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Posts tagged UN

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Despite Annan efforts, US hell-bent on regime change in Syria

Despite efforts by the UN-Arab League envoy, Kofi Annan to settle the issues in Syria, the United States says it is still after regime change in the country.


A few hours after Annan briefed the UN Security Council (UNSC) by videoconference from Geneva on Tuesday on his efforts to end the year-plus-long unrest in Syria, US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice reiterated Washington’s call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. 

Rice claimed that Damascus has not fully implemented any part of Annan’s six-point peace plan, noting that “Washington is focusing on a regime change in Damascus.” 

Annan asked both government troops and armed groups to stop the bloodshed, and reiterated that dialog is the only solution to the unrest. 

“They should think of the people, who have been caught in the middle for about fifteen months,…my appeal to those with guns, my appeal to those who have taken — I was going to say the people prisoners, because, in a way, they are frightened — is to really think of them, think of the people, think of Syria, think of the region and disarm and come to the table,” he said. 

He also stated that his plan is the only chance for preventing a civil war in the country, saying, “What we have to do is to do our best and hope that the better forces in us will prevail and lead us to put down the arms and do what is right. If it fails…it will not affect only Syria, it will have an impact on the whole region. This is why we should all be so concerned for the Syrians, for Syria, and for a region that for geopolitical reasons we should all be concerned about.” 

After Annan’s briefing, Syria’s UN Ambassador Bashar Jaafari accused foreign countries, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, of plotting to sabotage Annan’s plan by fueling the violence. 

“We need to see everybody on board. We need to see these Qataris, the Saudis, the Turkish government, as well as some other nations, stopping their incitement to violence, stopping their sponsorship of…the armed rebellion in Syria, stopping their financial contribution to cover up the needs of these armed groups and the needs of the terrorist groups, which are attacking…civilians as well as military targets in Syria” he said. 

Jaafari also stated that his country was committed to the plan. 

Meanwhile, the UN observers continue monitoring a ceasefire, which has officially been in effect as part of the peace plan for more than three weeks. 

The first group of the observers arrived in the Syrian capital on late April 15 in line with the UNSC Resolution 2042, which had been approved a day earlier. 

On April 21, the council met and unanimously approved Resolution 2043, which ratified a proposal to send a mission of 300 observers to Syria. 

Filed under News Syria War UN War crimes USA US Military

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Don’t let Syria become Libya

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan must be allowed to mediate a real peace in Syria in lieu of a Libya-style redux.

Hamid Dabashi

New York, NY - All the indications are that the US and its regional allies are gearing up for a Libyan déjà vu in Syria. That is a dangerous and potentially catastrophic turn of events for Syria, and for the region at large, resulting in even more blood than the murderous Syrian regime has shed so far. 

The recent Al Jazeera report that the Lebanese navy intercepted “a ship loaded with three containers of weapons destined for Syrian opposition forces” is the most recent indication that the incessantly increasing violence has long since assumed regional and transnational proportions. The ruling regimes in Iran and Saudi Arabia are fighting their proxy wars on the backs of the Syrian people.  

To be sure, just like Gaddafi’s, the bloody ruling regime in Syria is chiefly responsible for the carnage that has unfolded over the past year - for if they had allowed peaceful demonstrations to result in a peaceful transition to democracy, the US and its regional allies would not have had the opportunity to try to fish from the bloody water that Bashar al-Assad has created, nor would there be any room for the opportunist manipulations such as those proffered by Russia, China or Iran. 

The Annan Plan

A former secretary-general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan is a perfectly credible intermediary, perhaps the only one with such a credential at this point, and it seems that his plan is quite comprehensive. It calls for an immediate end to bloodshed, the delivery of humanitarian aid, a process for opposition demands to be peacefully articulated, the release of political detainees, allowing foreign reporters into the country, and permitting peaceful demonstrations.

