iraq occupation

A Million Dead Iraqis is Never Enough, One More for Good Measure – Tariq Aziz Sentenced to Hang

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Just how hypocritical and sick can the U.S. and their puppet Iraq government get?

Background summary of Aziz from MSNBC.

Report from the Guardian.

Can’t have Aziz continue talking, criticizing not only the Bush regimes but also Obama. “Obama is a hypocrite” he said in August in an interview with the Guardian. Did Barry order the hanging?

October 26, 2010

We are a proud nation, and we are not going to bow down in front of the new tyrants of the world. – Tariq Aziz

Tariq Aziz was Iraq’s Foreign Minister when the U.S.-led war began in 1991.

The inspectors will find that all the talk of Iraq stockpiling weapons of mass destruction is simply a lie, and put by Bush and Blair as a pretext for staging a war.
– Tariq Aziz, New York Times, October 22, 2002

The U.S.-led war against Iraq will soon be twenty years old. Those who remember the lead-up to the war in the summer of 1990 will certainly remember the face and words of Tariq Aziz, then foreign minister of Iraq. His was a voice of reason and intelligence that sought to avoid the war that led to the destruction of Iraq – and hundreds of thousands of lives. Today, just a few days after the release of hundreds of thousands of documents that detail a very long list of war crimes committed by U.S. forces and their army of Iraqi quislings, Tariq Aziz was sentenced to death. This is a very black day for Iraq and the Iraqi people. {more}


No coincidence – Assange and Gadahn’s new "leaks"

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“In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens you can bet it was planned that way”

Alleged quote by FDR

Adam is looking well for a most wanted man while Julian appears to be feeling the strain of his ‘job.’
If you’ve watched some news today you may have noticed that the Wikileaks story of the release of the Iraq war logs is being followed by the ‘news’ of Adam Pearlman Gadahn‘s latest video.
No coincidence there. The torture, corruption and mayhem of American policy and actions must be countered by the perception of the neverending threat of Muslim jihad. That makes everything we do OK or at least that’s what the pentagon and the compliant media hope we think.  

The UN has asked the US administration
to probe the involvement of American forces’ in human rights abuses, summary executions and war crimes in following the “largest classified military leak” detailing accounts of torture and killing of over 66,000 civilians.

Asking the fox to investigate the chicken house certainly won’t result in any military or government heads rolling but for those who think Wikileaks is working for the CIA or the Mossad, what is planned is that the Wikileaks Propaganda Helps Build A Case for Attacking Iran. With reports like “how Iran devised new suicide vest for al-Qaeda to use in Iraq,” war crimes by the U.S. and/or Israel against Iran can be looked at as justifiable.

The Mossad front SITE institute most likely had the the latest Gadahn video ‘in the can’ and ready for release as soon as Wikileaks gave the world their Iraq ‘leaks.’ 

The timing of the release of both the Wikileaks and SITE ‘reports’ is not coincidental but to be expected. In the intelligence services psyops against  humanity, game planning is essential. Most may not see it but the game is transparent. More folks are realizing that everyday and that’s the edge we have. Now we just have to act on it.

The more they censor, the more they expose themselves

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Youtube is notorious for censoring things that certain segments of our society want to remain hidden. What was all of that google talk about censorship in China?

Original title of this, at least twice censored, video was “Dogs surrounded the lion.” 

American soldiers kill an unarmed man in Iraq.

Here’s another source.

 The Lion of Babylon & american dogs


I’ve tried to upload a copy of the video back on youtube at kennyssideshow1’s channel with a title change but it seems to be stuck in ‘processing, please wait’ limbo.

Update: 2nd try worked … at least for now.

Mercenaries and Money

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A casual conversation with the wife of a mercenary … err … private security contractor … working for Triple Canopy in Iraq spurred me to refresh my memory on the role of contractors in the illegal but vastly profitable occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Among the tidbits from the ‘off the record’ talk with the very nice lady was that the $750 a day pay was “more than he could make in a week here in the states.” As a ten year military veteran and a previous overseas contractor he was inundated with calls of mercenary employment before deciding on TC because supposedly they were interested in overcoming the bad rep of other contractors such as Blackwater who they replaced in Iraq. Plus the pay was very good.

