Posts tagged ‘UN’

Text of Roger Waters’ speech at the UN On December 13, 2012 ………….

http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com

Roger Waters address at The United Nations 29th November 2012 on behalf of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine (PDF file)

Table of contents:

  1. The text of the speech delivered to “The UN Committee on the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian People.” (UNISPAL) (page 1 to page 9)
  2. The original un-edited speech. (page 10 to page 17)

1.

Mr. Chairman, your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

Thank you very much for receiving me at this moment of solidarity and crisis. I am a musician, not a diplomat, and so I shall not waste this precious opportunity on niceties of protocol. However I will say that you must all be suffering from listening fatigue, to a certain extent, so while I’ve been sitting there listening as well, I’ve been editing my rather long speech down to a rather shorter speech, but I believe the full text will be available to anybody who cares to read it, at the end of this meeting.

I appear before you as a representative of the fourth Russell Tribunal on Palestine and in that capacity I am representing global civil society.

By way of preamble I should say my remarks here today are not personal or driven by prejudice or malice, I am looking only to shed some light on the predicament of a beleaguered people.

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine was created to shed such light, to seek accountability for the violations of international law and the lack of United Nations resolve that prevent the Palestinian people from achieving their inalienable rights, especially the right of self-determination. One particular stimulus to our convening was the disturbing failure of the international community to implement and enforce the clear judgment of the International Court of Justice in 2004, contained in its advisory opinion on the Israeli Wall, as requested by the UN.

We met here in New York City, six weeks ago, on the 6th and 7th of October, having previously sent out invitations to all interested parties.  After listening to exhaustive testimony from many expert witnesses, and after careful deliberation, we arrived at the following judgements.

We found that the State of Israel is guilty of a number of international crimes.

  1. Apartheid.

The UN’s International Covenant on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, defines that crime as inhuman acts by any government that are “committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.”  As you all know, the prohibited acts include arbitrary arrest, legislative measures that discriminate in the political, social, economic and cultural fields; measures that divide the population along racial lines, and the persecution of those opposed to the system of apartheid.

As you are aware, this finding by the tribunal was endorsed earlier

In the year by the HRC Committee for the Elimination of Racial

Discrimination in Geneva after submissions by the Tribunal made

both orally and in writing.

  1. Ethnic cleansing.  In this case that crime includes the systematic eviction of much of the native Palestinian population by force since 1947-48.
  1. Collective punishment of a civilian population, explicitly prohibited by the Geneva Convention Article 33. Israel has violated its obligation as Occupying Power throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. Its most serious violations have occurred recently in Gaza with the blockade and virtual imprisonment of the entire population, the indiscriminate killing of Palestinians during the Israeli offensive, “Operation Cast Lead” in 2008 and 9, and now the devastation wrought by the recent attack, ironically named, “Operation Pillar of Defense.”

As I speak, I can hear the tut, tutting of governmental and media tongues trotting out the well worn mantra of the apologists, but “Hamas started it with their rocket attacks, Israel is only defending itself,”

Let us examine that argument. Did Hamas start “It”? When did “It” start?

How we understand history is shaped by when we start the clock. If we start the clock at a moment when rockets are fired from Gaza into Israel on a certain afternoon that, is one history. If we start the clock earlier that morning, when a 13-year-old Palestinian boy was shot dead by Israeli soldiers as he played soccer on a Gaza field, history starts to look a little different. If we go back further we see that since “Operation Cast Lead”, according to the Israeli human rights organization B’tselem, 271 Palestinians were killed by Israeli, bombs, rockets, drones and warplanes, and during the same period not a single Israeli was killed. A good case can be made that “It” started in 1967 with the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. History tells us that the invasion and occupation of a land and the subjugation of its people almost always creates a resistance. Ask the French or the Dutch or the Poles or the Czechs, the list goes on. This crisis in Gaza is a crisis rooted in occupation.

Israel and its allies would contend that Gaza is no longer occupied. Really? The withdrawal of soldiers and settlers in 2005 changed the nature, not the existence, of occupation. Israel still controls Gaza’s airspace, coastal waters, borders, land, economy and lives. Gaza is still occupied. The people of Gaza, the 1.6 million Palestinians, half of them children under the age of 16, live in an open-air prison.  That is the reality that underlies the current crisis. And until we, not only understand that, but also until you, Excellencies, your governments, and your General Assembly take responsibility to end that occupation, we cannot even hope that the current crisis is over. In October, on the last occasion jurors from The Russell Tribunal addressed this committee, we were assured that our representations and reports would be advanced on the floor of the GA for general debate. If things go well today we may hope to hold you, Excellencies, to that assurance.

I have diverted briefly, let me return to the Israeli violations, which the Russell Tribunal identified.

4. Contravention of the Fourth Geneva convention’s prohibition on settlements – specifically Article 49. The settlements, ALL the settlements, are not simply an obstacle to peace, they are illegal. Period.  Full Stop.  All of them. You, in the General Assembly, and even the Security Council as well, have over the years identified them as illegal.  And yet they stand, a daily reality in which now more than 600,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank and Occupied East Jerusalem violate the law every morning simply by waking up – because their houses sit on illegally expropriated land. It is not enough to call, as some governments do, for an end to further settlement expansion; if we are to live under the law the entire settlement undertaking must be ended.

5. Use of illegal weapons. During Israel’s Cast Lead operation four years ago, international human rights organizations documented Tel Aviv’s use of white phosphorous in attacks on Gaza. Human Rights Watch found that, and I quote, “Israel’s repeated firing of white phosphorous shells over densely populated areas of Gaza during its recent military campaign was indiscriminate and is evidence of war crimes.” White phosphorous burns at up to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. Imagine what happens when it comes into contact with the skin of a child. Human Rights Watch called for Israel’s “senior commanders” to be held accountable. But so far, there has been no such accountability. No governments, nor even you, the United Nations General Assembly, have attempted to hold these Israeli commanders accountable. We hear a great deal about the UN’s commitment to the “responsibility to protect” vulnerable populations.  Surely the UN’s “responsibility to protect” must extend to this most vulnerable of populations, Palestinians, imprisoned in a crowded, besieged open-air prison?

There are more violations, your Excellencies, but you know that. Your resolutions trace the history of Israeli violations. You regret, you deplore, you even condemn the violations. But when have your resolutions been implemented?  It is not enough to deplore and condemn. What we need is for the United Nations – for you, excellencies, your governments and the General Assembly in which you serve – to take seriously your Responsibility to Protect Palestinians living under occupation and facing the daily violation of their inalienable rights of self-determination and equality.

The will of “we the people of these United Nations” is that all our brothers and sisters should be free to live in self determination, that the oppressed should be released from their burden, by being given recourse to the law, and that the oppressors should be called to account by that same law.

In 1981 I wrote a song, called ‘The Gunner’s Dream’ it appeared on a Pink Floyd album ‘The Final Cut’, the song purports to express the dying dream of an RAF gunner as he plunges to his death from a stricken aircraft towards the corner of some foreign field. He dreams of the future for which he is giving his life. I quote.

A place to stay

Enough to eat

Somewhere old heroes shuffle safely down the street

Where you can speak out loud about your doubts and fears

And what’s more

No one ever disappears you never hear their standard issue

Kicking in your door.

You can relax on both sides of the tracks

And maniacs, don’t blow holes, in bandsmen by remote control

And everyone has recourse to the law

And no one kills the children anymore

No one kills the children anymore.

In 1982 and again in 1983, the General Assembly passed resolutions holding Israel accountable for its violations. Those resolutions called for a complete arms embargo on Israel and an end to military aid and trade with Israel. Those resolutions were never implemented.  We never expected the United States, or my government, I’m from The UK, by the way, to implement those GA resolutions – the U.S. is giving Israel $4.1 billion this year to bolster its already bloated military. The IMF says Israel is the 26th wealthiest country in the world, and Israel is the only nuclear weapons state in the Middle East – why would any government be giving them money for more arms? Beats me. But the reality that they are does not excuse other governments from their obligations to implement those arms embargo resolutions.

No such embargo has been imposed. Instead, it has fallen to global civil society to take the lead. Following a 2005 call from Palestinian civil society, social movements, activists, and increasingly church bodies and even some local government authorities around the world have created the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. It aims, as many of you know, to bring non-violent economic pressure to bear on Israel to force an end to its violations, an end to occupation and apartheid, an end to the denial of Palestinians’ right of return, and an end to Palestinian citizens of Israel being required to live as second class citizens, discriminated against on racial grounds, and subject to different laws than their Jewish compatriots. The BDS movement is gaining ground hand over fist. Just last week I was happy to write a letter of support to the Student Government of the University of California, Irvine, congratulating them on demanding that their University divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation.

Also, last summer I was in Pittsburg to witness The Presbyterian Churches of the USA general assembly vote on a resolution to divest from Motorola, Caterpillar and Hewlett Packard, this would have been unthinkable ten years ago. To quote the great Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are a ‘Changing”

Back to today.

You, the members of the General Assembly are about to have the opportunity to vote on changing Palestine’s UN status to that of a non-member State.

Whilst not according full UN membership, it would provide UN recognition to Palestine as a state that would have the right to sign treaties – crucially including the Rome Treaty as a signatory to the International Criminal Court.

This is a momentous occasion, which was started here 13 months ago. It is one of those rare instances where you, Excellencies, can change the course and the face of history, and at the same time reinforce one of the founding principles of the UN – the right to self determination. The bid implicitly incorporates pre 1967 borders, includes the integrity of East Jerusalem, an autonomous Gaza and the refugee diaspora.

It is momentous because there are already over 132 members who have recognized Palestine as a state and more are appearing every day. And, now, just this week Hamas has lent its support.

I urge you to consider two points. Firstly, please resist pressure from any powerful government to coerce you into defeating or delaying this issue – sadly there is a history of coercion in this hallowed place. No Government, however rich or powerful should be allowed to use its financial or military muscle to set UN policy by bullying other states on this or any other issue.

Secondly, do not take the statehood vote as the end of fulfilling your obligations – General Assembly responsibility goes far beyond UN technicalities, it must include real protection for Palestinians under occupation and real accountability for violations of the law. You have powers you do not use. You do not have to defer to or wait for the Security Council.

In just a few months we will commemorate the tenth anniversary of the killing of Rachel Corrie, the young peace activist killed by an Israeli soldier driving an armored Caterpillar bulldozer as she tried to protect the house of a pharmacist and his family in Rafah, on Gaza’s border. International activists like Rachel Corrie, Tom Hurndall and James Miller took the risks they did, and they, and their families paid the ultimate price, because the international community – your governments and the United Nations itself – had failed to protect the vulnerable Palestinian population living under this prolonged occupation. We are proud, though tears burn our eyes, of the work of these young activists and deeply moved by their sacrifice. But we are angry, too, that our governments and our international institutions, including the General Assembly, have failed to provide the protection that would make Rachel Corrie’s sacrifice unnecessary. Also let us not forget the thousands of courageous and anonymous Palestinians and their equally courageous Israeli brothers and sisters in arms (boycott from within) who protest peacefully on a weekly basis for the simple basic right to an ordinary human life. The right to live in dignity and peace, to raise their families, to till the land, to build a just society, to travel abroad, to be free of occupation, to aspire to each and every human goal, just like the rest of us.

Speaking of the rest of us, I live here in New York City. We are a somewhat parochial group, we New Yorkers, to a large extent cut off by propaganda and privilege from the realities of the Palestinians plight. Few of us understand that the government of the United States of America, particularly through its power of veto in the Security Council, protects Israel from the condemnation of the global civil society that I have the honor to represent here today.

Even as bombs rained down on 1.6 million people in Gaza, the President of The United States of America reasserted his position that “Israel has the right to defend itself.”

We all know the reach and power of Israel’s military capability and the deadly effects of its actions. So what did President Obama mean?  Did he mean that Israel has the right to indefinitely occupy the whole of the region, that Israel has the right to forcibly evict the populations of the occupied territories, house-by-house, village-by-village?  Did he mean that in this special case Israel has the right to carry out campaigns of ethnic cleansing and apartheid, and that the U.S. will protect Israel’s right to do so? Did he mean that Israel has the right to build roads, in occupied territory, protected by razor wire and concrete walls and CCTV and machine guns to protect the residents of Jewish-only settlements?  Did he mean that in discriminate and deadly bombing attacks, including the use of white phosphorous, on the civilian population of Gaza, by an overwhelmingly superior military force, is justified on the grounds of defense?

The Palestinians are an ancient, intelligent, cultured, hospitable, and generous people. And of course they have pride and will resist the occupation of their land and defend their women and children and their property to the best of their ability. Who would not? Would you? Would I? Would President Obama? One would hope so. It would be his duty. Imagine Washington DC, walled in, a prison, mainly rubble from repeated attacks. No one allowed in or out. Constant power cuts, foreign gunboats on the Potomac killing the fishermen, warplanes launching surgical air strikes from their impunity on high, taking out, not only the resistance but women and children too.

More than a generation ago, the General Assembly passed resolution 2625, dealing with the principle of equal rights and self-determination. It recognized that when a people face “any forcible action” depriving them of those rights, that they have the right to “actions against, and resistance to” such use of force. When the international community does not shoulder its “responsibility to protect,” Palestinians will shoulder that responsibility themselves.

