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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ron Paul: Beware The Consequences of 'Pre-Emptive 'War



Beware The Consequences of 'Pre-Emptive' War

Beware The Consequences of 'Pre-Emptive' War
Last year more US troops died by suicide than died in combat in Afghanistan. More than 20 percent of military personnel deployed to combat will develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some 32 percent of US soldiers reported depression after deployments. More than 20 percent of active-duty military are on potentially dangerous psychotropic drugs; many are on multiple types. Violent crime among active duty military members increased 31 percent between 2006-2011.
The statistics, compiled by the military last year, are as telling as they are disturbing. The Defense Department scrambles to implement new programs to better treat the symptoms. They implement new substance abuse and psychological counseling programs while they continue to prescribe more dangerous psychotropic drugs. Unfortunately, most often ignored are the real causes of these alarming statistics.
The sharp rise in military suicides, drug and alcohol abuse, and domestic and other violence, is the unintended consequence of a violent foreign policy — of an endless and indefinable “global war on terrorism.”
Particularly in the past decade or so, we have lived in a society increasingly marked by belief in the use of force as a first and only option. We have seen wars of preemption and aggression, everywhere from Iraq to Pakistan to Libya, Yemen, and elsewhere. We have seen an unprecedented increase in the use of drones to kill overseas, often resulting in civilian deaths, which we call “collateral damage.” We have seen torture and assassination (even of American citizens) become official US policy. When asked by Senator Ron Wyden last week if the president has the right to assassinate American citizens on US soil, President Obama’s nominee to head the CIA, John Brennan, could not even give a straight answer.
The warning that “he who lives by the sword dies by the sword” goes not only for individuals but for entire societies. It is a warning to all of us. A country or a society that lives with the violence of pre-emptive war in fact self-destructs.
Let us not forget that this endless war is brought to us primarily by the neo-conservatives who dominate foreign policy in both political parties and who never cease agitating for US military deployments overseas. Of course with very few exceptions they have declined to serve in the military themselves. These endless wars would not be possible, we should also remember, without the Federal Reserve printing the money out of thin air to finance our overseas empire. We are speeding toward national bankruptcy while at the same time turning the rest of the world against us with our aggressive foreign policy. Does anyone really believe this will make us safer and more secure?
Many who claim to support the military look the other way when the service-members return home broken in mind and body after years of deployments abroad. I served five years as a US military doctor in the difficult 1960s and even then saw some of this first-hand. During the 1960s the consequence of an unwise prolonged war tragically resulted in violence in our streets, and even students being shot by our military at Kent State University.
The truth is, killing strangers in unconstitutional and senseless wars causes guilt to the participant no matter what kind of military indoctrination is attempted. Those afflicted may attempt to bury the pain in alcohol or drugs or other destructive behaviors, but we see that only leads to more problems. It may not be popular to point this out, but it goes against human nature to kill a fellow human being for retaliating against those who initiate a war of aggression on their soil.
Who cares most for those in military service, those who agitate for more of what is destroying their lives and weakening our national defense, or the many of us who are urging a foreign policy of non-intervention and peace? If we are to survive, we must beware the seen and unseen consequences of pre-emptive war.
(By Rep. Ron Paul; Antiwar)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Media Censorship Exposed by Mark Anderson American Free Press


by Mark Anderson


Flagship news publications in the United States mainstream media have been forced to admit that over the years they quietly forged partnerships with the federal government in order to withhold from American taxpayers vital information on such topics as the government’s drone-assassination program, torture, secret prisons and warrantless snooping.

Some of the worst cases of collusion and suppression go back 10 years to the early days of the modern “war on terror.” The existence of a secret U.S. drone base in Saudi Arabia which The Washington Post and The New York Times admittedly kept hidden for two years is the latest in a string of coverups. Others include: The Times obeying Bush Administration demands in mid-2004 to cover up warrantless wiretapping of Americans’ communications for 18 months and the Post concealing which nations served as secret, unlawful Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) torture prison locations.

This is all coming out as John O. Brennan, the current nominee to head the CIA, is being identified as the agency’s architect of a secret base in Saudi Arabia out of which remote-controlled drones are flown. From that base, the U.S. in 2011 executed perhaps the most chilling and game-changing action in recent history—the planned killing of American citizen Anwar Awlaki, an alleged terrorist recruiter. His American son, Abdulrahman, only 16, also was assassinated by a drone strike from the same base. There were no arrests, no trials and no presumption of innocence.

Meanwhile, foreign media, months and even years ago, reported these and related revelations. This left American taxpayers—the people who pay the bills—in the dark about a U.S. assassination program, while the rest of the world stayed informed.
American journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote in a February 7 column about the Times and the Post colluding with the federal government regarding such topics. “The entity that . . . endlessly praises itself for being a check on U.S. government power is, in fact, its most loyal servant,” he wrote.

The Post did report the secret prisons’ general existence. But it “purposely concealed the identity of the countries serving as the locale of those secret prisons in order to enable the plainly illegal program to continue without bothersome disruptions,” Greenwald added. “The Washington Post is not publishing the names of the Eastern European countries involved in the covert program, at the request of senior U.S. officials,” the above-noted Post article concluded.

On February 5, 2013, the Post admitted covering up details on the Saudi drone operation in its online version: “The Washington Post had refrained from disclosing the specific location at the request of the administration, which cited concern that exposing the facility would undermine operations against an al-Qaeda affiliate regarded as the network’s most potent threat to the United States, as well as potentially damage counterterrorism collaboration with Saudi Arabia.”

