With poverty rampant...
  • Published in Ha'aretz 10.02.11

The Middle East does not need stability

This so-called stability encompasses millions of Arabs living under criminal regimes and evil tyrannies.

By Gideon Levy from Ha'aretz
 

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Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington D.C. provides an incisive analysis of this moment in the Egyptian Uprising, February 10, 2011. What is clear is that the popular forces have not been defeated. However, it is less clear to us at Tikkun than it seems to be to Bennis that the popular forces can move from protest to power, without any agreed upon leadership or shared vision of the society they wish to create. A first step would be to broaden their focus from overturning Mubarak to ending Egyptian poverty. They should be calling for a Global Marshall Plan from the US and other Western countries modeled on our GMP www.spiritualprogressives.org/GMP--a demand that might speak to the tens of  millions of Egyptians living on less than $2 a day.
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Rev. Richard Killmer, executive director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, of which Tikkun and the NSP are member organizations, challenges the substance of Donald Rumsfeld's self-defense in Rumsfeld's new book.
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Canisters of tear gas used to quell Egyptian uprising are made in the United States.
 
The Egyptian Tsunami of people power is moving so rapidly that the walls of the Old World Order, based on control and military force, cannot hold it in check. The hypocrisy of our selling lethal tear gas canisters to Israel and Egypt to be used to disperse the huge crowds demanding freedom from oppression is indicative of  the United States’s morally flawed foreign policy of supporting dictators and suppressing freedom throughout the Middle East--an analysis by Allen L Roland
on Sunday, February 6, 2011
 

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MJ Rosenberg's analysis of the way AIPAC has led the US into a coming disaster
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Tom Engelhardt's article gives us a clear picture of what may lie in front of us now that we have a President who will give the militarists whatever they want (like every other President in the past sixty years) and a House of Representatives that wants to cut everything but the military. 
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New START is a force-affirmation treaty, designed to clarify, but not change or disarm, U.S. and Russian nuclear arms.  There is no disarmament required by the treaty.  There is no indication that it is a "first step" toward "further" "disarmament." 

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Tikkun editorial comment: These documents show the level of deceit and crime that is a regular part of international diplomacy and US (and others') foreign policy.
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The insightful article below by Gareth Porter makes it clear that torture done by Iraqi soldiers reported in American military documents was licensed by General David Petraeus as part of an attempt to kill the Sunni insurgency against the illegal and immoral American occupation of Iraq (the occupation was a result of aggression barred by Article 2, section 4 of the United Nations Charter). By detaining, torturing and killing civilians, the United States succeeded in ethnically cleansing Baghdad and other areas, but created Sunni support for or acquiescence of Al Qaida in Iraq which has murdered many Shia civilians through bombing and would have been discredited among Iraqis much more easily but for the war crimes of the American occupation. The brief, pretty much one day presentation in the American press of the Wikileaks documents –– choked off by President Obama, revealing the corporate media, even with this Pentagon Papers-style scoop, as a kept or war press, not a free press –– suggested that ordinary American soldiers tolerate war crimes. But those soldiers often reported them. In addition, Wikileaks released a film of General Peter Pace and Donald Rumsfeld talking with the press. Pace said rightly that it was the legal obligation of soldiers to stop the crimes when they were happening. He alone in the hierarchy may have a case against being a war criminal. Rumsfeld said that soldiers did not have to stop the crimes, but merely report them up the hierarchy to superiors. Those superiors then buried them...

The Allies tried the Tokyo War Criminals –– notably generals –– for command responsibility and executed them. The law concerning command responsibility holds: an officer is responsible for crimes of war unless he or she takes steps to head them off. Where Pace did his duty, Donald Rumsfeld and David Petraeus are guilty of the crime of torture (Rumsfeld has long been guilty; Porter's story reveals that Petraeus consciously chose this means, recruiting the Wolf Brigade of Shia torturers and similar Kurdish "commandos" to stamp out the Sunni insurgency). In my post of John Mearsheimer's debate with Col. Peter Mansoor on Newshour here, I underlined the treaties, including the Convention against Torture signed by President Reagan, and the American laws, notably the Supremacy Clause, Article 6 section 2 of the Constitution, which make those treaties the highest laws of the land. But the point here, for which Porter's article provides evidence, is that Frago 242 (Fragmentary Order 242) –– which requires reporting incidents up the hierarchy, not stopping them –– is the smoking gun for elite war crimes.

Former President George W. Bush is currently engaged in a book tour. In his book (as well as in a previous comment in Toronto), W. said, "damn right!" he waterboarded Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. The torture memos, at one time commendably released by President Obama, make it clear that KSM was waterboarded 183 times in a month (the CIA torturers were so disturbed by what they were doing –– which accomplished nothing except producing "information" for wild goose chases –– that they begged Cheney to let them stop. Cheney's enforcer, David Addington, screamed at them over the phone to continue to waterboard the prisoner 6 times a day, asserting that they were "soft," not real men. George W. Bush is the leading war criminal. But the American elite, notably President Obama, has now made itself accomplices to torture. The reviews and op-eds in the New York Times, even Maureen Dowd's or the interview by Matt Lauer on CNN –– all the kept media –– duck these issues. Manfred Nowak, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture (the leading constitutional lawyer in Germany) called again for the arrest, under the Convention against Torture, of these former officials by the U.S. government. This is an American obligation....

No official of the Bush administation can now or for the foreseeable future travel abroad (though Bush, the decider, still tells interviewers, if they ask a serious question, to "read the book" –– even to hawk it, he cannot speak –– he can no longer attempt the English market or even go to the Canary Island off Spain, where he and Tony Blair met with the corrupt President Aznar, far from the Spanish people). For all America's power, the "dark side" that Cheney spoke of going to in 2001 –– the crimes of the elite and the state's violation of international law with regard to torture and aggression –– stand out.

Porter's article reveals the political secret of the military documents, and more importantly, the guilt of high officials for crimes of war.


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Former Obama advisor Chas. Freeman Jr. has a different approach than his boss to how best to protect America.
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