Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’

The American people have the right to travel around the United States without being x-rayed, groped, or stopped along a highway because the military has put up blockades.  The government says that when we buy an airline ticket we “give up our rights”.  But as Congressman Paul says, “it is the duty of the government to protect our rights.”

People don’t have a problem with warrantless wiretaps or domestic eavesdropping by the government, but once you mention an infringement upon their right to own a gun or the freedom of speech – oh boy – don’t touch that!

Rights are not something that we can give up.  You cannot pick and choose what right you want to keep and what right you don’t want to keep.  It’s a packaged deal.  These Rights are what Our Founders fought so hard for.  And with a government that is fraught with conspiracy and corruption, why are we so willing to give up our rights?  Why are we so willing to trust them?

The government looks at us as if we are the ones to blame for everything.  We need to be investigated.  Well, for a change, let’s investigate the government.  Let’s hold tribunals and trials.  Enough with voting your “conscience” or “the lesser of two evils”.  Let’s throw these bums out on their asses.

Have you not noticed that since the elections, the government isn’t really sending “reassurances” in the fight against terror?  That the would-be attacks have stopped?  These all work in one cohesive fashion to drive fear at the heart of the American people.  It keeps you in support of a failed and corrupt foreign policy.  It keeps, though it may be small, your support for increased drone attacks in Pakistan under the guise of the “hunt for Osama bin Laden”.

If we were fighting for freedom we would be throwing the bums out all across this nation.

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List of United States Senators from South Carolina

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Senator Lindsey Graham spoke the same fearmonger/warmonger propaganda recently, urging President Obama to strike Iran and cripple “their ability to wage war.”  He even said that we are probably past that point.  This speech of stopping their ability to “wage war” sounds a lot like the rhetoric that we’ve heard from then-President George W. Bush, when he urged the American people to support his backtrack of foreign policy and used the same excuse.

“Instead of a surgical strike on their nuclear infrastructure, I think we’re to the point now that you have to really neuter the regime’s ability to wage war against us and our allies. And that’s a different military scenario. It’s not a ground invasion but it certainly destroys the ability of the regime to strike back.”

As far as I know, Iran hasn’t lobbed one weapon towards the continental United States or Iraq, or Afghanistan.  It’s not a “ground invasion”, but an invasion just the same.  And for the President to order such an attack without a Declaration of War from Congress is illegal.

Speaking on terms of retaliation on Iran’s part, Graham said:

“You can expect that,” he said. “You can expect, for a period of time, all hell to break loose. You must have to almost plan for that. And weigh that against the idea of a nuclear-armed Iran and what that means to the future of the world.”

Well, it’s finally time that someone admittted the obvious.

Graham said the current sanctions on Iran are not “crippling”.  Now by what he means by “crippling”, he didn’t elaborate, and, furthermore, I don’t think that even he knows.  Sanctions are an act of war and aggression, and they don’t work.  Before WWII, sanctions created Hitler.  During the ’90s, sanctions killed more that 500,000 people in Iraq.

Iran has said that if we attack (and they have a right to) they will retaliate on our forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and most certainly Israel.  War begetts more war and brings no resemblance of peace.

Our current state in the Middle East is precarious at best.  Iraq and Afghanistan are complete failures, and we are told that bin Laden is in Pakistan; adding more fuel to the military industrial complex’s war machine.  In an attempt to “fight terrorism” the United States government is trying to buy Pakistan’s alliegance, which by most reports, isn’t working.

Broadening our war machine to Iran will invigorate al-Qaeda and we will be fighting a well-armed military.  Blood will be shed for a conflict that has no end in sight.  By the end, the American people will be asking the most obvious of questions, “why did we do this for?”  But this may come at a time when it is too late for the United States to realize the fact.

As early as this month the Israel Aerospace Industries announced that they have signed as deal with Russia to the tune of $400 million dollars.  Russia wil buy the drones over a period of three years and they will be assembled in Russia.

“This is a huge step toward deepening cooperation between IAI and Russian industry. This agreement will also strengthen the bilateral relationship between Israel and Russia,” the two companies said in the statement.

Einstein’s theory on insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. 

Now without using big words and going smart on everyone; can anyone say that this will go well?  Russia?  A nation that has recently been selling weapons to Iran.  A nation that has historically been opposed to Israel.  Does anyone remember the Six Day War?

Now Russia’s military is obsolete and these weapons will greatly enhance their already floundering war policy.  