This is not to suggest that I support the launching of missiles into Israel. The internationally recognized legal right of resistance means attacking any military target engaged in illegal occupation. But let us be clear, as we believe in The Law as indispensable and even handed. The launching of unguided rockets into Israel, where the most likely targets will be civilians, is not a legal form of resistance.

Many civil society activists – including many Palestinians and Israelis – are committed to non-violent resistance. The BDS movement, which has spread from Palestinian civil society to activists around the world, is part of that non-violent resistance and I support it whole heartedly, but let us be clear that the disparity of power, and the reality of the occupation, and the response of the occupied is the reality we face unless we find recourse in international law and hold all parties to it. In the meantime

Let me try to dial back the rhetoric a little and address the “Israel has a right to defend itself” claim from a legal and historical perspective.

Ex injuria non oritur jus.

“A legal right or entitlement cannot arise from injustice”

If we truly oppose all violence, whether by the occupier or violent resistance by the occupied, we must aim to end the root causes of violence.  In this conflict, that means ending Israel’s occupation, colonization, ethnic cleansing, and the denial of the right to self determination and other inalienable rights that the Palestinian people is entitled to according to the UN charter and other tenets of international law.

So to the Future.

Hamas, having dropped its original demand for Israel to be dismantled in the run up to the elections was democratically elected in January2006, in elections deemed free and fair by every international observer present, including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. The leaders of Hamas have made their position clear over and over again. It is this: Hamas is open to permanent peace with Israel if there is total withdrawal to the 1967 borders (22 per cent of historic Palestine), and the arrangement is supported by a referendum of all Palestinians living under occupation. I know you all know this, but where I live they don’t know this, they don’t know that that is the position of Hamas. So I’m telling them.

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, friends. We are all here for the same reason. We are all committed to human rights, international law, the centrality of the United Nations and equality for all – including for Palestinians. We are all attending this meeting on 29th November that marks the UN’s International Day of Solidarity with The Palestinian People.

But it seems to me, our commemoration of this day is not enough.

So, what else to do? The battleground is here, at the headquarters of the United Nations, and simultaneously in the middle of New York City, with access to the media. The battle is two pronged:

  1. To continue the work of informing the people of the USA about the reality of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and most especially, about the role of their government, the host country of the United Nations, using their tax dollars to fund and enable Israel’s violations. To remind them of the billions of dollars in military aid every year, the absolute protection of Israel in the United Nations, in the International Criminal Court and elsewhere to assure its impunity for war crimes and potential crimes against humanity – to impress upon them, “the people of the United States of America” that these dubious attachments remain the center piece of their governments’ policy in the Middle East.
  2. Just as importantly, we must address, finally, serious reform of the U.N. The UN needs to embrace a new democracy. The veto must be rethought, or the UN will die. The use of the veto as a strategic political tool by one or other of the permanent members of the Security Council has become outmoded. The power of veto residing in the hands of just five nations makes something of a mockery of the pretence of democracy, of the idea that “The will of the Peoples” is represented here. The system is too open to abuse. The blanket protection afforded to Israel by the United States’ use of the veto, is but one example of such abuse. For instance in 1973 it blocked a resolution Re-affirming the rights of Palestinians and demanding withdrawal from the occupied territories, in 1976 another resolution calling for The right of self determination for the Palestinians, and two resolutions in1997 calling for Cessation of settlement building in E. Jerusalem and other occupied territories. There are many more.
  3. l urge you, the General Assembly, to collectively work towards wresting the power back to the people in order to facilitate progress towards a more democratic body, better able to pursue the high aspirations of this great institution, to represent the will of the peoples of these great United Nations.

You, the General Assembly, represent the largest, most democratic component of the United Nations. The United States, and China and France and Russia and the UK have no veto here. What is needed is political will. You can make decisions, and take actions, that the Security Council cannot, or will not. The United Nations Charter begins with the words “We, the peoples, of these United Nations.”  Not “We the governments.”  I urge you, on behalf of the people of your countries, on behalf of the people of all countries, in fact on behalf of all the peoples, of this, our shared earth, to act.

Seize this historic moment.

Support the vote today for Palestinian enhanced observer statehood status as a step towards full membership.

And declare Israel’s continued membership of the UN to be dependent on reform of its illegal apartheid regime.

Thank you,

Roger Waters

29th November 2012

2.

The Full Un-Edited Text.

Mr. Secretary-General, Mr. Chairman, your Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Thank you for receiving me at this moment of solidarity and crisis. I am a musician, not a diplomat, and so I shall not waste this precious opportunity on niceties of protocol.

I appear before you as a representative of the fourth Russell Tribunal on Palestine and in that capacity I am representing global civil society.

By way of preamble I should say my remarks here today are not personal or driven by prejudice or malice, I am looking only to shed some light on the predicament of a beleaguered people.

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine was created to shed such light, to seek accountability for the violations of international law and the lack of United Nations resolve that prevent the Palestinian people from achieving their inalienable rights, especially the right of self-determination. One particular stimulus to our convening was the disturbing failure of the international community to implement and enforce the clear judgment of the International Court of Justice in 2004, contained in its advisory opinion on the Israeli Wall, as requested by the UN.

We met here in New York City, six weeks ago, on the 6th and 7th of October, having previously sent out invitations to all interested parties.  After listening to exhaustive testimony from many expert witnesses, and after careful deliberation, we arrived at the following judgments.

We found that the State of Israel is guilty of a number of international crimes.

1.Apartheid.

The UN’s International Covenant on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, defines that crime as inhuman acts by any government that are “committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.”  As you all know, the prohibited acts include arbitrary arrest, legislative measures that discriminate in the political, social, economic and cultural fields; measures that divide the population along racial lines, and the persecution of those opposed to the system of apartheid.

As you are aware this finding by the tribunal was endorsed earlier

In the year by the HRC Committee for the Elimination of Racial

Discrimination in Geneva after submissions by the Tribunal made

both orally and in writing.

2.Ethnic cleansing.  In this case that crime includes the systematic eviction of much of the native Palestinian population by force since 1947-48.

3.Collective punishment of a civilian population, explicitly prohibited by the Geneva Convention Article 33. Israel has violated its obligation as Occupying Power throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. Its most serious violations have occurred recently in Gaza with the blockade and virtual imprisonment of the entire population, the indiscriminate killing of Palestinians during the Israeli offensive, Operation Cast Lead in 2008 and 2009, and now the devastation wrought by the recent attack, ironically named, “Operation Pillar of Defense.”

As I speak, I can hear the tut, tutting of governmental and media tongues trotting out the well worn mantra of the apologists.

“Hamas started it with their rocket attacks, Israel is only defending itself,”

Let us examine that argument. Did Hamas start “It”? When did “It” start?

How we understand history is shaped by when we start the clock. If we start the clock at a moment when rockets are fired from Gaza into Israel on a certain afternoon that is one history. If we start the clock earlier that morning, when a 13-year-old Palestinian boy was shot dead by Israeli soldiers as he played soccer on a Gaza field, history starts to look a little different. If we go back further we see that since ‘Operation Cast Lead’, according to the Israeli human rights organization B’tselem, 271 Palestinians were killed by Israeli bombs, rockets, drones and warplanes, and during the same period not a single Israeli was killed. A good case can be made that ’It’ started in 1967 with the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. History tells us that the invasion and occupation of a land and the subjugation of its people almost always creates a resistance. Ask the French or the Dutch or the Poles or the Czechs, the list goes on. This crisis in Gaza is a crisis rooted in occupation.

Israel and its allies would contend that Gaza is no longer occupied. Really? The withdrawal of soldiers and settlers in 2005 changed the nature, not the existence, of occupation. Israel still controls Gaza’s airspace, coastal waters, borders, land, economy and lives. Gaza is still occupied. The people of Gaza, the 1.6 million Palestinians, half of them children under the age of 16, live in an open-air prison.  That is the reality that underlies the current crisis. And until we, not only understand that, and until you, Excellencies, your governments, and your General Assembly take responsibility to end that occupation, we cannot even hope that the current crisis is over. In October, on the last occasion jurors from The Russell Tribunal addressed this committee, we were assured that our representations and reports would be advanced on the floor of the GA for general debate. If things go well today we may hope to hold you, Excellences, to that assurance.

I have diverted briefly, let me return to the Israeli violations, which the Russell Tribunal identified.

4. Contravention of the Fourth Geneva convention’s prohibition on settlements – specifically Article 49. The settlements, ALL the settlements, are not simply an obstacle to peace, they are illegal. Period.  Full Stop.  All of them. You, in the General Assembly, and even the Security Council as well, have over the years identified them as illegal.  And yet they stand, a daily reality in which now more than 600,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank and Occupied East Jerusalem violate the law every morning simply by waking up – because their houses sit on illegally expropriated land. It is not enough to call, as some governments do, for an end to further settlement expansion; if we are to live under the law the entire settlement undertaking must be ended.

5. Use of illegal weapons. During Israel’s Cast Lead operation four years ago, international human rights organizations documented Tel Aviv’s use of white phosphorous in attacks on Gaza. Human Rights Watch found that, and I quote, “Israel’s repeated firing of white phosphorous shells over densely populated areas of Gaza during its recent military campaign was indiscriminate and is evidence of war crimes.” White phosphorous burns at up to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. Imagine what happens when it comes into contact with the skin of a child. Human Rights Watch called for Israel’s “senior commanders” to be held accountable. But so far, there has been no such accountability. No governments, nor even you, the United Nations General Assembly, have attempted to hold these Israeli commanders accountable. We hear a great deal about the UN’s commitment to the “responsibility to protect” vulnerable populations.  Surely the UN’s “responsibility to protect” must extend to this most vulnerable of populations, Palestinians, imprisoned in a crowded, besieged open-air prison?

There are more violations, your Excellencies, but you know that. Your resolutions trace the history of Israeli violations. You regret, you deplore, you even condemn the violations. But when have your resolutions been implemented?  It is not enough to deplore and condemn. What we need is for the United Nations – for you, excellencies, your governments and the General Assembly in which you serve – to take seriously your Responsibility to Protect Palestinians living under occupation and facing the daily violation of their inalienable rights of self-determination and equality.

The will of “we the people of these United Nations” is that all our brothers and sisters should be free to live in self determination, that the oppressed should be released from their burden, by being given recourse to the law, and that the oppressors should be called to account by that same law.

In 1981 I wrote a song, called ‘The Gunner’s Dream’ it appeared on a Pink Floyd album ‘The Final Cut’, the song purports to express the dying dream of a RAF gunner as he plunges to his death from a stricken aircraft towards the corner of some foreign field. He dreams of the future for which he is giving his life. I quote.

A place to stay

Enough to eat

Somewhere old heroes shuffle safely down the street

Where you can speak out loud about your doubts and fears

And what’s more

No one ever disappears you never hear their standard issue

Kicking in your door.

You can relax on both sides of the tracks

And maniacs, don’t blow holes, in bandsmen by remote control

And everyone has recourse to the law

And no one kills the children anymore

No one kills the children anymore.

In 1982 and again in 1983, the General Assembly passed resolutions holding Israel accountable for its violations. Those resolutions called for a complete arms embargo and an end to military aid and trade with Israel. Those resolutions were never implemented.  We never expected the United States, or my government, I’m from The UK, by the way, to implement those GA resolutions – the U.S. is giving Israel $4.1 billion this year to bolster its already bloated military. The IMF says Israel is the 26th wealthiest country in the world, and Israel is the only nuclear weapons state in the Middle East – why would any government be giving them money for more arms? Beats me. But the reality that they are does not excuse other governments from their obligations to implement those arms embargo resolutions.

No such embargo has been imposed. Instead, it has fallen to global civil society to take the lead. Following a 2005 call from Palestinian civil society, social movements, activists, and increasingly church bodies and even some local government authorities around the world have created the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. It aims, as many of you know, to bring non-violent economic pressure to bear on Israel to force an end to its violations, an end to occupation and apartheid, an end to the denial of Palestinians’ right of return, and an end to Palestinian citizens of Israel being required to live as second class citizens, discriminated against on racial grounds, and subject to different laws than their Jewish compatriots. The BDS movement is gaining ground hand over fist. Just last week I was happy to write a letter of support to the Student Government of the University of California, Irvine, congratulating them on demanding that their University divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation.

Also last summer I was in Pittsburg to witness The Presbyterian Churches of the USA general assembly vote on a resolution to divest from Motorola, Caterpillar and Hewlett Packard, this would have been unthinkable ten years ago. To quote the great Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are a’Changing”

Back to today.

You, the members of the General Assembly are about to have the opportunity to vote on changing Palestine’s UN status to that of a non-member State.

Whilst not according full UN membership, it would provide UN recognition to Palestine as a state that would have the right to sign treaties – crucially including the Rome Treaty as a signatory to the International Criminal Court.

This is a momentous occasion, which was started here 13 months ago. It is one of those rare instances where you, excellencies, can change the course and the face of history, and at the same time reinforce one of the founding principles of the UN – the right to self determination. The bid implicitly incorporates pre 1967 borders, includes the integrity of East Jerusalem, an autonomous Gaza and the refugee diaspora.

It is momentous because there are already over 132 members who have recognized Palestine as a state and more are appearing every day. And, now, just this week Hamas has lent its support.

