Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Obama & US Marginalized & Irrelevant In The Middle East ??? Yemen Forces Fire On Peaceful Protesters & Egyptians Back in Tahrir Square Demanding Reforms

Song of the day :
To Obama and America : "You're so vain you probably think these protests are about you -don't you???" new chorus for Carley Simon song
Listening to Obama's 45-minute speech this month – the "kick off' to four whole days of weasel words and puffery by the man who tried to reach out to the Muslim world in Cairo two years ago, and then did nothing – one might have thought that the American President had initiated the Arab revolts, rather than sat on the sidelines in fear.

"Who Cares in the Middle East What Obama Says?" by Robert Fisk The independent via Common Dreams.org, May 30, 2011

In Egypt even though Hilary Clinton & the Obama administration's friend Hosni Mubarak has been ousted the citizens are protesting the military's actions and lack of substantive reforms since the Supreme Council of Armed Forces took over the role of government .

The Obama administration didn't respond to the protests for reform in Egypt til the issues was all but settled which is somewhat ironic since it was in Cairo that two years agon Obama made his big speech about America's support for reform in the Middle East. Meanwhile as mentioned below by Robert Fisk the Obama administration has been less than supportive of reform movements in Yemen, Bahrian, Saudi Arabia , Morocco, Iraq etc.

One gets the impression that the Obama administration was at a loss for how to repond to these pro-reform uprisings of the so called "Arab Spring".
Egypt has now opened it's borders to Gaza which has upset the Israelis and the Americans so Egypt is no longer the lap dog of Israel or America.
Once again it appears that Obama believed that once he made his historic speech in Cairo that was the end of the issue. Obama is all for reform in Iran which is still demonized by Obama but is not interested in substantive reforms in other Arab or Muslim countries especially those with close ties to the USA or to Israel.

Protesters Pack Tahrir to Push Military Council on Unfulfilled Revolutionary Demands Produced by Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar Egypt reports via CommonDreams.org, May 30, 2011
Tens of thousands of protesters rallied in Tahrir Square on Friday for what was billed as the “Second Day of Rage.” Demonstrators called on the Supreme Council of Armed Forces to fulfill a number of revolutionary demands, including an end to military trials of civilians, an increased minimum wage, a free media and the public prosecution of former regime officials.

The turnout was impressive despite a boycott by the Muslim Brotherhood, which released a statement in support of the Supreme Council and called on people not to attend the demonstration. It marked the first time the Brotherhood did not support a major protest since January 28th. The boycott was coupled with widespread rumors of potential thuggery and violence at the protest.

Nevertheless, Tahrir Square was packed on May 27th. We spoke with some of the protesters about their demands.

2nd Day of Rage from Nicole Salazar on Vimeo.

Anyway per usual after Obama made his speech about supporting a two state solution in Palestine he backtracked and once again came out in favor of the Israeli notion that it will not retreat as it were to the pre 1967 borders. Netanyahu once again talks about "facts on the ground" and demographic changes within these borders. The Israeli government has been supporting the Settlers Movement for decades in order to create these so called "facts on the ground" ie the settlements. But Netanyahu and President Obama ignore that these areas are being occupied illegaly since 1967.

As Robert Fisk points out if these Israeli sttlements are to be accepted by the Palestinians as being legal then this will not leave Palestine a continuous integral border but rather the acceptance of these bantustans .

President Obama is even trying to pressure the Palestinians from going to the UN to have the UN recognize the Palestinian state because it would upset the Israelis and would possibly be detrimental to America's interests in the region.

President Obama has lost what credibility he had in the Middle East not just because of his pro-Israeli policies but also because Obama was too slow on responding to the "Arab Spring" . He should have been supporting and encouraging the peoples of the various countries who were finally standing up to their autoctatic, despotic tyrants instead he has floundered about and in some cases supported or at least kept silent about governments cracking down on pro-reform movements and uprisings as in his silence and lack of any action about Bahrain and Saudi Arabia or Yemen etc.

Who Cares in the Middle East What Obama Says? by Robert Fisk The independent via Common Dreams.org, May 30, 2011
This month, in the Middle East, has seen the unmaking of the President of the United States. More than that, it has witnessed the lowest prestige of America in the region since Roosevelt met King Abdul Aziz on the USS Quincy in the Great Bitter Lake in 1945.

While Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu played out their farce in Washington – Obama grovelling as usual – the Arabs got on with the serious business of changing their world, demonstrating and fighting and dying for freedoms they have never possessed. Obama waffled on about change in the Middle East – and about America's new role in the region. It was pathetic. "What is this 'role' thing?" an Egyptian friend asked me at the weekend. "Do they still believe we care about what they think?"

