Archive for November 11th, 2010

The waterboarding backlash: Bush ‘could face arrest for sanctioning neocon inspired torture’

George Bush could face arrest over sanctioning torture, says leading human rights lawyer

Bush memoir continues to create controversy (Friend Ray McGovern excellent with interview on neoconned buffoon Bush):
Israeli interrogators in Iraq:
Israeli Torture Template:

Israel peace talks on verge of collapse after new settlement homes announced

Israel seemed to have led Palestinian peace talks to the brink of collapse on Monday after it unveiled plans to build 1,300 new homes for Jewish settlers in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem.

By Adrian Blomfield in Jerusalem 7:18PM GMT 08 Nov 2010

The surprise announcement earned the immediate condemnation of the Palestinian leadership and dealt a serious blow to hopes for reviving peace talks, frozen for the past six weeks because of a row over settlements.
It also represented a spectacularly poor piece of timing since Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, was on a visit to the United States. The announcement revived memories of a bitter diplomatic dispute with the US that erupted in March when plans to build 1,600 settler homes in a different part of East Jerusalem emerged. The earlier announcement coincided with a trip to Israel by Joe Biden, the US vice president, who was trying to resurrect peace talks.
Monday’s announcement prompted a furious reaction from the chief Palestinian negotiator. “We thought that Netanyahu was going to the United States to stop settlement activity and restart negotiations but it is clear to us that he is determined to destroy the talks,” Saeb Erakat said. “He has shut all the doors to negotiations and we hold him responsible for destroying them.”
The White House made no immediate response and it is not known whether US officials were briefed on the matter in advance.
Mr Netanyahu’s government was unrepentant. It defended its right to build in “Jewish neighbourhoods” that it insisted would remain part of Israel under any deal with Palestinians over territory. “Building in these neighbourhoods in no way contradicts the desire to move ahead for peace based on a two-state solution,” an Israeli government official said.
The Palestinian leadership had agreed to give the US until later this month to try to persuade Mr Netanyahu to extend a partial settlement moratorium. The decision to build anew was evidence, Palestinians said, that Mr Netanyahu was playing “a game of deceit”.
“It’s just another nail,” said Husam Zomlot, a senior Palestinian official. “We’ve tried to buy time and give more space to international players – particularly the United States – to change Israeli policies but the Israelis are adamant that they will continue the land grab and choose settlements over peace.”
Israel’s interior ministry sought to play down the development, saying the decision to build had actually been taken six months ago. Its disclosure was only forced because of a legal requirement, a spokesman said.
But the explanation is unlikely to have much sway, Israeli observers said. “Legally it’s possible, diplomatically it’s foolish and politically it’s suicidal,” said Alon Pinkas, a former senior Israeli diplomat with close ties to the United States.
Critics also pointed out that the decision to build was still taken after Israeli assurances were widely assumed to have been given to avoid further construction in East Jerusalem.
The announcement overshadowed Mr Netanyahu’s attempts to use his American trip to switch the diplomatic focus from settlements to Iran. The prime minister called on the US to threaten military action against Iran after asserting that sanctions had failed to persuade Tehran to give up its nuclear programme.

Wingnuts on Parade (by Philip Giraldi)

Wingnuts on Parade (by Philip Giraldi)

Posted By Philip Giraldi On November 10, 2010 @ 11:00 pm In Uncategorized

Most voters seemed to understand that the outcome of America’s midterm election was the result of a devastated economy and the President Barack Obama’s failure to create jobs or even to understand the difficulties that are confronting many American families.  But it’s nevertheless strange how America’s elites never seem to get it, probably because they are completely immune to the consequences of their own actions through their possession of money and power.  The latest failure to compute comes from the triumphant Republican Party, which appears to believe that the electoral results were an endorsement of the foreign and security policies of George W. Bush, which will mean blanket approval of a prolonged stay in Afghanistan coupled with new adventures in Iran, Yemen, and Somalia.  There is also sure to be a continuation of the highly effective US embargo directed against Cuba, which has been so successful at removing Fidel Castro from power.

