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What The Osama Bin Laden Video Reveals As Impetus For Terrorism: Israel

by on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm EDT in Afghanistan, Middle East, Pakistan, Politics, World

Fox & Friends recently spoke with former Head of CIA’s Bin Laden Unit, Michael Scheuer, about the Bin Laden videos obtained during the Navy Seal raid at the al-Qaeda leader’s compound.

One of the program’s hosts, after describing how Bin Laden seemed obsessed with his own self image, asked Scheuer if this is why the Obama Administration would release video tapes with no audio — merely to expose Bin Laden’s vanity:

My Question is, Clay mentioned ‘No audio on these tapes’, why did the government release them? You can’t glean a whole lot from them, there’s no audio, no real information. Is it to kind of demystify what we all know, and what people think of Bin Laden?

What the host was not anticipating was that Scheuer would use this question as an opportunity to debunk the official neocon/Fox News Channel “they hate us for our freedom” narrative:

No. No, the government has lied to the American people since 9/11. What they don’t want you to hear again is that Osama Bin Laden doesn’t care — and his organization and his allies do not care — about liberty in America, democracy in America, gender equality in America, or elections.

What Bin Laden was saying on the tape that they’re talking about almost certainly was, “We don’t care how you think or how you live. We want you out of our world, and we will attack you until you stop doing that.”

And of course Mr. Bush, Mr. Clinton, and Mr. Obama have consistently told America this is about how we live and how we think, rather than what we do.

And as you might expect, the Fox News host promptly changed the subject, probably kicking himself for having ever asked the question.

HERE’S THE FULL INTERVIEW:

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Well, Haaretz has now reported what Bin Laden did actually say in his final video (filmed just before his death). Addressed to President Obama, the video was focused entirely on the plight of the Palestinians, and in particular US support of Israel.

Bin Laden was quoted as saying:

“America will not be able to dream of security until we live in security in Palestine. It is unfair that you live in peace while our brothers in Gaza live in insecurity.”

“Accordingly, and with the will of God, our attacks will continue against you as long as your support for Israel continues,” the al-Qaida chief said in the audio recording.

“So the message we wanted to convey through the plane of our hero, the fighter Umar Farouk, may God be with him, confirms a previous message which had been sent to you by our heroes of September 11,” bin Laden reportedly said in the minute-long recording.

Bin Laden’s statement that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict remains an impetus for terrorism, is consistent with what has already been stated by both former US President Bill Clinton and US Middle East envoy George J. Mitchell; as well as by nearly every cabinet member of the Obama Administration, who have asserted repeatedly that peace between Israel and the Palestinians is “vital to US national security interests”.

If President Obama were really serious about pressuring Israel to end the illegal settlements and embrace peace wouldn’t this new revelation be something he would add to his rhetorical arsenal in pressing the US Congress to stop undermining his Middle East peace efforts?

Wouldn’t he be using this revelation to bring the American public on board for tougher pressure on Israel? Since the 9/11 attacks, wars have been waged, trillions of dollars spent, tens if not hundreds of thousands of lives lost — all to allegedly “protect Americans from terrorism”. And here is Bin Laden (mastermind of 9/11) pointing directly at Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians as an underlying cause for his terrorist attacks.

Unfortunately, President Obama does not want this topic to be part of the public discourse in the run up to his 2012 reelection campaign. Why? Because it would complicate his efforts at winning over America’s deep-pocketed pro-Israel political donors. Imagine Candidate Obama reaffirming his ‘sacrosanct’ commitment to Israel if it were widely known that this foreign country’s intransigence posed a direct threat to our national security. He’d be accused of treason.

In fact, Obama has been trying to repair frayed ties with pro-Israel groups and Israeli officials, due to the little pressure he actually did put on Netanyahu during the last two years. By recently promoting Dennis Ross — the ‘living embodiment‘ of the Israel Lobby — to Chief White House Middle East strategist the President sent a clear message to these groups that he has transitioned away from pursuing Middle East peace to accepting the status-quo.

