Archive for the 'Defense' Category

Graham: murdering Iranians will help them to take control of their own government.

This man, who is elected by the people who think he is a wise man, able to govern our nation and represent the people of South Carolina, wants to murder thousands of people:

“My view of military force would be not to just neutralize their nuclear program, which are probably dispersed and hardened, but to sink their navy, destroy their air force and deliver a decisive blow to the Revolutionary Guard.

“In other words, neuter that regime,” added Graham, who spoke at the Halifax International Security Forum.

But wait, he is doing this for the Iranian people:

Graham said he hoped that would help Iranians have a chance to take back their government.

Of course, after you kill their husbands, brothers and sons, they will be united against their own government instead of the government that just murdered their loved ones. No wonder the people of South Carolina elected you Mr. Graham. Such wisdom, unfortunately, passes for the wisdom of our day in this country.

http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=194304

The Israeli massacre continues.

I am utterly horrified by the horrific act of violence being played out currently by Israel’s government upon the people of Gaza.  Israel claims that they are doing this to bring about peace and quiet for the inhabitants of southern Israel.  There is no chance that this action is going to reach the desired result.  The Palestinian people will surely not be beaten into submission.

There are apparently now 350 people killed and 1500 injured as bombing is occurring in the middle of residential neighborhoods.  Keep in mind, this is occuring in a land which has been deprived of medical supplies, food and energy due mainly to the Israeli closure of border crossings.  The 9 hospitals of Gaza are overwhelmed and the injured are being treated in doctors homes among other places.  Little children are being killed and injured.

The world is, for the most part, either deploring or condemning Israel’s actions with variable degrees of harsh language for Hamas as well.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,473664,00.html

The US, Germany, UK and Australia at least are laying the entire blame for the deaths of Gazans upon Hamas’s shoulders.  It is so disconnected from reality to hear Condi Rice say that Hamas is entirely to blame. 

Many news organizations can’t help but to report on the fact that oil prices are going up because of the violence in Palestine.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idUKTRE4BS5A720081229

If you are at all opposed to Israel’s murders you can do something good by signing the letter available at JustForeignPolicy:

http://capwiz.com/justforeignpolicy/issues/alert/?alertid=12361911

Condi Rice is keeping Obama apprised of the Gaza situation and Obama is keeping completely silent on the situation.  The Bush administration refuses to call for an immediate cessation of violence, somewhat reminiscent of the US policy toward Israel’s attack on Southern Lebanon 2 years ago.

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/12/29/1726174.aspx

In the meantime, 7000 Iranian students have signed up to fight against Israel to protect Gaza.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-12/30/content_10577839.htm

In Iraq, the brutal Israeli actions are uniting Sunni and Shia in condemnation.  Surely Iraqi know something of what Gazans are experiencing since they received similar treatment from the US.

http://baghdadbureau.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/29/iraqis-demand-a-response-to-attacks-in-gaza/

Horrible eye-witness accounts pour in from Gaza:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/inside-gaza-the-hospital-morgues-were-already-full-the-dead-were-piled-on-top-of-each-other-outside-1213839.html

And the US, of course, has used its’ veto power to stop any meaningful statements from coming out of the UN:

http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=79727&sectionid=351020202

Obama wants the strongest military in the world… the fool.

President-Elect Obama declared today:

“To ensure prosperity here at home and peace abroad, we all share the belief we have to maintain the strongest military on the planet.”

Ah, what foolish words.  He also said that he is:

“absolutely committed to eliminating the threat of terrorism”.

Which is bizzare other-world language for saying that we are going be at war forever since we are going to battle with a concept where every battle fought feeds our so-called ‘enemies’ with a thousand new recruits.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/3540167/Barack-Obama-says-US-will-maintain-strongest-military-on-planet-as-Clinton-confirmed-top-diplomat.html

Why is it so hard to find a man of peace to lead our nation?  Wise men have spoken on our foolish endeavors to be stronger than anyone else in the world.  President Spencer W. Kimball lamented the resources we use on building up our military strength, lamenting the:

“vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel ships, planes, missiles, fortifications and depend on them for protection and deliverance.”

Brigham Young declared:

“A large share of the ingenuity of the world is taxed to invent weapons of war. What a set of fools!”

