The Bush Regime’s Imperial Affirmation: Endless War, Endless Conquest, Endless Repression

Dandelion Salad

by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, September 2, 2008
Antifascist Calling…

While people around the world begin to celebrate George W. Bush’s January 20, 2009 departure from the White House, senior administration officials are crafting legislation, rule changes and executive orders that will make permanent the worst excesses of this criminal regime.

And in an election year, you can count on a Democratic-controlled Congress to continue abdicating their role as a brake on the executive branch, ever-fearful that far-right attack dogs and their media accomplices will label them “soft on terror.”

In this light, a recent piece in The New York Times outlines the corporatist trajectory that will cement in place the “friendly fascism” of the Bush administration, inaugurated by the Republican party on December 12, 2000 when the U.S. Supreme Court handed a stolen election to the Bush-Cheney cabal.

As Associate Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in his bitter dissent to the Bush v. Gore ruling: “Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.”

Ponder those words and then consider all that has followed since that infamous ruling eight long years ago undermined the rule of law and democratic processes in the United States–and the capitulatory cowardice of the putative “opposition” party, the Democrats, who sealed the deal.

Eric Lichtblau reports that as the November 4 general election approaches, “Tucked deep into a recent proposal from the Bush administration is a provision that has received almost no public attention, yet in many ways captures one of President Bush’s defining legacies: an affirmation that the United States is still at war with Al Qaeda.”

Seven years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks by the Afghan-Arab database of disposable Western intelligence assets known as al-Qaeda, Bush advisers are demanding that Congress “acknowledge again and explicitly that this nation remains engaged in an armed conflict with Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated organizations, who have already proclaimed themselves at war with us and who are dedicated to the slaughter of Americans.”

That al-Qaeda attacks Western targets and visits outrages upon innocent civilians does not mean it is not also a blunt-edged weapon selectively deployed by imperialism to stoke ethnic and religious tensions in areas deemed vital to U.S. geostrategic interests. As investigative journalist Robert Dreyfuss has documented,

Sixty years earlier, when the United States began its odyssey in the Middle East, there were other voices who wanted conservative Islam, and early fundamentalist groups associated with the nascent Islamic right, to do battle with the secular left, with Nasser, with Arab communists and socialists. Now, six decades later, the Bush administration is pursuing a strategy in the Middle East that seems calculated to boost the fortunes of the Islamic right. The United States is counting on Shiite fundamentalists in Iraq to save its failed policy in that country, and a major theoretician of that campaign explicitly calls for the United States to cast its lot in with the ayatollahs and the Muslim Brotherhood. (Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam, New York: Metropolitan Books, 2005, p. 342)

Long after the Bush administration has sailed off into the proverbial sunset, policies launched across the decades by successive Democratic and Republican governments will continue along the same imperial trajectory: war and covert operations as the preferred instruments for capitalist resource extraction and global domination.

Al-Qaeda: Asset and Adversary

One need only review the role played by al-Qaeda in the Balkans during the 1990s when the United States and their NATO allies, particularly Germany and the United Kingdom, provided entrée to demobilized Afghan-Arab mujahedin fighters as the West dismembered the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, culminating in 1999 with NATO’s murderous 78-day bombing campaign of Serbia to “liberate” Kosovo.

Earlier in the decade, thousands of Islamist fighters flooded Bosnia-Herzegovina, directly recruited by former Waffen SS Handzar Division foot soldier and Islamist ideologue, Alia Izetbegovic, the President of Bosnia and darling of liberal interventionists such as Bernard-Henri Lévy. In calling for Western intervention, Lévy shamelessly described Izetbegovic’s neofascist statelet as an exemplar of “modern, secular Islam”! Quite naturally, Izetbegovic’s Nazi past was covered-up by Western interventionists intent on smashing multiethnic Yugoslavia into smithereens.

Indeed, intelligence analyst and senior lecturer at the University of Amsterdam, Cees Wiebes, documents in Intelligence and the War in Bosnia 1992-1995, how Western intelligence agencies, including the CIA, MI6 and BND assisted major arms transshipments into Bosnia despite a UN arms embargo, often in concert with the reactionary Iranian regime.

Some estimates claim that by 1994, as many as 4,000 mujahedin fighters were present in Bosnia. Indeed, none other than Osama bin Laden himself visited Izetbegovic in Sarajevo. As a gesture of appreciation for his support, Izetbegovic gave bin Laden a Bosnian passport. And, a November 1, 2001 account in the European edition of The Wall Street Journal claimed that bin Laden continued to visit the Balkan region as late as 1996.

