Category Archives: Stephen Lendman

Petraeus: Resignation or Sacking?


by Stephen Lendman

Some observers call Washington a city of scandals. Lots of intrigue reflects daily life in the nation’s capital. Elected and appointed officials come and go.

 
With Paula Broadwell, Gen. David Petraeus let his guard down. Credit Image: WP
 
Most often it’s uneventful. Other times once powerful figures fell from grace or scandals affecting them rose to the level of affixing a “gate” suffix on what happened.

Watergate, Whitewatergate, Iran/Contragate, Koreagate, Travelgate, and Troopergate among others come to mind.

Perhaps Petraeusgate will enter the lexicon of political scandals. You read it here first.
Forget resignation over extramarital sex nonsense unless state secrets were compromised. Lots of elected and appointed Washington officials had affairs.
Many likely have current ones.

Resignations don’t generally follow. Newt Gingrich survived sex and ethics scandals. He resigned as House Speaker after the Republicans faired poorly in 1998 off-year elections.

In 1999, extramarital sex defrocked Speaker-elect Bob Livingstone. He could have stayed, but opted to become a high-paid DC lobbyist.

The nations reaction to the affair was overwhelming and amusing ranking this Political “affair” at No. 1.

Extramarital affairs didn’t defrock past notable officials.

They included Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Buchanan, Grover Cleveland, Warren Harding, Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower (during WW II), Jack Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Bill Clinton.

Unconfirmed rumors also surfaced about GHW and GW Bush.

Jimmy Carter once admitted to having “lusted in his heart,” but never let it go further than that.

As more information and rumors surface, expect lots more written about Petraeus. Another emperor has no clothes.

Petraeus was more paper hero than real one.

The man behind the image was fake. He’s a shadow of how he and spin doctors portrayed him publicly.

Competence didn’t earn him four stars. Former peers accused him of brown-nosing his way to the top. It made him a brand as much as general. Talk about him being presidential material surfaced.
In 2007, Time magazine made him runner-up as Person of the Year. The designation is as meaningless and unworthy as Nobel Peace awards.

So is current and previous praise. John McCain once called him “one of (our) greatest generals.” His judgment leaves much to be desired.

He’s not the best and brightest on Capitol Hill. He once admitted to graduating near the bottom of his Naval Academy class.

White House and media spin praised Petraeus’ performance as Iraq commander and CENTCOM head. It was falsified hype. Performance contradicted facts. Iraq was more disaster than success. His Afghanistan surge failed. Syria on his CIA watch didn’t fare better.

Before he fell from grace, he was called aggressive in nature, an innovative thinker on counterinsurgency warfare, a talisman, a white knight, a do-or-die competitive legend, and a man able to turn defeat into victory.


In 2008, James Petras described him well in an article titled:
“General Petraeus: Zionism’s Military Poodle. From Surge to Purge to Dirge.”

He explained what spin doctors concealed. He quoted Petraeus’ former commander, Admiral William Fallon, calling him “a piece of brown-nosing chicken shit.” Petras added:

“In theory and strategy, in pursuit of defeating the Iraqi resistance, General Petraeus was a disastrous failure, an outcome predictable form the very nature of his appointment and his flawed wartime reputation.”

The generalissimo is more myth than man. He shamelessly supported Israel “in northern Iraq and the Bush ‘Know Nothings’ in charge of Iraq and Iran policy planning.”

Petraeus had few competitors to head CENTCOM. It was because other candidates wouldn’t stoop as low as he did. He shamelessly flacked for Israel and supported Bush administration belligerence.
Petras criticized his “slavish adherence to….confrontation with Iran. Blaming Iran for his failed military policies served a double purpose – it covered up his incompetence and it secured the support of” uberhawk Senator Joe Lieberman.

Doing so also served his unstated presidential ambitions. He climbed the ladder of success by being super-hawkish, brown-nosing the right superiors, lying to Congress, surviving the scorn of some peers, hiding his failures, hyping a fake Iranian threat, supporting Israel, unjustifiably claiming Iraq success, and boasting how he’d do it throughout the region.

In other words, he hoped to rise to the top by manufacturing successes and concealing failures. Manipulated media hype made a hero out of what Petras called “a disastrous failure” with a record to prove it.

Petraeus benefitted from supporting Bush imperial ambitions and Israel’s regional agenda. At one time, the Israeli Lobby loved him. Perhaps no longer after March 2010. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, he said:

“The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR (Area of Operations).”
“Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of US favoritism for Israel.”
“Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of US partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world.”
“Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas.”

In other words, Petraeus echoed others saying Israeli interests often run counter to America’s. The so-called special relationship at times does more harm than good.

At the same time, Petraeus very much supports Washington’s imperial agenda. Apparently he believes achieving it depends on delinking from Israeli interests when they harm America’s.
Anti-Defamation League head Abe Foxman responded angrily, saying:

“Gen. Petraeus has simply erred in linking the challenges faced by the US and coalition forces in the region to a solution of the Israeli-Arab conflict, and blaming extremist activities on the absence of peace and the perceived US favoritism for Israel. This linkage is dangerous and counterproductive.”
This may have contributed to his leaving. Challenging Israeli Lobby power is high-risk. Perhaps it decided Petraeus had to go.

Whether so or not, he’s a four-star, now defrocked, failure. Another paper emperor has no clothes. He never did but now we know.

Other opinions surfaced on why he left. WND breaking news said:

Senate may call Petraeus to testify about Benghazi failures.

“Forget what you’ve heard – could this be why Petraeus resigned?” Speculation “focus(ed) in large part on his role in an alleged cover-up of the attacks against the U.S. mission in Benghazi this past September.”

Overlooked are secret CIA Benghazi operations. Involved are heavy weapons sent to Syrian opposition fighters. Petraeus left days before his scheduled congressional testimony.

He’ll either come voluntarily or be subpoenaed. What he’ll be asked or say remains to be seen. If it’s too controversial, expect closed hearings.

The Benghazi operation is erroneously called a US consulate. It’s “a meeting place to coordinate aid for the rebel-led insurgencies in the Middle East.”
Tasks performed include “collaborating with Arab countries on the recruitment of fighters – including jihadists – to target Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.”
Consulate designation provides cover. Obama and Clinton call the post a “US mission.” The State Department lists no consulate in Benghazi.

WND reported earlier that ambassador Stevens “played a central role in recruiting (anti-Assad) jihadists.” He coordinated with Saudi and Qatari efforts. Fighters go to Syria via Turkey.

Washington claims only non-lethal aid is provided. In fact, the CIA and perhaps Pentagon are actively involved in arming anti-Assad fighters.

Agency efforts to conceal its operations may have contributed to Stevens’ death. Perhaps Petraeus is blamed and was sacked. Letting him resign for any reason is how Washington usually orchestrates exits. Why he chose extramarital sex he’ll have to explain.