And it is true. Obama's failure to support the Arab revolutions until they were all but over lost the US most of its surviving credit in the region. Obama was silent on the overthrow of Ben Ali, only joined in the chorus of contempt for Mubarak two days before his flight, condemned the Syrian regime – which has killed more of its people than any other dynasty in this Arab "spring", save for the frightful Gaddafi – but makes it clear that he would be happy to see Assad survive, waves his puny fist at puny Bahrain's cruelty and remains absolutely, stunningly silent over Saudi Arabia. And he goes on his knees before Israel. Is it any wonder, then, that Arabs are turning their backs on America, not out of fury or anger, nor with threats or violence, but with contempt? It is the Arabs and their fellow Muslims of the Middle East who are themselves now making the decisions

...Amid all these vast and epic events – Yemen itself may yet prove to be the biggest bloodbath of all, while the number of Syria's "martyrs" have now exceeded the victims of Mubarak's death squads five months ago – is it any surprise that the frolics of Messrs Netanyahu and Obama appear so irrelevant? Indeed, Obama's policy towards the Middle East – whatever it is – sometimes appears so muddled that it is scarcely worthy of study. He supports, of course, democracy – then admits that this may conflict with America's interests. In that wonderful democracy called Saudi Arabia, the US is now pushing ahead with a £40 billion arms deal and helping the Saudis to develop a new "elite" force to protect the kingdom's oil and future nuclear sites...

Of course, the Israelis would far prefer the "stability" of the Syrian dictatorship to continue; better the dark caliphate you know than the hateful Islamists who might emerge from the ruins. But is this argument really good enough for Obama to support when the people of Syria are dying in the streets for the kind of democracy that the US president says he wants to see in the region?

One of the vainest elements of American foreign policy towards the Middle East is the foundational idea that the Arabs are somehow more stupid than the rest of us, certainly than the Israelis, more out of touch with reality than the West, that they don't understand their own history. Thus they have to be preached at, lectured, and cajoled by La Clinton and her ilk – much as their dictators did and do, father figures guiding their children through life. But Arabs are far more literate than they were a generation ago; millions speak perfect English and can understand all too well the political weakness and irrelevance in the president's words. Listening to Obama's 45-minute speech this month – the "kick off' to four whole days of weasel words and puffery by the man who tried to reach out to the Muslim world in Cairo two years ago, and then did nothing – one might have thought that the American President had initiated the Arab revolts, rather than sat on the sidelines in fear.

And in Yemen security forces and their civilian thugs are still beating, tear gassing , shooting, torturing and killing protesters.
Would Obama give the protesters in Yemen or elsewhere more support if they were better armed as they are in Libya???
Not really since Yemen is a staunch ally of the USA as it claims that the protesters are influenced by evil foreign agents ie Iran , Al Qaeda , Muslim Brotherhoodand so on which is similar to the accusations by the Syrian, Saudi and Bahrain's governments as it were.

All they have to do is to wave the bloody shirt of Al Qaeda or other terrorists groups and the USA will give these governments the "Green Light" to do as they please to kill and torture as many civilians as they wish.

Yemeni Forces Kill 20 Protesters as Sit-in Smashed from Agence France presse, via Alternet.org, May 31, 2011

SANAA (AFP) – Forces loyal to the embattled Yemeni president killed 20 protesters as they dispersed a sit-in in Taez, an organiser said on Monday, as suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen killed six soldiers in the south.

Security service agents backed by army and Republican Guard troops stormed the protest against President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Freedom Square in the centre of Yemen's second-largest city during the night, shooting at the demonstrators and setting fire to their tents, protesters said.

"At least 20 protesters have been killed," one of the protest organisers said.

Troops backed by tanks stormed a field hospital and detained 37 of the wounded receiving treatment there, among hundreds of people rounded up as security forces pursued the protesters into nearby streets, medics and organisers said.

"This was a massacre. The situation is miserable. They have dragged the wounded off to detention centres from the streets," activist Bushra al-Maqtari told AFP.

and so it goes,

No Dancing Allowed In Public Places In America ??? Adam Kokesh body slammed, choked, police brutality at Jefferson Memorial

Monday, May 30, 2011

US Planned Libyan Regime Change 10 Years Ago: Information Clearing House: ICH & Obama's Bid For Perpetual War

Obama's Makes bid for Perpetual War & State of Emergency  Patriot Act Redux.
Anyway it appears plans to take down Qaddafi and invade Libya has been in the works by US administration and the Pentagon for at least 10 years.
Netanyahu still pissed off at Obama - does this mean Obama is doing the right thing???
Egypt opens border to Gaza.
Obama losing support for escalating war in Libya
Obama forced to reduce military presence in Pakistan
Iraqi leader vows to restart insurgency against US troops if not gone by 2012.

So it appears Obama the agent of change is just another agent of continuing the Neoconservative and Neoliberal agenda to further expand the American Empire under the guise of spreading democracy and ending tyranny .
If so why are Bahrain and Saudi Arabia for instance not mentioned.
So Obama has duped the NATO alliance into doing America's dirty work in Libya while ignoring the oppression in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia .

If so does the United Nations or the International community of nations have it in their power to put a stop to America's self-aggrandizing acts of aggression.
America backs armed rebels in Libya but throws more peaceful protesters in Bahrain to the wolves .