I urge you to consider two points. Firstly, please resist pressure from any powerful government to coerce you into defeating or delaying this issue – sadly there is a history of coercion in this hallowed place. No Government, however rich or powerful should be allowed to use its financial or military muscle to set UN policy by bullying other states on this or any other issue.

Secondly, do not take the statehood vote as the end of fulfilling your obligations – General Assembly responsibility goes far beyond UN technicalities, it must include real protection of Palestinians under occupation and real accountability for violations of the law. You have powers you do not use. You do not have to defer to or wait for the Security Council.

In just a few months we will commemorate the tenth anniversary of the killing of Rachel Corrie, the young peace activist killed by an Israeli soldier driving an armored Caterpillar bulldozer as she tried to protect the house of a pharmacist and his family in Rafah, on Gaza’s border. International activists like Rachel Corrie, Tom Hurndall and James Miller took the risks they did, and they, and their families paid the ultimate price, because the international community – your governments and the United Nations itself – had failed to protect the vulnerable Palestinian population living under this prolonged occupation. We are proud, though tears burn our eyes, of the work of these young activists and deeply moved by their sacrifice. But we are angry, too, that our governments and our international institutions, including the General Assembly, have failed to provide the protection that would make Rachel Corrie’s sacrifice unnecessary. Also let us not forget the thousands of courageous and anonymous Palestinians and their equally courageous Israeli brothers and sisters in arms (boycott from within) who protest peacefully on a weekly basis for the simple basic right to an ordinary human life. The right to live in dignity and peace, to raise their families, to till the land, to build a just society, to travel abroad, to be free of occupation, to aspire to each and every human goal, just like the rest of us.

Speaking of the rest of us, I live here in New York City. We are a somewhat parochial group, we New Yorkers, to a large extent cut off by propaganda and privilege from the realities of the Palestinians plight. Few of us understand that the government of the United States of America, particularly through its power of veto in the Security Council, protects Israel from the condemnation of the global civil society that I have the honor to represent here today.

Even as bombs rained down on 1.6 million people in Gaza, the President of The United States of America reasserted his position that “Israel has the right to defend itself.”

We all know the reach and power of Israel’s military capability and the deadly effects of its actions. So what did President Obama mean?  Did he mean that Israel has the right to indefinitely occupy the whole of the region, that Israel has the right to forcibly evict the populations of the occupied territories, house by house, village by village?  Did he mean that in this special case Israel has the right to carry out campaigns of ethnic cleansing and apartheid, and that the U.S. will protect Israel’s right to do so? Did he mean that Israel has the right to build roads, in occupied territory, protected by razor wire and concrete walls and CCTV and machine guns to protect the residents of Jewish-only settlements?  Did he mean that in discriminate and deadly bombing attacks, including the use of white phosphorous, on the civilian population of Gaza, by an overwhelmingly superior military force, is justified on the grounds of defense?

The Palestinians are an ancient, intelligent, cultured, hospitable, and generous people. And of course they have pride and will resist the occupation of their land and defend their women and children and their property to the best of their ability. Who would not? Would you? Would I? Would President Obama? One would hope so. It would be his duty. Imagine Washington DC, walled in, a prison, mainly rubble from repeated attacks. No one allowed in or out. Constant power cuts, foreign gunboats on the Potomac killing the fishermen, warplanes launching surgical air strikes from their impunity on high, taking out, not only the resistance but women and children too.

More than a generation ago, the General Assembly passed resolution 2625, dealing with the principle of equal rights and self-determination. It recognized that when a people face “any forcible action” depriving them of those rights, that they have the right to “actions against, and resistance to” such use of force. When the international community does not shoulder its “responsibility to protect,” Palestinians will shoulder that responsibility themselves.

This is not to suggest that I support the launching of missiles into Israel. The internationally recognized legal right of resistance means attacking any military target engaged in illegal occupation. But let us be clear, as we believe in The Law as indispensable and even handed. The launching of unguided rockets into Israel, where the most likely targets will be civilians, is not a legal form of resistance.

Many civil society activists – including many Palestinians and Israelis – are committed to non-violent resistance. The BDS movement, which has spread from Palestinian civil society to activists around the world, is part of that non-violent resistance and I support it whole heartedly, but let us be clear that the disparity of power, and the reality of the occupation, and the response of the occupied is the reality we face unless we find recourse in international law and hold all parties to it. In the meantime

Let me try to dial back the rhetoric a little and address the “Israel has a right to defend itself” claim from a legal and historical perspective.

Ex injuria non oritur jus.

“A legal right or entitlement cannot arise from injustice”

If we truly oppose all violence, whether by the occupier or violent resistance by the occupied, we must aim to end the root causes of violence.  In this conflict, that means ending Israel’s occupation, colonization, ethnic cleansing, and the denial of the right to self determination and other inalienable rights that the Palestinian people is entitled to according to the UN charter and other tenets of international law.

So to the Future.

Hamas, having dropped its original demand for Israel to be dismantled in the run up to the elections was democratically elected in January2006, in elections deemed free and fair by every international observer present, including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. The leaders of Hamas have made their position clear over and over again. It is this: Hamas is open to permanent peace with Israel if there is total withdrawal to the 1967 borders (22 per cent of historic Palestine), and the arrangement is supported by a referendum of all Palestinians living under occupation.

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, friends. We are all here for the same reason. We are all committed to human rights, international law, the centrality of the United Nations and equality for all – including for Palestinians. We are all attending this meeting on 29th November that marks the UN’s International Day of Solidarity with The Palestinian People.

But it seems to me, our commemoration of this day is not enough.

So, what else to do? The battleground is here, at the headquarters of the United Nations, and simultaneously in the middle of New York City, with access to the media. The battle is two pronged:

To continue the work of informing the people of the USA about the reality of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and most especially, about the role of their government, the host country of the United Nations, using their tax dollars to fund and enable Israel’s violations. To remind them of the billions of dollars in military aid every year, the absolute protection of Israel in the United Nations, in the International Criminal Court and elsewhere to assure its impunity for war crimes and potential crimes against humanity – to impress upon them, “the people of the United States of America” that these dubious attachments remain the center piece of their governments’ policy in the Middle East.

Just as importantly, we must address, finally, serious reform of the U.N. The UN needs to embrace a new democracy. The veto must be rethought, or the UN will die. The use of the veto as a strategic political tool by one or other of the permanent members of the Security Council has become outmoded. The power of veto residing in the hands of just five nations makes something of a mockery of the pretense of democracy, of the idea that “The will of the Peoples” is represented here. The system is too open to abuses. The blanket protection afforded to Israel by the United States’ use of the veto is but one example of such abuse. For instance in 1973 it blocked a resolution Re-affirming the rights of Palestinians and demanding withdrawal from the occupied territories, in 1976 another resolution calling for The right of self determination for the Palestinians, and two resolutions in1997 calling for Cessation of settlement building in E. Jerusalem and other occupied territories. There are many more.

l urge you, the General Assembly, to collectively work towards wresting the power back to the people in order to facilitate progress towards a more democratic body, better able to pursue the high aspirations of this great institution, to represent the will of the peoples of these great United Nations.

You, the General Assembly, represent the largest, most democratic component of the United Nations. The United States, and China and France and Russia and the UK have no veto here. What is needed is political will. You can make decisions, and take actions, that the Security Council cannot, or will not. The United Nations Charter begins with the words “We, the peoples, of these United Nations.”  Not “We the governments.”  I urge you, on behalf of the people of your countries, on behalf of the people of all countries, in fact on behalf of all the peoples, of this, our shared earth, to act.

Seize this historic moment.

Support the vote today for Palestinian enhanced observer statehood status as a step towards full membership.

And declare Israel’s continued membership of the UN to be dependent on reform of its illegal apartheid regime.

Thank you.

Roger Waters. 29th November 2012.

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Supporting the slaughter: US blocks Russia’s draft statement in UN on peaceful resolution of Bani Walid violence, Libya ………..

RT
Tue, 23 Oct 2012 16:00 CDT
UN Security Council

© AFP Photo / Emmanuel Dunand
The UN Security Council

The United States has blocked a draft statement, proposed by Russia, on the resolution of violence in the Libyan town of Bani Walid, which has been under siege for weeks. The statement called for a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Russia’s envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin said the move “can’t be serious,” reminding the American delegation of the deadly attack in Benghazi that claimed the lives of four US diplomats in September.

“Blocking a draft statement that called to solve the country’s political problems without violence is very strange,” Churkin said. “This is a case when it is difficult to explain the US delegation’s actions in rational terms.”

The statement drafted by Russia on Bani Walid called on the Libyan authorities “to take urgent steps to resolve the conflict by peaceful means and to preserve the rights of all Libyan citizens.” It also expressed concern about the significant escalation of violence in and around the city of Bani Walid in recent days.

Reports from the small town indicate innocent civilians are becoming the victims of fighting between pro-government forces and Gaddafi loyalists.

The latest round of fighting was provoked by the death of Omran Shaaban, the rebel from Misrata credited with capturing Muammar Gaddafi, who was hiding in a drain pipe in Sirte on October 20, 2011. He died on September 25 after two months’ detention in Bani Walid.

Pro-government forces and militias besieged the town in order to find those responsible for the death of “the hero of a new Libya,” as Shaaban was dubbed.

Bani Walid commanders accuse pro-government troops and militias of “shelling the town with long-range weapons and even targeting the hospital.”

Bani Walid victim

© RT
This photo was sent to RT by a man whose family remains in the besieged Bani Walid. The image could not be independently verified.
Bani Walid victim

© RT
A video screen shot taken from YouTube, sent to RT by a man whose family is currently in besieged Bani Walid. The image is said to show a 13 year old boy who was killed in recent fighting. The footage could not be independently verified.

A local resident currently residing in Italy, but whose family remains in the town, told RT the current shelling of the town is Misrata militias’ attempt to “eliminate” it. He claims that initially the government called for an end to the violence, but later came up with a call to “clean Bani Walid.”

The UN Security Council has also discussed a possible meeting with envoy to Libya Tarek Mitri, Churkin said. But it remains unclear when he will be able to speak, even via video link.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Security Council also postponed the adoption of another two draft statements proposed by Russia. The first condemned a terrorist attack in Damascus on October 21 which caused numerous civilian deaths and injuries. The second called on both the government and the rebels to agree to a ceasefire during the Muslim holiday of Eid Al Adha, to allow the people to observe it in peace and security. Eid Al Adha starts on October 25 and lasts for three days.

Russia’s call for a ceasefire coincides with similar efforts by international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to persuade Syrians to agree to a ceasefire during the holiday.

Brahimi left Syria on Tuesday, after finishing a four-day visit aimed at getting support for his proposal for an end to violence there.

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The End of American Independence ……………….

http://original.antiwar.com

Interventionism and the abolition of sovereignty

by , July 02, 2012

We celebrate the fourth of July with fireworks, memorializing the American colonists’ struggle against the British empire by reenacting, in symbolic fashion, what was a war for independence – that is, an assertion of American sovereignty. As we’ve built an empire of our own, however, the celebration has naturally degenerated into an orgy of nationalist vaunting, with the original conception obscured and mostly lost. Indeed, the US government disdains the very concept of national independence, routinely violating the sovereignty of others – and even denying its own.

When the colonists declared their independence, they recorded their reasons in a document – a Declaration that demonstrated this wasn’t just a territorial matter. They asserted their right to make a revolution because sovereignty resided in the people – not the king and his councilors. They didn’t want to create a centralized European-style state that would mimic the imperial grandeur of Britain. They wanted a republic – and they wanted to be left alone.

Flash forward 236 years, and – poof! – the republic is a bloated empire, one that asserts its “right” to attack any nation on earth for any reason. Having divested itself of its modest republican cloth coat, and taken to wearing the imperial purple, Washington has also discarded the old-fashioned concept of popular sovereignty as conceived by the Founders. When the President can take the country to war with a single command, without consulting anyone, sovereignty is no longer in the hands of the people, but of one person – our de facto king.

If this hegemonic power has no respect for the sovereignty of other nations, neither does it honor its own. Instead of petitioning Congress to unleash the dogs of war, American presidents routinely go before the UN Security Council to seek international sanction first – while stoutly maintaining congressional approval is unnecessary. When George Herbert Walker Bush went to war against Iraq he did it in the name of a “New World Order” – a concept that takes old-fashioned imperialism to a new level. For it would not be an American empire so much as it would be a trans-national entity, one that hovers over the world, but owes no special allegiance to any particular spot.

The idea was taken up by Bush I’s successors. “In the next century, nations as we know it will be obsolete,” declared Strobe Talbot, Bill Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of State and one of that administration’s Deep Thinkers. “All states will recognize a single, global authority. National sovereignty wasn’t such a great idea after all.” The American revolutionaries, according to Talbot’s logic, should have saved themselves the bother of Valley Forge.

As Ron Paul has pointed out, the very idea of national sovereignty has been under attack, with all sorts of “multilateral” institutions – not only the UN but also the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the proposed North American Union – that are chipping away at the traditional concept of America’s independence.

