Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gaza Genocide And Arab Fratricide

Lets not mince words.   Israelis are committing genocide in Gaza.   But the United Nations is loath to use the “G” word and it us using the “C” (condemn) word instead.   Why?  Money talks.     The top financier of the United Nations is America with a whopping 22.00% in direct funds (followed by Japan 10.83%, Germany 7.14%, France 5.59%, and GB 5.18%),  if the United Nations called out the genocide in Gaza, its top financier would have to be punished for its complicity.

According to Article 3 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, persons committing genocide or complicity in genocide shall be punished “whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.”  The United States not only supports and funds the ongoing genocide in Gaza, replenishes Israel with more funds and weaponry, but it also uses its political clout to enable Israel to continue its ruthless crimes against humanity.   

While many have not been shy about calling these crimes genocide,  they have  come under attack for using the “G” word.  Is genocide an appropriate term to use?   Well, it is if one has respect for international law and the rules of the genocide convention.   Article 2 of the Convention clearly spells out:

“In the present Convention, genocide means any [emphasis added]of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part [emphasis added], a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

               (a) Killing members of the group;
               (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
               (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
               (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
               (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

There is little argument and ample evidence that Israel’s actions against the people of Gaza in particular, and Palestine as whole, constitute the term genocide.  

While the pro-Israel Western media has been unable to conceal the daily, indiscriminate killing of anything that breathes and moves in Gaza (Article 2a) and the terrorization of children, the young and the old (mental harm) with the constant bombardment, bulldozers, and drones (Article 2b), the media has been apt at hiding the horrific effects of the blockade – the deliberate infliction of condition of life calculated to bring about physical destruction in whole or in part (Article 2c).

In 2010, Amnesty International’s report Suffocating Gaza - the Israeli blockade's effects on Palestinians detailed the reality of life in Gaza including restricting the entry of basic goods,  food and fuel. On January 28, 2014, the daily Haaretz ran an article entitled “In Gaza, water - and time - are running out; Experts say Gaza water shortage likely to bring about illness.”  The situation has only exasperated.

Yet, in spite of the evidence, the United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-Moon, ignoring all other atrocities, calls an attack on a UN school which killed innocent civilians “outrageous”.   Perhaps he ought to be reminded of, and heed his predecessor, Kofi Annan who acknowledged responsibility for not having done more to prevent or stop the Rwanda genocide.   In his July 2004 address to the Commission on Human Rights, Mr. Annan said:

            “If we are serious about preventing or stopping genocide in future, we must not be held back by legalistic arguments about whether a particular atrocity meets the definition of genocide or not.  By the time we are certain, it may often be too late to act.  We must recognize the signs of approaching or possible genocide, so that we can act in time to avert it.”

Ban ki-Moon must have missed the speech and the memo; although in July 2012, he did appoint Adam Dieng of Senegal as his Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide –  only to refrain from the “G” word it would seem.

The American government is not alone in its complicity in genocide or in its incitement.   Mainstream media networks and commentators who paint a picture of an Israel “self-defense” to give room to the continued genocide are complicit and must be punished.  But in the opinion of this writer, the vilest partners in this crime are the Egyptian and Saudi leaders committing fratricide.   

Egypt’s military coup leader and the illegitimate president of Egypt, al-Sisi, whom the Israel ambassador called a ‘hero for all Jews’ , has trapped the Gazans so that Israel can eliminate them all.   Genocide will prove to be lucrative business for the Egyptians.   Piping Israeli gas (stolen from Gaza) to liquefaction plants in Egypt to beconverted into LNG and exported across the world.

[SIDE BAR: In 2009, David Wurmser writing for the Jewish policy Center opined “Israel and its neighbor now sit atop roughly two years' worth of European consumption”.  He further suggests “even modest amounts of Israeli gas exports can carry significant strategic leverage”. Citing Europe’s gas vulnerability, Wurmser wrote “Europe's grim reality could represent a unique window of opportunity for Israel to nail down long-term agreements and align export policy with a broader effort to reset Israeli-European relations.”
The MH 17 was brought down four hours after Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza.  Europeans reluctant to enforce further sanctions on Russia was no longer so reluctant. END SIDE BAR.]
Israel’s interest in Egypt and its opposition to the elected president of the Egyptian people, Mohammad Morsi, went beyond a gas transit and the Palestinians.    On May 30, 2013, The Times of Israel reported that the construction on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (on the Blue Nile) had sparked a major diplomatic crisis with Egypt – a concern shared with Saudi Arabia and its plans to divert water from the Nile.  In 2012, it was reported that Saudi Arabia had claimed a stake in the Nile.
The Saudi regime showered the coup government with aid after the overthrow of Morsi.    In January, Egypt received a further $4 billion to Egypt, and in May, Saudi Arabia showered the Egyptians with another $3billion while Egypt trapped Gazans to be slaughtered by Israel.    

Never has the world witnessed so much impunity.    The United Nations refuses to acknowledge genocide and takes no part in preventing or punishing it.   The silence of those guarding our rights and our laws makes them  the silent partners in this crime against humanity.  As Jonathan Swift said: ““I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.”