Robert Parry said Petraeus’ departure “removes the last high-ranking neoconservative holdover from George W. Bush’s administration and gives the reelected President Barack Obama more maneuvering room to negotiate a settlement over Iran’s nuclear program.”

David Petraeus, a two-star general during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, with Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace.

Petraeus wasn’t an Obama favorite. He had suspect loyalties. An unnamed administration source said “some key figures close to the President wanted (him) out, and there was no sadness” to see him go.
The New York Times and Washington Post said FBI investigations began months age into a “potential criminal matter.” It wasn’t focused on Petraeus.

Information surfaced about a potentially compromised computer he used. Security concerns were raised. FBI agents discussed this with him.

An unnamed congressional official briefed on the matter urged him to fall on his sword and leave. Whether he did or was pushed who knows.

Parry thinks Obama is “clearing the decks (to) move ahead more aggressively with his own foreign policy.” Defense Secretary Gates is gone. Now Petraeus, and word is Clinton and others want out or will be replaced.

Perhaps Obama “learned a key lesson of modern Washington: surrounding yourself with ideological and political rivals may sound good, but it is usually an invitation to have your policies sabotaged.”

A Final Comment
Ray McGovern is a retired CIA officer (1963 – 1990), turned activist and political critic. He’s also a valued Progressive Radio News Hour guest.

In April 2011, he wrote about “Petraeus at CIA – Can He Tell the Truth?”

He said Obama picking him as CIA director “raise(d) troubling questions.”

“What if CIA analysts assess(ed)” his Iraq and Afghanistan performance as failure? Would he accept or punish “critical analysis?”

“The Petraeus appointment also suggests that the President places little value on getting the straight scoop on these key war-related issues.”

“If he did want the kind of intelligence analysis that, at times, could challenge the military, why is he giving the CIA job to a general with a huge incentive to gild the lily regarding the ‘progress’ made under his command?”

McGovern compared Petraeus to the “ghost of Westmoreland Past.” His Southeast Asia record included “deliberate distortion and dishonesty.” Intelligence analysts proved it.

Progress he touted was failure. Petraeus appears to be Westmoreland redux. Lots of evidence confirms it. Now he’s gone. Expect lots more said about him. It remains to be seen how much dirty linen will be aired.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

 

His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”

http://www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html

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

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

New York Times Opposes Palestinian Self-Determination

My PhotoDismissiveness defines longstanding editorial policy. Palestinians have no friend in Times Square.

 by Stephen Lendman

Longstanding NYT articles, op-eds, and editorials are notoriously one-sided for Israel. Palestinian rights don’t matter, only Jewish ones.

Life in Occupied Palestine harshness goes largely unreported. Crimes of war and against humanity are ignored. An earlier If Americans Knew report explained “highly disturbing patterns” of distorted, one-sided coverage.

Little changed from then to now. In February 2012, Jodi Rudoren became Times Jerusalem bureau chief. Like earlier ones, she’s Jewish. A previous article quoted Alison Weir asking “(w)ho is Jodi Rudoren?”

Previously she reported on domestic issues. It’s unclear what she knows about Israel/Palestine. She admits having little regional knowledge. She hopes to be a fast learner. Her marching orders are clear.

She’s uncomfortable addressing Israeli torture, murder, and other lawless policies. At best she says some call West Bank settlements “controversial.” International law calls them illegal. No ambiguity exists.

Early in her tenure, she connected with David Ha’ivri. He’s an extremist settler rabbi. He’s involved with Jewish Defense League founder Meir Kahane’s Kach group.

Kahanism is known for racist, ultranationalist, terrorist policies. Israel, America, EU nations and Canada declared Kach a terrorist organization. Kahanists call Arabs enemies of Jews and Israel.

Times editors bear full responsibility for pro-Israeli bias. On November 4, their editorial headlined “Palestinians at the UN, Again.” The title alone expresses arrogance and dismissiveness.

“With peace negotiations at an impasse since 2008 and unlikely to resume any time soon,” it said, “the Palestinians have only one diplomatic card left — their status at the United Nations — and once again they are trying to play it.”

Fact check
On and off for nearly four decades, so-called “peace” talks were stillborn from inception. Illusion masks an Israeli/Washington partnership intolerant of peace.

Israeli and US leaders don’t negotiate. They demand. Palestinians get nothing but take-it-or-leave it diplomacy. Conflict resolution isn’t possible because Palestinians have no legitimate peace partner.
Privately, Netanyahu calls talks a waste of time. Going through the motions assures institutionalized injustice. Times editors don’t notice or care.

“Last year, the Palestinian Authority toyed with submitting an application for full United Nations membership, but backed off in the face of overwhelming opposition from the United States and Israel.”

Now they plan to seek “nonmember observer state” status. They’ll likely get it. “It is not a move that will do anyone any good. It will not change facts on the ground, and it will come at a cost.”
“Israel and the United States say unilateral moves like these by the Palestinians violate the 1993 Oslo accords, which were intended to pave the way to a ‘final status agreement’ within five years.”
“And it is clear that a negotiated deal is the only way to ensure the creation of a viable Palestinian state and guarantee Israel’s security.”

Fact check
Previous articles explained that Palestinian statehood was established on November 15, 1988. At the time, the PLO adopted the Palestinian Declaration of Independence. It’s official and binding. Palestine satisfies all essential criteria for sovereign independence and full de jure UN membership.
On May 11, 1949, General Assembly Resolution 273 recommended UN membership for Israel. On November 5, 1949, it was officially granted. It was conditional on its government accepting and implementing Resolutions 181 and 194.

On November 29, 1947, the General Assembly passed Resolution 181, the Palestine Partition Plan.
It granted 56% of historic Palestine to Jews (with one-third of the population) and 42% to Palestinians.

It designated Jerusalem international city (a corpus separatum – separate body) under a UN Trusteeship Council. It called for an Independent Arab state by October 1, 1948.
It asked “all Governments and peoples to refrain from taking any action which might hamper or delay the carrying out of these recommendations.”

It called for the Security Council to be empowered with “the necessary measures as provided for in the plan for its implementation.”

Israel’s 1948 “War of Independence” intervened. On May 14, 1948, a Jewish state was proclaimed. It’s on stolen land. It’s on 78% of historic Palestine.

International law affirms the universal right of return. It’s not negotiable.

UN Resolution 194 (December 1948) said “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage which, under the principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the governments or authorities responsible.”

The General Assembly affirmed the right of return 135 or more times. Residents everywhere outside their native lands for any length of time have similar rights. Diaspora Palestinians have no fewer ones than others.

They’re not negotiable. International law affirms them. They’re binding and won’t change. Oslo Accord provisions represented unilateral Palestinian surrender. Negotiating terms were vaguely defined.

Timelines and outcomes weren’t specified. Israeli officials obstruct and delay. Concessions aren’t made. They never will be.

Official policy reflects occupation harshness and land theft. It’s hard-wired and unchanged. Negotiations accomplish nothing. Times reports don’t explain.