By 1995 as Wiebes documented, American Hercules C-130 transport planes accompanied by jet fighters began landing at the Tuzla Air Base in eastern Bosnia laden with arms, ammunition and communications equipment destined for Izetbegovic’s Islamist brigades. Similar arms pipelines were opened between Albania, Bosnia, Croatia and later in the decade Kosovo, where Albanian narcotrafficking networks rule the roost and continue to wreck havoc across the region.

As I documented in “Welcome to Kosovo! The World’s Newest Narco State,” beginning in 1998 and perhaps earlier, the London-based cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, the “emir” of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Muhajiroun began a recruitment drive for aspiring mujahedin for the “holy war” in Kosovo at London’s notorious Finsbury Park Mosque.

In 2005, in the wake of the July 7, 2005 terrorist attacks in London, it was revealed that Bakri, a probable MI6 asset and simultaneously an al-Qaeda operative, was the “spiritual” force behind the deadly attacks that claimed 52 lives and wounded hundreds of others. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed reported that,

The reluctance to take decisive action against the leadership of the extremist network in the UK has a long history. According to John Loftus, a former Justice Department prosecutor, Omar Bakri and Abu Hamza, as well as the suspected mastermind of the London bombings Haroon Aswat, were all recruited by MI6 in the mid-1990s to draft up British Muslims to fight in Kosovo. American and French security sources corroborate the revelation. The MI6 connection raises questions about Bakri’s relationship with British authorities today. Exiled to Lebanon and outside British jurisdiction, he is effectively immune to prosecution. (“Sources: August terror plot is a ‘fiction’ underscoring police failures,” The Raw Story, Monday, September 18, 2006)

During NATO’s Kosovo aggression, analyst Michel Chossudovsky wrote,

Mercenaries financed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait had been fighting in Bosnia. And the Bosnian pattern was replicated in Kosovo: Mujahadeen mercenaries from various Islamic countries are reported to be fighting alongside the KLA in Kosovo. German, Turkish and Afghan instructors were reported to be training the KLA in guerrilla and diversion tactics. … According to a Deutsche Press-Agentur report, financial support from Islamic countries to the KLA had been channelled through the former Albanian chief of the National Information Service (NIS), Bashkim Gazidede. “Gazidede, reportedly a devout Moslem who fled Albania in March of last year [1997], is presently [1998] being investigated for his contacts with Islamic terrorist organizations.” (“Kosovo ‘freedom fighters’ financed by organised crime,” World Socialist Web Site, 10 April 1999)

As I documented, the Kosovo Liberation Army’s links to both narcotrafficking networks and al-Qaeda was a defining feature of Western intervention in the former Yugoslavia. Indeed, Hashim Thaci’s KLA served as the militarized vanguard for the Albanian mafia whose “15 Families” control virtually every facet of the Balkan heroin trade. Thaci is currently Kosovo’s Prime Minister. Kosovar traffickers ship heroin originating exclusively from Asia’s Golden Crescent. At one end lies Afghanistan where poppy is harvested for transshipment through Iran and Turkey; as morphine base it is then refined into “product” for worldwide consumption. From there it passes into the hands of the Albanian syndicates who control the Balkan Route.

U.S. destabilization programs and covert operations rely on far-right provocateurs and drug lords (often interchangeable players) to facilitate the dirty work. Throughout its Balkan operations the CIA made liberal use of these preexisting narcotics networks to arm the KLA and provide them with targets. Today, similar features are visible for all the world to see as the U.S. warlord state in Afghanistan battles the Taliban and al-Qaeda for control of the lucrative opium growing and processing regions of that destroyed nation.

As a sometime Western intelligence asset, al-Qaeda is not simply a puppet of the United States and NATO as some believe. Such simplifications mask a harder and crueler reality. In the opinion of this writer, the 9/11 cover-up, rather than burying the Bush administration’s alleged orchestration of the attacks (the “inside job” thesis), concealed something far more sinister: U.S. imperialism’s decades-long collaboration with Islamist extremists to achieve geopolitical advantage over their capitalist rivals.

As with neo-Nazi networks that were reconstituted by the West for war against their domestic leftist adversaries during the Cold War, al-Qaeda and related terror organizations will, at times, share limited tactical goals with the West, such as the destruction of secular, leftist opponents in the Middle East, or as a force for destabilization operations in target countries such as Iran, as investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has reported in The New Yorker.

