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More Syrian Blood on Obama’s Hands
At issue is Obama advancing the ball closer to war. Washington readied plans long ago. Timing alone remains undecided. Plans now may be set. Most likely the Serbia/Kosovo/Iraq/Libya model will be repeated.
Morning headlines again falsely accused Assad of mass killings in Qubeir village in central Hama province.
BEIJING, June 7 (Xinhua) -- When the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states concluded their latest summit on Thursday, they unanimously rejected military intervention as a way to resolve international hotspot issues.
Southeast Asia: U.S. Revives And Expands Cold War Military Alliances Against China
On May 30 the two officials most in charge of the U.S.’s formidible global military machine, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, visited Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii to launch multi-nation tours of the Asia-Pacific region and formally commence the announced shift of American military concentration and assets to the area.
The two, General Dempsey by way of the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, arrived in Singapore for the eleventh annual Shangri-La Dialogue defense forum, where they met with their counterparts from 26 Asia-Pacific nations. Afterwards each went his own way: Panetta to Vietnam and India, the most significant new U.S. Asian military partners in the entire post-Cold War period, and Dempsey to the Philippines and Thailand, two long-standing military allies.
While in Singapore, Panetta announced that Washington would increase the percentage of U.S. naval forces in the Asia-Pacific – aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, littoral combat ships and submarines – from 50 to 60 percent and strengthen and expand military alliances with nations throughout the region, especially those in Southeast Asia which are embroiled in territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea. As General Dempsey put it following the Shangri-La Dialogue, “This means that as the rebalance evolves, we’ll make available our most advanced ships, our fifth-generation aircraft and the very best of our missile defense technology as we work with our partners.”
Defense Secretary Panetta stressed an intensification of military collaboration with the six Asia-Pacific countries with which the U.S. has defense treaties (signed during the height of the Cold War and at the time aimed against China) – Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand – as well as broadening and deepening existing partnerships with nations like Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and India. Panetta additionally spoke of forging military ties with Myanmar, which like Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (along with Brunei, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam).
AMERICA THREATENS CHINA: Pentagon Prepares for Confrontation in the Asia-Pacific Region
In January of this year the three officials in charge of U.S. global military strategy and operations - commander-in- chief President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey - unveiled the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance, entitled “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense,” which officially confirmed American plans to increase its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region to counter China, now the world's second-largest economy.
In the past few years the U.S. has pulled Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam into its political-military orbit and expanded partnerships with Malaysia and Singapore, which have troops serving under NATO command in Afghanistan along with Australia, Mongolia, New Zealand, South Korea and Tonga.
Obama Drone Strikes Are 'Mass Murder' - Jeremy Scahill
Syrian President Assad on Houla massacre: ‘Not even monsters’ would have carried out killings
Syrian President Bashar Assad said on Sunday that, despite deep suspicion from the United Nations, the Syrian government had nothing to do with last week's massacre in Houla, where more than 100 people--many of them children--were killed.
"Truthfully, not even monsters would carry out [the crimes] that we have seen, especially the Houla massacre," Assad said in a televised speech to the Syrian parliament in Damascus, his first public comments since the massacre. "There are no Arabic or even human words to describe it. The criminal or criminals who committed this crime and others are not criminals for an hour or criminals for a day, they are constant criminals and are surely planning other crimes."
Assad blamed foreign terrorists for the killings.
"At this time, we are facing a war from abroad," he said. "Dealing with it is different from dealing with people from inside."
"If we don't feel the pain that squeezes our hearts, as I felt it, for the cruel scenes--especially the children--then we are not human beings," Assad continued.
Iraq acquiring drones from US to guard oil installations
Friday 25th May, 2012
BAGHDAD - Iraq is acquiring unmanned surveillance drones from the United States as part of efforts to boost bilateral relations and also to beef up security of its oil installations and energy fuel exports amid growing tensions in the region.
The US drones will help to protect the southern oilfield around Basra, which have become vulnerable after the withdrawal of the last American troops, U.S. and Iraqi officials said on Monday.
Protecting the vital oil infrastructure is important for Iraq, which holds the fourth largest oil reserves in the world.
"Iraq's navy has purchased U.S. drones to protect the country's oil platforms in the south, from where most of Iraq's oil is shipped," said an official from the Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq, reported Reuters.