Perhaps as an afterthought, its editorial admitted that Netanyahu refuses serious compromise. Uniting with Avigdor Lieberman suggests “even more hard-line” policies ahead.

The Times shamelessly endorsed Obama. It did so for the wrong reasons. It ignored nearly four years of unprincipled leadership. It said, “Whatever chance exists of a new American peace initiative after the election is likely to vanish if Mitt Romney wins.”

Implied is that Obama’s reelection holds the best chance for Israel/Palestinian conflict resolution. Ignored is why no progress occurred during his first term.

He rejects Palestinian self-determination. He won’t accept full or partial UN membership. He’s one-sidedly pro-Israel. Rhetoric alone separates him from Romney. Both represent rogue governance.
The Times also rejects Palestinian statehood. It does so by ignoring what’s existed for 24 years. Dismissiveness defines longstanding editorial policy. Palestinians have no friend in Times Square.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
 

His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”

http://www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html

 
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

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Caught in the Act

 
My PhotoWashington wages direct and proxy wars dirty. Favored allies are cold-blooded killers. Cutthroats are America’s favorites. The more vicious the better. America’s so-called responsibility to protect (R2P) is a license to brutalize and kill.
 
Guns for hire willing to commit unspeakable crimes for a buck are recruited, armed, funded, trained, and deployed to commit the most heinous ones imaginable. Nothing too gruesome is out of bounds. Killing goes on daily like sport.
 
Massacres are strategically timed. Last June, death squads murdered over 100 Houla civilians. They were executed in cold blood. Children were slaughtered like adults.
 
Image
 
FABRICATION OF THE SYRIAN TERRORIST OPPOSITION
Fabricator Khaled abo Salah posted on his facebook account pictures calming to be “the massacre of Hawli” while in fact it is form the massacre of Karm Al Zaitoun made by the terrorist fundamentalist gangs of the FSA with their signatures on the walls.. they killed and mutilated many families following their systematic genocide after they rape women infront of the children they shoot the women then kill the children


Pro-government loyalists were targeted. Assad was wrongfully blamed for terrorist killings and atrocities. It wasn’t the first time or last.
 
Weeks later, death squads murdered dozens of Treimseh civilians. Assad was again blamed. Western and UN Human Rights Council reports were fabricated. Media scoundrels repeated them like gospel. Facts don’t interfere with propaganda. It’s standard policy.
 
Last March, a rare exception reported accurately. Der Spiegel discussed the “Homs burial brigade.” An insurgent “executioner” said he and comrades “kill in the name of the Syrian revolution. They leave torture (to) the so-called interrogation brigade….”
 
“They do the ugly work.” He believes in violence, he explained. He “cut the throats of four men.” He machine-gunned many more. Executions happen regularly, he said.
 
Assad loyalists are targeted, brutalized and murdered. Women and children aren’t spared. Der Spiegel’s “executioner” article explained. The publication said little more by way of follow-up.
 
Last March, Human Rights Watch also reported on Syrian “Armed Opposition Groups Committing Abuses.” An “Open Letter to the Leaders of the Syrian Opposition” accused them of targeted killings, summary executions, kidnappings for ransom, torture, hostage taking, and other violent crimes.
 
HRW’s moment of truth didn’t last. It’s a reliable imperial ally. Amnesty International and similar groups replicate its anti-Assad propaganda. They’re well funded to support US interests.
 
The latest death squad atrocity was too obvious to conceal. On November 1, Reuters headlined “Syrian rebels kill 28 soldiers in checkpoint attacks,” saying:
 
Attacks occurred on three Saraqeb checkpoints. They straddle Syria’s main north/south highway. Even Assad opposition supporters can’t hide what happened. Video evidence showed it.
 
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokesman Rupert Colville called it “very likely that this was a war crime, another one.”
 
“Accountability will follow,” he added. How and in what form he didn’t say. Expect little more than rhetoric.
 
Throughout the conflict, Washington Post reports have been consistently one-sided. This time, fingers pointed the right way. “Syrian rebels execute unarmed government soldiers; dozens killed in fighting,” it said.
 
Graphic video footage documented what happened. It’s “not the first time that rebel fighters appear to have committed war crimes.”
 
Summary executions happen regularly. Soldiers and pro-Assad loyalists are targeted. Video posted online Thursday was filmed at Saraqeb’s Hamisho checkpoint.
 
“It shows rebel fighters kicking and insulting government soldiers, who are spread out on the ground. Some of them appear to be wounded.” One pleaded: “I did not hit anyone, by Allah. I did not kill anyone.”
 
“The man filming the video tells the soldier to shut up and directs his comrades, ‘Organize them for me.’ The fighters pull the soldiers to the center of the room and open fire on the group, kicking up clouds of dust. The shooting continues for 20 seconds.”
 
“A second video posted online Thursday, which appears to have been filmed shortly after the execution, shows at least three other bodies spread out around the checkpoint.”
 
“The man filming approaches two of the bodies and says, ‘The shabiha of Assad, the dogs.’ ”
 
The term refers to pro-Assad fighters defending Syria against Western-recruited death squads. In other words, they’re anti-imperial resistance fighters. Western reports call them terrorists.
 
New York Times reports also have been consistently one-sided. Covering up this atrocity isn’t possible. It headlined “UN Says Syria Execution Video Shows Apparent War Crime,” saying:
 
Video circulating online shows “antigovernment fighters armed with rifles kicking and summarily executing a group of captured soldiers or militiamen could, if verified, represent evidence of a war crime to prosecute the perpetrators.”
 
Human Right Watch consistently targets Assad. It also accused Syrian opposition forces of torture, other atrocities, and summarily executing security forces and pro-government loyalists in Aleppo, Latakia, Idlib, and elsewhere.
 
On November 1, Amnesty International headlined “Syria: Armed group carries out summary killing of security forces in Idlib,” saying:
 
Video footage showed armed militants “carrying out a mass summary killing of men in their custody.” They were beaten, kicked and shot multiple times. AI’s Ann Harrison said:
 
“This shocking footage depicts a potential war crime in progress, and demonstrates an utter disregard for international humanitarian law by the armed group in question.”
 
“Amnesty International has so far been unable to confirm the identity of the armed group that carried out these summary killings, and no group has yet claimed responsibility.”
 
“But we will continue to investigate the incident and once again urge all sides to respect the laws of war and to refrain from torturing, ill-treating or killing their prisoners.”
 
AI consistently is anti-Assad. Harrison’s comments were less than fully forthright. She and other AI staff regularly blame Assad for death squad killings and atrocities.
 
Press TV aired the disturbing video. These are the people Washington gets in bed with.
 
On November 2, Voice of Russia headlined “Bloodbath in Syria,” saying:
 
Western-recruited death squads kept on killing throughout the Id al-Adha truce and after it ended. It’s “unthinkable (that) the United Nations was unable to condemn them.”
 