That al-Qaeda has reconstituted its military-political-mafia structures along the Afghanistan-Pakistan borderlands and continues to attack targets across the region at will, is testament to the resilience of the organization and the appeal of its reactionary ideology. There is a deadly irony here, since its murderous “tradecraft” was quite literally bequeathed to it by Western intelligence services and America’s preeminent regional allies, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

The Bush Legacy

As far-right Republican party hordes gather in Minneapolis/St. Paul for the coronation of their presidential candidates, reactionary Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Alaska’s Christian fundamentalist governor, Sarah Palin, the Bush regime’s strategy of preemptive war is viciously playing out on the home front. Salon’s Glenn Greenwald reports,

Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff’s department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than “fire code violations,” and early this morning, the Sheriff’s department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying. (“Massive Police Raids on Suspected Protesters in Minneapolis,” Salon, August 30, 2008)

The raids were orchestrated by local law enforcement agencies with major assistance from various federal spy outfits such as the FBI, NSA and the Pentagon’s own Northern Command (NORTHCOM). The raids are purely an intimidation tactic designed to squelch peaceful dissent by citizens outraged by Bushist policies throughout these long years of darkness.

Indeed, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that police and federal agencies utilized the “services” of informants and provocateurs in their targeting of the anarchist RNC Welcoming Committee.

Aided by informants planted in protest groups, authorities raided at least six buildings across St. Paul and Minneapolis to stop an “anarchist” plan to disrupt this week’s Republican National Convention.

From Friday night through Saturday afternoon, officers surrounded houses, broke down doors, handcuffed scores of people and confiscated suspected tools of civil disobedience.

The show of force was led by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office in collaboration with the FBI, Minneapolis and St. Paul police, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies. (Heron Marquez Estrada, Bill McAuliffe and Abby Simons, “Police Raids Enrage Activists, Alarm Others,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, August 31, 2008)

The “preemptive” raids targeted activists, alternative media and lawyers on-scene. All were handcuffed and forced to lie face-down, while SWAT teams and federal agents ransacked numerous homes in a quixotic hunt for “weapons.”

Greenwald avers, “Targeting people with automatic-weapons-carrying SWAT teams and mass raids in their homes, who are suspected of nothing more than planning dissident political protests at a political convention and who have engaged in no illegal activity whatsoever, is about as redolent of the worst tactics of a police state as can be imagined.”

After nearly eight years of massive surveillance and infiltration operations by the federal government across a multitude of federal agencies, often acting in cahoots with reenergized local “red squads” rebranded as Fusion Centers and Joint Terrorism Task Forces coordinated through the Office of National Intelligence, the mutant stepchildren of the FBI’s COINTELPRO, the CIA’s Operation CHAOS and the NSA’s Project SHAMROCK have brought the “war on terror” home in a big way.

The Minneapolis City Pages reported back in May, that police and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force were “soliciting” informants to keep tabs on local protest groups. According to journalist Matt Snyders’s account, FBI Special Agent Maureen A. Mazzola, flanked by a cop, attempted to recruit a University of Minnesota sophomore as a paid “confidential informant.” While the student declined the feds’ “generous offer,” the wider issue of recruiting Stasi-like moles to report “suspicious activities” by citizens exercising their constitutionally-guaranteed right to say “NO!” cuts to the heart of the role of dissent in a democracy.

Outraged by the “preemptive policing” on display in Minneapolis, Glenn Greenwald comments on the virtual blackout by the corporate media, all-too-willing to criticize the actions of repressive government’s thousands of miles away while silently acquiescing to the police state in full-bloom here at home.

So here we have a massive assault led by Federal Government law enforcement agencies on left-wing dissidents and protesters who have committed no acts of violence or illegality whatsoever, preceded by months-long espionage efforts to track what they do. And as extraordinary as that conduct is, more extraordinary is the fact that they have received virtually no attention from the national media and little outcry from anyone. And it’s not difficult to see why. As the recent “overhaul” of the 30-year-old FISA law illustrated–preceded by the endless expansion of surveillance state powers, justified first by the War on Drugs and then the War on Terror–we’ve essentially decided that we want our Government to spy on us without limits. There is literally no police power that the state can exercise that will cause much protest from the political and media class and, therefore, from the citizenry. (“Federal Government Involved in Raid on Protesters,” Salon, August 31, 2008)

As The New York Times reported, Bushist demands on Congress to “affirm” that the U.S. is at “war” with international terrorism, “carries significant legal and public policy implications for Mr. Bush, and potentially his successor, to claim the imprimatur of Congress to use the tools of war, including detention, interrogation and surveillance, against the enemy,” which as we see on a daily basis, is a war on our freedom to exist as individuals rather than as “soldiers” in an imperialist charade.