Annan plan ‘only chance for peace’ but stalled by intervention supporters - Lavrov
External players provoke opposition in Syria to continue military action; this may lead to a Libyan scenario, the Russian Foreign Minister warned.
The main reason the Annan peace plan is stalling is because those who support external intervention in Syria impede its implementation, said Sergey Lavrov.
Lavrov said the main reason why the Kofi Annan plan is not making progress is that certain parties “don’t like” the idea of the stabilization it would bring “during the initial period”.“They want the international community to be filled with indignation and start a full-blown intervention in Syria,” he said.
Lavrov has voiced concern about “the reaction on the part of some foreign players”, who, he said, “support armed groups of the opposition and at the same time demand that the international community take decisive steps to change the regime in Syria.”
He reiterated Russia’s position that it will “never agree to sanction the use of force in the UN Security Council”. He said that this would lead “to severe consequences for the entire Middle East region”.
Russian Defense Ministry launched an intensive training units for operations abroad, including in Syria. Preparation for combat operations in this country, may lead Pskov 76th air assault division of Airborne, the 15th Brigade combined arms in Samara, as well as special units staffed by the Chechens, who had previously served in the GRU spetsbatalonah “West” and “East” writes, “Nezavisimaya Gazeta”, citing anonymous sources in the military.
Russia and China Deepen Trade Ties and opposition to Western meddling in Syria
Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to boost trade and cooperation with China after meeting Chinese leaders as the sides push against Western calls for stronger action in Syria and Iran.
Putin and President Hu Jintao agreed yesterday in Beijing to increase trade to $200 billion by 2020 from $83.5 billion in 2011. The two leaders also discussed North Africa, the Korean Peninsula and Iran’s nuclear program, said Putin, who will meet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while in Beijing.
Putin is moving to strengthen Russia’s economic and political ties with China after skipping a Group of Eight summit in the U.S. last month. As veto-wielding members of the United Nations Security Council, Russia and China have blocked resolutions pushing for stronger sanctions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and oppose expanding Iran sanctions.
“The most important thing is that we reached high level of coordination in order to help mediating and solving international crises and problems,” Putin said at a joint press conference yesterday. “Thanks to our efforts we have lifted the level of Russian-Chinese cooperation to unprecedented heights.”
The recently declared plan by the members of Persian Gulf Cooperation Council to annex the soil of Bahrain to Saudi Arabia and form a greater Arab union has attested to the fact that the tyrannical and merciless rulers of Arab sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf are still obliviously living in the colonial era, dating back to the early 1550s, when the world's major colonial powers relied on the power of arms and ammunitions to conquer and attain new territories and put the rivals' nose out of joint in a conspicuous show-off of muscle-flexing.
It's more than one year that the spirited, courageous youths of Bahrain have refused to leave the streets of capital Manama and other major cities of the country, continuously demanding the downfall of the dictatorial regime of Al Khalifa which is unconditionally financed, armed and backed by the United States and its puppet allies Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
The Witness Bahrain website associated with the opposition groups puts the number of civilian deaths resulting from Al Khalifa crackdown on the peaceful protesters in the past 15 months at 65; but it's for sure that the number of protesters killed at the hands of the mercenaries of Al Khalifa regime is far greater than this.
Over the past year, the Bahraini officials resorted to every means at their disposal to distract the public attention from their bloody crackdown on the peaceful protestors demanding the ouster of the King and the dissolution of his despotic government. They even refused to cancel the Grand Prix 2012 race in April 2012 amid growing international protests by the mass media, human rights groups, academicians and politicians who had felt and recognized the depth of catastrophe taking place in the tiny Persian Gulf country.
But the British Prime Minister, whose country is a major supplier of weapons and money to Bahrain, made a controversial statement in defense of the Formula 1 race in Bahrain, saying that "Bahrain is not Syria; there is a process of reform underway and this government backs that reform and wants to help promote that reform." And nobody was there to complain to Cameron for his hypocritical stance on Syria while indifferently turning a blind eye to the painful suffering of the defenseless nation of Bahrain.
The very government which Cameron claimed is defending and promoting reforms, has relentlessly detained and tortured hundreds of peace activists and protesters since the beginning of revolution in the island backing to February 2011, and killed many innocent children and teenagers under vicious, brutal torture in its horrific jails. Several protesters are sentenced to life prison and many of them await trial in military courts without any lawyers and official jury.