Failure reveals duplicitous Western standards. Dozens died needlessly. Opposition forces attacked security forces, civilians and government offices. Schools, mosques, and childcare centers are fair game.
 
Washington wants Syria defeated by terror. Doing so risks regional chaos. It’s “no exaggeration to say that stability in this key region hinges on further developments in the Syrian crisis.”
 
America can easily stop conflict by calling off its dogs. Peace and stability undermines its imperium. Violence furthers it. Hired guns are used for that purpose. Syria’s being ravaged and destroyed. Olive branches Assad extends are summarily rejected.
 
On October 30, Syrian expert Patrick Seale headlined “Time for National Reconciliation in Syria.”
 
It’s long past time, but how?
 
Despite convincing evidence disputing him, he thinks Syria can be “saved from destruction and national disintegration.” What are the obstacles, he asked?
 
Deep wounds must be healed. How can they be when Washington won’t let them? Seale admits there’s “no readiness for reconciliation on either side.” He’s half right. Assad wanted it since last year. Repeated overtures were rebuffed.
 
Militant extremists also want conflict. They want Sharia law replacing replacing secular Syria. Most Syrians want no part of it.
 
Seale thinks no one wants direct military intervention. Others call that wishful thinking. Washington has longstanding regime change plans. All options are considered. If nothing else works, expect NATO involvement.
 
Establishing pro-Western governance in Syria is key to isolating Iran and repeating the process. War plans were made long ago. They remain options of choice.
 
Seale is right saying Syrians and other regionally must choose who’ll rule them. Intervention in the internal affairs of sovereign countries violates international law.
 
One day perhaps America, key NATO partners, and Israel will observe it. So far doing so is nowhere in sight. Don’t expect it as long as imperial ambitions eclipse other priorities.
 
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
 
His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”
 
 
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.
 

posted by Steve Lendman @ 11:04 AM  

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Remember Bani Walid


My PhotoFor courageous Jamahiriya fighters, it’s their finest hour. Despite overwhelming force, use of chemical and other illegal weapons, and US-sponsored mass murder, they hang on valiantly.


Western major scoundrels shamelessly ignore the slaughter or misreport it. More on that below.

A previous article called what’s happening one of history’s great crimes. It’s a Nuremberg level one writ large. Libyans and people of conscience won’t ever let it be forgotten. Mass killing and destruction continues. An entire city is being destroyed.

Western-sponsored death squads are murdering civilians in cold blood. NATO-supplied rockets, shells, chemical, and other illegal weapons target them. Inside the city, door-to-door murder threatens anyone remaining.

Last year, Sirte was terror bombed to rubble. US-led NATO forces terrorized a city of 100,000. Unknown numbers perished. Civilians suffered most.

In all US direct and proxy wars, Washington targets them. Mass casualties and punishment follow. It’s done to break morale, cause panic, and weaken an enemy’s will to resist.

International law strictly forbids it. Article 25 of the 1907 Hague Convention states:

“The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited.”


Article 26 says:

“The officer in command of an attacking force must, before commencing a bombardment, except in cases of assault, do all in his power to warn the authorities.”


Article 27 states:

“In sieges and bombardments, all necessary steps must be taken to spare, as far as possible, buildings dedicated to religion, art, science, or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not being used at the time for military purposes.”


Fourth Geneva protects civilians in time of war. Collective punishment is forbidden. So is violence of any type. Sick and wounded victims must be treated.

In September 1938, the League of Nations prohibited the

“bombardment of cities, towns, villages, dwellings or buildings not in the immediate neighborhood of the operations of land forces”

“In cases where (legitimate targets) are so situated, (aircraft) must abstain from bombardment” if doing so disproportionately harms civilians.

The 1945 Nuremberg Principles prohibit “crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity.”


These include “inhumane acts committed against any civilian populations, before or during the war.”

Indiscriminate killing and “wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity” is strictly forbidden.

In 1968, a General Assembly Resolution on Human Rights prohibits attacks on civilian populations. Washington, key NATO partners, and Israel do it repeatedly. State terror is policy. Strategy prioritizes murdering defenseless people.

Lest we forget, remember Guernica 1937, the 1940-41 London blitz, Dresdan 1945, fire-bombing Toyko 1945, Hiroshima and Nagasaki 1945, North Korea 1950-53, Southeast Asia 1964-75, Iraq 1991 and 2003, Serbia/Kosovo 1999, Afghanistan 2001, decades of Israeli wars on Palestinians and other Arabs, Libya 2011, many other US-led Western crimes, and now Bani Walid.


Progressive News Hour regular James Petras said on air that most NGOs skim 90% of donations for themselves. They’re predators, not humanitarians. They serve political agendas for profit.

ICRC is no exception. It profits handsomely from wars, disasters and human misery. “Non-profiteering” is big business.

ICRC’s claimed humanitarian mission is cover. What’s involved is money, special privileges gotten, and connections to people in high places.

Benefitting this way is loathsome and contemptible. Operations profiting from human misery have no place in civil society. With hundreds of millions of dollars in funding annually, ICRC benefits like for-profit businesses.

In return, services in kind are provided. ICRC is on the wrong side of the Syrian conflict. It’s much the same for Libya.

On October 26, its press release belied the gravity of Bani Walid conditions. It explained nothing about willful slaughter. It merely said:

“The humanitarian situation remains difficult for the people of Bani Walid in Libya.”

“Many people have had to get out of Bani Walid since fighting resumed in the city almost a month ago.”

“The ICRC continues to monitor the humanitarian situation in and around Bani Walid as the fighting continues….”


Help provided is modest at best. Included is much less than adequate amounts of food, water and medical supplies. Residents able to reach nearby areas receive what isn’t enough to sustain them. Others trapped inside Bani Walid are largely on their own.

On October 28, Russia Today (rt.com) headlined “Siege of Bani Walid: Foreign fighters, phosphorous bombs and nerve gas – RT sources,” saying:

Bloodbath conditions affect city residents. Western-sponsored death squads attack them with “banned weapons like white phosphorous.”

Resistance fighters hold out valiantly. Bani Walid didn’t fall. RT sources “denied reports of the last few days that (it) was retaken by the Libyan government.”


Refugees who fled the city are prevented from returning. A man with trapped relatives in Bani Walid told RT:

“There is no food. There is nothing to support the life of people. And the militia does not allow anyone to come back to their homes.”


ICRC claimed it entered the city twice during fighting and supplied aid. Residents, in fact, got little or nothing.

Mercenaries “are demolishing homes with machinery and tanks. There is no communication or internet so people are not able to connect with each other.”

Western sources want information on what’s ongoing suppressed.

RT’s source said foreign fighters are involved. He’s unidentified to protect himself and family members. Washington’s dirty hands control everything. Puppet Libyan officials do what they’re told. Qatar and other regional states are involved.

RT’s source said:

“We ask the envoy (Special Representative) of the Secretary-General of the United Nations (for Libya), Mr. Tarik Mitri – where is he now?”