The Bushist proposal will provide the legal framework to assert broad executive power “during a time of war,” an interpretation of the commander in chief’s presumed wartime powers that Justice Department lawyers secretly used to gin-up the illegal detention and torture of alleged terrorist suspects and the NSA’s driftnet surveillance of Americans outside the rule of law.

As readers no doubt recall, the September 14, 2001 congressional resolution known as the “Authorization for Use of Military Force,” still in effect, became the pseudo-legal justification for the worst excesses of the Bush regime.

But as former Reagan Justice Department official Bruce Fein told the Times, Congress should not “give the administration the wartime language it seeks.”

“I do not believe that we are in a state of war whatsoever,” Mr. Fein said. “We have an odious opponent that the criminal justice system is able to identify and indict and convict. They’re not a goliath. Don’t treat them that way.”

The same can be said for the war criminals occupying high-office in the Bush administration and Congress. I disagree with Mr. Fein on one salient point: we are indeed “in a state of war.” However, it is a one-sided class war waged by a monstrous system of profit based on the exploitation of our living labor and ecocidal resource extraction by mafia-like associations known as multinational corporations.

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press.

© Copyright Tom Burghardt, Antifascist Calling…, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10041

see

Federal government involved in raids on protesters by Glenn Greenwald + Police Seize Bus

National Lawyers Guild: Police Raid “Preventive Detention” + Greenwald’s report

Anti-RNC activists respond to police raids, convergence space reopens + update

The Simulator: RNC EMERGENCY DISPATCH #1 + Raid Of Peace Protesters’ House

RNC – St Paul-Minneapolis MN

The Bush Admin Is an Ongoing Criminal Conspiracy Under International Law and US Domestic Law

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Francis A. Boyle
Global Research, September 2, 2008

Justice Robert H. Jackson Conference:
Planning for the Prosecution of High Level American War Criminals
Massachusetts Law School

September 13-14, 2008
Andover, Massachusetts

Since the impeachable installation of George W. Bush as President in January of 2001 by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Gang of Five, the peoples of the world have witnessed a government in the United States that has demonstrated little if any respect for fundamental considerations of international law, human rights, and the United States Constitution.

What the world has watched instead is a comprehensive and malicious assault upon the integrity of the international and domestic legal orders by a group of men and women who are thoroughly Machiavellian and Straussian in their perception of international relations and in their conduct of both foreign policy and domestic affairs. Even more seriously, in many instances specific components of the Bush administration’s foreign policies constitute ongoing criminal activity under well-recognized principles of both international law and U.S. domestic law, and in particular the Nuremberg Charter, the Nuremberg Judgment, and the Nuremberg Principles, as well as the Pentagon’s own U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10 on The Law of Land Warfare (1956), all of which apply to President Bush himself as Commander-in-Chief of United States Armed Forces under Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution.

Depending upon the substantive issues involved, those international crimes typically include but are not limited to the Nuremberg offenses of crimes against peace: For example, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and perhaps their longstanding threatened wars of aggression against Iran and now Pakistan.  Their criminal responsibility also concerns Nuremberg crimes against humanity and war crimes as well as grave breaches of the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and of the 1907 Hague Regulations on land warfare:  For example, torture at Guantanamo, Bhagram, Abu Ghraib, and elsewhere; enforced disappearances, assassinations, murders, kidnappings, extraordinary renditions, “shock and awe,” depleted uranium, white phosphorous, cluster bombs, Fallujah, and the Gitmo kangaroo courts.

Furthermore, various members of the Bush administration have committed numerous inchoate crimes incidental to these substantive offences that under the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles as well as paragraph 500 of U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10 are international crimes in their own right:  planning and preparation—which they are currently doing today against Iran and Pakistan—solicitation, incitement, conspiracy, complicity, attempt, aiding and abetting.