Friday, July 25, 2014

Samantha Power And The Age Of Genocide; Rwanda 1994 vs Gaza 2014

In her acclaimed book “A Problem From Hell; America and the Age of Genocide” (2003), Samantha Power, current American Ambassador to the United Nations, sharply criticized the United States deliberate inaction and its failure to prevent a genocide in Rwanda where up to one million lives were lost.   

As she explains it, Washington simply was not interested in stopping the death toll.   The thinking in Washington was: "Look, if something happens in Rwanda-Burundi, we don't care. Take it off the list. It's not- U.S. national interest is not involved and," you know, "we can't put all these silly humanitarian issues on lists like important problems like the Middle East and North Korea and so on."

Washington had full knowledge of the potential for genocide.  In an April 11 memo prepared for Frank Wisner (undersecretary of defense for policy), it was pointed out “unless both sides [Hutu and Tutsi] can be convinced to return to the peace process, a massive (hundreds of thousands of deaths) bloodbath will ensue.” (Power 2003, p354). 

In the face of media reports of the escalating death toll, Washington remained resolute not to stop the killings.  As dead bodies piled up, Washington’s imperative became the avoidance of the term genocide.  The concern was that if the ‘G ‘word was used and the Clinton administration did nothing, what would be the effect on the November congressional elections. 

Power explains the term genocide: ‘Raphael Lemkin was looking for an all encompassing word that would describe the assaults on all aspects of nationhood – physical, biological, political, social, cultural, economic and religious. He wanted to connote not only full-scale extermination but also other means of destruction: mass deportation, the lowering of birthrate by separating men from women, economic exploitation, progressive starvation, and the suppression of the intelligentsia who served as national leaders.’

Power successfully describes in detail the horrific 1994 genocide in Rwanda and condemnation of America’s inaction.    One million lives too late, in November 1994, UNSC Resolution 955 set up the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to judge those responsible for the massive genocide and crimes against humanity. 

Twenty years after Rwanda, the Genocide in Gaza is ignored.  Samantha Power has either lost all memory, or she has lost all humanity –but without a doubt, she is completely void of integrity, and complicit in the crimes against Palestinians.    

Two decades later, again, prior to November elections, the US is careful to avoid the “G” word.   As Israeli law makers call for genocide and indiscriminate killing of Palestinians under siege, and with calls of rape of Palestinian women,  the massacre continues with the full backing, arming and and funding by the United States.

America has once again exercised its political clout in favor of the perpetrators of crimes against humanity; its voice the lone one to vote against a call to investigation by UN Human Rights Council into the Israeli offensive's violations of international laws.  As the population of Gaza is left without food, clean water, and medicine, and as the annihilation of Palestinians continues, Power and her bosses give their full support to Israel’s continued crimes against humanity and genocide.   

Hypocrisy has never shown such an ugly, shameless face as that of America’s ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power-- in this age of genocide.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Fate of Gazans

July 21st interview with Press TV on  Gaza and what we CAN all do to stop the massacre.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

MH 17 and Iran Air 655: A Medal for Terrorism

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border.  MH 17 had 295 people on board -- 280 passengers and 15 crewmembers.  Western media has gone into overdrive mode in reporting that the plane was deliberately shot down.  Salivating over the story, self-acclaimed pundits are putting the blame on anti-coup Ukrainians and even pointing the finger at Russia even as the crash has not been investigated yet.

So-called experts, among them Richard Quest dubbed as an aviation expert, is hard at work convincing CNN viewers that it would be "extremely unusual" for an airliner at 32,000 feet to be shot down. From the ground, one could simply look up and tell whether a plane was a commercial aircraft. "It looks like a commercial aircraft, it squawks a commercial aircraft. So something is absolutely appalling that's gone on here,”.

A Ukrainian official, Anton Gerashchenko even knew what kind of missile had brought down the plane.  He “wrote on his Facebook page  that a Buk missile system was used to shoot down the plane, not an on-the-shoulder missile launcher, and it's unlikely pro-Russian rebels have access to that type of sophisticated weaponry. “  He accused Putin of sponsoring terrorism.

Whatever (or whomever) behind the crash, investigations have just started.  But as far as court  of public opinion is concerned, CNN, Fox , et al, this is a deliberate act of terrorism.   Well, it would have to be if a passenger plane is so readily recognizable – even from the ground, and missiles fired at it, right?

Well, that depends.

On July 3, 1988, in an unprovoked move, US carrier USS Vincennes fired two missiles at an Iranian passenger plane, Iran Air flight 655 that was on route to Dubai.  All 290 innocent civilians perished.   The passenger airliner, so recognizable even from the ground was “mistaken” for a jet fighter (jetfighter is two-thirds smaller than the passenger).  The United States called its own act of terrorism ‘a regrettable accident”.

In short, the ML airliner is easily recognizable from the ground but the Iran Air plane was ‘mistaken’ for a much smaller jetfighter.  Listening to the media news surrounding the ML 17 incident, one cannot help but conclude that the USS Vincennes captain, Will Rogers III was too dumb and blind not to see the easily recognizable passenger plane, or else, he was/is a terrorist.   In spite of this stark reality, n 1990, President Bush Sr.  awarded Capt. Rogers the Legion of Merit decoration "for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as commanding officer ... from April 1987 to May 1989."