“Where is the United Nations? Where is the EU? Where is Human Rights Watch? We ask for an intervention now as soon as possible – please!”


Washington blocked Russia’s draft statement. It called on Libyan authorities “to take urgent steps to resolve the conflict by peaceful means and to preserve the rights of all Libyan citizens.”

It expressed grave concern for conditions in Bani Walid. RT said “witnesses claim” foreign fighters are using “internationally prohibited weapons.” They include “phosphorous bombs and nerve gas.”

Bani Walid activist/lawyer Afaf Yusef told RT:

“We have documented all this in videos. We recorded the missiles they used and the white phosphorus raining down from these missiles.”

“Many people died without being wounded or shot. They died as a result of gases. The whole world needs to see who they are targeting. Are they really Gaddafi’s men? Are the children, women and old men killed – Gaddafi’s men?”


RT said foreign fighters were told to use “all means necessary” to control the city. Libyan activist Ali Altakasih told RT that Bani Walid residents say that “chemical weapons and airplanes” attack them.

He urged Russia, China, and other countries to intervene to help. Civilians are isolated on their own and dying.

“Any house that looks of great importance to the militias is either burnt or robbed,” he added. “There are people who are trapped inside the city who cannot leave the city, either for fear of the militia or fear of leaving their belongings inside the city.”

Obama bears full responsibility. Libya’s war is his. So is ongoing Bani Walid slaughter and destruction. Major media scoundrels support what they should condemn.

What’s happening in Bani Walid is suppressed. On October 24, The New York Times headlined “Libyan Forces Now Control Restive Town, Officials Say.”


What city residents say is ignored. Fighting continues. Unnamed “officials” lied. Times writer Kareem Fahim regurgitated false information instead of reporting accurately.

BBC was no better. On October 24, it headlined “Libyan forces ‘capture ex-Gaddadi bastion Bani Walid,’ ” saying:

“Libyan authorities say they have seized control of” the city. “The government alleges that Bani Walid harbors a number of Gaddafi loyalists….Authorities say all military operations have been halted.”

They claim “troops will provide security and aid in the town.”

“Dozens of people are believed to have been killed, and some 200 injured in recent violence.”

“Civilians escaping the clashes have found refuge in surrounding towns, where they are staying with families or in schools.”


All of the above is false or distorted. BBC viewers and listeners were willfully lied to. What else could they expect from a government owned, operated and controlled propaganda service.

Al Jazeera functions the same way. Qatar’s monarchy runs it. It long ago abandoned professionalism, objectivity, truth and full disclosure. Credibility isn’t its long suit. Key members of its staff resigned in disgust. They’re journalists, not propagandists.


On October 26, Al Jazeera headlined “Libya ‘captures’ former Gaddafi stronghold,” saying:

“Celebratory gunfire” followed. Fighters called it “a triumph for the government that replaced Gaddafi’s regime.”

“Youssef al-Mankoush, the Libyan army chief of staff, said military operations in the city were terminated but that some forces were still chasing a few pockets of Gaddafi loyalists.”


This type rubbish substitutes for hard truths. Other reports are no better. Similar information is discussed. What’s most important is suppressed. Readers are willfully lied to. They’re not told what they most need to know.

Bani Walid is an ongoing human catastrophe. It’s also one of history’s great crimes. Washington bears full responsibility. Its dirty hands are all over conflicts throughout the region. That’s how fascist states operate.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”

 

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.

 

posted by Steve Lendman @ 11:35 PM
 

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Obama Rejects Palestinian Statehood

According to PLO legal advisor Francis Boyle “All UN Charter states (including America and Israel) provisionally recognized Palestinian independence in accordance with UN Charter article 80(1) and League Covenant article 22(4). Further, as the League’s successor, the General Assembly has exclusive legal authority to designate the PLO as the Palestinian peoples’ legitimate representative.” But “Rights are achievable under leaders who pursue them.”

“Once Palestine “becomes a UN Member State, (it) can ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and then file a formal State to State Complaint against Israeli Officials, upgrading the lower level Complaint President Abbas filed at my advice.”

It can also “ratify the Genocide Convention and sue Israel for Genocide at the World Court, pursuant to the advice I had already given President Arafat and President Abbas, and get a temporary restraining Order against the Zionists, that would then go to the Security Council for enforcement, and if vetoed by the Americans, to the General Assembly for enforcement under the (1950) Uniting for Peace Resolution.”

“With these proceedings, (it may) be able to halt the Zionist settlement project of all Palestine in the immediate future.” It will also lift Gaza’s siege. Abbas refuses to do it. So did Arafat before him.”

And now, after the Islamist’s “SPRING”, neither Palestinian Rights nor Palestinian rights, nor reforming PLO are not on the table.

According to Sectarian thug, Khalid Hamayreh, the Hamastan mouthpiece, speaking out of both sides of his mouth he said PLO representation is not a sacred text ,



“PLO is still living during the cold war era when the PLO was indeed viewed as the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”

“However, since then, the PLO has effectively ceased to be the “sole legitimate” representative of the Palestinian people.”

“Today, millions of Palestinians at home and in the Diaspora no longer view a secular PLO as their sole and legitimate representative. Indeed, political currents and orientations among Palestinians have undergone radical changes…. The fact that the PLO has chosen to ignore this outstanding fact doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. The PLO must therefore come to terms with reality, namely that it is no longer the sole and legitimate representative of all Palestinians….the PLO representation is not a sacred or Quranic text, especially for the many Palestinians who believe in the Islamic ideology.”


In other words, according to the sectarian thug, still living during the American century, the Brothers of America represents the 1.5 billion Muslim, so don’t be surprised if he claims that Hamas is the “sole legitimate representative of all Palestinians ” and deny the existance of secular Palestinians, and estinians Muslims, who believe that Islam is a way of life, and off course, deny the existance of Palestinian Christians.

Its true that, since Oslo, PLO ceased to be the “sole legitimate representative of all Palestinians ” Yet, Hamas leadership, after putting the Palestinian cause on the self, and joining American Brotherhood’s war on Resistance Axis, shall never be accepted as a represetive for any Plalestinian. Because, when any Palestinian disloyal to Palestine as the Arabs and Muslims central cause lhe PLO shall be viewed as disloyal to Palestine, Arabism and Islam.

My PhotoObama Rejects Palestinian Statehood

Monday, October 29, 2012

What do you call a Black man who rejects equal rights for his own people and others? A racist traitor.

What do you call a rejectionist leader? A criminal who should be impeached, removed and prosecuted.

Obama stands guilty on multiple counts. His rap sheet includes much more than spurning Palestinian rights. He’s complicit in grand theft and war crimes multiple times over. He’s unfit to serve. He should be in prison, not government.

Throughout his tenure, he repeatedly violated international, constitutional, and US statute laws. He’s contemptuous of fundamental rights and other democratic values.