These institutions are inhabited and controlled by a wealthy, arrogant, continent-hopping elite that owes no allegiance to any national entity, but only to its own interests as an emerging ruling class. Centered not just in Washington, but in all the capitals of Europe and the developing world, this unmoored elite of government officials, international bureaucrats, transnational corporate honchos, and professional do-gooders is hungry for its turn at power, and ruthless about attaining it. There is no international “crisis” where they haven’t meddled, making it worse – and providing an opening for direct military intervention by the Western powers.

Syria is a perfect example of how this crowd operates. Fund the “opposition,” funnel arms to the rebels, manufacture atrocity stories and feed them to complicit “mainstream” media outlets – then let the UN and NATO do the rest. In thinking about how the concept of national sovereignty has fared recently, I was struck by this account of the UN’s latest pronouncement on the Syrian crisis:

The UK and French foreign ministers have said a UN communique drawn up in Geneva on Saturday night to address the escalating conflict in Syria will mean President Bashar al-Assad is ‘finished’ and will have to step down.

The communique, which agreed terms for a transitional authority to oversee the end of violence in the country, was hammered out with the inclusion of Russia and China and called for ‘clear and irreversible steps’ after a fixed time frame.

It stated that present members of the government could be included in the new body and initially leaving unclear the key question of whether Assad could be part of that transitional government.

However, speaking on Sunday morning, the foreign secretary, William Hague, confirmed Assad would be excluded from any unity government under the terms of the agreement.”

Not an eyebrow is lifted by the imperious tone – and the assumption that the UN has the right to depose and enthrone at will. What if the Security Council decided a duly-elected US president was to be excluded from holding office? Americans think they are exceptions to this New World Order-ish rule, but they may wake up one day to find out they aren’t.

We surrendered our independence the moment we set out on the road to empire. We are tied by a thousand strings – by treaty and by implicit understandings – to countries all over the world, our freedom of action inhibited by considerations the Founders could never have imagined. We are a prisoner of our own allies, who have constructed a thousand tripwires that can set us careening off into yet another war at a moment’s notice. We are, finally, a captive to our own self-conception as “the indispensable nation,” so puffed up with our own sense of ultimate power that we cannot conceive a crisis in which we do not have a hand.

Please do go out and celebrate the fourth of July – get out the grill, invite some friends over, and enjoy the show. When you see those fireworks light up the sky, think of the second war for independence you – or more likely your children – will have to fight if you want to keep what little freedom you have left.

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Let’s Get Out of the Middle East – and the UN …..

September 27, 2011

Listen to Rep. Ron Paul deliver this address.

The Palestinian Authority’s recent announcement that it would seek U.N. recognition as an independent state dominated the news and the political debate in the United States last week, though in truth it should mean very little to us. Only a political class harboring the illusion it can run the world obsesses over the aspirations of a tiny population on a tiny piece of land thousands of miles away. Remember, the U.N. initiated this persistent conflict with its 1947 Partition Plan.

Unfortunately, the debate is dominated by those who either support the Israeli side in the conflict, or those who support the Palestinian desire for statehood. We rarely seem to hear the view of those who support the U.S. side and U.S. interests. I am on that side. I believe that we can no longer police the world. We can no longer bribe the Israelis and Palestinians to continue an endless “peace process” that goes nowhere. It is not in our interest to hector the Palestinians or the Israelis, or to “export” democracy to the region but reject it when people vote the “wrong” way.

I have reservations about the Palestinian drive for U.N. recognition. Personally, I wish the United States would de-recognize the United Nations. As most readers already know, in every Congress I introduce legislation to end our membership in that organization. The U.N. is a threat to our sovereignty — and as we are the main source of its income, it is a threat to our economic well-being. Increasingly over the past several years, we see the United Nations providing political and legal cover for the military aspirations of interventionists rather than serving as an international forum to preserve peace. Neoconservatives in the U.S. have grown to love the United Nations as they co-opt the organization under the guise of endless “reform.” Under the sovereignty-destroying doctrine of “Responsibility to Protect,” adopted at the 2005 World Summit, the U.N. takes it upon itself to intervene in internal conflicts of its member states whenever it believes that human rights are being violated. Thus under “Responsibility to Protect,” the U.N. provides the green light for a kind of global no-knock raid on any sovereign country.

If asked, I would personally counsel the Palestinians to avoid the United Nations. U.N. membership and participation is no guarantee that sovereignty will be respected. We see what happens to U.N. members such as Iraq and Libya when those countries’ leaders fall out of favor with U.S. administrations: under U.S. and allied pressure, a fig-leaf resolution is adopted in the U.N. to facilitate devastating military intervention. When the U.N. gave NATO the green light to bomb Libya, there was no genocide taking place. It was a purely preventive war. The result? Thousands dead, a destroyed country, and extremely dubious new leaders.

While I do not see U.N. membership as a particularly productive move for the Palestinian leadership, I do not believe the U.S. should use its position in the U.N. Security Council to block their membership. I believe in self-determination of peoples, and I recognize that peoples may wish to pursue statehood by different means. As we saw after the Cold War, numerous new states were born out of the ruins of the USSR as the various old Soviet Republics decided that smaller states were preferable to an enormous and oppressive multinational conglomerate.

The real, pro-U.S. solution to the problems in the Middle East is for us to end all foreign aid, stop arming foreign countries, encourage peaceful diplomatic resolutions to conflicts, and disengage militarily. In others words, follow Jefferson’s admonition: “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.”

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‘Russia to oppose UN anti-Syria bid’

http://www.presstv.ir

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has declared that Moscow will not back a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the use of violence in Syria.

In an interview the Financial Times, Medvedev slammed the way the UN Resolution 1973 on Libya had been interpreted by Western powers, and said he would not like “a Syrian resolution to be pulled off in a similar manner,” Reuters reported.

“What I am not ready to support is a resolution [similar to the one] on Libya because it is my deep conviction that a good resolution has been turned into a piece of paper that is being used to provide cover for a meaningless military operation,” the Russian president pointed out.

“Right now, I am not sure that any resolution is needed because a resolution may say one thing but actions would be quite different. The resolution may say: ‘We condemn the use of force in Syria’ and after that, planes will take off into the air,” he further explained.

Since the beginning of the unrests in Syria in mid-March, scores of people, including security forces, have been killed.

The shadowy opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings. But the Syrian government blames armed gangs for the violence, saying that the unrest is being orchestrated from outside the Middle Eastern country.

In April, the Washington Post published secret diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, which indicated that the US has conducted a long campaign to overthrow the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian president has vowed to bring the people responsible for the killings to justice.

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No democracy whatsoever for Yemen and Bahrain

Posted by EU Times on May 30th, 2011

Why would NATO not bomb Bahrain and Yemen? It would seem than their leaders, from a Western point of view, are no better than Gaddafi or al-Assad. According to the Western elites, they allegedly are rigidly oppressing their people.

What about the behavior of the Bahraini King and the Yemeni president? The former, unable to cope with people’s anger, brought in the Saudi troops for the suppression of the unrests. After the mass beatings and shootings of the protesters, the authorities have banned doctors from providing assistance to the opposition. King al-Khalifa was unaffected by the fact that there were no weapons in the hands of the protesters.

In turn, the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh continues to destroy those who oppose his regime. The mass protests demanding his resignation have been going on since the beginning of February. The opposition accuses him of the appalling corruption.

The authorities responded to this by a brutal repression. Peaceful demonstrations were shot by police. Even at the lowest estimates of the Western media, the assistants of Saleh killed over 150 people during their dispersal. However, judging by the data of several local human rights activists, hundreds were dead among Saleh’s opponents.

According to the information from Sanaa, during the last week the Yemeni president has surpassed all his previous achievements. In the recent days the situation has deteriorated markedly for Saleh. He spoke out against a number of important clans, including the country’s largest tribe Hashid, whose fighters are now fighting against the National Guard loyal to the president.

Head of State made a great mistake refusing to conduct a dialogue with the leaders of the Hashid, his native tribe. According to Yemeni sources, the rally was preceded by an attempt to arrest the clan leader Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar. The reason for this was his statement about his transition to the opposition.

In fact, we are now talking about a popular uprising. The president fears that it could turn into a full-scale civil war. This is not surprising as from time to time the country gets immersed in a real chaos. This time, the chaos is created by the President’s actions.

The cause for the armed actions that commenced on May 23 was the third failure of Saleh to immediately resign. Now he explains it by an alleged threat posed by the insurgents and militias of al-Qaeda to transform Yemen in the failed state as it happened with Somalia.

If this is the case, he said, then he would not make any concessions to his opponents and would fight those who threaten the security and stability in the country. Apparently, this is why one of his last speeches was made in the spirit of “I will leave when the violence stops.”

Saleh, who has been raining the country for 33 years, refused to sign an agreement on his resignation with the opposition on three occasions, each time putting forward new conditions. It is worth mentioning that the members of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) that works closely with representatives of Western countries also tried to persuad him.

On May 25, British Foreign Secretary William Hague was begging Saleh to sign the “road map” as quickly as possible to save the situation. Now the attempt of a peaceful transfer of power has failed miserably.

The Yemenis, tired of his 33-year rule and repression, have taken up arms. Each new act brings closer a catastrophe for Saleh. The prosecutor’s office of Yemen issued another warrant for the arrest of ten leaders of the Hashid. Thus, Saleh finally signed his own death sentence. It was his fighters who tipped the scales in favor of the opposition. In particular, they seized the building of the news agency SABA, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, as well as the national airline Yemenia.

The situation for Saleh has markedly deteriorated as a result of the armed action of the Arhab tribe, led by the famous Sheikh Abdul Majid al-Zindani, who is considered a prominent fundamentalist, allegedly supporting terrorism, by the U.S. and Israel. The soldiers of the Arhab have blocked the international airport of the country.

The seriousness of the situation is confirmed by the fact that the Americans have begun emergency evacuation of American citizens from Yemen, including part of the state embassy in Sanaa.

Why did the West that so zealously protects the armed Islamists who opposed al-Gaddafi and Assad have not noticed the mass killings by Saleh, as well as highly reactive, in terms of democracy, monarchy in Bahrain? It would seem that there is not much difference between the Arabs of Libya and Syria and the Arabs of Bahrain and Yemen. After all, in terms of the Western values ​​of protection of different kinds of democratic freedoms, Saleh and Al-Khalifa are begging for democratization much more actively than Qaddafi and Assad.

However, the answer is simple enough. Bahrain is economically connected mainly to the United States and Saudi Arabia. Due to the fact that much of the Bahraini oil goes to the Americans, it would be foolish to expect them to refuse to support the local king who is successfully plundering the national wealth with their help.

The Bahraini Al Khalifa dutifully agrees to the conditions lucrative for the West and Saudi Arabia. This is his main difference from the obstinate Gaddafi. He did not want to give up his oil and gas fields for a pittance to multinational corporations.

Saleh is also considered one of their own. He was skillfully fooling the West, claiming that he is the only one capable of preventing the triumph of al-Qaeda in his country. In return he received astronomical sums of money to fight the terrorists amounting to half billion dollars a year.

However, the Western approval did not save Yemen from destabilization. Moreover, the fire that started in Tunisia and Egypt and flung to Libya and Syria thanks to the West, seized those Arab countries whose regimes were the U.S. allies. The fall of Saleh threatens to become one of the main shortcomings of the West after the overthrow of the Shah in 1979. Instability in Yemen poses a serious threat to all Arab oil producers in the entire Gulf region.

Source

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Britain, the Traitor Nation: Media Disinformation and Crimes against Humanity in Libya

by Dr. David Halpin
Global Research, April 24, 2011

“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations…Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter.” UN Charter – 1: Purposes and Principles http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter1.shtml 

The vultures wheel over Libya beside the drones but roasted carrion is not their usual feast.  The flag of the Kingdom of Libya is being waved in victory. The jubilant rebels have decided on discretion rather than valour.  The charred skeletons of the government tank crew have been left below and cannot join the party.  Perhaps the celebrants know that the ‘coalition’ dispense U238 as liberally as their illusory democracy.

The royalist flag raised in victory before the human remnants are removed

 


The vultures scent the sweet crude and see all that easy land for US bases banished by Ghaddafi.

These predators are being assisted, as per usual, by the State Broadcaster (BBC) with Channel 4 close behind.

Tanks are being ‘taken out’ but never, never are the crews within mentioned by the news readers.

The significance of these olive skinned humans are as grains of sand.  But it is over in a flash.  ‘So humane, so why refer to the brothers and the fathers?’  A millisecond or  two after the armour is punctured by uranium depleted of U235 alone, the fireball cremates the crew within a few more milliseconds.

 

The minute solid particles resulting from combustion of the U238 with its infinite half life of 4.5 billion years rise in the thermals above the blistered tank.  Some will settle, and some will stay in the air at all levels, eventually dispersing in every direction.  Inhalation will ensure the most intimate contact with the cells of all mammals.  The ionizing radiation of the germ cells in ovary or  testis will lead to birth deformity as witnessed as an epidemic by the mothers and doctors in Fallujah.

 

The plans for  the evisceration of Libya were long laid by the vultures.  The myxoma virus of the blackest of black propaganda is being squirted into the nervous systems of homo non-sapiens to allow many to believe the process is benign.  ‘We are aiding revolution and saving Arabs from themselves’.  The State Broadcaster leads the mega-wattage and is fed by serried ranks of able liars in the FCO,  the Downing Street Media Unit and the Ministry of ‘Defence’.  Lying has is now our heavy industry in blood soaked Albion.