US Planned Libyan Regime Change 10 Years Ago : Information Clearing House: ICH

U.S. General Wesley Clark (Ret.), explains that the Bush Administration planned to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Iran.

According to another article it appears Qaddafi was willing to agree to a ceasefire and negotiations with all parties involved but the US intent on another War of Aggression ignored this offer .

and more headlines from Information Clearing House :

The New Face Of War
"We don't need no stinkin' badges"
By Conn Hallinan
The assassination of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden did more than knock off America's Public Enemy Number One, it formalized a new kind of warfare, where sovereignty is irrelevant, armies tangential, and decisions are secret.

Welcome to the Violent World of Mr. Hopey Changey
By John Pilger
The Nato attack on Libya, is strikingly similar to the final destruction of Yugoslavia in 1999.
Managing Public Perception: Murdering Libya
Obama Subtly Shifts War Aims in Libya
"The goal is to make sure that the Libyan people can make a determination about how they want to proceed, and that they'll be finally free of 40 years of tyranny and they can start creating the institutions required for self-determination." That is quite parallel to the objective the United States set in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003.
Nato Rejects Libya Truce Offer
By Agence France-Press
According to a letter seen by the newspaper, Qadhafi's regime was ready to enter unconditional talks with rebels, declare an amnesty for both sides and draft a new constitution.

AU leaders seek end to Nato strikes in Libya:
African leaders on Thursday called for an end to Nato airstrikes on Libya to pave the way for a political solution to the conflict.
Libya effort is called violation of war act:
Several lawmakers from both parties on Wednesday accused President Obama of violating the War Powers Resolution by continuing American participation in NATO's air war in Libya without Congressional authorization, but they struggled with the question of what Congress can or should do about it.
House bars ground troops in Libya:
The U.S. House voted 416-5 Thursday to bar the Obama administration from placing ground troops in Libya. The vote was the latest indication of congressional concern the administration might be thinking about expanding the role of the U.S. military in North Africa, The Hill newspaper reported.
Saudi troops sent to crush Bahrain protests 'had British training':
The revelation is likely to renew allegations that the Coalition is sending mixed messages on democracy in the Middle East.


and from Truthout.org:

Saturday 28 May 2011
Netanyahu’s Border War
Shlomo Ben-Ami, Project Syndicate: "Binyamin Netanyahu’s furious rejection of US President Barack Obama’s proposal to use the 1967 borders as the basis for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute - frontiers that he called 'utterly indefensible' - reflects not only the Israeli prime minister’s poor statesmanship, but also his antiquated military philosophy."
Read the Article

After 4 Years, Egypt Reopens Its Border With Gaza
David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times News Service: "Hundreds of Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip arrived here by the busload Saturday to pass through the reopened border into Egypt, taking the first tangible steps out of the Israeli occupation after years of deadlocked peace talks... While a gradual loosening of the border controls over the last year had already allowed some Gaza residents to cross ... many of those making the trip on Saturday said they felt a new stirring of hope at Egypt’s announcement that it was breaking the blockade imposed on Gaza five years ago when the militant group Hamas took over."
Read the Article

Awakening to the Limits of the Obama Presidency
Antonia Darder, Truthout: "There are folks who seem to keep hoping that Obama has a 'progressive' side which we will all soon see emerge - reminiscent of the transformation of Clark Kent to Superman in the phone booth. Yet, I can't help wondering if all that progressivism was merely projected upon the handsome black man with the charming discourse style because folks were all feeling so desperate; we were are still seeking a political savior or messiah in Obama."
Read the Article

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Sermon: News From The Empire :USA

News from the American Empire
America's quisling ally admits to training Saudi soldiers for crowd control , intimidation & house to house searches- ( re: Brits in northern Island fighting IRA or in Northern England hunting down Striking coal miners and so on)
So did the Brits train these soldiers in the use of massive amounts of tear gas- the tear gas some observers note is much stronger and potentially lethal compared to what security forces use elsewhere-or is this just a new trend in the Elites fight against the people of their respective countries???
Noam Chomsky on the assassination of Osama bin Laden
Pakistan no longer a client state of America
Obama's attacks on dissidents and activists in America
Did Bush tell CIA or military to stop tracking bin Laden before 9/11

President Obama's assault against Whistleblowers and the Media - the free press is not so free anymore-
Obama's attack on Whisleblowers and the media is just a continuation of this policy as an ongoing trend in US politics since Ronald Reagan first took office .
Truck loads of money for the US military not so much for the needy in America

Billions of dollars for the military to suppress the restless natives but nothing for the fleeing refugees and the widows and orphans their interventionist pre-emptive policies help to create

TEHRAN (FNA)- The British government admitted that the Saudi troops sent to Bahrain to crush the popular uprisings in the tiny Persian Gulf island have had British military training.

The British Ministry of Defense admitted that members of the Saudi Arabian National Guard dispatched to Bahrain may have received military trainings from the British Armed Forces in Saudi Arabia.

The revelation is likely to renew allegations that the Coalition is sending hypocritical messages on democracy in the Middle-East.

