Archive for the Tony Blair Category

The Iraqi resistance is justified, prosecute the criminals [Workers World]

Posted in Belgium, DU Depleted Uranium weapons, Genocide, George W. Bush, Iran, Iraq, Pentagon, Sanctions as weapon of war, Tony Blair, U.K., U.K. War Crimes, US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA, War crimes on March 31, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By John Catalinotto on March 25, 2014

Workers World newspaper publishes below the statement of the Spanish Campaign Against the Occupation and for the Sovereignty of Iraq (CEOSI), which summarizes the damages to Iraq caused by aggressive war and occupation on the occasion of the 11th anniversary of the U.S.-British invasion on March 19, 2003, and raises demands for prosecution of the responsible war criminals and for reparations for the victims. WW notes that CEOSI is one of the organizers of the April 16-17 commission set for Brussels, Belgium, to make legal demands on the war criminals, mostly from the U.S. and Britain, whose crimes caused so much death and destruction in Iraq.

The illegal war and occupation of Iraq, launched by the international coalition led by the U.S. and Britain, have claimed the lives of nearly two million Iraqis; it has left five million refugees inside and outside Iraqi borders, made more than one million widows and five million orphans [1]. The occupying forces have often used weapons banned by International Conventions, such as depleted uranium ammunition, agent orange and white phosphorus [2]. The planners and the executors of what the international law defines as a crime against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity remain unpunished.

After the Iraqi national resistance forced the U.S. military to withdraw its troops, tens of thousands of advisors, contractors — especially North Americans — and security personnel remain in the country to protect the interests of the United States. Foreign elements have not abandoned their goal of controlling the economic resources of the country, since they face a government unable to guarantee its population’s most basic services.

In addition, various foreign and regional powers, such as the pro-Iranian forces, are fighting each other to gain influence and dominate Iraq using their militias against the Iraqi people.

The political process and the regime imposed are part of the U.S.-British occupation of Iraq. The policy of the regime led by Nuri al-Maliki is based on revenge, totalitarianism and sectarian division; it’s a regime that promotes and encourages acts of terrorism against civilians to prevent Iraq from regaining its sovereignty after decades of sanctions, war and occupation. According to the most conservative data, the death toll caused by the violence in the past year is around 8,000 [3]. To this number at least 169 executions carried out without the standard legal guarantees must be added. Iraq ranks third in the use of death penalty after China and Iran. [4]

At the beginning of 2011, the different peaceful protests that began to struggle [and] fight against the occupation — involving trade unions, students, human rights activists, etc.,— unified their efforts in what was called the February 25th Movement [5] and reached a national level.

This peaceful resistance was suppressed by the state and intentionally ignored by the mainstream media, which largely led to its disappearance. However, this long journey of struggle and growing popular discontent has been the root of the popular revolution that we are witnessing today in Iraq.

Since late 2012, these demonstrations and popular and peaceful sit-ins have resumed in some western provinces; they have been spread to the south and have reached the capital, Baghdad. [6] Despite the government nonstop attempts to put an end to the protests, they have continued till now, especially in central and west Iraqi provinces, where people have been suffering persecution and the regime’s sectarian policies. There are many reasons for the people to take [to] the streets: corruption, sectarianism, unemployment, lack of access to basic services, illegal arrests, etc., which derive from the foreign occupation and from a class rule that triggers hatred, division, power struggles and the plundering of the national resources. In 2011, the reasons for the popular revolution were crystal clear in the mottos demanding the withdrawal of the U.S. troops and the removal of the regime.

For more than two months now, the Maliki government has been waging a war against the Iraqi people in several provinces in an attempt to end the popular revolution. Although the protests have been totally peaceful, Maliki has accused the population of these (majority Sunni) areas of being part of or supporting the terrorist organization, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. [7] Without any hesitation, the government continues bombing the civilians, while receiving military aid from the U.S., Russia and Iran. The bombing has caused numerous deaths and new waves of refugees. [8] In response to the government attacks, the population has organized itself into military councils to protect its territory and fight for what all Iraqis — from north to south — have demanded since the beginning of the occupation: prosperity, unity and national sovereignty. [9]

In these critical times to Iraq, CEOSI would like to express its full support for the Iraqi popular revolution — armed and peaceful — and we state that the military councils have been created for self-defense due to the total absence of legal protection and contempt for the law in Iraq; a situation where sectarian and partisan militias run the country and the government, far from ensuring the safety of citizens, exercises state terrorism, so that

We demand:

1. That the aspirations of the Iraqi people’s revolution are acknowledged, as well as the Iraqi right to decide about their own destiny, without any interference after more than 25 years of wars, sanctions, and a new war and illegal occupation.

2. That the International Criminal Court fulfills its legal obligation to investigate and prosecute every single individual or group responsible for committing the war crimes, the crimes against peace and the crimes against humanity that were committed in Iraq from 2003 onwards.

The international body of justice must ensure that the top military, civil and political leaders, from all those countries that led, supported or carried out the invasion and occupation of Iraq, are accountable for their lies and for the policies that led them to commit these crimes against Iraq and its people. In this regard, the Iraq Commission in the framework of the 18th Congress of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers there will be held in Brussels on April 16 and 17. The aim of this commission is to analyze and to implement legal measures that will prevent the criminals from going unpunished.

The International Criminal Court must comply with international law, establish war compensations and require them to be paid, both to civilian victims and to the Iraqi state, whose sovereignty and independence have been abused by acts contrary to the international law currently in force.

