Sunday, December 12, 2010

US To Increase Sanctions on Iran & Broadening Its Definition Of Giving Aid & Comfort To Real & Imaginary Enemies

In his foreword to Nelson Mandela's recent autobiography "Conversations with Myself," President Obama wrote that "Mandela's sacrifice was so great that it called upon people everywhere to do what they could on behalf of human progress. … The first time I became politically active was during my college years, when I joined a campaign on behalf of divestment, and the effort to end apartheid in South Africa." At the time of Mr. Obama's First Amendment advocacy, Mr. Mandela and his organization the African National Congress (ANC) were denounced as terrorist by the US government. If the "material support" law had been in effect back then, Mr. Obama would have been subject to potential criminal prosecution. It is ironic - and the height of hypocrisy - that this same man who speaks with such reverence for Mr. Mandela and recalls his own support for the struggle against apartheid now allows the Justice Department under his command to criminalize similar First Amendment advocacy against Israeli apartheid and repressive foreign governments.

Quote from: Justice Department Prepares for Ominous Expansion of "Anti-Terrorism" Law Targeting Activists by: Michael Deutsch, t r u t h o u t | News Analysis, Dec. 11, 2010

Deja Vu as Iran becomes Iraq The Obama administration wants to ratchet up its sanctions to weaken Iraq and its people in preparation of bombing and or invasion.
You see the country and its people according to the US are not suffering enough they must be taught a lesson.

All Iranians like all Iraqis will soon be the new enemy
Iran it appears will be the next in the so called Axis of Evil to be crushed by the US .
As with Iraq the US will if need be invent or create disinformation about Iran to get public support for bombing and invading Iran.
Iran will be next unless North Korea jumps the gun in a pre-emptive strike. Of course in our current circumstances we are informed that only the US has such a right : that is the right to a pre-emptive strike.
Anyway how far will the US go with its sanctions placed upon Iran. Will the Iranians be reduced to circumstances in which they are left struggling just to get by. In Iraq 500,000 Iraqis died as the result of US sanctions .
So the sanctions had a catastrophic impact on the Iraqi people.
So once the Iranians are considered weak enough to be ripe for the picking as were the Iraqis the US will take action against Iran under the guise of National Security and the Security of Israel and other states in region. .

Using bullying tactics combined with lies and propaganda and backroom deals the US managed to get other nations to go along with its unjustified unnecessary immoral 2003 invasion of Iraq.
And this time any American citizens who dare to object and take part in demonstrations against the US going to war with Iran they could be labeled as we see in the article below as giving aid and comfort to the enemy. So this change in policy could thwart any attempt to get the US government to reconsider its actions.

US, Allies Seek Even Harsher Sanctions on Iran by: Howard LaFranchi | The Christian Science Monitor | Report Dec. 10,2010

Washington - When it comes to US policy on Iran, the White House is signaling a move toward a variation of “no pain, no gain.”

A senior White House official on Friday suggested that the US will soon seek adoption of even tougher sanctions on Iran, having concluded that the international sanctions reinforced this year are hurting but not yet causing enough hardship to alter Tehran’s behavior.

Gary Samore, President Obama’s special assistant for arms control and nuclear proliferation issues, told a Washington conference that the US and its partners aligned against a nuclear Iran are likely to “increase pressure” in the coming weeks in response to Iran’s refusal to address international concerns about its uranium enrichment program.

“We need to send the message to Iran that sanctions will only increase if Iran avoids serious negotiations, and will not be lifted until our concerns are fully addressed,” Mr. Samore told a conference organized by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Suggesting that talks this week in Geneva between Iran and world powers including the US fell short of what were already low expectations, the president’s top nuclear adviser said another round of sanctions would be one way of testing “how high Iran’s pain threshold is.”

The two days of talks in Geneva – characterized by one European diplomat as the two sides talking past each other – did conclude with an agreement to meet again next month in Turkey. But the failure to address any substantive issues and the Iranian delegation’s refusal to entertain discussion of its uranium enrichment program apparently led to the White House decision to speak publicly of additional turns of the screws.

The Supreme Court and the US Department of Justice are broadening the definition of aiding and abetting "Terrorists" and "terrorism" in such a way that even organizations that are peacefully trying to increase the dialogue between states and terrorist organizations to move towards a peaceful solution are to be considered as aiding and abetting "Terrorists".
So any organization can be defined as a terrorist organization for instance that is sympathetic to the claims of Palestinians who argue that Israel is breaking International law and committing War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity in its siege or blockade of Gaza.Hamas which is the ruling party in Gaza having been designated as a "terrorist organization" it is argued that any criticism by American organizations (or of any other state) of Israel's actions against Gaza and that the grievances of Palestinians may have merit is by definition an illegal act because it gives aid and /or comfort to the enemy.

By broadening the definition of "terrorism" groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Doctors without borders, the Red Cross and Red crescent or United Nations organizations etc. which openly criticize the US or Israel for their actions could be deemed "terrorist organizations".

