Oct 212013
 

It’s good to hear from David Ray Griffin. I have also seen Massimo Mazzucco’s presentation in its entirety. This has been a great year for 9/11 Truth. Griffin’s press release is followed by an embed of “September 11 = the New Pearl Harbor.”:

[Note to readers to whom notices of my 9/11 books have previously been sent: This is my review of a new film about 9/11, the kind of film I would like to have made – if only I had this Italian filmmaker’s abilities.]

Review of “September 11 – The New Pearl Harbor.”  A documentary by Massimo Mazzucco.

David Ray Griffin

There have been several good films and videos about 9/11. But the new film by award-winning film-maker Massimo Mazzucco is in a class by itself.

For those of us who have been working on 9/11 for a long time, this is the film we have been waiting for.

Whereas there are excellent films treating the falsity of particular parts of the official account, such as the Twin Towers or WTC 7, Mazzucco has given us a comprehensive documentary treatment of 9/11, dealing with virtually all of the issues.

There have, of course, been films that treated the fictional official story as true. And there are films that use fictional stories to portray people’s struggles after starting to suspect the official story to be false.

But there is no fiction in Mazzucco’s film – except in the sense that it clearly and relentlessly exposes every part of the official account as fictional.

Because of his intent at completeness, Mazzucco has given us a 5-hour film. It is so fascinating and fast-paced that many will want to watch it in one sitting. But this is not necessary, as the film, which fills 3 DVDs, consists of 7 parts, each of which is divided into many short chapters.

These 7 parts treat Air Defence, The Hijackers, The Airplanes, The Pentagon, Flight 93, The Twin Towers, and Building 7. In each part, after presenting facts that contradict the official story, Mazzucco deals with the claims of the debunkers (meaning those who try to debunk the evidence provided by the 9/11 research community).

The Introduction, reflecting the film’s title, deals with 12 uncanny parallels between Pearl Harbor and September 11.

The film can educate people who know nothing about 9/11 (beyond the official story), those with a moderate amount of knowledge about the various problems with the official story, and even by experts. (I myself learned many things.)

Mazzucco points out that his film covers 12 years of public debate about 9/11. People who have been promoting 9/11 truth for many of these years will see that their labors have been well-rewarded: There is now a high-quality, carefully-documented film that dramatically shows the official story about 9/11 to be a fabrication through and through.

This is truly the film we have been waiting for.

___________

Availability: The film is freely available to the world at:

1. The film-maker’s own website, complete with detailed index: http://www.luogocomune.net/site/modules/sections/index.php?op=viewarticle&artid=167″>http://www.luogocomune.net/site/modules/sections/index.php?op=viewarticle&artid=167
2. On YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1GCeuSr3Mk

Sep 112013
 

The messages in earlier 9/11 truth street demonstrations were as clear and sincere as they are today:

Unable to refute an idea with critical analysis? Difficulty confronting fundamental realities that change your world view? Having trouble articulating a position that successfully refutes an idea you aren’t comfortable with? No problem. 



Simply sprinkle a dash of conspiracy bait over the issue and viola! You have made the problem go away with a generous application of our blanket dismissal powder. Never again will media flunkies ever have to address disparities between official statements and what pesky evidence otherwise suggests.

And if you act now, get a special blender designed to mix rotten apples with clean oranges. Never be afraid to lump the most outlandish and discredited positions with those darn contradictions backed by so much evidence! Act now! And as we were first told back in 2003, attacking Iraq for those most elusive WMD’s costs a mere eighty seven billion dollars.

One of the clearest examples of how the elites rely on pushing gross misconceptions and false narratives to justify bombing nations of brown people is the claim that the Assad regime figured it was a good idea to use chemical weapons on its citizens. No stranger to the flawed logic behind U.S.’s campaign to plunder Syria, (now resonating with the public like a skipping Milli Vanilli record of long ago) Senator John McCain was actively peddling the official ‘buildings were demolished because the planes hit them’ schtick. It was enough to put Blair Gadsby off of his food:

Last Summer, as the push for intervention of Syria intensified, the United States Department of Justice requested that George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz be granted immunity for war crimes in Iraq.