The United Nations must take an active and supportive role to aid those national courts that can take legal procedures against those accountable for the crimes committed against a sovereign nation. At this moment, in which the Spanish government has led the way to at least a minimum application of the Law of Universal Jurisdiction, an active defense of justice is particularly important…

Excerpted; full article (w/footnotes) link: http://www.workers.org/articles/2014/03/25/iraqi-resistance-justified-prosecute-criminals/

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Articles copyright 1995-2014 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Obama pushes war on Syria with new tactic [Workers World]

Posted in Bill Clinton, Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, CIA, France, Germany, Hillary Clinton, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lenin, Media smear campaign, NATO, Obama, Pentagon, Russia, Sarkozy, Syria, Tony Blair, U.K., UNSC, US imperialism, USA, USSR, Zionism on September 8, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Fred Goldstein
Sept. 9, 2013

* Another step to war *

On Sept. 3, Republican senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham, brokers for the Pentagon hawks, met with President Obama and came away saying that they now support plans for missile strikes against Syria. Graham said the attacks were going to be “a little more robust” than he had thought. There was talk of attacks on Syrian aircraft, artillery and rockets, and assurances from Obama that the attacks would be aimed at “shifting the momentum on the battlefield.” McCain called the meeting “encouraging” and said it would be “catastrophic” not to support the strikes.

This message signifies a convergence between the Obama administration and the aggressive militarists in the Pentagon and the ruling class. It is another dangerous step toward a military adventure.

+ Mass skepticism +

Sept. 2 — President Barack Obama and his administration are demanding that Congress underwrite a military adventure that will bring death and destruction to the Syrian masses, despite all the smooth, sanitizing phrases about so-called precision cruise missile “surgical strikes,” “limited targets,” and “deter and degrade.”

The intended attack on Syria holds the potential to trigger a much wider conflict, which will bring suffering and hardship not only to the people of the Middle East but to the workers and the oppressed in the U.S.

The whole world expected Obama to announce missile strikes on Syria on Aug. 31. But at the last minute he decided to opt for the tactic of dragging Congress into an endorsement intended to legitimize an act of imperialist aggression that has already been decided upon.

The fact that his move to take it to Congress has become controversial is a measure of the degree to which the Pentagon and previous presidents have obliterated constitutional legality, which says clearly that only Congress can declare war. But in his speech, Obama did not formally surrender the right to make war without congressional authority, he only said it would produce a “stronger” mandate — if the Congress does what it is legally required to do and votes on the question.

This stratagem of pressuring Congress into becoming an open accomplice to a military strike was made necessary when the attempt to drum up support for war with a battery of lies alleging Syrian government chemical warfare “atrocities” flopped.

+ Danger signals from London +

A powerful signal of impending U.S. isolation came when the British Parliament voted against participating in the attack. The British capitalist government, which during the Iraq war was called a “U.S. poodle” by the British masses, backed away from being drawn into the U.S. military adventure.

In addition, the German imperialists distanced themselves from the adventure. NATO will not go along. The normally docile Arab League did not endorse the strikes. The U.N. Security Council would not endorse the strikes. And the ruling class in the U.S. is divided over what to do.

Only the French imperialists, the former colonial rulers of Syria with strong interests in the country, were willing to endorse the attack.

This time around, the imperialist allies are afraid of being dragged into a U.S. military adventure at a time when the working classes of the capitalist world are suffering mass unemployment, declining wages, growing poverty and inequality. The U.S. has engaged in at least three major wars in the last decade and the population knows that trillions of dollars have been spent on these military adventures. Yet austerity for the workers is deepening as the criminal bankers and bosses pile up record profits and incomes.

Still in the minds of the masses are images of former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell standing before the United Nations on Feb. 5, 2003, pointing to charts, reports and satellite photos that allegedly proved the existence of “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq. They also haunt the minds of bourgeois politicians, like former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose reputations and/or careers were ruined because they hitched themselves to the fraudulent deceptions of the U.S. imperialist establishment. Ten more years of war followed the Powell speech.

Flash forward to today. The allies all know that U.S. charges defy all logic and they fear future exposure. The Syrian government would not gas its own people — right in the suburbs of the capital, Damascus — at the very moment that it welcomed U.N. inspectors on to the site of the alleged attack. Nor would it resort to such weapons at the moment when it is making military progress against the counterrevolutionary forces.

In the struggle for world support, it would be suicidal for the government in Damascus to risk alienating world opinion by carrying out such an act. No one in the Middle East, except for the puppet governments of the Arab League and other allies of U.S. imperialism, even pretends to believe it.

The only ones to benefit from such an act, if it took place, would be Washington, which has long planned to overthrow the government in Damascus and now feels it necessary to carry out direct military aggression, after all else failed.

+ Masses suffering from ‘intervention fatigue’ +

The Wall Street Journal of Sept. 2 aptly quoted James Lindsay, a former Clinton administration official: “The public has a clear case of intervention fatigue after 12 years of engagement overseas, the longest stretch in U.S. history.”

In fact, a Reuters/Ipsos poll taken the week that all the horrific reports of alleged Syrian atrocities were headlined in the capitalist media said that only 9 percent of respondents were for military intervention.

Rumors about a difficult upcoming vote for the strikes in Congress are being attributed to partisanship, factionalism, etc. But politics aside, in spite of the pressure for war, the politicians still need to get elected and many may not want to be tied to another disastrous military adventure.

For the anti-imperialist movement, the most significant political development to emerge from this crisis is this: The material basis of popular support for imperialist war has been eroded by previous wars and by the devastating global economic crisis.

This greatly strengthens the long-term prospects for mobilizing the masses against the Pentagon’s adventures, in Syria or elsewhere. The hawks in the Pentagon are moving in the opposite direction than the masses of people, and a clash is inevitable.

+ ‘Chemical weapons’ frame-up long in making +

There is a tendency in the capitalist media to call Obama inept for getting the U.S. into a bind. The fact is that the foundation of this crisis was laid back in March 2011, when Washington decided to foment an anti-government opposition in Syria with the aim of overthrowing the sovereign government of Bashar al-Assad.

In August 2011, after consultations at the highest level, with the hawkish secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, playing a leading role, Obama announced that President Assad had to go. In quick succession, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nikolas Sarkozy and German President Angela Merkel followed suit, calling for Assad to step down.

This was a definitive signal that U.S. imperialism intended to go all the way with “regime change” in Syria.

Washington and the Pentagon undoubtedly thought this was going to be easily achieved. But exactly one year after saying Assad must go, the government in Damascus was still there and fighting off the imperialist-sponsored counterrevolutionaries as well as the al-Nusra jihadists.

Thus, on Aug. 20, 2011, the Obama administration rolled out the “chemical weapons” frame-up plan. Obama, based on nothing, announced out of the blue that if Damascus used chemical weapons, it would have crossed a “red line” and changed his “calculus.” Such warnings and subsequent lies about the use of chemical weapons were repeated over and over by the administration and in the capitalist media, laying the groundwork for this latest frame-up.

What triggered this talk of chemical weapons was the military progress that the Assad forces were making against the reactionary forces, who were also suffering splits on the ground. This frame-up was prepared long in advance, and it is part of a larger goal of destroying the government of Syria.

+ War against Syria as preparation for wider war +

But the war against Syria and the preparation for intervention must be seen as part of a broader Pentagon strategy. Syria is the front line of a de facto alliance of the forces of resistance to imperialism in the Middle East, including Hezbollah and Iran.

Many hawks in the Pentagon and in the capitalist government have wanted to attack Iran ever since it announced its nuclear program. Hezbollah delivered a defeat to the Israeli Zionist state and has played a key role in helping the Syrian government take back territory from the so-called “Free Syrian Army,” which is an instrument of the Pentagon and the CIA.

Russia has supported Syria diplomatically and militarily. Furthermore, Syria is Russia’s primary ally in the Middle East and, with Iran, one of only two countries in the region where Russian warships can dock. This relationship goes back to the days of the USSR and has been continued by the present reactionary capitalist leaders of Russia on a pragmatic basis since the overthrow of the Soviet Union.

In addition to supporting Syria, Russia, in defiance of Washington, has given refuge to Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who exposed the global spy network of the National Security Agency. In addition, President Vladimir Putin has been persecuting pro-U.S. businessmen and politicians in Russia. There has also been antagonism over the U.S. anti-ballistic missile systems and other issues.

On different levels, the war against Syria is both a war and an opener for a wider war, a proxy war against Iran, Hezbollah and Russia. The aim is to overthrow the Syrian government, break up the nexus of resistance which centers on Damascus, set up a regime that would threaten Hezbollah, close down Russia’s naval facility and port privileges, and drive the Russians out of the country. And this could set the stage for U.S. aggression against Iran.

This is the broader geopolitics of the struggle against Syria.

+ Syria and post-Soviet era of ‘reconquest’ +

This broader struggle must be understood in terms of the nature of imperialism. It is a permanently aggressive, war-like and expansionary system, as Vladimir Lenin described in his classic work, “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism,” written in 1916.

Syria is one of a number of countries that achieved independence and were able to partially or fully break with imperialism during the Soviet era. With all its contradictions, the Soviet Union was an alternative socialist system that was antagonistic to imperialism and gave varying degrees of economic, political and military support and protection to oppressed countries struggling for independence. The very existence of the USSR made it possible for hundreds of millions of people to break with imperialism.

The collapse of the USSR set the stage for the imperialists to try to take back all the territory and influence that they had lost during the three-quarters of a century marking the Soviet era.

The post-Soviet era has been the era of reconquest. This is what has driven imperialist war and intervention since the collapse of the USSR and Eastern Europe — just as the Cold War and the struggle between the two antagonistic social systems drove imperialist war and militarism after World II. And it was the struggle among the imperialist powers for domination of the globe that drove the two world wars in the first half of the 20th century.

This is what accounts for the wars against Yugoslavia, Iraq, Yemen and Libya, the permanent threats to Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and now the war against Syria.

+ Capitalist politics as the art of deception +

Capitalist politics is the art of deception and, above all, deceiving the masses. W hen the decision to go to war approaches, the level of deception reaches staggering heights.

No one should be deceived for a moment by the lies told by Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and the entire capitalist media, which are beginning to march in lock step towards war.

Every word uttered by the administration is designed to conceal its predatory aims. The claim that cruise missile strikes — launching powerful warheads that can cause massive destruction — is not aimed at “regime change” is a complete falsehood. That is the fundamental U.S. government goal and has been since March 2011, when the counterrevolutionary campaign began.

Minimally, the strikes are aimed at helping the U.S.-supported forces on the ground regain the military initiative they have lost to government forces. Strikes would also be aimed at pushing back al-Nusra. But the main aim of regaining the military initiative is the overthrow of the Assad government, pure and simple — i.e., “regime change.” Washington has to deny this.

A time-tested part of capitalist pre-war deception is the attempt to create war fever by framing up the intended target of aggression as the aggressor. This “aggressor” invariably then carries out “atrocities,” possesses “weapons of mass destruction” or commits other acts that require imperialism to wage war.

Before or during every war since the invasion of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines in 1898, down to the Gulf of Tonkin frame-up of the Vietnamese in 1964 that resulted in the deployment of 500,000 troops to Vietnam, to the wars against Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya, the victims of U.S. aggression have been put in the dock by the politicians and propagandists of the war machine.

But they haven’t succeeded this time around. The attempt to drum up international and domestic war fever to get approval for an attack on Syria has fallen flat. Washington has been growing more and more isolated.

