Archive for September 23rd, 2009
Iran’s president rails against capitalism
By KARIN LAUB, Associated Press Writer Karin Laub, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 28 mins ago
UNITED NATIONS – Under increasing attack over Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday that Tehran was ready to meet conciliation with conciliation.
Ahmadinejad spoke to a half-empty chamber as he sought to cast himself as a beleaguered champion of the developing world, that he portrayed as under attack from rapacious capitalism.
At the same time, the Iranian leader issued stinging attacks on the United States and its allies without calling them by name. The delegations of the U.S., Canada and Israel were among those absent from the chamber.
Ahmadinejad did not mention the uproar over Iran’s nuclear program, calling instead for global nuclear disarmament.
Moments before he spoke, foreign ministers of six global powers told reporters on the sidelines of the General Assembly that they expect Iran to come clean about its nuclear program. Tougher sanctions against Iran are being considered if talks between the powers and Iran on the issue, set for Oct. 1, don’t yield results.
At times, Ahmadinejad struck a softer tone, declaring that Tehran was “prepared to warmly shake all those hands which are honestly extended to us.” He said Iran is committed to participate in building durable peace and security worldwide, while defending its legitimate and legal rights.
The Iranian leader also peppered his speech with religious references, invoking the prophets of Judaism and Christianity, as well as Islam.
Yet most of the speech focused on his usual themes — scathing verbal attacks on archenemy Israel and the West.
He assailed Israel for what he said was a “barbaric” attack on the Gaza Strip last winter, and condemned the U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and attacks inside Pakistan. He also accused the West of hypocrisy, saying it preached democracy, but violated its fundamental principles.
Ahmadinejad portrayed Iran as a defender of poor countries, lashed out at unbridled capitalism which he said has reached the end of the road and will suffer the same fate as Marxism.
Turning to domestic affairs, Ahmadinejad insisted he won a “large majority” in what he described as “glorious and fully democratic” June elections. Pro-reform opposition politicians have alleged massive electoral fraud, and Ahmadinejad has been at the center of political turmoil since then.
Outside the U.N. complex, hundreds of supporters of Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi rallied against Ahmadinejad, wearing green, the movement’s signature color. One of the demonstrators, Amir Arani, said that the election was stolen and that “our president is not Ahmadinejad.”
In the plenum, many seats were empty during the speech, and some delegates got up midway through. The U.S., Israel and Canada were among those that boycotted the speech, in protest against his persistent denial of the Holocaust.
In another apparent anti-Semitic reference, Ahmadinejad complained that a “small minority” controls politics, economics and culture across much of the world.
Mark Kornblau, spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, said: “It is disappointing that Mr. Ahmadinejad has once again chosen to espouse hateful, offensive and anti-Semitic rhetoric.”
Through the day, key speakers, including U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, had taken Iran to task for its nuclear ambitions.
The U.S. and its allies believe Iran is trying to make nuclear weapons, despite Tehran’s assertion that it is only building a peaceful nuclear energy program.
The International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran has not been forthcoming about its nuclear program, and the U.N. Security Council has imposed sanctions against Iran three times since 2006 for its refusal to freeze uranium enrichment.
Next month, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, along with Germany, are to hold talks with Iran. Obama wants to pursue tougher sanctions if those meetings yield nothing.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met Wednesday with her counterparts from Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany to prepare for the meeting in Geneva. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the group expects a “serious response” from Iran at that meeting.
Russia has stood in the way of stronger action against Tehran in the past, but Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday, after a meeting with Obama, that “in some cases sanctions are inevitable.”
In an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, Ahmadinejad has said he expects “free and open” discussions at that meeting, but that Iran will not negotiate uranium enrichment.
When asked in an interview with CBS television Wednesday whether Iran had reversed position and was ready to put its nuclear program on the table, he said: “We have not actually changed our mind.”
Iran’s position suggests that diplomatic efforts might soon hit an impasse.
On Thursday, a high-level meeting of the U.N. Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution calling for a more intense global campaign to reduce the threat of nuclear proliferation. It does not name countries, but refers to previous resolutions that imposed sanctions on Iran and North Korea.