 

The joint statement of Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy – “For that transition to succeed, Colonel Ghaddafi must go, and go for good.  At that point, the United Nations and its members should help the Libyan people as they rebuild where Ghaddafi has destroyed — to repair homes and hospitals, ….”   http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/columnists/article2986866.ece     Did they say rebuild the hospitals and medical services that 12 years of sanctions and Shock and Aweing destroyed in Iraq?

 

Every evil allegation is heaped on Muamar and his army.  Three cluster bombs were used in Misrata.  The allegation was backed up by Human Rights Watch but its chief executive, Kenneth Roth, has already shown his partisanship towards the ‘rabbles’.  ‘The Security Council has at last lived up to its duty’.


http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2011/03/18/security-council-has-last-lived-its-duty
   Bouckaert, another HRW representative, had given weight to the alleged gang rape of Eman Al-Obeidi.  This distressed lady had aired her claim before a room full of foreign journalists.  Channel 4 showed the segment two nights running.  It would be unusual for such a terrible crime to take place in a nation where 97% are Muslims, and rare also for the victim to shout about it to a crowd.  How did Bouckaert come to an opinion on Eman?

 

As for the three cluster bombs read this by Craig Murray.  Our ex-ambassador to Uzbekistan, who ‘outed’ the most grotesque torture of devout Muslims for ‘intelligence’ which flowed to Langley and thence to MI6, records how the US has the largest stocks of cluster bombs and that it has resisted  joining the cluster bomb ban.  The UK, with its usual treachery, has signed but agrees to hold stocks for the US on this sceptred isle. The use of thousands by ‘Israel’ on the Lebanese people in 2006 is not recalled  by the UK media.  http://craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2011/04/clusters-of-hypocrisy/

 

This morning, the funereal sounding Orla Guerin, spoke of one hundred rebel injuries and several deaths.  Again the government forces and civilians had no mention.  Death and injury is not their lot.  She said that they were ‘exhausted by death’ in Misrata.  The pilots of the British Typhoons, Tornadoes and French Mirages were not exhausted so by death.  Their very accurate ‘fire and forget’ missiles erased only concrete and metal.  Thus there are no loyal Libyan deaths.

 

The State Broadcaster has been very selective in its news dissemination.  Aware that our premier liar has promised ‘no boots on the ground’, it has been careful to maintain that illusion.  There has been no national news of ‘deployment’.  (They are good on sanitary words – ‘ in theatre’, ‘operational tasking’  These are fragments of the public school lexicon of killing.)  But here, in the South West of England, BBC Southwest has been spilling the beans.  It reckons that almost every local will know warships have been embarking Royal Marines in Plymouth.  However, we were told they were going in case ‘humanitarian help’ was needed in Libya and, rather darkly, for the possible evacuation of UK citizens from other Middle Eastern countries in event of disturbance or similar.  The video showed troops loading humanitarian rocket launchers.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-12995065

 

The MoD said the newly-formed Response Force Task Group (RFTG) would be taking part in multi-national amphibious exercises in the Mediterranean and later in the Indian Ocean.

HMS Albion, Type 23 frigate HMS Sutherland, and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Cardigan Bay were sailing as the lead element of the RFTG, which is held at “very high readiness” to respond to “unexpected global events”.

HMS Albion, a landing platform dock capable of carrying more than 600 people, left Devonport just after 0800 BST 14 April.  A closer look at Albion at sea -

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11491132

Task group commander, Cmdr John Kingwell, said: “Cougar 11 is an important opportunity to develop international inter-operability and build long-term defence relationships, and for the RFTG to demonstrate operational contingent capability.”  (We are used to gold braid bullshit.)

 

The MoD said the ships and troops from Taunton-based 40 Commando would be there “to develop and demonstrate contingent capability for UK defence – in effect, the ability to respond to short-notice tasking across a diverse range of defence activities such as disaster relief, humanitarian aid, or amphibious operations”.

 

Devonport-based submarine HMS Triumph has just returned to the base after operations against pro-Gaddafi forces.     http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-12976115

Cdr Rob Dunn said: “I am proud of my ship’s company. They went about their duty and carried out all I asked of them in the most professional way.

“They are naturally satisfied that they carried out an operational tasking using our Tomahawk land attack missiles weapon system, which does not happen very often, but for which they are highly trained and prepared for at any time.”

 

Whilst ships, men and ammunition were rapidly loaded at Devonport Plymouth, Royal Fleet Auxiliary Largs Bay was loading at Hythe dock in Southampton Water.

The dock is supplied by its own railway so the munitions are kept away from the proles who pay for them.  BBC South also kept the public in ignorance of happenings in Hythe.  There is only a village nearby, and the oil refinery of course!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RFA_Largs_Bay_(L3006)

These benign activities are all to do with Operation Cougar at the perfidious Albion end.  They are alleged to have been 2 years in the planning.  One function, according to the Ministry of Truth and ‘Defence’, is “preventing conflict.”  ‘ These units have now deployed and have been selected for their ability to remain on task for as long as is required.’  “More units will sail to join the lead elements later this year.” 

support/operations/auriga/news/cougar_11_vanguard_s.htm

These are all the elementsof the Response Force Task Group:-

 Landing Platform Dock (LPD) HMS Ocean Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH) HMS Liverpool Type 42 Destroyer HMS Sutherland Type 23 Frigate HMS Triumph Trafalgar Class Submarine RFA Argus Aviation Training and Casualty Receiving Ship RFA Mounts Bay Landing Platform RFA Cardigan Bay Landing Platform  HMS Albion Oil Replenisher  RFA Fort Rosalie  40 Cdo Royal Marines539 Assault Squadron Royal MarinesThe Armoured Support Group Two Lynx Mk 9 Helicopters from Joint Helicopter Command Two Sea King Mk4 Helicopters from Joint Helicopter Command One Lynx Helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron

 

The very big supremo of the NATO ‘peace keeping’ and civilian saving force is Canadian Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard.  He has studied ‘defence’ in the US of A and it shows.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13125616

“The head of Nato in Libya, Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, said Col Gaddafi’s forces had employed what he called underhand and immoral tactics in their seven-week drive to dislodge the rebels from the city.

‘Inside the city it’s a very difficult tough situation. The Gaddafi forces have taken their uniforms off, they’re hiding on rooftops of mosques, hospitals, schools, that’s where their heavy equipment is positioned, near mosques, near schools, and they’re shielding themselves with women and children.

So when people ask me why aren’t you doing something, well I’m not going to lower to his level. I’m not going to do the kind of warfare that he’s doing. My job’s to help the population,” he said, in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.”

We can visualise there are at least 50 vessels standing for freedom in the eastern Mediterranean, including at least one USS nuclear powered and nuclear armed aircraft carrier.  There will be at least 10 submarines.

The buzzard sees the humans crawling on the earth below and he mews

“What though the spicy breezes blow soft o’er Ceylon’s isle;

Though every prospect pleases, and only man is vile?”  Heber

 

The cuckoo is quiet and sitting tight.  But the wires are busy – Bibi to Hillary to ‘I am a Zionist’ Cameron to Sarkozy.   Bibi knows of fellow ‘Israeli’ Oded Yinon who in the 80′s studied how the Arab entities might be destabilized and divided into digestible pieces.  (See Ralph Schoenman’s ‘The Hidden History of Zionism’ Chapter 12.  It is most revealing.)  So things are going pretty well.

The actual axis of evil is very busy.  One pole, the dominant one, is in Tel Aviv.  The other pole is Washington.  In the middle is London, and now Paris.

London gives the axis propriety with all the flummery.  It also gives its cunning and its historical knowledge of imperialism.  The power shifts backward and forward along that axis as busily as those jets carrying the psychopaths who pull the triggers.

Whilst Colonel Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi waits for his high explosive execution, (NATO bombed a bunker in central Tripoli last night) read his long, coherent speech to that sham of shams, the United Nations.

http://www.mathaba.net/news/?x=626459   Certainly not a member of that axis of evil.

 

That UN was formed in some sort of hope after yet another war to end wars.  Have Cameron, Sarkozy, Obama and the rest of the murderous gang read this? 

“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations…Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter.”

UN Charter – 1: Purposes and Principles
http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter1.shtml   
 

David Halpin is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by David Halpin

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Libyan Rebels Fighting the Globalists’ War

http://www.infowars.com

Tony Cartalucci
The Land Destroyer Report
April 20, 2011

As the global corporate-financier oligarchs prepare the way rhetorically and logistically to send in the ground troops we were told would never set foot on Libyan soil, in a war that was only to last days, then weeks, but now over a month, the discernment, ambition, and true intentions of the Libyan rebels must be called into question.

After rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi admitted to being trained in Afghanistan and subsequently fighting American troops there, and admitting many of the rebel fighters now joining him in Libya had similarly returned from Afghanistan as well as Iraq, it must strike them as tremendous irony that the same Americans they were filling pine boxes with overseas, are now protecting their lives and handing them an entire country to rule over.

Of course in life, nothing is quite that simple. The rebels seem to forget that just months ago Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi was also the recipient of similarly ironic support from the West. In the end, it appears it was merely a ploy to disarm and infiltrate Qaddafi’s regime ahead of a US funded, armed, and supported militant uprising. The betrayal does not end there, with the militant rebels in tanks and fighter jets, brandishing newly procured weaponry flowing over the Egyptian border with Washington’s full knowledge and in direct violation of UNSC r.1973, the corporate owned media has continuously branded these militants as Libyan “civilians” and Qaddafi’s attempts to restore order in his country as an inhumane “massacre.”

The intent is to fully justify any means necessary to remove Qaddafi from power, and so the rebels think, hand the country and its riches over to the green shoots of democracy led by the valiant Al Qaeda-linked militants that toppled a tyrant. What woeful ignorance.

While the dichotomy of Western politics is merely for public consumption, what each camp states publicly can be put together as a composite giving us a clearer picture of the overall globalist agenda. Neo-Conservative war monger Daniel Pipes, a PNAC signatory, CFR member, and co-conspirator in many of the darkest chapters of recent American history, was recently sharing his “doubts” over the final result of the “Arab Spring.” He believes that ultimately extremists will prevail in many cases and only complicate US relations with certain countries.

Of course, Pipes most likely didn’t miss the memo and is fully aware that the “Arab Spring” is a US funded gambit, one his fellow “Neo-Cons” lining the National Endowment for Democracy and the fraudulent Freedom House are admittedly involved in. At the very least, he must have picked up the New York Times and read as much. So what exactly is Pipes trying to tell us? He is saying that as soon as the Libyan rebels secure Libya, or the Muslim Brotherhood takes hold of Syria, or Yemen, or wins out in a co-opted counterrevolution against International Crisis Group stooge Mohamed ElBaradei in Egypt, the blinders Western propagandists seems to be wearing will suddenly drop and point out that indeed the globalists have installed extremists “by accident.”

To rectify this, Libyan rebels will be betrayed just as quickly as Qaddafi was. They will be removed from power, and replaced by Western stooges protected by NATO ground troops, conveniently already being put on the ground in Libya, and will stay there permanently. The globalist “Neo-Con” think tank Foreign Policy Initiative has stated, “The best way to reduce the potential dangers posed by extremist infiltration is for the United States and its allies to remain engaged in Libya.”

This engagement most likely will take the shape of the other unending “engagements” in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the years of cross-border raids into Pakistan. The oil money that once built water ways, public housing, and farms from Benghazi to Tripoli, will be funneled directly out of the country and into the corporate-financier’s accounts. The corporate-financier oligarchs will have taken yet another nation-state down with the help of its own gullible population, and for their gullibility, they will pay for the rest of their lives, as will their children and their children’s children.

To understand the full scope of the global corporate-financier oligarchy’s designs toward any given nation, we must simply look back at the brazen admissions made over the intended future stemming from the outright military conquest of Iraq and Paul Bremer’s (CFR) planned economic reformation of the broken nation. The Economist enumerates the “economic liberalization” of Iraq in a piece titled “Let’s all go to the yard sale: If it all works out, Iraq will be a capitalist’s dream:”

1. 100% ownership of Iraqi assets.
2. Full repatriation of profits.
3. Equal legal standing with local firms.
4. Foreign banks allowed to operate or buy into local banks.
5. Income and corporate taxes capped at 15%.
6. Universal tariffs slashed to 5%.

Anyone who would willfully make a deal with such people must have their discernment called into question. As Hugo Chavez of Venezuela said of Hosni Mubarak’s decades of appeasing the globalists and his eventual ousting from power at the hands of US funded, trained, and supported protesters, “that’s how the devil pays.” Indeed it is, and it is an instructive lesson for others including the rebels of Benghazi to consider as they attempt to make their own deals with the globalists today.

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related news .

Gaddafi accuses Al-Qaeda of coordinating uprising

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The kings and princes: The agents of the West to preach democracy!

Media fabrications collapse before Syrian facts / Tensions between Israel and Washington / The Wikileaks documents and many facts confirming Al-Hariri’s predicament.