Whatever the immediate outcome of the vote in Congress, and whether the strikes are carried out as planned, Washington and the Pentagon will not give up their designs on ruling the entire Middle East.

Nor will the system change its nature. Under imperialism, periods of peace are only interludes between wars. And the last two decades, since the collapse of the USSR, have been a period of perpetual war and intervention.

The only way to stop war is to destroy imperialism root and branch and the monopoly capitalist system on which it rests.

Fred Goldstein is the author of “Low-Wage Capitalism” and “Capitalism at a Dead End,” which has been translated into Spanish as “El capitalismo en un callejón sin salida.”

Articles copyright 1995-2013 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

The Anti-Empire Report #119 – “Nationalism and hypocrisy” [Williamblum.org]

Posted in Capitalist media double standard, Corporate Media Critique, Cuba, Ecuador, Iraq, National Security Agency / NSA, NSA, Obama, Russia, State Department, Tony Blair, Torture, U.K., US drone strikes, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, USSR, Venezuela, War crimes, Wikileaks on August 3, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

July 29, 2013
by William Blum

– That most charming of couples: Nationalism and hypocrisy –

It’s not easy being a flag-waving American nationalist. In addition to having to deal with the usual disillusion, anger, and scorn from around the world incited by Washington’s endless bombings and endless wars, the nationalist is assaulted by whistle blowers like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, who have disclosed a steady stream of human-rights and civil-liberties scandals, atrocities, embarrassing lies, and embarrassing truths. Believers in “American exceptionalism” and “noble intentions” have been hard pressed to keep the rhetorical flag waving by the dawn’s early light and the twilight’s last gleaming.

That may explain the Washington Post story (July 20) headlined “U.S. asylum-seekers unhappy in Russia”, about Edward Snowden and his plan to perhaps seek asylum in Moscow. The article recounted the allegedly miserable times experienced in the Soviet Union by American expatriates and defectors like Lee Harvey Oswald, the two NSA employees of 1960 – William Martin and Bernon Mitchell – and several others. The Post’s propaganda equation apparently is: Dissatisfaction with life in Russia by an American equals a point in favor of the United States: “misplaced hopes of a glorious life in the worker’s paradise” … Oswald “was given work in an electronics factory in dreary Minsk, where the bright future eluded him” … reads the Post’s Cold War-clichéd rendition. Not much for anyone to get terribly excited about, but a defensive American nationalist is hard pressed these days to find much better.

At the same time TeamUSA scores points by publicizing present-day Russian violations of human rights and civil liberties, just as if the Cold War were still raging. “We call on the Russian government to cease its campaign of pressure against individuals and groups seeking to expose corruption, and to ensure that the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of all of its citizens, including the freedoms of speech and assembly, are protected and respected,” said Jay Carney, the White House press secretary. 1

“Campaign of pressure against individuals and groups seeking to expose corruption” … hmmm … Did someone say “Edward Snowden”? Is round-the-clock surveillance of the citizenry not an example of corruption? Does the White House have no sense of shame? Or embarrassment? At all?

I long for a modern version of the Army-McCarthy hearings of 1954 at which Carney – or much better, Barack Obama himself – is spewing one lie and one sickening defense of his imperialist destruction after another. And the committee counsel (in the famous words of Joseph Welch) is finally moved to declare: “Sir, you’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” The Congressional gallery burst into applause and this incident is widely marked as the beginning of the end of the McCarthy sickness.

US politicians and media personalities have criticized Snowden for fleeing abroad to release the classified documents he possessed. Why didn’t he remain in the US to defend his actions and face his punishment like a real man? they ask. Yes, the young man should have voluntarily subjected himself to solitary confinement, other tortures, life in prison, and possible execution if he wished to be taken seriously. Quel coward!…

“Every country in the world that is engaged in international affairs and national security undertakes lots of activities to protect its national security,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said recently. “All I know is that it is not unusual for lots of nations.” 3

Well, Mr. K, anti-semitism is not unusual; it can be found in every country. Why, then, does the world so strongly condemn Nazi Germany? Obviously, it’s a matter of degree, is it not? The magnitude of the US invasion of privacy puts it into a league all by itself.

Kerry goes out of his way to downplay the significance of what Snowden revealed. He’d have the world believe that it’s all just routine stuff amongst nations … “Move along, nothing to see here.” Yet the man is almost maniacal about punishing Snowden…

…Wow. Heavy. Unlimited power in the hands of psychopaths. My own country truly scares me.

And what country brags about its alleged freedoms more than the United States? And its alleged democracy? Its alleged civil rights and human rights? Its alleged “exceptionalism”? Its alleged everything? Given that, why should not the United States be held to the very highest of standards?

American hypocrisy in its foreign policy is manifested on a routine, virtually continual, basis. Here is President Obama speaking recently in South Africa about Nelson Mandela: “The struggle here against apartheid, for freedom; [Mandela’s] moral courage; this country’s historic transition to a free and democratic nation has been a personal inspiration to me. It has been an inspiration to the world – and it continues to be.” 5

How touching. But no mention – never any mention by any American leader – that the United States was directly responsible for sending Nelson Mandela to prison for 28 years. 6

And demanding Snowden’s extradition while, according to the Russian Interior Ministry, “Law agencies asked the US on many occasions to extradite wanted criminals through Interpol channels, but those requests were neither met nor even responded to.” Amongst the individuals requested are militant Islamic insurgents from Chechnya, given asylum in the United States. 7

Ecuador has had a similar experience with the US in asking for the extradition of several individuals accused of involvement in a coup attempt against President Rafael Correa. The most blatant example of this double standard is that of Luis Posada Carriles who masterminded the blowing up of a Cuban airline in 1976, killing 73 civilians. He has lived as a free man in Florida for many years even though his extradition has been requested by Venezuela. He’s but one of hundreds of anti-Castro and other Latin American terrorists who’ve been given haven in the United States over the years despite their being wanted in their home countries.