What motivated the 9/11 hijackers? See testimony most didn’t:
U.S. pledges to quash Goldstone recommendations:
Civil War(s) in Iraq/Afghanistan: Back Door to War on Iran:
Official ‘misspoke’ on Goldstone report
Sept. 23, 2009
U.S. pledges to quash Goldstone recommendations
WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Obama administration will not allow the Goldstone report recommendations on International Criminal Court. ‘s conduct in the to reach the
A top White House official told Jewish organizational leaders in an off-the-record phone call Wednesday that the U.S. strategy was to “quickly” bring the report — commissioned by the U.N. and carried out by former South African Judge — to its “natural conclusion” within the Human Rights Council and not to allow it to go further, Jewish participants in the call told JTA.
The report said the U.N. fact-finding mission investigating Israel ‘s conduct during the January 2009 war found evidence of Israeli war crimes. Israel has denied the allegations and said the report’s mandate was biased — an opinion echoed by U.S. officials.
The Obama administration is ready to use the U.S. veto at the to deal with any other “difficulties” arising out of the report, the White House official said Wednesday. The administration also has made clear to the Palestinian Authority that Washington is not pleased with a P.A. petition to bring the report’s allegations against Israel to the International Criminal Court.
The official said the Obama administration’s view was that the report was flawed from its conception because the mandate presumed a priori that Israel had violated war crimes and that the mandate ignored Hamas’ role in prompting the war through its rocket fire into Israel.
For updates on this story, visit JTA’s politics blog, Capital J.
Official ‘misspoke’ on Goldstone report
General (Ret) James David (who wrote the following intro) is mentioned on the cover of the third edition of former Republican Congressman Paul Findley’s ‘They Dare to Speak Out’ book about the power/influence of the pro-Israel lobby (AIPAC and similar) on the US political system and media:
|Last update – 17:21 19/09/2009|
|While the report makes overly sweeping conclusions of fact and law with respect to Israel, its conclusions regarding Hamas’ deplorable conduct and its failure to comply with international humanitarian law during the conflict are more general and tentative, he said.The UN report, released Tuesday, faulted Israel for civilian deaths in Gaza, saying it used disproportionate force in the offensive. About 1,400
Palestinians were killed during the three-week conflict. Israel charged that Hamas was to blame, saying its fighters placed rocket launchers and forces in crowded neighborhoods.The report also called Hamas’ firing of rockets at Israeli civilians a war crime.On Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the findings, saying Israel’s security forces were exercising their country’s right to self-defense. The United States had been largely silent until Friday, limiting its response to expressions of concern about unspecified content and the panel’s mandate.That mandate was given to Goldstone and his colleagues by the UN Human
Rights Council this year, before President Barack Obama decided to end the Bush administration’s policy of snubbing the body and join it.Kelly said Friday that the United States wanted to keep discussion of the
report within the council and had very serious concerns about a recommendation that it be raised at other bodies, including the International Criminal Court.“We note in particular that Israel has the democratic institutions to
investigate and prosecute abuses, and we encourage it to use those
institutions,” he said.U.S. officials also are troubled by the possibility that Arab states and
others might attempt to raise the report at next week’s UN General Assembly session. Kelly said it was important for the world to remain focused on trying to relaunch Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.”We hope efforts related to the Middle East at the Human Rights Council and other international bodies will look to the future and how we can support the goal of a two-state solution,” he said.
HAARETZ SPECIAL FEATURE: The Goldstone Commission Report
Why The Goldstone Report Matters
By: Richard Falk
Goldstone softened UN’s Gaza report – daughter
Goldstone’s daughter: My father’s participation softened UN Gaza report – Haaretz
NYT headline for UN’s Gaza report blames “Both Sides” equally
From David Rubinson:
It would have been MUCH more damning of Israel, and therefore more truthful, except Goldstone insisted on softening it-
And, the despicable coverage of the NY Times.
Inquiry Finds Gaza War Crimes From Both Sides
By NEIL MacFARQUHAR
What motivated the 9/11 hijackers? See testimony most didn’t
The Gorilla in the Room is US Support for Israel
September 20, 2009 | Permalink
Representative Elijah Cummings Stands Tall for the USS Liberty Vets: