Thursday, September 27, 2012

Eye Candy self-censors








Yesterday, US President Barack Obama addressed the United Nations with a laundry list of fabulists claims.  One of them was:
We intervened in Libya alongside a broad coalition, and with the mandate of the United Nations Security Council, because we had the ability to stop the slaughter of innocents, and because we believed that the aspirations of the people were more powerful than a tyrant.
Offering realism on this topic is journalist and sociologist Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya who was on the ground in the Libya as the government was overthrown by 'rebels' -- some of whom were trained out of Langley in the United States.  Madhi was one of the few unembedded reporters in Libya and one of the few who didn't take US government press releases and put his name to it.  A brave and independent voice,  Mahdi is the author of the Globalisation of NATO.  Last Wednesday, he spoke with Heart of Africa host Kudakwashe Cayenne about Libya, the modern efforts to colonize Africa, and much more, click here to stream that program.  Excerpt.
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya:  The war in Libya was an American-led war.  I know the Americans didn't want to make it look like it was an American-led war.  That's why they pushed the French and the British ahead.  But, in reality, they provided most of the muscle, most of the bombs.  Most of the, uh, military might was from them.  They started -- They started the operations along with the French and the British.  But they publicly wanted to make it look like David Cameron, the Prime Minister of Britain, and Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of the French Republic, were the ones leading this.  But this wasn't true.  They were just hiding behind them because they knew that the world -- There's a negative opinion of US intervention in countries so they used it as a smokescreen.
Kudakwashe Cayenne:  Okay, Mahdi, why is it important for African to understand who NATO is today?
Mahdi Darius Nazemroya: It's very important to understand who [NATO] is today because they're colonizing the African continent.  Like I mentioned Libya.  That's just one country.  NATO is also involved in Somolia, it's also involved in Sudan.  It's normally involved in both these African countries so we're talking about three African countries so NATO has programs with about one-third of Africa's land areas, more than one-third, is under NATO programs.  NATO and the European Union and the United States want to see a divided Africa.  This is very clear from their policies.  I'm going to mention something called the Mediterranean Dialogue.  The Mediterranean Dialogue is a NATO partnership program, it's an expansion of NATO.  The countries that are part of this are Morocco, Algeria, the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia -- these are the African members.  That are part of it.
Kudakwashe Cayenne: Oh.
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya: Yeah, they're part of it.  And this program is also complimented by a European Union program called the Euro Mediterranean Partnership which Nicolas Sarkozy renamed as the Union for the Mediterranean, okay?  So this is very important to grasp because NATO expansion  has always been aligned with European Union expansion.   All the Eastern European countries that joined NATO also joined the EU after.  And they joined NATO through something called a Partnership for Peace which was made after the end of the Cold War --  it was made towards the end of the Cold War.  So it was made to -- It was made as a way of securing these countries and I have to explain this, this is very important, the Partnership for Peace prevented these Eastern European countries -- and I will get back to Africa, but I need to explain what happened in Eastern Europe.   It prevented these Eastern European countries from pursuing any other security alternative to NATO.  All of these countries used to be part of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact.
Kudakwashe Cayenne: Okay.
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya: But once they joined the Partnership for Peace, they were never -- They didn't become full NATO members and they didn't have the benefits of being part of NATO but they fell under NATO control.  And this is what's important, when they fell under NATO control, they were promised that they could join NATO after certain reforms.  These reforms were security, military and political which effected the economy.  So they were put under this program which meant that they had one foot in the door and one foot out of the door.  They were put under this program because NATO could guarantee their structures could be changed.  They were being restructured and being prepared for NATO but restructuring meant that they were essentially being turned into colonies.  The things they had to do was make public their defense budgets and programs which meant NATO would know exactly what they were doing with their defense and this is a way to keep your eye on them.  At the same time, old military officers were being pushed out and a lot of these old military officers were very patriotic and they would look out for their country's benefit and there was a chance that it might enact a coup d'etat in their country against the new governments that were coming in place.  And this is what's important, the new governments were all supported and funded by the United States and its western allies within NATO and they were putting a lot of criminals in place or people that were treacherous who actually were selling their national assets to the United States and Western Europe, they were letting their countries become colonized.
