Human Rights

Pressure Israel, Not Iran

Marjorie Cohn, Common Dreams, January 18, 2012 Neocons in Israel and the United States are escalating their rhetoric to prepare us for war with Iran. Even the infamous John Yoo, architect of George W. Bush’s illegal torture and spying programs, is calling on the Republican presidential candidates to “begin preparing the case for a military strike to destroy Iran’s nuclear program.” Under the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran has the legal right to produce nuclear power for peaceful purposes. The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has found no evidence that Iran is developing a nuclear weapons program. ... Pressure

Tour d’horizon: An Iranian Optic on the Middle East and its Prospects

Seyed Mohammad Marandi, University of Tehran, January 17, 2012 Almost a year ago, in a well-remembered Friday prayer sermon delivered on February 4, 2011, Ayatollah Khamenei spoke at length, in Arabic, about the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. At the time, the Egyptian people were on the streets attempting to topple the Western-backed dictator, Hosni Mubarak. In his sermon, after praising the Tunisian people, Ayatollah Khamenei spoke of how Mubarak had humiliated Egypt by becoming an American pawn and an ally of Israel. He also recalled the sharp pain that Egyptians felt when Mubarak helped implement the Western-imposed, inhuman siege of Gaza ... Tour

Recognizing the "Unpeople"

Noam Chomsky, Truthout, January 7, 2012 On June 15, three months after the NATO bombing of Libya began, the African Union presented to the UN Security Council the African position on the attack – in reality, bombing by their traditional imperial aggressors: France and Britain, joined by the US, which initially coordinated the assault, and marginally some other nations. It should be recalled that there were two interventions. The first, under UN Security Council Resolution 1973, adopted on March 17, called for a no-fly zone, a cease-fire and measures to protect civilians. After a few moments, that intervention was cast aside as the imperial triumvirate joined the rebel army, serving as its air force. ... Recognizing

The Stolen War

Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom, January 7, 2012 Is there no limit to the villainy of Hamas? Seems there isn’t. This week, they did something quite unforgivable. They stole a war. For some weeks now, our almost new Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz, has been announcing at every possible opportunity that a new war against the Gaza Strip is inevitable. Several commanders of the troops around the Strip have been repeating this dire forecast, as have their camp-followers, aka military commentators. ... The

US Obligated to Take Iran Dispute to International Arbitration

Sherwood Ross, December 7, 2012

It may come as a surprise to Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum but the US is obligated under international law to the peaceful resolution of its grievance against Iran. Santorum has criticized President Obama’s attempt to negotiate with Iran and, according to The Christian Science Monitor, “called for increased covert sabotage, bombings, and even arresting foreign scientists” working in Iran. Romney has called Iran “the greatest threat we face” and for pulverizing its nuclear facilities “through airstrikes and (to) make it very public we are doing just that.”

The US-Iran economic war

Pepe Escobar, Asia Times, January 7, 2012 New York - Here's a crash course on how to further wreck the global economy. A key amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act signed by United States President Barack Obama on the last day of 2011 - when no one was paying attention - imposes sanctions on any countries or companies that buy Iranian oil and pay for it through Iran's central bank. Starting this summer, anybody who does it is prevented from doing business with the US. This amendment ... was brought to you by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), on direct orders of the Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu. ... The

Obama unveils war strategy focused on China

Bill Van Auken, World Socialist Web Site, January 7, 2012 The military strategy unveiled by President Barack Obama Thursday keeps massive spending on the US war machine largely intact, while shifting its focus decisively toward China. Obama made an unprecedented appearance at the Pentagon Thursday, marking the first time that a US president has personally participated in the presentation of such a defense strategic guidance document, which presents in broad strokes the priorities and direction for the US armed forces. In presenting the document ... Obama insisted that the US military budget would remain higher than those of the next 10 military powers combined. ... Obama

'Obama's new policy may cause military tensions'

Press Trust of India, January 7, 2012 Beijing - US President Barack Obama's revamped national defence strategy shifting focus to Asia-Pacific region and identifying China as a security threat may challenge mutual trust and cause potential military tensions between the two countries, official media said on Saturday. The new defence strategic document titled 'Sustaining US Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defence' calls for the US military to strengthen its presence in Asia-Pacific and identifies China as a security threat in long term. ... Obama