Despite British criticism of the Bahrainis' actions, British Prime Minister David Cameron last week welcomed the Crown Prince of Bahrain to Downing Street, drawing criticism from human rights groups.

Britain keeps a large and secretive military training team in Saudi Arabia. British military personnel advise and teach the kingdom's forces in areas, including crowd control and suppression.

In a written parliamentary answer, British Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey said the Government could not rule out the possibility that British-trained Saudis took part in the Bahraini operation.

"The Ministry of Defense has extensive and wide-ranging bilateral engagement with Saudi Arabia in support of the Government's wider foreign policy goals. The Ministry of Defense's engagement with Saudi Arabia includes training provided to the Saudi Arabian National Guard, delivered through the British mission," he said.

"It is possible that some members of the Saudi Arabian National Guard which were deployed in Bahrain may have undertaken some training provided by the British military mission."

Anti-government protesters have been holding peaceful demonstrations across Bahrain since mid-February, calling for an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty's over-40-year rule.

Violence against the defenseless people escalated after a Saudi-led conglomerate of police, security and military forces from the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) member states were dispatched to the tiny kingdom on March 13 to help Manama crack down on peaceful protestors.

Observers also believe that the recent uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and Jordan are the result of the United States' double-standards in the Middle-East and its biased policies against the different nations.

After the United States and certain other western countries adopted a double-standard approach towards the popular protests against the dictatorial regimes in the region, people in the Middle-East say that the western approach to the ongoing revolutions in these countries has unveiled the true nature of the West's stance on democracy. 

Obama's statement that Bradley Manning broke the law is prejudicial to his case-how can he ever get a fair and just hearing or trial
If Obama were the guy he said he was during the election campaign he would pardon Manning and give him a commendation for doing his duty as an American citizen.
So we can assume if some American soldier for instance were to disobey a direct order claiming the orderwas irrational or would result in immoral or illegal activity such as those who might refuse to take part in the killing of an innocent person or even a POW or efused to torture Obama would not be there to defend such a soldier
We have seen this over and over again.
For example the person releasing video which clearly shows American troops committing war crimes would be in more trouble than those who committed the alleged crime for instance killing an Iraqi might mean a suspension or a few months in jail and a fine

US Embassy Cables: Obama May Have 'Prejudiced' Bradley Manning Trial
Remarks that 'Manning broke law' could prejudice army private's trial over leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks
by Robert Booth The Guardian UK via CommonDreams.org , May 24, 2011

US president Barack Obama may have prejudiced the trial of US army private Bradley Manning who is charged with leaking classified US documents to WikiLeaks, by saying at a fundraiser that Manning "broke the law", a leading British MP has warned.
Ann Clywd, chairwoman of the all party parliamentary group on human rights chaired a meeting on Tuesday about the plight of the alleged WikiLeaks source to coincide with Obama's state visit to Britain. She said she found the presidents remarks at a fundraising event in San Francisco last month "an amazing thing for the president of the United States to comment on when the man hasn't stood trial yet".
The fundraising where Obama was challenged about the US government's treatment of Manning was recorded on video. "I can't conduct diplomacy on an open source," Obama told an unidentified questioner. "That's not how … the world works. If I was to release stuff, information that I'm not authorized to release, I'm breaking the law … We're a nation of laws. We don't individually make our own decisions about how the laws operate … He broke the law."
...Emily Butselaar, an editor at Index on Censorship, the free speech pressure group, said her organisation is also concerned that Obama may have prejudiced Manning's right to a fair trial by declaring he has broken the law.
"Despite making freedom of information and transparency key commitments of his presidential campaign, Obama's administration is cracking down on whistleblowers," she said.
"If there has to be a trial, it should be in public and not a closed military trial," Clwyd said.
A White House spokesman declined to comment citing the legal process that is underway.
Manning's detention for 23 hours a day in a tiny unfurnished cell at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, caused a storm of protest. He was held in a space measuring 6ft by 12ft with no window, furnished with a bed, toilet and sink. He was fed antidepressant pills, forbidden to exercise in his cell, and forcibly woken if he attempted to sleep in the daytime. A so-called "prevention of injury" order deprived him of his clothes at night and also of normal sheets and bedding.
Juan E Mendez, a UN special rapporteur on torture, investigated his case and accused the US government of prevarication in response to his request for an unmonitored meeting with Manning, saying he was deeply disappointed and frustrated. State Department spokesman PJ Crowley called Manning's treatment "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid" and resigned two days later.
Last month, the Pentagon transferred Manning to a medium-security facility in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he has more freedom of movement.
After the killing of Bin Laden by American special forces many Pakistanis are urging their government to break ties with the USA.

The consequences or "blowback" of the American Special Forces' raid inside Pakistan's borders which lead to the assassination of Osama bin Laden is leading Pakistanis in defense of their country's sovereignty to pressure their government to distance itself from the United States and even to refuse financial aid from the USA.