Imagine our surprise in 2007, when we discovered how a newly elected so-called progressive house refused to impeach these same characters for pretty much the same thing.

Betrayed by the phony left/right paradigm.

Beyond the despair and sadness caused by 9/11 and it’s exploitation to date, current events will continue to reference 9/11 as a central historic event affecting our predicament. We can follow the truth to help dig our way out of this tyrannical quagmire or let the lies bury us all.

Support the ReThink 9/11 Campaign:

Sep 052013
 

Seeded by a country that only months earlier broadcast Boston citizens chanting “USA” repeatedly while their homes are subject to martial law, the imminent desperate plunder of Syria has left a visible impression on Ambassador Jafari. As the United States demonstrates its complete lack of legitimacy except through force, the United Nations followed suit and showed Jafari that it is nothing more than a criminal enterprise.

Jun 042013
 

Russia Today

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Mokrushin)

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Mokrushin)

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that “political games” prevented Russia from investigating the data on the use of toxic substances in Aleppo: the UN Secretariat couldn’t respond promptly to Moscow’s demand to look into the matter.

In March, the Syrian government invited the United Nations to investigate possible chemical weapons use in the Khan al-Assal area of rural Aleppo. Military experts and officials said a chemical agent, most likely sarin, was used in the attack which killed 26 people, including government forces.

A boy, affected in what the government said was a chemical weapons attack, is treated at a hospital in the Syrian city of Aleppo March 19, 2013. (Reuters / George Ourfalian)

A boy, affected in what the government said was a chemical weapons attack, is treated at a hospital in the Syrian city of Aleppo March 19, 2013. (Reuters / George Ourfalian)

Several countries, including Israel, the UK, France and the US – all vocal critics of Syrian President Bashar Assad – all claimed they had evidence that chemical weapons were used in Syria.

Damascus denied that a chemical attack was carried out by the Syrian army, blaming the rebels and Turkey for the incident: “The rocket came from a placed controlled by the terrorist and which is located close to the Turkish territory. One can assume that the weapon came from Turkey,” Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoabi alleged in an interview with Interfax news agency.

Lavrov spoke following the reports that Turkish security forces found a 2kg cylinder with sarin gas after searching the homes of Syrian militants from the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front who were previously detained.

The sarin gas was found in the homes of alleged Syrian militants, who were reportedly planning a terrorist attack on the southern Turkish city of Adana.

Russia expressed concern over the incident, urging for a thorough investigation into the matter.

Almost a month ago, the Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad said that Damascus was ready to have the UN investigation team look into alleged chemical weapons use in Syria.

“We were ready and we are always ready, right now, to receive the delegation that was set up by [UN Secretary-General] Ban Ki-moon to investigate what happened in Khan al-Assal,” Muqdad said, referring to the March 19 incident near Aleppo.

Syrian rebels are accused of using a rocket with a chemical warhead, killing 25 people and injuring 86, according to SANA news agency.

Meanwhile, the US and Germany spoke to Russia on the perils of sending Assad any sort of support, arguing it would prolong the war and jeopardize efforts to bring the warring parties to the negotiating table.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, with his German counterpart Guide Westervelle, urged Russia not to supply Assad with its sophisticated S-300 air defense missile system – among other reasons, arguing that it would threaten Israel’s security. Westervelle called the decision “totally wrong”.

Kerry has been actively promoting the upcoming Geneva conference on Syria, having met with Lavrov earlier – although planning has been muddled by the opposition threatening to boycott the talks. Despite this, Western powers have repeatedly chosen to overlook the opposition’s actions as an obstacle.

Still, both Russia and the US remain committed to the talks, with Kerry insisting “If everybody is serious, and we are, and the Russians have said they are, the best chance to save Syria… is through a peaceful resolution that comes about in an organized way.”

Westervelle also pleaded with both sides “not to spoil the conference.”

The Syrian civil war has been raging for more than two years now, with more than 80,000 people killed, according to UN estimates.