In another place he said:

“Much of the skill, ingenuity, and ability of the Christian nations are now devoted to manufacturing instruments of death. May we be saved from the effects of them! As I often tell you, if we are faithful, the Lord will fight our battles much better than we can ourselves.”

Unfortunately, those at the head of our government don’t have the faith of a prophet.

“But President Young… shouldn’t we be ready to defend ourselves and build up an army so noone can bully us around and we can get the bad guys?”  Pres. Young answers:

“When the nations have for years turned much of their attention to manufacturing instruments of death, they have sooner or later used those instruments. Our nation, England, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, and other nations have for years exercised their inventive skill, and expended much means in inventing and fabricating instruments of death… From the authority of all history, the deadly weapons now stored up and being manufactured will be used until the people are wasted away, and there is no help for it. The spirit of revolution goes on through the nations: it never goes back.”

In an official declaration from our First Presidency during WWII, we have this:

“We repeat our warnings against the terrifying arms race in which the nations of the earth are presently engaged. We deplore in particular the building of vast arsenals of nuclear weaponry.”

Men of wisdom, men of God, have spoken on this topic very clearly.  The foolishness of relying on military strength and building it up will bring about the calamities foretold for thousands of years, or will at least provide the tools for wicked men to bring about the extermination of our race.  God save us from our foolishness.

Chomsky on Georgia/South Ossetia

Noam Chomsky has written a delicious new piece on the Georgia/South Ossetia/Russia/USA situation.  He writes very nicely about the US position of sheer hypocrisy with regards to US claims that the invasion of sovereign nations is not how one treats other nations in the 21st century (was everyone able to keep a straight face when that one was utterred?).

However, I continue to hear the US official line repeated, for example, on NPR the other day as the newscaster spoke of Russia’s “attack on Georgia” as the main problem in the August conflict. 

Here’s an excerpt:

It is a thought that often comes to mind, again in August 2008 during the Russia-Georgia-Ossetia war. George Bush, Condoleezza Rica and other dignitaries solemnly invoked the sanctity of the United Nations, warning that Russia could be excluded from international institutions “by taking actions in Georgia that are inconsistent with” their principles. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations must be rigorously honored, they intoned – “all nations,” that is, apart from those that the US chooses to attack: Iraq, Serbia, perhaps Iran, and a list of others too long and familiar to mention.

The junior partner joined in as well. British foreign secretary David Miliband accused Russia of engaging in “19th century forms of diplomacy” by invading a sovereign state, something Britain would never contemplate today. That “is simply not the way that international relations can be run in the 21st century,” he added, echoing the decider-in-chief, who said that invasion of “a sovereign neighboring state…is unacceptable in the 21st century.” Mexico and Canada therefore need not fear further invasions and annexation of much of their territory, because the US now only invades states that are not on its borders, though no such constraint holds for its clients, as Lebanon learned once again in 2006.

“The moral of this story is even more enlightening,” Serge Halimi wrote in Le Monde diplomatique, “ when, to defend his country’s borders, the charming pro-American Saakashvili repatriates some of the 2,000 soldiers he had sent to invade Iraq,” one of the largest contingents apart from the two warrior states.

Prominent analysts joined the chorus. Fareed Zakaria applauded Bush’s observation that Russia’s behavior is unacceptable today, unlike the 19th century, “when the Russian intervention would have been standard operating procedure for a great power.” We therefore must devise a strategy for bringing Russia “in line with the civilized world,” where intervention is unthinkable.

There were, to be sure, some who shared Mark Twain’s despair. One distinguished example is Chris Patten, former EU commissioner for external relations, chairman of the British Conservative Party, chancellor of Oxford University and a member of the House of Lords. He wrote that the Western reaction “is enough to make even the cynical shake their heads in disbelief” – referring to Europe’s failure to respond vigorously to the effrontery of Russian leaders, who, “like 19th-century tsars, want a sphere of influence around their borders.”

Patten rightly distinguishes Russia from the global superpower, which long ago passed the point where it demanded a sphere of influence around its borders, and demands a sphere of influence over the entire world. It also acts vigorously to enforce that demand, in accord with the Clinton doctrine that Washington has the right to use military force to defend vital interests such as “ensuring uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies and strategic resources” – and in the real world, far more.

