Although the world is focused on the military coup in Egypt, the accompanying repression of the supporters of the duly elected democratic government, and the real possibility of massive societal strife, another authoritarian government is busily taking its country down a similar road to civil war.
Here we go again. As Americans prepare to march on Washington, Washington is preparing to march on Damascus. As part of the buildup to war, a chorus of liberal hawks and neoconservatives has issued a new manifesto in—where else?—the Weekly Standard calling upon President Obama to engage in regime change in Syria. Just as they demanded military action to topple Saddam Hussein, so they now are insisting upon the removal of Bashar al-Assad.
Officials familiar with the situation say that Britain and the United States have “finalized” their plans for an attack on Syria, and will begin lobbing missiles at the country within a matter of days.
If US officials had their druthers, it appears the strikes would start on Thursday, but the complication of British parliament returning to session could hold up the war for an additional day or two. The US Congress is in recess, and unlikely to even be asked to authorize the war until it has already begun.
The prosecution of Bradley Manning starkly contrasts to the US govt’s repeated failure to deliver justice for serious human rights violations committed during counter-terror operations of the past decade.
Manning, who released classified information exposing potential breaches of international humanitarian law by US forces, was sentenced in military court on Aug 21st to 35 yrs in prison.
Manning’s severe sentence contrasts with the leniency given those responsible for torture and other types of grave human rights violations he revealed.
To reduce this blight on the US human rights record, President Obama should grant Manning clemency for time served, protect whistleblowers, and provide accountability for crimes like those Manning exposed.
Following the announcement of Bradley Manning’s sentence of 35 years in military prison, Manning’s civilian defense attorney read a statement from Manning, which will be included in a filing requesting a pardon from President Barack Obama.
Coombs also described what Manning was like after the sentence was announced. He recounted how he and his other defense attorneys had been crying. Manning looked at him and said, “It’s okay. It’s alright. I know you did your best. I’m going to be okay. I’m going to get through this.”
Manning’s remarks to Coombs are but another indication of the resolve and strong character Manning has as a human being.
The statement by Pfc. Bradley Manning appears below:
by Spencer Pearson
Zoltan Dani should be your hero, you should reflect on what Dani achieved, and how, every single day of your life. You should keep a picture of Dani under your pillow at night and the first More…
merican democracy now seems to be dead. Yet while party bosses backed by billionaires and corporate lobbyists snuff out any effort at serious reform, and President Obama prevaricates on all the great issues of the day, two vital national arguments have erupted that might force our political elites and somnolent Congress into a genuine debate.
People who are into radical politics are rarely interested in military technology. All the radical generally needs to know is that the bad guys have got all the cool planes, bombs, tanks, submarines and aircraft carriers while our team maintains an edge only in raw hats and distressed fatigue jackets. Hence in the interest here at ATS in 4th gen warfare which explicitly assumes that the opposition will have a numeric, economic and technological advantages everywhere all the time.
If one thing has become clear in the wake of last week’s military coup d’etat against Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, it’s that democracy promotion is not a core principle of neoconservatism. Unlike protecting Israeli security and preserving its military superiority over any and all possible regional challenges (which is a core neoconservative tenet), democracy promotion is something that neoconservatives disagree among themselves about — a conclusion that is quite inescapable after reviewing the reactions of prominent neoconservatives to last week’s coup in Cairo. Some, most notably Robert Kagan, are clearly committed to democratic governance and see it pretty much as a universal aspiration, just as many liberal internationalists do. An apparent preponderance of neocons, such as Daniel Pipes, the contributors to the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board and Commentary’s ’Contentions’ blog, on the other hand, are much clearer in their view that democracy may be a universal aspiration, but it can be a disaster in practice, especially when the wrong people get elected, in which case authoritarian rulers and military coups are much to be preferred.
Historian and novelist Thomas Fleming is the author of more than fifty books, including two very good revisionist histories of the two world wars: The New Dealers’ War, and The Illusion of Victory in World War I. He has authored biographies of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, and has written extensively about the founding generation, including his best-selling book, Liberty! As a regular on PBS and NPR he is as “mainstream” as it gets. That is, he was, until he published his latest book, A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War.
No respectable historian believes the Deep North/government school fantasy that enlightened and morally-superior Northerners elected Abe Lincoln so that they could go to war and die by the hundreds of thousands solely for the benefit of black strangers in the “deep South.” More…
The lack of contemporaneous access to court documents has caused irreparable harm to the American public’s right to scrutinize the conduct of military prosecutors and the rulings of the presiding military judge. This will surely taint the final outcome of Pfc Bradley Manning‘s trial.