19 April 2011From
Beirut (Lebanon)

All the versions of this article:

 français

Countries
 Lebanon

International affairs

Editorial: The kings and princes: The agents of the West to preach democracy!
Following the recent protests, the American and European preaching of democracy in the Arab countries has turned into a blunt moral and political scandal, after the developments revealed the extent of Western interference in Arab affairs and reflected the nature of the colonial calculations governed by the control of the oil resources and the permanent protection of Israel and its hegemony over the Arab East.
The United States and the European countries interfered to crush the democratic popular revolution in Bahrain, as soon as the royal autocratic regime in it reached a lethal dead end and almost succumbed to a wide popular action which proposed the move toward a constitutional monarchy. This action was characterized by its peacefulness and the fact that it included a multifaceted national fabric on the social, sectarian and doctrinal levels. Indeed, the Bahraini opposition includes Sunnis and Shiites, as well as Marxists, Islamists and nationalists who were able to gather a wide crowd which exceeded 80% of the population on Pearl Square and in the streets of Bahrain. This constituted a rare phenomenon around the world and in the history of popular actions.
The interests of Israel, the United States and the European West reside in the revival of the so-called moderation group that is willing to liquidate the Palestinian cause and establish a partnership with Israel under Washington’s sponsorship.
This situation was crowned with the caricature scene witnessed at the White House when President Barack Obama received the Prince of Qatar, a state in which there is not even an elected municipal council and which constitutes the archetype of autocratic regimes where families control the wealth. The Prince of Qatar struck a deal with the American administration in the context of a counterattack plan which started by crushing the Bahraini uprising, but also in the context of giving him a financial and political role at the level of the Libyan file. For that purpose, the prince of Qatar offered his two efficient tools: Al-Jazeera channel and Sheikh Youssef al-Qardawi – one of the leaders of the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood – to undermine Syrian stability and protect the Saudi regime. This was done through the exploitation of the good reputation which Al-Jazeera channel, Sheikh Qardawi and the Prince of Qatar from behind them acquired in the ranks of the Syrian people during the last few years.

Arab affairs

Editorial: Media fabrications collapse before Syrian facts
Last Friday witnessed peaceful and calm protests in Syria, following a series of meetings held by President Bashar al-Assad, the announcement of the new Syrian government, and Al-Assad’s decision to release all the arrestees who were not involved in criminal acts during the recent events.
Some correspondents of foreign agencies in Beirut quoted some whom they referred to as being “activists” and who usually convey information about the developments in Syria to the media outlets, as saying they were frustrated because they were seeking any report regarding shootings in whichever Syrian town or village. Some of them even expressed their discontent toward the nature of this calm day, instead of welcoming the breakthrough achieved by the measures of the Syrian command and the instructions of President Al-Assad who ordered the security forces since day one not to shoot at the demonstrators. In the meantime, President Al-Assad’s meetings with the popular leaderships and the dignitaries in the province and cities, were enough to isolate the gangs of sabotage, as the citizens gathered on Friday in the squares and the streets made sure not to allow the infiltration of any armed elements who had turned their rifles towards the population and the security men alike.
Syria is heading toward a new stage which was detected during the peaceful day of demonstrations and the condemnation by many oppositionists of the actions undertaken by the armed gangs of sabotage during the protests. In this context, it turned out there was an alliance between Abdul Halim Khaddam, the Muslim Brotherhood and Bandar Ben Sultan’s group which came from Iraq and Jordan via the Syrian border. On Saturday, the Syrian security forces had announced the confiscation of important stocks of arms being smuggled from Iraq, thus proving the latter claims.

The Arab file

Syria
• Many dead and wounded fell his week in the ranks of the Syrian Arab armed forces, after an army unit was led into an ambush set up by armed groups as it was moving on the highway between Latakia and Tartous. This resulted in the death of two officers and in the wounding of thirty soldiers.
• The Syrian television aired confessions by a terrorist cell which was provided with money and arms from foreign sides to carry out plans and acts of sabotage in the country.
• Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued a decree to form the new government headed by Doctor Adel Safar. It is worth mentioning in this context that half the members of this Cabinet were new, especially in the economic and services sectors. Thus, confirming President Al-Assad’s interest in tending to the economic and livelihood affairs of the citizens. It is clear at this level that priority was given to the economic conditions and especially the fighting of corruption.
• President Al-Assad held a series of meetings with religious and popular dignitaries from several provinces, during which he listened to the opinions of the citizens and to their suggestions to develop national action. These meetings were tackled by President Al-Assad during his first address before the new government, as he put forward many proposals which had been presented to him by these dignitaries and the citizens.
• Al-Assad also issued a decision to release all the detainees arrested against the backdrop of the recent incidents among those who did not commit any criminal acts targeting the citizens and the country.
• At this point, it would be worth pointing to the speech delivered by President Al-Assad before the new government, as it reflected real intentions and a truthful wish to introduce drastic reforms. He said: “All those who fell from the police, the army and he civilians are martyrs,” indicating: “Our internal immunity is linked to the reforms we will introduce to meet the needs of the citizens. The success of reforms will protect Syria and allow it to confront the international and regional powerful winds.” He also stressed the necessity for the new government to ratify all the laws that would pave the way before the lifting of the state of emergency next week, assuring: “Lifting the state of emergency will lead to the enhancement of security in Syria, while upholding the dignity of the citizens.” He insisted in this context that the new parties’ law should be subjected to “national dialogue” because it affects Syria’s future.

Yemen
• The confrontations escalated in a number of Yemeni cities between thousands of demonstrators demanding the toppling of the regime and the departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the security forces supported by military forces from the Peninsula Shield, leading to the fall of many dead and wounded.
• Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh reiterated his insistence on ending the crisis witnessed in his country due to the protests staged against him “through dialogue between the political parties and within the context of the constitution.”
• The foreign ministers of the GCC member states decided – following the extraordinary meeting held in Riyadh to look into the Yemeni crisis – to call on the Yemeni government and the opposition to meet in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the umbrella of the GCC.
• The opposition parties in the Joint Meeting invited the Yemeni people to deploy “additional steadfastness in the face of the violence and the stalling shown towards all the peaceful initiatives to ensure power transition and end the current crisis in the country, at the head of which is the Gulf initiative.” They thus stressed their insistence on the “articles of the Gulf initiative and the rejection of any attempt to elude them by the ruling regime.”

Libya
• The presidential African delegation met with Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi in Tripoli. The African mediation had suggested the inauguration of a transitory phase through the ratification of political reforms, in parallel to its calls for the implementation of the roadmap it had reached last month. The mediation also called for a “political solution” based on “comprehensive dialogue between the sides involved in the conflict, in order to reach a ceasefire between the two sides.”
• On the field, the battles continued between Gaddafi’s brigades and the rebels, reaching their peak in the strategic cities of Missratah and Ajdabia, in order to control them. Dozens of victims fell from both sides in various clashes, in parallel to the strikes launched by the NATO alliance.
• The head of the Libyan Provisional Council, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, announced the revolutionaries’ rejection of the initiative of the African Union to resolve the crisis in the country, as well as that of any mediation which does not include the departure of Muammar al-Gaddafi and his sons. Abdul Jalil explained: “The people’s demand is to see the departure of Gaddafi and his sons. Therefore, any initiative that does not feature this demand is not worthy of consideration.”

Egypt
• Egyptian General Prosecutor Abdul Majid Mahmud decided to imprison former President Hosni Mubarak and his sons Gamal and Alaa for fifteen days in the context of the investigations into the attacks on the demonstrators during the January 24 Revolution. It was reported that the trial of Mubarak and his sons will be held on Tuesday April 19 in Cairo, while the prosecution is investigating Suzanne Mubarak against the backdrop of corruption cases. Moreover, many symbols from Mubarak’s regime were arrested on several charges.
• In light of the decision to imprison Mubarak, the representatives of the Egyptian political forces and protest movements decided to suspend the activities which they were planning on organizing on Friday, whether in terms of the demonstrations or the sit-ins.

Palestine
• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that if the criminal attacks against the Israeli military men or civilians were to continue, Israel’s response will be even harsher.
• The Hamas movement said it was willing to ensure calm if “Israel stops its aggression.”
• According to Palestinian medical sources, eighteen Palestinians were martyred and around seventy wounded –mostly civilians- in addition to two prominent militants in the Palestinian factions.
• In the meantime, Salafi groups operating in the Gaza Strip kidnapped and killed in a brutal way Italian peace activist Vittorio Arrigoni, thus raising wide scale discontent around the Strip which has been under Hamas’s control since 2007. Hamas pledged to hold those responsible for this act accountable, considering that they harmed the Palestinian cause and undermined the work of foreign peace activists in Palestine. It consequently succeeded in arresting two elements involved in the crime. It is worth mentioning that these Salafi groups are known for their ties with Gulf sides, which clearly reveals the existence of attempts to ruin the resistance’s reputation.

The Israeli file

Tensions between Israel and Washington
The editorial of Yediot Aharanot tackled the widening gap between American President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu despite the efforts deployed by the latter. Indeed, Obama is pushing toward the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 border, while Israeli political forces were quoted as saying they were concerned about the expansion of the dispute due to Obama’s insistence on his position. They indicated that the turmoil sweeping the Arab world enhanced President Obama’s support of the idea to establish a Palestinian state, as well as his dissatisfaction with the Israeli policy.
The paper assured that the international Quartet will issue a statement next Friday featuring the recognition by the member states, including the United States, of the ability of the Palestinian authority to achieve economic independence.

The Lebanese file
• Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah indicated that a quasi final outcome was reached in regard to the number of ministers, the representation of the political forces and the nature of the government. He said: “We are now discussing the portfolios, and if this issue is settled, the selection of the names will be very easy.” He then assured: “It is in our interests to see the formation of the government as soon as possible under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, so that this government can assume its responsibilities during this difficult stage.” In his speech, Nasrallah noted that some attempted to exploit the published Wikileaks documents during the last few days, in order to undermine the relations between Hezbollah and Amal. He then tackled the content of the meetings between the American ambassador and leaders in the March 14 forces, saying that since 2005, the main and probably only goal of the March 14 team has been to strike the resistance, to disarm it, to isolate it and eliminate it, indicating that a deal was struck between the March 14 forces and the US based on the following: We give you power in Lebanon in exchange for the head of the resistance.
• The operations to evacuate the Lebanese nationals from the Ivory Coast are proceeding in accordance with the adopted mechanism. Indeed, a Middle Airlines airplane is heading to Abidjan on a daily basis and transporting around 230 Lebanese nationals, while two charter planes –the first leased by the Foreign Ministry and can carry 75 passengers and the second leased by the premiership and can carry fifty passengers- are also heading from Accra to Abidjan and vice versa on a daily basis. Moreover, an Iranian airplane is participating in the evacuation efforts and transporting the Lebanese nationals from Abidjan to Beirut, which confirms Iran’s sustained support of Lebanon.
• In the meantime, the Bahraini authorities issued a decision to gradually oust groups of Lebanese citizens, as some of the returnees from Bahrain told As-Safir newspaper that they were summoned by the immigration and passports authority at the Bahraini Interior Ministry where they were informed they had to leave the country. They were also asked to sign pledges saying that they will leave Bahrain within 48 hours, without being given any explanation or justification for this measure. For their part, the Bahraini officials settled for saying: “We are implementing a decision form a higher authority.”
• In his weekly position to Al-Anbaa newspaper, Deputy Walid Jumblatt wondered about “the point behind entering in a daily dispute with the Islamic Republic in light of the current regional situation, instead of distancing the controversial issues from the domestic arena to alleviate the tensions and limit the division that has reached advanced levels.”
• Head of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea considered that “the formation or non-formation of the government will not change anything at the level of the political reality, in light of the continuation of a key problem in the country that is obstructing the progress of political life and is represented by the illegitimate arms.”
• Head of the Change and Reform bloc in parliament, Deputy Michel Aoun, said there was nothing new at the level of the government formation and denied he was informed about any veto over his bloc’s assumption of the security ministries.
• On the other hand, the Syrian television aired confessions by arrestees in the Daraa incidents, saying that they received funds and weapons from Deputy Jamal al-Jarrah who is part of the Future bloc.
• The Future parliamentary bloc denied the accusations made by the Syrian television against Deputy Jamal al-Jarrah, saying these were false accusations which aimed at undermining the brotherly Lebanese-Syrian relations and at implicating the Future Movement in fabricated accusations.
• Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali assured that the confessions of the terrorist groups which were aired by the Syrian television required the Lebanese authorities to act and place their hands over this file, in order to uphold the exceptional relations between the two countries.
• At the level of the Wikileaks documents, it is worth mentioning that they carried statements by President of the Republic Michel Suleiman back when he was the army commander, saying to American officials that he was against Syria and the resistance. One of Feltman’s cables also indicated that Suleiman spoke about his predecessor Emile Lahoud in a highly insulting way. Suleiman also pointed out it was necessary for Elias al-Murr to be appointed as minister of defense due to his hostile position toward Hezbollah, at a time when no official comments or denials were issued by the presidential palace in regard to these leaks.