Even with the pay rate TC is having a hard time getting bodies to fill the slots as mandated in their contract. With a penalty for every day without the required personnel, TC has had to resort to hiring ex-Blackwater employees. She said this is something they really didn’t want to do and wants to purge them. Her description of the Blackwater people was “arrogant assholes who think they are invincible.”

She also said that TC once had a requirement of 7 years in the military but has dropped that to 4 years because of a lack of interest from qualified prospects. It seems as if not everyone is jumping at the chance to go back into a dangerous situation where as she stated “the security forces are still getting shot at.” Even making one to two hundred thousand a year is still taking a big chance and not for everyone. Trips back home for R & R are fairly frequent but unlike a previous assignment in Jerusalem where wives could stay with their husbands, Iraq is no  place for them.

On a small positive note, the American contractors are bringing most of their money back home and spending it in the local economy. A slight ‘trickle down’ effect. A mercenary’s money spends the same as anyone else’s.


Triple Canopy may say they are trying to improve the security contractors image but a mercenary is not exactly your average joe and weeding out those with psycho tendencies is not guaranteed.

Steve Fainaru reported in 2007 about some Triple Canopy thugs …

On the afternoon of July 8, 2006, four private security guards rolled out of Baghdad’s Green Zone in an armored SUV. The team leader, Jacob C. Washbourne, rode in the front passenger seat. He seemed in a good mood. His vacation started the next day.

“I want to kill somebody today,” Washbourne said, according to the three other men in the vehicle, who later recalled it as an offhand remark. Before the day was over, however, the guards had been involved in three shooting incidents. In one, Washbourne allegedly fired into the windshield of a taxi for amusement, according to interviews and statements from the three other guards.{more}

A year ago Jeremy Scahill talked to Democracy Now about Triple Canopy, the New Lead US Mercenary Force in Iraq and Israel

The latest news we have is that the Obama’s administration has decided on its mercenary firm of choice. Clearly, Obama did not want to continue at least a public relationship with Blackwater.
Obama picked this firm Triple Canopy, which interestingly was founded in Chicago, in the home state of Barack Obama. And then in 2005, they changed their location to Herndon, Virginia, so that they’d be closer to the epicenter of US war contracting, though on the Israeli contract they list their Lincolnshire, Illinois address as their primary address for the contract.

 It was founded by former Special Forces operatives from the US Army. They were minor contributors to the Bush/Cheney campaign, but not real big political players. They clearly started the company as a result of the US invasion in Iraq. They started it in 2003. By 2004, they got one of the primary contracts in Iraq.

An interesting fact about Triple Canopy is that it was one of the big three US companies. Triple Canopy, DynCorp, and Blackwater shared this mother contract. Blackwater had the biggest share of it, to guard US officials in the Baghdad area. DynCorp had the north of Iraq. Triple Canopy had the south of Iraq.

Triple Canopy also, though, did a very lucrative business servicing other war contractors like KBR, and Triple Canopy was also known for being the company that brought in the largest number of so-called third country nationals, non-Iraqis, non-Americans. They hired, for instance, former Salvadoran commandos who were veterans of the bloody counterinsurgency war in El Salvador that took the lives of 75,000 Salvadorans, minimum. Chileans—they used the same recruiter, Jose Miguel Pizarro Ovalle, that Blackwater used when they hired Chileans. This was a former Pinochet military officer.

And this company has been around, you know, for five or six years. The Obama administration has hired them in Iraq, and many of the Blackwater guys are believed to be jumping over to Triple Canopy to continue working on in Iraq.

The news that I’m breaking on Triple Canopy, though, is that I obtained federal contracts that were signed in February and March by the Obama administration with Triple Canopy to act as a private paramilitary force operating out of Jerusalem. And this is also part of a very secretive State Department program called the Worldwide Personal Protective Service, which was started under the Clinton administration as a privatized wing of the State Department’s Diplomatic Security division. Triple Canopy was paid $5 million in February, March by the Obama administration to provide, quote, “security services” in Israel. {more}


When looking for fraud in war contracting, Halliburton and its spin off KBR always are at the forefront. This time they use other mercenary outfits including Triple Canopy while thumbing their noses at the rule of law.