Finally, according to basic principles of international criminal law set forth in paragraph 501 of U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10, all high level civilian officials and military officers in the U.S. government who either knew or should have known that soldiers or civilians under their control (such as the C.I.A. or private contractors), committed or were about to commit international crimes and failed to take the measures necessary to stop them, or to punish them, or both, are likewise personally responsible for the commission of international crimes.

At the very top of America’s criminal chain-of-command are President Bush and Vice-President Cheney;  former U.S. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld; Rumsfeld’s Deputy Paul Wolfowitz; Secretary of State Rice; former Director of National Intelligence Negroponte; National Security Advisor Hadley; his Deputy Elliot Abrams; former U.S. Attorneys General Ashcroft and Gonzales, criminally responsible for the torture campaign launched by the Bush Jr. administration; and the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staffs along with the appropriate Regional Commanders-in-Chief, especially for U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).

These U.S. government officials and their immediate subordinates are responsible for the commission of crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes as specified by the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles as well as by U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10.  Today in international legal terms, the Bush Jr. administration itself should now be viewed as constituting an ongoing criminal conspiracy under international criminal law and U.S. domestic law because of its formulation and undertaking of serial wars of aggression, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in violation of the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles that are legally akin to those perpetrated by the former Nazi regime in Germany.

Of course the terrible irony of today’s situation is that six decades ago at Nuremberg the U.S. government participated in the prosecution, punishment and execution of Nazi government officials for committing some of the same types of heinous international crimes that the members of the Bush administration currently inflict upon people all over the world. To be sure, I personally oppose the imposition of capital punishment upon any human being for any reason no matter how monstrous their crimes, whether they be Bush Jr., Tony Blair, or Saddam Hussein.

As a consequence, American citizens possess the basic right under international law and United States domestic law, including the U.S. Constitution, to engage in acts of civil resistance designed to prevent, impede, thwart, or terminate ongoing criminal activities perpetrated by Bush administration officials in their conduct of foreign affairs policies and military operations purported to relate to defense and counter-terrorism.  Today’s civil resisters are the sheriffs!  The Bush administration officials are the outlaws!

We American citizens must reaffirm our commitment to the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles by holding our government officials fully accountable under international law and U.S. domestic law for the commission of such grievous international and domestic crimes.  We must not permit any aspect of our foreign affairs and defense policies to be conducted by acknowledged “war criminals” according to the U.S. government’s own official definitions of that term as set forth in the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles, U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10, the U.S. War Crimes Act, the Four Geneva Conventions and the Hague Regulations.  The American people must insist upon the impeachment, dismissal, resignation, indictment, conviction, and long-term incarceration of all U.S. government officials guilty of such heinous international and domestic crimes.  If not so restrained, the Bush administration could very well precipitate a Third World War.

In this regard, during the course of an October 17, 2007 press conference, President Bush Jr. terrorized the entire world with the threat of World War III if he could not work his illegal will upon Iran.  It is my opinion that the Bush administration is fully prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons against Muslim and Arab states and peoples in order to break the taboo of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  After the terrible tragedy of September 11, 2001 the United States of America has vilified and demonized Muslims and Arabs almost to the same extent that America inflicted upon the Japanese and Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor.  As the Nazis had previously demonstrated with respect to the Jews, a government must first dehumanize and scapegoat a race of people before its citizens will tolerate if not approve their elimination: witness Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  In post -9/11 America we are directly confronted with the prospect of a nuclear war of extermination conducted by our White Racist Judeo-Christian Power Elite against Peoples of Color in the Muslim and Arab worlds in order to steal their oil and gas.  The Crusades all over again.  But this time nuclear Armageddon stares all of humankind right in the face!

We American lawyers must be inspired by the stunning example set by those heroic Pakistani lawyers who led the successful struggle against the brutal Bush-supported Musharraf military dictatorship in Pakistan.  We American lawyers must now lead the fight against the Bush dictatorship and empire! This is our Nuremberg Moment!

Thank you.

© Copyright Francis A. Boyle, Global Research, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10036

see

1 Million For Impeachment

Kucinich: Citizens must demand Congress consider impeachment

Take Action – Sign the Petition for Impeachment

Impeach

Iranian Trump Card. Russia Can Take Control of Persian Gulf

Dandelion Salad

by Radzhab Safarov
Global Research, September 1, 2008
Vremya Novostey

The recognition of South Ossetia’s and Abkhazia’s independence by Russia is a timely step to protect these republics from new Georgian aggression. However, taking into account the United States’ plans to expedite Georgia’s and Ukraine’s accession to the NATO military-political bloc, the situation near the Russian border remains alarming. At the same time Moscow has a lot of possibilities to take balanced counter measures to the United States’ and entire NATO’s unfriendly plans. In particular, Russia can rely on those countries that effectively oppose the United States’ and their satellites’ expansion. Only collective efforts can help to create a situation which would, if not eliminate then at least reduce the risk of the Cold War’s transformation into local and global conflicts.