Pakistan Fighting Off US Aid
Monday 23 May 2011
by: Zofeen Ebrahim, Inter Press Service via Truthout.org ,May 23, 2011

Karachi - The killing of Osama Bin Laden on May 2 in a covert operation by the United States has prompted strident calls by many in Pakistan to see it as a lesson for the country to stand on its feet, say no to foreign aid and shrug off the title "hired gun of the U.S."
One of those voices belongs to the chief minister of Punjab province, Shahbaz Sharif, who said his government would stop accepting U.S. aid, and proceeded to cancel six agreements with the U.S. in the fields of health, education and solid waste management.
Sharif has vowed to "break the begging bowl" which he said undermines Pakistan’s sovereignty.
While many say he is "playing to the gallery," the chief minister of Punjab, Pakistan’s biggest province and home to 60 percent of the 180 million population, has articulated a sentiment growing among different sectors - academics, economists, politicians, the media and the ordinary Pakistani - clamouring for a stop to the entry of foreign funds, and not just from the U.S.
Pakistan is one of the top recipients of U.S. aid along with Egypt and Israel. In the last decade, Pakistan has received 20.7 billion dollars in assistance from the U.S., two-thirds of which has gone to the military.

By taking Pakistan for granted the Pakistani government may
replace USA with China as its no. 1 ally and trading partner.

China: Pakistan's Other Partner. Has the Obama Administration Miscalculated in Pakistan?
by Dilip Hiro , via CommonDreams.org, May 24, 2011

Washington often acts as if Pakistan were its client state, with no other possible patron but the United States. It assumes that Pakistani leaders, having made all the usual declarations about upholding the “sacred sovereignty” of their country, will end up yielding to periodic American demands, including those for a free hand in staging drone attacks in its tribal lands bordering Afghanistan. This is a flawed assessment of Washington’s long, tortuous relationship with Islamabad.

A recurring feature of the Obama administration’s foreign policy has been its failure to properly measure the strengths (as well as weaknesses) of its challengers, major or minor, as well as its friends, steadfast or fickle. To earlier examples of this phenomenon, one may now add Pakistan.
That country has an active partnership with another major power, potentially a viable substitute for the U.S. should relations with the Obama administration continue to deteriorate. The Islamabad-Washington relationship has swung from close alliance in the Afghan anti-Soviet jihad years of the 1980s to unmistaken alienation in the early 1990s, when Pakistan was on the U.S. watch list as a state supporting international terrorism. Relations between Islamabad and Beijing, on the other hand, have been consistently cordial for almost three decades. Pakistan’s Chinese alliance, noted fitfully by the U.S., is one of its most potent weapons in any future showdown with the Obama administration.
Another factor, also poorly assessed, affects an ongoing war. While, in the 1980s, Pakistan acted as the crucial conduit for U.S. aid and weapons to jihadists in Afghanistan, today it could be an obstacle to the delivery of supplies to America’s military in Afghanistan. It potentially wields a powerful instrument when it comes to the efficiency with which the U.S. and its NATO allies fight the Taliban. It controls the supply lines to the combat forces in that landlocked country.
Taken together, these two factors make Pakistan a far more formidable and independent force than U.S. policymakers concede publicly or even privately.

Over Two Thousand Six Hundred Activists Arrested in US Protests by Bill Quigley via CommonDreams.org May 24, 2011

Since President Obama was inaugurated, there have been over two thousand six hundred arrests of activists protesting in the US. Research shows over 670 people have been arrested in protests inside the US already in 2011, over 1290 were arrested in 2010, and 665 arrested in 2009. These figures are certainly underestimate the number actually arrested as arrests in US protests are rarely covered by the mainstream media outlets which focus so intently on arrests of protestors in other countries.

Arrests at protest have been increasing each year since 2009. Those arrested include people protesting US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Guantanamo, strip mining, home foreclosures, nuclear weapons, immigration policies, police brutality, mistreatment of hotel workers, budget cutbacks, Blackwater, the mistreatment of Bradley Manning, and right wing efforts to cut back collective bargaining.
These arrests illustrate that resistance to the injustices in and committed by the US is alive and well. Certainly there could and should be more, but it is important to recognize that people are fighting back against injustice.