From his earliest Chicago political days, he supported ethnic cleansing gentrification. Real estate and other financial priorities trumped populism. They still do and much more.

Obama fronts for wealth and power interests. As a state senator, he did it for his district. As president, he does it globally. He’s in lockstep with Israel on Palestine.

He supports occupation harshness. Palestinians are Muslims and don’t matter. Denying them fundamental rights is policy. So is total evisceration of freedom and standing four-square against sovereign independence in any form. He also opposes full or limited UN membership.

Washington wages wars multiple ways. Its repertoire includes financial and political warfare.

Last year, US Jerusalem Consul General, Daniel Rubenstein, told chief negotiator Saeb Erekat that Washington will veto a UN Security Council resolution on Palestinian sovereignty within June 1967 borders.

Doing so is illegal. It also carries no weight. The General Assembly alone affirms new member states by a two-thirds vote. The Security Council only recommends admissions.

Palestinians can override Washington’s veto by petitioning the General Assembly through the 1950 Uniting for Peace Resolution 377. Doing so renders America’s veto null and void.

Washington pledged earlier not to oppose any state seeking UN membership. Of course, its promises aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. The same goes for Israel. Both nations are rogue states. They govern by we’re boss and what we say goes rules.

Rubenstein also threatened to cut off all aid and impose other unspecified punitive measures. In July 2012, PA official Khaled Mesmar said Washington repeated its threat.

An unnamed US diplomat told Abbas in Ramallah. He, of course, only goes through the motions of seeking official statehood recognition and UN membership with enough rights to matter. Rhetoric substitutes for follow-through.

If proper procedures are followed, both objectives are within easy reach. Abbas struck out repeatedly on both counts. Expect nothing from him ahead. He epitomizes betrayal and illegitimacy.

He represents Israel and Washington, not Palestine. He’s an unprincipled quisling head of state.

In June 2011, the Senate unanimously approved a measure to end funding if statehood is pursued. Weeks later, the House followed suit. It voted 407 – 6. Its resolution also called for suspending aid if Fatah/Hamas unity is consummated.

Both House and Senate resolutions are non-binding. Foreign policy is the purview of the Executive. Exceptions include the right to declare war. Congress alone may do so. It abdicated its authority over seven decades ago. It shows no signs of reclaiming it.

The State of Palestine, in fact, exists. It was proclaimed in Algiers on November 15, 1988. At the time, the PLO adopted the Palestinian Declaration of Independence.

PLO legal advisor Francis Boyle drafted it. He included safeguards to assure all sovereign state rights. His document left no wiggle room loopholes. He also made sure UN membership won’t comprise them.

Palestine satisfies all essential criteria for sovereign independence and full de jure UN membership.

All UN Charter states (including America and Israel) provisionally recognized Palestinian independence in accordance with UN Charter article 80(1) and League Covenant article 22(4).

Further, as the League’s successor, the General Assembly has exclusive legal authority to designate the PLO as the Palestinian peoples’ legitimate representative.

The Palestine National Council (PNC) is the PLO’s legislative body. It’s empowered to proclaim the existence of Palestine. According to the binding 1925 Palestine Citizenship Order in Council, Palestinians, their children and grandchildren automatically become citizens.

So are diaspora Palestinians. Those living in Israel and Jordan have dual nationalities. Occupied Territory residents remain “protected persons” (under Fourth Geneva) until a final peace settlement is reached.

Rights are achievable under leaders who pursue them. Palestinian governance always fell short. Millions deserving better never got it. They remain occupied and oppressed in limbo.

They’re on their own to seek liberation PA leaders conspiratorially with Israel and Washington deny them. On September 27, Abbas addressed the General Assembly in New York. Once again he fell short.

His comments were watered down, weak-kneed, and duplicitous. He’ll again seek UN non-member state status, he said. On the one hand, he promised before and backed down.

On the other, why seek less than what’s easily within reach and should have been gotten long ago.

Last year, Francis Boyle emailed this writer as follows:

“I have advised the Palestinians to invoke the Uniting for Peace Resolution.” Doing so overrides Washington’s veto. “That get’s their Admission Application to the UN General Assembly.”

“It is the General Assembly that admits, not the Security Council. There they will need a 2/3ds vote of those states voting yes or no – abstentions, no votes, no shows do not count.”


At the time, the Financial Times estimated they had 170 votes. They constitute 88% of UN member states.

“If they get the 2/3ds vote in the General Assembly, Palestine” joins their ranks, “and you have Palestine and Israel, which everyone says they want but, of course, they do not mean it.”


Boyle added that “Palestinians will always live to fight another day. And I will be there with them until my dying day. Or until Palestine is Free.”

For the record, this writer pledges the same thing without compromising what’s right, fair, just, and long overdue.

On October 1, the London Guardian headlined “US warns European governments against supporting Palestinians at UN,” saying:




It came in private memo form. Go along or else. Memo language said UN status in any form “would be extremely counterproductive.” EU governments were told Palestinians will face “significant negative consequences.” Financial sanctions were mentioned.


The memo said Palestinian statehood “can only be achieved via direct negotiations with the Israelis.” Going that route, of course, assures permanent occupation, exploitation, persecution, and failure.

European governments were urged to support US obstructionist efforts. General Assembly representatives in New York were given Washington’s ultimatum. Do it our way or else.

Washington and Israel have serious concerns about rights UN member states are afforded. In another email, Boyle explained, saying:


Once Palestine “becomes a UN Member State, (it) can ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and then file a formal State to State Complaint against Israeli Officials, upgrading the lower level Complaint President Abbas filed at my advice.”

 


It can also “ratify the Genocide Convention and sue Israel for Genocide at the World Court, pursuant to the advice I had already given President Arafat and President Abbas, and get a temporary restraining Order against the Zionists, that would then go to the Security Council for enforcement, and if vetoed by the Americans, to the General Assembly for enforcement under the (1950) Uniting for Peace Resolution.”



“With these proceedings, (it may) be able to halt the Zionist settlement project of all Palestine in the immediate future.” It will also lift Gaza’s siege. Abbas refuses to do it. So did Arafat before him.


Decades of Palestinian leadership failure to do the right thing constitutes betrayal. Nothing ahead looks promising. A third Intifada is long overdue.

Courageous independent leaders are needed to inspire, organize, and direct it. Hopefully enough of them are committed and ready. Liberation won’t come any other way.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.


His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”


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

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Latest Beirut Bombing Incident

 

by Stephen Lendman

My PhotoFirst impressions suggest another “who done it” incident. Similar ones occurred many times before. Guilty parties often get named later. Key always is cui bono?

Media scoundrels never explain what’s most important. Instead, headlines like “Blast in Beirut Is Seen as an Extension of Syria’s War” circulate.

The New York Times said it “devastated a Christian neighborhood (Friday), killing an intelligence official long viewed as an enemy by neighboring Syria and unnerving a nation as Syria’s sectarian-fueled civil war spills beyond its borders and threatens to engulf the region.”