For instance, Moscow could strengthen its military-technical ties with Syria and launch negotiations on the reestablishment of its military presence in Cuba. However, the most serious step which the United States and especially Israel fear (incidentally, Israel supplied arms to Georgia) is hypothetical revision of Russia’s foreign policy with regard to Iran. A strategic alliance presuming the signing of a new large-scale military political treaty with Iran could change the entire geopolitical picture of the contemporary world.

New allied relations may result in the deployment of at least two military bases in strategic regions of Iran. One military base could be deployed in the north of the country in the Iranian province of Eastern Azerbaijan and the other one in the south, on the Island of Qeshm in the Persian Gulf. Due to the base in Iran’s Eastern Azerbaijan Russia would be able to monitor military activities in the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey and share this information with Iran.

The deployment of a military base on the Island of Qeshm would allow Russia to monitor the United States’ and NATO’s activities in the Persian Gulf zone, Iraq and other Arab states. With the help of special equipment Russia could effectively monitor whois sailing toward this sea bottleneck, from where, and with what cargo on board to enter the World Ocean or to return.

For the first time ever Russia will have a possibility to stop suspicious vessels and ships and inspect their cargo, which the Americans have been cynically doing in that zone for many decades. In exchange for the deployment of its military bases Russia could help the Iranians to deploy modern air defense and missile defense systems along the perimeter of its borders. Tehran, for instance, needs Russia’s modern S-400 SAMs.

The Iranian leadership paid close attention to reports stating that the Georgian Government’s secret resolution gave the United States and Israel a carte blanche to use Georgian territory and local military bases for delivering missile and bomb strikes against Iranian facilities in the event of need. Another neighbor, Turkey, is not only a NATO member, but also a powerful regional opponent and economic rival of Iran. In addition to this, the Republic of Azerbaijan has become the West’s key partner on the issue of transportation of Caspian energy resources to world markets. The Iranians are also concerned at Baku’s plans to give Western (above all American) capital access to the so-called Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, which is fraught with new conflicts, because the legal status of the Caspian Sea has not been defined to date.

Russia and Iran can also accelerate the process of setting up a cartel of leading gas producers, which journalists have already dubbed the “gas OPEC.” Russia and Iran occupy first and second place in the world respectively in terms of natural gas reserves. They jointly possess more than 60 percent of the world’s gas deposits. Therefore, even small coordination in the elaboration of a single pricing policy may force one-half of the world, at least virtually entire Europe, to moderate its ambitions and treat gas exporters in a friendlier manner.

While moving toward allied relations, Russia can develop cooperation with Iran in virtually all areas, including nuclear power engineering. Russia can earn tens of billions of dollars on the construction of nuclear power plants in Iran alone. Tehran can receive not only economic, but also political support from Russia in the development of its own atomic energy sector.

In addition to this, in view of the imminent breakup of the CIS from which Georgia already pulled out, Russia could accelerate the process of accepting Iran as an equal member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). By accepting Iran, one of the key countries of the Islamic world, the organization could change fundamentally both in terms of its potential and in terms of its regional role. Meanwhile, as an SCO member Iran will find itself under the collective umbrella of this organization, including under the protection of such nuclear states as Russia and China. This will lay foundations for a powerful Russia-Iran-China axis,which the United States and its allies fear so much.

Radzhab Safarov is Director of the Russian Center for Iranian Studies. Text Translated from the Russian. OSC Translated Text
[courtesy of Information Clearing House, which first posted the article]

© Copyright Radzhab Safarov, Vremya Novostey, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10032

Depeche Mode: “John The Revelator”

Dandelion Salad

gremlin133 on Mar 12, 2009

Unofficial Music Video for “John The Revelator” performed by “Depeche Mode”.

see

1 Million For Impeachment

Kucinich: Citizens must demand Congress consider impeachment

Take Action – Sign the Petition for Impeachment

Impeach

Police State Methods: Preemptive Strikes Against Protest at the Republican National Convention

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Marjorie Cohn
Global Research, September 2, 2008

In the months leading up to the Republican National Convention, the FBI-led Minneapolis Joint Terrorist Task Force actively recruited people to infiltrate vegan groups and other leftist organizations and report back about their activities. On May 21, the Minneapolis City Pages ran a recruiting story called “Moles Wanted.” Law enforcement sought to preempt lawful protest against the policies of the Bush administration during the convention.