There is Much More to Say
By Noam Chomsky at Znet May 20, 2011

On May 1, 2011, Osama bin Laden was killed in his virtually unprotected compound by a raiding mission of 79 Navy Seals, who entered Pakistan by helicopter. After many lurid stories were provided by the government and withdrawn, official reports made it increasingly clear that the operation was a planned assassination, multiply violating elementary norms of international law, beginning with the invasion itself.
There appears to have been no attempt to apprehend the unarmed victim, as presumably could have been done by 79 commandos facing no opposition - except, they report, from his wife, also unarmed, who they shot in self-defense when she “lunged” at them (according to the White House).
A plausible reconstruction of the events is provided by veteran Middle East correspondent Yochi Dreazen and colleagues in the Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/05/goal-was-never-to-capture-bin-laden/238330/). Dreazen, formerly the military correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, is senior correspondent for the National Journal Group covering military affairs and national security. According to their investigation, White House planning appears not to have considered the option of capturing OBL alive: “The administration had made clear to the military's clandestine Joint Special Operations Command that it wanted bin Laden dead, according to a senior U.S. official with knowledge of the discussions. A high-ranking military officer briefed on the assault said the SEALs knew their mission was not to take him alive.”
The authors add: “For many at the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency who had spent nearly a decade hunting bin Laden, killing the militant was a necessary and justified act of vengeance.” Furthermore, “Capturing bin Laden alive would have also presented the administration with an array of nettlesome legal and political challenges.” Better, then, to assassinate him, dumping his body into the sea without the autopsy considered essential after a killing, whether considered justified or not – an act that predictably provoked both anger and skepticism in much of the Muslim world.
As the Atlantic inquiry observes, “The decision to kill bin Laden outright was the clearest illustration to date of a little-noticed aspect of the Obama administration's counterterror policy. The Bush administration captured thousands of suspected militants and sent them to detention camps in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay. The Obama administration, by contrast, has focused on eliminating individual terrorists rather than attempting to take them alive.” That is one significant difference between Bush and Obama. The authors quote former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who “told German TV that the U.S. raid was ‘quite clearly a violation of international law’ and that bin Laden should have been detained and put on trial,” contrasting Schmidt with US Attorney General Eric Holder, who “defended the decision to kill bin Laden although he didn't pose an immediate threat to the Navy SEALs, telling a House panel on Tuesday that the assault had been ‘lawful, legitimate and appropriate in every way’.”

And more questions raised about US intelligence failure to prevent the 9/11 tragedy. There are allegations made that US intelligence was told not to keep tabs on Bin Laden pror to 9/11.

This failure by the intelligence community or the Bush Regime was brought to light by a whistleblower.
So we can imagine that Obama's main response will not be to investigate the people in charge at that time but rather to find and incarcerate and abuse whoever leaked this information.

Report: Intelligence Unit Told Before 9/11 to Stop Tracking Bin Laden by: Jeffrey Kaye, Truthout May 23, 2011

...a September 2008 Department of Defense (DoD) inspector general (IG) report, summarizing an investigation made in response to an accusation by a Joint Forces Intelligence Command (JFIC) whistleblower, which indicated that a senior JFIC commander had halted actions tracking Osama bin Laden prior to 9/11. JFIC is tasked with an intelligence mission in support of United States Joint Force Command (USJFCOM).

The report, titled "Review of Joint Forces Intelligence Command Response to 9/11 Commission," was declassified last year, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from Steven Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists.

The whistleblower, who the IG report identified as a former JFIC employee represented only by his codename "IRON MAN," claimed in letters written to both the DoD inspector general in May 2006 and, lacking any apparent action by the IG, to the Office of the National Director of Intelligence (ODNI) in October 2007, that JFIC had withheld operational information about al-Qaeda when queried in March 2002 about its activities by the DIA and higher command officials on behalf of the 9/11 Commission. The ODNI passed the complaint back to the IG, who then opened an investigation under the auspices of the deputy inspector general for intelligence.

In a November 27, 2007, letter from Edward Maguire at the ODNI to Gen. Claude Kicklighter at the DoD's IG office, Maquire identifies the whistleblower as "a DIA employee in the Defense HUMINT Management Office, Policy and Plans Division," who was "personally involved in JFIC intelligence activities related to al-Qa'ida and the 9/11 attacks and had first hand knowledge of circumstances surrounding that alleged false reporting to the Secretary of Defense and Congress."


GOP to Hungry Americans: You Can Starve By Steven D. Booman Tribune via Alternet.org ,May 24, 2011
Hunger and starvation is no excuse to welch off the Federal Government.

That's the Republican response, in any event, to how to deal with the budget deficit. While Republicans defend billions of dollars in subsidies for Big Oil and propose further tax cuts for the wealthy, they see food aid for hungry people here and around the world as a bad idea. Bug Guvmint should get out of the business of keeping people from starving. Now isn't that special:

WASHINGTON -- House Republicans are targeting domestic nutrition programs and international food assistance as they try to control spending in next year's budget.
In a bill released Monday, Republicans proposed cutting $832 million - 11 percent from this year's budget for the Women, Infants and Children program, which provides food for low-income mothers and children. The 2012 budget proposal for food and farm programs also includes a decrease of almost $457 million, or 23 percent, from international food assistance.

The legislation would cut $2 billion from food stamps, or about 2 percent of the feeding program's giant $67 billion budget.

Of course, Republicans claim that this is all wasted money and that cutting it would have "no effect" on the actual delivery of services for poor, underfed, malnourished people.

...Here's the GOP agenda in a nutshell: Anything Government does that helps people and saves lives should be eliminated. That is, Public Schools, Social Security, Medicare, Disaster Relief, etc., etc. etc., need to be eradicated and their ashes spread tossed into the sea, but anything that helps private business and rich people rip off the American taxpayers (fraud and abuse in government contracts, wasteful defense spending, tax cuts for the top 1% of Americans, et alia) should be promoted and increased until the Middle Class has a waist size roughly equivalent to that of a person in end stage anorexia.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Aali News (14)

Aali News (14) facebook Bahrian human rights Arab Spring Government shutting down Internet sites from Bahrain Face book, Blogger, Twitter etc.