The same Post piece noted “another news organization” planned to reveal the base’s location, “ending an informal arrangement among several news organizations that had been aware of the location for more than a year.” The public editor of that other news organization, Margaret Sullivan of the Times, noted in a February 6 online column: “The Times and other news organizations, including The Washington Post, had withheld the location of that base at the request of the C.I.A., but The Times decided to reveal it now because, according to the managing editor, Dean Baquet, it was at the heart of this particular article and because examining Mr. Brennan’s role demanded it.”
- Mark Anderson is a roving editor an

Monday, February 18, 2013

The King-Crane Commission


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14:04 08/13/2009
Untold Story of The King-Crane Commission
King and Crane also took into consideration the status of holy sites in Palestine.
By Tammy Obeidallah
'Down with American Imperialists.' This sign, or one of its variations, can be seen at protests and demonstratons throughout the world. U.S. policies have given credence to it, fueling legitimate hatred in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and others victimized by America’s lust for oil and support of the Israeli military juggernaut. Yet less than 100 years ago, the United States was admired in the global arena as a bastion of justice and freedom. Furthermore, Zionism—the belief that all Jews are entitled to a “homeland” in Palestine—was condemned in an official document.
The King-Crane Commission is relatively unknown, buried under a century of Zionist propaganda and attempts to discredit Dr. Henry Churchill King and Charles R. Crane as Nazi sympathizers. On the contrary, Dr. King was one of the best known educators of his time and served as the director of religious work for the YMCA in France. Mr. Crane was selected as part of a special diplomatic mission to Russia and was U.S. Ambassador to Chinafrom 1920-1921. In 1919, after World War I and the break-up of the Ottoman Empire, President Woodrow Wilson apppointed King and Crane to head the Inter-Allied Commission on Mandates in Turkey. 
King and Crane’s mission was to record the wishes of the people in the former Ottoman territories regarding their desired form of government and the degree to which outside intervention would be accepted. President Woodrow Wilson’s July 4, 1918 address provided the backdrop for their objective:
“The settlement of every question, whether of territory, of sovereignty, of economic arrangement, or of political relationship upon the basis of the free acceptance of that settlement by the people immediately concerned and not upon the basis of the material interest or advantage of any other nation or people which may desire a different settlement for the sake of its own exterior influence or mastery.”
It was in this spirit that King and Crane had embarked on their 42-day tour of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Asia Minor. The commission conducted conferences throughout the region, gathering opinions on such topics as territorial limits, independence, form of government, choice of mandate and Zionism.
The King and Crane Commission examined responses from religious, political and social/economic organizations and found overwhelming support among the Muslim population in Syria for an American mandate, as opposed to Britain or France, should it be determined that the fledgling government needed external assistance. The reasoning behind this preference was summarized in the final report as “…the nearly universal recognition of the fact that America sought no additional territory…” Article 4 of the General Syrian Congress, convened that same summer in Damascus, supported their finding:
“…And desiring that our country should not fall a prey to colonization and believing that the American Nation is farthest from any thought of colonization and has no political ambition in our country, we will seek the technical and economic assistance from the United States of America…”
While there was some disagreement in the territories as to the choice of mandate, there was nearly universal opposition to Zionism. The General Syrian Congress unanimously passed articles opposing partitioning Palestine from the rest of Syria. Leaders at that time grasped all too well the strategy of “divide and conquer”; they also understood the Zionist ambitions of setting aside Palestine as future Jewish state.
Prior to their journey, King and Crane had been lobbied by pro-Zionist groups and were, by their own admission, “pre-disposed in its favor.” However, during conferences with local Jewish representatives, it became apparent that their goal was the “practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine by various forms of purchase.”
Further investigation revealed something far more sinister than acquiring the land by mere “purchase.” Statements made by British officials increased the commissioners’ misgivings about the entire Zionist project. In their final recommendations, King and Crane wrote:
“No British officer, consulted by the Commissioners, believed that the Zionist program could be carried out except by force of arms. The officers generally thought that a force of not less than 50,000 soldiers would be required even to initiate the program … Decisions requiring armies to carry out, are sometimes necessary. But they are surely not gratuitously to be taken in the interest of a serious injustice.”
King and Crane also took into consideration the status of holy sites in Palestine: “The places which are most sacred to Christians—those having to do with Jesus—and which are also sacred to Moslems, are not only not sacred to Jews, but abhorrent to them.” The Commissioners went on to reason that it was neither logical nor prudent to place these most holy sites in the control of a Jewish authority.
Finally, King and Crane concluded that the implementation of the Zionist plan would be contrary to the aforementioned principle outlined by President Wilson, whereby nations have a right to self-determination free from external pressure. Nine-tenths of the population surveyed, including Muslim and Christian groups, were against Zionism. Their final recommendation read “…This would have to mean that Jewish immigration should be definitely limited, and that the project for making Palestine distinctly a Jewish commonwealth should be given up.”
It is nothing short of tragic that in the 90 years since the King-Crane Commission, subsequent American leaders have abandoned the principles which led President Wilson to embark on that diplomatic effort in the first place. The common sense and mutually beneficial policy of non-intervention was rejected in favor of big oil and strategic interests. The opportunity to forge an allegiance with emerging governments eager for freedom and self-determination was squandered in favor of the perpetrators of ethnic cleansing and genocide, from Deir Yassin to Lebanon to Gaza. And America will continue to pay the price.
(The entire King-Crane Commission Report can be read here.)
- Tammy Obeidallah contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.
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