The U.S. Justice Department says Kellogg, Brown and Root, one of the military’s largest contractors, passed the cost of “unauthorized, private armed security in Iraq” to taxpayers. Uncle Sam says KBR, a former division of Haliburton, violated its 2001 contract, which “absolutely prohibited” the company and its subcontractors from possessing or using private weapons.

KBR awarded subcontracts to three private security companies to provide armed, personal security details for its executives, and to 30 subcontractors that also hired private security, according to the federal complaint.

KBR hired Triple Canopy, Omega Risk Solutions and Al Dhahir to provide security for executives in Iraq, but KBT should have relied on military protection, the complaint states.

KBR billed the “dominant portion of the costs attributable to those services to the Army indirectly through an overhead account,” according to the complaint.

The Justice Department says KBR awarded contracts to more than 30 other companies that used their own private security. {more}


The use of contractors in the wars for the US empire and Israel has led to a corporate profit making mindset that  never wants these conflicts to end. Cynics might even think that some of the security services in Iraq  could be behind the recent surge of bombings in Baghdad. Who really knows how far the hired hand mercenary groups will go to maintain their never ending contracts in the ‘long wars?’ Perhaps even a big bonus for a job well done?

From Source Watch

Private military contractors are the second largest force in Iraq with over twenty thousand active personnel in the country. The industry is growing with some estimating annual contracts in the $10-$20 billion range and others citing numbers as high as $100 billion. Though a worldwide phenomena, the United States and Great Britain account for over 70% of the world’s market for their services.

The single largest issue introduced by the evolution of military services by the private sector is the degree to which corporations are now transcending the power of governments, rising as an influential variable within international and regional diplomacy, and redefining sovereignty in the 21st century. {more}

CBS reports …

Many observers reacted with surprise at reports that forthcoming “surge” in Afghanistan will include up to 56,000 private contractors. They should not have.

Contractors have become an enduring feature of modern American conflicts, and the United States cannot now engage in hostilities or in reconstruction and stabilization operations without them. At their peak, there were more contractors on the ground in Iraq than American troops in uniform and there are already more contractors today in Afghanistan than there are U.S. troops on the ground. However, the increased reliance on contractors has exposed a number of problems, including insufficient oversight, inadequate integration into operational planning, and ambiguous legal status.

In Iraq today, third country nationals comprise the largest share of U.S. contractor personnel. {more}

Our tax/debt dollars for war can’t even use strictly American contractors. No, we have to use many non tax paying foreign based companies and cheap foreign labor. Of course, war is a racket.

Of the top 100 private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, nearly a third of the companies and joint ventures on the Top 100 are based outside the United States. These foreign contractors, along with the $20 billion in contracts awarded to the unidentified companies, account for about 45 percent of all funds obligated to the Top 100.  {more}

Controversial use of guns-for-hire surges in Afghanistan

The guns-for-hire prowl the Afghanistan highways, heavily armed, sometimes wearing ski-masks and looking like something out of a Road Warrior movie.

Some of them are supplied by local warlords, others work for large U.S. and British corporations — and they are critical to western military operations in the war-torn country.

As the U.S. focuses its attention on Afghanistan, the number of private security personnel is soaring. Afghanistan, which had been a moderate source of employment for security contractors, has become the hot market for guns for hire.

“In politics, they say follow the money,” said Peter Singer, a Brookings Institution defence analyst and author of Corporate Warriors, a book about privatized warfare. “Well, this is what is happening in Afghanistan, but with private security.”

In January, a U.S. Congressional study noted the number of armed security contractors working for the Pentagon in Afghanistan jumped from a little more than 3,180 to just over 10,700 in the period from December 2008 to September 2009.

It’s estimated there are 25,000 registered security contractors in Afghanistan. Most of the contractor army is made up of Afghan nationals employed by international companies or are working for Afghan firms or power brokers.

The increase in private security contractors is part of a surge in the total number of contractors, including those who do construction, cook meals, or perform other jobs for the military, with more than 100,000 in Afghanistan.

As if that wasn’t enough, the U.S. government is planning a civilian surge in Afghanistan, and will soon flood the country with specialists for significant projects in an attempt to turn around the Afghan reconstruction effort. There is talk about 50,000 contractors being involved. These people and their projects will all need security, say aid workers in Afghanistan. {more}

Ripley’s Believe It or Not really has nothing to compare with the insanity of the fraud of war that we have allowed our government to enter into and can’t seem to find the will of the people to end it.

