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Front News (6/17/2012)
Latest news of the war on the world...
UN suspends Syrian mission; tensions escalate
The situation in Syria continues to worsen as tensions mount between Moscow and Washington and the UN has suspended their observer mission in the country.
The latest development in Syria, the suspension of the UN Mission, comes on the heels of intensified efforts by Moscow and the international community to come to a peaceful resolution to the crisis with Moscow’s recent calls for an international conference on Syria.
On June 12 what passes for the U.S.'s top diplomat, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, further escalated tensions with Russia in an appearance with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Brookings Institution, a think tank that has supplied the Barack Obama administration with many of its key foreign policy personnel.
With an Israeli flag behind her and waving her right hand in the air, she vociferated:
“We have confronted the Russians about stopping their continued arms shipments to Syria. They have, from time to time, said that we shouldn’t worry - everything they are shipping is unrelated to their (the Syrian government’s) actions internally. That’s patently untrue.
“And we are concerned about the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria, which will escalate the conflict quite dramatically.”
Russian officials promptly denounced the charge as the crude fabrication and cruder provocation it was, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov remonstrating:
"We are not delivering to Syria, or anywhere else, items that could be used against peaceful demonstrators. In this we differ from the United States, which regularly delivers riot control equipment to the region, including a recent delivery to a Persian Gulf country. But for some reason the Americans consider this to be fine."
Clinton has been steadily raising the level of anti-Russian invective, vilification and intimidation in recent months.
Last December she denounced the country's parliamentary elections of that month as being "neither free nor fair," stating:
"Russian voters deserve a full investigation of all credible reports of electoral fraud and manipulation, and we hope in particular that the Russian authorities will take action.”
In February she commented on the double veto by Russia and China in the United Nations Security Council over Syria in the following choice American-style diplomatese at a so-called Friends of Syria conference in Tunisia:
"It's quite distressing to see two permanent members of the Security Council using their veto while people are being murdered – women, children, brave young men – houses are being destroyed.
"It is just despicable and I ask whose side are they on? They are clearly not on the side of the Syrian people."
Her characterization of Russia's and China's second joint veto over attempted moves against the Syrian government by the U.S., its NATO allies and their coalition of Arab monarchy partners (Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco. Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) as despicable echoed that of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice earlier in that month:
"The fact that Russia and China chose to align themselves with a dictator who is on his last legs rather than the people of Syria, rather than the people of the Middle East, rather than the principled views of the rest of the international community, was indeed disgusting and shameful and I think that over time it is a decision they'll come to regret when there is a democratic Syria that won't forget this action."
Despicable, disgusting and shameful are typical entries in the lexicon employed by the international relations corps of the world's sole military superpower. (The term embraced by President Obama in his 2009 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.) And indicative of the level of its diplomacy and its attitude toward other, even major, nations.
In the same address in Tunisia in February, Clinton bluntly called for a military coup d'etat in Damascus in these words:
"To those Syrians who still support Assad, especially members of the Syrian military: understand that this regime has no future. The longer you carry out its campaign of violence, the more it will stain your honor. But if you refuse to take part in attacks on your fellow citizens, your countrymen will hail you as heroes."
Before she steps down as secretary of state Clinton may well establish a record for demanding foreign heads of state abdicate power - or face the fate of those who don't do so at the snap of her fingers - adding Syria's Bashar Assad to Ivory Coast's President Laurent Gbagbo, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and, practically speaking, Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko last year.
There are fewer and fewer governments in the world unwilling to do Washington's bidding as votes in the United Nations Security Council and Human Rights Council on Syria this year demonstrate. In fact Russia, China, Iran, Belarus, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela and at times Sudan are all that remain of nations with an independent foreign policy orientation.
Among that shrinking list Russia alone has rough strategic - nuclear - parity with the U.S. and as such is the true last barrier to the U.S. drive for global domination.