American officials can spout “American exceptionalism” every other day and commit crimes against humanity on intervening days. Year after year, decade after decade. But I think we can derive some satisfaction, and perhaps even hope, in that US foreign policy officials, as morally damaged as they must be, are not all so stupid that they don’t know they’re swimming in a sea of hypocrisy. Presented here are two examples:

In 2004 it was reported that “The State Department plans to delay the release of a human rights report that was due out today, partly because of sensitivities over the prison abuse scandal in Iraq, U.S. officials said. One official … said the release of the report, which describes actions taken by the U.S. government to encourage respect for human rights by other nations, could ‘make us look hypocritical’.” 8

And an example from 2007: Chester Crocker, a member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion, and formerly Assistant Secretary of State, noted that “we have to be able to cope with the argument that the U.S. is inconsistent and hypocritical in its promotion of democracy around the world. That may be true.” 9

In these cases the government officials appear to be somewhat self-conscious about the prevailing hypocrisy. Other foreign policy notables seem to be rather proud.

Robert Kagan, author and long-time intellectual architect of an interventionism that seeks to impose a neo-conservative agenda upon the world, by any means necessary, has declared that the United States must refuse to abide by certain international conventions, like the international criminal court and the Kyoto accord on global warming. The US, he says, “must support arms control, but not always for itself. It must live by a double standard.” 10

And then we have Robert Cooper, a senior British diplomat who was an advisor to Prime Minister Tony Blair during the Iraq war. Cooper wrote:

The challenge to the postmodern world is to get used to the idea of double standards. Among ourselves, we operate on the basis of laws and open cooperative security. But when dealing with more old-fashioned kinds of states outside the postmodern continent of Europe, we need to revert to the rougher methods of an earlier era – force, pre-emptive attack, deception, whatever is necessary to deal with those who still live in the nineteenth century world of every state for itself. 11

His expression, “every state for itself”, can be better understood as any state not willing to accede to the agenda of the American Empire and the school bully’s best friend in London.

So there we have it. The double standard is in. The Golden Rule of “do unto others as you would have others do unto you” is out.

The imperial mafia, and their court intellectuals like Kagan and Cooper, have a difficult time selling their world vision on the basis of legal, moral, ethical or fairness standards. Thus it is that they simply decide that they’re not bound by such standards.

Excerpted; full report with footnotes here: http://williamblum.org/aer/read/119

America’s Presstitute Media [Paul Craig Roberts]

Posted in 9/11, Assassination, Bill Clinton, FBI, Germany, Hillary Clinton, Israel, Libya, NATO, Nazism, Obama, Pentagon, Russia, Saudi Arabia, State Department, Syria, Tony Blair, Torture, U.K., US imperialism, USA on June 13, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

I don’t agree with the use of “whores” in this article as a derogatory term. I think “whores” [sic] who use prophylactics are much better human beings than those paid to operate the genocide-rationalizing, anti-democratic corporate media apparatus of today. – Zuo Shou

June 2, 2013

When Gerald Celente branded the American media “presstitutes,” he got it right. The US print and TV media (and NPR) whore for Washington and the corporations. Reporting the real news is their last concern. The presstitutes are a Ministry of Propaganda and Coverup. This is true of the entire Western media, a collection of bought-and-paid-for whores.

It seems that every day I witness a dozen or more examples. Take May 31 for example.

The presstitutes report that US Secretary of State John Kerry and his German counterpart are working on Russia to convince that country to be a “party to peace” in Syria by not supplying the Syrian government, whose country has been invaded, with arms. Kerry and the Israelis especially do not want Russia to deliver the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Syria.

This was the extent of the presstitutes’ report. The presstitutes made no mention of the fact that the invasion of Syria by al-Qaeda affiliated radical Muslims was organized and equipped by Washington via its proxies in the region, such as Saudia Arabia and the oil emirates. Americans sufficiently stupid to rely on the presstitute media do not know that it is not Syrians who want to overthrow their government, but Washington, Israel, and radical Islamists who object to Syria’s secular non-confrontational government.

One might think that the US media would wonder why Washington prefers to have al-Qaeda governing Syria than a non-confrontational secular government. But such a question is off-limits for the US media.

Israel, unlike Washington which so far hides behind proxies, has actually openly committed war crimes as defined by the Nuremberg trials of Nazis by initiating unprovoked aggression against Syria by militarily attacking the country.

In reporting Kerry’s pressure on Putin, presstitutes made no mention that the Washington-backed attempted overthrow of the Syrian government has run into difficulty, causing president obama [sic] to ask the Pentagon to come up with a no-fly plan, which means according to the Libya precedent NATO or US air attacks on Syrian government forces. As the S-300 missiles are a defensive weapon, obama’s plan to send in Western or Israeli air forces to attack the Syrian army is why Kerry is pressuring Russia not to honor its contract to deliver to Syria the S-300 missiles, which can knock US, NATO, and Israeli aircraft out of the sky.

Those who believed that Kerry could have made a difference as president must be disillusioned to see what a warmongering whore he is. In america marketing is everything; truth is nothing.

The real news story is that Washington is trying to convince Putin to acquiesce to Washington’s overthrow of the Syrian government so that Russia can be evicted from its only naval base in the Mediterranean Sea, thus making it Washington’s sea, Washington’s Mare Nostrum. The american pressitutes put all the onus on the Russian government for not helping Washington to overthrow the Syrian government in order that Washington has another victory over Russia and can start next on Iran.