In his latest statement on the matter, Lavrov noted the Russian government’s concern over the issue due to the chance of provocations around the situation.

Continue reading »

May 242013
 

Salon
Justin Elliott

Amnesty International and other groups asked Swiss authorities to investigate the former president for torture

Will George W. Bush set foot in Europe again in his lifetime?

A planned trip by Bush to speak at the Switzerland-based United Israel Appeal later this week has been canceled after several human rights groups called for Swiss authorities to arrest Bush and investigate him for authorizing torture. Bush has traveled widely since leaving office, but not to Europe, where there is a strong tradition of international prosecutions.

The Swiss group and Bush’s spokesman claim that it was threats of protest, not of legal action, that prompted the cancellation. But facing protests is nothing new for Bush. What was different about this trip was that groups including Amnesty International and the Center for Constitutional Rights argued that Switzerland, as a party to the UN Convention against Torture, is obligated to investigate Bush for potential prosecution.

Amnesty’s memo to Swiss authorities cites, among other things, Bush’s admission in his own memoir that he approved the use of waterboarding. From Amnesty’s press release:

“To date, we’ve seen a handful of military investigations into detentions and interrogations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo. But none of these has had the independence and reach necessary to investigate high-level officials such as President Bush,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“Meanwhile, there has been virtually zero accountability for crimes committed in the CIA’s secret detention program, which was authorized by then-President Bush.”

Anywhere in the world that he travels, President Bush could face investigation and potential prosecution for his responsibility for torture and other crimes in international law, particularly in any of the 147 countries that are party to the UN Convention against Torture.

“As the US authorities have, so far, failed to bring President Bush to justice, the international community must step in,” said Salil Shetty.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, meanwhile, intended to file a 2,500-page complaint against Bush in Swiss court on behalf of two Guantanamo detainees. The group will release that complaint to the public today.

Here is the Amnesty memo:

 

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Continue reading »

May 182013
 
There is clear evidence that he has broken the law on multiple occasions. And not even Republicans seem to care.

The Atlantic
Conor Friedersdorf

obama full full full.jpg

Reuters

Prompted by Peggy Noonan’s claim in The Wall Street Journal that “we are in the midst of the worst Washington scandal since Watergate,” Andrew Sullivan steps forward to defend Pres. Obama’s honor. “Can she actually believe this?,” he asks incredulously. “Has this president broken the law, lied under oath, or authorized war crimes? Has he traded arms for hostages with Iran? Has he knowingly sent his cabinet out to tell lies about his sex life? Has he sat by idly as an American city was destroyed by a hurricane? Has he started a war with no planning for an occupation? Has he started a war based on a lie, and destroyed the US’ credibility and moral standing while he was at it, leaving nothing but a smoldering and now rekindled civil sectarian war?”

An Obama critic, having overplayed her hand, gave Sullivan an opening to respond with what amounts to, “It isn’t as bad as Watergate, nor as bad as George W. Bush.” Let’s concede those points. I don’t much care what Obama’s Republican critics say about him. The scandals they’re presently touting, bad as two of them are, aren’t even the worst of Team Obama’s transgressions.

I have a stronger critique. Sullivan hasn’t internalized the worst of what Obama’s done, because his notion of scandal is implicitly constrained by whatever a president’s partisan opponents tout as scandalous. If they criticize Obama wrongly, he defends Obama proportionately.

To see what he’s forgotten as a result, let’s run once more through the first questions in Sullivan’s latest Obama apologia.

Has this president broken the law, lied under oath, or authorized war crimes?

Yes, President Obama has broken the law on multiple occasions. Despite clearly stating, in a 2008 questionnaire, that  the commander-in-chief is not lawfully empowered to ignore treaties duly ratified by the Senate, Obama has willfully failed to enforce the torture treaty, signed by Ronald Reagan and duly ratified by the Senate, that compels him to investigate and prosecute torture. As Sullivan put it earlier this year, “what Obama and Holder have done (or rather not done) is illegal.”