Tom Engelhardt explains …

With our Afghan and Iraq wars on my mind, I’ve been wondering whether Ripley’s moment hasn’t returned.  Here, for instance, are some figures offered in a Washington Post piece by Lieutenant General James H. Pillsbury, deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, who is deeply involved in the “drawdown of the logistics operation in Iraq”:  “There are… more than 341 facilities; 263,000 soldiers, Defense Department civilians and contractor employees; 83,000 containers; 42,000 vehicles; 3 million equipment items; and roughly $54 billion in assets that will ultimately be removed from Iraq.”

Those sorts of figures define the U.S. military in the Bush era — and now Obama’s — as the most materiel-profligate war-making machine ever.  Where armies once had baggage trains and camp followers, our camp followers now help plant our military in foreign soil, build its housing and defenses, and then supply it with vast quantities of food, water, fuel, and god knows what else.  In this way, our troops carry not just packs on their backs, but a total, transplantable society right down to the PXs, massage parlors, food courts, and miniature golf courses.

Believe it or not, according to a recent report by the Pentagon inspector general, private contractor KBR, holding a $38 billion contract to provide the U.S. military with “a range of logistic services,” has cost Washington $21 million in “waste” on truck maintenance alone by billing for 12 hours of work when, on average, its employees were actually putting in 1.3 hours.

Believe it or not, the State Department has paid another private contractor, Triple Canopy, $438 million since mid-2005 simply to guard the massive, 104-acre U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the largest on the planet.  That’s more than half the price tag to build the embassy, the running of which is expected to cost an estimated $1.8 billion dollars in 2010.  Triple Canopy now has 1,800 employees dedicated to embassy protection in the Iraqi capital, mainly Ugandan and Peruvian security guards.  At $736 million to build, the embassy itself is a numbers wonder (and has only recently had its sizeable playing field astroturfed – “the first artificial turf sports field in Iraq” — also assumedly at taxpayer expense).  Fans of Ripley-esque diplomatic gigantism should have no fears about the future either: the U.S. is now planning to build another “mother ship” of similar size and cost in Islamabad, Pakistan. {much more}

There’s no viable anti-war movement. We have a criminal government that think they and their corporate partners can continue this madness forever, even expanding it to other places. The controlled media rarely discusses the true costs of war and manipulates the population to believe that war mongering is normal and we shouldn’t question the ‘war on terror’ and what precipitated it … 9/11.

No country can survive the lies of permanent war. Maybe that’s the plan. But in the meantime a few are profiteering and the illusion of big money is a temptation that some will always follow.

Just ask your local mercenary.

Obama promises VFW more blood

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The warmonger tour stops in Phoenix.
Open carry in Phoenix outside Obama’s speech to the VFW conference.
Patriot or provocateur?
Yep, it was stagedmore & more

Same old tune…Obama Blaming 9/11 on Al-Qaeda Again

Same lies as Bush and Cheney. Some things never change.

Obama pledges intensified war in Afghanistan and Pakistan

By Tom Eley at wsws

In a speech delivered Monday to the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in Arizona, President Barack Obama promised to intensify the US military engagement in Afghanistan and Pakistan

The speech’s central purpose was to prepare public opinion for an escalation and prolongation of the US war in Afghanistan and its further expansion into neighboring Pakistan.

The president warned that the war in Afghanistan would be long and bloody, predicting “more difficult days ahead.”

“The insurgency in Afghanistan didn’t just happen overnight,” Obama said. “And we won’t defeat it overnight. This will not be quick. This will not be easy.”

Obama said that diminution of the conflict in Iraq would allow the US “to refocus on the war against Al Qaida and its extremist allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” In other words, there will be no lessening of US military violence. Whatever can be freed up from Iraq will simply be transferred to the “Af-Pak” theater.

“That’s why I announced a new, comprehensive strategy in March, a strategy that recognizes that Al Qaida and its allies had moved their base from the remote tribal areas—to the remote tribal areas of Pakistan,” Obama continued. This casual declaration demonstrates Obama’s indifference toward international law and the US constitution. Pakistan is technically a sovereign state, and no formal declaration of war has ever been made against it.