William Hague, who serves, with Washington’s approval, as British foreign secretary to the shame of a once proud [sic] nation, made this clear when he declared: “We want a solution without Assad. We do not accept the stay of Assad.” This is amazing hypocrisy, because the Syrian government is more respectful of human rights than Washington and London.

While Kerry was trying to con Putin, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that the obama administration’s immediate priority was removing Assad from power. http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/middle-east-north-africa/302773-white-house-no-role-for-assad-in-transitional-government So for the US and UK, “peace” means the overthrow of the Syrian government by force.

Why isn’t the United Nations protesting? The answer is that the countries and their UN representatives have been purchased by Washington. Money talks. Integrity and justice don’t. Integrity and justice are poverty-inflicted. The UN belongs to the evil empire. Washington owns it. The american Empire has the money. It pays for the headlines and for the budget that lets the UN delegates enjoy New York City,

In the world today, integrity is worthless, but money is valuable, and Washington has the money because, as the dollar is the world reserve currency, it can be printed in sufficient quantities to purchase every country’s government, including our own. One year out of office and Tony Blair was worth $35 million. Look at the amazing Clinton riches. According to news report, $3.2 million was spent on Chelsea’s wedding. http://www.goingwedding.com/news_detail.asp?newsid=67

Hague said that the UK and France “seek to end the ban on arming Syrian rebels.” Hague did not explain how the invasion force was armed if there is a ban against arming it. But Hague did tell us who the invading force is: “the Syrian National Coalition,” which consists of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt (still the American puppet), the United States, Britain, France, Turkey, Germany and Italy. Obviously, the talk about a “Syrian rebellion” is pure BS. Syria is confronted with an attempted overthrow of its government by the US and its puppet states. Kerry is trying to convince Putin to let Washington overthrow Syria.

As if this wasn’t enough, also on May 31, I listened to e.j. dionne and david brooks on National Public Radio discuss the state of the obama presidency. Both were protective of “our president.” Neither would dare say: “the military-security complex’s president,” “Wall Street’s president,” “the Israel Lobby’s president,” “Monsanto’s president,” “the mining and fracking president.” obama is “our president.”

Both brooks and dionne agreed that the media had got rid of the Benghazi issue and that the IRS persecution of Tea Party members was under the media’s control and was not a threat to obama. david brooks did acknowledge that there were economic problems ignored and no new ideas. However, the blatant fact that under obama the US is in a constitutional crisis, well described by Dr. Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35134.htm was not mentioned by NPR’s pundits, who define correct thoughts for the NPR audience, people too busy to pay attention.

In america today, the executive branch in explicit violation of the US Constitution detains indefinitely or murders any US citizen alleged without proof by an unaccountable member of the executive branch to be in any way associated with the broad but undefined term, “terrorism,” even innocently as a donor to hungry or ill Palestinian children. The executive branch clearly violates the US Constitution and US statutory laws against torture and spying on citizens without warrants. Congress does not impeach the president for his obvious crimes, and the Federal Judiciary enables them.

President Nixon was driven from office because he lied about when he learned of a burglary for which he was not responsible. President Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives for lying about a sexual affair with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.

President george w. bush took america to wars based on obvious lies, and so did president obama. Both administrations are guilty of war crimes and almost every possible infraction of constitutional and international law. Yet, no presstitute member of the media would dare mention impeachment, and the House would never bring the charge.

There is no doubt whatsoever that in the 21st century presidents, their lawyers, Justice (sic) Department officials, and CIA and black-op operatives have broken law after law, and there is no accountability. For the presstitutes, this is a non-issue. “Rule of law, Constitution? We don’t need no stinking rule of law or Constitution.”

For the presstitutes, the bought-and-paid for-whores for evil, the issues are obama’s stable poll numbers; teenage girls arrested for fighting at a kindergarten graduation ceremony; ”Microsoft’s Bill Gates extended his lead over Mexico’s Carlos Slim as the world’s richest person,” “the $14 million-dollar girl: Beyonce rakes it in.”

Constitutional crisis? What is that? I mean, really, look at Beyonce’s legs. Didn’t you hear, the dollar rose today?

The presstitutes have not investigated any important issue. Not 9/11. Not the accumulation of unaccountable power in the executive branch. Not the demise of the Bill of Rights. Not the Boston Marathon bombing. Not the endless and unexplained wars against Muslims who have not attacked the US.

The Boston Marathon saga reached new levels of absurdity with the FBI’s murder of Ibragim Todashev, who was being pressured to admit to various associated crimes. The presstitutes first reported that Todashev was armed. It was a gun, then a knife, then after the presstitutes duly reported the false information planted on them, which for the insouciance american public was sufficient to explain Toashev’s murder, the FBI admitted that the victim was unarmed.

Nevertheless, he was shot seven times, one to the back of the head. His father wants to know why the FBI assassinated his son, but the presstitutes could not care less. Don’t expect any answer from the american press and TV media or from NPR, an organization that pretends to be a “listener station” but is financed by corporate contributions.

How’s Todashev’s murder for Gestapo justice? Where is the difference? A bullet in the back of the head. And america is the shining light on the hill, the font of freedom and democracy brought to the world courtesy of the military/security complex out of the barrel of guns and hellfire missiles from drones. And relentless propaganda in the schools, universities, and media…

…But you will never hear about it from the presstitutes.

Article link: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/06/02/americas-greatest-affliction-the-presstitute-media-paul-craig-roberts/

‘Tramp the dirt down’ – Margaret Thatcher’s death triggers fury at her right-wing legacy [Globe and Mail]

Posted in Chile, Nelson Mandela, Pinochet, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tony Blair, U.K., U.K. War Crimes on April 8, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by “Daily Mail Reporter” [sic]

8 April 2013

…Only a few minutes after the death of the 87-year-old [Thatcher] was announced the Respect MP for Bradford West took to his Twitter writing ‘Tramp the dirt down…’

…When one user wrote that the MP was ‘unbecoming’ in his choice of phrase, the 59-year-old fired back ‘You’re obviously a teenage scribbler then? Or one with no memory.’