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Atoms For Peace And Iran Nuclear Talk: The Theatrics Continues - From Eisenhower to Obama

“Much of what passes today for diplomacy is not diplomacy at all; its propaganda … We are trying to use diplomacy for a task for which it has never been designed: propaganda and psychological warfare.”   - Theodore Sands

On December 8, 1953, President Eisenhower delivered a speech to the UN that was described as ‘a splendid piece of political theater’. President Eisenhower, Lewis L. Strauss, C.D. Jackson and John Foster Dulles worked on the final draft of the speech on a plane home from the Bermuda conference.  Jackson had even kept the plane circling so that the finished document could be handed to the press as soon as they landed[i].

The speech was intended to make the atom ‘friendly’ and highlight its peaceful benefits, though it had a far more sinister intent. The speech was intended to counter the Soviet peace initiative.   Washington was fearful that Moscow’s cooperation and its propensity for peace would underscore Washington’s baseless accusations that had painted the Soviet Union as the greatest threat to the world.   With the Soviet peace initiative, Washington would risk losing reluctant allies or neutrals to an unthreatening USSR.   The Atoms for Peace speech was intended to invalidate Soviet’s peace initiative[ii].

With this in mind, America proposed that Soviets and Americans contribute fissionable materials to the International Atomic Energy for peaceful uses, was a peace counteroffensive calculated on a Soviets decline.  At the same time, the United States needed to appear eager to secure Soviet cooperation so as to place the failure of the negotiations on Soviet intransigence.   But the Soviets upped the ante.

In response to the fissile pool, the official Soviet response stressed the “unconditional banning of atom and hydrogen weapons” – in other words, atomic disarmament.   The United States found itself in an awkward position.  Eisenhower’s speech was not a call to disarmament.   It was a counter-peace initiative.  In response, it resorted to the monopolization of  ‘atoms for peace’ by ensuring that the U.S. would be the first to establish nuclear presence in various countries that would make them dependent on the U.S. for every aspect of the nuclear program from design, construction, initial operation, educational material and so forth.
In this vein, Iran’s nuclear program was initiated under the former Shah of Iran.  For as long as the Shah was a poster boy for General Electric nuclear reactors, America encouraged Iran’s civilian nuclear program.  In fact,  in 1975, according to National Security Decision Memorandum 292, the United States gave permission [emphasis added] for “U. S. material to be fabricated into fuel in Iran for use in its own reactors and for pass-through to third countries with whom we have Agreements. “
All changed with the Iranian revolution that ousted the Shah.  In other words, the United States appointed itself interpreter and executioner of international laws and treaties, doling out favors to ‘allies’ and punishing nations that valued sovereignty.    Iran was punished, and painted as a threat for pursuing its rights within the framework of international law and the NPT.
President Obama opted for ‘diplomacy’ taking a leaf from Eisenhower’s book.  Disguising propaganda and psychological warfare as diplomacy, he feigned an interest in ‘negotiating’ Iran’s nuclear program as discussed with AIPAC.   During his presidential campaign in 2008,
he reassured AIPAC of his intentions, stating:

"Our willingness to pursue diplomacy will make it easier to join our cause.   If Iran fails to change course when presented with this choice by the United States it will be clear to the people of Iran and to the world that the Iranian regime is the author of its own isolation and that will strengthen our hand with Russia and China as we insist on stronger sanctions in the Security Council.” (See Geneva 3, Iran Nuclear Negotiations for Dummies).

In spite of the numerous obstacles placed in its path, Iran has demonstrated to the world that it wishes to pursue peace and transparency.  It exercised ‘heroic flexibility’ to cooperate with the P5+1 and consistently and tirelessly demonstrated its goodwill, transparency, and cooperation.  But as with the Eisenhower era, Iran’s cooperation has demonstrated to the world that it is not a threat.  Its peaceful agenda is the greatest threat to Washington’s agenda.

For 34 years, Washington has been engaged in covert and overt operation to overthrow the government of the Iranian people.   It has been complicit in war and war crimes.   It has violated bilateral treaties, international laws, and even customary laws.  For decades, Washington has demonized Iran in order to persuade friend and foe to forgo billions of dollars in trade and profit.  Its fear mongering has enabled it to recycle petrodollars and its expansion.  It has even committed acts of terror and has supported terrorism with the justification that Iran is the threat. 

In light of Iran’s full cooperation, how can Washington explain its actions?  How can Washington live in peace? As Sun Tzu said, “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”

[i] Cull, Nicholas, “The Cold War and the United States Information Agency  (FRUS 1952-1954, Vol. 2, part 2, Memo of discussion at NSC, 30 July 1953, pp. 1184-1185; Memo by Robert Cutler, 10 September 1953; Chronology, Atoms for Peace project, 30 September 1954).
[ii] Osgood, Kenneth. “Total Cold War; Eisenhower’s Secret Propaganda Battle at Home andAbroad”, University Press of Kansas, 2006 Pp 153-161