Just recently the Obama administration proposed $2 billion multi year deal to fund Pakistan in the “fight” against terrorism. 

I think I agree with Ron Paul when he said, “what’s going on here?”

By Agence France-Presse

Two US lawmakers — a Republican and a Democrat — proposed a bill this week demanding the withdrawal of all US troops in Pakistan, where they are conducting covert operations against militants.

“We have known that US forces have been operating in secret inside the territories of Pakistan without congressional approval,” Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich said Friday, pointing to reports the United States was stepping up its presence there.

He said the House of Representatives was expected to take up the resolution next week. The measure was introduced late Thursday.

Kucinich said the covert operations were a “violation of the 1973 War Powers Resolution introduced after the Vietnam War that only allows the president to send US armed forces into military operations abroad if Congress approves the decision or if the United States is under a serious threat or attack.”

“It is our constitutional responsibility as members of Congress to act,” Kucinich added.

Washington is working to deepen engagement with the nuclear power across the border from war-wracked Afghanistan and overcome rife anti-Americanism after years of perceived neglect of bilateral relations.

Joining Kucinich on the bill was Ron Paul, a Texas Republican who espoused libertarian views during his failed 2008 bid for the presidency.

Paul said the US military has “significantly increased” its operations in Pakistan, without providing figures.

He also noted the increased use of unmanned drone attacks in Pakistan since President Barack Obama came to office a year and a half ago.

“This increasing US military activity in Pakistan has little to do with protecting the United States and in fact is creating more enemies than it is defeating,” Paul said.

“The administration, like its predecessor, is misusing language in the original post-9/11 resolution to prosecute a wider regional war and Congress is sitting quietly on the sidelines. This must stop.”

The Pentagon says only a small number of US soldiers operate in Pakistan, mostly Special Forces tasked with training Pakistani troops along the Afghan border. Those US forces are not officially engaged in combat operations.

Kucinich previously tabled a resolution demanding that all US troops withdraw from Afghanistan, but it was rejected in March.

Washington has branded the rugged tribal area along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border a global headquarters for Al-Qaeda and other militants, who use it as a base to launch attacks on US-led forces in Afghanistan.

But the presence of US troops is a sensitive issue in Pakistan due to prevailing anti-American sentiment in the country, as well as conspiracy theories about US military operations and a perception that they threaten Pakistani sovereignty.

When Ron Paul came on the presidential scene in 2008 and implored the American people to see reason that Muslims in the Middle East do not hate us because we are quote “free”, reviews and opinions were mixed.  Certainly a politician having the platform that 9/11 – this nations worst day in recent history – was a direct result of our actions abroad is certainly jarring.  It is a reversal on the theory of “if we’re not over there, they will come here.”  While politicians like to quote the CIA to further their own warmongering agendas, only Ron Paul quoted the CIA on blowback.

Now I can try to be as eloquent as I can, but what would be the point?  In the 1980s Osama bin Laden was an operative of the CIA.  We invaded Afghanistan on the quest to find him “Dead or Alive”, and nearly ten years later, still no sign.  Draw your own conclusions.

Despite the fact of lack of overwhelming evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, the Bush administration began planning the Iraqi conflict before, and after 9/11.  And who could forget Bush admitting Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11?  His points are so flaccid and with logic so dull, one has to come to the conclusion that we just had eight years of a supreme dumbass.

What does all of this have to do with today, you ask?  Answer: we’re still there.  As of February 2010 the Iraqi Freedom conflict cost the American taxpayer $704 billion dollars, and despite the fact that no weapons were found (as in Bush’s admission), timetables for withdraw are slow, if ever forth coming, and are constantly set back.

When innocent lives are being flushed out in Afghanistan like here and here, can anyone question the motive for hatred and chants of “Death to America”?  Maybe we should listen to reason and take into consideration the words of Ron Paul  (you need to watch this video) when he said we should look at our actions against other nations and how we would feel if they did the same to us.

In case you were wanting another source on the Clinton impeachment bombing of Iraq, here’s one.  Iraq was a poor country in the 90s, and even up until the Bush invasion.  Now you can continue to support our foreign policy (even though it is a lie), but don’t kid yourself into thinking that a foreign policy such as this doesn’t come with ramifications in the package.

 NEW YORK – Calling himself a Muslim soldier, a defiant Pakistan-born U.S. citizen pleaded guilty Monday to carrying out the failed Times Square car bombing and left a sinister warning that unless the U.S. leaves Muslim lands alone, “we will be attacking U.S.”