Read the rest here:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20737.htm

President Medvedev makes sense on why Russia recognized the independance of South Ossetia.

Why is it that the Russian President sounds so much more sensible than US politicians on the topic of Georgia?  Let the President’s words speak for itself:

After the collapse of communism, Russia reconciled itself to the “loss” of 14 former Soviet republics, which became states in their own right, even though some 25m Russians were left stranded in countries no longer their own. Some of those nations were un­able to treat their own minorities with the respect they deserved. Georgia immediately stripped its “autonomous regions” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia of their autonomy.

Can you imagine what it was like for the Abkhaz people to have their university in Sukhumi closed down by the Tbilisi government on the grounds that they allegedly had no proper language or history or culture and so did not need a university? The newly independent Georgia inflicted a vicious war on its minority nations, displacing thousands of people and sowing seeds of discontent that could only grow. These were tinderboxes, right on Russia’s doorstep, which Russian peacekeepers strove to keep from igniting.

But the west, ignoring the delicacy of the situation, unwittingly (or wittingly) fed the hopes of the South Ossetians and Abkhazians for freedom. They clasped to their bosom a Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, whose first move was to crush the autonomy of another region, Adjaria, and made no secret of his intention to squash the Ossetians and Abkhazians.

Meanwhile, ignoring Russia’s warnings, western countries rushed to recognise Kosovo’s illegal declaration of independence from Serbia

. We argued consistently that it would be impossible, after that, to tell the Abkhazians and Ossetians (and dozens of other groups around the world) that what was good for the Kosovo Albanians was not good for them. In international relations, you cannot have one rule for some and another rule for others.

Seeing the warning signs, we persistently tried to persuade the Georgians to sign an agreement on the non-use of force with the Ossetians and Abkhazians. Mr Saakashvili refused. On the night of August 7-8 we found out why.
Only a madman could have taken such a gamble. Did he believe Russia would stand idly by as he launched an all-out assault on the sleeping city of Tskhinvali, murdering hundreds of peaceful civilians, most of them Russian citizens? Did he believe Russia would stand by as his “peacekeeping” troops fired on Russian comrades with whom they were supposed to be preventing trouble in South Ossetia?

Russia had no option but to crush the attack to save lives. This was not a war of our choice. We have no designs on Georgian territory. Our troops entered Georgia to destroy bases from which the attack was launched and then left. We restored the peace but could not calm the fears and aspirations of the South Ossetian and Abkhazian peoples – not when Mr Saakashvili continued (with the complicity and encouragement of the US and some other Nato members) to talk of rearming his forces and reclaiming “Georgian territory”. The presidents of the two republics appealed to Russia to recognise their independence.

Read his entire comments here from the text of the Financial Times:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20628.htm

Cold war anyone?

It seems like we don’t like to have only warm wars on our hands in Iraq and Afghanistan and possibly in the future in Iran.  We also want to get back to our cold war.  Apparently it was fun and now we miss it.  As you know, we’ve pressured Poland into setting up our missile defense system so that Poland can be protected by Iranian missiles that don’t even exist.

No one ever believed the Americans’ explanation of why they wanted to base interceptor missiles in Poland, of all places, some 20 years after the fall of the Soviet empire – not even the Americans. The idea, said Washington, is to defend the Poles against the alleged threat of an attack from… Iran, which has yet to exhibit any hostile intentions toward Warsaw, and in fact does not even possess the sort of missiles the new system is designed to intercept.

Putin’s pained response – “We are being told the anti-missile defense system is targeted against something that does not exist. Doesn’t it seem funny to you, to say the least?” – showed signs of the sort of exasperation that reached a crescendo last week with the Russian counterstrike against Georgia’s invasion of South Ossetia.

http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=13317

Of course, the suggestion that this missile defense system is going to be used to protect our allies from Iran or other rogue nations is incredibly unbelievable.

The US plans to deploy a radar in the Czech Republic and 10 interceptor missiles in northern Poland as part of a US-controlled missile shield for Europe and North America, has been officially sold under the ludicrous argument that it is against possible attacks from “rogue states,” including Iran. Last Spring then Russian President Vladimir Putin exposed the shallowness of the US propaganda line by offering a startled President Bush that Russia would offer the US use of Russian leased radar facilities in Azerbaijan on the Iran border to far better monitor Iran missile launches. The Bush Administration simply ignored the offer, exposing that their real target is Russia not “rogue states like Iran.” Russia rightly views deployment of the US missile shield as a threat to its national security.