To defend the intensification of the war in Afghanistan, Obama used fear-mongering language that could just as easily have been uttered by his predecessor, George W. Bush. “[W]e must never forget,” Obama declared, “This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which Al Qaida would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war worth fighting; this is a—this is fundamental to the defense of our people.”

The 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US—for which no credible official explanation has ever been given—provided the pretext for the US invasion of Afghanistan, which corresponded to longstanding US geo-strategic aims that held Afghanistan as critical for its proximity to essential oil and gas resources and for its key central position in the Eurasian land mass.

The choice of the VFW convention to signal an escalation of the Afghanistan war provided another echo of the Bush administration. Using much the same rhetoric, Vice President Dick Cheney used the same venue to deliver a speech in August 2002 that inaugurated the campaign that led to the invasion of Iraq, also under false pretexts, in March 2003.

Obama’s campaign to intensify the US military intervention in Central Asia comes under conditions in which the populations in the US, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are increasingly opposed to the war.

A recent poll by CNN/Opinion Research Corp of the US populations found that 54 percent of respondents are now opposed to the war in Afghanistan, with only 41 percent in favor, a dramatic reversal from May when 50 percent expressed support for the war. In Pakistan, a new Pew Global Attitudes survey found that about two thirds of the population, 64 per cent, view the US as “an enemy,” with only 9 percent describing it as a “partner.” And in Afghanistan, it is anticipated that national elections to be held Thursday will lack credibility due to fraud and voter abstentionism. There is a widespread understanding in the population that the election results will not end the US occupation.

In early October the war in Afghanistan will have entered its ninth year, making it the second-longest continuous military action in US history after the Vietnam War. At least 1,316 coalition soldiers have been killed, but the pace of the violence has steadily quickened, with July the bloodiest month for coalition forces since the war began. Beginning in 2005, each new year has outstripped the last as the war’s deadliest, with 2008 setting a record of 294 coalition deaths. The current year will far surpass that total, with 271 deaths having already taken place.

On Sunday and Monday, three British and two US soldiers, as well as an American civilian, died in gun battles and bombings in Afghanistan.

The war has killed tens of thousands in Afghanistan and the border regions of Pakistan, although no accurate count is available. The vast majority of these have been innocent civilians, with a far larger proportion than in Iraq slain in US aerial bombardments or through attacks from the unmanned Predator drones that terrorize the region’s villages on a daily basis.

As for Iraq, Obama asserted he would “remove all our troops from Iraq by the end of 2011,” a promise that has already been nullified by both the US military command and the Iraqi regime.

After six years and four months of war, there remain 130,000 American soldiers in Iraq. In the interim, more than one million Iraqis have been killed as a result of the invasion, according to the most credible estimate. About a fifth of the population, nearly five million people, have been displaced—two million as refugees in neighboring countries. Iraq has been destroyed as a functioning society; unemployment is widespread and basic social services, including education, transportation, water, sewerage, and electricity, are decimated. Oil production has scarcely reached pre-invasion levels.

Over 4,331 US soldiers have been killed in the conflict, and over 31,100 have been wounded. The cost of the Iraq war will surpass the US war in Vietnam, adjusted for inflation, by the year’s end, when it will reach nearly $700 billion.

Nonetheless, politicians of both parties have joined hands with the media to celebrate the supposed success of the Bush administration’s “surge” in Iraq, whose strategy combined overwhelming violence, assassinations, bribery, and the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad and other areas that previously contained mixed Shiite and Sunni populations.

This barbaric policy has temporarily diminished attacks on US soldiers. But hundreds of Iraqis continue to die every month through bombings and assassinations, and the nation remains a tinderbox, with tense ethnic, religious, and regional tensions set to reignite.

Further undermining Obama’s claim of an imminent withdrawal, the top US commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, on Monday said that he would request more US forces be stationed in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region, where ethnic violence among Arabs and Kurds has intensified in recent weeks.

Obama’s claims that he intends to “wind down” the military involvement in Iraq notwithstanding, it is an article of faith in Washington as well as Baghdad that a large-scale military presence must and will remain. The US has announced its real intentions through the construction of a series of “enduring” military bases and what will be the largest US embassy in the world in Baghdad’s Green Zone. There is agreement within the US ruling elite that the US must dominate Iraq and its oil wealth, the world’s second largest proven reserves.