Since Friday, local police and sheriffs, working with the FBI, conducted preemptive searches, seizures and arrests. Glenn Greenwald described the targeting of protestors by “teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets.” Journalists were detained at gunpoint and lawyers representing detainees were handcuffed at the scene.

“I was personally present and saw officers with riot gear and assault rifles, pump action shotguns,” said Bruce Nestor, the President of the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, who is representing several of the protestors. “The neighbor of one of the houses had a gun pointed in her face when she walked out on her back porch to see what was going on. There were children in all of these houses, and children were held at gunpoint.”

The raids targeted members of “Food Not Bombs,” an anti-war, anti-authoritarian protest group that provides free vegetarian meals every week in hundreds of cities all over the world. They served meals to rescue workers at the World Trade Center after 9/11 and to nearly 20 communities in the Gulf region following Hurricane Katrina.

Also targeted were members of I-Witness Video, a media watchdog group that monitors the police to protect civil liberties. The group worked with the National Lawyers Guild to gain the dismissal of charges or acquittals of about 400 of the 1,800 who were arrested during the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York . Preemptive policing was used at that time as well. Police infiltrated protest groups in advance of the convention.

Nestor said that no violence or illegality has taken place to justify the arrests. “Seizing boxes of political literature shows the motive of these raids was political,” he said.

Further evidence the political nature of the police action was the boarding up of the Convergence Center , where protestors had gathered, for unspecified code violations. St. Paul City Council member David Thune said, “Normally we only board up buildings that are vacant and ramshackle.” Thune and fellow City Council member Elizabeth Glidden decried “actions that appear excessive and create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation for those who wish to exercise their first amendment rights.”

“So here we have a massive assault led by Federal Government law enforcement agencies on left-wing dissidents and protestors who have committed no acts of violence or illegality whatsoever, preceded by months-long espionage efforts to track what they do,” Greenwald wrote on Salon.

Preventive detention violates the Fourth Amendment, which requires that warrants be supported by probable cause. Protestors were charged with “conspiracy to commit riot,” a rarely-used statute that is so vague, it is probably unconstitutional. Nestor said it “basically criminalizes political advocacy.”

On Sunday, the National Lawyers Guild and Communities United Against Police Brutality filed an emergency motion requesting an injunction to prevent police from seizing video equipment and cellular phones used to document their conduct.

During Monday’s demonstration, law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force. At least 50 people were arrested, including Amy Goodman, the prominent host of Democracy Now!, as well as the show’s producers, Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. “St. Paul was the most militarized I have ever seen an American city to be,” Greenwald wrote, “with troops of federal, state and local law enforcement agents marching around with riot gear, machine guns, and tear gas cannisters, shouting military chants and marching in military formations.”

On Sunday, the National Lawyers Guild and Communities United Against Police Brutality filed an emergency motion requesting an injunction to prevent police from seizing video equipment and cellular phones used to document their conduct.

During Monday’s demonstration, law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force. At least 284 people were arrested, including Amy Goodman, the prominent host of Democracy Now!, as well as the show’s producers, Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. “St. Paul was the most militarized I have ever seen an American city to be,” Greenwald wrote, “with troops of federal, state and local law enforcement agents marching around with riot gear, machine guns, and tear gas cannisters, shouting military chants and marching in military formations.”

Bruce Nestor said the timing of the arrests was intended to stop protest activity, “to make people fearful of the protests, but also to discourage people from protesting,” he told Amy Goodman. Nevertheless, 10,000 people, many opposed to the Iraq war, turned out to demonstrate on Monday. A legal team from the National Lawyers Guild has been working diligently to protect the constitutional rights of protestors.

Marjorie Cohn is president of the National Lawyers Guild and a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. She is the author of Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law and co-author of Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent (with Kathleen Gilberd), which will be published this winter by PoliPointPress. Her articles are archived at www.marjoriecohn.com.

© Copyright Marjorie Cohn, Global Research, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10034

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