But the ruling regime in Syria is abusing the Annan plan to murder more Syrians. Weeks after the Syrian acceptance of the Annan plan, Al Jazeera continues to report a massive and bloody crackdown upon the opposition: “Syrian troops,” Al Jazeera reported as of April 24, 2012, “have killed dozens of civilians in the city of Hama, activists have said, as UN military observers toured protest centres near the capital Damascus, and both Brussels and Washington imposed new sanctions.” 

As of April 23, shells fired by Syrian security forces have killed at least 18 people in the central city of Hama, and the numbers are steadily on the rise. The UN reports that, by now, more than 9,000 people have died in Syria since the uprising began in March 2011. It is now well over a year that Syrians have been engaged in a defiant battle against their repressive, criminal, regime.

Annan’s plan, again at least nominally, has the support of at least elements within the ruling regime as well as its opposition, plus what ought to be global support. The United Nations Security Council has authorised the deployment of up to 300 unarmed military observers to monitor a ceasefire in Syria that formally came into effect on April 12 as part of the Annan plan. There is every reason to believe that if genuinely endorsed by all parties, the Annan plan can work. 

Both Syrian regime and its nemesis abusing Annan

But it is now all but evident that at least the more belligerent factions within the ruling regime in Syria is trying to abuse the Annan plan to try (in vain) to crush the uprising once and for all. The Assad regime is, of course, criminally ignorant - and that is the case not because the Saudis or the US are trying to abuse the situation to their advantage, but because the Syrian uprising, long in process and integral to the rest of Arab revolutions, will not die and will resurface. 

It is in the nature of these transnational uprisings and the synergy among them that, in the long run, no single nation can be robbed of its revolution - neither by their own corrupt ruling regimes nor by the ludicrous hypocrisies extending from Riyadh through Tehran and Tel Aviv to Washington DC. 

That Annan’s plan is being abused by the Syrian regime has been evident from the onset and by the uninterrupted assault on civilian population, of which the UN secretary-general has just issued yet another warning. According to Al Jazeera: Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary-general, has said. “The Syrian government is ‘in contravention’ of an internationally agreed peace plan by keeping troops and heavy weapons in cities. He also said he was ‘gravely alarmed’ by reports of shelling of populated areas in Syria.”    

No amount of white-washing these facts by the demented segments of “the left” can exonerate the criminal disposition of the ruling regime in Syria. 

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Filed under News Commentary Libya Syria US Government Imperialism UN Lebanon Saudi Arabia

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Faux Internationalism and Really Existing Imperialism

Ellen Brun and Jacques Hersh

If truth is the first casualty of war, military intervention in the name of humanitarian ideals should likewise be the subject of skepticism. Such an approach is called for as the discourse of the Responsibility to Protect civilian populations is becoming a doctrinal principle in the West’s foreign policy toolbox. The notion that these big powers have the right to intervene in other (weak) countries’ internal affairs threatens to transform the foundation, if not the praxis, of international law.

Simultaneously, the ideology of “humanitarian interventionism,” which stands almost uncontested, can be interpreted as legitimizing a hidden political agenda. It has the potential of blurring existing ideological and political differences between neoconservatives, liberal internationalists in the United States and Europe, and a large section of left-wing forces around the world. All these currents have found common grounds in vindicating NATO’s military violations of the principle of national sovereignty. Seen in retrospect the process began with the Cold War’s end and its promised “peace dividend.”

According to Walden Bello, the precedent of the Western intervention in the Yugoslavian conflict without regard to that country’s sovereignty provided the justification for the invasion of Afghanistan; in turn, these two interventions served to legitimize the invasion of Iraq and NATO’s war in Libya. The regime change in the latter case is being turned into a benchmark for future “humanitarian” interventions by the “international community” with Syria next on the list. Removal of the Ba’ath Party from power would make the Middle East free of Arab nationalist regimes and add to the pressure on Iran and last, but not least, enhance the regional position of Israel.