Obama also violated the War Powers Resolution, a law he has specifically proclaimed to be Constitutionally valid, when committing U.S. troops to Libya without Congressional approval.  Or as Sullivan put it in 2011, “I’m with Conor. The war in Libya becomes illegal from now on. And the imperial presidency grows even more powerful.”

On the subject of war crimes, Sullivan wrote that “Obama and attorney-general Eric Holder have decided to remain in breach of the Geneva Conventions and be complicit themselves in covering up the war crimes of their predecessors – which means, of course, that those of us who fought for Obama’s election precisely because we wanted a return to the rule of law were conned.” In a separate entry, he went so far as to say that Obama is “a clear and knowing accessory to war crimes, and should at some point face prosecution as well, if the Geneva Conventions mean anything any more.” That seems rather farther than Noonan went in her column.

Obama has not, as Sullivan points out, traded arms for hostages with Iran, or started a war with no planning for the inevitable occupation that would follow. But there are different questions that could be asked about Obama that would perhaps be more relevant to his behavior.

Has he ordered the assassination of any American citizens in secret without due process? Did he kill any of their teenage kids without ever explaining how or why that happened?

Has he refused to reveal even the legal reasoning he used to conclude his targeted killing program is lawful?

Has he waged an unprecedented war on whistleblowers?

Has he spied on millions of innocent Americans without a warrant or probable cause?

Does he automatically count dead military-aged males killed by U.S. drones as “militants”?

Did he “sign a bill that enshrines in law the previously merely alleged executive power of indefinite detention without trial of terror suspects”?

There is more, as Sullivan knows, and it all amounts to a scandalous presidency, even if it happens that few Republicans care about the most scandalous behavior, and have instead spent almost a year* now obsessing about Benghazi. The IRS scandal and Department of Justice leak-investigation excesses are worrisome, but the biggest scandals definitely go all the way to the top, and are still largely ignored even by commentators who have acknowledged that they’re happening. Sullivan has noted the stories as they broke, and seemed, for fleeting moments, to confront their gravity, noting the violation of very serious laws, and even once stating that Obama deserves to be prosecuted! Yet in response to Noonan, he writes, “So far as I can tell, this president has done nothing illegal, unethical or even wrong.” How inexplicably they forget.

And Sullivan is hardly alone. At the New York Times, Mother Jones, The New Yorker, and beyond, exceptional journalists take great care to document alarming abuses against the rule of law, the separation of powers, transparency, and human rights perpetrated by the Obama Administration. On a given subject, the coverage leaves me awed and proud to be part of the same profession. But when it comes time for synthesis, bad heuristics take over. Confronted with the opportunism and absurdity of the GOP, Obama’s sins are forgiven, as if he should be graded on a curve. His sins are forgotten, as if “this president has done nothing illegal, unethical or even wrong.”

Yes. He. Has. Continue reading »

May 072013
 

Global Research
Elisabeth Woodworth

911TRUTH3

Nearly 12 years after the event, the official account of 9/11 continues to be actively studied by academics around the world.  The idea of 9/11 as a false-flag operation to build support for an aggressive foreign policy in the Middle East is steadily gaining ground, suggesting that a policy change is overdue.

This essay provides a brief overview of recent academic evidence, high-level conferences, and media documentaries that raise fresh questions regarding the official account of 9/11.  It then describes the 9/11 Consensus Panel as an up-to-date source of evidence-based research for any investigation that may be undertaken to settle 9/11′s  unanswered questions.

Finally, this essay argues that mortality from all terror events combined lags far behind annual mortality from preventable common causes such as obesity, smoking, and impaired driving.  More importantly, all these causes together will be dwarfed by the mortality from predicted “business as usual” global warming events — which cry out for a unified emergency response.

Today is the second anniversary of the day the United States announced the destruction and disposal of Osama bin Laden during a special military operation.

In spite of this announcement, worldwide skepticism and research continue to dog the official account of 9/11.

Had the United States Government called an immediate investigation (it did not form the 9/11 Commission until late 2002) and provided consistent and transparent proof of its claims against Osama bin Laden and the 19 alleged hijackers, things might have been different.