The Syrian crisis has dragged on for over fifteen months and has been exploited by the U.S. and its - particularly NATO - allies to isolate, humiliate and confront Russia in the first case and China in the second. Having to various degrees backed Russia down over Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya in recent years, Washington is now mounting a full frontal attack designed to effect not a retreat but a rout.
To believe for a moment that the military superpower that in recent years has laid waste to the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and is conducting lawless and murderous drone missile attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia is in any manner motivated by alleged humanitarian concerns in Syria is either to engage in deliriously wishful thinking or surrender to outright delusion.
On June 9 Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov provided a reality test for, an information antidote to the Western human rights argument:
"[I]n order to justify a foreign intervention they keep talking about the refugees from Syria. However, nobody talks about refugees inside Syria itself.
"This is similar to the former Yugoslavia. Does anybody think about the refugees from Serbia and Slovenia? [He may have intended Croatia with the latter reference.]
"According to some estimates, there are about a million refugees from Iraq and half a million Palestinians in Syria, and I don't think people talk much about that."
While in Beijing for the twelfth annual heads of state summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at the beginning of the month, the Russian foreign minister emphasized an effective substitute to the West's past 21 years of rampant military aggression, threats, bullying and arrogance in stating that "there is no alternative to the enlargement of the SCO, an interest in which is growing steadily inside and outside of the region."
The six members of the SCO are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. At the latest summit Afghanistan joined India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan as an observer nation, Turkey joined Belarus and Sri Lanka as a dialogue partner and the president of Turkmenistan delivered a speech. Collectively, the above nations account for well over half the world's population, three members of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and four nuclear powers and are the nucleus of a genuine new 21st century international political and economic approach and structure.
Unless a peaceful, cooperative and multipolar model based on the above and its underlying philosophy emerges soon, the ineluctable destiny the world faces is that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned of on May 17:
"The introduction of all sorts of collective sanctions bypassing international institutions does not improve the situation in the world while reckless military operations in foreign states usually end up with radicals coming to power.
“At some point such actions, which undermine state sovereignty, may well end in a full-blown regional war and even - I’m not trying to spook anyone - the use of nuclear weapons.”
In intensifying its progressively more dangerous confrontation with the world's other major nuclear power by threatening it over Syria and expelling it from the Arab world and the Mediterranean while surrounding it with NATO partnerships and a global interceptor missile system, Washington is pushing the world closer to just such a - the ultimate - nightmare scenario.
A wounded beast is often the most vicious and a dying empire doesn't hesitate to destroy a world it cannot dominate.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) advocates long-lasting peace and prosperity in the region. A declaration on this point was signed by the leaders of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan at the SCO summit which took place in Beijing this week.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) advocates long-lasting peace and prosperity in the region. A declaration on this point was signed by the leaders of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan at the SCO summit which took place in Beijing this week. The members of the organization adopted a package of documents determining the strategy of SCO’s development and its orientation at expanding partnership.One of the main results of the summit is the expansion of the number of SCO’s observers. Afghanistan has joined Mongolia, India, Pakistan and Iran in this status. “We always advocated closer cooperation of the Shanghai Six with Afghanistan,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
Syria targeted by US advocates of unipolar global order
Washington's regime change policy in Syria is about the world order. While human rights and democracy are featured in the propaganda mix, the real issue turns on the future of the international system and the role of international law.
The Obama administration, just as the Bush administration before it, mistakenly seeks through geopolitical measures to enforce a US-led unipolar world and to delay the emergence of a multipolar world.
In the Middle East, many Washington politicians and policymakers see Israel as the key US strategic ally. As the US pivots to the Asia-Pacific, they want Israel's regional position strengthened and its enemies, such as Syria and Iran, weakened.
US general and former head of NATO command, Europe, Wesley Clark revealed in 2007 the game plan of the neoconservative network around then vice president Dick Cheney which played the key role in the Iran and Afghan wars of the Bush administration.