In this connection, the role of the transnational mass media (in alliance with politically motivated human rights organizations) in the mobilization of public opinion for the principle and practice of interventionism should not be underestimated. It was on the basis of an intense media campaign in support of the Western-sponsored Libyan League for Human Rights that the case found its way to the UN Security Council. In this respect, the role of the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera news network was of determining importance. Qatar is a key member of the pro-U.S. Gulf Cooperation Council encompassing repressive monarchies whose alliance with the West belies NATO’s professed concerns for human rights and democracy in the Middle East and elsewhere.

The problem with the conceptual framework of humanitarian interventionism is related to its abstraction from geoeconomics and geopolitics as well as disregard for the disparity of power and influence in the world. Notwithstanding the appeal of this discourse, the international system is not a level playing field. In a world where “might makes right,” the acceptance of Responsibility to Protect as the norm in inter-state relations gives the hegemonic powers ideological legitimization for intervening in weaker countries against noncompliant regimes.

Historical experience shows that there are good reasons to doubt the prevalence of humanitarian concerns as the foreign policy motivation of most nation-states. Not the least of which is the tendency of the big powers to cloak their foreign policy behind high-sounding moralistic discourses. The mixing of humanism and war on the part of an imperialist power is, and remains, an oxymoron. “Humanitarian” bombing and occupation are not measures to further peace, and military destruction is neither environmentally friendly nor energy saving.

The Source of Post-Second World War U.S. Strategy

Only the gullible can believe that the United States maintains military bases in about 150 countries and a “defense” budget accounting for more than two-fifths of global military spending simply in order to sustain human rights, good governance, etc. in the world. Unless of course one believes that military Full Spectrum Dominance of the United States is the necessary cost for these goods.

A more realistic position to understand the unfolding of contemporary politics is to look beyond the discourses and contextualize the practice. The guiding lines for U.S. foreign policy were established in the immediate post-Second World War period some sixty years ago. It was in 1948, in the context of the beginning Cold War and the decolonization process, that the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, under the directorship of George Kennan, formulated what was to become the gist of U.S. international strategy. There is no evidence to indicate a deviation from the document’s recommendations in the practice of American foreign policy ever since. Still today, it is instructive to focus on its basic assumptions and strategic considerations as these shed light on the present attempt to remold the world in order to preserve American “exceptionalism”:

We have about 50 per cent of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3 per cent of its population. Our real task in the coming period is to maintain this disparity. To do so we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford the luxury of altruism. We should cease to talk about vague, unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we will have to deal in straight power concepts.1

The call for “realism” does not of course mean that the emphasis on humanitarian values cannot be used to serve the same strategic interests—that is, the preservation of the unequal distribution of world resources. As the right to intervene in the internal affairs of a country is based on the assumption that such actions are per definition earmarked for Third World nations, it is essential to take the structure of the world system into consideration. In this optic, the development of the ideology and practice of the West with regard to economic, political, and military interference in non-European regions of the world can be seen as the continuation of an age-old historical relationship.

The History of Western Interventionism and the Libya Case

Discarding the history of Western interventions based on the Right to Plunder, the present discourse and strategy based on the Responsibility to Protect is presented as a novelty, i.e. bringing morality in international politics. This is taken at face value by large sections of the Western left with some going as far as to criticize the proto-socialist and populist governments of Latin America for their support of the Qaddafi regime against the armed intervention of NATO in what very early became a civil war in Libya.

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Filed under Commentary News Imperialism USA US Government Africa Libya NATO Latin America UN Europe Australia New Zealand AFRICOM

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Iran’s nuclear programme: legal debate stirs over basis for US or Israeli attack

Side Note: As IF “International Law” has EVER stopped anything the terrorist states of ISRAEL and the USA have EVER done. ALSO: Alan Dershowitz is a world-renown LIAR, nothing that piece of shit says is true, he distorts everything.

As US and Israeli officials weigh up prospect of military strike on Iran, critics say any attack would go against international law

Chris McGreal

Amid the sabre-rattling and bluster over Iran, a furious if little-noticed debate is boiling over the legal basis for a US or Israeli attack on Tehran’s nuclear programme.

The threat of a military strike hangs over this weekend’s talks in Istanbul between the major powers and Iran.