China in US gunsights

Damian Grammaticas, BBC, January 6, 2012 Is China's rise going to lead to conflict with America? Is Beijing destined to go to war with today's undisputed global superpower? The question is not posed directly in the new US defence strategic review. But, unspoken, it is there, running through the document that seeks to shape America's new military thinking for the 21st Century. Read the review and it is clear that the challenge posed by a rising China is at the very heart of America's new defence strategy. ... China

Iran, US and Israel announce new war games as tensions rise in the Gulf

Surge in military activity in the region comes amid threat of EU embargo on Iranian oil and possible closure of strait of Hormuz. Julian Borger, Guardian, January 6, 2012 Tensions on the oil shipping lanes in the Gulf have escalated with the announcement of new naval exercises by Iran's Revolutionary Guards and news that Israel and the US are planning to carry out extensive joint manoeuvres in the region. The naval commander for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, said the drill in February would be "different compared to previous exercises held by the IRGC". The Iranian navy finished 10 days of exercises in the Gulf on Monday ... Iran

Obama's Leaner, Meaner Military

The president plans to shrink the Pentagon. But are we just swapping soldiers for drones, contractors and reserve troops? Adam Weinstein, Mother Jones, January 6, 2012 In an announcement long on ambition and short on specifics, President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta rolled out a new national security strategy Thursday that aims to drastically downsize the military. "[W]e have the opportunity and the responsibility to look ahead to the force we need for the future," the president said. His plan, "Sustaining US Global Leadership," aims to slash troops, fighter jets and $450 million from the Pentagon bureaucracy. ... Obama

The New York Times is Lying About Iran's Nuclear Program

Robert Naiman, Common Dreams, January 6, 2012 It's deja vu all over again. AIPAC is trying to trick America into another catastrophic war with a Middle Eastern country on behalf of the Likud Party's colonial ambitions, and the New York Times is lying about allegations that said country is developing "weapons of mass destruction." In an article attributed to Steven Erlanger on January 4 ..., this paragraph appeared: The threats from Iran, aimed both at the West and at Israel, combined with a recent assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran's nuclear program has a military objective, is becoming an important issue in the American presidential campaign. ... Judy

Occupying Fears About Iran

Winslow Myers, Consortium News, January 5, 2012 In an election year, as many US politicians compete to out-macho one another over fighting a new war with Iran, there is little self-reflection on whether the American side bears its own share of guilt in this troubled bilateral relationship, as Winslow Myers observes. US behavior long ago provided one causal context for our unease about the presumed nuclear aspirations of the Islamic Republic of Iran: the US and Britain messed with Iran’s last authentically democratic election in 1953, out of fear of communist influence and the nationalization of oil. ... Occupying

Obama's Ominous Arming of Despots in the Gulf

Carl Bloice, Black Commentator, January 4, 2011 Just as the year was coming to a close, three prominent Iraqi political figures declared their country "stands on the brink of disaster." Rather than becoming a "a functioning democratic and nonsectarian state," Iraq is on the path to becoming "a sectarian autocracy that carries with it the threat of devastating civil war," asserted Ayad Allawi, named Prime Minister of the Iraqi Interim Government after the US invasion, Osama Al-Nujaifi, Speaker of Council of Representatives of Iraq, and the country's finance minister, Rafe Al-Essawi, on the opinion page of the New York Times. ... Obama

End of the pro-democracy pretense

Glenn Greenwald, Salon, January 2, 2012 Media coverage of the Arab Spring somehow depicted the US as sympathetic to and supportive of the democratic protesters notwithstanding the nation’s decades-long financial and military support for most of the targeted despots. That’s because a central staple of American domestic propaganda about its foreign policy is that the nation is “pro-democracy” - that’s the banner under which Americans wars are typically prettified - even though “democracy” in this regard really means “a government which serves American interests regardless of how their power is acquired,” while “despot” means ... End

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