“Military confinement. That’s like a term of art,” said the spokesperson for the military district of Washington (MDW) – which is responsible for convening a fair and impartial trial for the accused – to an American TV reporter last summer. The reporter was known for investigating infotainment websites during pre-trial sessions. “The practical effect?” commented the spokesman to the reporter. “He’s in jail.”
US whistleblower Edward Snowden is stuck in the international section of a Moscow airport today, but that problem may be coming to an end as three nations have offered him asylum in the past 24 hours, all of them South American.
Venezuela and Nicaragua came first, last night both saying they would offer asylum. Venezuela has already gotten an extradition request from the US on the matter. Bolivia, which was caught up in the row earlier in the week when EU officials forced President Morales’ plane down on the mere suspicion that Snowden might be on board, has joined them.
All three are possibilities now, though it is unclear which Snowden might favor. All three are a world away, however, and traveling from Moscow to any of the destinations may be no simple task.
The Snowden affair has revealed even more about Europe than about the United States.
Certainly, the facts of NSA spying are significant. But many people suspected that something of the sort was going on. The refusal of France, Italy and Portugal to allow the private aircraft of the President of Bolivia to cross their airspace on the mere suspicion that Edward Snowden might be aboard is rather more astonishing.
Together, these revelations confirm the completion of the transformation of the “Western democracies” into something else, an entity that as yet has no recognized name.
The outrage against the Bolivian President confirmed that this trans-Atlantic entity has absolutely no respect for international law, even though its leaders will make use of it when it suits them. But respect it, allow it to impede their actions in any way? Certainly not.
The Egyptian army has overthrown President Mohamed Morsi, announcing a roadmap for the country’s political future that will be implemented by a national reconciliation committee.
According to a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi is being held in a military facility with top aides. More…
[AFP] People around the world were shocked to learn of the extent of US snooping. This anti-Obama poster comes from Hong Kong.
Is Barack Obama a friend? Revelations about his government’s vast spying program call that assumption into doubt. The European Union must protect the Continent from America’s reach for omnipotence. More…
For 10 hours on Saturday, around 30 Naxals held off 250 police commandos in this village, killing three cops. One of the Maoists was Raneeta, 32, who, the police said, fought the elite CoBRA commandos for six hours single-handedly, using a .303 rifle, hiding in a small maize field behind a hut.
On Monday, police recovered the body of Raneeta alias Ramko Hichami, the commander of the Chatgaon Local Organisational Squad (LOS). Raneeta kept fighting even after a grenade blew off one of her legs below the knee. By the time she was shot by one of the commandos, she had killed two CoBRA commandos and left two injured, police said.
In the 21st century the two hundred year-old propaganda that the American people control their government has been completely shattered. Both the Bush and Obama regimes have made it unmistakenly clear that the American people don’t even influence, much less control, the government. As far as Washington is concerned, the people are nothing but chaff in the wind.
Polls demonstrate that 65% of the US population opposes US intervention in Syria. Despite this clear indication of the people’s will, the Obama regime is ramping up a propaganda case for more arming of Washington’s mercenaries sent to overthrow the secular Syrian government and for a “no-fly zone” over Syria, which, if Libya is the example, means US or NATO aircraft attacking the Syrian army on the ground, thus serving as the air force of Washington’s imported mercenaries, euphemistically called “the Syrian rebels.”
The Obama administration appears to be moving toward arming rebels in Syria, though the White House has only publicly confirmed an increase in the “scope and scale” of its military support.
By one estimate, seven of nine key rebel combatant groups are Islamist. “As the civil war has dragged on, the rebels have become more Islamist and extreme,” the Economist reports. Thus the administration’s decision to arm only the non-Islamist rebels may soon resemble O.J. Simpson’s search for the “real killers.”
Arms shipments approved by the Obama administration have already ended up in the hands of jihadists in Libya. “The weapons and money from Qatar strengthened militant groups in Libya,” reported the New York Times, “allowing them to become a destabilizing force since the fall of the Qaddafi government.”
Operation Fast and Furious meets American foreign policy.
Icelandic legislator and Icelandic Modern Media Initiative co-founder Birgitta Jonsdottir
When WikiLeaks burst onto the international stage in 2010, the small Nordic nation of Iceland offered it a safe haven. Now American whistleblower Edward Snowden may be seeking that country’s protection, and at least one member of its parliament says she’s ready to help.