Faisal Shahzad entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Manhattan just days after a federal grand jury indicted him on 10 terrorism and weapons counts, some of which carry mandatory life sentences. He pleaded guilty to them all.

Widely circulated snapshots of Shahzad — a U.S.-trained financial analyst and married father of two — show him with a neatly trimmed beard, all smiles and looking carefree behind sunglasses or with his American wife. When led into court Monday, he had on a white skull cap and prisoner’s uniform, his beard shaggy and his demeanor serious.

U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum challenged Shahzad repeatedly with questions such as whether he looked at the people in Times Square, especially the children, to see who they were or whether he really built the bomb by himself. He repeatedly insisted he acted without help from others in the U.S. and built the bomb “all by myself.”

“One has to understand where I’m coming from,” Shahzad said calmly. “I consider myself … a Muslim soldier.”

The 30-year-old described his effort to set off a bomb in an SUV he parked in Times Square on May 1, saying he chose the warm Saturday night because it would be crowded with people he could injure or kill. He said he conspired with the Pakistan Taliban, which provided more than $15,000 to fund his operation and five days of explosives training late last year and early this year, just months after he became a U.S. citizen.

He explained that he packed his vehicle with three separate bomb components, hoping to set off a fertilizer-fueled bomb packed in a gun cabinet, a set of propane tanks and gas canisters rigged with fireworks to explode into a fireball. He also revealed he was carrying a folding assault rifle for “self-defense.”

Shahzad said he lit a fuse and waited 2 1/2 to five minutes for the bomb to erupt.

“I was waiting to hear a sound but I didn’t hear a sound. … So I walked to Grand Central and went home,” he said.

The judge repeatedly interrupted Shahzad, including when he said his plot was to retaliate against the U.S. and the forces of up to 50 other countries that had “attacked the Muslim lands.”

Cedarbaum said: “But not the people who were walking in Times Square that night. Did you look around to see who they were?”

“Well, the people select the government,” Shahzad said. “We consider them all the same. The drones, when they hit … ”

Cedarbaum interrupted again: “Including the children?”

Shahzad answered: “Well, the drone hits in Afghanistan and Iraq, they don’t see children, they don’t see anybody. They kill women, children, they kill everybody. It’s a war, and in war, they kill people. They’re killing all Muslims.”

Later, he added: “I am part of the answer to the U.S. terrorizing the Muslim nations and the Muslim people. And, on behalf of that, I’m avenging the attack. Living in the United States, Americans only care about their own people, but they don’t care about the people elsewhere in the world when they die.”

Cedarbaum asked him if he understood some charges carried mandatory life sentences and that he might spend the rest of his life in prison. He said he did.

At one point, she asked him if he was sure he wanted to plead guilty.

He said he wanted “to plead guilty and 100 times more” to let the U.S. know that if it did not get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, halt drone attacks and stop meddling in Muslim lands, “we will be attacking U.S.”

Sentencing was scheduled for Oct. 5.

The Bridgeport, Conn., resident was arrested trying to leave the country May 3, two days after the bomb failed to ignite near a Broadway theater.

Authorities said Shahzad immediately cooperated, delaying his initial court appearance for two weeks as he spilled details of a plot meant to sow terror in the world-famous Times Square when it was packed with thousands of potential victims.

The bomb apparently sputtered, emitting smoke that attracted the attention of an alert street vendor, who notified police, setting in motion a rapid evacuation of blocks of a city still healing from the shock of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

According to the indictment issued last week, Shahzad received a total of $12,000 prior to the attack from the Pakistani Taliban through cash drop-offs in Massachusetts and Long Island.

Attorney General Eric Holder said after the plea: “Faisal Shahzad plotted and launched an attack that could have led to serious loss of life, and today the American criminal justice system ensured that he will pay the price for his actions.”

FBI New York Acting Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos called the plea “right on the mark” and praised the work of “ordinary citizens who alerted law enforcement of suspicious activity.”

Shahzad was accused in the indictment of receiving explosives training in Waziristan, Pakistan, during a five-week trip to that country. He returned to the United States in February.

The indictment said he received $5,000 in cash on Feb. 25 from a co-conspirator in Pakistan and $7,000 more on April 10, allegedly sent at the co-conspirator’s direction. Shahzad confirmed the payments in court Monday and said the Pakistan Taliban also gave him more than $4,000 when he left training camp, where he spent 40 days.