In a speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Clark said that in the wake of the 9/11 attack, he learned from Pentagon sources that the Middle East game plan for the future would be regime change in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.
It should come as no surprise that Washington calls for regime change in Syria. Despite a difference in administrations, the underlying interventionist policy shows continuity. This is explained by the political influence of the pro-Israel lobby and neoconservative policy network, the Christian fundamentalists, and the human rights and democracy activists.
While their ultimate agendas may differ, these three influential pressure groups have a common foreign policy direction: military intervention to support regime change in the Middle East and elsewhere. These pressure groups called for the Iraq and Afghan wars and have since called for military intervention against Syria and Iran.
Syria Update June 16 - Thermobaric Advanced weapons being used - Mr Aleppo
Putin: Russia Ready to Respond to U.S. Missile Defense
Russia has every possibility to provide a proper response to the projected deployment of a U.S. missile shield in Europe, though Moscow would like to see the U.S. plans revised, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
“We should look forward and give response [to these plans] in a timely manner,” Putin told servicemen at a Russian air base.
“Of course, our partners should better not do this [implement their missile shield plans] as this move would drive our response,” he added.
Pentagon finishes contingency plans for Syria invasion
Officials with the US Department of Defense have confirmed that the Pentagon has finalized procedures that outline how American forces could soon combat the government of war-torn Syria and officially involve itself in that state’s bloody uprising.
After months of rumors suggesting that the US has unofficially made efforts to weaponize rebel forces fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, officials with the Defense Department tell CNN that the Pentagon has finished drafting blueprints that lay-out just how the US military could aid in ousting the leader with America’s own troops.
One death-a-day: Military suicides reach terrifying rate
More US soldiers are losing their lives to suicide than from enemy forces, the Pentagon reports this week.
According to findings released on Thursday by the US Department of Defense, the suicide rate for active duty soldiers so far in 2012 is around one per day. In just the first 155 days of the year, 154 soldiers have committed suicide, a statistic only made more ghastly by comparing it to the number of American troops killed by insurgency this year — the website iCasualties.org reports that only 139 US soldiers died in battle this year.
"We are very concerned at this point that we are seeing a high number of suicides at a point in time where we were expecting to see a lower number of suicide,” Jackie Garrick, head of the Pentagon’s newly established Defense Suicide Prevention Office, tells the Associated Press.
In analyzing the report, the AP notes that the suicide rate among active-duty soldiers has plateaued in the preceding two years, creating confusion for researchers caught off guard by the alarming numbers released this week. Even with the Iraq War officially over and the Obama administration promising an expedited end to its military operations in Afghanistan, troops are taking their own lives in shocking numbers. Dr. Stephen N. Xenakis, a retired Army brigadier general and a practicing psychiatrist, explains to the AP that the latest figures aren’t all that surprising to him, though.
"It's a sign in general of the stress the Army has been under over the 10 years of war," says Dr. Xenakis. "We've seen before that these signs show up even more dramatically when the fighting seems to go down and the Army is returning to garrison."
TEHRAN (FNA)- Recent reports from the Southern Iraqi city of Najaf unveiled more realities about the US-led invasion of the country, revealing that the cluster bombs used by the US forces in the holy city have left horrifying and disastrous impacts on the Iraqi people, mostly children.
"My 10 year-old daughter Fatemeh is suffering from cancer and is being treated in al-Sadr hospital's cancer center in Najaf," Hassan Razi, 44, who resides in al-Ansar district in Najaf told FNA.
He explained that many people in this small district have grown cancerous tumors, adding that the disease has grown so commonplace and dreadful that many of the residents have left the region due to an increase in the number of cancerous patients.
Dr. Talib Kamouneh working at al-Sadr hospital also explained that "an average number of 50 Iraqis come to the hospital for chemotherapy every day".