The Israeli leadership says an attack will come within months, not years, if the present diplomatic push fails. The US Congress is not far behind, with the Republican leadership pledging to pass an authorisation for the use of “overwhelming military force” if there are signs Iran is developing a nuclear weapon.

Barack Obama is more cautious, but says the “military option” remains on the table if sanctions fail to persuade Tehran to give up its enriched uranium.

But while intelligence agencies grapple to assess whether Tehran is attempting to develop a nuclear weapon and militaries on both sides of the Atlantic consider the logistics of bombing Iran, legal authorities are confronting the challenge of constructing a legal case for attack, if it comes.

And already there is considerable dispute over the issue.

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Filed under News Iran USA Israel War War Crimes United Nations UN White House US Government

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Japan deploys missile defenses at 3 locations in Tokyo


Japan has deployed missile batteries in Tokyo and dispatched destroyers as North Korea makes final preparations for a rocket launch that could take place this week despite fierce condemnation from across the globe.

Pyongyang says it will launch a satellite for peaceful scientific research between April 12 and 16 to mark the 100th anniversary on April 15 of the birth of founding leader Kim Il-Sung.

But the United States and its allies say it is a disguised missile test and that the launch would contravene U.N. sanctions aimed at curbing North Korea’s missile program.

A successful satellite launch would burnish the image of young Kim Jong-Un as he seeks to establish his credentials as a strong leader after taking over from his father and longtime ruler, Kim Jong-Il, who died last December.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has given the green light to shoot down the rocket if it threatens Japan’s territory.

Patriot missiles were Saturday deployed at the defense ministry in downtown Tokyo and at two other bases in the region to protect the greater Tokyo area.

The ministry also dispatched three Aegis destroyers carrying interceptor missiles, reportedly to the East China Sea where it has already deployed Patriot missiles on the southern island chain of Okinawa, beneath the rocket’s forecast flight path.

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Filed under News Japan North Korea Missile United States UN East China Sea Tokyo

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Japan deploys missile defences in Tokyo


 Japan has deployed missile batteries in Tokyo and dispatched destroyers carrying interceptor missiles as it boosts its defences against a planned North Korean rocket launch this month.

Pyongyang says it will launch a satellite for peaceful scientific research between April 12 and 16 to mark the 100th anniversary on April 15 of the birth of founding leader Kim Il-Sung.

But the United States and its allies say it is a disguised missile test and that the launch would contravene UN sanctions aimed at curbing North Korea's missile programme.

Patriot missiles were Saturday deployed at three military facilities in the greater Tokyo region and the defence ministry dispatched three Aegis destroyers carrying sea-based interceptor missiles, reportedly to the East China sea.

"With the latest step, it completes the deployment of PAC3," said a duty officer at the defence ministry, referring to the Patriot missiles.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has given the green light to shoot down the North Korean rocket if it threatens Japan’s territory.

In 2009, Japan also ordered missile defence preparations before Pyongyang’s last long-range rocket launch which brought UN Security Council condemnation and tightened sanctions against the isolated communist state.

That rocket, which North Korea also said was aimed at putting a satellite into orbit, passed over Japanese territory without incident or any attempt to shoot it down.

Filed under News Japan Tokyo North Korea Pyongyang UN United States China

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Global Great Depression and Population Reduction by 2030: MIT and The Club of Rome Prophecy

Michael Edwards

As tyranny continues its march out into the open, it is increasingly becoming cloaked in green.  Under the guise of saving humanity, a chorus of recent announcements within elite circles, think-tanks, educational institutions, and the halls of science are calling for drastic measures to stop the planet’s inevitable implosion from an overshot carrying capacity.

A U.N policy paper recently outlined the building blocks for a world government that would enforce a “heavy-handed” approach toward humanity’s impact on the environment, as this new epoch of The Anthropocene Age has begun to negatively alter the planet in irrevocable ways.