Here is one possibility: Obama’s new strategy for peace in the Middle East may be — get this — to just do nothing.

The UN General Assembly (the same entity which recognized Israel as a state in 1948) is gearing up to declare Palestine a state along the 1967 borders this September, and the United States holds no veto power to stop it. Any future Israeli settlement expansion, or even a resistance in abandoning the present illegal settlements, would no longer be met with “unhelpful” comments from the US State Dept, but instead with harsh sanctions by the international community.

Let’s face it, the Israel Lobby (backed by full unflinching support of the United States Congress) will punish the President politically and contest all efforts to press Israel to choose peace over apartheid. So why should he continue to bother? It would make sense for him to just sit back and watch the UN General Assembly mandate the 1967 borders as the official dividing line between Israel and Palestine.

Essentially by doing nothing, the President will pay no political price (he’s powerless to stop it), he will assure peace in the Middle East under his Presidency, thereby removing a major impetus for world terrorism — crucial to the national security interests of the United States. And equally as important, the Palestinians will finally become free — free from the oppression, the violence, the cleansing, and bigotry they’ve endured over the last sixty years.

The President may have finally found a way to get his cake and eat it too.

Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki To President Obama: GET OUT!

by on Wednesday, December 29, 2010 at 12:19 pm EDT in Afghanistan, Iraq, Politics, World

Progressives and Libertarians alike have felt largely ignored by the Obama administration regarding their calls for immediate troop withdrawals.  It now appears there is some hope on the horizon.  Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki just stated to the Wall Street Journal that he wants U.S. troops out by the end of 2011.  Period.  No ifs, or buts.

Despite what many in the Administration have reportedly disclosed — that by the deadline for withdrawal, the U.S. would likely have found a way to extend its presence (in some significant capacity) — Nouri al-Maliki just revealed that U.S. troops would have no presence in Iraq after the end of 2011.  He believes the Iraqi government and its security forces are fully equipped and trained to confront “any remaining threats to Iraq’s security, sovereignty and unity.”  He states:

“The last American soldier will leave Iraq” as agreed, he said, speaking at his office in a leafy section of Baghdad’s protected Green Zone.

This agreement is not subject to extension, not subject to alteration. It is sealed.

The Prime Minister believes America’s apprehension in fully withdrawing is largely due to its “paranoia” of a potential Iraqi-Iranian alliance.  He believes this concern is unwarranted, and says Iraq has no intentions of entering into any kind of alliance with Iran, Turkey, or any Arab country.  He states that Iran itself is similarly paranoid about U.S. influence over its bordering neighbor.

When asked to elaborate on Iraq’s current security situation, he stated:

“Not a single militia or gang can confront Iraqi forces and take over a street or a house,” said Mr. Maliki. “This is finished; we are comfortable about that.”

He said full withdrawal of U.S. troops also will remove a prime motivator of insurgents—both the Shiite fighters tied to militia groups and Iran, and Sunnis linked to Mr. Hussein’s ousted Baath party.

Let’s hope other overseas leaders — namely, the corrupt and alleged heroin-addict, Afghan president Hamid Karzai, who continues to grow paranoid of U.S. intentions — will follow suit, and send us packing.

Otherwise, the U.S. Military Industrial Complex, with its stranglehold over Washington, will keep our overextended troops and contractors stationed across the world indefinitely, until they’ve effectively squeezed every last dollar out of the American taxpayer.

With spending cut proposals on the near horizon, there’s good reason to be concerned.  Our military commitments are unsustainable.  And now that nearly a trillion dollars in tax cuts for the richest 2% have been signed, sealed, and delivered, the only thing left on the chopping block seems to be domestic programs that will severely impact the lives of everyday struggling Americans.

What remains of a safety net for seniors and the unemployed, and social programs for the poor and needy; along with our floundering public education system, and our already-stretched local police forces — will all be starved, if not entirely defunded.  We cannot continue to feed this insatiable, ever-growing, military industrial monster.