Heart of Africa, hosted by Kitakyushu Cayenne, is a weekly program featuring music and interviews (Mahdi's interview starts about ten minutes into the program).  You can hear it live at More Light Radio every Wednesday at 2000 hours Central Africa Time.  Tomorrow night, the latest episode is broadcast live and the scheduled guest is Abramo Askew with the topic of the conflict in Syria, unrest in the region, the notorious video out of the US and Muslim reactions.
On Libya for a moment more, September 11, 2012, the US Consulate in Libya was attacked resulting in the deaths of Glen Dotty, Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods.   Last Thursday's snapshot included:
On that attack, earlier today Kathleen Tennessee of the Laos Angeles Times reported, "The White House is now describing the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi as a 'terrorist attack,' a shift in emphasis after days of describing the lethal assault as a spontaneous eruption of anger over an anti-Islamic film made in California." 
Ruth covered this topic in two post last week, Thursday's  "White House spin dissolves: It was terrorism" and Friday's  "White House spin dissolves: It was terrorism."  The first included NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams' report on the White House announcing it was terrorism:
Brian Williams:  It won't bring back the U.S. Ambassador or the three other Americans who were murdered -- including two former Navy Seals, but tonight: What happened the night they died?  The storming of that U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya is being labeled an act of terrorism by the White House.  That was not the initial story and some in government have given conflicting versions for what happened there that night.  We begin tonight with tonight with what it does mean.  Our chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell in our D.C. bureau tonight. Andrea, good evening.

Andrea Mitchell:  Good evening, Brian.  And tonight the White House confirmed that the attack was an act of terror -- officials say by al Qaeda  sympathizers.  But big questions remain about when it was planned and why initial reports were wrong?
See Ruth's post for the full transcript and she's also posted the video of the report.  On her Friday post, she noted that while NBC treated this as major news, PBS' NewsHour reduced it to two sentences in the newswrap and didn't even note that the White House had admitted it was a terrorist act.
The NewsHour could fix their omission today.  AP reports today that the White House was pressed on Air Force One about where they stand on the attack since last Thursday saw Jay Carney deliver the announcement, was this also the opinion of President Barack Obama?
Q    Jay, in his interview on the Today Show this morning, the Libyan President said that the attacks on the consulate had nothing to do with the video that sparked all the protests as elsewhere.  He also repeated his claim that they were preplanned, given their sophistication, so given that's in direct contradiction to what the administration says, who's right?
MR. CARNEY:  Well, I can tell you that President Magarief made very heartfelt public statements before his meeting with Secretary Clinton in New York about the brave four Americans who were killed and the firm commitment of Libya to not allow a violent minority to hijack Libya's hopes and dreams. 
Over the course of the past two weeks, this administration has provided as much information as it has been able to.  We made clear that our initial assessment and interim reports were based on information that was available at the time.  Several administration officials, including the NCTC director, have spoken on the record about the information we have.  We have also been clear that there's an ongoing FBI investigation and that we must allow that investigation to take its course.  The Accountability Review Board established by Secretary of State Clinton is also doing a full investigation. 
I can point you again to the statements by the NCTC director about his assessment as the chief counterterrorism official about the information that we had available at the time about how the attack occurred and who was responsible.  And it continues to be the case that we provided information based on what we know -- not based on speculation, but based on what we know -- acknowledging that we are continuing an investigation that will undoubtedly uncover more facts, and as more facts and more details emerge we will, when appropriate, provide them to you.
Q    The fact that he was pretty equivocal statement today that the video --
MR. CARNEY:  The U.S. intelligence upon which we make our assessments has provided very clear public assessments of the information that they have available, that they had initially, that they had available when the NCTC director talked to Congress and spoke publicly.  And that's what -- we make our judgments based on the information that we gather.
Q    One more question on that.  But how often is the President in contact with President Magarief?  I mean, are they talking every day?  Are they sharing this information?  Is there anything that he might be aware of that the President would not be?
MR. CARNEY:  We have significant cooperation with the new Libyan government, but I don't think intelligence sharing occurs at the President-to-President level, necessarily.  President Obama did speak last week with the Libyan leader, the same night that he spoke with President Morsi of Egypt.  But I don't believe they've had a conversation since.