Yet there is a growing consensus in the ruling class that Afghanistan is even more crucial to long-term US interests. This perspective last year coalesced behind the Obama campaign, and his ultimate ascension to the presidency represented, in no small measure, its triumph.

In his speech to the VFW, the president joined his bellicose statements on Afghanistan and Pakistan with a promise to maintain increased military spending and revamp the US military.

Obama boasted that his administration intends to increase the cost, size, and global superiority of the military, in spite of the economic crisis. “We need to keep our military the best trained, the best led, the best equipped fighting force in the world,” Obama said. “And that’s why, even with our current economic challenges, my budget increases defense spending …why we’ve increased the size of the Army and the Marines Corps two years ahead of schedule and have approved another temporary increase in the Army.”

Obama offered a vision of a new military that could respond to multiple conflicts simultaneously, suggesting the armed forces have “yet to fully adapt to the post-Cold War world, with doctrine and weapons better suited to fight the Soviets on the plains of Europe than insurgents in the rugged terrain of Afghanistan.”

This would entail, the president said, “an Army that’s more mobile and expeditionary and missile defenses that protect our troops in the field; a Navy that not only projects power across the oceans, but operates nimbly in shallow, coastal waters; an Air Force that dominates the airspace with next-generation aircraft, both manned and unmanned; [and] a Marine Corps that can move ashore more rapidly in more places.”***

Obama’s proposals for a lighter and more high-tech army ready to deploy quickly all over the world are entirely in line with the views of Bush administration holdover Defense Secretary Gates, and, for that matter, his predecessor Donald Rumsfeld. {source -wsws}

***Obama left out ‘a military deployed on U.S. soil that will crush you if you don’t obey.’

Don’t think that can happen? We’ll see.

Obama in Cairo…Same rhetoric, same lies…

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Obama in Cairo June 4, 2009…pointing the finger.

As usual, Obama’s speech this morning in Cairo had part consoling words and part lies. Mixing the two is an age old ploy to confuse the issues and perpetuate myths that do nothing to end the wars and occupations.

Excerpts from his speech below in italics:

The Al Qaeda and 9/11 ‘arabs did it’ myth is the most blatant.

Because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women, and children. And it is my first duty as President to protect the American people.

The situation in Afghanistan demonstrates America’s goals, and our need to work together. Over seven years ago, the United States pursued Al Qaeda and the Taliban with broad international support. We did not go by choice, we went because of necessity. I am aware that some question or justify the events of 9/11. But let us be clear: Al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 people on that day. The victims were innocent men, women and children from America and many other nations who had done nothing to harm anybody. And yet Al Qaeda chose to ruthlessly murder these people, claimed credit for the attack, and even now states their determination to kill on a massive scale. They have affiliates in many countries and are trying to expand their reach. These are not opinions to be debated; these are facts to be dealt with.

Make no mistake: we do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan. We seek no military bases there. It is agonizing for America to lose our young men and women. It is costly and politically difficult to continue this conflict. We would gladly bring every single one of our troops home if we could be confident that there were not violent extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan determined to kill as many Americans as they possibly can. But that is not yet the case.

Continuing on, Obama bows to his masters in praising Israel as a “friend” and the distortion of the holocaust and jews as forever victims. That 6 million number must always be in the picture.

The second major source of tension that we need to discuss is the situation between Israelis, Palestinians and the Arab world.

America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.

Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed – more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful. Threatening Israel with destruction – or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews – is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve.

Obama throws the Palestinians a bone. The two state solution is the only option with Obama. Will that ever work?

On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people – Muslims and Christians – have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than sixty years they have endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.

For decades, there has been a stalemate: two peoples with legitimate aspirations, each with a painful history that makes compromise elusive. It is easy to point fingers – for Palestinians to point to the displacement brought by Israel’s founding, and for Israelis to point to the constant hostility and attacks throughout its history from within its borders as well as beyond. But if we see this conflict only from one side or the other, then we will be blind to the truth: the only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security.

That is in Israel’s interest, Palestine’s interest, America’s interest, and the world’s interest. That is why I intend to personally pursue this outcome with all the patience that the task requires. The obligations that the parties have agreed to under the Road Map are clear. For peace to come, it is time for them – and all of us – to live up to our responsibilities.

Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America’s founding. This same story can be told by people from South Africa to South Asia; from Eastern Europe to Indonesia. It’s a story with a simple truth: that violence is a dead end. It is a sign of neither courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleeping children, or to blow up old women on a bus. That is not how moral authority is claimed; that is how it is surrendered.

Now is the time for Palestinians to focus on what they can build. The Palestinian Authority must develop its capacity to govern, with institutions that serve the needs of its people. Hamas does have support among some Palestinians, but they also have responsibilities. To play a role in fulfilling Palestinian aspirations, and to unify the Palestinian people, Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, and recognize Israel’s right to exist.

At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel’s right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine’s. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.

Israel must also live up to its obligations to ensure that Palestinians can live, and work, and develop their society. And just as it devastates Palestinian families, the continuing humanitarian crisis in Gaza does not serve Israel’s security; neither does the continuing lack of opportunity in the West Bank. Progress in the daily lives of the Palestinian people must be part of a road to peace, and Israel must take concrete steps to enable such progress.

The Iran nuclear program is once again a topic. Nuclear weapons and the Non-Proliferation Treaty are talked about in the context of Iran but absent is any mention of Israel and their nuclear stranglehold over the middle east.

The third source of tension is our shared interest in the rights and responsibilities of nations on nuclear weapons.

This issue has been a source of tension between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. For many years, Iran has defined itself in part by its opposition to my country, and there is indeed a tumultuous history between us. In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically-elected Iranian government. Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians. This history is well known. Rather than remain trapped in the past, I have made it clear to Iran’s leaders and people that my country is prepared to move forward. The question, now, is not what Iran is against, but rather what future it wants to build.

It will be hard to overcome decades of mistrust, but we will proceed with courage, rectitude and resolve. There will be many issues to discuss between our two countries, and we are willing to move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect. But it is clear to all concerned that when it comes to nuclear weapons, we have reached a decisive point. This is not simply about America’s interests. It is about preventing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that could lead this region and the world down a hugely dangerous path.

I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons. That is why I strongly reaffirmed America’s commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons.

And any nation – including Iran – should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That commitment is at the core of the Treaty, and it must be kept for all who fully abide by it. And I am hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal.

On democracy…Obama needs to start at home before he can speak to the world. Rule of law, transparency and government that doesn’t steal from the people are fine words but are not backed up here in our own country. The U.S. government stealing is the rule and not the exception. Freedom of speech is diminishing and rule of law doesn’t extend to war criminals.

I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years, and much of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq. So let me be clear: no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other.

But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere

Once again Obama speaks some fine words but will he back them up or bow to special interests, Israel foremost, and corporations that seek to continue their profiteering at the expense of millions of lives.

The issues that I have described will not be easy to address. But we have a responsibility to join together on behalf of the world we seek – a world where extremists no longer threaten our people, and American troops have come home; a world where Israelis and Palestinians are each secure in a state of their own, and nuclear energy is used for peaceful purposes; a world where governments serve their citizens, and the rights of all God’s children are respected. Those are mutual interests. That is the world we seek. But we can only achieve it together.

The entire transcript is here.

video here.

After his speech, Obama visited the pyramids and Sphinx.

Perhaps he could reflect on the fact that no matter how great an empire and its accomplishments are…..without truth, honesty, freedom and rights for all people, the sands of time will wear away at the monuments of empire and leave only vague memories of what once was.


also see: Obama’s Speech in Cairo {from aangirfan}

Killing Your Own in an Insane War

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Tragic but not unexpected. From a government that conspired and carried out with help from the Mossad and others the killing of over 3,000 Americans on 9/11 to jump the planned wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, insanity is the norm. The lies of war and the Pentagon’s immoral use of troops take its toll.

U.S. Soldier in Iraq Kills 5 Comrades at Stress Clinic

Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, May 12, 2009

BAGHDAD, May 11 — An American soldier opened fire on comrades Monday afternoon inside a combat stress clinic at a large U.S. military base in Baghdad, killing five and wounding three in an attack that prompted officials to promise to try to ease the strain on troops deployed to war zones.

The gunman was taken into custody shortly after the 2 p.m. shooting at Camp Liberty, part of a sprawling military installation near Baghdad International Airport, U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Brian Tribus said.