Ongoing cyber-repression in Bahrain

Fars News Agency :: Britain Admits to Training Saudi Forces for Suppressing Bahrain Protests

Fars News Agency :: Britain Admits to Training Saudi Forces for Suppressing Bahrain Protests

Bahrain : Attack on Shia businesses by the government thugs

FYI: CIA - The World Factbook & BBC Facts on Bahrain

Saudi Arabia Scrambles to Limit Region’s Upheaval by Neil MacFarquhar New York Times , May 27, 2011

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia is flexing its financial and diplomatic might across the Middle East in a wide-ranging bid to contain the tide of change, shield other monarchies from popular discontent and avert the overthrow of any more leaders struggling to calm turbulent nations.

From Egypt, where the Saudis dispensed $4 billion in aid last week to shore up the ruling military council, to Yemen, where it is trying to ease out the president, to the kingdoms of Jordan and Morocco, which it has invited to join a union of Persian Gulf monarchies, Saudi Arabia is scrambling to forestall more radical change and block Iran’s influence.

The kingdom is aggressively emphasizing the relative stability of monarchies, part of an effort to avert any drastic shift from the authoritarian model, which would generate uncomfortable questions about the pace of political and social change at home.

Saudi Arabia’s proposal to include Jordan and Morocco in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council — which authorized the Saudis to send in troops to quell a largely Shiite Muslim rebellion in the Sunni Muslim monarchy of Bahrain — is intended to create a kind of “Club of Kings.” The idea is to signal to Shiite Iran that the Sunni Arab monarchs will defend their interests, analysts said.

...Saudi Arabia is taking each uprising in turn, without relying on a single blueprint. In Bahrain, it resorted to force, sending troops to crush a rebellion by Shiites because it feared the creation of a hostile government — a kind of Shiite Cuba — only about 20 miles from some of its main oil fields, one sympathetic to Iran, if not allied with it. It has deployed diplomacy in other uprisings, and remained on the fence in still others. It is also spending money, pledging $20 billion to help stabilize Bahrain and Oman, which has also faced protests.
Is the author MacFarquhar in this article saying that the notion of Bahrain becoming a "Shiite Cuba" is an exaggeration and shows how paranoid the Saudis really are.
Is the reporter on the other hand using this analogy of Cuba to get more Americans to sympathize with the Saudis .

The analogy doesn't hold because the protesters in Bahrain in the ealy days of the protest were not calling for ousting the royal family but rather wanted reforms which means stopping for instance treating all Shiites as second class citizens.

The New York times doesn't bather about such trivia or other trivial details such as the destruction of the Pearl Mounument or the destruction of Shiite Mosques and community centers or that some protesters are facing trumped up charges and are facing lengthy prison sentences and in some cases execution.

Nor does it bother to mention that though the majority of protesters were Shiites large numbers of Sunnis also took part believing Bahrain needs to reform and to give more help to those who are not part of the rich and or powerful Sunnis who support the Royal Family and its despotic regime. Nor does he mention that the Saudis have themselves been ruthless in cracking down ofn protesters and dissidend in the Kingdom itself and also treats its Shiite population as second class citizens.

Nor does he mention that Saudi Arabia's form of Sharia is not that different to that of Iran .
Women are not permitted to drive and are not encouraged to go into public without the permission of their male guardian or have a male relative as an escort.

Nor does he mention that Saudi Arabia like the Taliban and Iran has a powerful Religious Police Force who enforce Sharia as they see fit so if they wish they can beat up a woman who they believe is not dressed properly or is not accompanied by a male escort or was not given permission to leave their home.

The trials these protesters and members of the media in Bahrain are facing are basically soviet style show trials similar to the bogus Kangaroo Courts held by the US military or JAG or DOJ in dealing with the whistleblower Bradley Manning or those imprisoned at GITMO or other US run prisons in the US itself or over seas.

Somehow the American government and its quisling Media propagandists believe that anyone incarcerated by US personnel in a foreign country has no rights under American law or international law. So American personnel can capture, torture, or kill POWs or other persons of interestsand that 's A-OK.

As we have now witnessed in the case of Osama bin Laden the US government believes it had the right to assassinate bin laden even if he was unarmed and no threat to those who captured him.
So we see all the talk about human rights and freedoms and democracy by the Obama administration or any other federal administration is just a lot of talk -what matters is how an individual or nation acts.

We also saw this in the case of an under cover CIA agent who murdered a couple people in Pakistan is beyond the jurisdiction of the Pakistani government and as far as the US is concerned they don't really care whether what this individual did is murder or not.
Cases like this one occur more often than most Americans would want to know-for instance when an American who is in the armed services is in another country and commits rape or murder the United States insists that the country where the rape or murder occurred has no jurisdiction over an American soldier , sailor marine etc.