What is Russia’s response to this new threat in their back yard going to be?  (Remember the Cuban Missile Crisis?  This is essentially the same thing in reverse.)

Russian officials earlier said Moscow could deploy its Iskander tactical missiles and strategic bombers in Belarus and Russia’s westernmost exclave of Kaliningrad if Washington succeeded in its missile shield plans in Europe. Moscow also warned it could target its missiles on Poland.

Russia is also discussing to put in place an orbital ballistic missile system in response to US missile defense plans for Central Europe, according to a senior Russian military expert.

“A program could be implemented to create orbital ballistic missiles capable of reaching US territory via the South Pole, skirting US air defense bases,” said Col. Gen. Viktor Yesin, former chief of staff of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces, now vice president of the Academy of Security, Defense and Law Enforcement Studies.

Previously as part of the post Cold War agreements with the US, agreements which have been ´significantly ignored by Washington as it pushed the borders of NATO ever closer to Moscow’s doorstep, the Soviet Union had abandoned such missiles in accordance with the START I Treaty.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9836

Talk about wars and rumors of wars.  We’re right in the thick of it and our US government is seemingly seeking to bring to pass a nasty scenario in the coming time.  Yep, things are getting pretty bad.

US Venezuelan policy, looks to continue under the next leader of the Empire

Just noticing these days how nothing much has changed with the Empire’s rhetoric toward Venezuela and Chavez.  In the Presidential race, McCain has ruled out talks with Chavez saying he’s a charlatan and thug:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/02/uselections2008.usa?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront

and Obama is fairly inflammatory towards Venezuela himself saying that Chavez is an enemy of the US and calling out for sanctions against him.  Most recently he said that Venezuela “is a destructive force in the region” because of its alleged support for the Colombian guerilla group, the FARC, its “anti-democratic practices,” and its “incendiary rhetoric” against the U.S.

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news/3657

This sort of talk is uninformed and unfortunate.  It is fairly clear that Chavez has not supported the FARC’s armed struggle, nor has he supported the FARC financially as Colombian liar Uribe would like us to believe.  Obama would do well to take a look at how destructive US foreign policy has been in Latin America for the last century.  Yet, he continues to play the game and support US imperial design on the riches of Latin America.  I guess it only makes sense since the people that pay for his campaign are at least partially made up of companies which make a killing on trade with Latin American countries.  Ah what a refreshing thing it would be to see someone with a backbone running for president for once.  Then again, we already have such men as Nader and Paul, but they are marginalized by the press (which is owned by the same people who give financial support to the two major candidates) and are seen as non-viable wierdos.

Chavez, of course, is no dummy in all of this:

“The two candidates for the US presidency attack us equally, they attack us defending the interests of the empire,” Chavez said at a meeting of his socialist party. “Let’s not kid ourselves, it is the empire and the empire must fall. That’s the only solution – that it comes to an end.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/17/venezuela.usa

Also notable in US/Venezuelan relations is the old charge championed previously by Rumsfeld that Venezuela buying arms from Russia is an unnecessary and suspicious activity:

“We’ve repeatedly communicated concerns with Russia about Chavez’s arms build-up in the past, and we’re going to continue to do so,” Gonzalo Gallegos, a US State Department spokesman said.

“We continue to question … whether such acquisitions are in line with Venezuela’s legitimate defense needs,” Gallegos added.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?sectionName=HomePage&id=265ce87e-dc86-4aaa-baf9-a378d992682f&MatchID1=4735&TeamID1=8&TeamID2=6&MatchType1=1&SeriesID1=1194&PrimaryID=4735&Headline=US+criticises+Russia-Venezuelan+arms+deal&strParent=strParentID

Remember Rumsfeld’s concerns from 3 years ago?

After the meeting, Mr. Rumsfeld told journalists the United States was troubled by reports that Venezuela is seeking to buy 100,000 assault rifles and 10 military helicopters from Russia.