Instead of explaining what’s likely going on, managed news misreporting like the above substitutes.

Intelligence head of Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces, General Wissam al-Hasan, was killed. He appeared the likely target. He was the most high-profile death since former prime minister Rafiq Hariri’s 2005 assassination. More on him below, what’s really going on, and what’s at stake.

At least seven others died. Information Minister Walid Daouk said 86 people were wounded. Buildings were heavily damaged.

A follow-up Times report headlined “After Attack, Lebanese Opposition Calls for New Government,” saying:

Opposition pro-Western March 14 alliance officials called for “the Hezbollah-led government to resign….intensifying fears that Syria’s ‘civil war’ could lead to a political crisis in Lebanon.”


Again, dubious reporting substituted for explaining things correctly. Syria was invaded. Washington bears full responsibility. Fighting since winter 2011 reflects nothing civil. Saying so is false and misleading.

Syria, Lebanon
Protesters wave FSA and Saudi flags in Martyrs’ Square for the funeral
 (Picture: AP)
Rafiq Hariri’s son Saad heads the pro-Western March 14 alliance. Hezbollah, the Amal Movement, the Free Patriotic Movement, Progressive Socialists, and other political groups comprise the March 8 alliance majority.


Washington and Israel want March 14 extremists replacing it. Killing al-Hasan appears intended for that purpose. It also advances the ball for full-scale NATO intervention in Syria.

The regional pot keeps boiling dangerously. Media scoundrels add more heat. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius wants America openly involved in arming Free Syrian Army (FSA) death squads.

Headlining “Rethinking Syria Policy,” he called for all-out US support. He played the jihadist terrorists/Syrian chemical weapons card threat.

He spent time in Syria. He met with FSA commanders. They’re “solid military leaders,” he said. They need more guns and money, he added. Pile it on, he recommends.


“The Free Syrian Army has a long shopping list.” He named enough to blow up half the country. Washington doesn’t “have to sign off on this whole war chest….” Just enough for greater conflict to topple Assad.

Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) threw its own fuel on the fire. It pointed fingers the wrong way. It headlined “Syria, Iran, Hizbollah attack while US and Israel play (earlier planned) computerized war games,” saying:

The East Beirut Ashrafiya district bombing “marked the brutal spillover of the Syrian bloodbath into a second Arab capital and the threat of its spread towards Israel.”

Blaming Syria, Iran and Hezbollah is spurious. On October 20, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) headlined “Russia, Iran Condemn Beirut Terrorist Blast,” saying:

Moscow’s Foreign Ministry said “Russia expresses solidarity with Lebanon and support to its sovereignty, territorial integrity and stability based on a Lebanese national dialogue.” It added:

“What happened showed once again the importance of stopping the activities of destructive forces that are trying to drown the Middle East in chaos and sedition.”


Iran’s Foreign Ministry also condemned the blast. It said “the Zionist entity is the beneficiary of instability in Lebanon.”

On October 19, Press TV said Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told his Lebanese counterpart, Adnan Mansour, that “enemies seek to increase insecurity in the region and achieve their ill intentions.”

Tehran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said “the attack aimed to sow discord among different currents and social classes in Lebanon.”

Reuters quoted Syria’s Information Minister Omran Zoabi saying, “We condemn this terrorist explosion and all these explosions wherever they happen. Nothing justifies them.”

DEBKAfile claimed General al-Hasan “uncovered a Syrian plot to destabilize Lebanon by a bombing campaign….” Pro-Assad politician and former information minister Michel Samaha was arrested “for complicity in the plot.”

“The Syrian bloodbath is spreading more malignantly than ever with solid Iranian and Hizballah support and Tehran is closer than ever to realizing its nuclear aspirations.”

All of the above doesn’t wash. More spurious accusations followed. DF often reports inaccurately. This account was one of its worst. It was straight out of Mossad’s propaganda playbook. Charges were laughable on their face.

Syria, Iran and Hezbollah have everything to lose and nothing to gain from Friday’s blast. Israel, Washington, key NATO partners, and regional allies benefit greatly from further instability and conflict.

Targeted Killings: US and Israeli Specialties

Killing al-Hasan looks very much like Hariri 2.0. Compelling visual and audio evidence identified Israel as likely responsible. Real time intercepted Israeli aerial surveillance footage showed routes Hariri took on the day his motorcade was attacked. That and more pointed fingers the right way.

Initially, Syria was falsely blamed. Hezbollah was then wrongfully accused. The assassination was typical Mossad. Killing al-Hasan looks like its latest false flag.

Press TV interviewed political analyst Ralph Schoenman. He said:

“As 1992 to today in the day bombing of Beirut the identical scenario, who benefits from attempting to divide Lebanon and spread the turmoil, who benefits destabilizing the government in Damascus, who states to destabilize Beirut and subject Lebanon to civil war, the Zionist regime (Israel), the Mossad. It is a classical operation of Mossad.”


It’s hard disagreeing. Mossad’s entire history reflects targeted killings, false flags, and other destabilizing acts. CIA elements operate the same way.

Take nothing about these incidents at face value. Look deeper for more likely explanations than what media scoundrels and other dubious sources provide.

Washington and key allies want the last independent Arab nations destabilized, toppled, and reinvented into pro-Western ones. Ousting Assad and Hezbollah are key objectives. So is isolating Iran ahead of focusing full attention on regime change in Tehran by any means including war.

The Levant is in serious crisis. Tinderbox best describes things. Aggressors are playing with fire. Everyone may end up burned. Regional war is overreach. It assures losers, not winners.

Drawing a red line on Syria is top priority. It’s up to Russia, China and other anti-war nations to make clear they’ll tolerate no more.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.


His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”

http://www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html

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 

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Besieged Gaddafi Stronghold Bani Walid Under Attack

My PhotoWashington’s war on Libya rages. Fighting didn’t stop after NATO said its seven-month 2011 “mission” ended. Ravaging a nonbelligerent country wasn’t good enough.

Occupation harshness inflicts more pain. Jamahiriya Green Resistance is strong. Its struggle continues. It won’t stop until Libya regains freedom. Loyalists want no part of NATO control, puppet leaders, imperial plundering, and ordinary Libyans used and abused.


Frequent freedom fights erupt. Tribes are involved. Local militias have their own agenda. Insurgents battle each other and Green Resistance for control. Government forces serve Washington and key NATO partners.

Since early October, Bani Walid’s been besieged. Thousands of militiamen are involved. Food, medical supplies, fuel and other essentials are in short supply. Armed men block vehicles with medical and other essential supplies from entering.

Residential neighborhoods are attacked. Nearby villages were looted and burned. Libya’s so-called General National Congress (GNC) approved the assault.

Puppet rulers want residents to hand over individuals allegedly responsible for killing Omran Shaaban. He’s an insurgent involved in Gaddafi’s capture and death.