While Canada and other nations do trade with Cuba It is paranoid America which is one of the few countries which refuses to trade or have diplomatic relations with Cuba.

The author of this piece also erroneously suggest that Some Bahrainis are using violence against the regime. And if they were so what? In Libya the so called reformers are militarized and are being supported by the United States and its puppet organization NATO.
 So the New York Times as usual is defending the status quo that is the American /Obama/Bush overarching view of the Middle East and Africa based not upon human rights and freedoms or democracy but on what's in it for America.
America is an Empire as the British once had an empire and as the Brits merely regarded all those they conquered as inferior peoples so does the United States.
Take for instance America's war of Aggression against Iraq in which the American government , military and the American elites including much of the so called "Free Press" and the Media saw this as a necessary war and later were pissed off because the Iraqis were not greatful to America .
America did its best in Iraq to destroy its government and its Civil Society and encouraged sectarian violence and then turn around after murdering over a million Iraqis blaming the Iraqi people for the mess the Americans madein Iraq.

We are not supposed to say such things since even Obama gets hysterical as Bush or Cheney or Karl Rove when America 's occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan or its bombing of Libya or its defense of Israel or the Saudis is criticized.

Facts about Bahrain from CIA

CIA - The World Factbook

Central Intelligence Agency


The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an independent US Government agency responsible for providing national security intelligence to senior US policymakers.
To learn more, visit CIA Vision, Mission & Values.
and from the BBC

Bahrain country profile

Map of Bahrain

Bahrain - which name means "two seas" - was once viewed by the ancient Sumerians as an island paradise to which the wise and the brave were taken to enjoy eternal life.
It was one of the first states in the Gulf to discover oil and to build a refinery; as such, it benefited from oil wealth before most of its neighbours.


Bahrain never reached the levels of production enjoyed by Kuwait or Saudi Arabia and has been forced to diversify its economy.
Bahrainis rally in Manama over plans to raise gas prices
Politics: The Khalifah family has ruled since 1783; Bahrain is now a constitutional monarchy with an elected legislative assembly; majority Shiites are demanding more power from Sunni-led government. The government cracked down violently on pro-democracy protest in 2011
Economy: Bahrain is a banking and financial services centre; its small and reasonably prosperous economy is less dependent on oil than most Gulf states
International: Bahrain is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet. Bahraini-Qatari ties have been strained though they settled a territorial dispute in 2001
The country has been headed since 1783 by the Khalifah family, members of the Bani Utbah tribe, who expelled the Persians. From 1861, when a treaty was signed with Britain, until independence in 1971, Bahrain was virtually a British protectorate.
The king is the supreme authority and members of the Sunni Muslim ruling family hold the main political and military posts. There are long-running tensions between Bahrain's Sunnis and the Shi'ite Muslim majority. On occasion, these have spilled over into civil unrest.
In 2001 Bahrainis strongly backed proposals put by the emir - now the king - to turn the country into a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament and an independent judiciary.
Elections were duly held in 2002 for a 40-member parliament, the Council of Deputies. It was the first such poll in nearly 30 years. The new body included a dozen Shi'ite MPs.
The country has enjoyed increasing freedom of expression, and monitors say the human rights situation has improved. However, opposition groups and campaigners continue to press for political reforms, including greater powers for the elected assembly.
In February 2011 thousands of demonstrators gathered for several days in the centre of Manama, inspired by the popular uprisings which toppled the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt. Several people were killed in clashes with security forces, and the king responded to public anger by releasing some political prisoners.
Bahrain - a chain of around 30 islands - has been a haven for tourists from the region, who take advantage of its relaxed social environment. A close ally of the US, it is home to the American navy's Fifth Fleet.


  • Full name: Kingdom of Bahrain
  • Population: 807,000 (UN, 2010)
  • Capital: Manama
  • Area: 717 sq km (277 sq miles)
  • Major language: Arabic
  • Major religion: Islam
  • Life expectancy: 75 years (men), 78 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 Bahraini dinar = 1,000 fils
  • Main exports: Petroleum and petroleum products, aluminium
  • GNI per capita: US $25,420 (World Bank, 2009)
  • Internet domain: .bh
  • International dialling code: +973


King: Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah
Sheikh Hamad's title changed to king when Bahrain switched from being an emirate to a kingdom in February 2002.
Sheikh Hamad
Sheikh Hamad succeeded his father in 1999
He had been crown prince since 1964, when, on the death of his father Sheikh Isa in March 1999, he became emir.
Born in 1950, he was educated at a public school in Cambridge, England, and went on to study at Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot, England, and at the US Army Command and Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
In 1968, he founded and became commander-in-chief of the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF). He served as minister of defence from 1971 to 1988.
The government has over the years faced protests from the Shia majority, with demonstrators saying the ruling Sunni minority shuts them out of housing, healthcare and government jobs.
The country saw a wave of anti-government unrest in 2011 - inspired by the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. The government used violence to try end the protests, in which some 30 had been killed by mid-April. It also called in Saudi Arabian troops.
Central Intelligence Agency
The Work of a Nation. The Center of Intelligence

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