In the wake of the officially failed evidence, NGO’s continue to dig into the disturbing and unanswered questions that haunt this world-changing event.  Year by year, these research bodies have been delving ever more deeply into new photographic, FOIA, and witness evidence.

Recent high-level conferences in Kuala Lumpur,[1] Bremen, Germany,[2]  and Toronto, Canada,[3] have raised public awareness of the urgent need to revisit the watershed event behind the global war on terror.

An issue of the international magazine Nexus, which sold on news-stands across France in March and April this year, devoted 12 pages to the work of the 9/11 Consensus Panel (www.consensus911.org) and its 28 peer-reviewed Consensus Points of evidence against elements of the official story.[4]

In late 2012, PBS aired one of its most-watched documentaries, “Experts Speak Out,” in which 40 architects and engineers demonstrate that the structural collapses of the Twin Towers and WTC 7 could only have been caused by controlled demolition.[5]

Indeed many serious investigations have been undertaken by the major media, including Canada’s flagship CBC program, The Fifth Estate.[6] These explorations were summarized in my 2010 essay reporting that “eight countries – Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Russia – have allowed their publicly-owned broadcasting stations to air the full spectrum of evidence challenging the truth of the official account of 9/11.[7]

In February, 2010, the American Behavioral Scientist published six articles introducing the concept of “State Crimes Against Democracy” (SCADS), including “Beyond Conspiracy Theory: Patterns of High Crimes in American Government.”[8]

Why has all this effort to establish the truth about 9/11 persisted for nearly 12 years?

1.     First, because many high officials have cast doubt on the official story. To name just one, a dismayed General Wesley Clark reported in a 2007 interview with Amy Goodman that on September 20, 2001, and again later in November, his former Pentagon staff told him that the US was going to “take out” seven Middle East countries in the next five years, beginning with Iraq; then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia, and Sudan.[9]

2.     In carrying out these operations, the “global war on terror” spawned by 9/11 has maintained an unprecedented degree of fear and divisiveness in the world;

3.     This war has been justified by a pervasive, shadowy enemy that can only be countered by flawless surveillance, suspension of civil rights, and unlimited military spending;

4.     This “forever war” has redefined world relationships (Muslim and Christian) and given the West a new kind of entitlement to occupy lands that might foster terror against it;

5.     It has virtually bankrupted the West through trillions spent in Afghanistan and Iraq that are roughly equivalent to the bank bailouts;

6.     September 11th and its offspring terror war have wrecked our confidence in the first principles of democracy.  Ever-reminded that terror lurks all around, we must cower and surrender freedoms to contain it.

7.     Worst of all, preoccupation with terror has taken our attention off the vital need to address global warming and planetary survival.  War-on-terror hawks have done quite the opposite, having manufactured public consent to occupy the very lands that house the cheap oil that is cooking the planet as it approaches 400 ppm of atmospheric CO2.[10]

How do we get back to first principles and return to global, survival-oriented priorities?

The central question is:  “Do we choose to act from what we want our world to be, or from what we fear it might become?”

Do we design a harmonious world fit for all humanity, or do we stifle our vision and hopes for peace behind fear, prisons, martial law, and infinite military spending?

All great periods of history – the golden ages of optimism, learning, culture and prosperity — have been inspired by the creative, expansive human imagination.  This imagination is inspired by the belief that a civilized world is possible because we can make it so.  It is inspired by a vision of human beings as a world family whose spirits embrace justice, order, and decency.

As President John F. Kennedy said in his famous speech of 1963:

“If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. In the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s futures. And we are all mortal.”[11]

Because of 9/11, however, our new century has been dominated by an obsessive fear of Muslim peoples.  This fear, fueled daily by the Western media, has persuaded America to compromise its fundamental democratic rights and principles in favor of a “security” that has not yet become evident.

Thus it is crucial to know whether 9/11 transpired as we have been told — and for this we need the means to identify the best evidence possible.
Continue reading »

May 072013
 

Land Destroyer
Tony Cartalucci

The US feigns disassociation with Hitlerian act of Israeli aggression – as was planned since 2007.