Last fall, NATO ravaged Bani Walid. For weeks, terror bombing, indiscriminate shelling, and ground attacks left it looking like a ghost town. It was one of Libya’s last cities to fall. It’s home to over 80,000 residents.

They paid a huge price. Casualties were high. Many died or were wounded. Thousands were displaced. Hundreds were arrested and imprisoned. Their crime was wanting to live free.

Bani Walid residents again are under attack. So far they’re holding out valiantly. Last fall, NATO and insurgent forces used chemical and other illegal weapons. Reports suggest they’re used now.

Injuries are unrelated to conventional weapons. Israel does the same thing to Gazans. So do US forces in Pentagon war theaters.

Mathaba reported that hospitalized residents have severe burns, “hallucinations, muscle spasms, foaming at the mouth, coughing, eye irritations, dizziness, breathing difficulties, and loss of consciousness.”

NATO and enlisted proxy forces fight all their wars dirty. Civilians suffer most. Media scoundrels suppress what they should headline.

Mathaba quoted Dr. Taha Muhammad saying:

“(W)e started receiving patients with strange symptoms that I have not seen before. Those affected were having difficulty breathing, reported dizziness and were coughing.”

“Not everybody displayed the same symptoms, but some were also suffering from hallucinations, foaming at the mouth and loss of consciousness. We believe they had been exposed to some sort of gas.”


Available medical facilities and equipment can’t properly diagnose or treat victims. Doctors cope best they can. Patients suffer. Human rights abuses continue daily.

On October 19, Reuters headlined “Libyan army to head to Bani Walid after clashes,” saying:

Army head Yussef al-Mangoush said troops are “ready to enter Bani Walid, and we expect (it to go) peacefully. The army is going to take control of the security situation.”

Resistance fighter Col. Salem al-Wa’er said “Bani Walid has been shelled since this morning from three sides – the south, the east and southeast.”

City residents say shelling continues. Commerce is shut down. Essentials are running out. Tensions are high.

On October 18, Russia Today headlined “Eleven killed as Libyan militia shell Gaddafi stronghold,” saying:

“Libyan authorities continue to struggle against multiple militia groups in the midst of growing political disarray.”


On October 19, AFP headlined “Fighting keeps mediator out of Libya’s Bani Walid,” saying:

Pro-regime militia fighters pound the city. So far, resistance fighters kept them from entering and gaining control. GNC president Mohammed Megarief promised to come, but fighting kept him away.

Earlier he founded the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL). It’s a CIA/Saudi financed anti-Jamahiriya group. It operated from October 1981 – May 2012. It actively opposed Gaddafi.

Several times it tried to oust him by coup d’etats and failed. After his demise, it transformed itself into the National Front Party. It won three of 59 seats in the July 2012 GNC election. Mahmoud Jabril’s National Forces Alliance (NFA) got 39 seats.

On October 18, the London Guardian headlined “Confusion rife as Libyan army storms town of Bani Walid.”

So far, army units hadn’t succeeded as planned. Fierce fighting continues. “We started to enter Bani Walid. We are not far away from the center,” said army spokesman Mohammed al-Gandus. “There was a big battle between Bani Walid people and our army.”

Gaddafi supporters are “hiding” there, he added. “They are fighting very well because they know they are going to die soon.”

Reports of their demise may turn out exaggerated. Last fall, NATO said Bani Walid resistance was defeated. A year later, their struggle continues. Millions of Libyans want freedom, not repressive occupation under puppet pro-Western rule.

They haven’t quit fighting and won’t throughout the country. Bani Walid is one of many battlegrounds. Eruptions can break out anywhere anytime. They won’t stop until freedom is won.

At the same time, daily violence causes so much harm to so many. So-called NATO liberation delivers living hell. Mass killing, destruction, and human misery accompany every NATO campaign and remain when they end.

Bani Walid lies 180 km southwest of Tripoli. It’s home base for Libya’s largest Warfalla tribe. It remained loyal to Gaddafi during fighting last year.

Bani Walid fighters are resisting best they can. At least 10 deaths are confirmed and dozens of injuries. The Al-Mardoum valley is most affected. It’s being defended valiantly.

Two earlier attempts this year to take over the city failed. For months it was independent and militia free. Residents assumed responsibility for local security. They’re battling to keep what militias and GNC officials want to destroy.

On October 19, Mathaba headlined “Full Assault on Bani Walid Underway,” saying:

GNC Resolution No. 7 enacted on September 27 calls for army units to arrest those responsible for Omran Shaban’s death. Ground forces attacked the city. Numerous casualties were reported on both sides.

Army commander al-Gandus claimed his troops began entering Bani Walid. They’re heading for the center of town, he said. He claimed winning this fight will free Libya. Residents know he has something else in mind.

Regime officials are largely silent. They said little about their belligerent plans. Expect illegal chemical use again on city residents.

Around 2,000 army forces are involved. Militia fighters supplement their numbers. Casualties on both sides could be high. Bani Walid resident Ibrahim Warfalli denied official reports.

He said resistance fighters maintain airport control and prevented army units from entering the city. At stake is freedom or imperial occupation and control.

Fighting is intense. Army spokesman said he doesn’t know how long it will take to control Bani Walid. “Maybe it will take some days,” he said

“Maybe something unexpected will happen. It will take time if the people supporting Bani Walid use civilians as a shield. We do not want to kill civilians.’ “


In fact, they’re willfully targeted. During last year’s siege and this year’s, indiscriminate bombing, shelling, and toxic gases caused horrific injuries and many deaths.

Videos and other images show badly wounded children. Some remain on life support. Others succumbed to fighting.

While Bani Walid remains besieged and assaulted, resistance continues elsewhere across Libya. Expect protracted struggle until Jamahiriya triumphs over tyranny. Courageous freedom fighters won’t settle for less.

A Final Comment


On October 17, Human Rights Watch (HRW) headlined “Libya: New Proof of Mass Killings at Gaddafi Death Site. A Year On, No Progress on Inquiry Into Deaths.”

Evidence implicates Misrata-based insurgents. They severely beat and murdered dozens of Gaddafi loyalists they captured. Libyan authorities promised to investigate and did nothing.

According to HRW’s Peter Bouchaert:

“The evidence suggests that opposition militias summarily executed at least 66 captured members of Gaddafi’s convoy in Sirte.”

“It also looks as if they took Mutassim Gaddafi, who had been wounded, to Misrata and killed him there. Our findings call into question the assertion by Libyan authorities that Muammar Gaddafi was killed in crossfire, and not after his capture.”


International law is clear. “Under the laws of war, the killing of captured combatants is a war crime, and Libyan civilian and military authorities have an obligation to investigate war crimes and other violations of international humanitarian law.”

Instead of investigating and prosecuting those responsible, Libyan authorities whitewashed their crimes. Washington, NATO partners, and complicit regional allies bear full responsibility. Their installed Libyan stooges do as they’re told.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

 


His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”

http://www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html

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

 

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!