Shanan al-Arazi, the head of cancer prevention at Najaf's health center, blamed the weapons and bombs used by the US forces in Iraq during the recent years for the sharp increase in the number of the cancerous patients, and said, "The bombs contained uranium and radiation,"
Recent medical reports indicated that cancer is spreading like wildfire in Iraq. Thousands of infants are being born with deformities. Doctors say they are struggling to cope with the rise of cancer and birth defects, specially in cities subjected to heavy American and British bombardment.
Dr Ahmad Hardan, who served as a special science adviser to the World Health Organization, the United Nations and the Iraqi Ministry of Health, said in 2011 that there is scientific evidence linking depleted uranium to cancer and birth defects.
"Children with congenital anomalies are subjected to karyotyping and chromosomal studies with complete genetic back-grounding and clinical assessment. Family and obstetrical histories are taken too. These international studies have produced ample evidence to show that depleted uranium has disastrous consequences," he said
According to Iraqi doctors, cancer cases suddenly and sharply increased after both the 1991 war and the 2003 US invasion of the Muslim country.
Abdulhaq Al-Ani, author of "Uranium in Iraq" recently said that the incubation period for depleted uranium is five to six years, which is consistent with the spike in cancer rates in 1996-1997 and 2008-2009.
Not everyone is ready to draw a direct correlation between allied bombing of these areas and tumors, and the Pentagon has been skeptical of any attempts to link the two. But Iraqi doctors and some Western scholars say the massive quantities of depleted uranium used in the US and British bombs, and the sharp increase in cancer rates are not unconnected.
In Falluja, which was heavily bombarded by the US in 2004, as many as 25% of newborn infants have serious abnormalities, including congenital anomalies, brain tumors, and neural tube defects in the spinal cord.
The cancer rate in the province of Babil, south of Baghdad has risen from 500 diagnosed cases in 2004 to 9,082 in 2009.
The water, soil and air in large areas of Iraq, including Baghdad, are contaminated with depleted uranium that has a radioactive half-life of 4.5 billion years.
Elsewhere in the Middle-East, a senior Afghan activist, writer and politician in a comprehensive report released in January unveiled the realities of the US-led invasion of his country, and warned that the depleted uranium bullets and munitions used by the US forces in Afghanistan have left horrifying and disastrous impacts on the Afghan children.
Dr. Mohammad Daud Miraki, who taught management and policy courses at the Chicago State University for three year, in a report after his visit to Afghanistan, revealed part of the crimes committed by the US forces in the war-torn country.
In his report, dubbed as 'Death Made In America', Dr. Miraki pointed to uranium munitions used by the US forces in Afghanistan and stated, "Due to the use of massive amount of uranium munitions used by the US forces in the initial bombing and subsequently, massive amount of congenital deformities occur all over Afghanistan."
"The rate of various cancers has gone up significantly. Leukemia and esophageal cancers are very high among children," Miraki stressed.
He quoted doctors at maternity and children hospitals in Kabul as saying that "the rate of various congenital deformities have increased by many folds since the US invasion".
"In fact, the magnitude of man-made isotopes was established by the Uranium Medical Research Center after their investigators made two trips to Afghanistan and collected urine and soil samples. They established that the rate of man-made isotopes was gone up 2000 times in some subjects located near the bombed areas."
"Since uranium used in the weapons has a half-life of 4.5 billion years, the US forces ensured that generations of Afghans suffer from cancers and deformities," the activist noted.
"This is certainly not development. In fact, it is the biggest crime ever committed by anyone in the history of humanity," he stressed.
Dr, Miraki started a non-for-profit organization, Afghan DU and Recovery Fund to raise awareness and funds to initiate some DU clean-up projects, relocate villagers from bombed villages, and provide clean water and other basic sustenance for the poor people of Afghanistan.
Time to Impeach Ban Ki Moon as UN Boss; Hillary Demands Ouster of Assad; Russia, China, SCO Reject NATO’s Demand to Attack Syria; New French Foreign Minister Fabius Qualifies as “Roquet” – Attack Dog