Image: The West has carefully cultivated Israel into “regional bully.” Immune from international condemnation, it is now being used to commit egregious war crimes against neighboring Syria, in hopes of provoking a retaliation and giving the US and its regional axis the justification it has long sought to militarily intervene.

….

May 5, 2013 (LD) – Unprovoked, Israel has attacked Syria numerous times over the past 2 days, including attacks on the Syrian capital of Damascus, in what appears to be a series of intentional provocations designed to drag the region into a wider conflict its US sponsors can then enter militarily. Neither attacked directly by Syria, nor able to cite credible evidence in regards to perceived threats Israel claims to be reacting to, the assault on Syria represents a Chapter VII breach of the United Nations Charter.

What’s more, is that while the US feigns disassociation with Israel’s breach of international peace, after jointly fueling a genocidal sectarian conflict within Syria’s borders for the past two years, it is documented fact that the US and Saudi Arabia planned to use Israel to conduct military attacks against Iran and Syria, they themselves could not justify politically, legally, or strategically.

What is now hoped is that Syria and Iran retaliate militarily, allowing the “other shoe to drop,” and for the US, UK, France, and their regional axis to directly intervene in Syria, and with any luck, Iran.

Insidious Ploy Engineered and Documented in 2007-2009

As early as 2007, it was reported that a US-Saudi-Israeli conspiracy to overthrow the governments of Iran and Syria by arming sectarian terrorists, many linked directly to Al Qaeda, was already set in motion. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 New Yorker article, “The Redirection,” stated (emphasis added):

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

Of Israel and Saudi Arabia’s partnership it specifically stated:
“The policy shift has brought Saudi Arabia and Israel into a new strategic embrace, largely because both countries see Iran as an existential threat. They have been involved in direct talks, and the Saudis, who believe that greater stability in Israel and Palestine will give Iran less leverage in the region, have become more involved in Arab-Israeli negotiations.”

Additionally, Saudi Arabian officials mentioned the careful balancing act their nation must play in order to conceal its role in supporting US-Israeli ambitions across the region. It was stated even then, that using Israel to publicly carry out attacks on Iran would be preferable to the US, which would ultimately implicate the Saudis. It was stated:

“The Saudi said that, in his country’s view, it was taking a political risk by joining the U.S. in challenging Iran: Bandar is already seen in the Arab world as being too close to the Bush Administration. “We have two nightmares,” the former diplomat told me. “For Iran to acquire the bomb and for the United States to attack Iran. I’d rather the Israelis bomb the Iranians, so we can blame them. If America does it, we will be blamed.””

This ploy was further developed in 2009 by the Fortune 500-funded (page 19) Brookings Institution in their document, “Which Path to Persia?” In regards to Iran, and now clearly being utilized against Syria, the gambit was described as follows (emphasis added):

…it would be far more preferable if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation as justification for the airstrikes before launching them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off the United States would be. Of course, it would be very difficult for the United States to goad Iran into such a provocation without the rest of the world recognizing this game, which would then undermine it. (One method that would have some possibility of success would be to ratchet up covert regime change efforts in the hope that Tehran would retaliate overtly, or even semi-overtly, which could then be portrayed as an unprovoked act of Iranian aggression.) ” –page 84-85, Which Path to Perisa?, Brookings Institution.

And:

“Israel appears to have done extensive planning and practice for such a strike already, and its aircraft are probably already based as close to Iran as possible. as such, Israel might be able to launch the strike in a matter of weeks or even days, depending on what weather and intelligence conditions it felt it needed.  Moreover, since Israel would have much less of a need (or even interest)  in securing regional support for the operation, Jerusalem probably would feel less motivated to wait for an Iranian provocation before attacking. In short, Israel could move very fast to implement this option if both Israeli and American leaders wanted it to happen.

However, as noted in the previous chapter, the airstrikes themselves are really just the start of this policy. Again, the Iranians would doubtless rebuild their nuclear sites. They would probably retaliate against Israel, and they might retaliate against the United States, too (which might create a pretext for American airstrikes or even an invasion).” page 91, Which Path to Perisa?, Brookings Institution.