The euphoria of the Republican triumph is bringing to the surface the usual flotsam and jetsam driven by various agendas linked to foreign countries, none of which in any way benefit the American people.  Too bad there was not a national referendum item on the midterm ballot with only one question:  “Shall the federal government dismantle its overseas bases, bring its soldiers home, and leave the rest of the world in peace?”  Fortunately there are plenty of Republicans and also Democrats around who will make sure that such a question is never asked and who are intent on expanding America’s worldwide footprint.  For those folks there should be a second question:  “Should any elected official with close and continuing ties to a foreign country be required to resign, turn in his US passport and go live there?”

There are a few choice anecdotes coming out of the recent election not to mention the rise of a new generation of leaders who will undoubtedly call for America rejection of the darkness known as isolationism, which we all know automatically precedes appeasement and directly thereafter to Munich in 1938.  Leading the pack is Senator Lindsey Graham, who has already called for the obliteration of Iran and is apparently prepared to go toe to toe with a “cheating” China.  And then there is Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is the odds on favorite to become the next Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Ros-Lehtinen is Cuban born and lives in Florida.  A school teacher in her former life, her razor sharp mind has latched on to a number of principles that are intended to guide us all through the shoals of foreign policy.  She has supported every measure by the Bush and Obama administrations to make war on just about everyone and has also lined up behind the various Military Commissions, Patriot Acts, and claims of State Secrets Privilege.  She wants to make the Patriot Act permanent.  Regarding Iraq she has observed “Whether or not there is a direct link to the World Trade Center does not mean that Iraq is not meritorious of shedding blood.  The common link is that they hate America.” 

Regarding Cuba, Ros-Lehtinen’s particular personal bête noir, she has again demonstrated acuity worthy of King Solomon.  “I welcome the opportunity of having anyone assassinate Fidel Castro and any leader who is oppressing the people.”  It goes without saying that Ros-Lehtinen considers herself a close friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, opposes aid to the Palestinians, and supports Israeli settlement expansion, calling on Obama to stop criticizing “an indispensible ally and friend of the United States.”

Another rising star in the foreign and security policy firmament is Congressman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon of California, who will likely head the House Armed Services Committee.  Buck’s knowledge of war and warriors comes from his onetime ownership of western wear store chain in Santa Clarita, California, which eventually went bankrupt.  His six children (he is a Mormon) have not served in the military, a common attribute of government officials and talking heads who like war.  Buck will undoubtedly serve as an excellent counterpoint to Ros-Lehtinen at Foreign Affairs.  His heavyweight analysis of what needs to be done includes developing a “broad vision for national defense policy that emphasizes winning the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq…”  After the midterm election he observed “Our citizens have spoken and they want a defense budget that is sufficient to address the challenges of today and the threats of tomorrow.”  In other words, Buck noticed that the election was really about wasting more money on wars even though it was not on the ballot and was never mentioned.  He concluded that America must hike its defense spending, which already exceeds that of the rest of the world combined.  He also will be revisiting the Obama plan for a phased pullout from Afghanistan starting next year which he considers to be a sellout to the Taliban.

A Republican newfer from Minnesota named Chip Cravaack also deserves honorable mention.  During a newspaper interview Cravaack, an ex-Navy pilot, was asked about earmarks.  He asked what an earmark was and, when it was described to him, he said that he was against it.  He ran his campaign out of a motor home that he called the “war wagon” and his staffers and volunteers were given military titles.  But on the plus side, he calls himself a Tea Partier so maybe he will eventually figure things out.

And just to demonstrate that foreign policy idiocy is bipartisan, there was a congressional race in Illinois between incumbent Democrat Jan Schakowsky and Republican challenger Joel Pollak.  The two candidates eschewed any debate over the economy and instead traded insults over who was a better candidate for Israel.  According to the Israeli media Pollak, an Orthodox Jew born in South Africa, started the exchange by claiming that Schakowsky was “soft on Israel’s security,” that she was “too sympathetic to the Palestinians” and supportive only of “weak” sanctions against Iran.  Pollak, one of whose supporters is Alan Dershowitz, asked Schakowsky to join him in “condemning the Obama administration’s ongoing attack on Israel.”  In a debate with Schakowsky, Pollak unrolled a map of Israel and announced “My focus tonight will be Israel.”