One of the heartrending cases of regime's atrocious treatment with its own people is the issue of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja. The audacious Bahraini peace activist who is now a national hero and symbol of resistance against the tyranny of Al Khalifa has started an open-ended hunger strike since February 8, 2012 and it's about four months that he hasn't eaten anything nor drunk a sip of water. Bahraini activist Alaa Shehabi wrote for the Foreign Policy on April 12 that the possible death of al-Khawaja "could mark a significant breaking point for the regime's efforts to rehabilitate its tarnished reputation -- and could accelerate the disturbing trend toward militant radicalization in the opposition." And it's an undeniable fact. Although al-Khawaja is thankfully alive, he is spending the unbearable and intolerable days of being tortured while he is on hunger strike, and pictures taken of him which were published on the Bahraini websites show that he is in a tremendously throbbing and agonizing situation.
Just three days ago, King Hamad of Bahrain who is now seen as a bloodthirsty dictator in the region and one of the most hated leaders of the world was invited by Queen Elizabeth II to attend a royal ceremony in London. He was among the 50 foreign royals who attended the "diamond jubilee" feast. Tens of angry protesters gathered outside the Buckingham Palace to protest the controversial invitation.
"We feel it's tremendously important to show that there are British people who do not agree with these royal dictators being invited to Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace," said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
"The queen has misjudged the public mood. Most British people would not agree with our head of state wining and dining dictators who stand accused of very serious human rights abuse," he said.
And now, the Bahraini rulers are plotting a dangerous conspiracy with their Saudi cronies to form a union, seeking certain ends such as establishing an alliance against Iran which has seriously stood up against the carnage of the Bahraini people and supported their revolution. The Bahraini officials have laughably accused Iran of meddling in their internal affairs.
Unquestionably, Bahrain's annexation to Saudi Arabia will pose a serious threat to the security and stability of the Persian Gulf and overturn the regional equations drastically. And it should not be neglected that such plans are mostly dictated by the world's most infamous colonial power, the United Kingdom.
The American author and former university professor Kevin Barrett has likened this Saudi-British-Israeli plot to the colonial ploys of Hitler.
"I think this is more of an alliance of Hitler's Anschluss, when Nazi Germany invaded Austria," said Kevin Barrett in an interview with Press TV.
"The big difference is that the majority of people in Austria supported that. Whereas today, the vast majority of people in Bahrain will be horrified to be occupied by and digested into Wahhabi Saudi Arabia," Barrett added.
The Al Khalifa regime which has found itself incapable of silencing the loud voice of Bahraini people who demand an end to this authoritarian regime is seeking ways through which it can extricate itself from the crisis it has been entangled into. Maybe joining Saudi Arabia can be a short-term solution, but indubitably it will portend dangerous consequences for the region including the firm response of the Iranian nation and the strong reaction of rest of Muslim nations around the world. And moreover, such a Bahraini-Saudi union will not be tolerated by the people of Bahrain. Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Saudi Arabia's Malek Abdullah can bet that this dangerous union is doomed to failure.
Radar keeps an eye on Russia
Meeting in Chicago last Month, NATO leaders looked at all aspects of the potential Iranian threat and how to unravel the Afghan knot, and once again they assured Moscow that a missile defense shield that is currently being deployed in Europe is not directed against Russia.
Quite peace-loving statements, only sometimes out of tune with reality.
During one of the nightly clashes with Bahrain's security forces, a new chant broke out among opposition protesters: "The U.S. is the great Satan." A few days later, pro-government marchers also waved their fists against Washington.
In a place with almost no common ground left after more than 15 months of Arab Spring-inspired unrest, both sides in the Bahrain meltdown are finding a shared target in the United States.
Their gripes are vastly different — protesters claiming the U.S. has ignored them, government backers expecting full loyalty from their longtime allies — but the across-the-board potshots at Washington's policies point to the deep complexities of U.S. attempts to navigate the crisis in the tiny Gulf kingdom.
Bahrain tugs at just about every critical Gulf issue for Washington. Atop the list: America's relations with Saudi Arabia as the main patron for the embattled Bahraini monarchy, and the stability of the Bahrain-based headquarters of the Navy's 5th Fleet, which is one of the Pentagon's main counterweights to Iranian military influence in the Gulf.
Leon Panetta has stated that the US is ready to do everything it can to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. The American envoy to Israel earlier said that the military option is “fully available” and the necessary planning has been done.
“We will do everything we can to prevent them from developing a weapon,” Panetta told ABC News.