[. . .]
Q    Is there any reason why the President did not -- he was asked point-blank in The View interview, is this a terrorist attack, yes or no?  Is there any reason why he didn't say yes?
MR. CARNEY:  No, there's -- I mean, he answered the question that he was asked, and there's no reason that he chose the words he did beyond trying to provide a full explanation of his views and his assessment that we need to await further information that the investigation will uncover.  But it is certainly the case that it is our view as an administration, the President's view, that it was a terrorist attack. 
Q    Thanks.
The world could use a lot more Mahdi Darius Nazemroayas but instead we've got far too many Steven Strausses.  Steven Strauss grabs his two brain cells and composes a piece for Huffington Post (good for Huff Post for allowing his alternative opinion, and that's not sarcasm) where he argues Archbishop Desmond Tutu is incorrect, that Bully Boy Bush (occupier of the White House from mid January 2001 through mid-January 2009) and Tony Blair (occupier of John Rentaul's heart and bedside diary as well as former prime minister of England) are not war War Criminals.  He wants you to know, "Tragedy resulting from an individual's actions is regrettable, but isn't in and of itself a crime.  Intent, rather than act, makes someone guilty."  There's another point but let's grab that one first.
It doesn't matter whether or not they intended their illegal war to kill over a million Iraqis.  You can even set aside the issue of Abu Ghraib (for England, the UK secret service getting caught in Basra trying to pass as Iraqis while apparently setting off bombs -- one of the most under-reported moments of the war despite the fact that a prison was destroyed in the process).  You can even set aside illegal weapons being used.  The birth defects demonstrate they were used but you can set that aside.
As Kofi Annan, then United Nations Secretary-General, told the BBC in September of 2004, the war was illegal: "The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has told the BBC the US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN charter.  He said the decision to take action in Iraq should ahve been made by the Security Council, not unilaterally."
If you wage an illegal war, you are a War Criminal.  If you shoot someone dead, you are a murderer.  These are basics under the law.  Blair and Bush did not have authority to start the war but did so.  They intended to start the war regardless of legality.  They broke the law, they did so with intent.  They are War Criminals.
Now Steven Strauss wants to bring Tony Blair into it.  He'll argue, "Tutu did!"  Well, Strauss, if you bring the British into it and you start noting body counts (incorrect ones), it's incumbent upon you to include the British toll.  Let's do what he lacked the manners to do, 179 is the number of "British Armed Forces personnel or MOD civilians" who have died in Iraq since March 2003 according to the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence.  Again, if you start mentioning Blair and England and you then give death tolls, it's just rude and insensitive not to give the UK losses.  Iraqi losses?  They aren't really counted.  The Lancet Study found over a million.  It used the same estimating process the UN uses.  It was only 'controversial' because people didn't want to face the realities of the war and worked overtime to try and discredit it.  The methodology stands.  By now, it may be up to two million.  He grossly underestimates the death toll while adding two to the US death toll.  The US Defense Dept does not list "over 4,500 of our own service personnel," it's 4488.
Again, he overestimates the US count (unless he's disputing the official DoD count -- in which case he needs to say so) while underestimating the Iraqi death toll -- and, of course, ignores the British death toll.  The word for that is: Tacky.
Of the war in Iraq and the tremendous cost in terms of deaths, the injured and the money, Strauss insists, "This wasn't leadership by criminal masterminds -- it was mismanagement by incompetent buffoons."  So what's your damn point?
Do we remember the attempt a few years back to rob Velasquez and Sons Mufflers For Less in Chicago?  The robber showed up but the employees said they couldn't open the safe and told him only the manager had the combination. What did the robber do (link goes to WGN report, this is a true story)?  He gave them his cell phone number and told them to call him when the manager got there.  The police had the employees call him and tell him the safe was open, when he showed up with his gun, the police arrested him.
Now the judge may have laughed when the robber appeared in court.  He or she may have told the robber, "You are an incompetent buffoon."  But he or she didn't say, "I want you to plead not guilty by reason of stupidity."  Stupidity -- like ignorance of the law -- is not a valid legal defense.  Why Strauss would choose to weigh in all this time later in defense of Blair and Bush begs the question if he also is an "incompetent buffoon"?

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