It is thought the MP was referring to an Elvis Costello 1989 song in which the singer vows to dance on Thatcher’s grave.

In a further message on the social networking site, Mr Galloway said: ‘Thatcher described Nelson Mandela as a ‘terrorist’. I was there. I saw her lips move. May she burn in the hellfires.’

Although the internet was flooded with tributes to the Iron Lady, it also showcased venom for Britain’s first and only female political leader.

A Facebook campaign has been launched to take [the] Judy Garland song ‘Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead’ to number one following Margaret Thatcher’s death.

A series of pages urge people to buy MP3 downloads of the song, which features in 1939 musical The Wizard of Oz.

One, called Make ‘Ding dong the witch is dead’ number 1 the week Thatcher dies, already had 590 members by 1.30pm with numbers rapidly rising…

…Less than an hour after her death was made public, a book entitled Thatcher Tributes with a witch on the front was on sale.

The publishers said the book will be released by erbacce-press as a paperback and will be available at bookshops and via their websites.

They said ‘It is an expression of the feelings of ordinary people who will greet the death of Mrs Thatcher with very little regret.’

A website set up three years ago asking ‘Is Margaret Thatcher Dead Yet?’ was today updated for the first time – with the word ‘YES’.

The website currently has more than 130,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook and thousands of people have written about it on Twitter.

‘Likes’ on their Facebook page were rocketing at a rate of 2,500 a minute.

Throughout the former prime minister’s deteriorating health the site, isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk, had simply stated ‘NOT YET’ in large capital letters.

But following news at 12pm of the 87 year old’s death the wording was changed to ‘YES’.

A smaller message underneath adds: ‘Margaret Thatcher is dead. This lady’s not returning.’

Another message on the site asks the readers: ‘How are you celebrating?’ and encourages users to use the #nowthatchersdead hashtag on Twitter…

…The site was created by professional musician Antonio Lulic, from Chester-le-Street, County Durham.

The 30-year-old today said: ‘It was inevitable, she has been unwell for a long time.

‘Judging by the reaction of the people that follow the website on Facebook and Twitter, they seem very pleased about it – I am quietly relieved.

‘Thousands of people have already commented and we’ve seen thousands of extra ‘likes’ on our Facebook in the last 10 minutes, and that’s only going to get higher.’

…Today unions and campaign groups were critical of the policies she followed while Prime Minister.

Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said: ‘Mrs Thatcher was a powerful politician who will be remembered by many for the destructive and divisive policies she reigned over which in the end, even in the Tory party, proved to be her downfall.

‘Her legacy involves the destruction of communities, the elevation of personal greed over social values and legitimising the exploitation of the weak by the strong.’

Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop The War Coalition, said: ‘Margaret Thatcher laid the basis for policies which wrecked the lives of millions in Britain. But she should also be remembered as a warmonger.

‘She led alongside Ronald Reagan the escalation of the Cold War. She introduced cruise missiles to Britain and fought the Falklands war. Her arms deals with Saudi Arabia were notorious. Her legacy was Tony Blair who built enthusiastically on her record.’

The death of Baroness Thatcher was a ‘great day’ for coal miners, David Hopper, general secretary of the Durham Miners’ Association said today.

The ex-miner, who turned 70 today, spent all of his working life at Wearmouth Colliery.

He said: ‘It looks like one of the best birthdays I have ever had.

‘There’s no sympathy from me for what she did to our community. She destroyed our community, our villages and our people.

‘For the union this could not come soon enough and I’m pleased that I have outlived her.

‘It’s a great day for all the miners, I imagine we will have a counter demonstration when they have her funeral.

‘Our children have got no jobs and the community is full of problems. There’s no work and no money and it’s very sad the legacy she has left behind.

‘She absolutely hated working people and I have got very bitter memories of what she did. She turned all the nation against us and the violence that was meted out on us was terrible.

‘I would say to those people who want to mourn her that they’re lucky she did not treat them like she treated us.’

Baroness Thatcher’s policies were ‘fundamentally wrong’, former London mayor Ken Livingstone said today.

He told Sky News the former Conservative prime minister was responsible for ‘every real problem’ faced in the UK today, as he claimed she had led millions of people out of work.

Mr Livingstone said: ‘Of course she was popular, she was offering people their homes at a cut price. But she didn’t build any houses.’

‘She created today’s housing crisis, she produced the banking crisis, she created the benefits crisis. It was her government that started putting people on incapacity benefits rather than register them as unemployed because the Britain she inherited was broadly at full employment.

‘She decided when she wrote off our manufacturing industry that she could live with two or three million unemployed and the legacy of that, the benefits bill that we are still struggling with today.

‘In actual fact, every real problem we face today is the legacy of the fact she was fundamentally wrong.’

He also said that it was to Tony Blair’s ‘shame’ that he ‘broadly carried on’ most of her policies.

Mr Livingstone added: ‘She once claimed New Labour was her greatest legacy and I am not saying she was joking.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams reacted to the announcement of Baroness Thatcher’s death with a scathing assessment of her political legacy in Ireland and elsewhere.

‘Margaret Thatcher did great hurt to the Irish and British people during her time as British prime minister,’ claimed Mr Adams.

‘Working class communities were devastated in Britain because of her policies.

‘Her role in international affairs was equally belligerent whether in support of the Chilean dictator Pinochet, her opposition to sanctions against Apartheid South Africa; and her support for the Khmer Rouge.

‘Here in Ireland her espousal of old draconian militaristic policies prolonged the war and caused great suffering.’

