This 107-page report presents substantial information warranting criminal investigations of Bush and senior administration officials, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and CIA Director George Tenet, for ordering practices such as “waterboarding,” the use of secret CIA prisons, and the transfer of detainees to countries where they were tortured.
1 year agoJuly 12, 2011 4 notes Reblog
WASHINGTON, June 26 — US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice warned that there would be no major affront to the US contribution and funds to the UN than the support by its member states of a Palestinian State, The Telegraph reported.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, will present a proposal to the 192-member strong General Assembly recognizing a Palestinian State, during the annual session of the organization to take place next September in New York.
The United States and Israel have categorically opposed this initiative. President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the proposal once it is put up for discussion at the Security Council next month.
Despite the US opposition, Palestinian officials expect to receive two thirds of the votes to summon the rarely-used mechanism called “Uniting for Peace”, by means of which they could counteract the US veto and reach partial UN membership.
Alternate coverage at the Telegraph.UK
1 year agoJune 29, 2011 69 notes Reblog
Via: Electronic Intifada
Ms. Clinton “it’s not helpful for there to be flotillas that try to provoke actions by entering into Israeli waters and creating a situation in which the Israelis have the right to defend themselves.” source
Clinton must know that Gaza is not part of what any country recognizes as “sovereign” Israeli territory, and therefore neither are Gaza’s territorial waters. Any boats entering Gaza’s waters would not in fact be entering “Israeli waters” as Clinton claimed. Clinton also, presuming she is properly briefed rather than misled, must also know that last year Israel attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla when it was in international waters and GPS data showed that it was actually heading away from Israel.
By invoking Israel’s supposed “right to self-defense” against civilian boats trying to reach Gaza, we must understand that Clinton is telling Israel the United States will not stand in the way of another military attack.
1 year agoJune 25, 2011 6 notes Reblog
Commentary on the upcoming UN vote on Palestinian statehood in the UN this fall.
Via Andrew Sullivan
The logical next step would surely be to take the US out of the equation. We have become an enabler of Israeli intransigence, and the last two years have proven nothing except that Obama’s hands are tied and that Israel and the US Congress run this relationship, as Netanyahu has memorably bragged about in the past.
1 year agoJune 13, 2011 5 notes Reblog
WASHINGTON (AFP) –
The United States plans to export $46.1 billion in weapons this year, nearly doubling its 2010 figures, officials said.
During the fiscal year 2011, which ends September 30, Washington expects the sales of equipment and military services through its Foreign Military Sales process to grow. About 79 percent of these exports are financed by client countries and organizations, with the remainder funded by US aid programs.
US military equipment sales, confined to about $10 billion in the early 2000s, tripled to around $30 billion after 2005.
Buys of this equipment don’t let it go to waste.
1 year agoJune 11, 2011 2 notes Reblog
From WSJ March 5th 2011
Reported by: ADAM ENTOUS And JULIAN E. BARNES
WASHINGTON—After weeks of internal debate on how to respond to uprisings in the Arab world, the Obama administration is settling on a Middle East strategy: help keep longtime allies who are willing to reform in power, even if that means the full democratic demands of their newly emboldened citizens might have to wait.
Instead of pushing for immediate regime change—as it did to varying degrees in Egypt and now Libya—the U.S. is urging protesters from Bahrain to Morocco to work with existing rulers toward what some officials and diplomats are now calling “regime alteration.”
The approach has emerged amid furious lobbying of the administration by Arab governments, who were alarmed that President Barack Obama had abandoned Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and worried that, if the U.S. did the same to the beleaguered king of Bahrain, a chain of revolts could sweep them from power, too, and further upend the region’s stability.
click thru for full article
2 years agoMarch 5, 2011 Reblog
The United States vetoed a U.N. resolution that would have condemned Israeli settlements as “illegal” and called for an immediate halt to all settlement building. The 14 other Security Council members voted in favor of the resolution in Friday’s vote…
The Palestinians say they will not resume peace talks until Israel halts settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which it wants as its capital.
This was part of a deal our Secretary of State offered to Netanyahu months ago in which she gave an incentive package including “20 fighter jets, worth some $3 billion, as well as promises to oppose any Palestinian attempt to obtain international recognition of statehood in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza without Israeli agreement.” She also promised that the “US would veto any UN Security Council resolution along those lines and actively work against similar resolutions in forums where it does not have a veto.”
The planes were provided irrespective of Israel’s part of the deal.
Are you guys paying attention?
2 years agoFebruary 18, 2011 78 notes Reblog
A State Department cable that was used to brief FBI Deputy Director John Pistole before his arrival in Cairo to meet with the Egyptian State Security Investigative Service (SSIS) in late 2007.
The gist of the cable, Mubarak and Egyptian State Security are aligned with the US War on Terror program. Mubarak makes a pretense of supporting reforms but does the opposite jailing critics and making it hard or impossible for an alternative candidate or parties to succeed. In other worlds he is an ass and a dictator who supports the US in the middle east, so we suck up to him and allow him to be a pig in his own country. Egypt is complimented for reigning in terrorists. The cable fails to mention Mubarak rules over his opponents with a reign of terror.
These are excerpts from the cable. It is worth reading considering the events playing out in Egypt.
Dated: 2007-10-30 05:05
S E C R E T CAIRO 003155
SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR FBI DEPUTY DIRECTOR JOHN PISTOLE
Classified By: Ambassador Francis J. Ricciardone
¶2. Mubarak, who turned 79 in May, remains a symbol of stability in the Middle East. As ever, he sees Egypt’s interests on the most critical regional issues — terrorism, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Sudan, Iran — as largely congruent with ours. But his reluctance to lead more boldly on these fronts and on domestic reform has diminished his and Egypt’s
¶3. You will arrive in the midst of a high profile internal political development - the ruling party’s leadership re-instatement conference, held once every five years. The internal scene is fraught and tense, as Egyptians worry about the succession of their aging leader, with no
truly democratic process in place to legitimize a successor. Stung by the advances of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in the 2005 parliamentary elections (where MB-affiliated candidates won twenty percent of the seats in parliament) and reflecting popular reaction to regional political turmoil, Mubarak has retreated from many of his earlier promises on political reform. Meanwhile, former opposition presidential candidate Ayman Nour remains sick and imprisoned. Government detentions of democracy activists continue, and this year the government has begun to clamp down on free speech by prosecuting editors, journalists and bloggers. Mubarak now makes scant public pretense of advancing a vision for democratic change
2 years agoFebruary 2, 2011 1 note Reblog
The string of popular uprisings that are rocking the Arab world, most recently in Egypt, have created a fundamental dilemma for U.S. policy in the Middle East. Policymakers are being forced to place a bet on an outcome that is inherently unpredictable and pregnant with some unsavory consequences.
See the full text on the Foreign Policy blog at the link above.
Gary Sick has been a “middle east” analyst since the Carter Administration, with a focus on Iran. He warns in this blog post that the Egyptian Rebellion has a strong domestic implications for the US when “Israeli / Egyptian” relations are considered as part of this complex equation.
2 years agoJanuary 29, 2011 4 notes Reblog