News analysis: The Wikileaks documents and many facts confirming Al-Hariri’s predicament
The denial on which Deputy Jamal al-Jarrah from the Future bloc insisted in regard to the confessions made by three Syrian saboteurs who were arrested while carrying arms and funds, along with equipment and communication devices which they said were provided by Jarrah in person, luckily coincided with the Wikileaks documents that featured dangerous facts about Saad al-Hariri’s involvement in the American plot to undermine Syria under the headline of toppling the regime and replacing it with an alliance including the group of Abdul Halim Khaddam and the Muslim Brotherhood organization.
The Wikileaks information contradicted Al-Jarrah’s denial because it pointed to Al-Hariri’s ties with the action inside Syria, one which was previously confirmed through the presence of an official office for the MB-Khaddam alliance in Beirut, and the visit of Al-Bayanouni to Lebanon back when he was the MB guide and his presence for several days in the Lebanese North to establish dens and coordinate acts of sabotage inside Syria. This was also proven by the protection provided by the Future command to Ribal al-Assad and his gangs, in addition to the mobilization of Al-Hariri’s massive media empire – at the time and in the present – to promote the rhetoric of the Khaddam-MB alliance. For its part, Wikileaks showed that Saad al-Hariri deployed special and extensive efforts to convince the Americans to adopt and support this alliance, in order to allow it to govern Syria.
This is the tip of the iceberg in terms of Al-Hariri’s involvement in a plan to sabotage Syria, knowing that all the pieces of information reveal that the Future movement is now in a state of mobilization to partake in that pan. This gives credibility to the accusations related to arms smuggling and funding to allow some groups affiliated with Khaddam and the Muslim Brotherhood to fuel the turmoil in Syria. Al-Hariri’s scandal is massive and his predicament is even greater, while the required judicial investigations in Syria and Lebanon ought to lead to facts and documents that are as important and dangerous as the ones linked to the false witnesses’ file, which was led and funded by Al-Hariri to attack Syria.

 Source New Orient News (Lebanon)
This author’s articles

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Bahrain Escapes Censure by West as Crackdown on Protesters Intensifies

http://www.commondreams.org

Published on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 by The Independent/UK

Saudi troops’ demolition of mosques stokes religious tensions

by Patrick Cockburn

Bahraini government forces backed by Saudi Arabian troops are destroying mosques and places of worship of the Shia majority in the island kingdom in a move likely to exacerbate religious hatred across the Muslim world.

Mourners carry the body of Ali Isa Ibrahim Saqer, who died in police custody. The harshness of the government repression is provoking allegations of hypocrisy against Washington, London and Paris. Their mild response to human rights abuses and the Saudi Arabian armed intervention in Bahrain is in stark contrast to their vocal concern for civilians in Libya. (AP) “So far they have destroyed seven Shia mosques and about 50 religious meeting houses,” said Ali al-Aswad, an MP in the Bahraini parliament.

He said Saudi soldiers, part of the 1,000-strong contingent that entered Bahrain last month, had been seen by witnesses helping demolish Shia mosques and shrines in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

Mohammed Sadiq, of the Justice for Bahrain organisation, said the most famous of the Shia shrines destroyed was that of a revered Bahraini Shia spiritual leader, Sheikh Abdul Amir al-Jamri, who died in 2006. A photograph taken by activists and seen by The Independent shows the golden dome of the shrine lying on the ground and later being taken away on the back of a lorry. On the walls of Shia mosques that have been desecrated, graffiti has been scrawled praising the Sunni King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa and insulting the Shia.

The attack on Shia places of worship has provoked a furious reaction among the 250 million Shia community, particularly in Iran and Iraq, where Shia are in a majority, and in Lebanon where they are the largest single community.

The Shia were already angry at the ferocious repression by Bahraini security forces of the pro-democracy movement, which had sought to be non-sectarian. After the monarchy had rejected meaningful reform, the wholly Sunni army and security forces started to crush the largely Shia protests on 15 and 16 March.

The harshness of the government repression is provoking allegations of hypocrisy against Washington, London and Paris. Their mild response to human rights abuses and the Saudi Arabian armed intervention in Bahrain is in stark contrast to their vocal concern for civilians in Libya.

The US and Britain have avoided doing anything that would destabilise Saudi Arabia and the Sunni monarchies in the Gulf, to which they are allied. They are worried about Iran taking advantage of the plight of fellow Shia, although there is no evidence that Iran has any role in fomenting protests despite Bahraini government claims to the contrary. The US has a lot to lose because its Fifth Fleet, responsible for the Gulf and the north of the Indian Ocean, is based in Bahrain.

Sunni-Shia hostility in the Muslim world is likely to deepen because of the demolition of Shia holy places in Bahrain. Shia leaders recall that it was the blowing up of the revered Shia shrine of al-Askari in Samarra, Iraq, by al-Qa’ida in 2006 that provoked a sectarian civil war between Sunni and Shia in which tens of thousands died. They see fundamentalist Wahhabi doctrine, upheld by the state in Saudi Arabia, as being behind the latest sectarian assault and attempt to keep the Shia as second-class citizens. Mr Sadiq believes Saudi troops are behind the attacks on mosques and shrines. “What is happening comes from the ideology of Wahhabism which is against shrines,” he said. To the Wahhabi, the Shia are as heretical as Christians. Mr Aswad said soldiers in Saudi uniforms had been seen attending the destruction of Shia religious sites.

Yousif al-Khoei, who heads a Shia charitable foundation, said he could “confirm that reports of desecration of Shia graves, shrines and mosques and hussainiyas [religious meeting houses] in Bahrain are genuine and we are concerned that Saudi troops, who believe that shrines are un-Islamic and are trying to enforce that Wahhabi doctrine on the Shia of Bahrain, will undoubtedly result in heightened sectarian tensions.”

Some 499 people in Bahrain are known to have been detained during the current unrest and many are believed to have been tortured. Four who died in detention this month showed signs of severe abuse and appeared to have been beaten to death.

In the case of Ali Isa Ibrahim Saqer, who had turned himself in to the security forces after threats to detain his family if he did not do so, photographs showed signs of whipping and beating. The Bahraini human rights activist who photographed the body was later detained and accused of faking the picture, but the same injuries were witnessed by the New York-based Human Rights Watch.

There are continuing arbitrary arrests of people who took part in the pro-democracy protests that began on 14 February. Even waving a Bahraini flag is considered an offence, and a doctor who was shown on television shedding tears over the body of a dead protester was detained.

The aim of government repression is evidently to terrorise the Shia and permanently crush the protest movement. Doctors who treated injured demonstrators have been arrested and on 15 April the authorities detained a lawyer, Mohammed al-Tajer, who defended protesters in court. Human Rights Watch says the families of many of those detained have no word on what has happened to them. The authorities do not seem concerned about providing plausible accounts of how detainees died. In the case of Mr Saqer, who was detained on 3 April and whose body was released six days later, the government said he had “created chaos” in the detention centre and had died while the disturbance was being quelled.

Human Rights Watch, which saw his body during the ritual before he was buried in his home village of Sehla on 10 April, said “his body showed signs of severe physical abuse. The left side of his face showed a large patch of bluish skin with a reddish-purple area near his left temple and a two-inch cut to the left of his eye. Lash marks crisscrossed his back, some reaching to his front right side. Blue bruises covered much of the back of his calves, thighs, and buttocks, as well as his right elbow and hip. The tops of his feet were blackened, and lacerations marked his ankles and wrists.”

The fighting in Libya and unrest elsewhere in the Arab world has drawn attention away from Bahrain, and the authorities have also arrested pro-democracy journalists and prevented several foreign journalists entering the country.

Timeline of unrest

14 February Anti-government protests dubbed the “Day of Rage” attract thousands, prompted by demonstrations in Egypt and Tunisia. One person is killed.

15 February Bahrain police open fire on crowds at the dead protester’s funeral. King Hamad attempts to appease the demonstrators, pledging to hold an investigation into the “regrettable” deaths.

26 February The ruling al-Khalifa family makes concessions to Bahrain’s majority Shia population. Hardline Shia dissident Hassan Mushaima is allowed to return from voluntary exile.

3 March First clashes between the Sunnis and Shia Muslim communities since February’s protests.

15 March Martial law is declared one day after Saudi troops enter Bahrain in an attempt to end the unrest. The United Arab Emirates vows to send 500 police.

16 March Bahraini forces arrest six opposition leaders and crack down on protesters.

18 March The geographical focal point of the mainly Shia protests, Pearl Roundabout in Manama, is demolished in an attempt to quash the rebellion. At least seven people die.

3 April Authorities lift a ban on the main opposition newspaper.

4 April Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls on Saudi Arabia to pull out of Bahrain.

10 April The body of Ali Isa Ibrahim Saqer is buried, seven days after he was taken into custody. His body showed signs of whipping and beating.

13 April A Shia opposition party claims that another protester has died in police custody – the fourth so far.

16 April Tensions rise further with new arrests and the alleged death of a female student.

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Russia accuses NATO of going beyond UN resolution on Libya

http://rt.com

Published: 17 April, 2011, 10:29

As the operation in Libya closes in on its first month, coalition members are swearing to push further until Colonel Gaddafi goes, despite the UN no-fly zone resolution only allowing NATO involvement to secure humanitarian protection.

The gamesmanship is making many countries increasingly uneasy. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned at the beginning of the week that Libya risks total collapse and reiterated Russia’s position that to restore order in the North African country, those parties involved need to be acting in strict accordance with the international resolutions.

Russia and China both have the right of veto when it comes to resolutions of the UN Security Council. Though they have not used this right over the last month they abstained from the vote and have not been participating in the operation.

There have been some concerns as to whether NATO is acting beyond the boundaries of UN Resolution 1973.

“The UN Security Council’s resolution must be fulfilled in accordance with the wording and meaning, not with the free interpretation of some states. Because we voted for a no-fly zone to stop the escalation of the conflict so that we can separate the two sides, but what we are having now is a military operation. It may not be on the ground yet but it is certainly going up above,” President Medvedev stated this week. “A number of countries were taking part and then NATO stepped in. But the resolution does not say a word about it.”

On Friday, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was visiting Berlin for a Russia-NATO conference where Libya was naturally on the agenda. Lavrov reiterated much of what President Medvedev said earlier, clarifying again the Russian stance on the issue and making it clear that it is not the resolution [1973] itself that is the problem, but the way it is being implemented that raises questions.

“Today we witness that some NATO actions in Libya are exceeding the framework defined by the UN Security Council. It is already being discussed that UN Resolution 1973 could also be used for ground operations,” Lavrov declared.

“The resolution does not provide for such actions and does not approve them, nor does the UN deal support regime change in Libya,” admonished the Russian foreign minister.

NATO’s methods in Libya are also prompting questions over how far they could extend the operation.

org Post  here

related news :

Libya denies firing cluster bombs

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What a Strange Way to Protect Civilians: Depleted Uranium and Libya

http://original.antiwar.com

by David Wilson, April 16, 2011

“We are there to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas”
– William Hague

“I was watching ABC News last night and, lo and behold, there was a DU impact. It burned and burned and burned.”
-
 Doug Rokke, ex-director of the Pentagon’s Depleted Uranium Project commenting on Libya attack.

“Depleted uranium tipped missiles fit the description of a dirty bomb in every way… I would say that it is the perfect weapon for killing lots of people.”
– Marion Falk, chemical physicist (retd), Lawrence Livermore Lab, California, USA

To date depleted uranium’s deathly dust has traveled its horrible route from Iraq (The first Gulf War in 1990/91) to the Balkans (with the NATO attack on Serbia in 1999) to Afghanistan (2001-) and back to Iraq (2003-)  Now we have the attack on Libya and I raise the question as to whether DU is being used once again in this latest “war”; whether this “nuclear waste with wings” continues its journey bringing with it short- and long-term death.

In the first 24 hours of the Libyan attack, US B-2s dropped forty-five 2,000-pound bombs. Did any of these massive bombs, along with the Cruise missiles launched from British and French planes and ships, contain depleted uranium? Doug Rokke joins others such as Conn Hallinan, of Foreign Policy in Focus, in believing that the answer is yes.

DU is the waste product from the process of enriching uranium ore. It is used in nuclear weapons and reactors. Because it is a very heavy substance, 1.7 times denser than lead, it is highly valued by the military for its ability to punch through armored vehicles and buildings. When a weapon made with a DU tip strikes a solid object like the side of a tank, it goes straight through it, then erupts in a burning cloud of vapor. The vapor settles as dust, which is not only poisonous, but also radioactive.

An impacting DU missile burns at 10,000 degrees C. When it strikes a target, 30% fragments into shrapnel. The remaining 70% vaporizes into three highly-toxic oxides, including uranium oxide. This black dust remains suspended in the air and, according to wind and weather, can travel over great distances. If you think Iraq and Libya are far away, remember that radiation from Chernobyl reached Wales.

Particles less than 5 microns in diameter are easily inhaled and may remain in the lungs or other organs for years. Internalized DU can cause kidney damage, cancers of the lung and bone, skin disorders, neurocognitive disorders, chromosome damage, immune deficiency syndromes and rare kidney and bowel diseases. Pregnant women exposed to DU may give birth to infants with genetic defects. Once the dust has vaporized, don’t expect the problem to go away soon. As an alpha particle emitter, DU has a half life of 4.5 billion years.

In the “shock and awe” attack on Iraq, more than 1,500 bombs and missiles were dropped on Baghdad. Seymour Hersh has claimed that the US Third Marine Aircraft Wing alone dropped more than “five hundred thousand tons of ordnance.” Much of it DU-tipped.