Full article link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2305760/Margaret-Thatcher-dead-George-Galloway-leads-chorus-celebration-left.html

Edited by Zuo Shou

Ten years on, Western leaders have learned nothing from Iraq disaster [People’s Daily]

Posted in Afghanistan, Black propaganda, Corporate Media Critique, Iran, Iraq, Oligarchy, Pentagon, Psychological warfare, Syria, Tony Blair, U.K., US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA on April 3, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

(Global Times)
March 26, 2013

Does the 10th anniversary of Washington’s Iraq War mean anything to the leaders who took us into war? No. Because, so far, there has been no indication that they have learned any lessons.

Then US president George W. Bush and UK prime minister Tony Blair lied to their respective government and people in order to launch the regime change war. Utterly false reports about weapons of mass destruction and other non-existent threats were used to dupe Americans, Britons, and the world.

Today, the Iraq War is a fading memory in the US, and the Americans have yet to comprehend the extent to which the war has stolen their future through some $5 trillion of unnecessary war costs and untold damage to Washington’s reputation.

Despite these facts, US politicians do not hesitate to advocate regime change wars against Syria and Iran.

The US public, influenced by jingoist corporate news media, does not relate the disaster in Iraq to the present US intervention against Syria, let alone to a possible war against Iran.

About three quarters of Congress voted to authorize Bush to use force against Iraq. Today the percentage would be at least as high, if not higher, for regime change wars against Syria and against Iran which many politicians openly and stridently call for.

Petroleum-rich Iraq was created by the British Empire after World War I following the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement to divide the spoils of that war in the Middle East between Britain and France.

Iraq as such never existed in history. London simply amalgamated three former Ottoman provinces, to make up an “Iraq” state. These were Mosul, Baghdad, and Basra. The British placed a friendly king in charge of the Iraqi state while placing his brother in charge of Jordan.

Britain’s strategic reasoning was simple. Because Iraq was petroleum-rich, it could serve the empire’s interests.

Petroleum in southern Iraq could be refined and then accessed via the Persian Gulf. And petroleum in northern Iraq could be conveyed by pipelines to the Mediterranean Port of Haifa and refined there to support the British fleet…

Full article link: http://english.people.com.cn/90777/8182292.html

“The pursuit of Julian Assange is an assault on freedom and a mockery of journalism” by John Pilger [New Statesman]

Posted in Afghanistan, Cameron, Ecuador, Egypt, Genocide, George W. Bush, Iraq, Julian Assange, NATO, Sweden, Tony Blair, Torture, U.K., USA, Wikileaks on August 29, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

22 August 2012

[Excerpted]

The British government’s threat to invade the Ecuadorean embassy in London and seize Julian Assange is of historic significance. David Cameron, the former PR man to a television industry huckster and arms salesman to sheikdoms, is well placed to dishonour international conventions that have protected Britons in places of upheaval. Just as Tony Blair’s invasion of Iraq led directly to the acts of terrorism in London on 7 July 2005, so Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague have compromised the safety of British representatives across the world.

Threatening to abuse a law designed to expel murderers from foreign embassies, while defaming an innocent man as an “alleged criminal”, Hague has made a laughing stock of Britain across the world, though this view is mostly suppressed in Britain.  The same brave news­papers and broadcasters that have supported Britain’s part in epic bloody crimes, from the genocide in Indonesia to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, now attack the “human rights record” of Ecuador, whose real crime is to stand up to the bullies in London and Washington.

Unclubbable

It is as if the Olympics happy-clappery has been subverted overnight by an illuminating display of colonial thuggery.  Witness the British army officer-cum-BBC reporter Mark Urban “interviewing” a braying Sir Christopher Meyer, Blair’s former apologist in Washington, outside the Ecuadorean embassy, the pair of them erupting with Blimpish indignation that the unclubbable Assange and the uncowed Rafael Correa should expose the western system of rapacious power.  Similar affront is vivid in the pages of the Guardian, which has counselled Hague to be “patient” and that storming the embassy would be “more trouble than it is worth”.  Assange was not a political refugee, the Guar­dian declared, because “neither Sweden nor the UK would in any case deport someone who might face torture or the death penalty”.

The irresponsibility of this statement matches the Guardian’s perfidious role in the whole Assange affair.  The paper knows full well that documents released by WikiLeaks indicate that Sweden has consistently submitted to pressure from the United States in matters of civil rights.  In December 2001, the Swedish government abruptly revoked the political refugee status of two Egyptians, Ahmed Agiza and Mohammed el-Zari, who were handed to a CIA kidnap squad at Stockholm airport and “rendered” to Egypt, where they were tortured. An investigation by the Swedish ombudsman for justice found that the government had “seriously violated” the two men’s human rights.

In a 2009 US embassy cable obtained by Wiki­Leaks, entitled “WikiLeaks puts neutrality in the Dustbin of History”, the Swedish elite’s vaunted reputation for neutrality is exposed as a sham. Another US cable reveals that “the extent of [Sweden’s military and intelligence] co-operation [with Nato] is not widely known” and unless kept secret “would open the government to domestic criticism”.

The Swedish foreign minister, Carl Bildt, played a notorious leading role in George W Bush’s Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and retains close ties to the Republican Party’s extreme right.  According to the former Swedish director of public prosecutions Sven-Erik Alhem, Sweden’s decision to seek the extradition of Assange on allegations of sexual misconduct is “unreasonable and unprofessional, as well as unfair and disproportionate”.  Having offered himself for questioning, Assange was given permission to leave Sweden for London where, again, he offered to be questioned.  In May, in a final appeal judgment on the extradition, Britain’s Supreme Court introduced more farce by referring to non-existent “charges”…

Full article link here