Schakowsky’s campaign countered that she had a 100% pro-Israel voting record, which was the truth, including even a vote in favor of Israel’s right to defend itself after it killed 300 Palestinian children in operation Cast Lead against Gaza.  She also cited self defense when signing a congressional letter endorsing the killing of US citizen Furkan Dogan on the Gaza flotilla.  In addition, she has enthusiastically endorsed every actual and proposed piece of legislation sanctioning Iran.

Schakowsky, who has considerable baggage due to her possible involvement with Turkish lobbyists as documented by Sibel Edmonds, was never challenged by Pollak on the issue, possibly because the Edmonds revelations also involved Israel.  Jan Schakowsky defeated Pollak in the election by a large margin, demonstrating perhaps that the electorate was not as consumed by the Israel issue as was Pollak.

Ros-Lehtinen, McKeon, and Schakowsky-Pollak together demonstrate that there are altogether too many elected officials in Washington who are overly concerned with Washington managing the affairs of others.  That someone who has called for the assassination of foreign heads of state who are “oppressive” can possibly be considered for the chairmanship of an important committee dealing with foreign affairs is a strong indication that there is something very wrong on Capitol Hill.  That a former western wear shop owner who has never been in the military and evidently feels that his family ought to likewise avoid that burden should head the committee dealing with the armed forces must be some kind of joke.  And congressional candidates arguing about who adores Israel the most brings back memories of Joe Biden and Sarah Palin’s lovefest on the issue.  Wasn’t there anyone out there running for office who pledged to put the interests of the American people first?

Read more by Philip Giraldi

Who Voted for More War (Philip Giraldi)?:

Election Over Neocon Republicans Talk War:

‘No military solution to Afghan war’

‘No military solution to Afghan war’

US to boost military aid to Israel

US to boost military aid to Israel (Israel could start a war with Iran even via Lebanon in accordance with the rest of the ‘A Clean Break’ agenda via in order to draw US into such as well):

General (Ret) James David (who 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 on the US political system and media) sent through the following in response:


Debt Panel Calls for Huge Cuts in Social Security 

We need to cut Social Security so we can give more military aid to Israel.  That’s how the lobbyists control our corrupt government by bribing our corrupt politicians.   And the American people know no better. This story will never make it to the mainstream media.  Is it any wonder this country is on the verge of bankruptcy?  This is hot off the press today.
US to boost military aid to Israel
Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:54AM

Washington will increase its military aid to Israel over the next two years.
The United States has planned to expand its military aid to the Israeli regime over the next two years, adding smart bombs to the new supply list.

US Congress approved a boost of $400 million worth of additional military equipment for Tel Aviv last month, Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported on Thursday.

The fresh aid package will bring the value of American military equipment stockpiled in Israel to $1.2 billion by 2012.

The type of equipment stockpiled in Israel is determined through dialogue between the Israeli military and the US Army’s European Command.

It is believed that a great deal of the equipment will include “precision weapons” launched from air, according to the Israeli paper.

Israeli Army Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said earlier this week that Tel Aviv would need ‘much more precision weaponry’ for future wars.

The agreement between Washington and Tel Aviv includes conditions under which the Israeli military may use what is officially labeled as US equipment. This has led to speculations as to whether the US military stockpiles in Israel are in fact meant for the Israeli regime.

Meanwhile, a new report has revealed that Israel planned a military confrontation against Lebanon. An unnamed French official told Lebanese daily As-Safir on Wednesday that he was informed about the plan during his Middle East tour four weeks ago.

The French official said Israeli sources told him that they have completed their military and civil preparations over the past month and that the infrastructure and the settlements adjacent to the border with Lebanon were now ready to confront the prospect of war at any moment.

Israel suffered a crushing defeat after invading Lebanon in the summer of 2006 and was forced to leave the region without achieving any of its objectives.

The war claimed the lives of more than 1,200 Lebanese — mainly civilians.


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Neoconned Lindsey Graham makes the case for U.S. strike on Iran, “stuns” Canadian audience it should stun the world

Neoconned Lindsey Graham (who made that trip to Israel with Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman) makes the case for U.S. strike on Iran, “stuns” Canadian audience it should stun the world