Al Jazeera reported that invading US forces fired two hundred tons of radioactive material into buildings, homes, streets and gardens of Baghdad. A reporter from the Christian Science Monitor took a Geiger counter to parts of the city that had been subjected to heavy shelling by US troops. He found radiation levels 1,000 to 1,900 times higher than normal in residential areas. With its population of 26 million, the US dropped a one-ton bomb for every 52 Iraqi citizens or 40 pounds of explosives per person.

The tragedy is that we will only know years after the bombing has stopped the extent of short- and long-term damage to the population, as the people of Fallujah in Iraq are now discovering from the horrific consequences of the depleted uranium and white phosphorous weaponry the US used on the city in 2004.

In the first 24 hours of the attack on Libya by the US and its allies £100 million worth of ordnance was used. No doubt much of it destroyed armaments and military installations sold to Libya by the very same countries now doing the bombing. The European Union’s arms control report said member states issued licenses in 2009 for the sale of £293.2 million worth of weapons and weapons systems to Libya. Britain issued arms firms licenses for the sale of £21.7 million worth of weaponry to Libya and were also paid by Colonel Gadhafi to send the SAS to train his 32nd Brigade.

The UK Ministry of Defense and US Department of Defense are careful how they refer to DU and prefer not to answer questions about its use. But in those “official” documents we have been able to view it is clear that DU is commended for its excellent penetrating qualities and we must assume that what is considered of military value is going to be used especially when the political spokespeople for the military are keen to deny that DU has any harmful affects on human beings.

Thus the UK Defense Secretary, Liam Fox, in correspondence with Bill Wilson, a member of the Scottish Parliament in February 2011 said: “The UK does not support resolutions that presuppose DU is harmful… The Government’s policy remains that DU can be used within weapons; it is not prohibited under current or likely future international agreements. UK armed forces use DU munitions in accordance with international humanitarian law. It would be quite wrong to deny our serving personnel a legitimate capability.”

Liam Fox is repeating the views of earlier UK Defense Secretaries. This is an excerpt from then Defense Secretary, Des Brown’s letter to Tony Benn, dated 21 April 2008: “In conclusion, our view remains that DU can be legitimately used within weapons and that it would be quite wrong for the UK Government to deny our troops a legitimate capability that provides the best possible protection for them during armed conflicts.”

Note that the letters appear to have been written by the same person!

Since we are being told, when we’re told anything, that DU is not dangerous and is an effective tool for warfare why would they not continue its use? So long as that is the official opinion from the military and the politicians we must take it at face value and force them to confirm that we are mistaken and that DU is no longer used.

I would love to be proved wrong as would, even more so, the people who are under bombardment. But The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons have stated that: “The likelihood of DU use in Libya has now increased following the deployment and use of A-10 and Harrier AV-8B aircraft. ICBUW calls for pressure to be brought on the US to clarify the situation, and to put DU ammunition beyond use.”

This is unlikely to happen according to Doug Rokke, who recently told me: “The DoD/MoD jerks will always deny the use and always deny adverse health effects. That is the standing order. DU is so good against all types of target that they will never give it up.”

Which weapons systems use DU?

The military and the politicians are very shy about the uses of depleted uranium, but here is a list of all platforms using DU, and the rounds themselves.

- A10 aircraft: Of all the US military platforms that fire DU, the A-10 is responsible for the greatest proportion of DU fired.

- AMX-30 Tank:French Main Battle Tank, active from the mid 1960s to the 2000s. From the mid 1990s it was equipped with a 105 mm uranium round. No longer in service in France but widely exported.

- Leclerc Tank: The current French Main Battle Tank. Fires the OFL 120 F2 uranium round. Also adopted by the United Arab Emirates.

- M1/M1A1/M1A2 Abrams Tank: The US Main Battle Tank, and platform for large caliber DU munitions.

- M101 20 mm Davy Crockett Spotting Round: A historical DU round, used by the US to estimate firing trajectory on the Davy Crockett nuclear rifle. No longer in use.

- M1128 Stryker Mobile Gun System: A new US weapons system utilizing old DU rounds and the M68 cannon.

- M2 & M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle: US Armored personnel carrier, which fires M919 DU rounds with its 25mm cannon.

- M774 105mm APFSDS-T round: US 105 mm Armour Piercing, Fin Stabilized, Discarding Sabot round.

- M829 120mm APFSDS-T round: US Armour Piercing, Fin Stabilized, Discarding Sabot round. Fired from the M1A1 and M1A2 Abrams tanks, the M829 is the largest DU round in the US arsenal.

- M833 105mm APFSDS-T round: US 105mm Armour Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot round, used in the M60 Patton series of tanks, and the M1 Abrams.

- M900 105mm APFSDS-T round: US Armour Piercing, Fin Stabilized, Discarding Sabot Tracer round. Used in the original M1 Abrams tank, also in the M1128 Stryker Mobile Gun System.

- M919 APFSDS 25mm round: US 25mm Armour Piercing, Fin Stabilized, Discarding Sabot 25mm round used in the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

- OFL 105 F2 APFSDS-T round: French 105 mm Round, used in the AMX-30 tank. No longer thought to be in service in France, but may have been exported.

- OFL 120 F2 APFSDS-T round: French DU round used by the Leclerc Main Battle Tank. First fielded in 1996, and still in active service.

- PGU-14 30mm API round: US 30mm Armour piercing incendiary round used in the A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft.

- PROCIPAC APFSDS-T round: Next generation French 120mm uranium round. Reported to be under development in the early 2000s, but not thought to be produced in large numbers.

Source: http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/i/85.html

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UN Document Would Give ‘Mother Earth’ Same Rights as Humans

http://www.commondreams.org

Published on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 by Vancouver Sun

UNITED NATIONS — Bolivia will this month table a draft United Nations treaty giving “Mother Earth” the same rights as humans — having just passed a domestic law that does the same for bugs, trees and all other natural things in the South American country.

Bolivia is planning to table a draft United Nations treaty giving “Mother Earth” the same rights as humans. (Photograph by: NASA) The bid aims to have the UN recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to “dominate and exploit” — to the point that the “well-being and existence of many beings” is now threatened.

The wording may yet evolve, but the general structure is meant to mirror Bolivia’s Law of the Rights of Mother Earth, which Bolivian President Evo Morales enacted in January.

That document speaks of the country’s natural resources as “blessings,” and grants the Earth a series of specific rights that include rights to life, water and clean air; the right to repair livelihoods affected by human activities; and the right to be free from pollution.

It also establishes a Ministry of Mother Earth, and provides the planet with an ombudsman whose job is to hear nature’s complaints as voiced by activist and other groups, including the state.

“If you want to have balance, and you think that the only (entities) who have rights are humans or companies, then how can you reach balance?” Pablo Salon, Bolivia’s ambassador to the UN, told Postmedia News. “But if you recognize that nature too has rights, and (if you provide) legal forms to protect and preserve those rights, then you can achieve balance.”

The application of the law appears destined to pose new challenges for companies operating in the country, which is rich in natural resources, including natural gas and lithium, but remains one of the poorest in Latin America.

But while Salon said his country just seeks to achieve “harmony” with nature, he signalled that mining and other companies may come under greater scrutiny.

“We’re not saying, for example, you cannot eat meat because you know you are going to go against the rights of a cow,” he said. “But when human activity develops at a certain scale that you (cause to) disappear a species, then you are really altering the vital cycles of nature or of Mother Earth. Of course, you need a mine to extract iron or zinc, but there are limits.”

Bolivia is a country with a large indigenous population, whose traditional belief systems took on greater resonance following the election of Morales, Latin America’s first indigenous president.

In a 2008 pamphlet his entourage distributed at the UN as he attended a summit there, 10 “commandments” are set out as Bolivia’s plan to “save the planet” — beginning with the need “to end capitalism.”

Reflecting indigenous traditional beliefs, the proposed global treaty says humans have caused “severe destruction . . . that is offensive to the many faiths, wisdom traditions and indigenous cultures for whom Mother Earth is sacred.”

It also says that “Mother Earth has the right to exist, to persist and to continue the vital cycles, structures, functions and processes that sustain all human beings.”

In indigenous Andean culture, the Earth deity known as Pachamama is the centre of all life, and humans are considered equal to all other entities.

The UN debate begins two days before the UN’s recognition April 22 of the second International Mother Earth Day — another Morales-led initiative.

Canadian activist Maude Barlow is among global environmentalists backing the drive with a book the group will launch in New York during the UN debate: Nature Has Rights.

“It’s going to have huge resonance around the world,” Barlow said of the campaign. “It’s going to start first with these southern countries trying to protect their land and their people from exploitation, but I think it will be grabbed onto by communities in our countries, for example, fighting the tarsands in Alberta.”

Ecuador, which also has a large indigenous population, has enshrined similar aims in its Constitution — but the Bolivian law is said to be “stronger.”

Ecuador is among countries that have already been supportive of the Bolivian initiative, along with Nicaragua, Venezuela, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda.

© 2011 Postmedia News
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US Goal to Break Up Libya like Yugoslavia

http://tv.globalresearch.ca

by grtv

American fighter jets, submarines and missile ships have officially stopped firing at Gaddafi’s troops.

Ever since Washington handed over command of the military operation to the NATO coalition, the US has been slowly winding down its involvement and decreasing the number of its weapons at Libya’s borders.

However, the US has decided to leave some ships in the area for a while, in case NATO troops need some military support. From now on, the participation of the Americans in the operation will only be possible upon the special request of NATO and approval from the Pentagon.

Meanwhile, as what has been dubbed a humanitarian intervention in Libya is gaining pace, political experts around the globe have voiced growing doubts that the military operation in Libya is justified.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, from the Center for Research on Globalization, who joined RT from Ottawa to discuss the current situation in Libya, calls NATO’s humanitarian effort a simple cover-up.

“There are Russian and Ukrainian nurses testifying that hospitals are being bombed and civilians are being hurt,” he told RT. “So this is not a humanitarian effort, it’s a smokescreen. This is a war of aggression against Libya.”

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Globalists—Through UN—Force U.S. Into Libyan War

http://www.americanfreepress.net

By James P. Tucker Jr.

The United States, under Bilderberg-Trilateral Commission orders, is now engaged in not two, but three wars in the Middle East where America has no legitimate national interest. But the world’s entrenched international financiers do have a huge interest in war profits, purchased at the cost of soldiers’ blood. These powerful globalists also perceive maverick rulers like Libya’s Muammar Qadaffi as roadblocks in their push for establishing a world regime.

Before the U.S. joined the invasion, Qadaffi sent a personal letter to President Obama in which he reportedly told Obama that Islamic fundamentalists tied to al Qaeda were the primary source of the ongoing political troubles in North Africa—including Libya. Qadaffi challenged Obama: “If you had found them taking over American cities by the force of arms, tell me what you would do?”

This was no “crazy conspiracy theory” coming from the eccentric Libyan strongman alone. Even Secretary of Defense Robert Gates—among other highlevel figures in the American military diplomatic intelligence community—raised concerns (like Qadaffi) about the possibility al Qaeda might be responsible for some of the unrest in Libya and/or that al Qaeda could benefit from the consequences of American intervention.

Qadaffi also sent terse notes to heads of state in France, Britain and to the UN secretary-general, also saying: “You never have the right to intervene in our internal affairs. Who gave you that right? Our country is not your country.”

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American non-interventionists—who honor the words of President George Washington who cautioned his countrymen not to become involved in the affairs of other nations—find wisdom in Qadaffi’s words, even if they do not like his style of governing. If the United States intervened in every nation where dictators hold sway, Americans would have been at war with the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China and virtually every nation in Africa, to name but a few.

And while warmongering elements within the pro Israel “neoconservative” network and their congressional allies such as Sens. John McCain (RAriz.) and Joe Lieberman (IConn.) were calling for U.S. military intervention in Libya, even the neoconservative Washington Times, which is fiercely anti-Qadaffi and eager for his ouster, admitted in a front page story that many top retired military leaders were quietly urging the Obama administration to avoid intervention in Libya.

While the globalists were manipulating the United States into war in Libya—which is looking increasingly like it is about to become a classic “quagmire” of the Vietnam-Afghanistan-Iraq mode—two-thirds of Americans among a broad cross section in several polls expressed opposition to the Afghanistan war. In addition, polls show that many Americans believe the U.S. cannot afford another war given the current state of the economic situation and joblessness in the United States.

Nevertheless, Bilderberg-Trilateral Commission power is so strong that these two pro world government groups were able to put America’s fighting men and women into harm’s way, and they did it by having the president seek guidance, not from Congress, but from the world’s governmental body—the UN. As we go to press, the United States is raining bombs down on Libyan cities in another undeclared war.

AFP editor James P. Tucker Jr. is a veteran journalist who spent many years as a member of the “elite” media in Washington. Since 1975 he has won widespread recognition, here and abroad, for his pursuit of on-the-scene stories reporting the intrigues of global power blocs such as the Bilderberg Group. Tucker is the author of Jim Tucker’s Bilderberg Diary: One Man’s 25-Year Battle to Shine the Light on the World Shadow Government. Bound in an attractive full-color softcover and containing 272 pages—loaded with photos, many never published before—the book recounts Tucker’s experiences over the last quarter century at Bilderberg meetings. $25 from AFP. No charge for S&H in U.S.

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