted truth. North Korea threatens no one. It wants peace, not war. It wants its sovereign rights respected. It wants US provocations to stop.
It opposes Obama’s Asia pivot. It does so for good reason. America’s greater military presence threatens its security. It compromises regional peace.
Gunboat diplomacy escalates tensions. It’s done for that purpose. It causes instability. It creates problems. It doesn’t solve them.
North Korea’s justifiably concerned. America’s military presence is menacing. Its exercises are provocative. Key Resolve began in February. It’s now completed. Eagle Fold runs through April 30.
Overall, around 13,000 US forces and 200,000 South Korean ones are involved. So are nuclear capable B-2 stealth bombers, F-22 stealth fighters, and B-52s. San Diego-based USS Decatur was heading home. It was re-missioned. It’s on alert in western Pacific waters.
Pentagon spokesman George Little said a second guided missile destroyer, the USS John McCain, was deployed. It arrived at a “pre-determined location.” It’s positioned off the Korean peninsula.
Both ships are prepared “to perform a missile defense operations as assigned by our combatant commander. (They’re) poised to respond to any missile threats to our allies or our territory.”
Missile defense systems will be installed in Guam. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said it’s to defend it from a “real and clear danger” from North Korea. Others were installed in Alaska and America’s west coast.
Pyongyang raised concerns. It said “North-South relations will be entering a state of war and all issues raised between the North and the South will be handled accordingly.”
“The long-standing situation of the Korean Peninsula being neither at peace nor at war is finally over.”
If Washington and/or Seoul attack, conflict “will not be limited to a local war. (It will) develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war.”
It bears repeating. North Korea wants peace, not war. Conflict assures losers, not winners. Heated rhetoric hopes to get America’s attention.
It bears full responsibility for rising tensions. According to Russian former chief of staff General Yuri Baluyevsky, Washington and NATO may preemptively attack Russia and China.
Nuclear weapons may be used. NATO’s missile shield intends to protect against retaliatory strikes.
“They expect that their opponents will respond with up to 100 missiles, not with 1,500 or 2,000. They are dreaming of being able to intercept the whole bulk of a hundred missiles and make themselves invulnerable after their first strike,” he added.
Little wonder North Korea expresses concerns. Normalized relations could have been restored decades ago. Instead, Pyongyang’s used as Washington’s regional punching bag.
At issue is justifying Obama’s Asia pivot. It involves advancing America’s military footprint. It targets China and Russia.
North Korea’s a convenient pretext. If it didn’t exist, it’d be invented. Claiming it threatens South Korea and Japan doesn’t wash. Washington’s the sole regional menace. It’s greater presence bodes ill.
Last June, then Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said around 60% of US naval forces will be based in the Pacific by 2020.
Strengthening America’s presence is part of its new imperial strategy. Challenging China is prioritized. At issue is isolating Beijing regionally and undermining its influence. It’s a recipe for heightened tensions and potential confrontation.
Comparable Chinese or Russian presence in US waters would be pretext for war. So would their bases in neighboring regional countries.
America believes global territories and waters are its own. It works because other nations don’t object. Japan and South Korea go along. They accept what they should reject.
Last May, Obama met with then Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in Washington. Strengthening strategic ties and boosting military activities were discussed.
A joint statement pledged to “further enhance our bilateral security and defense cooperation.” A commitment was affirmed to “US strategic rebalancing to the Asia Pacific.”
Plans are to establish “a more geographically distributed and operationally resilient force posture in the region.”
Washington has been “rebalancing” in East Asia for years. Strategy calls for strengthening military, economic, and political ties with Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam.
China and Russia are targeted. Doing so risks potential confrontation. Beating up on North Korea increases the possibility. Conflict isn’t likely now. Ahead, anything is possible.
Longstanding US/Israeli ties remain firm. Obama’s visit reinforces them. It does more.
It assures continued support. It endorses hardline extremism. It affirms occupation harshness. It lets Israel do what it pleases.
America’s special relationship does more harm than good. It’s wrongheaded. Israel is more strategic liability than asset. So are other regional allies.
Flynt and Hillary Leverett are former insiders. Their views matter. Their book titled “Going to Iran” discusses why Washington “must come to terms with the Islamic Republic.”
It shows no signs of doing so. It’s decades overdue. An entirely new approach is needed, they argue. America’s regional position is disastrous. It’s delusional.
After “failed wars-cum-occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan; a war on terror that has turned Muslim societies ever more firmly against U.S. policy; and de facto support for open-ended Israeli occupation of Arab populations, America’s (regional) position is in free fall.”
Attacking Iran is madness, they argue. Current strategy suggests it’s likely. Engaging Tehran is essential. Candidate Obama promised to do so. Saying his efforts failed doesn’t wash.
He never tried. It’s high time he did. He refuses to acknowledge Iran’s peaceful nuclear program. Harsh sanctions tell Iranians America’s a strategic enemy.
Iranian leaders want better relations with Washington. They’ve wanted it for decades. They want it based on “mutual respect, equality, and American acceptance of the Islamic Republic.”
Engaging Iran responsibly is Obama’s greatest foreign policy challenge. He’s fallen woefully short. His one-sided Israeli support is wrongheaded.
He’s heading America for greater trouble. He’s making world public opinion more anti-American. His agenda is strategically disastrous. He refuses to do the right thing. He shows no signs of changing.
Fyodor Lukyanov chairs Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy. He’s also editor of Russia in Global Affairs. His views matter. He believes Washington’s gripped by “strategic insanity.”
His Al-Monitor article explains. He discussed America’s Iraq war. He said Russia believes US foreign policy reflects madness. He wrote as follows:
“The conclusions drawn by Putin from the situation surrounding Iraq were concerned less with Russian-American relations, and more with general idea of how the world works in the twenty-first century.”
“The strong do what they want: they don’t contemplate international law, global reality or the costs incurred by themselves and others.”
“In the 10 years since the Iraq war, Putin’s worldview has only strengthened and expanded. Now he believes that the strong not only do what they want, but also fail to understand what they do.”
“From Russian leadership’s point of view, the Iraq War now looks like the beginning of the accelerated destruction of regional and global stability, undermining the last principles of sustainable world order.”
“Everything that’s happened since – including flirting with Islamists during the Arab Spring, US policies in Libya and its current policies in Syria – serve as evidence of strategic insanity that has taken over the last remaining superpower.”
He says Moscow’s view on Syria reflects realpolitik. It believes targeting governments it opposes assures dangerous destabilization. Doing so affects Russia. Resisting might makes right is essential.
On the tenth Iraq war anniversary, America shows no remorse, no lessons learned. Expect more wars to follow. Allying with Israel assures it.
War rages in Syria. It’s Washington’s war. The road to Tehran runs through Damascus. Peace prospects are dead. Washington and Israel are in lockstep on Iran. Tactics and timing alone differ.
Palestinians are entirely shut out. Their rights don’t matter. During Obama’s visit, Israeli security forces violently arrested dozens of Palestinian children. Some were aged 10 or younger.
They’re held on baseless charges. They were on their way to school. Israel’s Youth Law requires parents or an adult be present during interrogations. Shin Bet pays it no heed. Children are isolated from parents. Obama’s visit continues.
Haaretz said he “must make clear to Israel” that continued occupation harms bilateral relations. It compromises America’s regional position.
Without US pressure, Israeli policies won’t change. They’re hardline. They’re longstanding. They’re lawless. They spurn peace.
On March 19, an Institute for Middle East Studies (IMEU) fact sheet explained.
In the 1990s, Likud opposition leader Netanyahu criticized Oslo. After becoming prime minister in 1996, he dragged out ongoing negotiations.
He delayed or refused to implement signed agreements. According to aides, Bill Clinton reacted angrily saying: “Who the f..k does he think he is? Who’s the f….ing superpower here?”
Netanyahu increased settlement construction. Yitzhak Shamir advised him to do so. Had he remained prime minister, he said, he’d “have conducted negotiations on autonomy for 10 years, and in the meantime we would have reached half a million” settlers.
In the past 20 years, Israel’s settler population doubled. It numbers 600,000. It increases daily. It’s on stolen Palestinian land.
In 2001, Netanyahu bragged about “put(ting) an end to the Oslo Accords.” Regarding US pressure, he said: “America is a thing you can move very easily.”
He told settlers that the best way to deal with Palestinians is to “beat them up, not once but repeatedly. Beat them up so it hurts so badly, until it’s unbearable.”
In 2005, he resigned from Sharon’s government. He protested his Gaza disengagement. He ignored Sharon’s explanation. He said withdrawal helps prevent Palestinian self-determination. It relieves world pressure to permit it.
Sharon advisor Dov Weisglass said disengaging provides the “formaldehyde necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians until (they) turn into Finns.”
As prime minister in 2009, Netanyahu’s Bar-Ilan University speech affirmed support for Palestinian self-determination. It did so with impossible conditions. They included:
In May 2011, Netanyahu addressed a joint congressional session. He reiterated his views on Palestinian self-determination. He refused to accept pre-1967 borders.
He said Israel would retain and expand large settlements in and around East Jerusalem. Doing so cuts the West Bank in half.
He added that Israel will maintain “a longterm military (Jordan Valley) presence.” Doing so controls Palestine’s most fertile land. It also controls all entry and exit points.
During Netanyahu’s two terms as prime minister, he accelerated settlement construction. He continues doing so now. He wants “facts on the ground” established. Doing so prevents Palestinian self-determination.
In January 2013, Israel’s Peace Now said Netanyahu’s policies “disclose a clear intention to use settlements to systematically undermine and render impossible a realistic, viable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Years ago it was possible. No longer. Israel controls over half the West Bank. It has much of East Jerusalem. It steals more Palestinian land daily.
Netanyahu and likeminded hardliners want all valued parts. They’re hellbent on getting it. Palestinian rights don’t matter. They never did.
On March 21, Press TV headlined “Obama gives fresh boost to Western media war against Iran.”
He repeated baseless accusations. He cited its nuclear program. He did so at a joint press conference with Netanyahu. He said “all options are on the table.”
Washington “will do what is necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining the world’s worst weapons.”
He endorsed a unilateral Israeli attack, saying:
“Each country has to make its own decisions when it comes to the awesome decision to engage in any kind of military action.”
“I would not expect (Israel’s) prime minister (to) make a decision and defer (it) to any another country any more than the United States would defer our decisions about what was important for our national security.”
Expect nothing positive from his visit. He’s reckless. He’s militantly hardline. He’s unbending. He defends the status quo, said Amira Hass.
If America’s first Black president can’t change things at home, “why should anyone expect him to do anything against the Jewish separation regime that has been created here between the river and the sea?”
Obama ignores reality at home and abroad. He’s silent as “Israel devours more Palestinian land, expels, destroys, arrests, obstructs, divides and appropriates.”
He blames Palestinians for Israeli crimes. They have no friend in Washington. World leaders pay them only lip service. They’re on their own to survive. Hopefully they’re up to the challenge.
Chalmers Johnson called the CIA the president’s private army. Imperial Rome had its praetorian guard. It served and protected emperors.
It puts them beyond checks and balances. What’s constitutionally mandated doesn’t exist.
CIA originally had five missions. Four dealt with collection, coordination and dissemination of intelligence.
The fifth is vague. It lets agency operatives “perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security as the National Security Council may direct.”
This mandate turned “CIA into the personal, secret, unaccountable army of the president.” Doing so prioritizes lawless covert operations.
They include overthrowing democratically elected governments, assassinating heads of state and key officials, propping up friendly despots, snatching individuals for “extraordinary rendition,” treating them harshly in torture prisons, and using drones as instruments of state terror.
CIA is more active than ever, said Johnson. It’s mostly a global Mafia hit squad. It’s incompatible with democracy.
Its “bag of dirty tricks (reflects) a defining characteristic of the imperial presidency.”
Its “unchecked power” threatens freedom. Its existence “shorten(s) the life of the American republic.” It “menace(s) democratic rule.”
On March 8, rogue senators approved John Brennan. They did so 63 – 34. He’s new CIA chief. Voting followed Rand Paul’s filibuster. After 13 hours, he caved.
He omitted explaining what’s most important. He refused to condemn drone killing. He ignored Brennan’s previous and current role. He focused solely on killing Americans. He stressed doing it domestically.
He took issue with Attorney General Eric Holder. He wrote Paul. He said it’s OK to kill Americans domestically under “extraordinary” circumstances.
A brief follow-up letter assuaged Paul, saying:
“It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ “
“The answer to that question is no.”
He lied. So did Press Secretary Jay Carney. He said Obama “has not and would not use drone strikes against American citizens on American soil.”
Targeted assassinations reflect official US policy. They’re longstanding. They occur worldwide. No one’s safe anywhere. Heads of state are vulnerable. So are US citizens.
A bathroom break ended Paul’s filibuster. Serial killer Brennan now heads CIA. He’s Obama’s maestro of murder. His mandate is kill, kill, kill. Expect him to take full advantage. No one’s safe anywhere.
In January, the New York Daily News headlined “Pull back the curtain on drones,” saying:
“Brennan, more than any other single official, represents” Washington’s lethal drone policy.
“No politically appointed official in US history has played such a prominent role in killing so many people outside of a war zone as John Brennan.”
He was heavily involved in Bush/Cheney’s torture policy. A classified Senate Intelligence Committee report includes lawless interrogation practices.
Committee chairwoman Diane Feinstein (D. CA) called it “one of the most significant oversight efforts in the history of the United States Senate, and by far the most important oversight activity ever conducted by this committee.”
“The report uncovers startling details about the CIA detention and interrogation program and raises critical questions about intelligence operations and oversight.”
“I?.believe this report will settle the debate once and for all over whether our nation should ever employ coercive interrogation techniques such as those detailed in this report.”
She added that creating “longterm, clandestine ‘black sites’ and (using) ‘enhanced-interrogation techniques’ were terrible mistakes.”
Neither she nor other congressional members do anything to stop them. They continue aggressively under Obama. Feinstein knows but won’t say.
Straightaway in office, Obama planned to name Brennan CIA head. At the time, The New York Times called it “politically difficult” to do so.
He chose Leon Panetta and David Petraeus instead. Michael Morell twice served as acting head. On March 8, Brennan took office.
Most Democrats support him. So do some Republicans. Congressional profiles in courage are few and far between. They’re practically non-existent.
Obama said “the the Senate has recognized in John the qualities I value so much – his determination to keep America safe, his commitment to working with Congress, his ability to build relationships with foreign partners, and his fidelity to the values that define us as a nation.”
He added that CIA’s now headed by one of its own. Under Brennan, Murder, Inc. elevates to a higher level. He reflects ideological extremism. He’s comfortable committing state terror.
Appointing him sanitizes crimes of war and against humanity. They’re too grave to ignore. Committing them is official US policy.
Expect drone wars to continue. They’ll expand worldwide. So will targeted assassinations.
Rule of law principles don’t matter. Imperial priorities take precedence. Counterterrorism takes no prisoners.
State-sponsored terror’s in good hands with John Brennan. Obama authorized him to kill.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity“
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.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.