A rather infamous book, from a rather infamous group called The Club of Rome, is making a reappearance as humanity hurtles toward demise if its stewardship is not turned over to technocrats.  Limits to Growth (1972) is nothing short of a blueprint for population reduction and neo-feudalism; or, as Yale economist Henry Wallich stated at the time of its release, its implementation means “consigning billions to poverty.”

It appears that this plan has been green-lighted by the elite, as recent MIT research validates the conclusions drawn by Limits to Growth at this crucial time when we see the world economy imploding, and a jack-booted green police ready to hit the streets.  According to MIT, we are headed toward a guaranteed planet-wide economic collapse and “precipitous population decline” if we do not heed the words of The Club of Rome.

Austerity riots and suicides are filling the streets throughout Europe, as draconian measures are being taken to curb runaway debt.  This debt has provably been created by the Ponzi scheme of international banksters who have employed a loan-shark framework that is only paying dividends to those in position to buy up deliberately collapsed assets for pennies on the dollar.   

The global elite continue to ignore that the problems which have been generated across the globe have very little to do with true resource shortages, unsustainable economies, or overpopulation; but rather the centralized control, mismanagement, and outright theft by corporate entities using globalization as a means of reducing sovereignty and self-determination.

Resource-rich countries in places like Africa and those in the Middle East have long been targeted for plunder by colonialists and have never been rightly permitted to exist free of outside manipulation.  This stratagem has now entered the West, where we are seeing Europe looted in similar fashion, and the resulting strife is used to divide and rule.  It is the coordinated agenda of a network of think-tanks, NGOs, and international financiers well-versed in the methods of divide and conquer that form the real government of the world.

When one begins to piece together the scope of this deliberate looting, and the inevitable call for solutions from the very same players who should be held responsible, one might conclude that any of their calls for intervention based on humanitarian ideals should be judged a complete scam.

At or near the center of a web which has been woven using academia, top economists, mainstream media propaganda, climatologists, anthropologists, NGO’s, think-tanks and human rights groups — well meaning, and not-so well meaning — is The Club of Rome.

First, it is important to understand the genesis of The Club of Rome and its philosophy, as it might demonstrate an inherent misanthropy that should make us skeptical of their calls for sustainability, true equality, or the betterment for individuals who comprise the human race. 

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Filed under Commentary Surveillance State Police State DHS UN MIT

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Child heroin addicts on the rise in Pakistan


There has been an increase in the number of children in Pakistan addicted to heroin. While there is some help offered in the form of the family-run Dost Foundation charity, the weak economy of the country has made it harder to provide support.

Many of the youth come from Pakistan’s tribal areas, but had to flee because of poverty and conflict, eventually finding themselves living on the streets of Peshawar.

Nearly all of the five to 16-year-olds who are taken in by the Dost Foundation are heroin users.

According to a United Nations report released last year, 90 per cent of the world’s opium, from which heroin is made, is produced in Afghanistan. For Pakistan, the result is more than four million addicts, and an increasing number of them are children.

Al Jazeera’s Imtiaz Tyab reports from Peshawar.

Filed under News Drugs Heroin Pakistan Afghanistan Children Opium UN United Nations

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Amnesty warns Mali is ‘on brink of major disaster’


Mali is on the brink of a major humanitarian disaster following a coup and rebellion in the north, Amnesty International says.

The human rights group says aid agencies must be allowed immediate access to the country, to prevent more civilians dying.

Some fighters in the north have said they have stopped military operations.

But Amnesty says all food supplies and medicines stored by aid agencies have been looted and most workers have fled.

"The population is at imminent risk of severe food and medical shortages that could lead to many casualties, especially among women and children who are less able to fend for themselves," Amnesty’s West Africa researcher Gaetan Mootoo said in a statement.

The group said the three northern towns of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu have experienced days of looting, abductions and chaos.

The Tuareg separatist rebels of the Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA) said in a statement on their website that they had captured enough territory to form their own state.

But the position of Islamist insurgents, who fought alongside the Tuareg in northern Mali, is unclear.

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Filed under News Mali Human Rights Food Algeria Amnesty International UN New York

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