And Israel not waiting for a plausible justification to attack Syria is exactly what has just happened. It should also be noted in particular, the last paragraph which gives insight into what the US-led axis plans to do after this egregious international crime – that is – to incrementally engulf the region into a conflict it finally can justify its own entry into open military aggression.

What Should Syria and its Allies Do? 

Syria, Iran, Russia and other nations that support the besieged nation most certainly were aware of the Brookings document “Which Path to Persia?” and familiar with this strategy. It would be hoped that anything of value that the Israelis would seek to attack in order to provoke a much desired retaliation and subsequent war, would have been provided additional protection, or moved entirely out of range of potential Israeli attacks.

A media campaign to illustrate the hypocritical and very revealing convergence between Al Qaeda (the so-called Free Syrian Army or FSA) and Israeli interests would undermine whatever remaining support the battered and failing Western-backed terror campaign inside Syria may still have.

Additionally, Israel’s selection by the US to carry out this attack was done specifically because Israel has long-ago exhausted its international legitimacy. What it is doing in Syria is a blatant international crime, in direct violation of international law. Currently, Syria and its allies hold the moral high ground against an enemy who is no longer fooling the world. If it is calculated that Syria can survive Israel’s unprovoked brutality, it would be best to do little or nothing, and incur internationally the same outrage that accompanies Israel’s brutality against the Palestinians.

In light of the US using Israel as its proxy against Syria, should Syria and its allies retaliate, it would be best to do so through any proxies they themselves have at their disposal. Just as Hezbollah and the Palestinians now routinely defeat Israel both strategically and politically, Syria now faces an opportunity to do so again, only on a much bigger scale.

The outrageous actions of Israel, the despicable double-game the US attempts to play by feigning disassociation with its regional beachhead in Tel Aviv, and the silent complicity of the UN, has people around the world desperately seeking retaliation from Syria, or Iran, or both. In reality, this is precisely what the West hopes to achieve – a wider conventional war in which they hold the advantage. By refusing to retaliate directly, Syria cripples the West politically, highlighting the unprovoked nature of their attacks on a nation they claim is a threat, yet fails to strike back even when its capital is under bombardment. By responding through its own plausibly deniable proxies, tactical and political pressure can be put on Israel to end its aggression.
Continue reading »

Apr 112013
 

Russia Today

AFP Photo / John Moore

AFP Photo / John Moore

A trove of leaked classified reports has confirmed what many had suspected – US drone kills in Pakistan are not the precision strikes against top-level al-Qaeda terrorists they are portrayed as by the Obama administration.

Instead, many of the attacks are aimed at suspected low-level tribal militants, who may pose no direct danger to the United States – and for many there appears to be little evidence to justify the assassinations.

Top secret documents obtained by McClatchy newspapers in the US show the locations, identities and numbers of those attacked and killed in Pakistan in 2006-8 and 2010-11, as well as explanations for why the targets were picked.

The statistics illustrate the breadth of the US ‘drone doctrine’ – which has never been defined by consecutive US administrations. Between 1,990 and 3,308 people are reported to have been killed in the drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, the vast majority of them during the Obama terms.

In the 12-month period up to 2011, 43 out of 95 drone strikes in the reports (which give an account of the vast majority of US operations in the country) were not aimed at al-Qaeda at all. And 265 out of 482 people killed in those assassinations, were defined internally as “extremists”.

Indeed, only six of the men killed – less than two percent – were senior al-Qaeda leaders.

Some of the groups include the Haqqani network and the Taliban Movement of Pakistan, both militant organizations, but ones the US did not designate as terrorists until 2012 and 2010 respectively. Neither one has ever conducted an attack on US soil.

It also confirms that attacks during the George W. Bush era, were conducted on targets picked by ISI, Pakistan’s security agency, which has no obligations to comply with US legal criteria.

Furthermore, in some cases it is difficult to confirm that the targets were militants at all.

