AlterPolitics New Post

Clinton To Iran: We Have No Proof You Are Pursuing WMDs, So Prove You Are Not Intending To

by on Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 3:11 pm EDT in Iran, Middle East, World

Despite all intelligence agencies (in the U.S. and in Israel) reconfirming the assessment that “Iran hasn’t yet decided to pursue a nuclear weapon and has not reconstituted a clandestine nuclear weapons program,” which the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) expressed, with “high confidence,” had been abandoned in 2003, the world is nonetheless punishing (boycotting) Iran, as if it is doing just that.

Now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is stating that Iran bares the burden of proving its “Intentions” to her:

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday urged Iran to back up its declaration that Islam bars weapons of mass destruction by agreeing to a plan that would prove it does not intend to develop nuclear arms.

To demonstrate just how ludicrous this line of thinking is, imagine if a police officer knocked on your door, and informed you that all their evidence suggested you were an honest and law-abiding citizen, but that he would arrest you anyways, unless you could provide proof to him that you had no “intentions” of committing a crime. 

More and more, this ‘Iranian threat’ crusade is beginning to resemble a staged controversy of the very worst kind. 

WATCH: Jeff Halper On Israel Arming Its Settlers In Anticipation Of Palestine Vote

by on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 4:42 pm EDT in Middle East, World

Ha’aretz reports that Israel is now arming its Jewish settlers in the West Bank with riot gear in preparation for Palestinian ‘mass disorder’, which they say will result from a vote in favor of Palestinian Statehood at the UN General Assembly this September. 

Palestinian leaders have maintained that any and all September protests will be peaceful, but Israeli leaders — such as Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman — are conversely advancing the notion that “Palestinians [are] preparing for ‘bloodshed the likes of which we’ve never seen before’”.

The IDF are being green-lighted to shoot Palestinian protesters in the legs should they cross over an Israeli-imposed ‘red line’ which circles each of the illegal settlements. Settlers are being armed with tear gas and stun grenades, and the Israeli Army Spokesperson refused to state whether they were also being provided with additional arms.

This military buildup and arming of Israel’s most extreme right-winged elements in the occupied territories has peace activists worried:

Hagit Ofran, of Peace Now, an Israeli organisation which monitors settlement activity, said: “We hope the army is making clear that non-violent protest is legitimate and no settlers should use any violence against unarmed demonstrators.”

Arik Ascherman of Rabbis for Human Rights said there were already “serious questions and problems” with settlement security officials acting outside their designated boundaries. “We’re very concerned that [the IDF move] will not reduce conflict but increase it,” he said.

In an interview with RT News, Jeff Halper, the Co-founder of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, explains why Israel is reacting like a cornered animal in anticipation of the UN General Assembly vote to recognize Palestine:

RT: Are the preparations justified? Is the unrest as inevitable as the Defense Forces are making it out to be?

Halper: I wouldn’t call it ‘unrest’. I would call it a demonstration of Palestinian independence. Because if in fact in September the General Assembly recognizes the state of Palestine within the 1967 borders, it means that the settlements, the checkpoints, the Israeli wall — everything that Israel has is now illegally in the sovereign territory of Palestine. And there is actually no legal justification for stopping Palestinians from walking into settlements and crossing checkpoints.

And that, I think, is a real concern to Israel. That simply, they will ignore the fact the army is there. The army cannot shoot at Palestinians, because it has no legal standing there.

[...]

Halper: It is clear that Israel is not going to allow — or gonna try not to allow — September to happen. Israel has no intention of giving up its control of the occupied territory. 

Until today, Israel has managed to keep its whole settlement enterprise, because it succeeded in getting the United States to characterize the occupation as ‘disputed territories’ and not real occupation. Once the UN recognizes Palestine within these borders — now there’s no argument: This is occupation. International law applies.

Probably 140 countries will recognize Palestine, and Israel is gonna be under a lot of pressure to try to maintain the occupation. 

I don’t think the military resistance to the Palestinians is going to help. I think it is actually going to make the entire international community impose sanctions on Israel. The big campaign will be after September — getting the Israeli presence out of the sovereign state of Palestine.

[...]

WATCH:

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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.

Is AIPAC’s Iron Grip Over The US Congress Waning?

by on Friday, December 17, 2010 at 2:43 pm EDT in Middle East, World

A new column by Josh Ruebner, who heads US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, gives a behind the scenes look at what actually transpired in the latest AIPAC-sponsored Congressional Resolution which condemns any unilateral measures to declare or recognize a Palestinian state. AIPAC, of course, would have you believe (this message came via twitter) [...]

EU Releases Official Statement On Middle East Peace

by on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm EDT in Middle East, World

I’ve taken the liberty to highlight just a few interesting points: The [EU Foreign Affairs] Council adopted the following conclusions: 1. “The EU believes that urgent progress is needed towards a two state solution to the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. We want to see the State of Israel and a sovereign, independent, democratic, contiguous and viable State [...]

The World Moves To Action: ‘Israel Must End Its Illegal Occupation!’

by on Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 12:06 pm EDT in Middle East, Politics, World

After having cringed through the most recent installment of the Middle East Peace ‘negotiations’, where the Netanyahu government publicly ‘castrated’ US President Barack Obama, the rest of the world appears to have had enough. Incoming US Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), recently promised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he and his fellow Republicans would [...]

Why Has Bill Clinton Gone ‘Jimmy Carter’ On Israel?

by on Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 1:37 am EDT in Middle East, World

Former President Bill Clinton — a favorite both in Israel, and amongst pro-Israel supporters here in the US — recently made an abrupt shift in his public statements on Israel, breaking completely from the dominant ‘neo-conservative, inner-beltway’ narrative on US foreign policy in the Middle East. First, Clinton created an uproar in the Israeli government [...]

U.S. Press Corps Not Buying White House Spin On Israeli Intransigence

by on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 3:51 pm EDT in Middle East, Politics, World

The Huffington Post is reporting that, in clear violation of both U.S. demands and international law: The Jerusalem city government moved toward the construction of 900 additional housing units in a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians claim for the capital of their future state. This comes right after the Obama Administration recently softened [...]