The military did not identify the gunman or shed light on what his motive might have been. Tribus said the gunman’s name will be disclosed when and if charges are filed.

The shooting, among the deadliest attacks on American troops in Iraq in recent months, comes as U.S. commanders are grappling with the rising rate at which service members are committing suicide. Military leaders have attributed the increase to the stress of multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Monday’s attack was the deadliest incident involving a soldier opening fire on comrades since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The rampage shook up soldiers at Victory Base Compound, which includes Camp Liberty, in large part because most feel relatively safe at the heavily guarded base.

“A lot of soldiers are wondering why,” said a senior military official in Baghdad, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “We will be asking as leaders: What could we have done? How could we have protected the soldiers?” {more}

US military deaths in Iraq war at 4,294

Mentally Unfit, Still Fighting

Gaps In Mental Health Screenings Still Haunt Military

Although Vietnam was different, draftees mostly instead of volunteers, it too was a war of lies for profiteering. Instead of random killings of other soldiers, many were premeditated.
The original caption on this photo read, “These battle-weary troops from the 1st Air Cav had just staged a ‘combat refusal’ at the PACE firebase. Troops would from time to time, kill their own officers. These soldiers were not involved in a fragging, but they were angry that they couldn’t wear peace symbols on their uniforms. Photo:

“Fragging” and “Combat Refusals” in Vietnam

The question of crimes such as “fragging”, “combat refusals”, desertion and AWOL within the Vietnam conflict is one which brings emotions to the fore. Many veterans deny that “fragging” or “combat refusals” occured, whilst others feel desertion and AWOL was merely a means of resisting what was felt to be a unjust and illegal conflict.

One partial reason for such sharp differences in the perceptions of veterans: support for the war back home, and the perceived prospects for victory, declined sharply during the seven years of heavy American involvement in Vietnam.

Indeed, military leaders themselves recognized a crisis among Vietnam soldiers in the war’s last years. In an article called “The Collapse of the Armed Forces” published in the Armed Forces Journal in June, 1971, Colonel Robert Heinl declared that the army in Vietnam was “dispirited where not near mutinous.”

Combat Refusal. Where soldiers refused to obey orders this became known as a “combat refusal”. In a report for Pacifica Radio, journalist Richard Boyle went to the base to interview a dozen “grunts” from the First Cavalry Division. The GI’s had been ordered on a nighttime combat mission the previous night. Six of the men had refused to go and several others had objected to the order. This is also referred to in “NAM – The Story of the Vietnam War (Issue 8)” where a photograph can also be found and captioned “These battle-weary troops from the 1st Air Cav had just staged a “combat refusal” at the PACE firebase.

“They’ll have to court-martial the whole company,” one soldier told Boyle. “I say right away they can start typing up my court-martial.”

The GI’s told Boyle they objected not only to what they saw as a suicidal mission but to the war effort itself. Their commanding officer wouldn’t let them wear t-shirts with peace symbols, they complained. “He calls us hypocrites if we wear a peace sign,” one GI said. “[As if] we wanted to come over here and fight. Like we can’t believe in peace, man, because we’re carrying [an M-16] out there.” Rough figures for “combat refusals” are indicated in column b. below.

Another soldier piped in: “I always did believe in protecting my own country, if it came down to that. But I’m over here fighting a war for a cause that means nothing to me.” Historians say so-called “combat refusals” became increasingly common in Vietnam after 1969. Soldiers also expressed their opposition to the war in underground newspapers and coffee-house rap sessions. Some wore black armbands in the field. Some went further.

Fragging. When one American killed another American, usually a superior officer or an NCO, the term “fragging” came into use. Although the term simply meant that a fragmentation grenade was used in the murder, it later became an all encompassing term for such an action. It is known that “fraggings” did occur during Vietnam, but the precise number is uncertain.

“During the years of 1969 down to 1973, we have the rise of fragging – that is, shooting or hand-grenading your NCO or your officer who orders you out into the field,” says historian Terry Anderson of Texas A & M University. “The US Army itself does not know exactly how many…officers were murdered. But they know at least 600 were murdered, and then they have another 1400 that died mysteriously. Consequently by early 1970, the army [was] at war not with the enemy but with itself.” {soure}.round( Math.random()*10000000000 ) ); document.write(‘‘) ; // –> <!–

News Alert

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay Indicted