By telling the U.S. to ‘scram’, PM Nouri al-Maliki is doing our country a favor of epic proportions — something President Obama seems incapable of doing himself.

Here’s a new clip of John Bolton fearmongering, as always; this time against defense spending cuts:

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Unfortunately, Democrats are so terrified of being called “weak on national defense” that they reflexively acquiesce to this right-winged pro-defense narrative 99.9% of the time.  Defense spending has largely remained immune from the chopping block.

Again, thank you PM al-Maliki!

Watch: WikiLeaks Debate: Glenn Greenwald VS WikiLeaks critic James Joyner

by on Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm EDT in Afghanistan, Politics, WikiLeaks, World

Here’s a great 20+ minute video debate on Al Jazeera between Salon blogger, Glenn Greenwald, Italian investigative journalist Stefania Maurizi, and WikiLeaks critic James Joyner.  As always, Glenn completely obliterates the underlying rational of his adversary’s position.  Enjoy!

WATCH:

Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize Speech Incites Neo-Con Cartwheels

by on Sunday, December 13, 2009 at 9:38 am EDT in Afghanistan, Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, Iraq, Middle East, Politics, World

President Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize Speech, in my opinion, was an attempt to somehow mesh Candidate Obama — the principled, compassionate, mindful leader who won the Nobel Peace Prize — to President Obama — torch bearer of the neo-con commitment to open-ended warring. He started off on a semi-defensive tone, giving something of a […]

What Makes America Safer: Fiscal Stability, Or Chasing 100 Terrorists Around Afghanistan?

by on Friday, December 4, 2009 at 4:53 pm EDT in Afghanistan, Politics, World

In Obama’s Afghanistan speech at West Point, he announced he would be escalating our troop levels in Afghanistan by 30,000-35,000 to ensure those who attacked us on 9-11 are resoundingly defeated.  ABC News notes that Obama conveniently left out a very significant fact, when making his case: A senior U.S. intelligence official told ABCNews.com the […]

War Mongers Are Furious About Proposed War Surtax On Wealthiest 2%

by on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm EDT in Afghanistan, Politics, World

Those on the right — the same ones who claimed to be ‘fiscal conservatives’ while they doubled our national debt with trillions in tax cuts for the wealthy, while simultaneously fighting two wars — are now up in arms that the richest two percent may be asked to pay a war surtax to help fund […]

Breaking News: President Obama Rejects All Military Options For Afghanistan

by on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 10:52 pm EDT in Afghanistan, Politics, World

The Associated Press reports from an undisclosed Administration official that President Barack Obama has rejected all four military options for Afghanistan.  The source revealed that the President is looking for a way to make clear that the U.S. commitment in Afghanistan is not open ended: WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama does not plan to accept […]

Bill Moyers & Glenn Greenwald Discuss Gov’t Secrecy, The Beltway Elite, Afghanistan

by on Friday, October 30, 2009 at 2:19 pm EDT in Afghanistan, Politics, World

My favorite news man, Bill Moyer at PBS, interviews my favorite blogger, Glenn Greenwald at Salon, in a web-exclusive video.  It’s a fascinating discussion that covers a number of different topics. Part I: Moyers and Greenwald discuss how the Obama Administration has actually embraced Bush-era justifications for secrecy and indefinite detention: Part II: Moyers and […]

Obama Stops at Cliff, Peeks Over Edge, and Decides to Shift Afghan Strategy

by on Friday, October 9, 2009 at 9:59 am EDT in Afghanistan, Politics, World

Finally, some semblance of rationale is beginning to emerge within U.S. foreign policy!  The New York Times is reporting that: President Obama’s national security team is moving to reframe its war strategy by emphasizing the campaign against Al Qaeda in Pakistan while arguing that the Taliban in Afghanistan do not pose a direct threat to […]