For instance if Iran is designated as an enemy of the United States any group whether American or in other nations or even UN personnel who contradict the US state department or the White House or Pentagon's official position on Iran could be deemed as giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

In the run up to the US invasion of Iraq millions of Americans protested against the invasion of Iraq under the new definition the organizers of these protests could have been arrested for supporting a "Terrorist State" . They could also be arrested and incarcerated for sedition and treason.

Therefore if American citizens join an organization and or take part in peaceful protests against Israeli or US military intervention in Iran these citizens could be labeled as supporters of a Terrorist State.

Again those for instance who organize and or take part in the convoys and flotillas to attempt to break through the immoral and illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza could be designated as giving aid and comfort to Hamas which is the ruling political party in Gaza and is designated a Terrorist organization.

And further even those who organize protests in the streets or the signing of petitions could be found guilty of supporting terrorism if they criticize America's conduct in the War on Terror ie renditions, torture, spying on American citizens,or the collective punishment of a civilian population or the military's use of certain weapons such as phosphorus, cluster bombs , drones etc.

Justice Department Prepares for Ominous Expansion of "Anti-Terrorism" Law Targeting Activists by: Michael Deutsch, t r u t h o u t | News Analysis, Dec. 11, 2010

In late September, the FBI carried out a series of raids of homes and antiwar offices of public activists in Minneapolis and Chicago. Following the raids, the Obama Justice Department subpoenaed 14 activists to a grand jury in Chicago and also subpoenaed the files of several antiwar and community organizations. In carrying out these repressive actions, the Justice Department was taking its lead from the Supreme Court's 6-3 opinion last June in Holder v. the Humanitarian Law Project, which decided that nonviolent First Amendment speech and advocacy "coordinated with" or "under the direction of" a foreign group listed by the Secretary of State as "terrorist" was a crime.

The search warrants and grand jury subpoenas make it clear that the federal prosecutors are intent on accusing public nonviolent political organizers, many of whom are affiliated with Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), of providing "material support" through their public advocacy for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The Secretary of State has determined that both the PLFP and the FARC "threaten US national security, foreign policy or economic interests," a finding not reviewable by the courts, and listed both groups as foreign terrorist organizations (FTO).

In 1996, Congress made it a crime - then punishable by 10 years, which was later increased to 15 years - to anyone in the US who provides "material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization or attempts or conspires to do so." The present statute defines "material support or resources" as:

... any property, tangible or intangible, or service, including currency or monetary instruments or financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safe houses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel and transportation except medicine or religious materials.

In the Humanitarian Law Project case, human rights workers wanted to teach members of the Kurdistan PKK, which seeks an independent Kurdish state, and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which sought an independent state in Sri Lanka, how to use humanitarian and international law to peacefully resolve disputes and obtain relief from the United Nations and other international bodies for human rights abuses by the governments of Turkey and Sri Lanka. Both organizations were designated as FTOs by the Secretary of State in a closed hearing, in which the evidence is heard secretly.

Despite the nonviolent, peacemaking goal of the Humanitarian Law Project's speech and training, the majority of the Supreme Court nonetheless interpreted the law to make such conduct a crime. Finding a whole new exception to the First Amendment, the Court decided that any support, even if it involves nonviolent efforts towards peace, is illegal under the law since it "frees up other resources within the organization that may be put to violent ends," and also helps lend "legitimacy" to foreign terrorist groups. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts, despite the lack of any evidence, further opined that the FTO could use the human rights law to "intimidate, harass or destruct" its adversaries, and that even peace talks themselves could be used as a cover to re-arm for further attacks. Thus, the Court's opinion criminalizes efforts by independent groups to work for peace if they in any way cooperate or coordinate with designated FTOs.

The Court distinguishes what it refers to as "independent advocacy," which it finds is not prohibited by the statute, from "advocacy performed in coordination with, or at the direction of, a foreign terrorist organization," which is, for the first time, found to be a crime under the statute. The exact line demarcating where independent advocacy becomes impermissible coordination is left open and vague.

Seizing on this overbroad definition of "material support," the US government is now moving in on political groups and activists who are clearly exercising fundamental First Amendment rights by vocally opposing the government's branding of foreign liberation movements as terrorist and supporting their struggles against US-backed repressive regimes and illegal occupations.

Under the new definition of "material support," the efforts of President Jimmy Carter to monitor the elections in Lebanon and coordinate with the political parties there, including the designated FTO Hezbollah, could well be prosecuted as a crime. Similarly, the publication of op-ed articles by FTO spokesmen from Hamas or other designated groups by The New York Times or The Washington Post, or the filing of amicus briefs by human rights attorneys arguing against a group's terrorist designation or the statute itself could also now be prosecuted. Of course, the first targets of this draconian expansion of the material support law will not be a former president or the establishment media, but members of a Marxist organization who are vocal opponents of the governments of Israel and Colombia and the US policies supporting these repressive governments

and so it goes,


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