“I can’t imagine what is going to happen to 100,000 AK-47s,” he said.  “I don’t understand why Venezuela needs 100,000 AK-47s.”

http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2005-03/2005-03-23-voa82.cfm?CFID=16536995&CFTOKEN=56773369

These concerns are unfounded and are most likely politically motivated as pointed out here:

However, one military expert said that Venezuela is merely replacing old equipment rather than than increasing its stocks. Anna Gilmour of the well known defense magazine, Jane’s, said, “ Venezuela has increased indeed its military purchases over the last three years. But it is replacing obsolete weapons and military equipment, instead of just buying new equipment or new weapons.” She also hinted that Rumsfeld may have “political” reasons for making the comments about Venezuela.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has also inserted himself into the row. He called Rumsfeld a “war dog” and said that the U.S. is threatening Venezuela, something Rumsfeld denies, “ The dog says in a cynical way that he knows no one who is threatening Venezuela, so he does not know himself. We should give the little dog a mirror so that he can see his face,” said Chávez.

Chávez also made a polite request to Colombian President Álvaro Uribe that he make a comment on Rumsfeld’s remarks. Colombia borders Venezuela and, although relations between Uribe and Chávez are good, the border area is renowned for military and paramilitary activity on both sides. Chávez wants Uribe to say whether he is one of those “neighbors” with “concerns.”

According to the news agency EFE, Uribe was asked today in a radio interview how he would respond to Chavez and merely stated that Colombia has “very good relations” with the countries of South America, among these Venezuela, and with the United States.

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news/1988

The Vice President of Venezeula, Jose Vicente Rangel was very eloquent in pointing out the absurdity of Rumsfeld’s preoccupation with the Venezuelan government’s military purchases:

The Lord of War, Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense of the United States made some statements following the same line of repeating the usual impertinences about Venezuela. These impertinences inspired by the goal of getting involved in the internal politics of other nations and violate our sovereignty, continue being utilized systematically by U.S. officials.

In Venezuela we are worried about the elevated military spending by the United States, which stands around 450 billion dollars, representing a spending that surpasses that of the 18 other military powers that follow them. The U.S. alone absorbs 36% of the world’s military spending. This has generated great preoccupation in the majority of the countries around the world, since there is no justification for the building of so many devices for war.

As the government of that country has said in repeated opportunities, they are the greatest military power in history, and its objectives are to control and assure its hegemony over the rest of the world. What are they fearing in order to justify such increase in military spending? Can anybody believe such country could be invaded by a foreign power?  What is really happening is that the U.S. has developed a very new doctrine through which they justify their arms buildups. This is the frequently mentioned preventive war. For them it is not about peace, but about preventive war. This is the doctrine that has the whole world worried because, as we all know, it has already been put into practice.

That is the big difference with the arms purchase which we are doing in an act of political sovereignty, with the only goal of defending our independence and guaranteeing the self-determination of our people. These weapons, as everybody knows, don’t have the potential for aggression against anybody. They are exclusively for defense, to which we have a right as all nations of the world do.

We have to say even more: in this moment the U.S. has started a new phase in its imperialist aggression against our homeland. They started with a propaganda war, and now they increase their attack, using one of the promoters of the so called Star Wars, who seeks to create enemies for Venezuela, among our friends. The North American strategy is aimed at destroying Latin American unity, and take possession of our energy resources. Venezuela is just one step in their global ambitions.

The escalation of these attacks confirms the existence of a plan by the U.S. government against Venezuela. This plan was tested on April 11 of 2002, with the coup d’etat against President Hugo Chavez, and continued developing with the strike and oil sabotage starting December 2, 2002, with systematic statements by spokespersons of the Bush administration, with a media campaign such as those that the empire has unleashed through history whenever they want to consummate an aggression, or through the assassination attempts of that have been detected, and other series of efforts to destabilize.

Definitely, the U.S. is worried because Latin America is liberating itself. This preoccupation is that of the slave owner who does not accept the liberating struggles of the oppressed peoples. The U.S. preoccupation with Venezuela is because our country is building a true democracy of equals, something that the U.S. does not carry through neither with their own people, nor with the international scene.

The U.S. preoccupation arises because we are building another world, a world in which other worlds can fit. They are worried that the South also exists.

From the south we respond, with dignity as our flag, and understanding the big responsibility we have as the descendants of San Martin, Artigas, O’Higgins, Abreu e Lima, and Bolivar.

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news/1019


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