In the strikes above, the internal reports showed that only one civilian had been killed. But the modus operandi revealed behind the strikes, shows that some of the attacks seem to have been based on the certain people or visitors being present as certain locations, or merely associating with those the US believes were terrorists. This chimes with the accusation that the US is carrying out a policy of “signature strikes” – attacks based on behavior, or “signature” that would be expected of a terrorist, rather than any specific illegal activity.

These “signatures” apparently include such suspicious behavior as taking part in a funeral procession or first responding to an initial drone strike. Last year, the United Nation’s special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, Ben Emmerson, said it’s believed that, “since President Obama took office, at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims and more than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners.”

The US has previously refused to admit that it operates such a policy.

Pakistani tribesmen carry the coffin of a person allegedly killed in a US drone attack, claiming that innocent civilians were killed during a June 15 strike in the North Waziristan village of Tapi, 10 kilometers away from Miranshah.(AFP Photo / Thir Khan)

Pakistani tribesmen carry the coffin of a person allegedly killed in a US drone attack, claiming that innocent civilians were killed during a June 15 strike in the North Waziristan village of Tapi, 10 kilometers away from Miranshah.(AFP Photo / Thir Khan)

Some of the assassinations, such as that of, Mohammad, the younger brother of the leader of the Haqqani network, Badruddin, appear to have been simply errors, with the victims branded as terrorists only after the fact.

All this seems to go against the assurance of John Brennan, the former White House counterterrorism chief, and new CIA head, who is the mastermind behind the drone policy

“We only authorize a particular operation against a specific individual if we have a high degree of confidence that the individual being targeted is indeed the terrorist we are pursuing,” Brennan explained a year ago.

Obama’s administration has also said all targets are on a “list of active terrorists,” compiled with “extraordinary care and thoughtfulness”. Obama has also explicitly stated that drones should not carry out “speculative” killings.

But other than when ordering assassinations of US citizens, the President does not have to give full information to the Senate about the basis for any drone attack, much less give it a legal justification.

The latest revelations have unleashed a torrent of protest from experts who believe that the program is extra-judicial, violates Pakistan’s sovereignty, and is counter-productive in the long term.

“I have never seen nor am I aware of any rules of engagement that have been made public that govern the conduct of drone operations in Pakistan, or the identification of individuals and groups other than al Qaida and the Afghan Taliban,” Christopher Swift, a national security law expert from Georgetown University told McClatchy.

“We are doing this on a case-by-case, ad hoc basis, rather than a systematic or strategic basis.”

Micah Zenko, from the Council on Foreign Relations, a foreign policy think tank, went further, and accused the government of“misleading the public about the scope of who can legitimately be targeted.”

He added: “When there is such a disconnect between who the administration says it kills and who it actually kills, that hypocrisy itself is a very dangerous precedent that other countries will emulate.”

Last month Ben Emmerson, after a secret research trip to the country announced that drone strikes violate Pakistan’s sovereignty.

Emmerson added that the Pakistani government conveyed to him that it does not consent to the attacks, something that is often challenged in Washington and fuels mass protests in Pakistan.

AFP Photo / Aamir Qureshi

AFP Photo / Aamir Qureshi

Drone strikes were first used after the 9/11 attacks from bases in Pakistan and Uzbekistan, in combat missions inside Afghanistan. More than a decade later, Washington has expanded the use of the remotely controlled aircraft into Yemen, Somalia and most of all Pakistan.

The US has carried out countless attacks on targets in northwest Pakistan since 2004 through the CIA’s Special Activities Division.  Begun by President George W. Bush, the intensity of the missions has increased under the presidency of Barack Obama.

Islamabad publicly condemns these attacks but is known to have shared intelligence with the US and allowed drones to operate from its territory until April 2011, when NATO forces killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in the Salala incident. WikiLeaks cables also revealed that Pakistan’s Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani sanctioned the flights and in 2008 even asked the CIA for more “Predator coverage.” 

Ordinary Pakistanis have also repeatedly protested against these attacks as a violation of its sovereignty and because of immense civilian collateral damage, including the death dozens of women and children.