Shahzad, born in Pakistan, moved to the United States when he was 18.

Pakistan has arrested at least 11 people since the attempted attack. An intelligence official has alleged two of them played a role in the plot. No one has been charged.

Three men in Massachusetts and Maine suspected of supplying money to Shahzad have been detained on immigration charges; one was recently transferred to New York.

Federal authorities have said they believe money was channeled through an underground money transfer network known as “hawala,” but they have said they doubt anyone in the U.S. who provided money knew what it was for.

Statement of Congressman Ron Paul
United States House of Representatives
Statement on Motion to Instruct Conferees on HR 2194, Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act
April 22, 2010

Mr. Speaker I rise in opposition to this motion to instruct House conferees on HR 2194, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act, and I rise in strong opposition again to the underlying bill and to its Senate version as well. I object to this entire push for war on Iran, however it is disguised. Listening to the debate on the Floor on this motion and the underlying bill it feels as if we are back in 2002 all over again: the same falsehoods and distortions used to push the United States into a disastrous and unnecessary one trillion dollar war on Iraq are being trotted out again to lead us to what will likely be an even more disastrous and costly war on Iran. The parallels are astonishing.

We hear war advocates today on the Floor scare-mongering about reports that in one year Iran will have missiles that can hit the United States. Where have we heard this bombast before? Anyone remember the claims that Iraqi drones were going to fly over the United States and attack us? These “drones” ended up being pure propaganda — the UN chief weapons inspector concluded in 2004 that there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein had ever developed unpiloted drones for use on enemy targets. Of course by then the propagandists had gotten their war so the truth did not matter much.

We hear war advocates on the floor today arguing that we cannot afford to sit around and wait for Iran to detonate a nuclear weapon. Where have we heard this before? Anyone remember then-Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice’s oft-repeated quip about Iraq: that we cannot wait for the smoking gun to appear as a mushroom cloud.

We need to see all this for what it is: Propaganda to speed us to war against Iran for the benefit of special interests.

Let us remember a few important things. Iran, a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has never been found in violation of that treaty. Iran is not capable of enriching uranium to the necessary level to manufacture nuclear weapons. According to the entire US Intelligence Community, Iran is not currently working on a nuclear weapons program. These are facts, and to point them out does not make one a supporter or fan of the Iranian regime. Those pushing war on Iran will ignore or distort these facts to serve their agenda, though, so it is important and necessary to point them out.

Some of my well-intentioned colleagues may be tempted to vote for sanctions on Iran because they view this as a way to avoid war on Iran. I will ask them whether the sanctions on Iraq satisfied those pushing for war at that time. Or whether the application of ever-stronger sanctions in fact helped war advocates make their case for war on Iraq: as each round of new sanctions failed to “work” — to change the regime — war became the only remaining regime-change option.

This legislation, whether the House or Senate version, will lead us to war on Iran. The sanctions in this bill, and the blockade of Iran necessary to fully enforce them, are in themselves acts of war according to international law. A vote for sanctions on Iran is a vote for war against Iran. I urge my colleagues in the strongest terms to turn back from this unnecessary and counterproductive march to war.

Thanks to wikileaks.org these videos have been made public.  Now bare in mind that this is real footage.  Reuters says this:

“The newly released video of the Baghdad attacks was recorded on one of two Apache helicopters hunting for insurgents on 12 July 2007,” reports the Guardian. “Among the dead were a 22-year-old Reuters photographer, Namir Noor-Eldeen, and his driver, Saeed Chmagh, 40. The Pentagon blocked an attempt by Reuters to obtain the video through a freedom of information request. Wikileaks director Julian Assange said his organisation had to break through encryption by the military to view it.”

The release of these videos come on the heals of news of U.S. Special Forces botching and trying to cover-up their mistake.  http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/afghanistan/article7087637.ece

Watch as the soldiers in the Apache helic0pters gun down civilians in the streets of Baghdad.

Another clip as a soldier throws a puppy as a cliff.

The men were later reprimanded for their conduct: http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/12/marine.puppy/index.html

Or what about British soldiers in 2007 beating Iraqi children?

One can only speculate what would cause “liberators” to do such things as this.  Or as Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC said, “only a small percentage will ever see combat and the rest of us are just cowards.”   To read the full article, click here:  http://www.prisonplanet.com/neo-cons-defend-massacre-of-iraqi-journalists-children.html